hippocampus

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"BREAKING NEWS - THE LAST FAMILY OF THE SEAHORSE HIPPOCAMPUS KUDA, COMMONLY KNOWN AS THE YELLOW SEAHORSE, DIED LATE LAST NIGHT ON THE EVENING OF THE TENTH OF OCTOBER 2048 IN CAPTIVITY DUE TO A POWER SHORTAGE IN GEORGIA AQUARIUM, ATLANTA-"

Kaia stared at her car radio in shock. It wasn't possible, was it?

"EMPLOYEES OF THE AQUARIUM STATE THAT THEY ARE OF NO FAULT - THEY REASON THAT IF THIRTY YEARS AGO THE WORLD HAD CARED MORE ABOUT THE PLANET, NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED - A RESPONSE WHICH HAS BEEN MET WITH HARSH WORDS FROM THE US GOVERNMENT."

How could this have happened? She'd taken one day off of work, one day to have a lunch date with her fiance, and in this time the last yellow seahorse had died?! No, there had to be a lie, there was no way this could be true, she refused to believe it.

Kaia quickly turned off the radio, undoing her seatbelt and getting out of her car as fast as she could, leaving the parking lot in a hurry. There was a beep as she scanned her card at the doorway, but she ignored it, taking a few deep breaths before heading to the tank of the hippocampus kuda.

It was empty.

Kaia stared at it in shock. Her favourite animal, gone, forever - there was no way of getting it back, not when her work had housed the last remaining family in the world.

"I'm sorry, Kaia."

The voice sounded from behind her and Kaia glanced up, meeting the frown of her colleague, Blake.

"What happened?" Kaia breathed.

"One of the cleaning robots went rogue and cut off the power." Blake looked down, scuffing one of his shoes on the floor. "And the backup generator was turned off for repairs... They died, all of them, when the filters and the heat stopped working."

"This shouldn't have happened." Kaia swallowed, feeling slightly sick. "They should never have even been in captivity, there were thousands of them not that long ago-"

"Do you remember when we found this lot?" Blake asked quietly. "And the state they were in? The baby was tanged in plastic, the oldest male was carrying a cotton bud in its tail... It's not our fault they died, it was too late. The world killed them, Kaia."

"It wasn't the world." Kaia shook her head. "This wasn't natural. Humans caused this- it was humans! If only we'd tried before - if only we'd stopped using plastics, stopped dumping rubbish, actually tried to care about the Earth-"

She knew it was no use complaining. Kaia couldn't change anything now.

Her mother had told her that when she was young, people tried to help, but it wasn't enough. Not everybody played their part, and so their work was to no avail. Governments just argued and each person thought that by themselves they couldn't make a difference, so did nothing.

The world had gone to waste, and nobody had cared.

hippocampus • #planetorplastic Where stories live. Discover now