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Monday, January 05, 2009

FAR Future, Episode 67: Letters on the Eve of War

Funny how this episode mentions Detroit, with all the Detroit-related chatter on some of the blogs I read. But I wrote this one in mid-October. Go figure.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022
Letters on the Eve of War

I suppose the government was willing to ignore the “Texas oil is for Texas” rhetoric coming from the Rotters — that kind of thing is often meant for “domestic” consumption, and a recent Gallup poll suggested that even Texans would be willing to ride the train and drive fuel-efficient cars if exports meant lower taxes for them. The government was probably willing to overlook their keeping a “little” extra oil for local consumption.

What they aren’t willing to overlook is an attempt to assassinate the President, and their agents provocateurs torching off riots in Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, and Detroit.

Things got a little tense at FAR Manor last week: Kim got re-assigned, sent to St. Louis to help restore order, and got wounded in the riots over the weekend. “Not much,” he said, “shot in the arm, a little flying glass, it looked a whole lot worse than it really was.” Christina was halfway to hysterical, but Mrs. Fetched and Maria got her calmed down. He was able to call and let us know what happened, so we knew he wasn’t seriously injured, and that was probably the point the ladies hammered on until it got through to her. Christina is in better spirits now, fortunately. This morning, she told me, “As soon as Kim gets home, we’re going to have a baby. I’m not going to pass up another chance.” I think she was joking. Rene is still doing whatever it is he’s doing, probably cracking Rotter traffic. He sent us a text message the other day: Holá, y’all, we scored a big one for the good guys! Later! We’re guessing they intercepted some chatter about the assassination attempt, which make Guillermo and Maria really proud of their son. Heck, we’re all proud of him. And Kim, Serena, and Christina, in no particular order.

We’re all worried about Kim right now… after the frying pan of St. Louis, they’re sending him into the fire of Tulsa. Tulsa and OKC are both Rotter-symp, and Kim tells us:

Maj. Buckley was in Iraq, and he said it’s a lot like Baghdad was. Most of the time, the civilians just glare at us, if they pay any attention at all. But every once in a while, someone will throw a Molotov cocktail or just a brick or something. We’ve got orders to not retaliate for bricks or rocks, but if there’s ever gunfire, look out. You get the sense that things could boil over at any time, for no good reason, and everyone’s on edge. Everybody knows that when we go after the Rotters, we’ll be using Tulsa as a staging point. We expect trouble, and lots of it, when the roll-out orders come.

We’re all on edge, and not because of the rock-throwers. Nobody really wants to shoot at our own people, as the junta found out, but now it’s working against us instead of them. We’re enforcing a dusk-to-dawn curfew, and we have to disperse assemblies of more than five people. It got really tense the other day when we had a couple dozen peeps gathered in front of a theater. I thought it was going to turn into a firefight for a minute, but then they finally broke up.

The Rotters want a fight, and it looks like they’re about to get one. I wondered whether they were going to bring in some of the bomber groups from Europe, but Serena tells us there isn’t any activity like that over there. Just a bunch of guys wanting to get in on the action, and a few Texans more than a little conflicted. We have plenty of Air Force bases in the country if it comes to that, anyway. Speaking of Serena: I had one of those dreams where I’m wandering down hallways and through endless doors and rooms, trying to get somewhere. In this one, I was in a theater or some other kind of venue, and trying to get to the stage. These dreams always feature me talking to someone I can’t see, and this was no exception. Somehow, I ended up down on the floor, looking at rows and rows of empty seats and a stage raised too high to climb onto. “So what’s the sense of getting on stage if there’s no audience?” I asked my invisible companion, then woke up. I emailed Serena about it, figuring it would amuse her. She replied, “You’re having acting withdrawal because I haven’t been there to put on the Thanksgiving skits! I’ve got something this year for when I’m home.” Obviously, she’s doing well.

Rene sent a pretty funny message too:

Holá, y'all. Sammy T got picked to be one of the Congresscritters from DC, so he got a discharge! Lucky SOB! Another EDID unit lost their commander (retirement), so they reassigned them to us. Maj. Shevchuk made me his second, so I’m getting promoted to corporal. At least I won’t be a grunt for my last year in, jejeje.

Other than that, we’re still doing our thing here. Very busy! Will write more when I can.

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of activity in and around local churches. The Rotters, so say the rumors, have turned a lot of the more conservative ones into a fifth column and using them as recruiting centers and command posts. It does seem like a lot of the people caught trying to sabotage infrastructure and the like are affiliated with a right-wing church. At least none of them (that I’m aware of) are associated with Penitent churches like ours. Unfortunately, it looks like a major backlash is building — and I hope it doesn’t turn into full-fledged persecution. There have already been cases of arson against certain churches on nights when nobody is around, and tires being slashed (or outright car-B-ques) in parking lots during services. We haven’t seen any problems yet, but we’ve started to assign people to watch the parking lot during services or meetings. In some places, congregations have added “A Penitent Church” to their signage… no telling if it will be the pass-over sign or not.

We’re worried for our kids, especially Kim, and praying for them all. Christina stays worried these days.



  1. "Penitent", eh? Had to look that one up: "Feeling or expressing remorse for one's misdeeds or sins." Not that I'm a heathen or anything..Gee Far, you're a good guy, hope those Rotters leave ya alone...

    I was a bit surprised that you have a city like Tusla even on the map in 2022. I'd very much suspect that this city might be one of the first to fall. Like Baghdad? I'll just bet, in more ways than one! No wonder everybody is worried about Kim!

    Gee Far, ever consider drawing a map showing your divisions in the country at a pacticular time? That would be interesting! Can you imagine that an article such as http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123051100709638419.html even made the WSJ?

    Times are changing...

    Thanks, yooper

  2. Yooper, Tulsa has enough energy-related industry to make it interesting and even important in a lot of ways. (Wait'll you see what's coming next!)

    Interesting idea, drawing up a map of the various divisions in FAR Future. If I get a chance, I'll do it.

  3. Regional factionalism: we've been there before.

    FAR, keep up the good work :)

  4. Hey Far! Yup, you're "regional fracturalism" is very interesting and much more believeable than say http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123051100709638419.html

    Can't agree more with Nudge's thoughts of "regional factionalism" too, and you bet, we've been down that road yesterday, today and will very likely continue to have, regional peoples with common ideals or goals...

    Hmmm, I do believe there may be somekind of "Great Lakes" coalition now... This could involve those states around the Great Lakes and St. Lawerence seaway.

    I'll just bet, that with the new Obama (Northern) adminstration, this region may now be favored, we'll see. I do believe it's just now that the dynamics of govermental influence is changing, in a rather dramatic way.

  5. Heh! heh! Hope that does happen, and Obama is good for his word, that infrastructure will get a "facelift". This could be the difference of me making money in the $10-$20 per hour range now (and for the past 8 years/Bush Adminstration) and say $60 to $100 per hour range. If the Locks project finally gets the approval for the go ahead. I'll likely retire there. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, right Far? heh! heh!

  6. Hm, interesting points there, guys. It kind of fits with Kunstler's "moron crescent" concept. Regional cultures, each with their own ideas of how things should work, were much more distinct before TV sort of leveled things out. There's still a fair amount of politics-by-region (one state two states red states blue states); there are common interests but also regional interests. As long as the more toxic elements (e.g. institutional/de facto racism) are flushed out of the various cultures, it's probably all to the good.

    The Great Lakes states have already banded together to prevent Arid-zona and other western states from poaching their water, and rightly so… I do expect a regional boom period in the midwest, whether the rest of the country is declining or not, simply because there's plenty of water. Will ore freighters will get smaller and sail-powered again? It's certainly possible.

  7. Simul-post!

    Yeah, Yooper, I hope that goes through. Lord knows the UP could use a boost.

  8. Guys, this is why I tell friends specifically /not/ to bail out of the northeast (particularly New England) unless something truly bad happens here .. like carpet nuking. You would not believe the volume of free / flowing / standing / falling water if I told you. This area is essentially a temperate rainforest. The soil is pretty decent too, at least where it hasn't been scraped away or paved over.

    It was quite surreal this past year or two to hear stories of drought in the Atlanta area, disputes between Georgia & Tennessee over a river/lake, or the Great Lakes losing volume .. when every day I drove past swamps & millponds so full that they were almost up to the edges of the roads.

    That being said .. the volume of “green power” (haha) you could harvest from all this flowing water is nowhere near what people think it is. One can easily see, from the historical records, that the local water power was put to making goods the community could sell for money (finished furniture, lumber, paper, paperboard, rope, suspenders, sailcloth) rather than running generators to power a couple hundred Wii counsoles so the local teenagers could escape boredom.

  9. Interesting, Nudge… I'd always heard New England soil was thin & rocky. Perhaps all the rock-clearing over the centuries has improved that?


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