States of Change is an ongoing work of serial fiction.
The speculative story-line seeks to inspire thought on ethics, culture and our planet's future.
The year is 2076, decades after Oosa's defederalization.
Fifty independent States have forged their societies from revolutionary technology and ideology.
Prominently, The Augment, a real-time, virtual overlay of sensory datahas become widely available for personal use throughout many of the post-fed nation-states.
"Who can say? I mean it's been decades since the states broke up. What purpose does conjecturing otherwise serve? Here, Dorian, give me a hand getting this off trail."
Taking care to bend at his knees, Dorian mirrored Caratina's motions as they lifted the poplar limb.
"One and two and three," they singsonged as they swung-launched the limb into the ferny brush.
Appalachian Trail maintenance was a monthly routine for the pair. The Tennessee Code required each citizen to put in four volunteer hours per week offnet, and both enjoyed the outdoors while doing it.
"Speculation can serve as a thought experiment, don't you think? Whether utopian or dystopian, imagining what might have been could wake us up to how we might do things better in the future."
Taking a breather Caratina pulled out her water reserve. After a couple swallows she shook her head with a smirk..
"I'm a realist, Dorian. Have you scanned the latest Economista Principal? It rated the Tennessee nation as one of the top ten global communities to live in with health and happiness scores land in the 99th percentile. I'd say as a state we're doing pretty darn well."
"Did you run the references through the SnoCheq?"
She laughed. "No need. I've been around long enough to see the proof of what decades of hard work have done to create our great Tennessee society. Can you disagree? We've attained a solid balance of prosperity and culture here."
"I'm not complaining, just wondering if America might have gone to Mars, rather than the Eastern Union."
"You and your space exploration dreams. State dollars are much better spent solving social issues here on planet Earth."
"You mean planet Tennessee."
"Funny. Well speculate this. How would life be for you as an atheist if Carolinian law had kept Oosa together?"
"Point taken....though honestly I don't think your liberal Christian values would fare much better under their tribal laws."
"Yeah, well in the end I think we're much better off without another layer of fickle federal restrictions."
"Said like a true patriot. You have to admit even if the Economista stats factcheck out, isolationist policy has its drawbacks."
"One woman's isolation is another's self sufficiency. C'mon let's get the last of these branches into the mulch berm. There's a beer waiting for us in Turtletown."
Having deposited their last armfuls of severed branches in the berm they headed back to the trailhead. Caratina glanced back at the carbon-fiber border fence just beyond the berm. The double-helix razor wire was silent. Her thoughts on what might lay beyond in Georgia were not.