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Created Tuesday 25 July 2023

CW: i ask for details about a world I should be building alone ||one of the features of the world I'm wanting to build around Christchurch is known to the locals as "endemic power shortages" (using a pre-collapse term for a post-collapse norm) - the grid sometimes and some places still works (more often than not, it doesn't, because of safety concerns (decayed underground cables), lack of functioning generation, or the inability to import electricity from otherwise-functioning generation, and often all such factors).

Does this seem plausible after 200 years, even in somewhere where the collapse was, at first, least felt, or is it more likely that the grid would just be permanently down (rather than being operated with expired inspections), with the power transmission authority winding up citing safety concerns and the impossibility of maintenance?||

The ending of issue 10 of LT 41° South inspires this spin-off of a spin-off. The intent was to be directly related, but it will be indirectly related instead because the actual target is ~~over Gisborne~~ over the hinterlands of the Canterbury region (suggesting a departure from Christchurch airport), back in New Zealand where the target was identified. ~~I want to call it de Havilland Adelaide as the internal codename, but it's more likely to be in the ruins of Hobart, than Adelaide, and de Havilland wouldn't consent to the use of their name.~~ Somehow, a Gemeinschaft has kept the airport in one of those cities functional (or, would be functional, with runways of unknown composition, possibly a primitively sealed gravel; it's only used for winch-tow hang-glider launches in the summer and autumn when batteries to run the winches are more full from sun and wind and the thermals are better, something the locals have found enjoyable, relaxing, and sometimes useful~~; a few have managed to strand themselves (in mainland|elsewhere in) Australia,~~ and now some sailors set out if an aircraft isn't heard from, or is heard from on HF (they only reluctantly let you launch without a HF radio with fully charged batteries and a squeeze handle to wind up)), not at all unlike Wellington would be were it not submerged and with pavement damage from centuries of neglect. ... Strike that, we're flying in ~~Gisborne~~Christchurch.

For the purpose of convenience, we start in issue 1 in February 2260. This is a few years after the earliest possible date that Seth could have deorbited himself with Arctica's (then Antarctica the rover) help, which is where the story in mainline LT picks up. In truth, it's probably closer to 2400 AD or so.

Queenstown in Ōtākou, an inland town on a lake inlet, may or may not be the site of a functioning rump government. It's not clear to me (and won't be clear to the authorities local to Christchurch) whether its authority extends over the whole island, as decrees only sometimes reach Christchurch, and self-issued elections summons have gone unanswered as to their validity or invalidity (assumed valid locally).

The issues as released will be in the format that the character types them. The issues as enregistered in this wiki will be in a format that cues the narrator to the audio cues they need to add to replicate the tapes as the character heard them while transcribing them. They use apostrophes as a thousands separator and they only have a typewriter at home, which has both 1 and L keys, as well as separate 0 and O keys (the former rendered with a strike). They have two cassette recorders that work (both of which have been modified to record at half-speed, and also on a single channel (providing 4 tracks)), and an additional two which don't, for want of parts they only know the appearance of from books they saw in the library, and would not know how to manufacture from locally-available materiel. As became traditional in Christchurch after the collapse (known locally as "the dark ages" because the fibre went dark, the power started flicking on and off (affecting streetlights), and the outside world basically stopped existing for Kiwis (except the radio ones), shortly before government retreated from the North Island and the northern reaches of the South Island, now assumed controlled solely by Māori rather than by the agreed power-sharing deal from the 2060s (spoken of as "the terms of the truce of our ancestors", although the occasion was joyous unlike the Angevin saying nearly a millenium before)), they only start speaking of megahertz at 100MHz (said as 100 megacycles) and they say kilocycles (or kilocycles per second) rather than kilohertz.

The Christchurchian and Canterburyan economy is pretty much characterised by shortage in nearly everything except the most basic essentials - food is usually minimally adequate due to the area's privileged position; despite the fact that half of Christchurch is drowned, everyone has a place to stay (related to, sadly, population decline in the mid-22nd century, as well as climate change mitigations put in by both the old administration and the current self-organized system - the places people live are not always good places, but it's always well insulated, generally not mouldy, and has effective, if sometimes foot-drawn due to the power shortages, Stirling-cycle heating (only used when the operator doesn't feel like lighting off a fire, or when the electricity is overflowing on cold, windy days and the storage pumps shut off to avoid running dry) and cooling); and someone somehow always manages to muster up enough steel or aluminium etc to make engine blocks (needed because of the Stirling coolers). Medicines tend to vacillate between shortage and glut (usually when someone manages to get a bioreactor working is when diabetics stop dying for a couple months, and also when diagnoses of their blood sugars tend to become more accurate than just "high" or "low"), although simpler ones are more consistently available, like penicillins, aspirin and quinine. Radios, a key aspect of the Roaring Forties/Furious Fifties societies as much as they are of Novamediterra, tend to be "available if you'll work for it" - read, most people's radios, if they have two-ways, are made from parts they found while diving in wrecked cities and somehow resuscitated. Most people's receive-only radios are straight relics. Analogue transistor radios generally survived the coming of the dark ages. Digital technology, in keeping with the backwards image Wellingtonians have of southerners, is stuck in the mid-2020s, and most people don't even use the computers they have, if they have any (many have suffered and died), because there's nothing on them (except for datahoarders and the narrator, who are mostly insulated from counterparts around the Arctic, and who keep local computer networks alive more or less).

Despite shortages which should render this impossible, recreational aviation is a key aspect of the local society, in the form of hang-gliders and paragliders (which operate without fuel, but only when winched up, or jumped from a high and steep hill). Most able-bodied people have tried their hand at it. Most know how to use radio navaids, not that these are very useful (and they will become even less useful in 2265, when ONI happens (Seth lands in 2263, but talks to people on the ground, including Kiwis, for years prior, although canonically he goes to sleep in the 2080s), although the transistor-based local news station is able to stay on the air and not be jammed because all ROMs are completely write-protected).

Unresolved: would there be a core of "black nobility" (conservative industrialist families from the Anglosphere who resettle mid and after collapse to find their money no good, but afforded free land if they want it, and accepted as equals deserving of welfare in the early days of salvage socialism), who would be behind part of the failure of filter orders (a way used to deal with the periodic anosmia/workshyness/immunocompromise epidemics), alongside obviously materials unavailability?

Issues so far:
Season 1, scrapped issue 1
Season 1, issue 1
Season 1, issue 2
Season 1, issue 3
Season 1, issue 3, interlude 1
Season 1, issue 3, interlude 2
Season 1, issue 4