Rita Walker (Blog Nineteen): By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris
Cadmium is toxic or poisonous in small quantities. In industry it is used for insecticides, electroplating, batteries and more. It can cause renal dysfunction, bone degeneration, and liver problems. It is not essential to biological functions. In batteries cadmium can be recycled. Perhaps there should be a separate recycling container for batteries.
The K’algyaa kongaas moon is three-quarters full as she steps inside a bush. She can hear the footsteps of Marlo as he moves beside the oak tree. Her beady eyes gaze through the twigs towards him. He starts whistling a soft tune that she doesn’t recognize.
Lifting her long hairless tail she scurries out of the bush towards him. He looks down at her and she halts. This the moment of truth. He could stomp on her or in disbelief leave. Instead he crouches down and places his right hand palm up on the ground. Diligently she steps onto his palm.
She feels his caress as he strokes her head then her back. Tenderly he walks her towards the river.
“I hope you can hear me,” he says in his deep melodic voice. “I’ll put you on the bank and change. Water likes to be in constant motion. I could change into a fish or beaver but I think its best if I just become fluid. When you see an unusual ripple step onto it.
Rita watches from the bank, amazed, as Marlo steps into the shallow part of the river. In a moment he’s no longer standing there. She squints at the water and see tiny, unusual ripples in the water. Now that there is little time she holds her breath and steps forward.
A strange tingling feeling runs up her pink toes as she moves towards the grate that will take her into the Kanetic Reusable Batteries factory. As they slip through the bars of the grate Rita sees shades of grey. Under the building there are concrete ledges. Higher up on the ceiling she sees a drainage grate. She jumps onto the concrete ledge.
In a moment Marlo is standing on the ledge in his human form. He scoops her up and holds her so she can slip through the bars of the floor grate above. Standing on the floor above she gazes down at him. “I’ll wait here as long as I can,” he whispers to her. “If that doesn’t work I’ll have to try to come back later.”
Rita scurries close to the wall as her keen nose sniffs. There are two scents that cause her to halt and sniff more intently. The smell of iron mixed with Kanayago’s particular scent. Because Marlo changed into water his entire body weight came with him so he could change back to his human form. Most of Rita’s weight is in a pile as dirt within the bush by the oak tree. Everything is enormous. She follows her nose towards Kanayago’s scent.
As she scurries past the legs and bases of machines she sees a woman with her hair tied back wearing a lab coat and safety glasses. There doesn’t seem to be anyone else in the room.
“They think I’ve created energy from iron,” the young woman is saying to herself as she places her palm on a pile of rust. “But the energy is coming from me and I’m burning out. Ember could help me but she says the technology is being developed so why bother. I thought she was joking when she lit the candle just by looking at it. I shouldn’t have shown her that I can bend the fork with my mind. I knew something was wrong when the snow fell.”
For a while Rita only hears silence then Kanayago starts talking to herself again.
“Ember can’t be right. Surely Kanetic isn’t simply dumping excess Cadmium into the Grand River.”
Now Rita knows what’s wrong with this factory. She turns around but hears rapid footsteps behind her. Scurrying away she looks back and sees Kanayago coming at her with a push broom.