One of the most notable aspects of the old USA’s present, reduced, state is that often times people are limited in how far they are able to travel. In the old world any person of moderate means (at least by the standards of the richest countries) could purchase transit to just about anywhere on the planet, and confidently expect to be taken there within a few days at most. This is no longer the case.
Throughout the world, the infrastructure which formed the backbone of the old world’s transit system has become collateral damage, or been deliberately targeted. Railways have been smashed, roads torn up and planes are targeted whenever an Ultra feels like it. If a citizen of the new world wishes to go somewhere they are generally on their own.
Fortunate people, or Ultras, generally rely upon some manner of all terrain vehicle, lovingly repaired or simply fortunate enough to escape destruction. Trucks, jeeps and the like are the greatest relics that the fallen civilization has to offer modern scavengers, for they offer that rarest of commodities, freedom.
A human who has offended an Ultra is ordinarily doomed. They cannot hide forever, and running into the wilderness is simply a slower death. But with a mode of transportation they can travel to another city with a set of tyrants who know nothing of their past deeds. Few indeed are the Ultras who are both willing and capable of following those that they dislike over any kind of distance. Our tyrants are, for the most part, a lazy breed.
A human lacking a means of transportation may set out on foot, but this carries its own perils. Rural folks, cowering away from the old world’s centers of power, are intensely hostile to strangers. It is not, by and large, that they lack sympathy for their fellow man. Rather the reason for their lack of hospitality is that if a sanctuary or refuge becomes larger or more livable than the cities that people are fleeing the Ultras will simply move there and subjugate the new populace. There is a sort of unofficial size beyond which refuges dare not grow, lest an Ultra or two decide that they are in need of a master.
Overseas travel is almost entirely in the hands of the Ultras. Those few humans who have working boats tend to live on them, drifting along and enjoying an existence blessedly free of the Ultras. Ultras control what few planes remain, their need for fuel made them easy to capture.
Ultras have access to various exotic means of transport, and those who can use these. Most notoriously She is a teleporter, blinking from place to place with complete disregard for the laws of physics. Other Ultras can fly or propel themselves in similarly exotic ways. Those who can do this generally do, as it eliminates one more danger. Many Ultras have died in car bombings and the like, and the modern crop tend to be sensibly paranoid.
Sadly, the most common method of transportation is to abandon the entire idea. Citizens of the Regime generally don’t go anywhere, living and dying like barnacles clinging to the side of the Company Facilities. A sad state for a once proud people.
One thought on “Moving about in the Regime”
Wow, in this context Indulger’s request for a boat (in Haunter 2:7) has interesting implications. I couldn’t see any upsides before, but this chapter made me think a boat will give them a lot more freedom of movement and possibly autonomy… until someone wrecks it at least.