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Some people take “be prepared” as not only a motto, but a life goal. The Planners ‘verse follows one such group from inception, through the edge of apocalypse and out the other side, into the time centuries past a world-breaking disaster.

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Jasmine’s Story/Geriocracy

Tess’s Story/The Library

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The Anthropologist

Worldbuilding by Plan

      
    Icon of the library by [personal profile] meeks;
    icon of the Anthropologist also by [personal profile] meeks

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    Originally posted August 21, 2011 and, would you believe it, the only thing to show up in a Google search for “harvest” of my Dreamwidth blog.

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    The Aramob had not been expecting resistance when they went against the Village. Town people were soft, and folded easily. That was the wisdom of the elders, that was what the young warriors preached. Especially water-towns, where their food came easy and they could waste their time in games.

    Read On


    This is Viddie (Viðrou, but his mother didn’t want to call him Vitthie.), the son of Cynara and Leofric from, among other things, Addergoole: a Ghost Story.

    🎃

    In theory, it should have been easy.

    Viddie knew pumpkins.  He’d grown up eating pumpkin pie from scratch, and he knew all of the ins and outs of what made a pumpkin a pumpkin.

    Read On!


    This turned out a little strange…

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    Sub-bureaucrat Azenia had her hands full and her lamp was burning far past closing time.

    She knew, of course, that the over-bureaucrats liked it that way.

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    Originally posted February 27, 2015

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    The fighter pilot with the callsign Spice was new to the team and, although all her credentials assured that she was not, indeed, new to space fighting as a concept or a skill, still the team had to be reassured.

    Read On


    Fancy Dresses, long lingering kisses, awkward moments with your friends, bullies… Prom!

    Anton had figured he didn’t have a chance.

    He was new to Hieder Hill High, he wasn’t one of the popular kids – was the new guy ever the popular guy? – his family wasn’t rich or even that well-off, and he didn’t dress like or act like the popular guys.

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    I live!  It’s been a hell of a month.  But here I am. 

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    This story originally posted June 4, 2011.

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    He came to the school in autumn, once the crops were in. They’d gone back to old habits and old practices in the Academy, as in so much of the world, knowing that the old existed and had survived for so long for a reason.

    Read On!

    Worldbuilding Month Day 11 – The end of the World, as I know it…

    March is Worldbuilding Month! Leave me a question about any of my worlds, and I will do my best to answer it! (I need more questions, guys)
    🌏
    This eleventh one is from [personal profile] lilfluff: just what was the nature of the apocalypse in The Planners?

    You know, I have been doing a Very Good Job of leaving that completely unsaid.

    The things I know are: It was not nuclear, it was not alien, and it was not zombie. It was not climactic – I.e. Giant Flood, that thing in 2000 or whatever the movie was with a giant freeze everywhere and the book-burning, and it probably didn’t involve Mad Max. It was probably not an asteroid strike.

    It destroyed a large portion of the infastructure and it was probably that destruction that killed off a large portion of the population.

    It was a worldwide apocalypse, not centered on any one nation.

    It may have had a lot in common appearance-wise with the apocalypse in the TV show Revolution, although it was not cause by Plot Nanotech. Basically: the power all went out. Cars stopped working. Going anywhere became a challenge.

    I think it involved several EMPs or a world-wide EMP. Either a backfiring test strike that ended up with several large nations making a mess of the world, or something like solar flares that made a mess all on its own.

    As far as apocalypses go, it left the landscape mostly untouched, the people devastated, and technology a mess.

    This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1292105.html. You can comment here or there. comment count unavailable

    Visible Bisexuality: We Plan for This

    Planners ‘Verse has a landing page here. Samantha and Bella are new characters.

    “Don’t worry.” Samantha had been saying that a lot in the last few days. “My family plans for this sort of thing.”

    The first time, Bella had asked “What sort of thing?” because she couldn’t quite imagine anyone planning for being stuck in a basement that had sealed itself on some computer malfunction.

    Samantha’s answer, cool as anything, hadn’t helped one bit. “End-of-the-world-as-we-know-it scenarios. Here, take this.”

    The second time she’d asked again, because she couldn’t see how “I don’t have anything to wear” counted as any sort of apocalyptic scenario and she didn’t want to think about what was going on outside.

    Samantha had smirked, playful this time. “Scarcity situations. We’ll be here for a few days, at least. Here, take this.”

    The third time, Bella just asked “is there anything your family doesn’t plan for?” They were playing Scrabble by the light of a very nice LED lantern, in a bunker bedroom nicer than her first-year dorm.

    Samantha smiled playfully. “Well, I suppose we didn’t really have a plan for me getting stuck down here alone… but, then again, I didn’t.”

    “You could’ve gotten stuck down here with Dane, though, if you’d planned it better.” Dane was Samantha’s boyfriend of three years, although Bella found him a little unpleasant.

    Samantha smiled, which wasn’t really what Bella had expected. “Well, who would you rather be stuck down here with?”

    “You or Dane? You. I like girls, remember?”

    Samantha waggled an eyebrow. “And who’s saying I didn’t plan for this? My family plans for this sort of thing.”

    Bella found herself without any answer but a blush. That was all right; Samantha clearly had plans for her tongue that didn’t involve talking.

    This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1177765.html. You can comment here or there. comment count unavailable

    Generations of Feud

    After Promises Broken, to this prompt by lilfluff

    She’d been too young to understand, the year of the Ice Storm. All Kailienne knew was that her friends, Toby’s, and the Aedder kids – who shared classed with her and Toby, but she wouldn’t have called them friends, then – their friends & classmates had come to stay, with their families, overflowing the cottages in the alder stand while the rest of the town struggled with power outages, blocked roads, gas shortages, and freezing temperatures.

    She’d noticed the way Adeline, Head of House, and Brice, Elder Whitehall, were tense with each other, because in a family like theirs, especially when everyone was trapped inside by the weather, you noticed every tension. But the weather was bad and the adults were often tense in potential crisis situations.

    What she first remembered noticing was that, while the snow thawed and the world unfroze, relations between Brice and Adeline did not. She noticed it when Toby started working with Brice and she started working with Adeline, learning their trades and working hard for adulthood. She noticed the way Toby had pulled away from her, the way Brice would sit her down and talk to her about what a man’s word meant.

    You didn’t speak ill to your elders, not in their family. But after a few weeks, Kailienne asked, carefully, “what about a woman’s word, Uncle Brice? Women and men aren’t different, not in our family. Right?”

    He turned a funny color of puce. “What has Adeline been telling you?”

    “Aunt Addy? Nothing… nothing about words. That’s why I asked you.”

    There were other regrets Kailienne would have, as she grew older. Other words she would wish she could take back. But those words – those words would haunt her forever. And the way Elder Brice’s eyes lit up. And the way his back straightened.

    On the other hand, she might have embroiled herself in a family feud that was as silent as snow and as long-lasting as an oak tree, but at least Toby was talking to her again.

    This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/923969.html. You can comment here or there.

    Reunited, a story bit of Planners (@lilfluff)

    I asked for Non-Addergoole Prompts here; this is to [personal profile] lilfluff‘s prompt.

    235 words, ‘Planners verse 5 years post-Collapse.

    The Far Northeast branch of the Family had done everything by the book, and then improvised where there was no book. They had gotten their Ark Library secure before the first murmurs of trouble, and had been all safe inside, with an equal number of non-Family experts and friends as Family, when the worst troubles hit. They had sat tight, letting in a select handful of wandering refugees only as they could safely feed and shelter, and had immediately begun classes in which everyone taught and everyone learned. Their food supplies exceeded book suggestions. Their heating plans were on par for the northern Maine winters. They were completely, totally prepared.

    The problem was, they had also been, for five long years, completely, totally isolated from the rest of the world. Communications lines had not survived the collapse, which had been anticipated.

    What hadn’t been anticipated, or at least not considered relevant, was the strange flailing feeling of a continent-sprawling organization in constant contact with one another suddenly finding itself cut into component pieces.

    The day the Family scouts finally found the Far Northeast Ark Library, the Northers broke into every reserve stock for their party. Alcohol flowed. Chocolate was baked. Rich foods were served, and loud music boomed.

    Of course, while five years was not all that long in terms of the Family’s long view, it was certainly long enough to drift away from Plan…

    This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/856755.html. You can comment here or there.

    Artist Wanted, a short story for the Giraffe Call

    I asked for prompts regarding Circles here for The MicroPrompt Giraffe Call. This is written to Kelkyag’s Prompt here and is set in the pre-apoc of my Planners ‘verse.
    “The Alma J. Morton Center is auditioning artists.” On the other end of the phone, Tabitha’s voice sounded both tinny and ridiculously high-pitched. “Marsh, Marsh, you have to do this.”

    “Auditioning?” Marsha kept her voice low and quiet, the way she always did when talking to Tabitha. “Why is this so cool, Tabitha?”

    “…auditioning artists to design and implement a large mural on the theme of ‘life, decay, life.'” Tabitha dropped her voice into a dramatic croon. “Marsh…”

    “All right, all right.” Marsha flipped through her sketchbook until she found a corner bare. “Give me the information.”

    ~

    “The Alma J. Morton Center has been, for many years, considered a bit of an enigma in downtown Rochester.” The woman on the other side of the desk leaned forward, putting her weight on her forearms. Her smile invited Marsha to share in the humor. “We’re aware of this. If the Center had a nickle for the times we’ve heard people ask ‘what do they do there, anyway?’ well, then we could launch a multi-media adverting campaign telling people what we do. Since that is not the case…”

    “You’re hiring muralists?”

    A muralist, and then assistants as needed for grunt work, yes. “

    “To…” Marsha glanced again at the job description. “To create a large mural on the life cycle?” A lightbulb went on in her brain. “That north wall, the one facing the Bausch and Lomb building? The one that’s four floors up before it gets to the window?” She swallowed. “That’s a big mural.”

    “It is. Now, I see you brought your portfolio.” The woman held out a sketch book and a 20-pencil box. “While I peruse that, could you please draw at least one concept sketch on the theme of ‘life, decay, life?'”

    Tip Circle 😉

    This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/722645.html. You can comment here or there.

    February is World Building Month. Day One: Planners ‘verse

    [personal profile] piratekitten has declared February world-building month.

    Every day in February, I will answer one question about any one of my settings.

    The question post is here

    The first question comes from [personal profile] lilfluff and is for the Planners ‘Verse

    So it looks like they got started from family discussions after the panic of 1873. But how much was simply saying, “That worked well, we should keep doing that,” and how much was an actual organized effort to build something that could hold people together should civilization collapse.

    When the Planners first began, their plans were very small-scale: they wanted to keep their family and their close associates safe through any collapse. They were intent on being the survivors, not necessarily in rebuilding a world.

    What grew out of that was a combination of factors:

    * A growth of target – they grew in number as they recruited new members, as their children grew up, married, and stayed close.

    * A growth of technology – as technology improved, the “basics of survival” grew and grew – running water, modern medicine, transportation, and so on. In order to maintain that level of comfort, greater and greater infrastructure and education was needed.

    * A growth of horror – the Cold War era led to the concept of “The End of the World as We Know It,” the belief in a global catastrophe. that left to a wider scope of planning as the focus could no longer be on the survival of the family; it had to be on the survival of the species if, in truth, the family was to survive.

    All of this snowballed from “we’ll be comfortable through any small crisis” to “we are the supply and information depot for the post-apocalyptic world.”

    This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/652783.html. You can comment here or there.

    Passing Knowledge

    Story: Passing Knowledge
    Prompt: Knowledge – to Orgfic Bingo
    Series: Planners
    Summary: With the same characters as Promises Broken

    Knowledge, the various ways the Planners pass it down

    Teaching

    Adeline stood in the kitchen, surrounded by children of a certain age – old enough to learn, and not so old as to feel the need to pretend boredom. Today, she was teaching them how to bake a loaf of bread.

    “…and that’s how we grind the wheat. Now, we will do a little more in the manual grinder, there, Penelope, take your turn, but we have the electric grinder available here, too, for when there’s power.”

    “There’s power today.” Darren might end up being a problem-child, but right now he was just a child.

    “There is.” Adeline kept her voice calm and level. “And when we’ve each practiced with the manual grinder, we’ll do the rest in the electric grinder.”

    “Some people buy flour in the store.” Hilary was already on her way to being more than just a problem.

    “And so do we. But today, we are baking bread from scratch Carl-Sagan style.”

    “‘If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.'” Several of the kids quoted it at Adeline, and she smiled. They might not care to learn how to grind wheat, but they learned nonetheless.

    Storage

    “What are you doing, Adeline?”

    Elder Brice was bored, and a bored elder is never a helpful elder.

    “I’m taking inventory.” They were down in the sub-basement, the LED lights burning eerily over their shelves of supplies.

    “Don’t you note everything down as it comes out of storage?” He picked up a can and put it back in what Adeline was going to assume he believed was the right spot. “Why would you need to waste time on an inventory?”

    She took three deep breaths. “First, my time is not subject to audit, Elder Brice.”

    “I’m not being formal here! I’m just asking questions.”

    “Second, there is always human error involved in everything.” She very carefully put the can he’d moved back where it belonged. “I am not always the person taking things out of storage. Products get moves. Things do, sometimes, go bad.” She shifted a bin of grain.

    “Hey, what’s this?” The old man took the bin of grain and read the careful notes and diagrams written on the side. “‘Carl Sagan bread recipe. First, plant the grain…’ What, you forget?”

    He was sneering. She hated it more than most things when her grandfather sneered.

    “I am not always going to be the person pulling grain out of this storage facility, Elder Brice.” She took the bin back from him and put it on the shelf where it belonged. “And if I am not, someone else may need a refresher.”

    “‘First, grow the grain?'”

    “A very thorough refresher.”

    Books

    “What are you doing, Aunt Adeline?” Penelope crawled up on the stool to watch her aunt. “I thought we sealed up all the dried fruit last week.”

    “We did. One moment.” The vacuum-sealer ran with a sucking whirr noise for a moment, and then stopped. Adeline trimmed the package and put it next to several others that looked similar. “I’m storing books.”

    “Books?” Penelope peered through the plastic packaging. “‘Good to the Grain,’ that’s funny. Tas…'”

    “Tassajara Bread Book. That’s the one we used last week. A different copy, of course.”

    “But your copy has all the notes you and everyone else made.”

    “And I copied every single one of those notes. One moment.” The machine whirred and stopped again.

    “‘Flour Power: A Guide To Modern Home Grain Milling.’ These all have funny names.”

    “They do.” She added the last book to the stack.

    “Why didn’t you just seal up.., oh, then you wouldn’t have it.”

    “And the grease stains and such in the book might damage its longevity.”

    “Long…”

    “Longevity. Long life.”

    “So… these are for me, when I’m a grown-up?”

    “Or your children, or their children, or so on. Yes. They’re for someone I can’t hand my grandmother’s books to myself.”

    “And you’re sealing them to preserve them from moisture and air? Just like the apples?”

    “Just like the apples, very good.” She patted Penelope’s shoulder. “That way, if there’s ever any question about anything in the storage vaults, there will be books there to explain everything.”

    “Just don’t forget scissors to open the package.” Penelope grinned. “Like the can openers.”

    “Exactly.” Adeline added a freshly-oiled pair of stainless steel scissors to the pile, finding herself smiling. Penelope may never need these books, but if she was quoting the unofficial house motto – <i>never forget a spare can opener</i> – she would do well in any crisis.