Out on the coast they’ve been busy establishing an addition to the Survivor Centre. They say it’s going to be a Recreation Building, something everyone is going to need to start using because the high levels of radium and phosphor will take their toll on your respiratory system if you don’t stay active. And with the sun almost always blanketed behind the heavy barium-laden clouds for what the scientists are now saying could be ‘an indeterminate period’ your body can’t get enough vitamin D to stabilise your immune system against the residual organisms and various toxins they say will be present in the atmosphere for at least a generation in aftermath of The Holocaust and due to the increased stress on your lungs, let alone being at the higher elevation of the Survivor Centre, your blood isn’t getting properly oxygenated. Thankfully the generators are up and running and powering the daylight lamps in what everyone jokingly refers to as ‘The Sun Room’ on a regular rotation, which helps take care of some of the issues caused by the lack of sunlight, and for the rest… well, that’s why they have Viagra. ‘This is the age of knowing what you’re made of,’ you heard the Interim Site Manager say one day. And it’s helpful to know that, in the absence of point mutations occurring quickly enough in the DNA of the survivors, Viagra will help keep you up.
You’re lucky, too, even after you blew the engine on that old Charger by dumping ice cold water into the overheated engine block, that your old buddy Bob took pity on you and got you a tow all the way out to the Centre. With petrol now being rationed out and its use being tightly monitored and controlled, he could just as easily have left you back in the ghost town, but there’s safety in numbers and everyone needs to work together if civilisation is to continue. You didn’t get this far by having things handed to you – this is the age of taking action – but you still patted old Bob on the back, thanked him for helping you out, and chuckled that it was ‘Mighty white’ of him, just like you used to heard the Old Timers say, back when things like race seemed to matter.
So now you spend your days patrolling the harbour, ever vigilant for other survivors or potential threats, jogging in the woods to bolster your oxygen intake, helping take care of the few surviving horses from the farm down the mountain, assisting with the on-going construction at the Survivor Centre, lending a hand in acquiring materials and provisions wherever possible and, most of all, you keep tinkering about with that old MP3 player you found in the first few weeks after the blast. Can’t yet get it to play anything more than that same damn fifty-year-old track by Howlin Wolf you’ve been listening to for months now – Smokestack Lightning, you think it is – and driving everyone crazy with it, but you’re a man with a mission.
You like who you are, the man you’ve become. And you’ve learnt something along the way, about the world and yourself. Mostly you’ve learnt that with all the Viagra you’ve been pumping into your system, all the cold showers in the world don’t help take the edge off and, in the curious absence of women everywhere you go, even old Bob is starting to look a whole lot nicer than before…