Project: Forward Octantis
In 2034 the Sun Quan, a Chinese Aircraft carrier ran aground on the submerged remnants of the Maldives. China abandoned the stricken vessel and declined any responsibility. The decaying wreckage of the warship, lying as it did on the remains of one of the more visible casualties of climate change, came to symbolise the worst excesses of unsustainable capitalism projected through military might. It was ten years before anyone noticed that the wreck had catalysed the formation of a new reef, and that refugees from other failed states had quietly colonised it, using the ship as their town hall. They built new land, and extended pontoons, encouraged sand banks and silt formation, quietly building a home for themselves. It was a further eight years of bitter arguments in the UN, with failed resolution after failed resolution seeking to remove the polluting hulk, before anyone thought to ask the people living there what they planned, and when they would move on. The delegation from the UN was met by a hastily gathered crowd, who welcomed the visiting bureaucrats to Octantis, the eighth continent. Leaving quickly, the bureaucrats returned to New York, where a hastily empanelled committee was rather embarrassed to announce that UN had, de-facto, acknowledged the new state in its deliberations over the years. And that that was that. Now a further seven years have passed, and Denis, an anthropologist, visits his ex-wife as an excuse to study the newly formed society. He is surprised to find that the surroundings re-kindle his feelings for his ex-wife, but his attempts at romance are made complicated by the presence of agents hostile to Octantis. Denis must keep himself and his wife alive while he tries to identify who wants to rip apart the new nation on the eve of its auspicious twenty-five year anniversary.