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This story is dedicated to Chris A Jackson, James K Bowers, and all the members of the
Herscher Project. Were it not for their inspiration, critiques, and constant support, this story
would never have been possible. Thanks are also due to numerous friends and colleagues who,
as usual, contributed their time and energy to help me with this work. To my parents as well,
who at an early age instilled in me an appreciation for the environment and this planet we call
Earth. Thanks are due to many people for many different reasons, so some explanation needs to
be made as to how this story was inspired, who helped, and in what capacity.
Originally, all chapters in this volume were created as sequels to one original short story.
Together, they represent the culmination of an idea that grew from a single project,
commissioned by Mr. Bowers at the Herscher Project, to have writers create visions of a
dystopian future. As a starting point, all interested parties were told to consult a short story by
Mr. Jackson, known as ―A Flash In The Pan‖. Mr. Jackson, it should be noted, is an established
fantasy writer with many titles to his credit, which include the ―Zellohar‖, ―Deathmask‖, ―A Soul
for Tsing‖, ―Weapon of Flesh‖, ―Scimitar Moon‖, and the hilarious sci-fi spoof ―Cheese
Runners‖. In this particular short story, Jackson explored the possibility of humanity's future,
discerning twelve different scenarios, arranged from worst to best. In one particular scenario, the
human race continued to face the challenge of population threatening to outstrip its natural
resources. After limitless expansion, it could no longer deny that it was reaching the limits of its
growth, and would have to face severe decline. It was from this particular scenario that I decided
to write my contribution which I had already named ―Source‖.
Since I first heard about the project, it was my hope to do a story based on the very real
possibility that the human race will someday run out of drinking water. This possibility, should
it ever come true, will not only mean environmental catastrophe, it will also have immense social
and political consequences. One can imagine without much difficulty how terrible death tolls,
international incidents, a global war, government crackdowns, and the rise of totalitarian regimes
could result. It therefore seemed like a perfect idea to base a dystopian story on. In addition to
that, I also feel it is an environmental issue deserving of attention.
Much like the problem of petroleum and global warming, discussion on this issue has
typically been reserved to environmental and academic circles. It is only within the past few
years that this issue has graduated from this arena and started to occupy an important position in
political discourse. With the very real threat of diminishing supplies of crude oil, climbing
energy prices and environmental changes that threaten human lives, it is little wonder why the
people and politicians of the world would start to take notice. Unfortunately, this graduation has
yet to produce any true results. On the one hand, the issue has been mired by the insistence of
some that it is still a mere theory, rather than scientifically proven fact. On the other, it appears
that entrenched economic interests are dead set against any initiatives that would discourage the
consumption of their product. Nevertheless, in spite of these attempts to block legislation,
clearly much progress has been made in terms of promoting general awareness. The mere fact
that there is a debate should be considered as a good sign. However, as of yet, little discussion
has been dedicated to the problem of diminishing water supplies around the world. It is
unfortunate that such a problem would need to be considered imminent before it was considered
worthy of our attention. It would also be unfortunate if this problem were left for too long, for as
we are learning, global warming may not be helped in time to prevent a severe loss of life from
happening in the next century.