It feels strange to actually use that name.  Like I am buying into the enemy’s obscene beliefs regarding Ultra powers and identities.  Still, there is nothing else to call you.

Sorry for temporizing there.  You asked a simple question.

To answer it in a similarly straightforward fashion, we could fend off starvation for about four months in the face of a Company collapse scenario.

I know, I know.  Officially we are supposed to be able to hold out for a year, long enough to transition resources to the ConFab facilities, and on paper we can.  The records will tell you that between our own production, our stockpiles and the rotation of certain Ultrahuman assets back into agricultural support positions we can go up to a year and a half.

The records are a fiction.

The AgSup budget has always been among the easiest targets, and over the years we’ve been thoroughly pillaged.  Never officially.  Never blatantly.  Nobody ever spoke out against our mission (everyone has always understood that we can’t just trust the Regime’s food, that we must test and vet everything before our citizens access it), or denied us our due without reason, but the fact of the matter is that as the decades rolled by those reasons got flimsier and flimsier.

Resources were tight.  It seemed to the local administrators that pouring supplies and man hours into the anti poison reserve was a waste.  In the last four years ‘Emergency Distributions’ have outnumbered Standard Distributions three to one.  I looked through the logs and was unable to find even one case where our share increased due to Emergency shenanigans.  We were among the losing parties in every instance.

I sympathize, to some degree, with those who short change us in this manner.  After all, the Regime continued to supply its enemies even during the Second Defiance.  It has allowed us to manufacture the Ultrahumans necessary to resist its attacks.  It is easy to treat the Company as immovable and unchangeable.  Easy to forget that it is, at the end of the day, an enemy asset.

The other part of your question confirmed casualty estimates in the case of a wholesale Company collapse.  Officially, we wouldn’t lose anyone.  Stored product would see us through the transition.  Unofficially, I think we’d be looking at low six figures, spread out over about a half a year, beginning about half a year after the collapse.

A grim scenario, to be sure.  Let’s hope it never comes to that.



7 thoughts on “Readiness

  1. Hm… this seems a little bit irrealistic in a capitalist sttate with good standards of living. People wouldn’t survive on the basis of protein paste which doesn’t taste like much. There should be a functional market economy that traded on real food. Europe can easily be self-sufficient with little effort (and here it would have to be self sufficient because there isn’t any trade happening), especially if fishing in the atlantic is still safe. And that’s without the crazy scifi technology of this universe, let alone some crazy Ultra powers that might help.

    Unless, of course, the Union is actually a communist state very dependent on central planning and I missed that part. In that case, it would be more credible.

    1. They are a capitalist society, albeit one where the Gov is more active in the economy than most modern ones, and with a very strong welfare state.

      Picture the US Gov during the world wars and you have the gist.

    2. “Real food” can be perishable, and may be considered a luxury good with protein paste available.

    1. We’ve never seen them ‘on screen’ , but the chapter titled ‘defeaters lineage’ contains some background.

Leave a Reply to quaelegitCancel reply