New visitors to the chronicles from the future may first wish to visit the past, by reading the earlier hologramletters. (see the older listings on the right, go to the bottom and click the link to the earlier hologramletters)
Switching on the horizontal hologram monitor his answer would come with relief.
NOTE The following is an adaptation from the soon to be released book ‘Letters From 2030’. To register interest on its release, or to order a copy email Bob Williamson via this link.
There hadn’t been a transmission from Anthony at the HAARP complex for days. Concern that something had happened, haunted him. Had he even received the hologramletter telling him about Katey and would she listen to him and become Anthony’s ally? Could there have been a transmission break? It was now January 11th and he had transmitted to Anthony on the 8th, maybe today he would receive some word.
January. 8th 2030.
May the Red Road Live Again.
Snap! With a flash of blinding white light before my eyes I heard that hideous sound. A wave of chills swept over my body and nausea gripped my innards. I’d been straining my ears to overhear the conversation between Patricia and Rosa, when my tile spade broke. Heart wrenching actually, as that spade had traveled with me north to the HAARP compound. It is strange Bob; grief overcame me as I gazed at the broken tool. It was as if my best friend, a friend made in kindergarten and beside one their entire life had passed away. Perhaps having shut out and trained myself to develop a callous outlook upon the world, I have transferred my compassion to this and other items that have made this perilous journey with me.
Before the events of 2020, Big Thunder and the resulting chaos that gripped humanity, I had lived near the confluence of the Iowa and Mississippi Rivers in a big ole farmhouse. I never told you about the house, although I had shut off room’s, changed light bulbs and generated a grey-water collection system; it wasn’t exactly the model of eco lifestyles. This was however the region of the country that spawned Aldo Leopold, Mark Twain, Edgar Lee Masters and Chief Blackhawk. The land was a breathtaking beauty of bounty to behold as the seasons transformed the landscape. Here, way back in 2000, I bought that tile spade. Still with me is an old trowel I dug up that first year, when creating a hothouse. I would use this to clean off the dirt that collected on the spade as I prepared the land for planting. It also came in handy for tending small patches of soil, like herb gardens and guerrilla patches of vegetables we planted over the years. Also, I still have with me my collection of wet stones and files. I have to admire the J-Squad. They never once questioned my reasoning for insisting that every man must carry tools with them. We of course didn’t all carry tile spades, but you get the idea, I think. Whenever we moved, they had to pull double and triple duties. Sometimes they would go for three or even four days before getting any rest, as we had to advance stealthfully over the land, find a camp, set up defenses and secure well-camouflaged storage capabilities. Then the bigger guys would go back, portage our equipment to the next site, all the while still carrying their firearms. Seriously, I take my hat off to these men for all they have done and continue to do.
At that peaceful homestead, I had managed, by 2005, to turn enough dirt year in and year out to have a nice garden. It was capable of sustaining my family while giving some away to help out the neighbors as well. In a good year I could even sell off some of the extra produce. By 2009, that spade and I had created a strawberry patch, asparagus bed, black raspberry, red raspberry and blue berry plots, this along with the peach orchard, pears, and small apple orchard I tended had within me generated a hearty respect for husbandry. It was the ethical thing to do, as Al Gore was fond of saying, to reduce my carbon footprint. So, I suppose that tile spade had become my partner in the battle against climate change. Therefore, you can understand the waves of emotions that swept over me when it snapped today.
Jay, Derrick and I agreed to help Patricia and the girls with one of their ongoing projects shortly after we arrived here. Oh! For those first few months all over again, when we were a very small group of people willing to work together, Viki and Patricia had come up with the idea of sowing the outlying valleys with foodstuffs for survivors, and had several vegetable gardens towards Juneau planted. (This is all possible due to the dedicated work of Robin. She is about as quiet as a bird usually. A biochemist who is also expert at gene manipulation. She worked at the compound doing her post grad years, an interesting story here Bob. For now let’s just say that we have many different varieties of GM organisms we can try and raise under the lighting conditions available. Really, I need to tell you all about the little conversation I had with Robin, enlightening.) So anyway, back to what I was saying, between speaking with the women and scouting reports from the team we soon learned an interesting fact. The marauders almost always where found toward the western expansions of the compound, this is toward the more settled areas of what was, and/or is, Alaska. Most of the extra members here now, came from wandering groups we found out beyond the eastern boundaries. I think the more passive members of society have either found, or simply been pushed out there, for safety reasons. So after we analyzed the situation it was decided that the western expanses would be abandoned and as a collective we would focus on planting where it could best benefit people we thought were worthy. Of course, who is to say who is worthy and what will happen in the future, we can only plan for the day. Adapting the concept of not planting close to home, which Viki had come up with, we maintain a two-day minium hike from the nearest entrance to the underground labyrinth. Although these access points are well hidden, why invite danger, right! So, after a week of having things hiked into the valley we were ready to plant a small orchard of fruit trees. I was working up the dirt for the last tree when Patricia and Rosa walked by. They were only about ten feet away when they dropped their voices speaking in a hushed tone. I was straining to hear and not paying attention when, snap! Not to worry although Bob, the compound has implements of manual labor in storage as well. If they have an angle grinder, I might sharpen one up the easy way, sure beats taking three days to do it by hand.
I was wandering around the compound the other day. Walking down the corridors of the agri-centre, when I heard music softly playing in the distance: in the furthest horticulture lab, the one we use for starting apple and pear trees, I heard a stringed instrument playing. Now I am not tone deaf by any means, however, being a Midwestern of somewhat modest means I never developed a taste for classical music. I am quite sure that was what I was hearing. So following the music, I ambled down the rows of young trees. There, in the back of the room facing the wall was Patricia playing a cello. Clearing my throat I scared her as she jumped up screaming, then proceeded to read me the riot act on respecting a person’s privacy. As she was walking away, I mentioned that I thought she played like an angel. She stopped dead in her tracks, turned around, her anger subsiding she thanked me, asked if I would like to hear some more. We sat there for about an hour, her playing and me sitting with my back against the wall, eyes closed, swaying to the music.
I think – the frost is starting to come off this one. We had an interesting conversation after that. I will try and pass on to you the jest of it. I did a lot of bobbing my head up and down as it was well beyond my limited capacity for understanding. It deals with changes in weather patterns. She was describing a concept that many paleoclimatologists believe was once an existing pattern. How it breaks down is this. . . hang on Bob. . . oh crap!
Bob, I just came back from the hall. One of the outsiders, hah, we are all outsiders now. . . Anyway, the one I call Rev. Ted Haggard. He is at it again. Patricia, Rosa and Jay all have him cornered. Odd really, as Jay’s is actually on this guys side. I thought for sure he was going to mutiny on me over this one. The Science Team and I have basically outlawed preaching in the compound. This guy can really belt it out although. He must have been a Baptist preacher; he scares the hell out of everybody that will listen to him, lol. So, perhaps I will come back after speaking with him again. I think, Rosa has agreed that he can preach faith, if I can convince this guy to accept the concept of Mother worship and pushing earth first practices.
There is an old saying, ‘back to the garden.’ The Sci-Team and I have decided if faith is to be allowed here in the compound, we will go beyond the garden, back to hunter gathers and the native peoples of the globe. We will at least try and engender a respect for the planet in the survivors once again.
As Anthony signed off it occurred to him that life in the HAARP compound was far from easy – so many issues of personalities and conflict that he didn’t have to deal with in his isolation. He could only hope that his cool logic when he replied might help Anthony and the others with an objective perspective. He must write to Rosa in his next hologramletter he thought. She needs some far off comfort on which to rest in her times of sorrow. He stored the hologramletter in the library and returned to his task of commissioning the additional power capacity from the solar mirrors and hot air turbines along the side of the building. The project should be completed within a day or so if he kept at it.