Noor Mandy works in iC13, the island of surplus, the first of the ten island-cities that were ejected from Beirut's coastline since 2061. Safaa Delbattikh lives on mainland in the Forest of Friendship, one of the southern reforestation reserves. Noor and Safaa met on mainland in circumstances they both fail to remember, but they had corresponded – albeit irregularly – ever since.

 

Throughout their correspondence, Noor and Safaa gradually discover that they are both surrounded by similar phenomena. For some time, they had both been encountering fragmented objects ejected from the ground, many of which were unrecognisable to them. Patterned textiles, tentacular electrical fixtures, rusty metallic instruments, broken painted ceramics. Plastic and foil appearing in the trees, shreds of black rubber found in the soil, balls of hair and dust regurgitated by toilet seats – or if they were slightly bigger, getting stuck in plumbing and causing catastrophic floods. After a number of exchanges, they realize that the ground beneath them is giving in. Panic-stricken masses take to the streets to fix cracks, prevent erosions and fill open holes. But while their collective effort prevents the ground from entirely collapsing, their collective weight causes the ground to sink further in.