Trails 4: Trails Through the Garbage Mines

Trails 4: Trails Through the Garbage Mines

Trails 4: Trails Through the Garbage Mines

Pair 2, Book 2: Trails Through the Garbage Mines
Time: 2600 AD, 10 Years later
POV characters: Rusty, Ambrena, and Corandra

Cover Photo by Heath Braley.

      Amber’s descendants, Rusty, Ambrena, and Corandra are faced with the end of mining garbage pits. Corandra, the youngest, digs up a box that causes an illness to spread through the villa. One child dies, and others are deathly ill. She blames herself and runs away. When she returns, Rusty and Ambrena have left, and been captured by a pair of desperate men who need miners to mine a garbage pit for glass and metal to repair boats and rescue their families. Corandra follows after, with Henry as her companion. He is captured by another band of people unknown to their community. She is torn between rescuing Rusty and Ambrena, the closest to sisters she has ever known, and Henry, the one she has verbal battles with almost daily. She feels the fate of her villa rests on her choices, and mistakes.
Meanwhile, Rusty and Ambrena have overpowered their captors. They continue their search for the missing villa Corandra’s mother and Zella’s brother joined many years before. They discover remnants of ancient technology. Their hope is to find a cure for the illness. And now, added security, incase the families of their captors return, ready for battle. Nearby the empty glass and metal mine, in a tiny lodge, is a working computer that speaks to them. They hear of boats, windmills, glass greenhouses, and even a weak telescope. Some ancient technology survived in unknown surrounding communities, and they intend to learn all they can about it.

Prelude: “Trails Through the Garbage Mines” is a look at part of North America approximately 250 to 300 years after “Trails Through the Fault Lines,” and “Trails Through the Volcano.” To summarize: Earthquakes and volcanoes reopen the North American Seaway, inundating parts of several states with sea water. A small human population with various religious beliefs survives.

“Trails Through the Tales” is a futuristic look at North America. The flora, fauna, and geography have changed to be unrecognizable to current dwellers. The people in this time mine our garbage pits for their use. What do they find useful? What ís left of our world in their world? (The idea for this story was begun before “Life After People” aired.)

Rusty, Ambrena, and Corandra are young adults now, and leading various aspects of their villa. Corandra digs up a deadly ancient illness. Rusty feels as guilty as Corandra. Corandra runs away. Rusty and Ambrena struggle to save the children in their village. On a trip for medical help, and their mental health, they are captured and forced to dig in a strange and distant pit. Along the way they discover a link to the ancient past, and the future hope of humanity.

Premise for “Trails Through the Garbage Mines” : As this story took shape, it did not leave me much room to allow the characters to discover what was in the garbage pits. Many people, unlike me, would find a record of discoveries boring. So, I brought other conflicts into the scene. What do people actually find in landfills? Just about everything in our society. We live under the assumption, that once we bury it in the ground, it goes away.

It doesn’t.

If we think about the garbage pits, we know that. If it all went away, we wouldn’t have the study of archaeology.

What we know, is that if items are on top of the ground, or just below the surface, wind, rain, and animals will deteriorate them. Yes, they go back into the earth.

However, in landfills, they do not. After a few feet of garbage, or dirt piled on top, animals can no longer reach them, and bacteria goes dormant, until they are pulled forth from the earth yet again. So, anything you give to the garbage man today, can be found (with your fingerprints on it) hundreds of years from now. Yes, buried books and newsprint can be perfectly legible, if smudged. If you question this, check out the book: “Rubbish,” by William Ruthje founder of “The Garbage Project,” in 1973. You are welcome to study Garbology.

“Trails Through the Garbage Mines” leads to (as yet unwritten) “Trails Through Time.” “Trails Through Time” is a look at time travel, travel through recent history, and deep into the past, trying to prevent the disasters of modern times. Of course, this leads to many problems along the way. They stop one catastrophic ruler, only to later discover that this prevented the death of an even worse ruler, so they must travel back again, to prevent his gaining power. And so the struggle begins. With each step, they must decide how much technology is okay, and how it is perceived. As each generation of interveners lives and dies, eventually, the day will come when only one is left. Will Earth’s population have learned their lesson, or will they revert again?

Author’s Note:

Rating: R.
Profanity: None.
Romance: Light, Alluded to.
Sex: Acknowledged. Violent acts acknowledged as well.
Violence: Threat of violence. Fear of violence.

POV Characters: Ambrena, Rusty, Corandra
Length: 81,500 words
Tags: Adventure, science, social science, culture clash, cultural war, Goddess Kafa, Goddess Amber
Publication date: February 2016.

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