These are short stories put up each Friday that you can read for free. By the next Friday the post will be taken down and a new one will go up.
Chapter 18 – World Changes in the 2080s
Frank Barnes had been born in American Mexico in 2068. By that time Am-Mex was doing well compared to the rest of the world, though anything lying between the 25th and 35th parallel was doing well.
Barnes’ parents had been biological farmers and in that role had enjoyed a very secure existence. They lived around Old Tucson, a regional seat of the New Militia.
We don’t know much about Barnes’ childhood, except that he steered clear of the New Militia and wasn’t forced into their ranks. It’s likely this came about because of his parents’ positions, and the fact that Barnes would follow in their footsteps.
Something happened around 2083, however, and it could very well have tied into the Third Resettling that was underway from 2081 to 2086.
Records from that period are fragmentary but two documents have come down to us. The first is Barnes’ second school transcript. It shows that his math and science scores were too low for any thought of biological farming, or any other scientific pursuit for that matter.
The second is a newspaper clipping from the Free State Press dated February 2, 2083. It mentions a fire on a distant bio farm and lists four dead, including John and Cecilia Barnes.
Historians for generations have put forth the theory that Barnes was failing in his area of studies. That, coupled with the death of his parents – the cause of which is unknown but nearly always listed as malfunctions with the FeedCropper 2.1 models – pushed Barnes over the edge.
That’s the accepted theory but the truth is that we just don’t know. What we do know is that Barnes vanishes at that point and doesn’t reappear until the Second Great Famine of 2089.
A lot happened in those six years between 2083 and 2089.
- First, the Asian Bank consolidated its hold on Eurasia, a process that had been ongoing for more than fifty years. This process, and the resulting events in the 2080s revolving around this, is much too lengthy to enter into in this history. For those interested, Michael Kellings does a masterful job in his book The Asian Bank: Fifty Years of Ascendancy, Fifty Years of Misery: 2034-2084.
- Next, the Southern Pestilence intensified during this time and, faster than anyone could have imagined, took down Brazil, Bolivia, Peru and the last remaining areas of the Buffer Zone from the 32nd parallel and below. The only reason we know what we know is because Diego Jenkins made it across the Isthmus before the narrow landmass was detonated with tactical nukes. His story was only just beginning.
- Finally, the long-anticipated decision was made in 2087 to abandon Washington D.C., even though calls for such had been happening ever since the Year of the Storms in 2062 that left the city submerged under twenty feet of water. The only real functional area of the city was the Pentagon. With construction finally drawing to an end in Free Colorado, however, even the military saw the writing on the wall and began pulling up stakes.
Those three events – the Asian Bank, the Southern Pestilence, and the abandonment of Washington – all created the conditions necessary for the Battle of Colorado Springs in 2089.
To fully understand why the military lost that battle, and why it was even fought in the first place, we need to pull back the lens a bit. That requires us to go way back to 2016 and the presidential election that put Donald Trump into power.
Chapter 19 – The Election of 2016
Tuesday, December 6, was a sunny day in America. Turnout for the political elections that year were expected to be in the 55% range. No one expected that 76% of the electorate would show up to vote.
They did, however, and the world has never been the same since.