S01 E06 – The Train

Intro Music – Breathe, by Chill Carrier https://chillcarrier.bandcamp.com/ 

Voiceover: Manifestations is a podcast of the Ostium Network 

Voiceover: Time is not linear, but our story is. 

Please join us … on our journey. We, are Manifestations. 

Music becomes dramatic then fades out 

Fade in background music. It is a tense/dramatic piano 

From Other Suns, by Evan King https://evanking.bandcamp.com/ 

Alan – Okay. I need answers. Why am I going to New San Francisco? And, where is my host supposed to be going when I get there? 

Alan – Someone else on the train is looking at a phone, or what looks like a phone. I’m going to call it a phone. 

Alan – I pick up the jacket and pat the outside pockets. Nothing. The inside pockets has… 

[Short Pause] Well it’s something. 

Alan – It’s about the size of a large candy bar. I find an object about half an inch thick, 7 inches long, and maybe an inch and a half wide. It’s light and has a semi-smooth texture, like a river rock. The screen shows the time, 07:25 am, Wednesday. And a number 307-06-26. That wasn’t a phone number in the ad, it’s a date! 

Alan – 307th year, 6th month, 26th day. I make a note, that puts the event in the park 2 days away. 

Alan – To say the phone “opened” would be wrong. “Stretched” comes close, but not exactly right either. There was a spot on the back, like the indent of a worry stone. When I put my finger there, the phone “stretched” to just over 3 inches wide, getting thinner in the process. I nearly dropped it. I don’t think the overall volume changed, just the proportions. 

Alan – The screen, now larger, woke up to show a sort of “home” screen. There has got be personal information about my host here somewhere. 

Alan – It’s not like the touch screens I’m used to. It looks and feels like glass. Mostly. The images could easily be called glyphs as much as icons. They have a texture on the screen and give a tactile feedback when “pressed.” But, the texture changes as the icons on the screen change. 

Alan – There. An icon called “Associates” which opens up to what I would call a list of contacts. The first has a picture of the reflection I saw in the window. My host is called, Thomas Redwind. Born 281-13-23. 13? So, that’s different. 

Alan – I find a calendar icon. The current month is June. I scroll to the next screen, but it’s not a grid. I only see the words, “Reset Day” taking up the entire screen. Moving on, I see July, then August. But every month only has 28 days. I scroll past December and the next month is not January. It’s called Nōs. “N.O.S.” So, not the Gregorian calendar. 

Alan – Actually. thinking about it, I really liked the idea. It appeals to my sense of order and patterns. Every day number falls on the same day of the week, every month, and every year. No more wondering if the 14th is on a weekend, because it’s always a Saturday! 13 months of 28 days is [mumbles] 364 days. The single page of the calendar they called “Reset Day” would make 365. I’m guessing they do something similar for a leap year? Another single day somewhere. 

Alan – The Reset Day isn’t a day of the week. The ad for the festival said “3 days.” But it was from the 28th through the 1st. There’s never a 29th day, so the Rest Day in between, makes the 3rd day. 

[Pause] 

Alan – As I’m doing some more digging, I see that Thomas has a job with The Tractus Group. He lives in Junction City, Kansas. Which is apparently located in a place called The Central Territories. He’s currently working on a project called, Outlook. His title is, Interface Engineer/Data Analyst. I can’t shake that title of Analyst, even when I’m in another body, in the future. 

Alan – The Tractus Group facility he normally works from is in Junction City, but he has an itinerary for a 4 day stay in New San Francisco. His travel plans show the trip is 1387 miles long. Taking, 3 hours and 45 minutes, with two 30 minute stops along the way. One at the Sweetwater Reservoir and another at the McGill Agricultural Development

Alan – Completely confused as I contemplate this journey by subway, I hear: 

Train Announcer [3 short tones] Exiting tunnel. 

Alan – Out of the windows, I can now see a dim landscape. The windows are slowly changing, letting in more light. [chuckle] They must have built in polarizing filters. 

Alan – The scenery is typical midwest. Not a lot of vegetation, but not really a desert. We’re also traveling much faster than I originally thought. And at this speed, with such a smooth ride, this must be a MagLev. So, not a subway. 

as of 2019 

Alan – The Sun is extremely bright, even though the windows are still obviously tinted to make it less intense. One passenger pulls sunglasses from a pocket and puts them on. I feel in the jacket, no glasses. But, there is a notification flashing on my phone. “Enable Sunscreen – Yes/No” I touch yes, and I’m startled as the light in the cabin which dims. I must be wearing contact lenses that are controlled by my phone. 

Alan – I find the contact lens controls and there is an option for “Active Help.” It’s turned off. I have always been one for pushing buttons and asking questions later. When I activate the setting, a heads-up display is projected. To me, it’s floating in the open space of the train compartment. On the left is time and date. On the right is a top level itinerary. I’m meeting the project group in just over 2 hours. The text intensity dims and floats into my peripheral vision. So far, the technological advances seemed to be subtle. But, this is more like I would expect from the future.. Though, it’s still not in your face or overly flashy. 

Train Announcer [2 long tones] Slowing begins in 20 seconds. 

Alan – When we start to slow, it’s smoother than I expected; especially having been warned. Still, I wouldn’t want to be standing and caught off guard. 

Alan – We’re approaching an area that is lush with vegetation. It’s a large farm, but I don’t see any traditional large fields or machinery. Mixed among the crops, there are roads in a kind of woven asymmetrical pattern. There are small pockets that look like residential areas, with adobe houses. Square, but adobe. Most are one story, set on a plain plot of land. No grass and not much in the way of decorations. People in the fields are dressed similar to each other, but not identical. The clothes are definitely utilitarian. A kind of coverall. 

Alan – As we pass another residential area, I see people here are dressed in the same type of clothes. Most are wearing hats or a head covering of some kind and eye protection. Maybe those without glasses have contacts like I’m wearing. 

Alan – The video screens in the train show we’re approaching the stop at McGill Agricultural Development. As we pull into the raised platform, I can see the area nearby has more of the adobe buildings, but some are 4 and 5 stories tall. It’s obvious they have different functions in what must be city center. Not all are dwellings. I can see what looks like a cafe and possibly a grocery store. The pedestrians in town are not wearing a coverall, but their garb is still mostly plain. Honestly, it’s like I’m seeing a farming colony on the planet of the week in some sci-fi TV show. 

Alan – The vehicles moving around the streets are more like a large golf cart than a car. Definitely not made for the highway. A few are towing trailers which contain hexagonal crates. If I’m not mistaken, the town roads seem to be made of the same adobe-like material as the buildings. There are times when the material seems to have a glint to it. McGill looks like a nice, quiet place to visit. 

Alan – We come to a smooth stop. The train is lightly jostled and I hear a metallic thud and click on both sides of the cabin, it repeats down the tracks at the other cars. Clamps? The heads-up display notifies me there is a 30 minute layover here. No one in the car is moving to exit. One of them may be asleep. I see new passengers boarding, but none come to this car. 

Alan – Back along the tracks of the station, I can see cranes moving those hexagonal crates into what must be a cargo area on the train. They’re also unloading crates to the opposite side. 

Alan – I think I’m going to take some time to do some investigating on the phone. First, why is there a “New” San Francisco? 

Alan – I re-open the phone and find something like a browser. It isn’t exactly like searching the internet, but it’s not totally unlike searching the internet. The interface is intuitive. I quickly find some info. New San Francisco was founded May 20th, in the 27th year after the Reset, near Tahoe Bay, along the shores of The Gulf of Sacramento. I click on a link to show me history on The Reset. 

[Music fades out] 

Alan – What the… 

[Pause] 

Fade in background music. Somber/sad piano and pan flute 

Beth’s Theme, by Myuu https://myuu.bandcamp.com/ 

Alan – In late June of 2033, the Sun entered a highly active cycle. A series of solar flares and phenomenon called “coronal mass ejections” began to hit the Earth. They were larger and more intense than anything previously recorded. The first, dwarfed the Carrington event of 1859, with each following CME increasing in power. There was an Electromagnetic Pulse effect which knocked out electronics around the world as well as satellites in orbit. Alan – The north and south magnetic poles were disturbed so much, they “wandered” for a few years, finally settling near their original locations, but reversed. 

Alan – The article says this is known as the start of something called, The Reset. In the 2 years that followed the start of the CME’s, it’s estimated there were 1.8 billion deaths due to earthquakes, volcanoes, extreme weather, but most are attributed to disease. 

Alan – This can’t be real 

Outro music – Sunshine, by Cobycracker https://cobycracker.bandcamp.com/ 

Voiceover: Manifestations Season 1, The Reset, was written, acted, and produced by Dwayne Farver. With input and help from Alex C. Telander. 

We want to thank Tracy Vance for providing the voice of the train announcer. Tracy is also a beta reader who’s always telling me to write faster. Thanks for your help. 

Our intro music is Breathe, by Chill Carrier 

https://chillcarrier.bandcamp.com/ https://www.chillcarrier.de/ The music heard here is Sunshine, by Cobycracker https://cobycracker.bandcamp.com/ Also heard in the episode was From Other Suns, by Evan King 

https://evanking.bandcamp.com/ https://www.youtube.com/user/EvanKingAudio https://twitter.com/EvanKingAudio And, Beth’s Theme, by Myuu 

https://myuu.bandcamp.com/ http://www.thedarkpiano.com/ You can find them at bandcamp.com 

Sound effects are from freesound.org 

3-tone chime DOWN CC0 1.0 https://freesound.org/people/mpaol2023/sounds/370179/ Leg Vise turn fast CC0 1.0 https://freesound.org/people/ldezem/sounds/386193/ Stapler Press CC0 1.0 https://freesound.org/people/Kiyoshiakira/sounds/436778/ 

Links to the music and transcripts can be found in the show notes 

You can find us on most social media at PodManifest 

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Or, look for us at podmanifest.com 

Is the future ever what we expect? Alan is going to discover that hope can be found, even in the most unlikely circumstances. 

As long as we have access to the temporal feed, we will transmit more of our story each Wednesday and Saturday. We hope you join us. 

Music fades 

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