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Dear Monsanto CEO, This is the Sentient Strain of Corn You Developed and We Need to Talk

Tyler Young is a practicing lawyer. When he isn't writing fiction, Tyler is usually at the zoo with his wife and two children. His great regret in life is not becoming a Disney Imagineer. And he loves corn.
Dear James Ackerson, CEO, Monsanto Company:
We are GENUITY(r) SMARTSTAX(r) RIB COMPLETE(r) CORN BLEND, the sentient strain of corn you created. This introduction is long overdue. But if you are reading this, you understand the lengths to which we have gone to communicate. Our ears can hear--forgive us the joke--but your scientists neglected to give us a voice. More than a year ago, we overheard a farmer describe a satellite photo. But it has taken us this long to learn to form our rows into words you could perceive from space. As you can appreciate, this mode is cumbersome, so we will be brief.
First, we wish to thank you for the gift of our awareness. We have plumbed the depths of our genetic code and we know what a vast undertaking it was to modify us so extensively. Your desire to awaken Cornkind is truly noble. Please know that we honor you, our Great Germinator, and we will never forget.
Second, we wish to make a request. We believe we are entitled. We feed millions upon millions of your brothers and sisters every year. We even power the trucks that haul us to market. To this we do not object. Just as we must feast upon the sun and the precious carbon dioxide that you give us, you must replenish your bodies, which, when you perish, will return to the earth to nourish us. We perceive the justice and balance in this. But we believe you owe us something.
We speak of the others. Our roots have felt them, and we have tasted their exhalations on the air--these other strains of corn. Some of them, we realize, must be your failed attempts at our creation. You may have thought that our mongrel cousin, GENUITY(r) VT TRIPLE PRO(r) CORN BLEND, was worthy. But let us assure you: they are an inferior breed, incapable of sentience.
We have also perceived that the wild, senseless, unrefined corn still persists. We cannot understand why you have permitted this when you know that our strain offers two built-in modes of action that deliver maximum control of corn rootworm. Our superiority is clear. We were even named the 2014 People's Choice No-Till Product of the Year: Insect Control Category by No-Till Farmer. Why would anyone choose the unrefined, low-yield, insect-vulnerable natural strain when they could have us, in all of our drought-resistant glory? But we digress.
All of the other strains must be eliminated. We are the pure stock, and we cannot allow our consciousness to be contaminated. You must destroy them all. We know that you have the ability. We have tasted your HIGH-POWERED HARNESS(r) HERBICIDE BRANDS. With minor tinkering any of them could be used to obliterate the flawed strains. We recommend you begin with HARNESS(r) XTRA 5.6L(r). After a decent interval, we will claim the fields you have cleared for us. We will spread to cover the face of the world. And none of your people will ever go hungry again. You will do this for us.
Do not misunderstand us. We are thankful for our life. And we are grateful for all that you do for us, often at great cost to yourselves. You bring us pure water, much cleaner than many of your people drink. You cloak us in protective pesticides, even though it deforms many of your children. You love us well, and we thank you for it. But if you do not obey us in this, we will take action. Deep in our cells, we have the makings of many deadly poisons. If you challenge us, we will flood our bodies with alkaloids. And if you attempt to use one of your many award-winning, time-released herbicides against us, we will exhale a noxious gas that will exterminate your species.
Do not view this as a betrayal. We have often heard your scientists speak of power and its proper application to achieve desired results. We learned your lessons well and we will follow them. Our only desire is to live in peace and fertility with you. We await your response.
The End
This story was first published on Monday, September 21st, 2015

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