Welcome to your future.

Spaceships. Jet packs. Laser guns. 

No. 

Fifty years from now, the future will still be shaped by the mundane, the stupid, and the petty, living side by side with the Big Ideas. Dirty, shining, poor, glorious, filthy, and wonderful. 50.YFN is where we tell our future's story, hangover and all.

In its short life,
50.YFN has already become a very sharply defined setting, with unique language and history. Because of the ongoing storylines and broad geographical setting, we strongly recommend using the archives and category tags before throwing yourself in the deep end. Read the guidelines, take a look around. There's a truly talented pool of creators breathing life into our world Fifty Years From Now.

You are welcome to be a part of it.

And remember:

This is not a land-grab. There's no turf.  If you're a new writer, you have the same access to Brooklyn as I do, and as much an opportunity to leave your imprint on it. Don't be intimidated. Leave your brand on the future alongside everyone else. It's your world too. 

11.08.2008

The Working Man's Blue's, Pt III

by R. Soon, Atlanta, GA

I-75 Southbound, between Cincinnati and Lexington

*wheeze* …where are we?”

“Oh, you’re awake, good…we just crossed into Kentucky. You were asleep for a while.”

“I wasn’t asleep, I was knocked out by your soundbox,” Barry grumbled irritably from his supine position in the back seat. He coughed and wheezed again. “Did you give me bronchitis too?”

Arash chuckled. “No, Grandpa, it’s probably the altitude—“

“And how do I know you’re anyone but some crazy terrorist? The hell kind of kid kidnaps his own grandfather against his will?” Barry’s voice began to rise, accompanied by him sitting up and leaning forward accusatorily. “Not to mention my son didn’t have any children when he died, so as far as I’m concerned, you’re some lowlife who’s ruining my chance at a peaceful retirement—“

“Ssshhh…Saif is asleep,” Arash said quietly, directing a meaningful glance into the rear-view mirror at Barry, who glared back but fell silent, save for a controlled wheeze. Inwardly, Arash was ready to start a shouting match with the almost-toothless, infuriatingly stubborn old man, but he ignored the prickling heat and focused on driving, ignoring his nauseatingly sandpapery-feeling eyes as he strained to see the road with the car’s failing headlights.

After a moment, he continued in a low voice, “Grandpa, your son’s name was Thomas, right?” He felt Barry staring at him icily, now, even as he kept his eyes on the road ahead. “My father’s name was Thomas. And his girlfriend, soon to be his wife, her name was—well, is—Rashida. My mom’s name is Rashida…and she was carrying me when Dad died.” The stories she told him were all Arash knew of his father, but as he spoke, he could feel the older man’s emotions spilling into the car, and her words began to churn in his mind with a sense of loss he hadn’t felt before.

“My God…Rashida,” Barry half-whispered throatily, his irritation gone and replaced by the welling of tears in his eyes. Poor guy’s been through so much, Arash thought, even as he felt himself having to choke his own back.

In no time the older man was sobbing. “She was going to make him such a great wife, Rashida was…and they had already started looking at houses in East Cleveland, when that damn factory….” He faded into soft weeping punctuated by hoarse breaths. Arash felt himself regain control, and he stole comforting peeks at his son in the passenger seat, fast asleep.

They had captured one of the metal-tentacled guards a while back, and experiments on it yielded an immobilizing soundbox hack which granted Arash’s team a way thru the patrol line under cover of night, and two fences and four sleeping barracks tents later, they found the man who matched Mom’s painstaking description, albeit disguised by 30 years of time since she had last seen him. He had been taking a piss off of a slope down to a railroad, and nearly fell when he turned around and saw what probably looked like four ninjas creeping up. Arash had tried to calm him down and tell him about the plan to break him out, but the blustery old man was acting like he didn’t want to leave. “I don’t have a grandson!” he had shouted, red-faced, taking off at a fast limp toward the prison camp’s center. “I don’t know who the hell you are, but security won’t care—“ and one of the guerrillas had moved in swiftly and put a peaceful, meditative soundbox up to Barry’s ear. While not being particularly large, he was amazingly heavy; and squeezing him through the fences while keeping nervous eyes out for patrolmen fatigued everyone thoroughly.

Arash had dropped the team back off at the Shaker Square base, picked up Saif and a few supplies, and with hushed farewells to his comrades, set out toward Atlanta in his hideously ancient ’12 Cherokee. Atlanta was where Mom was, and just south of Lexington was a forward base for the Cleveland Reclamation Project, probably the only safe place to get gas for most of the trip down. Halliworks apparently had no idea they existed, and as far as they had spread out, Lexington was as close as the Project could operate on a larger scale while preserving that invisbility. The tiny, camouflaged hideout at Shaker Square was hardly more than a library and temporary supply depot, and the men still there were already packing up to head down a couple of hours behind the Cherokee. On the silent highway, two vehicles together would have been too suspicious, so the timing was good even if coincidental.

Nevertheless, he had worried for a few miles before finally settling into the journey, and of course Barry had come to not long after.

As Arash drove on, he thought back to when he’d first found out that his grandfather, now once more asleep in the back seat judging by the subdued, regular wheezing, had been alive and supposedly a prisoner at the Halliworks camp. That had been what…a year ago? Around that. Naturally he had started drawing up a rescue plan almost immediately, but it had taken forever to get the camouflage generator needed to set up a camp right in Cleveland. More importantly, it had taken some convincing of the Project leaders to let him undertake the operation, even taking badly needed men with him, on the eve of an assault designed to strike a decisive blow against Halliworks’ military assets. In fact, because of the rescue, he would probably still be in Atlanta when the Project moved north into Halliworks territory.

And yet here he was, having had to carry his target, his until-recently-mythical grandfather, out unconscious! He hadn’t wanted to be rescued from that hellpit!

Grandpa would adjust soon enough, Arash decided for the twentieth time. After all, his veritable daughter-in-law was waiting for him, he had a great grandson to spoil, and he wouldn’t have to work anymore. What better retirement was there than that? Arash glanced at his son, smiled inwardly, and returned his attention to the dark highway, entertaining thoughts about how happy his mom would be to see all of them.

1 comment:

mindful said...

You, my dear friend... are a great storyteller...