Thursday, July 5, 2012

Divergent Evolution

The cleanup is almost done. Really, it's done but Will is adamant that we do one last detailed sweep of the main section before we move everyone back in. Other than that, local news is thin on the ground. The old adage is true--no news is good news.

So I don't feel bad about taking today to share the news we've been sitting on for a while now. All the agreements have been made, all the plans finalized. I can now happily tell you that in the next few months, New Haven and Franklin county are going to be getting some upgrades. Also, visitors. Well, not really visitors. Permanent citizens.

Two thousand of them.

It's going to take some explaining, I know. You may have noticed that I haven't been talking about North Jackson very much lately. That's an intentional thing, because we were asked by the leadership not to draw any attention to NJ. The reason was simple: where New Haven has stagnated under a plethora of awful situations, NJ has been expanding in every way imaginable. We started out as similar kinds of places, but things change over time. New Haven has done well, but North Jackson has truly bloomed.

There are almost five thousand people there now. That's an insane number, it really is. So much work has been done around the place that I'm told it's almost unrecognizable from my last trip there. The heart of the place is still the factory complex, but very few people live inside it now. Over the last year the complex has been converted almost completely back into a place that makes things. North Jackson might be the last true industrial center in the country. Much of the machinery there is old-school hand equipment, but there is more reliable electricity being generated there than any place I know of. That's in part because they've been producing solar panels and wind turbines. I understand that making them from scratch, by hand, is very difficult.

There are many hundreds of acres of farmland being cultivated around NJ now, and tiny dwellings dot the landscape. They've been busy up there, hauling things from all over the state to use in their expansion. Rabbits are pretty much the best source of meat they could come up with. It hasn't been a flawless trip, though. There have been bumps along the way, hungry times and everything from discomfort while living outdoors as homes were being planned to severe danger as swarms of zombies have menaced the area.

How does this apply to us? Why does it matter? I'm getting there, calm yourselves.

The constant stream of people migrating to NJ brings with it a huge labor pool, loads of supplies, and the most important commodity in the world: information. This part of the country is filled with resources that just need to be located.

NJ hasn't been turning people away, but they've reached a point where the population is almost too much to deal with. So over the next few months slightly less than half of those folks are going to be coming here. We aren't going into this blind, of course. They're bringing food of all kinds, supplies, and the like. They're coming in groups and will be hauling in trucks carrying shipping containers to further expand New Haven. As you can imagine, we're going to need to make this place a lot bigger. Plans have been laid out for more farming, the kind we can secure, so that next year when the supplies start to run low we won't have food riots. The million details we've had to work out have all been considered and dealt with. I won't go over all of them here.

Yes, it's a ton of work. Yes, it's risky for us to expand so much so quickly. But in return for taking the pressure from NJ, we're getting the gift of new citizens. And they're doing the work of making their settlement here workable. Oh. And NJ is hooking us up with a ton of new power generation equipment. More solar panels, more turbines, and the tools and knowledge to make the stuff ourselves. We'll become an industrial community ourselves even if it is on a much smaller scale.

As you can imagine, the new plague has slowed down this process. NJ has been very careful about the plague and caught some lucky breaks with the rate of infection. We feel confident now that we can begin the process. New Haven has struggled through a lot of shit over the last few years, but we're happy to take this as a win. In one stroke we'll become the largest community in the area and magnitudes stronger than we've ever been. It's scary and exciting.

It kind of feels like the future is right around the corner.

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