July 1, 2003
The road out of Laurelton to the wilderness beyond was not well-travelled. The land itself degenerated into scrubland dotted with tumbled concrete boulders, with patches of tarmac and cement shattered by centuries of struggling vegetation. At one stage it had been a forest, which was cleared for farmland, which was replaced by a light industrial area, which was rezoned to make an airport, which evolved into a spaceport. Now the forest was patiently attempting to reclaim it. Nature’s progress was slow, however; decades of leaking oil and spilled chemicals and scorching takeoff blasts had made the soil sour and inhospitable.