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Dating : 2028 Snippet

h2>Dating : 2028 Snippet

Hank M. Greene

One Friday night in the summer of 2028 Sam went to a small happening, a thing where a rather large group of people met for beer and music with fire drums all around. A fight broke out and Sam was thrown to the ground. The police arrived, separated the fighters from the others. A police officer almost stepped on the unconscious Sam laying in the dirt. He reached down and pulled Sam up. The officer was a little worried, wondering if this body was alive. Sam started to move.

“Are you hurting? Are you okay?” the officer asked.

For a minute Sam wasn’t sure where he was, and then he remembered the fight breaking out. Sam slowly, softly, replied “Uh, yeah, I think so. It doesn’t feel like anything is broken.”

The officer let out a sigh of relief. Sam said, “Thank you.”

The officer replied, “No problem. I wasn’t sure if you were even alive. For your reference, if it ever comes up, I’m Officer Fred Lacer.”

Six months earlier on the other side of the United States, Sara was remembering the first time she saw Jane. Sara was captivated by the eyes, Jane’s eyes. Sara was at a friends party. The moment she saw her, how relaxed and in control of the moment, yet somehow kind, smiling, gently laughing, Sara knew she had to learn more about this person to whom she was immediately drawn.

Jane and Sara lived on their farm just ten miles east of Hallsville, Ohio

It had been three freezing months, and Sara and Jane had settled into the routine of managing the animals while preparing for spring planting. They were going to try to seed early by keeping the seeding pods warm in the barns with the cattle. Each day was full, leaving nothing for evening time together. They had just showered. They had constructed a wood-burning furnace which they also used to heat water for hot showers. They both dropped onto the bed like dead weights, with their eyes closing while at the same time dreams beginning to enter their thoughts when they heard an explosion. They jumped up.

Jane yelled, “The trap! Grab the masks.”

And they both took off grabbing clothes watching the blaze and dark gray clouds of gas against a pitch black backdrop in the fields from their poisonous trenches, trying to get downstairs as fast as possible.

Sachin, Mohit, and Fred were looking out of the window as the train continued on its journey, staring blankly at the pitch blackness of the dark evening. The four companions had just started their journey earlier that day. Hank was snoring.

Mohit said, “What’s that flicker of light?” Pointing off to his left.

Fred squinted, trying to make out if it was what he thought, a fire. As the train got closer to the fire event he could make out that it was quite a large fire and he wondered if people might be in need of help. Fred jumped to his feet, saying loudly as he grabbed Hanks shoulder, “we have to stop this train to see what’s going on with that fire.”

Minutes later after disembarking from the stopped steam-driven train that was carrying a military transport, the four approached the edge of the field where the flames sparkled, smaller by this time, off in the distance some hundred yards. They saw two people wearing what looked like gas masks kicking mounds on the ground. Then the two people stopped, froze as they realized there were four more people on the edge of the field. Everyone froze. Mohit whispered, “Sachin, I’m not sure about this.”

Hank replied, “It will turn out okay. Fred, stay here with Sachin and Mohit. I’ll go see what’s going on.”

Hank walked up to the two figures. Fred, Sachin, and Mohit could only make out that Hank was saying something, they just couldn’t make out what that something was.

Hours later after burying the bodies that littered the field, Hank walked up to their two hostess’s and asked Sara and Jane to send a small portion of their excess yields later that year to Inuvik. He said October timeframe would be perfect. There would be a huge unexpected need and the additional food would save many lives.

Just one month earlier, mid-February of 2028, Fred was wondering how his parents were doing, so decided to ask for some time to visit his home. He asked for a horse which was granted.

Fred arrived at his childhood home in the first week of March. By this time temperatures were rising as Spring was arriving. The craziness the ensued shortly after the power went out had given way to calm as Police and services started to make their presence known. Manufacturing was beginning again, and people were finding ways to get around. Commerce was beginning. The news of a national steam-powered rail system was spreading, supporting both commerce as well as transportation.

After spending the first few days listening to all the stories his parents had to tell, Fred decided to take a walk through the MIT campus. He needed some alone time to just reflect, and consider what he needed to do next.

Fred had arrived on campus around 10 AM and had been walking, then sitting, reflecting over the past few years, wondering what had happened to his life and the world, and where could he go next. The morning clouds had risen with the temperature, from 38 degrees to now a warmer 50. The sunlight was twinkling through the water droplets still hanging on branches and sitting on shrubbery. A professor looking fellow approached as Fred was slowly considering each step forward. The stranger stopped about ten feet away from Fred and stared quizzically as if he had known Fred from somewhere in the past. Fred returned the quizzical look not remembering ever meeting anyone like this fellow.

Hank knew Fred should be on the way to the West Coast. Then he remembered it wasn’t time just yet but in a few days.

This stranger smiled, and said, “Ah, Fred, you don’t remember me. We’ll get to that in a moment. Have you considered the West Coast? The National Rail is going now. I’m heading out later this week. I’d be honored to travel with you if you should decide to lend your skills to those people.”

Fred’s face muscles tightened, his eyelids squinted as he stared at this stranger who seemed to know him.

Fred replied, “Sir, I don’t know who you think I am, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never met. you.”

The man smiled at Fred and said, “While you are correct, consider who you are and what you are looking for. Perhaps I’ll see you on the next express to California later this week. Give my regards to your parents. Hank’s the name.”

And then the stranger continued his walk past Fred who was standing still, wondering what had just happened.

As the train pulled out of the station, Fred was sitting in the second passenger car, about half full, fully aware that the stranger who had talked with him earlier that week was three rows behind.

At the next stop, two men walked into the car and to their seats. Fred could overhear familiar voices from the diner, just a day or so after the power went out.

“Sachin, this seems like the best idea you have had in quite a while.”

“Why thank you Mohit.”

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