Monday, July 15, 2019
The Porter’s house was even calmer than the Davis’. Despite having five extra little girls plus Eddy, everything was going as well as could be expected. Jill was getting the children back to sleep, and Bob had just finished sealing off the house. Thank God the baby did not wake up. Based on his training Bob was confident they were safe from conventional fall-out, and he had done all he could to safeguard his family and little guest.
As he was taping up the front windows, he saw the majority of his neighbors out in the cold getting into their cars and driving off. Just after he got the last window sealed on the back of the house, he saw it. Gray ash falling from the sky very light, but definitely there it was against the newly fallen snow. He had no actual data to go on, but he reasoned that with the wind uncharacteristically, coming off the lake to the Southwest, the fallout was coming from downtown Chicago. Not good, he thought … not good at all.
They were having another winter like they had in 2014, cold and snowy as hell. The last 10 had all broken records for being warm, so it was a shock to people who were not used to the way winter used to be. Hardly anyone doubted climate change anymore. The few last deniers, who were being paid by the dying fossil-fuel industry, were on the old Internet and cable news shows once again lying through their teeth for money.
Somehow the Porter home still had power, and they were staying warm. He guessed the wind generators just out of sight from Chicago on Lake Michigan were running at full blast. The wind was blowing quite well outside, and he knew it was howling on the lake.
He actually had two pallets full of bottled water that he was going to deliver to the Ice Cycle Bike Race scheduled for next Saturday on Lake Michigan’s frozen surface. The things people think of to do. Exercising longer than to keep in shape, was stupid in his mind and a waste of time. That race is not happening now, he thought.
He moved both pallets of water a couple of gallons at a time from his heated garage down to the basement where it would always be 50 degrees or so despite what was going on outside. With the wind farms offshore their power was cheap, he could afford to have a heated garage.
They were in relatively good shape if nothing else happened. He managed to get a text message through and a reply from all the parents of the little girls but then nothing since. His radio died, and it used the old-fashioned kind of batteries and not the LiFePo that everything else used nowadays. These types of cells powered both of their cars and were why he still had power. The vehicles could be used to power the house in emergencies.
Battery technology had really taken a leap in 2018 when that single Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada started pouring out more lithium batteries per annum than had previously been produced worldwide; just one factory.
Time to go to bed. His mind was wandering.
Jill’s mind was running on overload, but she kept it from showing. She knew that if she panicked, the kids would all feel it, and then all hell would break loose. She had to trust Bob, and thankfully that was easy to do. He was messy and sometimes pretty thoughtless, but there was nobody better in a pinch than good old Bob. He had taken every course on disaster management from the old FEMA and now the new NEM, all via the Chipnet and the aging Internet.
Both he and his wife had implanted Chips, and they both loved them. It really helped keep their sexual drives alive. The most popular app on the Chipnet was one that basically fooled your brain and made your partner look like anyone you wanted them to. The inventors of the Chip must have known that it would be used for this kind of thing. Bob had been making love to the old movie star Jennifer Lopez (as she looked in 2009) for the last three weeks. Jill had been loving it up with that new heartthrob Kid Karsten. It wasn’t cheating. They both knew exactly who they really loved. It just kept things fresh, and boy did it work.
Anyway, enough of that, she thought, time to concentrate. We have plenty of water. Martha will take some extra care, but nothing they couldn’t and hadn’t handled before. They had baby-sat for her when El and Brian had gone on their second honeymoon. Because of the Chip, she and Bob never had to leave the house again to keep love alive. El and Brian were kind of old-fashioned, which was why they liked the Porters so much. Boy, the thoughts that run through your head at a time like this.
Back to Martha. She would need that medicine that keeps her lungs clear, and that could be a problem. They only were given a three-day supply which should have been enough. We’ll work on that challenge later, she thought.
The Chips were not working either. They lasted a bit longer than the cell phones and fiber optics, but not much longer. Bob had been able to connect with Brian and the other parents’ phones or Chips for a brief time, but then it had gone dead. She missed it already. Chip withdrawal she surmised. She had downloaded an article on the subject and thought about it or placed it in her Memory, as they say.
Bob had mentioned that many of the neighbors were panicking and doing the worst thing you could do: going outside while the fallout was its most deadly. Many would be dead soon if the experts were right. She hoped the Davis’ were smart. They had the old Internet, but not the Chipnet, so maybe they had time to tap into it and get the facts about the fallout.
That was one of the coolest things about the Chipnet. Everything on it was vetted and proven science, or it was not allowed on. Unlike the old Internet; the scientific community, backed by the Federal Government, made sure everything was factual. There were many checks and balances, so it was sometimes very slow to have the newest ideas placed on the Chipnet; However, if it was a regulated fact or vetted theory, it eventually made it on.
The ChipApp Bob and she used to spice up their sex life was a sanctioned App, so there were some other very exciting things in the Chipnet besides science as well. I guess the folks that studied human sexuality knew their stuff because it sure worked for them.
The science was always exact, and you could count on that. In this case, Bob had all sorts of knowledge about fallout and dirty bombs in his Memory and that was why they were not going anywhere. They would shelter in place until told otherwise.