Urban: September 2007 Archives



Welcome to your first training session. I'm not going to be very nice to you today - I just can't be when the subject is so serious. I know you think you're here to learn about how to disassemble houses for best reuse, but our first subject is not vinyl siding: it's your lives.

The first rule of salvaging is that you're either a salvager or a looter. If you're a looter, and a patrol finds you, you'll be dead within an hour. If you're a looter, and you shoot back at the patrol, you and everyone they think you might have liked will be dead soon enough.

What's the difference between the two? It's simple. Salvagers have licenses - which you're here to get - and permits for specific sites. You can have a salvage license but work on the wrong site, and then you're suddenly a looter. Honest mistakes in neighborhoods where all the houses are identical might happen once in a while, and maybe a patrol will listen - but maybe they won't.

It's up to you to remember your job, and who your boss is. You do the work the city asks for, and we pay you a lot. Salvaging building products from suburban housing isn't easy, but it's the best option we have at the moment for housing everyone now that we've reconcentrated. Disassemble the houses carefully, transport the parts into the city, hand them over to the Metropolitan Carpentry Center, and spend a few weeks enjoying the proceeds. Or head back out to make a lot more money.

Some people find visiting the old houses spooky, like they're visiting something awful or wrong. That's fine - you can come back to the city and build in the city instead of going out on salvage runs. A few people find the quiet out there appealing. If that's you, you might think about transferring to farm work. Both of these are safer, but a lot less lucrative.

We salvagers are the few, the free, the proud, the rich. Step out of line and you're done for. Stay in line and you'll do well - very well.

If you'd like to submit a story, please contact me.

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This page is a archive of entries in the Urban category from September 2007.

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