The agent kept a lookout. Finally, she thought she could walk a few steps upright when she heard a noise no doubt made by heavy construction vehicles. Again, part of the forest was cleared, because more living space was needed, more arable land, more space for entertainment and shopping centers, more and more, claimed by people. „If the forest is cleared bit by bit,“ she thought, „the space available to the wild animals will become smaller and smaller. They get closer together. Single individuals meet and the transmission of pathogens is facilitated. If there is enough space and an animal fall ill, then it keeps to itself and dies. The pathogen goes down with it.”
But where was there still enough space for animals, not even for people, when millions of them fled from the effects of climate change into the cities to rot somewhere on the outskirts in slums, without work, without clean water and you could grow here anyway nothing. Densely packed, diseases could also spread quickly and happily here. „But the panda bear is to blame,“ the agent called out to herself once more, even though she was becoming more and more unsure whether it was really right to put the whole burden on this innocent animal, which did nothing but through the roaming forests, eating bamboo and retiring to a cave when it rains. He let the forest be the forest, did not poison the earth or the groundwater, but lived in the forest and with the forest, which he respected as his home. After all, he had no interest in breaking anything. Man was a master at this, in destroying and poisoning and destroying. Nevertheless, the agent continued to search, because she was still a little too convinced that all the people who had studied, the politicians and economic experts, knew exactly what they were doing when they gave such an order.
„You’re just an agent and don’t need to think you could be smarter than all the studied people,“ she urged herself, although doubts began to gnaw at her. So many things just didn’t fit together. There were so many wrongs that were made by humans, and then this panda bear should be held accountable for it? But what would be the alternative? Telling people to stop locking billions of animals in factories and feeding them soy grown where rainforests had previously been burned? Shouldn’t one demand that people in rich countries drastically reduce their consumption so that the earth’s resources are not consumed? Shouldn’t it finally be time to stop this damn economic growth just to save our home planet? But what would be the consequences? Factories would have to close; people would be unemployed – and who needs an intact nature when we have jobs. „What’s the matter with you?“, the agent finally asked herself, „You only have to fulfill your assignment here. Everything else is none of your business.” But wasn’t that the fundamental evil, that everyone looked at their little life, their little area of responsibility and said that everything else was none of their business, only that those who sat at the controls kept going could, as before? The agent, deep in thought, had moved away from the place where the noise was coming from, because she was convinced that she would have to go further into the forest if she wanted to find the panda bear, because it would flee the noise. Again and again, she had stopped to listen. She thought she heard the sounds of a moving animal very close, but there was nothing when she finally turned and looked into small, black-rimmed eyes. „The panda bear“, it shot through her head, „I have to arrest him immediately.“ Of course, she knew what to do. After all, she had practiced it for years, but this damn black and white bear showed neither fear nor any signs of wanting to flee. On the contrary, while the agent stared at him as if he were an alien, he plopped comfortably onto his butt. Exhausted, the agent did the same. For a while they just sat there, the panda bear and the human, and looked at each other. Then the bear reached out to the agent and handed her a piece of bamboo. She began chewing on it pensively. When she finally realized what she had between her teeth, she spat it out straight out.
„So, you’re supposed to be the cause of the next pandemic,“ the human woman finally thought, „No, that can’t be. It is more likely that the people and above all their actions are the cause of all the suffering, including the fact that viruses can spread.” At that moment it started to rain. The panda got up and trotted off. The agent followed him. He led her to a cave. There they found shelter to protect themselves from the rain. Finally, the agent took off the camouflage robe. She didn’t want to catch pandas, she wanted to save them, them, the environment and humanity, because she had finally understood what she had been told, including about pandas, was all a lie. It was time to unearth the truth. She didn’t know if she could achieve her goal of rethinking, but she was sure she had to try.