September 23, 2012
Agent Ice Camel Overcomes
We’ve been running a series of events at the Wellcome Collection’s fantastic Superhuman exhibition this month. With the help of a scientist and an illustrator, our audience designed their own superhuman in response to a futuristic scenario.
So far we’ve produced eight fantastical, bizarre and in some cases hilarious stories that we’ll be posting over the next week. Here’s the first installment. We hope you enjoy the products of our audience’s collective imagination and can join us for the last event in the series on 26 September from 2-5pm.
Story #1: Agent Ice Camel Overcomes
Our storytellers were given the following scenario:
It is 2020. As rising temperatures and the retreating sea ice open up the Arctic for exploitation, the world’s superpowers are competing for the region’s minerals, rare metals, oil and fisheries. Alarmed by reports of an illegal Norwegian drilling operation in northern Greenland, the British government decide to send a spy to investigate.As head of human enhancement at MI6, what three modifications would you give to your spy to equip them to operate in this challenging environment?
Those pesky Norwegians!
To cope with the Arctic conditions, the storytellers chose three enhancements for a character they called “Agent Ice Camel”. They gave her: cyborg drilling feet for tunnelling, abundant body fat to keep warm, and a camel-like hump filled with hydrocarbon-digesting bacteria so she wouldn’t have to eat or drink.
The plot: Agent Ice Camel is dropped into Greenland by helicopter, and uses her feet to drill down into the illegal mine. However, she becomes stuck due to her corpulent figure. Luckily, she can use the bacteria in her hump to digest her own body fat and produce methane, which she uses to fire herself back up into the air. While flying past the mine, she sprinkles some bacteria into it, causing an explosion as she flies off to safety.
Storytellers: Zeta Zhang, Georgia Greenfield, Alfie Salisbury & Jess Lyons
Scientist: Eugene Schuster, MRC Career Development Fellow at UCL in the Institute of Healthy Ageing.
Illustrator: Sam Steer (www.samsteer.co.uk)