Latest adult story: The Secrets of Liberty Mountain – Chapter 30
The Society of Sisters and their compound at Liberty Mountain were the pride and joy of Lisa’s existence. She devoted almost every waking hour toward her mission of building an organization that could withstand anything the apocalyptic whims of fate might send our way. The Colony’s boss was an innovator who served both as a leader and also as a follower.
Like the Caesars of old, she had the authority to issue any order necessary to secure the safety of the group. Unlike the dictators of Ancient Rome, her authority was derived from a five-woman executive committee which had the ability to instantly countermand any given order and could remove Lisa from her leadership position without notice.
The ex-com’s conduct was kept in check by the society’s membership. Under the Society’s charter, any five members of the clan could call a snap election and reshuffle the power deck. The Colony was a tight-knit dictatorship driven by pure-democracy. It reminded me of a snake from ancient mythology devouring its own tail. The net effect of the dynamic, interdependent tension within their compact organizational structure was a remarkably stable form of self-government. Lisa had served as the chief executive officer since the group’s inception.
I was ready to throw myself into the paper shredder head first after spending the first 3 days organizing Lisa’s notes and files.
“What’s the matter; you’re awfully quiet?” Lisa asked as she dropped another stack of documents on the desk in front of me.
“I hate paperwork. Is the stable boy position still open?” I forlornly stared at the mountain of paper as I leaned back in my chair and took a deep sigh.
“You would rather shovel manure than do paperwork?” Lisa inquired with a concerned grin.
I shrugged my shoulders and chuckled as I studied the folder in my hands and tried to figure out which paper pile was its home. Everything had its place, the trick was finding its place.
About 80% of the papers I have been sifting through with detail were reports in consumption. Shreveport, who designed color code, had blue for items and foods produced by The Sisterhood, and red for non-renewable resources that should only be replaced by importing them from the outside world.
There is an exception to every rule; iron was color-coded both red and blue. Worn out equipment is smelted into ingots and recycled into new tools by a team of women who specialize in metallurgy and blacksmithing.
Anything necessary for the Colony’s survival which was broken, destroyed, or misplaced was a critical loss as far as Lisa was concerned. The Colony’s leader placed items such as advanced electronics, radio transmitters, and computers at the top of her worry list.
“We’re going to have to make do with whatever we have on hand when the shit hits the fan. We won’t see any replacements in this lifetime,” Lisa noted as she took the folder for my hands and dropped it into the red cabinet.
“You need to practice the OneTouch filing system, Sky. Touch a piece of paper only once. Don’t let a document in your hands go until you have a home for it.” Lisa picked up the file and scanned it for a moment before putting it away in the blue cabinet.
“Ask me if you can’t figure out where it belongs.”
“Christ on a crutch, did you guys ever hear of digital records? They’re a whole lot easier to deal with then all this paperwork,” I grumbled and lit a cigarette.
“Electronic documents are incredibly fragile. These documents are part of our history. We lose our identity and our culture if we lose our history. I will not trust our survival to computers,” Lisa took a cigarette out of my pack.
“Why do you spend a million bucks a year on State-of-the-art computer equipment if you’re so skeptical of them? You’ve got a God-awful amount of server space according to your archives, and you keep expanding your capacity. Your group almost has enough storage capacity to put Google to shame.” I flicked the ash from my smoke into an empty coffee cup.
Lisa looked at me, and she inhaled the puff and blew a perfect smoke ring at my face. I blinked as I passed through the circle of wispy gray.
“Enough of this. We’re going for a walkabout,” Lisa stubbed the glowing tip of tobacco from her cigarette, and rested the un-smoked remainder in the ashtray.
“Come with me,” she said, as she stood and extended her hand to assist me in rising out of my comfortable chair.
“Walkabout?” I gave my boss my best puzzled down-under grin and tunelessly hummed the soundtrack to ‘Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport’ by Rolf Harris.
“We won’t find any didgeridoos or wallabies on this walkabout, follow me,” Lisa instructed with a hearty laugh.
We emerged from the elevator and entered the underground cavern beneath the cabin a few minutes later. I followed Lisa through the maze of stalactites and stalagmites until we found ourselves traveling down a side tunnel to the entrance of a huge server farm hidden in an expansive underground cavern. A massive sheet metal warehouse large enough to house a football field sprawled across to cave floor beneath the vaulted chamber. Endless rows of racks containing tens of thousands of servers were arrayed in a grid pattern within the windowless structure. The wide, dimly lit, rows separating the walls of twinkling machines gave the structure a creepy supermarket appearance.
“This is our digital version of the library at Alexandria. We’ve been downloading and storing all of mankind’s science for safekeeping for the last ten years,” Lisa expounded as we walked toward the farm’s control room located at the center of the complex.
“Let me introduce you to the women who are the guardians of learning,” Lisa said, as she rang the buzzer on the center’s armored door. I chuckled as I read the sign over the door: “Welcome to the Department of Redundancy Department.” Somebody had a sense of humor.
Jennifer and Tammy greeted us at the door with warm smiles. I got a chaste handshake from Tammy, while Lisa was smothered by two enthusiastic hugs.
Today was Jennifer’s turn to play shift supervisor, and she quickly took command of the situation. She was a slightly plus-sized woman in her mid-thirties with a casual beauty radiating self-assured innocence from the center of a cloud of pheromones screaming sexual arousal.
An electric spark of desire jolted our bodies like a live wire on a rainy day the instant our hands touched in greeting. Our eyes widened in mutual surprise as the charge passed from flesh to flesh, and our libidos merged in a chemical connection where none had existed before. We were on each other’s wavelength.
Our handshake lasted a few moments longer than necessary and ended with her thumb gently caressing the back of my hand as she gave it an extra affectionate squeeze. I gulped and shuddered as I looked into Jennifer’s surprised and puzzled eyes staring back at me. She had felt the same thing I had.
Jennifer and her co-worker were each dressed in gray and tan overalls which served as the Sisterhood’s unofficial work uniform. The supervisor’s zipper was open to her navel and offered an excellent view of two ample and well-rounded breasts. I fought against the urge to rest my head against her bosom, and took note of the quarter-dollar sized gold, ruby, and silver pin in the shape of a flaming torch held aloft in front of a gleaming silver lightning bolt instead.
“Like it?” the supervisor responded to my attention to her jewelry.
“Uh, er, yes,” I stammered with an embarrassed grin. I had been caught dead to rights in the act of gawking.
“What do these symbols mean?” The flame and lightning symbols are powerful icons. There was a message embedded in the enamel brooch and the supervisor held the key.
Jennifer smiled, and her eyes sparkled as she answered my question. I think that she appreciated my inquiry.
“The flaming torch represents knowledge in service to civilization. It’s also a reminder that the secret of the fire was stolen from the gods by Prometheus at great personal risk. The lightning bolt is symbolic of the sinister forces of chaos and war being held in check by wisdom and learning. We are the keepers of the flame,” she proclaimed, as Lisa and Tammy nodded in agreement.
We strode over to take seats around a rustic oak table in the glass-enclosed kitchenette while we talked. Jennifer, ever the thoughtful hostess, brewed a pot of coffee and set a tray of freshly baked coffee rolls out, compliments of the kitchen crew.
“How much fire have you managed to steal?” I stirred more sugar than reasonable into my coffee cup and looked around at the banks of blinking computers twinkling like fireflies along the service pathways.
“Welcome to Operation Carbon Copy. We’ve downloaded about 1,500 terabytes of data over the last decade. It’s a long haul. Satellite internet is as slow as molasses. Trying to download the world wide web at 300mbs is like trying to drain the seven seas through a soda straw,” Lisa chimed in.
” You’ve still got a shitload of information,” I let a low whistle out as I tried to wrap my mind around the numbers.
“Not as much as you think. The entire Library of Congress is around ten petabytes, or ten-thousand terabytes if you prefer, enough to fill 5,000 servers. We don’t have the capacity to power many machines. We download and dead store the data to get around the limitations of our electrical supply,” Tammy explained between sips of Colombian java.
“Dead store?” I asked. I had never heard the term before.
“Yah, dead storage is what we call filling a solid state or mechanical hard drive. We index the contents, unplug the drive, and keep it on a shelf for future use. It’s a bit awkward, but it works,” Tammy said with a laugh.
“I thought that you didn’t trust computers, yet the society has invested a significant amount of resources in computer technology? What’s the point? None of this stuff is going to help you survive the day everything goes to hell in a handbasket,” I gazed around the facility and shook my head in bewilderment.
“True. Computerized records won’t be of much use in the short term. What we’re doing here is for the long term,” Lisa said, as she poured herself another cup of coffee.
The blank expression on my face told Lisa that I wasn’t getting it. The link between computer files and survival eluded me.
“Civilizations rise and fall on the tide of history. Much of the accumulated wisdom of people is lost, destroyed, or fragmented when they collapse,” Lisa tapped her finger on the tabletop for emphasis.
“The more infrastructure required to sustain the knowledge, the greater the waste. Mankind’s scientific advancement ground to a halt before it went into reverse when the Roman Empire crashed and burned. The ensuing dark ages lasted more than a thousand years,” Lisa’s eyes misted over at the memory of lost wisdom.
“Do you really think that it will be that bad?” I took a sip of my coffee and studied the three women. I didn’t know if I was in the presence of sainthood or bat-shit crazy. These gals had spent the last fifteen years chasing a dream down a rabbit hole.
“I don’t know when, how, or why everything will go to hell, but I know that it will happen sooner rather than later. The fabric of society is woven too thin, and the threads are too weak and frayed to withstand a major calamity,” Lisa’s fingers traced circles around the salt and pepper shakers as she spoke.
“The whole tapestry will come unraveled if we lose one strand in the fabric of society,” Tammy gave voice to Lisa’s thoughts.
“A Single Point Failure will send everything tumbling to the ground. Coronal mass ejections which hit the earth in 1859 and 1921 damaged telegraph communication systems, but had little long-term effects. It would bring civilization to its knees if it happened today. We are totally dependent on the power grid, electronic communications, the internet, and computers for survival,” Lisa finished her coffee and set the empty cup by the sink.
“Will this project be enough to prevent a new dark age?” I rubbed the back of my neck and fingered my necklace as I glanced at the clock on the wall.
“No, it won’t,” Lisa shook her head.
“Nothing we do here will stop the night from falling,” Lisa looked like she was about to burst into tears of despair.
“Then why bother? What’s the point?”
“Nothing we do here will prevent the sun from setting, but we can hasten the dawn. We’ll need this knowledge to rebuild and recover,” the Sisterhood’s leader gave the array of lights her nod of approval.
“What kind of data have you been downloading?” I asked as I glanced around at the rows of flickering machines.
“Just about everything we can get our hands on: Technical manuals, research papers, instructional videos, hard science, farming, philosophy, mathematics, animal husbandry. We are replicating and condensing the sum of all human knowledge,” Lisa brushed several strands of unruly hair from her eyes and led me out of the warehouse and into the main chamber within the underground complex of caverns.
We took a seat on a cozy bench overlooking the misty lake of hot water fed by geothermal springs. Nearly lost in clouds of steam were the twin turbines and generators humming away as they converted hot water into electricity.
“Forgive me, but I’m skeptical. Do you really think that your digital reference library will shorten a new Dark Age?” I tossed a pebble into the water and watched the ripples spread across the surface of the pond. What value will the wisdom of the ages be to a starving family trying to survive a barbarian invasion?
“No, there’s no way to prevent night from falling. The best we can do is to keep the flame alive. Maybe then the night will not be so long or dark,” Lisa’s pebble splashed into the pond next to mine.
“We’ve forgotten how to be self-sufficient. Do you know how to feed yourself and your family when the supermarket shelves are empty?” Lisa looked into my eyes and waited for me to answer.
I shook my head. I was at the mercy of the food chain.
“We humans have been living off the land since we swung down from the trees. We’ve done it before, and we can do it again. Beyond culture and history, our primary focus has been in recording and cataloging the lost arts of survival,” Lisa shifted on the bench as she warmed to her subject.
“It’s one thing to build a Cathedral of wisdom, Boss. It’s another to keep the barbarians at bay. How are you going to protect all this?” I stood and waved my arms at the infinite cavern and all that lay in the darkness beyond.
“I don’t know. We can’t do it alone. We’ll need to evolve and grow,” my boss said as she rested her hand on my shoulder.
“We need to talk, Lisa, ” I took her hand from my shoulder and held it in mine as I turned my body to face her.
“I love your dream; it’s as noble as shit, but I have serious problems with your plans and our future,” I gently held her hand as Lisa’s eyes widened in puzzled concern. I sensed her trying to pull away.
“No, it’s nothing like that,” I placed my hand on her shoulder and looked into her eyes.
“I’m with you and the Society all the way. You have my promise, I’ll do whatever I must to help us survive,” I paused and took a deep breath.
“Do you want to hear my main concern?” I gently massaged her shoulder and collarbone as I gave comfort to her fears.
Look, we’re off duty for the next,” Lisa paused, as she glanced at her wristwatch, frowned, and shook her head
“Forget it. We’re taking a busman’s holiday. Speak clearly so that I may better know your mind,” Lisa grinned, as she inserted the Society’s words of permission to speak unpleasant truths and raise unwanted questions.
“Okay, let’s assume the best about the worst; everything hits the fan, and your plans are wildly successful. Liberty Mountain survives the apocalypse without a scratch,” I studied Lisa’s eyes and caught the ghost of a smile as she thought of success.
“What comes next? On the day after the world ends and it’s just us. How are thirty-seven women and one old man going to hold this valley against a hostile and desperate multitude?” Her ghost smile died as worry filled her eyes.
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- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 2
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 3
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 4
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 5
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 6
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 7
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 8
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 9
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 10
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 11
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 12
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 13
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 14
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 15
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 16 T
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 17
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 18
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 19
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 20
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 21
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 22
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 23
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 24
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 25
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 26
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 27
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 28
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 29
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 30