It was the year 3000 where technology which we use today was considered primitive. Alongside standard humans lived cyborgs and androids, bustling around the streets. The HoverLoop (the future metro system) ran soundlessly underground with cars hovering or flying above everyone’s head. Overall, Machina City was a technological beauty, lined with buildings scraping the gliding clouds. Plants lined these buildings, dancing and waving in the gentle breeze.

This era, however, has its disadvantages. No more animals existed in the perceivable world as they have been driven to extinction by the technological race. Instead, they were replaced by diverse robots who mimicked these extinct animals. Robot bees produced homey while mechanical birds chirped. These creatures were named Mechanica and came in all different shapes and sizes from amphibians to insects. They even managed to reproduce and replicate, each time creating unique animals which evolved through the years, just like us. Instead of regenerating endangered species, people unleashed Mechanica until they dominated the animal world.

~

Pascal sprung up like a spring in this bed. He was panting with his straw – blonde hair flopping over his emerald eyes. He had the same nightmare as usual, Mechanica infesting his house. Before he knew it, he was groggily changing his wet pyjamas into dry clothes. Despite the cries of his alarm clock (“Please resume sleep routine! It is only 3:00 am!) he teleported downstairs. He stared at the eCalendar and sighed. At last, it was the school excursion he had been waiting for years.

In a few hours he was on a hover bus to the Paramount Mountains. The mountain was split into two major levels; the ‘Inferiore Gradu’ (lower level) and the ‘Altiorem’ (upper level). The ‘Inferiore Gradu’ (lower level) was a major attraction of Machina City. Any tourists always came here first. But the ‘Altiorem’ bought shivers down everyone’s spine, human or metal. The tips of the mountain were blanketed by cotton clouds., floating placidly by the harsh snow caps with a section of the mountain being green in colour. Conspiracy theories even suggested the presence of a destructive monster. Pascal’s class, as part of their science class had to inspect the base for Mechanica, but this very boy had different plans…

They soon approached the Paramount Mountains. Tall breathtaking towers stretched from one side of the city to another. The mountains extended into the wisps of clouds. At the gate their tour guide, Ms Onstald, met them. She was long and wiry and showed clearly that all the youth had been drained out of her body and maybe even her soul. Soon, Onstald bared her teeth in a fake smile, revealing her rotten fangs. It was as if she was frozen back in time when everything evolved around her. When Onstald started her lecture, everyone recoiled immediately. In Pascal’s mind, someone was scratching their nail on an antique blackboard.

Slowly, everyone started to hike up the mountain. Mechanica was practically orbiting them in every nook and cranny. A robotic eagle soared above them, majestic in the sky. Alpacas trotted merrily behind them, gears turning softly with each and every step. The guide started a monotonous speech (which only Merivale, the class genius, listened to). Nonetheless, people stared in awe around them. However, they soon reached the maximum altitude for climbing. As they were about to go down, Pascal went to eh back and escaped the crowd.

For his entire life, Pascal wanted to conquer the mountain and prove the ludicrous myths and rumours were downright fake. Everyday, he would hear about the nonsense of monsters and would make him flame up with anger. This was the only motive which powered him up the incline. His MountainShoes only helped by providing traction but it did not help with his breathing, even though it got heavier and heavier. This was not his only problem. Pascal’s neck was prickling as if someone was scraping it with extremely sharp claws. Despite this, he trudged on through the various zones.

After a few hours (the mountain was not that tall) the trees began to accumulate. They were getting denser by the second. It seemed as if he had been automatically teleported to a deep forest. The bush scraped at his exposed ankles while flowers and weeds covered his path. Suddenly, something buzzed by him. Instinctively, he slapped at it, only to be met with a sting. “Hang on…” he thought. Mechanica never harmed human or any other robots. he looked past his shoulder but he nothing but the infinite labyrinth of the bush.

Finally, he heard a howl coming from only a few metres in in front of him. Pascal hurried his pace and walked in the middle of town trees. To his shock, there was a clearing in the middle. And in the centre, he saw a wolf with thick, white fur.

“Wait a minute. You can’t be real. You do not exist anymore!” he shouted at them. But he could tell that the wolf was perfectly real and not like the Mechanica that he was used to seeing. As if it had raised a signal, more animals came out of their hiding places. First, it was only more wolves but more and. more varieties of animals came out. Every strand of fur, feather and skin was completely real, like the creatures of a millennium ago. But then, they all sang.

The sound of the music was like heavenly angels floating into his ears. It was beautiful last and nearly brought tears into his eyes. Soon they were finished, and Pascal celebrated. At last, it was not the squeaky robotic voice he was used to hearing.

The next hours were pure bliss. He played with the animals and even raced with them. It was probably the most enjoyable thing Pascal had ever done. Every second was unspoiled by technology. After a while, something unusual happened. The original wolf seemed to be beckoning Pascal to follow it.

Pascal followed it for a few minutes. Every few seconds the wolf checked back on it as if it were worried that it would lose him. Finally, the wolf stopped but Pascal did not and walked right of the top of the mountain. Before he could even make a single sound, he fell off the cliff, falling unconscious to the world below.

Pascal was now awake, wondering how he was still alive and more over unscathed. Ms Onstald had actually used her ‘InvisNet’ to capture him. It was only a prototype so luckily, it worked perfectly. She had known from her secret power known as ‘Second Sight’. She had used it when the head count had not matched the count from the teacher. “I could tell exactly where you were the entire time”. To Pascal’s surprise, the mayor had arrived and quickly pinned a medal on his shirt. “We will never forget you, Pascal,” the mayor murmured. he was given the Machinex Award, the highest level of honour in the city.

A year later, the world was not only dominated by the Mechanica but by their natural counterparts, all because of Pascal’s daring escape from the crowd.