- Anggota DPR RI - Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat
- Even in a Bear Market, You Can Still Get Rich
- Table of contents
- It is closer to crisis than the West or Vladimir Putin realise
Quite often Alwena would get swept up by her group of friends into more trouble than she signed up for.
Anggota DPR RI - Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat
She grew up in a world where she saw the damages of climate change in the news. I used to be an optimist like you, Alwena. I thought we could exit the system. Live on our own, demonstrate the alternative. Outside of the van, the storm was raging. A small burned twig impacted the window and startled her.
Even in a Bear Market, You Can Still Get Rich
Yes, dozens of millions are going to die from famines, I know that. All we have to do is prepare to survive the next ten years. Alwena spent the next year down a rabbit hole to find out why the sundew survived in the bunkers. For Alwena, the way out was underground. She walked down into the greenhouse and felt a strange satisfaction as she shut the door behind her.
The carefully tended piece of microclimate was her pride. Many came to visit, perhaps to find hope. The fresh air almost made her shiver, or perhaps it was excitement.
Table of contents
Many endangered flower species bloomed on the twenty meters of ground, while tomatoes grew on the side wall. The whole scene bathed in a serene and diffused sunlight. A few well-placed earth tubes would exchange warm air for cold using the massive thermal inertia of the mountain, smoothing out the sudden heatwaves.
The structure of each greenhouse was twenty meters long but was almost invisible from the outside as it blended with the slope. A time where scientists could still use radiocarbon dating to figure out the age of fossils. Alwena was still young, but the carbon isotopes in her bones appeared decayed, as if she were born nine hundred years ago. She kneeled on a pad of wool and looked at the sensors.
Temperature, moisture—she would record it all in a text file on her phone. Alwena angled the LCD screen towards the light to read the text better. Just as she was about to finish reading all the sensors, she heard footsteps approaching. Through the blur of translucent plastic, she could see the silhouette of a man and a woman. Alwena stood and opened the hermetic door. A camera and a notepad: news reporters. The man threaded carefully through the plants to get both her and the reporter in the frame. The radar and surface-to-air missiles will be part of the new nuclear security reinforcement program.
Once the door closed, Alwena lowered herself to the ground.
She had heard that countries throughout the world were boosting their anti-nuclear defense in preparation for famines. All the leading game-theorists said that it would end in threats of annihilation, or protection in exchange for food and oil. They said it could only result in the four biggest nuclear arsenal countries—France being one of them—dominating the flux of food and energy and escalating tensions.
The vibration of her phone took her out of the storm in her brain. How can they build a permanent base? That makes no sense.
It is closer to crisis than the West or Vladimir Putin realise
Countries with empty stomachs and an obese nuclear arsenal is not a good combo. What started as an ecological conservation experiment now put her in the centre of a massive conflict. A plan originally designed to keep critical functions of the government running through any crisis. A plan that turned into a second government, operating in some secret bunker with no oversight. The Cog was always silent, but it sure kept the engine of the old civilization humming.
Maybe Paris will see that prioritizing military security over food security is a self-fulfilling prophecy. But what can Paris really do? It needs to become the embodiment of biodiversity, food security. Like a symbol, you know? Alwena was torn, she resented Wassim for bringing all these people to the fragile landscape of the mountain. They were going to dynamite entire parts of the mountain, drain out the marshes to make roads for armored transports. Alwena had studied the plans and leaked photographs of the base, too.
This meant that enemy drones had a limited window to strike without being detected.
That was the flaw the Cog wanted to patch. Alwena knew that none of that would save the country from starvation. The role of the Cog was to preserve the old world; its states, armies, and national identities. More and more unemployed young men joined the military each year, when what the country needed was an army of farmers for the war effort of healing the land. She was surprised by how quickly the militants made caring about the mountain a social norm. Marginalized people who came to challenge the state stayed for the learning, food, and community.
Alwena had always dreamed about this; a technological dystopia merged with a social utopia. The opposite of the world she resented. Months passed in a blur, rhythmed by the attempted expulsions conducted by riot police. The riot police was ordered not to use tear gas or mortars up until that point. The escalation of international nuclear threats eventually meant the end of roundtables and compromises.
The Cog needed the mountain. Alwena had heard rumors that local garrisons were ordered to finish the expulsions of militants and Zadists once and for all. Everyone shared one last beer and laughed nervously awaiting the deployment of more than five thousand men and armoured transport. This time, there was no way out. One common tactic for Zadists was to chain themselves to a heavy object—a tree or metal pole—with handcuffs.
She argued in vain with Wassim to not tie himself to that wooden beam. He tried to hand her the keys to the handcuffs but she refused, hoping that would dissuade him. Instead he gave the keys to a friend causing Alwena to instantly regret it. Mind nailing this plank up here? Alwena stood there arms crossed while he was getting attached. Wassim was like the little brother she never had, always getting into trouble. Can you get it for me? It all happened in a few seconds. Alwena groaned in pain as a rubber bullet hit her flank. She collapsed, out of breath under the impact.
A canister fell near her and she saw the dry shrubs combust. Panicked, she looked side to side as she saw many more projectiles land in the shrubs. She ran towards the smoke grenades and threw her jacket over one of them to squelch the fire. She had begun to choke on the tear gas when sound grenades detonated. Flashing images of heavily armored figures charged uphill and downhill in blinding coordination. She tried to look for Wassim but was already becoming disoriented.
When her hearing finally returned, all she could hear were screams. Flames had quickly spread causing a wildfire that burned resistance and police alike. Those who chose to barricade themselves inside the greenhouses were caught in the fire and burned alive; others died after breathing the fumes of burned plastic.
The finished greenhouses were completly fire-retardant, but many were in the middle of construction.
- Gifts from Within: Womens Meditations for Lent.
- About this book.
- New Authors Fellowship.
- Still the Greatest: The Essential Songs of The Beatles Solo Careers;
Alwena turned around and saw Wassim burning alive on his cross. She screamed as she was dragged away by the firefighters and handcuffed by the army. There was nothing she could do to save him. Neither the firefighters or the army managed to stop a small group of photographers from immortalizing the scene. Then, the food simply stopped coming. Alwena heard it on the radio: A general food strike. All farmers would simply refuse to give, or sabotage any food meant for the military, even under threat of death.
Any acts of brutality from the local garrisons or the Cog would paint them as they really were: a mafia at the nation scale, offering protection in exchange for food but destroying anyone who declined the deal. Alwena ripped open the last emergency ration package with her emaciated hands when she heard the announcement that a garrison flipped.