It would be nice to suggest that we all pulled together and everything magically went back to normal. The truth is that it would never be the old normal again. It’s better than average for the world’s new normal in Municipal City now, but it was a hard time getting to this point.
The first obstacle we faced was the notion that this was all temporary. What news we got from the outside world was often contradictory, and sketchy at best. Still, people thought it would all be over any day now. The lights would flicker back on, and we’d all have a good laugh. Even after it became apparent that things were going to be this way for a while, some people continued to resent “King Joe” and his crazy ideas. They sure were willing to accept the help he arranged, though, and eventually realized that they’d have to pull with everyone else if they wanted to get through this thing.
And then there were the outsiders.
First came the gangs. The TriStars, the Wolves, and the least-creatively-named Badasses, as well as a host of smaller raiding parties, each came to take what they could. They almost always left with fewer people, guns, and knives than they arrived with. We were expecting them.
Then came the refugees. We hadn’t expected so many, but soon they were all settled into makeshift apartments in the old schools. They were so grateful for the solid roof and protection from the gangs, they didn’t mind having to figure out how to heat and cool the buildings that were not built for this new world. These people ended up being an asset, for the most part, working hard to make Municipal City their home.
The group we weren’t expecting were the delegations from other towns that were doing relatively well. Soon there were trade deals and sharing of knowledge. Then there were mutual defense agreements. And then the doctors, veterinarians, teachers, and other specialists began circulating among the towns, a great caravan of needed services.
That brings us up to today. It has been a few years. There are new school buildings that don’t depend on our limited electricity for heating and cooling, and there’s even a new football field for the Municipal City High School Onions. The local defense team now has snazzy uniforms, designed and sewn by Ms. Marjorie Hinks from imported cloth– imported from a town to the south somewhere. And most of us grow onions, garlic, turnips, potatoes, and beets for a living. It’s a good life.
Well… A good-ish life anyway.