Archive for adam

No Need to Worry

Posted in Global Travel, Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2012 by javedbabar

Adam had heard that professional jobs were available in Lucerne. Things were pretty slow in the city so it seemed like a good idea to try his luck elsewhere.

In days gone by he would have just taken off abroad. Living in developing countries was cheaper than staying in Arcadia. When he wasn’t working here, living in India or Ethiopia or Peru was a way to save money, provided he went for at least a month to amortize the airfare.

A month in the city was about three thousand bucks all in, a hundred a day. A month in Varanasi, Lalibela or Cuzco was two thousand, flights included, and the longer he stayed there, the better the notional day-rate – going from sixty dollars to half that. But now that he had a wife and three step-children, he had to handle the situation carefully.

He did some day trips initially. Lucerne was a pretty village with a white mountain standing guard above it, and surrounded by forests, rivers and lakes. It was filled with old families of farmers, loggers and hunters, but also a new crowd of artists, musicians and yoga teachers. He checked with Village Hall, and yes, they said, they needed professional people desperately. If he moved here, he could have his pick of jobs.

“When can I have an interview?” he asked the receptionist.

“This is it,” she said. “You’ve got the job, or more than one if you like.”

“More than one?”

“Yes, we have numerous positions available, and funds from the Authority gathering dust. We want to use them for the benefit of Lucerne’s citizens.” She explained the strange situation here. There was mass unemployment of unskilled people, but a shortage of skilled ones. They desperately needed his expertise.

Adam was assigned the job of CPM: Chief Project Manager, and asked to start as soon as possible. He was also given a house to live in with a nocturnal security guard.

“Is that necessary?” he asked. “It seems like a peaceful place.”

“Just in case,” said the receptionist. “You never know.”

Adam’s wife agreed that he should follow the work, and they moved immediately. On the first evening, they dined outdoors, and were so moved by beauty that they could hardly speak. Adam had seen such beauty before, in the Himalayas, Lasta Mountains, and the Andes, but always alone. He was now seeing it with his family, through the eyes of his beloved, and her children.

As the sun set, the security guard, David, suggested they go indoors.

“What’s the hurry?” said Adam. “Let’s enjoy the stars appearing and tonight’s full moon.” He knew it would be impossible to get the kids early to bed tonight. They may as well stay out.

“You don’t know this place well, do you. Have you stayed here overnight before? No? Okay, trust me. You’re better off indoors. That’s what I’m here for, to stay outdoors to ensure your safety. There’s no need to worry though. I am a professional too. I will keep you safe.”

“Safe from what?”

“You’ll see.”

“Do you have a gun?” Adam recoiled when he realized what he’d said. Had he brought his family to a place where you need a gun to survive?

“No, I won’t need a gun. Just go inside and take it easy. No need to worry.”

That night they heard glass smashing somewhere, screeching tires, and flashes like firecrackers, followed by a chorus of sirens – ambulances, fire trucks, and cops. They slept eventually but were disturbed from their slumber by smashing and shouting. Adam went to the window to see. There was David, covered in blood, either grimacing or grinning.

“What happened?” he called. “Are you okay?”

“I told you not to worry. I have taken care of it.” He wiped his machete, swigged some beer and sat down. He looked at the horrified children and said, “Nothing to see. Now go to bed.”

He wanted them to leave before there was another assault on the house. More of the poor would come.


Double Lines

Posted in Classic Sci-Fi, Lucerne Village, Sacred Geometry, Unknown with tags , , , , , on March 26, 2012 by javedbabar

Danny was getting frustrated. He was stuck behind a dark car going very slowly, which he could easily overtake, but there were solid yellow lines along the road. He would have to wait for dashes, or a free-for-all unmarked stretch. He could push ahead anyway, as you do with old ladies and tractors, but a dark car is different. It could be a cop car. Why was it doing steady fifty in an eighty zone? On the blind bends – ok; but on the straights too?

He’d been stuck behind this car for four kilometres. It was getting ridiculous. He considered making a call to say that he’d be late, but what if it was a cop car? Then they’d nab him for talk-driving. He already had a ticket for that, along with speeding, no-seatbelt, and no-lights infractions. He was the local cops’ best customer. Ever since good, god-fearing Albert Samson was elected Premier, no road was complete without them.

There seemed to be double solid lines right along the road. The few sections that didn’t have lines held road works, with, of course, no work going on there – just signs, boards, and cones. At least there was a reason for doing fifty here – because the little girl on the board says, “My mommy works here.” Maybe her mommy was still making her breakfast.

There used to be long stretches with just tarmac and common sense, meaning “You’re smart enough to know how to drive.” There were dashed sections meaning “Buddy, keep your eyes open.” Places with lines and dashes on alternate sides meant “You are members of a civilized society; this is a tricky curve, so please take your turn in an orderly manner.” But now there were double lines everywhere saying “We make the rules here, and you do what we say. Drive nice and easy along this laneway that we’ve made nice and smooth for you. Keep a steady speed. If someone before you is going slowly then you go slowly too. Why do you need to get ahead anyway? Take it slow. Good boy.”

Danny took an executive decision to overtake the dark car. It was probably just a foolish tourist overwhelmed by the beauty of the Lucerne Valley, or nervous about driving on the right and wanting to stick to the rules. Danny pulled out on a short straight stretch and pushed his Frontier forward. There was no battles of wills here, and it was over in five seconds. He was now the car in front.

A blue light began flashing somewhere. He was unsure where it came from. Then he saw it in his mirror, coming from the dark car behind. Shit! It was a cop car. They were signalling for him to stop. He indicated and pulled over, and the dark car crept in behind.

Danny sat in his car as per the protocol. Last summer he’d stepped out without thinking and almost been shot. Nothing happened for a while. Then the dark car’s door opened and a man stepped out, and walked towards his car.

“Hey, Danny, remember me?” said the bulky man with short orange beard. “Jim from the pole yard?”

“Sure I do!” said Danny, relieved. He’d had a few drinks with this guy. Why was he driving a cop car though?

“Did you want me to stop?” said Jim.

Danny said, “No, you were flashing me. I thought I’d better.”

“Flashing you?” Jim looked confused. “Oh! I see! You mean the blue lights? No, no, pal. Those are transceivers, front and back, aligning positions.”

“There wasn’t anything at the back,” said Danny. “Only the front. I thought you were signalling me.”

“Damn, that rear light must have broken again. I was having trouble with it yesterday. I thought it was fixed. I’d better take a look. You must have wondered why I was crawling along. Hell, you must have been cursing! Why didn’t you overtake me earlier?”

“There were double lines all along the road, and I thought you were a cop. What are you doing?”

“I’m working on the IQ project,” Danny recalled finding little white posts in the forest when hiking. They used to say IP – for Iron Point, indicating official property boundaries – but they now said IQ. He’d thought that this was the next level somehow, to be followed by IR. “It stands for Investment Quadrant, the new government model for land value, following Native traditions of respect for all land. Every feature is seen as equally precious – the road, river, swamp, forest, ancient sites, towns, and mountains.”

“How can everything be equal? What does that mean in practical terms?” It’s like everyone having to drive at the same speed, thought Danny. It’s false and frustrating.

“We use the ADAM apparatus – Advanced District Allocation Module – the blue light you saw flashing – to divide areas into EVEs – Equal Value Entities.”

“How’s that?” said Danny.

“We ensure that each EVE has equal assets. For example, Lucerne Valley West has Kalash subdivision, Mt Negra, and the Taxila ruins. Lucerne Valley East has Lucerne Village, Mt. Alba, and the Golden mines. ADAM is based on Biblical principles – to be stewards of the earth. The first step is to divide this land into fields for us to tend as holy guardians.”

“But how do you divide Lucerne Valley into East and West? It runs north to south.”

“We’re dividing it along the Lucerne Valley Road. The double lines are the boundary.” He winked at Danny. “Never to be crossed.”