Fragments of a Story Interrupted - FICTION, repeat FICTION!
A Fragment of a Short Story Interrupted: Year 2516 A.D.
(c) 2008 Leinad Moolb
It has been a long ten years here in Fairbanks and I am glad I made it here in time. I have a lot to be thankful for, despite the dire straits dear humanity seems to have found itself in.
How did it come to this? We are still trying to connect the dots, to understand...
I heard that many people did not make to any of the existing polar cities on Earth, and that millions, perhaps billions perished. Oh dear God, dear God, the terror!
From what I understand the Universal GlobalGovernment now administers 50 polar cities in the north, and there isword that there are a few in the extreme south, too, but we lostcontact long ago. Each SPR, as we call them, for "sustainablepopulation retreat", has about 10,000 residents, young and old,butmostly young and middle aged, as we must allow the old people to dienatural deaths without medical assistance to prolong their lives. Wecannot afford to use the precious warehouses of food that we have tofeed the old and the sick. It is best to let them die, but we takepains to make their passing as painless as possible. Yes, it'shorrible, but we must survive. This is the only way that we know now.
We have locally grown food here and medical services, schools for the children, a library of sorts, a picture and photo center, and lots of boredom. I mean, how many ways can you spell b o r e d o m? Backwards, moderob, forwards, a few amusing anagrams, there are just seven letters you know. This is a bit what life is like here . There just isn't very much to do. Our main mission is to survive, breed, prepare for the eventual return down south. But nobody has any idea when that will be, if ever.
Still, believe me, I'm not complaining. I'm glad to be alive, I am sure we all are, to have survived the great cull. Some wags are calling The Great Cull with capital letters for each word, as if it was some pre-ordained cosmic event. I don't know, I don't know. Of course, it wasn't. It was just fate -- "fate working overtime", as my father used to tell me.
Dad's gone now. Mom, too, We don't live a long time here, and anyone who makes it to 50 is considered elderly. We just can't afford to keep everyone alive. Things are different now. We have had to learn to play by different rules, different mores.
So many things have happened here in the last 10 years that I hardly know where to begin. First of all, I got married, to a beautiful Inuit girl, Iris Waputik, of the few surviving Inuits, as far as anyone can tell, Iris included. And Iris and I now have three children, our own little brood -- Jace, Rennard and Kobo. Our gifts to the future. If there is a future. You know, if there's one thing that we've learned in the last ten years it's that there is a future, there must be a future, we must live for that future, and yet, in my introspective moments, in my private time, I often wonder if there really will be a future very far on down the road. It's really not easy being here.
But it's true, as our teachers told us and still tell us, we must believe in the future, against all the odds, because -- because without a future, nothing makes much sense anymore. We've lost so much. An entire global civilization crumbled. An entire world went mad. It's not something I want to dwell on in this report, so I won't. But I just want whoever is reading this report, where ever, when ever, I just want you to know that those of us who are called survivors now, we are grateful. We are grateful to be alive, to be carriers of the next generation, of being the caretakers of humanity.
I guess there are about 200,000 of us, maybe 500,000, scattered across these polar cities. There's no real census and communication with most of the other polar cities is chaotic at times. But those of us who made it this far, yes, we are indeed grateful. I think you could call it a community feeling. In fact, gratitude and acts of gratitude have become a large part of our lives here.
But I can't even begin to tell you the truth. It's not a pretty picture. The old world we hear about in stories seems to be a thing of a past we cannot comprehend.
Sometimes at night, I find myself talking to myself, while my wife and the child are asleep in the room. What do I say? Here:
How did it come to this?
I honestly don't know.
Was it the CO2, the coal, what?
I have no idea.
Maybe it was peak oil.
So many things went wrong.
Some many people were in denial.
They didn't know what hit them.
They weren't ready.
Nobody helped them to get ready.
There was no way to know.
I'm still not sure what hit us.
Who knew? Who knows?
I'm banking on hope. I remain hopeful.
For what? It's an impossible future now.
I think we can undo what we've done.
I'm still thinking about it.
Yes, I am.
Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
Hope is that things with wings.
Who was that?
In another place.
Before polar cities?
Before this, yes.