Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Remnant: Mute

“The Governor can kiss my rosy, red ass!” the Mayor exploded.

It was a sign of his agitation that he did so in front of his wife of 37 years. He was a consummate gentleman inside the walls of her domicile. Outside those walls, he was as rough-and-tumble as the situation demanded.

The Mayor had been watching the Governor’s roll-out of the plan to drop electrical load. The roll-out was not the one given to the general public. Rather, the intended audience of this roll-out were the city managers for those municipalities that distributed their own electricity and maintained their own grid.

It was a “Push” meeting. Right off the bat the Governor told the managers (and mayors) to put their mics on mute. Questions would not be entertained.

The Governor gave them their marching orders and directed them to use the firefighters to backstop the police. She also told them to hire private electricians to leverage city resources. She told them the State would pick up the tab. She made it crystal-clear that rolling-blackouts would continue until every gun was confiscated so they “...best get on it, chop-chop.”

What the city managers and mayors could not know is that the Governor’s tech weenies had inserted an over-ride when they signed into the video meeting.

The over-ride had been supplied to the National Committee by zealots at Milli-Soft and it allowed the Governor to turn on the microphones and record video even when the user thought they were off.

Turning to her IT support person, Governor Ratched (an Anglicized form of “Rashid”) said “Get those to the shrinks in the barn. Tell them to make a list of everybody who is not fully on-board. Then refine the list to those who are within fifty miles of the attacks or of Lansing. Put the hammer to them.”

Eaton Rapids was going to show up on that list twice: Once for being 15 miles from Lansing and a second time for being 45 miles from where the ANR pipeline was breached near the Indiana border.

Mayor Wagner used his walk back to his “station”  beneath the clock in front of City Hall to cool down. He formulated his response during the walk.

Mayor Wagner was an adequate writer and did OK on video conferences. Person-to-person interaction is where Mayor Wagner’s true genius lay. The Mayor called his minions via radio. He knew that none of them were “free” because he had assigned each one of them their tasks. Truth be told, he had over-assigned them but he had also let them know that they were free to delegate tasks as long as they knew he still held them personally accountable for the results.

The Mayor said “I need to have you coordinate with each other and with your crews. I need to see you two-at-a-time. It doesn’t matter which two...I have something I need to tell you all.”

It was easy for Jarrell to break free. Leslie was “on” and he had his hour off plus lunch so Jarrell was in the first group of two.

“I need to have you roll out a message to every person you see” the Mayor started out.

“The rolling black-outs will continue for the foreseeable future and I need everybody’s help to get through this.” the Mayor said.

“I think everybody knows we have a small solar panel farm out by the old, city dump. During the daylight hours it makes about 60 Watts-per-person and, of course, it make no power at night.”

“What most citizens may have forgotten is that we have a small power-plant for emergency use” and here the Mayor smiled a wintery smile, “and I think this qualifies.”

“It can produce another 50 Watts-per-person. That isn't enough to run the refrigerators.”

“I know this is going to hurt, but I need to have each head-of-household drop the main breaker on their electrical service at sundown every evening and turn it back on at sunrise. That is the only way we will have enough power to run the hospital, the stores and the bakeries and have enough for the people on CPAP machines.”

“But we gotta do it safely, so I don’t want them to start until an journeyman electrician shows them how to do it safely.” the Mayor said.

“But if they shut off the main breaker, how will that power CPAP machines?” Jarrell asked.

“Use the brains God gave you” the Mayor snapped. “They will leave the main breaker on and drop everything except the circuits to their bedroom.”

Then the Mayor apologized. “Sorry Jarrell. You didn’t deserve that. Thanks for raising the question.”

Then the Mayor made another cryptic note on the 3-by-5 card he used as his crib sheet. He would make sure to mention that in his roll-out.

“That’s all I got right now. I am sure there will be more later as we feel our way along.” the Mayor said. “Tag back in and send the next two my way.


1 comment:

  1. I have absolutely no doubt that your real-life autocratic Commie governor Gretchen Whitmer, in a partial grid-down situation such as described in this story, would behave in exactly the same way as this fictional governor - or even worse. It is an unfortunate commentary on human culture that sociopaths such as this are drawn to politics and public 'service' like flies to honey. They are attracted by the power and the percs, and of course pulling down a generous salary without being required to perform any actual work.


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