Dead... and Back is a survival horror Role Playing Game. The Anarchy Zones is its official setting - aliens, reanimates, and the ruins of 2055 America.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Living on the Outside Part One

Its dark.

The same way a lot of people notice nanovac is pink before they think about what it can do, you really notice that in the outside, its dark. We've been a society that is obsessed with illumination for the past few decades really. You can't just stick people in dark little boxes and expect them to live, much less be happy. So new apartments always included skylights, or lines of fiber-optics to bring in natural light - heck some places mixed bundles of glass fibers into concrete to make brick widows! From there we would have bank after bank of artificial lights. You can't decorate an interior twenty-by-thirty NEST box much with real furniture, but there were strips of lights at four different levels so you could set up mood lighting at any level you choose. And then there were the thousands of indicator lights on every sleek little piece of tech you owned, down to the buttons and screens built into your own clothes for the wearable computers.

In retrospect, we've forgotten what comfortable clothing is like. The built in tech might have been somewhat flexible, but still stiffer than pure cotton by a long shot. I don't think I've had a shirt as good an soft as the one I'm wearing now back in the day. People have been getting kinda sneaky about that you know. As much as we used to love our virtual world overlays of everything, now we avoid them. Either our clothes aren't charged - or analog fashions - there is no sphere connectivity, and the ever present danger that our in vision apps are going to distract us from some environmental threat. Of course, this means those who do have networks are at a bit of an advantage, and can leave hidden notes for people. Not easy though - you need a local server because we don't have the satellites to bounce it off of.

Sorry if I'm rambling and getting off topic. I never really liked public speaking, I I've always stuck to the back room of the shop you know

Out of doors, its actually pretty good. We put in a lot of solar powered outdoor lighting to avoid the hassle of running wires everywhere, and the subsequent loss due to inefficient transmission (resistance heating is todays ten-dollar term) so its actually kind of eerie - you'll be traveling along and notice this glow through the forest. Over the hill is one perfectly illuminated back country road, and not another human in sight.

Indoors we use a lot of batteries and dynamos. You don't see candles and oil lamps though - despite the old images we somehow still have rattling around, no one really has those. Besides, they're dangerous - most outposts are either cluttered old buildings, or keep the rooms small and people in groups for safety -wouldn't want to knock one of those over onto someone now would you? And we have better use for the materials - if you've got spare oil, better making bio-gas for vehicles then a low powered lamp.

Thats another thing that got reversed. The more people in the shelter, the busier you are, as opposed to the old many hands make light burdens type of thinking. When its just a half dozen people exploring a buildings for cans and guns what do you need? A fire starter, a deer to shoot, some herbs and its all good. Get together 40 or 50 people, and suddenly you need to rotate between agriculture, construction, defense, cleaning - we're always constantly cleaning to avoid infection - none of this dirty and rusted grunge you see in classic movies from the 80s you know - my personal favorite is "The Usual Suspects" or "Grosse Point Blank" thosugh I know those aren't post apoc or zomb...

There I go again. I'm sorry, I'm sorry.. I really miss those moves though. Its not like every hour is filled with activity, but when you're actually doing stuff, you just get so tired. I don't know if its stress or we've just breed a bunch of lazy people over the last century adapted to offices in symbiosis like Necktie Ramoras on cubicle sharks.

OK, where did that come from? I don't partake mind you - but some of the others do relax in ways that the federal government would not approve of if it still existed. We keep an eye on them - don't want someone having flashbacks or hallucinations at the wrong time, but the temptation for escape is certainly there. Some things never change.

Now where was I? And do you have the time? That late already? I'm sorry, but I've got wall patrol soon, and I don't like doing that on an empty stomach,We'll need to continue this conversation later - perhaps tomorrow morning? OK, good, see you then.

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