4.3 Taking care of business

We are living in a time of great change.  There is great opportunity here, but all the new things opening up for us inevitably mean the loss of some of our history.  In the same way, as my generation grow and start our own families, so those who went before us are reaching the end of their lives.  My aunt Echo died recently.  Echo was a talented composer who was a major force in establishing our local theatre.  She worked closely with my father, among others, and her music has become one of the signature sounds of our community.  She is a great loss to Riverview.

Yet where there are losses, there are gains.  My uncle Gaius has finally been released from prison.  My mother’s sorrow was somewhat lessened by the joy of seeing her little brother again.  He is a very impressive man.  Whilst some are still angry with him, perhaps understandably, for the crimes he committed whilst working for the Altos, I know he did what he had to do, and he took the consequences and faced his responsibilities.  There are many things about him I admire; his willingness to put himself on the line and take risks for what he believed in; his sense of duty and responsibility; his willingness to take the consequences of his actions.  There is much I can learn from him – I know as I grow into my political role, I will need to take big risks and I will need to face the consequences of my actions.  I only hope I can do it with the dignity he has managed.

In order to get the public to accept our proposed constitution and to trust us as their representatives, we on the committee have decided to hold campaign parties.  These are events where we can gather small numbers of people from the community to talk about the proposals and answer their questions.  I decided to hold my first event at the art gallery last night.  I chose this venue as it’s so special to me, and my family.  I invited all of my family (for moral support!) and several other local residents.

I also invited Gaius.  I was aware this was a controversial move: there could well have been people there whose relatives he harmed in some way.  But I am not ashamed of my uncle, or of what he has done for the town.  Several people shunned him at the party, but others treated him as a hero.  I don’t know if I have made some enemies in town, although I hope not – but I need to be upfront about who I am and what I stand for if I ever have a hope of making a good leader.

My biggest supporter, and my best friend, is my big sister Ilari.  She is a real role model to me, and a true leader.  For some time now, she has been working as part of a taskforce to develop structures of finance and commerce in order to prepare us for reintegration with the wider world.  Part of her remit has been to talk to talented local people to persuade them to turn their skills and talents into profitable businesses.

Although we have a library, which is an amazing resource for the town, Ilari has convinced some of our most popular writers to start producing multiple copies of their books for sale, so people can have their own copies.  The town has some old printing presses from the before times that have lain unused for generations, and a small team of authors have been experimenting with mass reproducing their work for a while – now they’ve developed a system that means we can have a small bookshop next to the library so their works can be enjoyed by more people.

Ilari has also encouraged people to charge more for their talents, and to use their talents to help others.  There are builders talking about going into housing development once they can source the materials to turn our shelters into proper, long-lasting houses.  There are a team of people interested in offering their services to clean or to repair goods.  There is even a small spa business open now with hairdressers, make-up artists and massage therapists.  Anne-Marie was one of the first Riverview residents to use the new facilities – she said the massage really helped her aching back when she was pregnant.

That’s right – we have decided to start a family.  My mother is thrilled, she’s always wanted to be a grandmother.  She keeps saying she wants five grandchildren, claiming that with four children, it shouldn’t be too hard, but I don’t know that either Anne-Marie or I want quite so many children, and none of my sisters seem ready to start their own families yet.

Kes and Krillitane seem so absorbed in their work that they haven’t really thought about settling down with a partner or children yet, and although Ilari has now moved into her own place, has started to really take control of her own future, she’s never talked about children being part of that future.

Anne-Marie had a happy pregnancy; she used her maternity leave to read up on gardening techniques at the library, as well as trying out our new spa.  Our son’s delivery went smoothly and he is a beautiful healthy child.  We have named him Luke.

Having Luke has really sharpened my priorities.  It is so important that we do our best to make this  town free so that he and his generation have the whole world opened up to them.  I love Riverview, this is my home, but I want him to have the freedom to make his home wherever he chooses, to be whatever he wants, to experience everything those of you out there have in your lives.

My new baby is a sign to me of our future, of the new life and the new possibilities open to us.  It seemed almost poetic that only a few days after his birth, Anne-Marie and Krillitane were given an assignment from work that could change our world forever.  Krillitane’s team have been working on methods of irrigating our barren land, and she was given one of the irrigation tools to try out at home.

Despite Anne-Marie still being on maternity leave, they offered her a homeworking opportunity she couldn’t resist.  She was chosen to plant the first seed here in generations.

Life is coming back to Riverview.

Now we must tend to it, nurture it, and wait…


14 Responses to “4.3 Taking care of business”

  1. What an exciting time for the Lazaru family and how wonderful that Gaius is out of prison at last!

    • Yes, it’s a shame we couldn’t get all of Gen 3 together before Echo died but it’s good Gaius is out. There will be a little more of Gen 3 in 4.4.

  2. Kudos to Jango for including his uncle Gaius at the party! I’m so proud of him.

    The force is strong in little Luke, is it not?

    Hurray for seeds! Even with the sadness of Echo’s death, this dispatch bears much in the way of good news. It can’t just be Jango’s optimism, can it? There really is a lot of positive stuff going on.

  3. hrootbeer Says:

    Loved the last line and picture. Things are really looking up for your apocalyptic little town. I think Jango might be one of my favorites.

  4. […] isn’t funny anymore, the Dayes are playing about with the No Sense of Humour trait, and in 4.3 Taking Care of Business, the Lazaruses are seeing real breakthroughs in their fight against the apocalypse… Possibly […]

  5. fireflier75 Says:

    This is a great chapter, opening the gardening and business is great . Congrats on the birth of Luke, looking forward to seeing how well Ann-Marie’s homework goes.

  6. Hi, I just started reading, and I’m completely hooked! Love the ending picture! 🙂

  7. Still loving it, I lost the page for a while but have caught back up now. 😀

  8. moondaisy101 Says:

    What an uplifting chapter! I truly enjoyed reading this.
    My condolences for Echo passing away. I love the expression ‘signature sound’.
    Yay, Gaius is out! Lovely man he is. Glad that Jango supports him and is not ashamed of his uncle.
    Very nice way of explaining the ‘campaign parties’ and the devolpement of the businesses… all so totally in line with the apocalypse feel lifting slowly.
    Congrats to little Luke and his parents!
    AAAAWWW! The first seed in generation… what a powerful ending to this great chapter! 🙂

    • You were always a Gaius fan, weren’t you? I’m glad he ‘got out’ while Firefly is still alive. I’m trying to make some changes slow: for example now Anne Marie is a level 10 gardener, there are lots of changes I can make, but they’ll be happening gradually rather than all at once because it wouldn’t seem right to have them all happen at once. They’ll be phased in over the coming instalments while we wait for the last few restrictions to be lifted…

  9. moondaisy101 Says:

    I’m looking forward to that and I so understand why you want to proceed slowly to ‘stay in context’. You are a great challenger, but an even greater storywriter! 🙂

  10. raquelaroden Says:

    Two more restrictions lifted! And all before generation 5 takes over the helm…you never cease to amaze me!

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