Rosella Tolfree Installment Stories
A series set in the politically dystopian future of the U.S.A.
Featuring a blog that explains Rosella's World
Rosella Tolfree's World is a fictional world.
Our Future in Space Depends Upon the Graviton
The best description of the gravity technology of the Second Age of Humanity comes from the story I wrote entitled, “Venera Khabitat Odin”.
This story is about humanity’s attempt to land a human crew onto the surface of Venus. There’s a catastrophic failure which causes humanity never to go back until the Third Age. But the story describes the technology that pushed humans into the solar system.
It starts with the physical discovery of the graviton. Once fusion power became a feasible source of electricity, we quickly found the graviton. Once this happened, we learned how to manipulate the graviton and thus gravity itself.
Our first gravity-based propulsion system was known as a push pull gravity drive. Two bubbles of gravity were projected in front and behind the craft. Thus, the ship was both pushed and pulled at the same time through the forces of gravity in a forward direction.
By the time of the story, we had developed a new drive system. We knew it as a gravity fold drive. With this drive space-time is folded behind the craft until it reaches a point where it snaps back with an explosion of a gravity wave, allowing the ship to be pushed ever faster than before.
During this time, we learned how to project bubbles of gravity to impact pressure and other effects. We applied this to Mars through a series of orbital satellites to both deflect the solar winds and keep the atmosphere created on the planet.
Mars became the raw material source for this technology. Scientists discovered silicon to be critical to the control of the graviton, and Mars’ surface was an immense supply. Once we could colonize Mars with heavy mining equipment, the industrial mining and exploitation of Mars began. This led to the expansion of drive construction, allowing greater colonization after the Isolation Period to the outer planets.
The discovery of the graviton and its control changed how humanity dealt with space. No more were we stuck using chemical propulsion systems and acceleration forces to make gravity. Now we had true artificial gravity. We had faster spaceships. Travel times between planets were cut. Everything was becoming plausible for space travel in the Second Age.
The U.S. Stands At A Crossroads
With the recent passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the U.S. is at another intersection of uncertainty as much as it was when Associate Justice Antonin Scalia died in 2016. We will have to wait and see how history will unfold, but typically during these times last minute power grabs are not unheard of, and to be expected in our divided political world.
Two Controversial Nominations by Simmons
President Veronica Simmons faced a similar challenge right before her re-election after assuming the presidency from Rick Garrett. Known for her dramatic need to bolster her standing on the social media net, President Simmons took up the controversial cause known as “prisoner’s freedoms” as part of her campaign for President. This movement was an outgrowth of much earlier movements dealing with the incarceration of racial groups. It had morphed into an ideology that those criminals serving in jail were automatically entitled to freedoms and social benefits because of their criminal record.
In aligning herself with this ideology, she would nominate to the Supreme Court, Terrence McMahon, a former attorney from Los Angeles, who had murdered his entire family by stabbing them to death multiple times. At the time of the murders, he was high on drugs. He received as a punishment multiple life sentences.
While in prison McMahon wrote legal opinion articles using a pen name. He wrote on constitutional law concerning life imprisonment and various other commentaries dealing with gun rights, murder, and qualifying evidence in a trial.
President Simmons would pardon him and then put him forward as the nomination for the Supreme Court vacancy. The Senate Committee would not approve him. But the full Senate held a special vote, and approved McMahon to the bench by one vote. Senator Hobbs was the deciding vote, citing she felt his legal opinions outweighed any previous criminal wrongdoing since the President had pardoned him.
During the McMahon nomination, as favor to a longtime fan and fellow influencer, President Simmons appointed Hans Derbin, a male supermodel, to be the U.S. Ambassador to the World. The United Nations was no more, and the U.S. government created this position as a substitute. The position was meaningless though but allowed Hans to jet around the world at taxpayers’ expense. He would show off his latest fashions for women on the social media net at exotic locations. Eventually a House committee investigation would be called, but it went nowhere once President Simmons got involved. She would end up scandalizing and shaming the committee members publicly on the social media net with the political dirt she had accumulated.
Image- untitled image. By Claire Anderson, Source Unsplash, Unsplash License (Processed using Adobe Spark)
#ClimateChangeIsReal if things don't change
With the wildfires engulfing the West Coast. My friend in Seattle texting me a picture of yellow smoke in his house. And the news media reporting POTUS 45 denying all this, I felt the need to write something about Rosella’s climate change.
I’ve been meaning to write something about how the world becomes flooded. It’s complex science, so I can’t blame POTUS 45 for not understanding. Honestly, I think most of us don’t understand weather except what we see up in the sky.
Mentally it's fairly easy to deny it because it's such an model driven concept with a speculative end result. As POTUS 45 is known to say, "I don't think science knows, actually." This is a truism in that science as a discipline doesn't have all the answers.
Many have faith in science that it has all answers, but in the end much of it is speculation. And I hate to say it, even the climate change modeling has ranges of outcome possibilities depending upon certain inputs. Change the inputs, the results change. This is the nature of science. But this doesn't change the facts on conclusions concerning climate change based on the data (i.e. that human activity is impacting our climate).
And yes, Mr. President, the weather does change but that doesn't stop the fires from coming back next year. Or the year after that. Or the one after that. Or the next twenty years. Each fire being worse than one before. That's what climate and environmental planning is all about. Taking interventions for the common good of all.
Rosella’s dystopian world is where global warming has gone unchecked to the point it has heated up to an average of 89 degrees Fahrenheit globally. That’s 28 degrees more than the current world average. It’s the average world temperature typically found during the Carboniferous geological period.
In building this world, I’ve had to deal with the complex problems of extreme global warming. This means stuff like extreme storms and wildfires, besides flooding. But that’s only touching the surface of things.
I’ve also added a twist to this climate catastrophe by changing one variable. I base the weather pattern on a single Hadley cell going from the equator to the pole. This is like Venus. Why did I do this? This is an assumption on my part because Venus is a runaway greenhouse. Could this really happen? I have no clue, but many scientists have not explored this.
What I Found
Overall, this is what I’ve discovered in trying to build a world like this-
Despite being dystopian, it’s not all bad. Simply different from what we are used to today. Humanity continues to live with this hotter world. Some things die off and others adapt. This is not unlike what has taken place in all geological history. The only difference is humankind is chiefly behind this one. Especially the New Madrid Traps which is the result of fracking along this geological fault line.
This is not to say we, as humans, shouldn't try our best to change our ways. We are intelligent creatures with inherent responsibilities. We should try to understand the science behind weather, how we impact it, and how we can ensure the greatest good for all of creation from our technologies as it relates to weather. All this with understanding that we are at the same time flawed, and can still fail at this endeavor despite our efforts.
Climate change is not a light switch. You can't just flick it on or off by doing X or Y. It's complex. So far humanity has been changing things since the start of the industrial revolution. That's a long time for our species if you think about. And look at what's happened since.
If I invest in wind power for my electricity that makes a tiny impact, but it will take my entire nation doing this to even make a dent in the environment. Similar to how everyone during the industrial revolution was doing the same thing across the global at the same time.
If you don't want Rosella Tolfree's world, and having to eat bugs for breakfast, lunch and dinner, then it's time that whole nations must be honestly committed to substantial change.
Image- Here in Puerto Rico from February to April/May is the fire season and burning of plants and trees in the wilderness., By Benjamin Lizardo, Source Unsplash, Unsplash License (Processed using Adobe Splash)
From Trash to Riches, more or less
I just tweeted today how all the buried plastic trash in today’s time becomes a boon Rosella’s time. I based this tweet on an NPR article you can read about here.
The reason has to do with three realities:
The draw back to the reclamation of these trash fields for raw plastics, and other chemicals and materials, is that they are inherently limited in supply. There are only so many locations on the Earth. And some by the time of the Great Melt and New Madrid Traps have become inaccessible, if not possibly lost.
The irony is the future use of plastics is integral to society just as it is today. It’s used in everything from medicine to physical hardware. It forms new compounds and integrated alloys, such as plasti-steel. This is because humanity developed a greater understanding of materials engineering during the Second Age of Humanity. We came to understand the manipulation of matter at the quantum level.
But by the Third Age of Humanity, plastics are being formed from raw hydrocarbons found in space materials. The same is true for all of humanity’s material resources.
Image- Part of a wall in the centre of Singapore, made out of plastic waste. A great idea however it really brought it home how biodegradable plastic is and how much of it we use on a daily basis., By Nick Fewings, Source Unsplash, Unsplash License (Processed using Adobe Spark)
Gun Rights, Gun Violence, and Crime
Gun Violence during the Second Age of Humanity
99.9% of what you are about to read only applies to the United States. This has to do with the unique nature of the U.S. Constitution and how the Second Amendment has been applied over the years. Unlike other nations who’ve restricted guns to be owned by their citizens, this has not been the case with the United States. Some have argued that this one fact has historically contributed to the high death rate associated with guns in America. But the other side has proposed arguments of needed protection and support of inherent constitutional rights.
This debate continues to rage on in Rosella’s dystopian America in the worst way possible.
Gun violence in America during the Great Melt and New Madrid volcanic traps was at an all-time high. The major shift in the environment caused people and resources in the nation to be strained. This brought out the worst out in Americans and resulted in violent riots and associated killings.
Ironically, the Second Amendment was never challenged, or rights curbed in any capacity. In fact, from time to time the federal government loosened them during the previous ages right through the time of the Great Melt.
It wouldn’t be until closer to the end of the Second Age of Humanity when things had stabilized and the sex ratios in the US had become more female that changes occurred concerning guns.
The History of Political Change in Gun Rights
At first, politically there were attempts to control guns through limitations on the number of guns owned, types, alterations, and even ammo quantity and types. This happened during the First Age of Humanity, but was challenged in the U.S. Courts every time.
By the start of the Second Age of Humanity, there were proposed changes to the Constitution’s Second Amendment, but these got nowhere.
Then, during the Presidency of Veronica Simmons, one of the craziest things happened. The case of the State of Texas vs. Hanson redefined for the nation the whole definition of gun rights. This case was a murder case in the State of Texas, but it turned into a gun rights case. Though the appeals ended up going all the way to the Supreme Court, but the court didn’t rule on it leaving the appeal to remain. The problem was the appeal went in favor of Hanson for killing the person in cold blood as part of his gun rights.
All three judges in the Fifth Court of Appeals had unanimously agreed stating, “The right to bear arms is a most sacred right, and should not be trampled upon even when the person has been accused or found guilty of a crime. Using that right is afforded to all, regardless of the legal status of the person or their condition and shall not be abridged by any authority. We should consider any deaths that result as self-defense of those rights.”
Even though this case was restricted to the states of Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, this one case prompted the widespread use of guns as mass killing tool with no regard for human life. Now it was no longer murder in killing someone with a gun. These three judges became known as the Shooting Judges on the Social Media Net. President Veronica Simmons held a one-hour special on the decision to appeal to her base.
It wouldn’t be until the end of the Second Age of Humanity, when society was stable once more, that a new case filtered through the courts as attempts again were tried to limit gun rights.
Philip Hartman vs. Courtney Joseph was a Supreme Court case that involved a gun enthusiast challenging the California Attorney General for enforcing a recently passed federal law concerning limitations on gun ownership. The Court merged this case with several other federal court cases that involved the various gun control measures to help resolve the issues all at once.
With this case the Supreme Court saw the Second Amendment as historically arcane, and legally unenforceable as written. In its majority opinion, it struck down the individual right theory to guns. The Court based this on the re-discovery of the history in which the Second Amendment was written. It noted how the U.S. federal army was formed from state armies. This fact facilitated the need for individuals to carry weapons themselves. But by the time of the end of the Civil War, the creation of a permanent federal army had superseded the need for state armies, and thus the Second Amendment became obsolete and arcane.
The Court recognized the government’s interests in the Second Amendment in forming a national army, more so than individuals owning weapons. It ruled in favor of the government’s attempt to regulate weaponry amongst the civilian populace as a necessary police action. And not an individual freedom that one has unilaterally unabridged in the Constitution.
The Court saw this by citing the very first part of the amendment as the original intent of the forefathers. The Court noted these forefathers saw the amendment purpose as forming a national army which required people to own guns. But now, this right no longer required it. The government had the freedom to restrict those rights as desired to secure “a free State”.
This ruling overturned such rulings as District of Columbia v. Heller, and others like it.
The War on Drugs
Because of the Supreme Court decision legalizing the state implementation of drugs domestically but not the transportation between them changed the entire War on Drugs.
The international drug cartels, and both the CIA and DEA, suffered with these economic changes. No longer was there a flow of drugs from places like Afghanistan to the American users. Now poppies were being grown locally in the U.S.
The CIA had no more tools to use to fund operations or get the leverage it needs in international operations. This reduces the U.S. footprint in covert and other activities globally, making the CIA nothing more than just a spy ring for the federal government.
The DEA no longer was needed to globally deal with drug cartels because those international cartels have fallen apart economically. The DEA was reorganized and tasked with dealing with the trafficking of drugs and paraphernalia between U.S. states and entry into the U.S.
The Supreme Court’s decision on drugs impacted the use of forfeiting property laws without due process. This impacted local, state, and federal policing revenues through the reselling of that property.
Economies of countries which depended upon the drug trade collapsed. Many cartels, like that in Mexico, started moving into the business of logistically running drugs between the American states. Some cartels tried to grow raw materials on federal lands but met resistance from agencies like the Ranger Marshals.
The future does not differ from today with syndicated crime networks operating globally and between the planets. The only difference are the crimes.
In the future, the international trafficking of drugs and women has become less profitable. The U.S. domestic trafficking of drugs became more profitable. For a time, in the U.S. the trafficking of military grade firearms becomes an extensive business with the decision of the Fifth U.S. Court of Appeals on the matter of gun use. The biggest gun manufacturers end up being communist nations and Mars.
Since the creation of sex-bots in android technology, female sex slave trafficking dropped. But in its place grew male sex slaves. This more so in parts of the world where the female-male sex ratio favored women. Most male sex slaves are young boys who are altered and feed hormones to develop them. Off-world male trafficking to Mars was also profitable.
Two other major criminal activities are A.I. ransomware and illegal cybernetic enhancements. The trafficking area of illegally immigrating people because of the melting polar caps was not as profitable for the crime syndicates, but a few groups still practice it.
A sub-branch of syndicated crime networks still practices money laundering. These are crime groups specializing in the laundering of illegal cash and are big business since the growth of A.I. systems designed to detect such crimes. These groups are really at the heart and soul of the whole crime network and paid handsomely for their hacking skills.
Image- Rotunda of the Capitol, By Joshua Sukoff, Source Unsplash, Unsplash License (Processed using Adobe Spark)
Seth Underwood writes hard science fiction and political dystopian science fiction. His future political dystopian U.S. world features decades of despot presidents, a flooded world, and new para-military force known as the Ranger Marshals. He has freemium stories at www. sethunderwoodstories.com