4.1 A new vision

My name is Jango Lazarus and I live in the town of Riverview, which you may be aware suffered a horrific nuclear blast several years ago and has been cut off from the world ever since.  Perhaps you have read the dispatches sent from my mother, Firefly.  She has asked me to carry on the tradition of these dispatches, which she carried on from my  grandmother, Chaotica, and my great-grandfather, Alf.  Perhaps this is the first message you have read from us.  Either way, it is my privilege to record the events unfolding in my town.

We are living in exciting times.  For so long we have been isolated from anyone else.  We know a little of your world, from stories passed down through generations, stories our survivors told their children, and their children’s children, but we have no real understanding of what it might be like, or indeed how it must have changed over time.  But I am confident that we will soon see your world for ourselves, and that you will see ours, and that gradually we will be restored to the world, and we can all be a part of something together.  I truly believe Riverview will be restored in my lifetime.

I live with my mother Firefly, my sisters Ilari, Kes and Krillitane and my mother’s cousin, Hirogen.  All of us are committed to making things better here, though in different ways.  My mother works for the local police and has done for many years.  She’s been busy profiling the former members of the Alto mob, a criminal syndicate who until recently had a stranglehold on our town.  She is of an older generation, and I know she has some fears about what might happen when Riverview is freed – many of her generation do, as do some of my peers.  It’s understandable, this is all any of us have ever known, for all its faults and limitations, this is our world, it’s all we know.

Hirogen and Ilari, like me, believe we will be free soon.  Ilari is working hard to ensure we have a business and commerce infrastructure so that we’ll be able to trade within the town, and more importantly, with people from other towns.  Hirogen works as a journalist, and her paper’s stories have been gradually changing in tone since the Altos were deposed from covering the crime in our town, and public reaction to it, to looking towards the future and suggesting ways people can continue to work on the restoration effort.  People have been working to restore Riverview since the accident happened, but this is the first time we’ve ever been able to sense the change coming, really coming.

Since the Altos were deposed, we have had freedom as a town to go where we like and do what we like, but many are calling for us to have some governmental infrastructure.  The police, military and emergency services govern themselves, but nobody governs the town.  As we grow and as we begin to connect with the world out there, we’ll need this.  I am part of a group of people working on proposals for a new constitution.  It’s very exciting to be part of this new process of establishing governance.  Some folk are afraid of big change, worried they might be controlled by the new system we are proposing, but it’s not like that.  We don’t want to go back to the fear and mob rule we had before.  We’ve been studying our history, learning about governance in the before times – learning how we can use it to organise our town without restricting its citizens.  I am so happy to be a part of this, and I just hope my great-grandfather would be proud of what we’re doing.  He’s one of my biggest heroes, though I never met him myself.

Unfortunately, in our hoping and dreaming, there is some sadness.  My father, Eugene Lazarus, who had a real following in town because of his music, sadly passed away recently.  He was an old man, he had a good life, but we miss him so much.  He was such a hero of mine – he followed his dream, he loved what he did, and he made people happy.  If I can even be half the man he was, I will be a success.  At least we have the reassurance of knowing that his death was peaceful and he was happy.

My mother, of course, is in mourning.  Although she is a very pragmatic person and can see that he had a good life and didn’t suffer, she’s naturally devastated at the loss of her great love.  They had been together a long time and have experienced so many joys and so many struggles together.  They were such a solid pairing.  It seems strange to think of her on her own.

We’re doing our best to rally round her, as are my aunts Ezri and Echo.  My uncle Gaius is still in prison for his crimes whilst working for the Altos.  He worked for them in order to undermine their empire, and ultimately was responsible for the mob’s demise.  When we were younger, we knew none of this, but as we’ve grown older, we have discovered more about how things operated during that difficult time.  In my mind, he is a hero, and I hope his release will be secured soon – I think mum would like all her family around her at this time.  Gaius and my dad had their ups and downs, but had managed to reach a level of understanding in recent years, and I know my dad would also wanted Gaius to be released, at least for my mother’s sake.

My little sisters are not so little any longer.  Both of them are now young women and have clear ideas about their purpose in life.

Kes has wanted to be a five-star chef for a long time now.  Our grandfather,  Oscar Lazarus, died just before he qualified as a chef and Kes wants to train to honour his memory, as well as for the sheer love of cooking.  I don’t really understand what she enjoys about it so much – hot dogs are hardly exciting to cook – but perhaps as our town develops we’ll be able to source more ingredients and create new meals – Kes is certainly hoping so.

Krillitane has taken a post at our research facility.  Ever since we had running water restored, a team of researchers have been looking into ways of purifying our water and soil, to restore nature’s balance.  Who knows, maybe we will see fish swimming here again, and maybe one day plants will grow.  They’re also working on restoring the old power systems – not by using nuclear methods, as people are still wary – but trying to find ways of getting the power source you called electricity through other means. Perhaps if we can open trade routes to other towns and cities we may be able to gain access to the power grids from neighbouring communities.  Krillitane is great round the house, she’s always fixing things, and I’m sure she’ll be a real asset to the research team.

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the opening of our new art gallery.  It’s the first time artists have been able to freely share their work with the town without fear of reprisals.  My mother, aunts and many of their generation stood in awe.  Several people were openly weeping.  This day was something many of them feared would never come, and yet it did.  It’s a sign of things to come.  Who knows, maybe one day you and I will even meet.  Riverview is changing, we are growing stronger and healthier – and we will be restored to you.  I truly believe it.


14 Responses to “4.1 A new vision”

  1. […] in 4.1 A New Vision, the Lazaruses have a new heir taking the helm… Possibly related posts: (automatically […]

  2. moondaisy101 Says:

    Great opening dispatch from Jango! 🙂

  3. Jango has a strong, defined voice. It’s no wonder he’s interested in government. His position in the Lazarus family will complement his career choice.

    Bye, Eugene! Poor Firefly. 😦

    • Firefly will be alright, she’s made of strong stuff, and she has a big family around her. I’m anticipating Jango’s dispatches to feel quite different: Alf was adjusting to the apoc, Chaotica was continuing his vision and learning how to raise children in an environment that might never change, whilst working to make it better, Firefly was negotiating new morality within the very different world (to ours) of the apoc, a world that had by then been long established. Jango is looking ahead to it ending and to rejoining the world… Being into politics, he’s also pretty confident and charismatic…

  4. Great update, Rad. I like Jango’s optimistic upbeat tone while recapping events.

  5. Can’t believe it probably be over soon.
    Does Jango have green straks in his hair?
    I’m, ot so keen on him though. There’s Tony Blair-ish about him. With an added femine edge. Does he prefer men to women?

    • Haha no, he has a girlfriend. The feminine edge might just be me. He does have green streaks. He is a bit Tony Blair – don’t forget, he’s young, enthusiastic, ambitious and pretty naive at this stage. He’ll grow up in time…

  6. So optimistic but I’m sad that the challenge is getting close to completion. I’m gonna miss the Lazarus’s when all the restrictions are lifted. My favorite apocalypse family.

  7. No I don’t think it’s that you’ve put a bit of your feminity in it. I think it’s jsut something, you know like he’s trying too hard to be all macho and powerful and in control, and putting together the picture perfect life, when really it’s all the opposite.

    • Well, yes, that’s exactly right… apart from the bit about it being all the opposite. Things genuinely are looking up but it won’t be as easy as he hopes/claims/thinks.

  8. I’m loving Jango’s optimism…and still loving his name 😛

  9. raquelaroden Says:

    Jango will be a good heir–the perfect one to lead the family into the new world. I can’t wait to see which restrictions are lifted first in this generation!

  10. Arden103 Says:

    Luv it Rad

    Also I luved the Kyotis I missed SatelliteJuno and SkyBlueGinger the most

    Great job

    I once tried the 100 baby challenge but I suked at it cause before she became a YA she fell in love 0-0

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