“Welcome to Fort Mott. And the frontier,” said Captain Aaron Singh as he poured Morgan Barod a drink of whiskey, a few hours later. Morgan blinked at that, not least because he was only technically allowed to drink now. The infirmary where Morgan had been expertly patched up had a calendar: the date was August 2, 2110.
Seven years! He had been unconscious for seven years. By the look on Captain Singh’s face, he envied Morgan a little for that. Certainly things had been happening.
“Yeah,” the captain went on, “this is as far south as the Republic,” he saw Morgan frown, “sorry, as far as the United States goes. We lost Dizzy City in ‘08, but that was just the last straw. The West Coast went barbie in ‘05, and everything west of the Missy Sippy the year after. Capital’s up in Beantown these days.”
“What about the coast?” asked Morgan. “I had family there.”
“The salt-towns?” replied Singh. “They’re fine. Mostly. We hold can supply most of the coastline, down to what used to be Atlantis City before it got eaten in ‘02.”
“Eaten?” Morgan got the impression that Singh wasn’t being figurative. He wasn’t sure how imaginative the captain was, although Singh’s apparent determination to never call a place by its real name argued that the man wasn’t completely stolid.
“Well, you know how it is,” said the captain. “You pour a ton of need into a place for a couple of centuries, it’s gonna cook off if it can. Especially if you’re doing a transformational ritual at the time.” He sipped his drink. “Worst New Year’s Eve party ever, from what I hear.”