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the offer. So he joined the Historical Commission and began his work with Dr. Alexander. Kurt found out in his
first year working with the Commission, Anglo history was not a priority with Atlantica.
Kurt lived sparsely with only the basic necessities. He kept his prized personal possessions securely in his
leather carrying case, which he had with him at all times. It was a sense of everything being temporary that Kurt
felt. He remembered his father always had their most vital records and a set of emergency equipment, rations,
and tools available in the cellar of their home. He said to Kurt that you should always have an emergency plan
in place in case of any disaster, natural or man made. He never forgot this and the leather case contained his
personal items, including his data-file with his complete ID required by all governments and the UN.
Citizens ID’s contained DNA, photos, voicescans and a life profile. He also had a few personal keepsakes such
as a gold piece from his mother and personal discs with long ago special events spent with his family, including
several video scans with his father before he died. Also, in his leather portfolio was his hand written history of
the times in which he was living. He began this project when he started working with Dr. Alexander. The work
picked up from where his Master’s treatise left off.
His parents always said his mind was his strongest personal possession. They constantly kidded him about
living in his own world because so many times when, they were talking to him, he seemed to be somewhere
else. His mind was always working on some new idea which he would write into his notebook. He preferred old
fashioned way of recording, writing. It always felt more direct from brain to paper. Eventually, his thoughts,
ideas and life experiences were written in his portfolio.
On the bridge, Kurt felt cool air hit his face as the temperature had dipped unseasonably low. He would need to
dress warmer tonight when he began his journey. He stopped when he reached the center of the bridge. There
were only two low-density light scans at either end and at the center it was dark. He thought of the old movies
of London as he looked ahead through the foggy scene.
Kurt walked to the railing and looked down through the floating light at the abandoned roof of the skating
arena, which had been built after the turn of the century. Beside the darkened arena were the yellow rail lights
of the tram system. According to an article he read in the defunct Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, this was the most
heavily used line of the old mono-rail system. That system went about thirty miles in six directions from the
Golden Triangle, the center of the City. Now there were three tram lines which intersected in Center City where
the three rivers met.
Kurt was suddenly aware of the sound of shuffling feet. He looked through the mist and could see a man
walking towards him. He leaned over the bridge once again, as if unconcerned, then turned and began to walk
towards the man. The shape ahead came into view as they both reached the center of the bridge. He was a large
man with sloping shoulders. Kurt could hear his heavy breathing, as if the man was having physical
problems.“Who are you, Mister?” came a deep, gruff voice.
“A worker, that’s all”, Kurt replied softly.
“Where are you from?”
“Greenfield,” Kurt quickly answered. “Why do you ask?”
“I’m just checking. Couple hooligans ran over this way after trying to ransack a house over by the old CMU
campus. The System picked them up, but they must have sensed the signal. Anyway I’m looking for them. Got
ID?” he groused.
Kurt reached into his data-file, pulled out his ID card and gave it to the man. He looked at the picture, read it the
description, looked at Kurt, and then gave it back to him.
“Looks okay. Have you seen anybody in a hurry on the bridge?”
“Nobody, haven’t seen a soul since I left work.” He waited for a response. The man looked at him and didn’t
say anything.
“Can I pass?” Kurt said quietly, trying not to rekindle any anxiety in the stranger.