Michael Thu Dec 7 22:56:11 2000|
Themed thread #1: The Lone Survivor
I'm interested. We've all had fantasies about being the last person in town, a la _The Stand_. What are some interesting components of yours? Megalomania should be an important part of PAFTWJ membership, so this quiz will count towards your final grade.
When I was living in Indy, I figured that, assuming there was enough automated machinery around to create a viable mecha-ecology in the time available while there was still power, thus supporting me in the lifestyle to which I'm accustomed, I would:
1. Fortify the downtown out to the I-65/I-70 loop. Everything else could molder. But imagine unlettered savages breaking trail through the virgin timber of Indiana a thousand years hence and finding Downtown Indy with all the lights on! Wow!
2. Make sure the power station on the South Side would remain functional. I never did really solve the coal supply problem to my satisfaction. Too bad there's no nukes in Indiana. That'd keep the city going a very long time indeed. What's the half-life of uranium? 25,000 years or something?
3. Make the Bank One tower my base of operations, of course. And move the steam calliope from the Children's Museum there, because no industrial operation is complete without a steam calliope. Can you imagine that? Wow.
4. Within the first couple of years, get an automated fleet of trucks down to Bloomington to save the IU Main Library. That'd kill me if it burnt or even if the roof just started leaking.
And then spend the rest of my life programming my mecha-ecology to do my every bidding, of course. (And settle down to read the IU Main Library at my leisure, of course). With any luck my advanced research in genetics, perhaps supplemented in later years by my more advanced minions, would allow me to extend my life somewhat, because I want to live long enough to be the mysterious wizard in the Forbidden City of Magic. Duh.
Oh, and I wanted to write a cartoon generator. Oh, wait. That's reality. Well, never mind that part.
So, OK, I may have read just a *tad* too much E.E. "Doc" Smith growing up. Sue me. (For anybody who hasn't read Smith, he *originated* space opera: given half a spaceship stranded on a Jovian moon, the hero can use its machine shop to mine ores from the moon (fighting off or befriending alien lifeforms as the situation merited, and of course the Jovian moons were pretty warm and oxygenated back then), smelt and work the metal to effect repairs on the ship and fashion a navigational system -- based on vacuum tubes, of course -- and build a propulsion system which incorporates some advanced mathematics he's been working out in his coffee breaks, so that he can overtake the pirates who stranded him in the first place, use his tractor beam which he just invented to immobilize them, and bring them to justice singlehandedly. And that really impresses his girlfriend. Now *that's* science fiction, folks. All vintage 30's. Yeah, 1930's. That's why there's no solid state or computers, but there are plenty of spy rays (which are based on vacuum tubes and radio, see, except it's subspace, of course) and psi abilities. Smith INVENTED SPY RAYS. Wow.)
Anybody else care to spend a couple of minutes impressing the heathen? Come on, Napoleon, you read all of Heinlein's plucky girl juvenile fiction, I can tell. You really liked Podkayne of Mars, so what were your plans, as Lone Survivor?