The year is 2212. The location doesnt matter. The Pollock boy is playing in the dirt with ashovel, digging ditches for which hes sure to be punished. All of a sudden his shovel hits somethinghard and metallic. He digs some more and uncovers a large plastic-sealed metallic suitcase of somesort. With much effort, he lugs it out of the hole. He opens the case towards the sky, revealing itscontents. “Watcha got?” asks Father Pollock. Hes obviously less concerned with the holes in the groundthan his wife will be. In the case sits a fairly thick manual on top of what looks like an old laptopcomputer from the turn of the millennium, if not earlier. On the outside is etched Panasonic. Themanual is bright red, with bold white print: “Read First”, and underneath that: “do not start this laptopwithout fully understanding what is said in this book”. Underneath those two lines are at least sevenother pairs of lines in foreign scripts. Father Pollock flips to the first page, which reads How to use your Panasonic Toughbook 29. Itdetails the insertion of the battery (which was separated for preservation), the startup of the computer,and most importantly the reason why the computer had been buried. Father Pollock continues readingbefore starting the computer up. “I see its been 200 years”, begins the manual, “and you have found this buried laptop. I havechosen this item for a number of reasons. I believe that no matter what direction the Earth has taken,this will be of some sort of value to you. I will begin with a prosperous future, in which both richnessand poorness still exist, and in which currency is still used.” “In the case of a flourishing world, this notebook is a collectors item. While only costing mefive hundred dollars off an old site called Buy.com, it is likely worth much more now as an antique. Onits 80 gigabyte hard drive (now a laughable amount of storage I suspect) I have stored variousdocuments which may be valuable as well. These old documents and images were easily available onthe internet of the early second millennium. Try to sell this piece of antique technology, I hopesomeone of your time will appreciate it.” “The rest of this manual is dedicated to another world, you can stop reading here if the previousparagraph applied to you.” Father Pollock continued reading. “In the case of a not-so-fortunate future, this will be your tool for survival. It will help yourebuild after the apocalypse you may have faced. Read my instructions carefully, for after thisexplanation, in this very booklet, I have gathered as much information as I can on the construction of ahand cranked generator. The reason for this specific computer is not its power, storage, or looks. It isrugged. In the case of a survival situation in which you need to be moving, it has a handle. You candrop it with no worry. I apologize for the weight and size, its necessary if you want this to last.” “You are to build the generator before you start up the computer and after you have read the restof this introduction. I have also detailed how you will use your generator to charge the battery of thelaptop. Diagrams are included. Take your time with this task, I realize it may be a lot to ask. Only afteryou build a reliable way to reuse this laptop can you being utilizing it.” “After completing the task of making a generator, you may finally power on the laptop. On it isa plethora of documents from my time and even before it. In this collection of documents you will find
information for survival after various types of worldwide catastrophes. They are organized first bysequence: which things you should do first. Within that the documents are ordered by situation: whereyou are and what is around you.” “This is what you have to look forward to in this laptop: Section one: Food, Water, Shelter Section two: Other Survival Techniques Section three: Continuation of Farming Techniques Section four: Continuation of Suitable Shelter Section five: The Importance of Reproduction” As the manual went on listing the dozens of sections, the Pollock boy grew restless, tugging athis dads arm. Mother Pollock came out of their house to call the boys in, but before she could, begandisciplining the little Pollock for his holes in their yard. They all enjoyed a fine dinner together in theirhome. Later that night, Father Pollock sat at his computer. He was posting an advertisement. For Sale: Antique 2000-era Panasonic Toughbook 29. No manual.