Gibson City

Messages to the President of Gibson

Five Messages sent to Colonial President Richard T. Adams from various sources.

From: Department of Health and Population Management

In this Colonial Year 200, the human population of Gibson has grown to 100,000,000 and is projected to grow to 101,230,000 by year’s end. That’s a total annual growth of 2.9 million people.

The crude birth rate remains steady at 29.3 live births per 1000 population. While this is below our target of 30 live births per 1000 population, we do not, in the current political climate, recommend additional measures as long as birthrates remain stable.

It should be noted that our crude death rate remains at 13 per 1000. The main cause of early deaths, especially among working class adults, remains temperature-related. The increased number of fatalities due to violent crimes (including terrorism) has not impacted the statistics in a significant way.

Note from the Undersecretary: Richard, I’ve said this before – if you really want an easy way to boost birth rates, you should consider having a kid yourself. That’ll be good for that missing zero-point-seven. You’ll see.

From: Francesca Boyd, Gibson City Chronicle.

Transcript of Audio message. Excerpt reads:

…not sure why you refuse to give any kind of statement on possible leads or the state of the investigation. This wave of terrorist attacks is unprecedented in Gibson history. People are hungry for information, no, they demand answers, and your refusal to talk to reporters on the matter is most worrying. Besides your usual rants about retribution and justice, of course. Zero actual information content, Mr President. Zilch!

Last time I checked, a free press was enshrined in the Colonial Charter, and did you not just read the charter aloud on Prosperity Day? A free press is useless if we are denied access to information. I guess we may have to fill all that airtime taking a very, very close look at your track record. I can’t possibly imagine why you would have us do that instead of just talking about these terrorists.

From: Office of the Acting Mayor of Gibson City

Mr President, I’ll make this short. We really need those additional funds. I know money is tight – it always is, isn’t it – but we were severely understaffed even before the terror attacks. It’s a huge drain on our resources. We can already see the effects. I hate making this a numbers game, but what good does it do to stop a terrorist from blowing up a hundred more people a month if two hundred get killed in regular gunfights instead?

We need more people, we need better equipment, and we need a more comprehensive approach to prevention. The SWAT team is not a proper answer to some dude who’s tired of his life but too much a coward to pull the trigger himself.

I’ll bring this all up at the next council meeting. Again. I know it annoys you, so, why don’t you just approve the funds and save us both a giant headache? Alternatively, you can have my resignation at any time and find some other sucker for this job. Oh, wait, you already have my resignation, you’ve just refused it. So what is it going to be, Mr President?

From: Christa McAuliffe Elementary School, 3rd Grade, Mrs Benson’s Class

Dear Mr President

Thank you for visiting us. We really liked the stories you told us. We have drawn a picture for you, and we hope you like it. Please visit again if you can.

Signed: Florence, Katy, Wahid, Rhonda, Rachel, Algernon, Caitlyin, Rashida, Ellie-Mae, Isobelle, Maurice, Sezni, Lana, Fleur, Liesl, Scott, Anika, Marc, Cleo, Cole, Matt, Nia, Maruti, Terry, Leela, Jeremy, Yasmeen, Nikko, & Mrs Benson

Note from Assistant: Mr President, I’ve taken the liberty of putting a hardcopy of the enclosed picture up in your office. It’s actually rather cute. Anyway, I made sure it’s visible during your next photo shoot. Should score well with the public.

From: Unknown

RT, I must insist you stop looking for me. I value my privacy, and I have the means to protect it. Don’t you have some bomb-throwing anarchists to catch? Focus on that.

This started with me trying to figure out how to present some of the “new” population figures in an “in-universe” way without resorting to being “encyclopedic”.

Once I decided on the “message to the President” approach, I realized that this was actually a pretty good method of conveying additional information about the situation in Gibson City.

Christa McAuliffe was an American teacher who died in the Challenger disaster. Not only do I feel this makes her an obvious choice to name a school after; I still vividly remember seeing the explosion on TV. It really got to me at the time. So this is, in a very small way, a personal tribute as well.

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