Saturday, December 19, 2015

Dawn on Jefferson; Chapter Two: Where I Live

I should explain what's going on and where I am, but I don't want to bore you. Boredom is the complete enemy. It runs up, grabs you and chews on your brain. Not fun. I will explain what's going on now.

The walk from our farm, Dad's farm, takes two hours. Its about twelve kilometers (seven and half miles if any of you are still on earth and reading this) from town. The entire walk we take is through the green houses and domes to the forest. Then through the forest to the one and a half km wide (1 mile, Terran Americans, oy) Blasted Lands.

Well, they're not /really/ blasted and they are certainly not on anywhere magic exists. When the colonists landed, they burned a circle six kilometers (four miles wide, last time, Earther!) across. They followed that up with dumping all sorts of chemical nastiness into the soil in that area. The chemicals were friendly to earth life, but not to Jeff Life. There is a reason for that.

Jeff life - we call Jefferson, our world, Jeff, and almost no one names their boys Jeffrey anymore - and Earth life can eat each other. Not well. Sometimes there is a bad reaction to chewing on each other. Some times that reaction is sooo bad, it kills. So, for the protection of the first colonists, they blasted, sprayed and then walled - double walled! - the first town, Monticello. The outer wall is at the edge of the cleared lands. Tall and watched. The inner wall is at the edge of town. Bots built them both.

Yes, silly kids make the joke and call the capital Mount of Jello. I'm so over that.

They repeated for the towns they built after. Our town, Shadwell, had the same thing done.

Kids with foul mouths make fun of OUR town. They think they are funny. They're not.

Dad, my brother and I call the cleared area the Blasted Lands. Its a reference, look it up. At Monticello and other towns, the Blasted Lands are used for farming or even to expand the town if they have to. They destroy more around then to make sure things are safe still. Boo for that! I think it will make towns and cities look like they are growing like trees from the air when we fly.

In Shadwell, we don't use the Blasted Lands for farms. /We/ use it for gardens and as a safe place for kids to play and athletics and all sorts of things. Food grows out on the farms though. The ones like Dad has.

Dad's farm is a section in size. It sounds small, but its a lot bigger than you would think. He calls it Bard-dur. He takes the references too far. Dork. There are no walls in the farms except around the house. The food is not grown in the open air. It is grown in greenhouses. Animals are raised in domes. Its not that we don't want the animals to live inside, just too many died getting nipped by a buzzing taxito or would nibble witch wort or swallow a slimy.

That means there are very few cows. Even very little /goats/. Goats will eat anything. That's the problem. There are diaries, but not Dad's place. He has two cows, but always sends the calves off to the diaries unless he's going to replace a Bessy. That's what we call a milk cow. We are on Bessy IV now.

A ten acre dome is a big place for just two cows. They're expensive and not all farms can afford.

Mostly people in Shadwell eat chicken, pork, trout, other fish and lots of vegetables and fruit. When Dad retires a Bessy, really we kill it, we get beef. Dad freezes a lot and we get beef once per week. Dad also has 60 pigs. They live in their own dome. They have problems with eating things they shouldn't, too, but while goat barbecues are not common. Pork BBQ is common. We have lots of people from the Terran American South. That makes the stupid pig problems worth it.

Mmm. BBQ.

Dad's set up is cool! It starts in a giant pool! We can't swim there though. One filled with fish. The fish poop in the water and it runs through to the plants in the greenhouses. This fertilizes the plants and it cleans the water. This loops back. The same loop takes place out to the domes with the animals. It fertilizers the grass and hay and even a few oak trees!

Most farms are the same way, Dad says. I still think his farm is awesome. its one of my homes. He let's me fish with friends. Its a lot of fun. Dad says its cheating and too easy. I'm fine with that. Trout is a favorite of mine. 

 Future husband of mine, whoever you are, bring me smoked trout instead of a ring, ok?

Some people might have an idea Dad is out in the fields working away like something in the Immies. Its not. He's not. He works something like a normal day. The bots mostly take care of things. His job is mostly managing the bots to make sure something doesn't get confused from his instructions and fixes the bots. Back on Earth, the bots can mostly fix themselves, but out here, where bringing a single kilo (more than two pounds, earther! sheesh!) costs more than someone gets paid each year, people save on what they can.

Dad's house is bigger than he needs. It has more bedrooms than what we need. There's him, me and my younger brother, but there are four more bedrooms. The house was bot built, but he designed it. He designed and had a house built for Mom, too, in town as a parting gift when they divorced, but I don't want to talk about that.

I have a big room with big windows. I can open the windows, with their smart screens, but I mostly don't. The funny part about Jeff is the plants. They smell funny, even when you are used to it. They smell too SWEET. Everything smells like a doughnut shop, except the flowers. They smell AWFUL. Spring on Jeff makes me want to gag. Flower the super cute skunk is named perfectly on Jeff.

Terran Americans love the smell of Jeff. When it is not spring. We roll our eyes. They change their minds over time but especially when the smells of other cooking mix with the doughnut shop. Let's take something else that smells good: bacon. When someone cooks bacon, it smells awesome. Then if someone constantly smells it, a person will start to gag and get sick. Doughnuts. Bacon. Get the idea? Fortunately, over time, the doughnut smells goes away though. Or the brain just gives up. I think the nose gives up and the doughnut smellers just die.

Terran Americans find it funny we don't have cake for birthdays. Could you?

Pastries are the past. ha!

They call us unamerican, in a joking sort of way. Earthers.

Oh, wait, we're walking. I ought to be talking about that! Not birthday parties!

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