The Dancing Lawn - Official Forums of Narnia Fans
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   The Dancing Lawn - Official Forums of Narnia Fans > The Lantern Waste > The Professor's Writing Club

The Professor's Writing Club Poetry, Fan Fiction, etc

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1821  
Old 03-25-2012, 04:42 AM
Copperfox's Avatar
Copperfox Copperfox is offline
Friend of Narnia
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Colorado
Posts: 23,730
Copperfox is a glorious beacon of lightCopperfox is a glorious beacon of lightCopperfox is a glorious beacon of lightCopperfox is a glorious beacon of lightCopperfox is a glorious beacon of light
Default

"Have they shown you a map of the new sector's final boundary?" Alipang asked the Taiwanese-born Energy Ombudsman.

"Yes, they have," Bill told him, gesturing at the tabletop with a pointing finger. "Think of a musical note on a sheet of staff paper: the tail sticks out one way at the top, and the round part sticks out the other way at the bottom. Tip the note over to the right, while also twisting it around on its long axis, and the line between its ends is a west-to-east strip of Montana. The round part, now sticking down toward the south, is that part of Wyoming, both inside and outside the original Enclave perimeter, which is being taken into the new sector. The top-tail part, butting up against the Dakotas, gets wider, swelling up more to the north as it reaches east, so that it'll reach high enough to _have_ a border with _North_ Dakota."

Alipang thought back to the days when people could drive where they wanted to. "Sounds as if you're saying the new perimeter follows the course of Interstate 94."

"It does, only the highway is being kept _outside_ the fence, till it reaches the point where it turns to the southeast. The city of Billings, Montana, will also be outside. There won't be much need for in-Enclave ground traffic from North Dakota Sector into Yellowstone Sector; most surface movement into and out of Yellowstone Sector will come from and return to Wyoming Sector. I suppose they'll add a few secret gates in the new Montana perimeter, as they presumably already had in the old perimeter. But that won't affect us. Anyway, shaping the boundary this way means shaping the _airspace_ of the Enclave, so that planes can fly straight between those two sectors without leaving the Enclave. The _land_ over that way, I mean east of where the actual Yellowstone Park is, will be used for logging and farming where possible."

"That's where the Crow Reservation and the Northern Cheyenne Reservation are, isn't it? Are those tribes staying there to do that logging and farming?"

"I think the reservations will still exist, maybe downsized some; probably split half-and-half as to how many stay and how many move out. One of the geothermal-development managers told me that since the Crow and Cheyenne weren't considered subversive, it should be possible to arrange a biometric-identification system to allow certified members of the tribes to go in and out at will once the new fence is up."

Everyone had been treating Gerbil courteously, so now he found the boldness to contribute to the discussion. "I heard something in the Self-Esteem Center before I came to the Enclave, while it was being decided what prisoners would be relocated where. They were saying that part of the Cheyenne territory, someplace with buildings, would be used as a processing center for new laborers destined for the geothermal-plant work. Not sure what-all _kind_ of processing."

Bill turned in his seat to face the ex-convict. "What you heard must be connected with something else I've heard. I got to meet a physician out of North Dakota Sector being assigned to the Yellowstone project: a woman named Onita Paniagua, she's worked with Ursula Jamison. Onita specializes in gastroenterology, only exile gastroenterologist in the Enclave if I'm not mistaken, with cross-training as a dietician. And going by hints I've heard, she may be doing the medical screening at the processing center you mentioned."

"Je prie votre pardon," interjected the Rocheforts' son Gustave, "but is there a reason why you're telling him that physician's specialty?"

"There is," Bill replied, while holding up a piece of cornbread in front of the boy's eyes. "Corn is the reason. Only, not this excellent Nebraska Sector corn we're eating in the form of cornbread. I hear that large numbers of the inmates at the concentration camps were fed corn as a main staple of their diet; but the corn _they_ got was a surplus supply of genetically-modified corn which had been mutated for the purpose of making ethanol fuels."

"That would mean more corn sugar in it, and less protein," observed Alipang.

"Virtually NO protein," Bill amended. "The stuff was nearly worthless as food for people or animals, but they fed it to those prisoners. Which means that the processing center for the Yellowstone workforce may see _hundreds_ of malnutrition cases, and that'll be the ones _least_ affected by their empty-calories diet."

"Will there be any effort made to restore those poor unfortunates to health before expecting them to construct power stations?" asked Lois Reinhart, clearly feeling sorry for those prisoners regardless of whether they had committed any crimes.

"I would think so," said Alipang. "Reminds me of a line in an old Biblical movie: Cities are made of bricks. The strong make many; the starving make few. The dead make none."

Raoul nodded; he also had once seen Charlton Heston as Moses. "Surely they'll do _something_ to make the incoming workers more able to work."

Alipang suddenly brightened. "Say, maybe they'll assign Evan Rand there. You know, rehab. Then he'd be sure of having the employment he was trained for."

From that point, the supper conversation wound down into more casual subjects. Only when Lydia and the other young females had cleared away the last of the dishes did Lorraine announce, "Now for Mr. North's little surprise," and open the envelope.

__________________

Last edited by Copperfox; 09-14-2012 at 06:24 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #1822  
Old 03-25-2012, 02:52 PM
Zella's Avatar
Zella Zella is offline
Friend of Narnia
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Probably Narnia, Middle Earth, or Celania.
Posts: 6,238
Zella is a jewel in the roughZella is a jewel in the roughZella is a jewel in the roughZella is a jewel in the rough
Default

I have a feeling the officials will find the reaction to the note disappointing.
__________________

That is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to; 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd.
Reply With Quote
  #1823  
Old 03-28-2012, 01:46 AM
Copperfox's Avatar
Copperfox Copperfox is offline
Friend of Narnia
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Colorado
Posts: 23,730
Copperfox is a glorious beacon of lightCopperfox is a glorious beacon of lightCopperfox is a glorious beacon of lightCopperfox is a glorious beacon of lightCopperfox is a glorious beacon of light
Default

The spirit of Wilson Kramer, seeing and hearing all that was happening in and around the Rochefort house, prayed: "God, please let them figure it out."

"Amen," added Quinn Kramer. "And give my brother peace in his heart."


= = = = = = = = = = = =

"Dear Lorraine,

"It is well known that you and those dear to you subscribe to the idea that your version of the Universal Spirit manages events for your good. If a speculative Deity can be credited with such attentiveness and foresight, surely the earthly leadership structure which embraces every vision of the Ultimate can be relied on to be that way also. Did we not remove Nash Dockerty when he abused his office? And now, we are doing what we can do to make amends for a tragedy which was never intended by us, but which happened because we underestimated the residual strength of the reactionary elements.

"In the tense early months of 2021, the Party was bravely standing against the racist corporate reactionary forces. The urgency of taking America back was so great, that it must sadly be admitted that some individuals could not be rescued from unexpected moments of primitive backlash.

"You will recall that your domestic partner Wilson Kramer, and your first bioproduct Quinn, were detained for questioning in connection with their disproportionate response to citizen volunteers who had entered your residential unit. They should, like many other detainees, have soon been allowed to return to you, once their erroneous perceptions of social justice had been corrected. But they completed their lives in the Self-Esteem Center to which they were assigned. Only lately have the details of this tragedy come to light; and since they have come to light, you and those with you are being granted the privilege of confronting the truth in a particularly tangible form.

"During an unrestrained-movement period, six inmates, who have now been unmasked as deep-cover agents of the fascist business corporations, laid a trap for Citizens Wilson and Quinn Kramer. Five of these pretended to be beating the sixth to death, while the sixth man screamed for help. The guards had been bribed by capitalist infiltrators to allow the simulated assault to continue, in order to lure Wilson Kramer into intervening. The six men performing the deception required no bribing; their crude right-wing hatred for all entities of government extended to their target, since he was a military veteran.

"Wilson Kramer told his bioproduct to stay back, then attacked the five seeming assailants. It was all they could do, even having expected his onslaught, to protect themselves from suffering major injuries; but they achieved their aim of putting him off guard where the sixth man was concerned. This man, who had seemed already disabled, suddenly jumped up and pulled a concealed knife, which he plunged into--"


Lorraine's listeners no longer included Annette and little Ondine, the former having hurried out of the dining room with the latter as soon as she heard the "some individuals could not be rescued" part, so that Ondine would not hear anything grim. Alipang, meanwhile, had scarcely been looking at Lorraine while she read, but mostly at Ransom, and then at Gerbil. A suspicion had started growing in Alipang as of the fourth sentence; and once the note's description of the prison ambush began, he saw that Gerbil had progressed from his usual timidity to outright fear. By the time it was said that Wilson Kramer had been put off guard, Gerbil --seemingly unnoticed by anyone but Alipang -- was unconsciously uttering a faint whine of despair and helpless terror.

When Lorraine, her own voice cracking with grief as she found herself narrating her first love's death, was thus in the midst of reporting the horrid moment of betrayal... Alipang leaped up from his chair and flung himself toward the mournful woman, whose face and head he touched with fingers that were as gentle as his movement otherwise had been furious.

"Aunt Lorraine, wait! Don't say any more! Wait! Something's going on. Everyone, listen to me! If you ever trusted me, trust me now! Don't say or do anything till I'm out of the room!"

Fast as his movement to Lorraine's side had been, his movement to reach the trembling ex-convict was even swifter. Grasping Gerbil firmly but not violently, Alipang lifted him upright. "Gerbil! I won't harm you, but you must also trust me. We both have to get outdoors at once! You others, read the rest when I'm out the door -- but remember what Our Lord said from the Cross about His own slayers!"

Gerbil was now sobbing with terror, incoherently begging for his life. Alipang practically carried him outside, saying to him, "I know! I know why they were brought here -- but I promise you, I will neither kill you myself, nor let you be killed if I can prevent it. This way, now; I need to be clear of trees, to be where the satellites can see us!"
__________________

Last edited by Copperfox; 04-30-2012 at 03:09 AM. Reason: Clarifying the content of the fateful note
Reply With Quote
  #1824  
Old 03-28-2012, 04:08 AM
Copperfox's Avatar
Copperfox Copperfox is offline
Friend of Narnia
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Colorado
Posts: 23,730
Copperfox is a glorious beacon of lightCopperfox is a glorious beacon of lightCopperfox is a glorious beacon of lightCopperfox is a glorious beacon of lightCopperfox is a glorious beacon of light
Default

When he made mention of being seen by satellites, Alipang spoke aloud in the _expectation_ of being heard by some form of sound pickup. What he _didn't_ say aloud was that he was not hauling Gerbil to the _very_ nearest place outside the Rochefort house that had a good clear overhead view. For the nearest such open space was also on that side of the house where the exterior wall was nearest to the dining room within. If the Pinkshirts _were_ using penetrative thermal imaging, as he felt sure they were, and given that they _could_ potentially watch from any of several spots, he guessed that they would (all other things being equal) prefer to be situated on that side of the house where they would have the _least_ amount of solid substance between their sensors and the people in the dining room, for the best image quality.

So Alipang took a different course once he was out the door. Still with Gerbil in tow, he rounded the house to what he believed would be the side _away_ from Fidel North's team; then he dashed into the back yard of the property behind the Rocheforts. The scarcity of home fences in the Enclave was due to the regime's dislike of privacy for the proletariat, but now it helped Alipang's purpose. On the street behind the street where the Rocheforts lived, he hustled Gerbil half a block farther away; then, in the middle of a street without automobiles, he halted and looked straight up, waving.

"Hello again, monitor operators! Your Party's written a new play for us to act in, but we're ad-libbing! Come on, use that light-enhancement and read my lips; I'll talk slowly for you. Are you with me? If not, I trust your automatic recordings are. I might have to move a bit farther south, however; I hear some noise from the stage I was _supposed_ to stay on." Dragging Gerbil down the block and around a corner, he resumed:

"In case you individual underlings don't know this, the man with me is the murderer of two dear friends of mine. His name is Jerry Sunderberg. He's been given the clockwork-orange treatment, so he _can't_ defend himself. (Wave to the nice people, Jerry!) Someone, allegedly Carlos Anselmo, arranged for me and others to find out what Jerry did, in order to see if we would forgive him like true Christians." Another break now for further evasive action...

"The setup was meant to put us in a lose-lose dilemma. If we killed or hurt Jerry, then your friends would say we were hypocrites and haters. But if we _forgave_ him, they would just say that we did so because we feared being punished if we hurt him; so they would _still_ call us hypocrites. I'm afraid, though, that if Campaign Against Hate is running this show, they'll want to weight the scales on the side of _more_ blame for us. Jerry, I hope I'm wrong, but you may have a termination device planted in your body, to _make_ you drop dead, so we _could_ be accused of killing you. So I'm going to stand back from you. Monitor people, are you watching? I'm stepping away from Jerry, and at the moment he's still breathing. No way am *I* doing anything to kill him, and the others back in the house can hardly be killing him, can they? Gerbil, how do you feel?"

"I'm scared," Jerry alias Gerbil whimpered. "Please, I swear, they said they'd kill my family if I _didn't_ help to kill that man and his son..."

"You might be telling the truth," Alipang conceded. "But even if you _loved_ murdering my friends, I can feel sorry for you now. Excuse me while I continue;" and he looked up into the sky again. "After the turnover when your Chief Justice got fired, it was no longer any secret to us inside the fence that you guys have internal rivalries just like the old Soviet Union. So maybe not _everybody_ in the Party likes having your technical resources wasted on pulling our chains, just when we exiles are _more_ valued as a workforce because Yellowstone's being developed for energy. Be that as it may, there's no way I'm letting any of you pin Jerry's death on my family or friends, if in fact he does fall down dead."

"I don't want to die!" Gerbil yelped.

"I don't want you to die either, you poor thing. If you _don't_ die in the next few minutes, that _probably_ will mean you don't have a destruct implant. Give it a minute, now..."

Gerbil still was breathing when Philippe, one of the Rochefort sons, came running up. "Doctor Havens? Are you all right?"

"You don't _sound_ as if you just came from seeing the others getting arrested, so I suppose I'm all right. Have Pinkshirts or anybody even _come_ back to the house?"

"No, sir, it's all quiet, except some of us heard what might be a motor vehicle driving away. When you ran outside, Ransom told us you must have decided we were being watched; he's told us before now about how his father used to talk about surveillance and tailing. Did anything happen out here?"

"I just had a talk with either Diversity States personnel monitoring the satellite channels the Chinese let them use, or some actual Chinese watchers. I'm convinced that the Party, someone in the Party anyway, wished for us to kill Gerbil or beat him up, so they could say that we never meant anything we said about Christian forgiveness."

"Ransom thinks the same, and Lydia and her mother agree."

"Please don't kill me," Gerbil pleaded, as if he hadn't heard Alipang's previous assurances.

Alipang stepped up to him and patted him on the shoulder. "Gerbil, if I'd been _there_ at the time of the murder, I would have been happy to kill you to _prevent_ Wilson and Quinn Kramer from dying. Under more normal circumstances, I would have been plenty indignant if you didn't have to bear _some_ kind of penalty for what you did. But the rulers must not have realized that by conditioning you, they made it _easier_ for us to forgive you, because now you're a victim yourself." Now Alipang faced Philippe again. "I'm not going to have to stop Ransom from attacking Gerbil if we go back to the house, am I?"

"I think not, sir. Nor Lorraine."

"How is Lorraine taking it?"

"Very hard. She can't help feeling the grief of her loss again; but that must make Monsieur Shao feel inferior."

"I think Bill Shao's a bigger man than to turn jealous in these circumstances. But we should get back to the house. Come on, Gerbil, you have my word for your safety already. Perhaps we'll have you sleep at my house tonight."
__________________

Last edited by Copperfox; 04-30-2012 at 03:11 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #1825  
Old 03-28-2012, 09:41 AM
Glenburne's Avatar
Glenburne Glenburne is offline
Scourge of Squirreldom
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: between bookcases
Posts: 2,162
Glenburne is just really niceGlenburne is just really niceGlenburne is just really niceGlenburne is just really niceGlenburne is just really nice
Default

Glad to hear that Ransom is handling the situation well.
__________________
My literature blog, FirstFire

Poet and sculptor, do the work,
Nor let the modish painter shirk
What his great forefathers did.
Bring the soul of man to God,
Make him fill the cradles right.
Reply With Quote
  #1826  
Old 03-28-2012, 12:06 PM
Copperfox's Avatar
Copperfox Copperfox is offline
Friend of Narnia
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Colorado
Posts: 23,730
Copperfox is a glorious beacon of lightCopperfox is a glorious beacon of lightCopperfox is a glorious beacon of lightCopperfox is a glorious beacon of lightCopperfox is a glorious beacon of light
Default

"Couldn't we just go there now?" Gerbil begged. "And I can ask for a different assignment..."

Alipang surprised himself. Kim had hugged this man _before_ his crime was revealed; now, _knowing_ Gerbil's guilt, Alipang also hugged him nonetheless. "Listen, Jerry Sunderberg. Much of your free will has been stolen from you by reprogramming; but _here_ is an opportunity for you to do something which will really be _your_ action. With society being what it is, this may be completely new to you; it's called facing responsibility."

Gerbil trembled afresh. "Then you ARE going to punish me!"

Alipang patted the criminal's back as he might pat a child. "You don't understand. Maybe in all your life before now, you never _wanted_ to understand; but you _still_ have an opportunity now. I'm not talking about punishment. There would be some degree of earthly penalty for you if we had a sane civilization, but a much _worse_ penalty for those who put you up to killing the Kramers. As it is, we can skip straight to the part that matters most: salvaging your soul."

"But, but, my feet are all right...."

This took Alipang by surprise, but Philippe stepped in with a reply: "Monsieur Sunderberg, Alipang does not mean the ess-oh-ell-ee-ess on your feet. He means your ess-oh-you-ell, as in your mind and spirit."

"That, I, well, uh, but, um, you see, I'm sorry, but.... they tell me I'm not supposed to follow, you know, superstitions."

Alipang stepped clear, giving Gerbil one more kindly pat as he did so. "No doubt the Pinkshirts told you that following 'superstitions' is the cause of hate. But you _didn't_ hate Wilson and Quinn when you killed them, did you?"

"No, honest, I didn't. I was forced to do it!"

"Which proves that there can be _other_ motives for evil deeds besides hate. The Campaign Against Hate has _always_ obscured this truth; but we're going to _tell_ you the truth. So listen. What we loosely call 'the soul' -- and men have long tried to understand its nature and its outlines -- is more than biochemistry and appetites. It exists in each of us, and makes us able to think _outside_ the little circle of our own self-interest. My own soul, or spirit -- time enough later for you to learn hair-splitting distinctions -- is prompting me right now to forgive you. And the fact that I _have_ such a thing, and that other human beings also do, is a sign that we are not _only_ biological units in a meaningless universe. We are the creations of a personal God, Who is decidedly not a superstition."

"Doctor Havens, can we go back to the house now?" interjected Philippe. "Madame Havens seemed to understand why you ran outside with Gerbil, but she will want you back beside her to face whatever comes next."

"You're right, Philippe, we'll go back. Gerbil, one thing I'm sure you DO already know, is that the government has NO qualms about murdering any of us at any time, if our death serves the convenience of the rulers. But although they can kill our bodies, they _can't_ kill our humanity if we don't let them. Kim can think of her love for me _even_ when it's possible that my refusal to play the expected game could bring trouble on us. Not that I _think_ it will; I do have a certain prestige by now; but that can always change. Anyway, Kim and I are not just two animals that mated; we are _spiritual_ beings who love each other. That's part of what I hope to make you understand..."

Alipang continued witnessing for his Lord as they coaxed Gerbil back toward the Rochefort house. The first additional person from that house to meet them was Lorraine. She came alone; and though there was nothing like anger on her handsome face, Gerbil shrank from her as if she were an avenging executioner.

"Don't be afraid of me, Jerry Sunderberg," she said hoarsely. "I can guess what Al has been talking about, and I approve of whatever he told you. Something Al _won't_ have told you, because he's a gentleman, is this: years ago, I _also_ did a great wrong to the same two men you later murdered. What I did was to _abandon_ them for the sake of my own pleasure and fun. But I was forgiven, and the wrong was set right. In your case, what you did can't be undone; but you still can be forgiven. I forgive you right now. It's my human weakness that I won't be able to bear looking at you for long; but I really do want you to be saved. Your being saved, _will_ be the destruction of the evil in you. I leave you to others now, but I leave you with my wishes for your eternal well-being." She turned then, gesturing toward the man who was now visible at a little distance. "Bill! Thank you for being so understanding! Let's go now; Sylvia will let us stay over with her tonight."

And as if she had done all she could, Lorraine ran to her living husband's arms without looking at Gerbil again.

Alipang led the ex-convict onward. Next, they were met by Ransom.

"Gerbil, you don't realize how blessed you are to have Alipang with you. In the absence of my father, Alipang did more than any other one person to direct me on the path of Christ. I want to stay close and listen while he continues telling you the gospel, because I _know_ he must have been doing that. If I keep quiet, it'll be because I'm not as eloquent a talker as Alipang is; but understand that I forgive you, just like my mother."

After talking briefly with Kim and the Rocheforts, Alipang and Ransom sat out in front with Gerbil for a long time. Alipang explained, as far as mortals could ever explain it, the Incarnation of God in Jesus Christ, and His actions for the salvation of sinners. Alipang wanted this to occur outdoors, not so much for Gerbil's ease as in order that any police officers who showed up would be encouraged to focus their attentions on Alipang.

But no one did show up to arrest him, least of all Fidel North.

__________________

Last edited by Copperfox; 04-22-2012 at 01:28 AM. Reason: Correcting a pronoun
Reply With Quote
  #1827  
Old 03-28-2012, 02:43 PM
Zella's Avatar
Zella Zella is offline
Friend of Narnia
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Probably Narnia, Middle Earth, or Celania.
Posts: 6,238
Zella is a jewel in the roughZella is a jewel in the roughZella is a jewel in the roughZella is a jewel in the rough
Default

I knew they would be forgiving.
__________________

That is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to; 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd.
Reply With Quote
  #1828  
Old 04-08-2012, 01:19 AM
Copperfox's Avatar
Copperfox Copperfox is offline
Friend of Narnia
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Colorado
Posts: 23,730
Copperfox is a glorious beacon of lightCopperfox is a glorious beacon of lightCopperfox is a glorious beacon of lightCopperfox is a glorious beacon of lightCopperfox is a glorious beacon of light
Default

In case anyone wonders what I've been doing lately (besides trying to help the straight-faced Narnian roleplay to continue, and attending real-world Easter-week events at several churches), I have been writing my _expanded_ scenes for the _original_ Alipang Havens novel. The end product will be maybe ten percent longer than the original, including more back-story about Alipang's Filipino origins, and (as somebody requested) more scenes with Eric and Cecilia. I will try to get this expanded version published for sale on Kindle.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #1829  
Old 04-14-2012, 04:30 AM
Copperfox's Avatar
Copperfox Copperfox is offline
Friend of Narnia
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Colorado
Posts: 23,730
Copperfox is a glorious beacon of lightCopperfox is a glorious beacon of lightCopperfox is a glorious beacon of lightCopperfox is a glorious beacon of lightCopperfox is a glorious beacon of light
Default

Friday the 13th was a _good_ day for me; my income tax debt proved to be _less_ than last year's. The check's been sent in by now. Between that being taken care of, and my _not_ having a RenFest anymore to prepare for, I should soon be able to write more of The Possible Future of Alipang Havens.

In the hope of getting some people interested in _paying_ for a Kindle copy of the expanded original novel, allow me to mention that it will contain more scenes involving Eric, Cecilia, Melody and Harmony, along with something near the end which sets the reader up for the sequel.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #1830  
Old 04-16-2012, 04:22 PM
Copperfox's Avatar
Copperfox Copperfox is offline
Friend of Narnia
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Colorado
Posts: 23,730
Copperfox is a glorious beacon of lightCopperfox is a glorious beacon of lightCopperfox is a glorious beacon of lightCopperfox is a glorious beacon of lightCopperfox is a glorious beacon of light
Default

Chapter 109: Life Support, in Various Forms


Victoria Tabor, the young Mormon woman in South Dakota Sector, had been flattered but surprised when the recently-married Forest Ranger, Dana Pickering Terrell, approached her about joining the exile-intake rehabilitation team lately organized for the new Yellowstone Sector. "As it happens," Dana had told her, "among all of our internal exiles who have professional healthcare backgrounds, _none_ of them is officially a dietician or nutritional specialist. Yet malnutrition is the foremost health problem among the people being transferred to us from prisons and labor camps. One doctor named Onita Paniagua, from North Dakota Sector, does have reasonable nutritional knowledge; but she can't be everyplace. The Agriculture Undersecretary brought up at a triumvirate session the fact that many exiles have extensive knowledge of dietary health from independent experience; and you Mormons are said to have such knowledge. It's a paid job, and I'm told you would be working under the supervision of a physician who's at least acquainted with holistic medicine and organic foods, a new lady brought in to supplement Dr. Paniagua's efforts."

"Sounds promising," Victoria had replied. "Would there by any chance be any Grange volunteers going up to Yellowstone for this?"

"Not that I know of -- although, as the Grange Association sets up operations in the new sector, members _there_ might play some part in the rehab work, if only by providing fresh meat for the patients to eat, if the patients can still digest it after years of mandatory veganism. But as for that, it was a Grange man who _recommended_ you for this job. I think you know him: Porter Hennepin."

This had been enough to induce Victoria to take Porter's hint, swallow regrets, and accept the employment opportunity up in Yellowstone. Thus it was that she now sat on board the fair-sized twin-engined airplane leaving Rapid City, sharing space with seven other newly-hired nutritionists, and a shipment of canisters of some kind of protein powder, intended of course to combat protein deficiency.

Resigned though she was to never catching Mr. Hennepin, Victoria was by no means out of the market -- not when her theology, which some Latter-Day Saints had repudiated but which her family retained, offered her the hope of becoming a goddess who would give birth to new gods. The awareness of Dana having found a good husband was a further motivation for her not to give up. There was no time like the present to start over; so Victoria had contrived to sit as close as possible to the two male pilots flying the plane. Both were from the Texas Rangers Aviation Detachment. Once getting a good look at them, she had noticed that Uriel Morales wore a wedding ring; but the Native American-looking one, David Swimmer, did not. Thus, Victoria struck up a conversation with this one as soon as was possible without seeming ridiculously aggressive.

"Ranger Swimmer, is your last name a revision of something else? A Native American name?"

"Yes, miss, I'm a Cherokee. My Cherokee family name translates as 'Swims In Flood;' one of my ancestors survived a flash flood when he was eight years old. But 'Swimmer' fits easier on a nametag. And you would be Victoria Tabor, wouldn't you? Not hard to figure, since you were the only _young_ woman on the passenger manifest."

"Yes, I'm Victoria. And if you know that much, no doubt you also know that I'm with the Latter-Day Saints, and that we take an interest in American Indian history. My family got hustled into the Enclave pretty early in its existence, and since then we hardly ever hear anything about the indigenous peoples _outside_ the fence. Tell me, has the Cherokee Nation changed much since the Fairness Revolution?"

"Very little change, actually -- apart from the closing down of all churches that existed there. Conditions are no worse materially there than elsewhere; and Cherokees, like many native peoples, are given favorable consideration for Party membership. That goes for the Cheyenne people too. I assume you were informed that the new inprocessing operation is located on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation?"

"Yes, I was told."

Uriel Morales now made his only contribution to this discussion. "That choice of place wasn't really _about_ the Cheyennes, one way or another. Just that they themselves don't feel as much need anymore to stay there, and it's a place with usable buildings, in a Montana countryside which never did have a great many buildings."

"And at least one of the forced-labor camps was IN Montana anyway," Dave added; "not far outside what is now the new Enclave perimeter. So it made a short hop to bring them in there: by ground transport, I'm told, before the new perimeter was sealed off."

Victoria wanted to ask whether ANY permanent openings for ground traffic existed in the Enclave perimeter; but even though the Texas Rangers were said to be the _least_ pro-government police officers in the Diversity States, she still was afraid to be heard asking that question. Instead, she asked, "Is there some reason why law-enforcement personnel are flying us up there? I would have expected the flight to be provided by either Agriculture or Distribution."

"That was a logical expectation," Dave replied. "But there is a police-type justification for Uriel and me making the trip. Lieutenant Vasquez is detailing us to _stay_ up in Yellowstone for two months minimum, where we'll assist the small contingents of other police bodies which have been assigned for the new sector. _Counting_ the two of us, there'll only BE eighteen police officers of any type whatsoever in all of Yellowstone Sector, for the foreseeable future. Well, that isn't counting Grange volunteers, we'll have some of those."

Victoria didn't remark on the short-handedness of the law in the new sector. Like all exiles, she knew that they were always watched by technological means; and like many exiles, she also knew that any dangerous criminals among the newest arrivals were supposed to have been mentally conditioned against violence. The authorities must be confident that no larger law-enforcement manning was needed.

And just ONE man would be enough for me, she mused. If this Ranger Swimmer's going to be around for awhile, I'll have to see if I can get him interested. If nothing else, I have this going for me: the majority of Texas Rangers are said to _dislike_ the loose morals that are commonplace in America now. And I can demonstrate that I'm the genuine article in clean living, looking for _marriage_ rather than empty hookups.
__________________

Last edited by Copperfox; 04-30-2012 at 03:25 AM. Reason: Remedying my own forgetfulness: that is, putting back in the character of Dr. Paniagua, whom I created earlier
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:09 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2003-2014, NarniaFans.com