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Edition 10: That Blasts the Roots of Trees Is My Destroyer by David Halpert

flag USCharlie is determined to breathe easy. He wants to create a new life for himself, away from the daily struggles. Information is always the key to power and everything has its price. A great piece of dystopian science fiction. SY

Charlie Glassman has $3.82 left in his tank. As a result he walks the streets with the same precision as a laser cutting a diamond. On quiet nights you can hear the distant echoes of large-scale industrial pumps all the way from Port Credit extracting oxygen from Lake Ontario, churning, grinding, set along the waterfront like the overgrown placentae of some botched laboratory experiment.

Tenement apartments hugging the Green Zone show their true colors in the sober light of day. Moss and climbing ferns hide the cracked foundations and graffiti courtesy of resident syndicates. Charlie’s disposable Sanyo reads yellow for this district, advising citizens to express caution when venturing out in broad daylight. Still he carries a small arsenal: his taser, his collapsible baton. He finds guns crude even in these disparate times and never ventures past curfew.

The sky is its own membrane, a hazy orange, veined with smoke. Charlie wipes a thin layer of grime off a pane of bulletproof Lucite. In the windowed glare of a William Sonoma he checks his mask is firmly clamped over his face for the third time since leaving his apartment, halting momentarily, but not before being threatened by the turbaned shop-owner, a sawed-off shotgun in his hands followed by a string of Hindi obscenities. The bastard even has the gall to step out his storefront before pressure equalizes. Charlie is suddenly blasted with a wall of cool air—try explaining that one to the Federal Reserve come tax time.

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