Grant Warren

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Reality Abroad 2022
9/4/2022 7:16pm

The battle was a disaster. The New Apes were completely blindsided—double-crossed by an extraterrestrial faction who threw in with the Inland Empire at the last minute. The tiny gray ones with the big eyes.

Mt. Shasta is a crater now, pummeled by the alien force beams. Becky and I were evacuating when the tunnels collapsed and we were separated. I can still smell her musk on my hand.

That’s when Psyhigh decided to retrieve me from my Reality Abroad program. I guess we do get implants. One moment I was choking on dust under a mountain and the next I was on all fours back at the school’s teleportation station.

The school counselor gave me mandatory reality adjustment therapy, but I don’t need it. What I need is to teleport Becky out of there too. That was the first thing I asked for but nobody will give me a straight answer. Something about “because it hasn’t happened yet” but I know it happened because I was there. I do not need their dumb therapy. I need to break into the teleportation station myself and just do it.

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Reality Abroad 2022
8/25/2022 9:50pm

Things are really heating up here at Telos. The radioactive fiefdoms of the Inland Empire made an unexpected move against the New Apes, and now we’re gearing up for full scale war.

Ranks of the goblin-types march through the pearly halls of Telos, rattling in their wooden armor. New Apes drive oversized troop carrier monster trucks, zooming by in endless caravans. The blonde ones in the white robes fly attack saucers through the grand cathedral in tight formation.

Neither Becky or I are front-line material, so we’re in 3CI, setting up communications and intelligence. They say there’s no way they could make it all the way to Mt. Shasta, but it’s all still pretty scary.

Reality Abroad 2022
8/13/2022 11:34pm

Telos -- the New Ape capitol under Mt. Shasta -- is a bustling, pearly metropolis. Along with the New Apes, the city is filled with an equal amount of other bipeds, more or less like myself. There are the tall blonde ones in robes, and the short gremlin-like creatures, and other humanoids in varying costumes and dermatological flavors, like reptile, bison, bird, and alabaster.

I assumed we'd be training in stick fighting or perhaps small group tactical training, but I've tested through for the Econ division, where we're tasked with developing transformational models for the post-revolution economy. The biggest problem is infrastructure, as the homo sapiens have let most of it go. How will we continue to feed and grow the pan-unified New Ape states after the fiefdoms have been liberated? That's what my team gets to figure out.

I met a New Ape named Becky. She's in Econ division too. She's a little bit older than me but dreams of transferring to Psyhigh. I told her that if we make it through this she should come back with me. We've been spending a lot of time together.

Reality Abroad 2022
8/3/2022 11:03pm

I’ve been initiated into the Hall of the New Apes. That’s what the Canadians are calling themselves. They have a cave underneath the radioactive garbage mounds where they meet. It's like a secret union or a fraternal organization, but they accept anybody from the press gang crews, even if you're not technically a New Ape.

Down in the cave it's safe to take off our hazmat suits, and there you can see that the New Apes are completely covered with fur. And they're all about 7 or 8 feet tall. No tusks though, just big teeth, to go with their big hands and feet. And they've got a pretty musky smell. I guess things are pretty different in Canada.

They say that they are a parallel species to homosapiens that was nearly driven to extinction, but now that the homosapiens have almost destroyed the planet, they are emerging from their caves and planning to take control.

They also say we're ALL New Apes -- anyone who is oppressed by the homosapiens -- and that's why they accept anybody into the Hall of the New Apes. It's a really inclusive message, and they apologized for hitting me and taking my food rations earlier. That's just part of their tradecraft in terms of keeping their organization secret.

Apparently this cave is just one of thousands across the Inland Empire and the other brutal fiefdoms, and they're all connected through tunnels and an ingenious underground rail transportation system. Their capital is under Mount Shasta, where they're sending me for further training to do my part for the revolution.

Reality Abroad 2022
7/21/2022 9:58pm

Working the radioactive garbage mounds is hard work. But they incentivize it in really fun ways, like for every wheelbarrow you bring in you get a nickel (a New Inland Empire nickel, which is usually a bottlecap, or a rusty screw). And if you get enough nickels you can trade them in for a slightly less used filter for your mask. But you only actually get the nickel if there's something interesting in your wheelbarrow, otherwise they kick it over and laugh at you.

My co-workers have their own incentivization systems, like you're incentivized to share your food ration with the bigger co-workers, because if you don't they take it anyway and it hurts. Those co-workers are extra big, and seems like they are covered with fur even under hazmat suits, and may have small tusks. They have strange accents. I think they might be Canadian.

Reality Abroad 2022
7/9/2022 6:57pm

Uh oh! Big mixup at the work crew round up. I got separated from my homestay parents and got rounded up.

“Hey! Don’t you know who I am? I’m an exchange student from Psychic High School! You don’t want to mess with—OOOOOF”

And got a kick in the stomach!

So I stuffed myself into a leaky old hazmat suit and joined the press gang.

Don’t we have little transmitters or something injected in us before we go in these trips? Wasn’t that one of the shots? You can come get me, right?

Reality Abroad 2022
7/1/2022 11:10pm

My homestay family is an upper class family in the Inland Empire, alternate future 699b-gamma. They manage all the radioactive garbage mounds around the Tri-cities, keeping the trade moving.

I've got my own room next to the water recycler in their bunker. Tomorrow's a work crew roundup and they're taking me along to see how it's done. Can't wait!