Computer War Simulations

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Hell No

“Hell NO!" Ellen bellowed. “We’re getting in our car and getting the hell out now!”

El, I’ve read about this, and we have to shelter in place and wait for it to get safer. Every hour we wait makes it…”

“Jack, Jen get our warmest clothes on; we're going for a ride, right now!”

El stop and think just for a minute, please. Calm down and think this through. This radioactive stuff is deadly now if we wait a few days it gets weaker and weaker. Going out now is like running into a cloud of poison gas, but if we do what they say it will dissipate or get weaker, and then we can leave when it’s safer.”

“JEN, YOU GOT YOUR CLOTHES ON YET! MOVE IT JACK!” She yells as she gathers up her clothes and rushes around the room.

“Damn it El you’re panicking! Pull it together and think for a minute. Just sit down and think for God’s sake. You’re going to kill us all if you don’t think this out…”

This went on for 10 more minutes, which is usually how long it took Ellen to come to the correct conclusion and luckily, true to form she did. The next two hours were spent sealing up the house. They almost forgot the fireplace, but remembered; they hoped, in time. There was no news on any of the live half-hourly reports, just the same-old instructions. They carefully drained half of the water out of the water heater and left the rest for safe keeping. They used every pot, pan, pitcher, plastic tub and all they could find. Luckily, they had a 60-gallon model. Ellen liked long hot showers. He had almost gotten one of those tankless water heaters they were putting in all new houses but didn’t at the last moment.

In the past, both Brian and Ellen were considered “black, But both were raised by fathers of northern European heritage, and Ellen’s mother African-American. And in his case both his parents were labeled “white.” They both had wonderful childhoods growing up in diverse neighborhoods, he in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and her in a rich suburb of Detroit, Michigan. She was biological, and he was adopted. The point being neither of them really grew up with open prejudice. They were for all intents and purposes, just your average middle-class Americans who happen to have some visages of a past African heritage.

Ellen was very black considering her father was white as snow. This still caused comment around the dinner table by nasty relatives, even in this day and age. Her parents knew, and more importantly her father knew, that she was his. Quite frankly, if you changed the color of her skin, she looked quite a bit like her dad, and he was as handsome a son of a gun as she was beautiful.

Martha was as pretty as you could be. She just couldn’t feel or move anything below her shoulders. However, she could use those muscles to move prosthetic arms and hands. It was amazing what they could do in 2024. Just yesterday her own arms and hands were being fitted for a powered exoskeleton. When she finally got inside the “skeleton” it would let her move unaided.

When she became of age, she would have a chip implanted, enabling her to run and jump with the best of them, at least in her own mind. She was addicted to the 3D virtual glasses her dad broke down and got her.

Her parents had not forgotten about her being at the Porters but there was nothing they could do but wait it out. Brian and Ellen were very confident that the Porters were taking good care of Martha and the other children at the sleepover. Eddy despite his stated preference for other boys, loved Martha and would wait on her hand and foot if she let him.

Jill and Bob Porter were the absolute best people for Martha to be with for now beside her own family. Jill was a registered nurse, and Bob a paramedic. Martha was in good hands but as a parent you just can’t help worrying. They could not call, but got a text message that said all was well, and they were sheltering in place as told. That text in the middle of their discussion was what probably tilted the logic scale in Ellen. Now she was all in and a whirling dervish of activity.