Part 3: Fit The Second : Anachronism
Fit The Second : Anachronism
While I was glad to be on solid ground again, the whole thing about not being able to use current technology really bothered me. I took my concerns to Mortimer, who seemed to be the only one of my advisors not completely off their tree.
Ah, yes, well you see Wal, we've gone back in time. To 1900. I think you were asleep when we passed through the temporal distortion field.
Huh? Temporal distortion field? Are you serious? HOW CAN I LIVE IN A WORLD WITHOUT PENICILLIN!
Well, millions managed it. We will.
No they didn't they started wars and were all racist and shit and oh god I CAN'T TAKE THIS ANYMORE!
Calm down, Wal, you'll find that time moves pretty quickly around here. You'll have your precious antibiotics before too long. By the way, as your advisor I advise you to raise residental taxes.
So Mortimer was stark raving bonkers as well, that bow-tie really did control him. This was like one of those tedious historical re-enactment shows where people pretend to live in Edwardian Britain in a country house and shag each other like it was a Emily Bronte novel gone all slash. It had to be. Except at least they all volunteered.
The other option is that it was all a dream. I pinched myself. Nothing changed. I was about to completely lose it and start screaming at the trees, which would've been doubly mad because there weren't any. But at that point, Moe turned up.
So when are we going to start building some roads?
Oh yes. Moe. Ahh, tell me this, is this really the year 1900?
I'd say so, that's what it says on my digital watch here.
MOE! STOP FUCKING WITH ME!
Christ you're nearly as bad as Jim. Tell me where to build some roads please?
WHY? WHAT'S THE POINT? NOBODY HAD CARS IN 1900!
Well some people did. They sucked, but they had them. Anyway, if we build some roads, it'll give people more reasons to buy more cars.
Right, oh yes. That makes sense.
So we're going to build some roads?
It was time to get cracking on giving people things to do, at least it'd take my mind off wondering how the hell I got transported over a hundred years back in time. Back to basics. I laid out some light residential zones and some medium industrial zones, added roads to link them, and a power plant to power them. I opted for coal mainly because it was cheaper. I could only hope something better would come along.
I had to draw some power lines to the housing estate which I had located some way from the factories, but since everyone would have cars in 1900 so this wouldn't be a problem. It'd take a whole month before people started moving in so we had to wait around for a while.
Constance was back knocking on the door of my tent, suggesting the idea of farms again, I said maybe later.
That freak Randall was also on my case about schools. Again, I said maybe later.
With some relief, came February of "1900", I did notice some people starting to build houses and factories. Soon I might get out of this goddamn tent village that we'd set up on the riverbank. Like everything else that was crap around this time, it was a draughty canvas thing, due to the backward technology.
Well, at least Moe seemed happy for now.
Karen didn't look at all perturbed about the coal plant I'd decided to put in, even though her report said otherwise. "Trees", I thought to myself. "Still need to do something about that."
Apparently she started doing hiking around the area, including the volcano, which had been dubbed "Firetop Mountain", and had discovered an entrance at the base to a dungeon or cave that had not been used for a very long time. She said it'd take a whole archaeological expedition to check it out so it'd have to be investigated some other time.
Gus was going on about water, I had a little handheld sign made up saying "MAYBE LATER" for this purpose, and I showed it to him. He hurrumphed and started going on about the surplus of power and how we could sell it to our neighbours for a profit. The idea was sound but I didn't like the idea of the extortionate exit clauses if we so much as slipped up.
We were actually making a decent per-capita profit on rates, though it wasn't much to speak of. Once I started approving everything people were demanding, the budget would be far more likely to be in the red. I just wanted to establish the basic town plan first, however.
Getting back to our neighbours, we could establish land connections with Achewood, City Name and RuPaul, but would need a seaport before we could deal with Buttsville. That town had been named after the founder, but the townsfolk were tired of being the, well, butt of jokes across the nation. It was not unlikely that their name would change.
Our population reached a thousand by May, and I was at last able to board with one of the new residents, who felt quite privileged to host the Mayor. However, it would've been nice to have a hot shower instead of going down to the oxbow lake, which I used mayoral prerogative to call Lake Bunkley after myself. Obviously I couldn't complain, because I was in charge. I could brush Gus off all day, but one day, as I was checking out the slums, some yokel named Bernie came up to me and made a compelling case for providing running water.
So what's it to be, Mayor?
OK, Bernie, I'll sort it out quicker than you can say "body odour". Anyway, since when did we have a bowling alley in town?
Then who the hell are you actually representing?
Well, we'd go bowling if we had a bowling alley, but we don't so we just roll our bowling balls down the street. You should come some time.
I was as good as my word, placing a couple of pumps to draw water out of Lake Bunkley
And had the beginnings of the water supply system laid out.
In spite of her earlier remarks about the "fire boys", Maria seemed quite agitated about the lack of fire protection and requested that I finally approve a fire station. I showed her the sign.
She was a little more sanguine about the police situation. I merely showed her the sign again. Word soon got back to me that my nickname amongst the citizenry was "Maybe Later" Bunkley.
Moe was mentioning that, in spite the relative lack of traffic and the two minute commute, people still had the temerity to complain about even that length of time that took.
And they were voting with their feet. Right out of town.
It had been my intention to set up a rail network fairly early on, before possible rights of way were occupied, so this seemed an opportune time to do so. I started small with a two station line.
There was starting to be some demand for some shops, as people began to earn decent wages. Next to the new railway station seemed the ideal place for them.
The first year had passed quickly, and nearly 3,000 people had moved in. Of course they were poorly served in most areas, but in the coming year I would acquiesce to at least some of their demands.
Although I had spent over §10,000 on infrastructure, the bottom line was looking pretty decent, and I had plenty of funds left for future expansion.
(Click for large image)
So, at the end of the year the town enjoyed a pretty solid beginning, without too many hiccups. Bernie even came up to me about Christmas time and thanked me for my prompt response to the water crisis. I just said I was glad that he didn't smell like sauerkraut anymore.
Hey, we even have a proper bowling alley now, next to the train station. You should come check it out some time!
I showed him my "MAYBE LATER" sign but he just laughed, yanked it out of my hand and chucked it clean into the lake. I just shrugged and laughed with him.