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The Long View

Welcome New Residents!

by Rob Long

Callista and I are thrilled to have you join us on the Toffler V Experimental Moon Base Unit! Please take a moment to settle into your Pod, and when you feel ready and acclimated to your new home, put on your color-coded jumpsuit and join us in the Third Wave Salon for the beginning of your orientation.

As you know, the Toffler V EMBU is the first of its kind — the first fully sustainable moon unit ever constructed. But in order to maintain our unique culture as we prepare for statehood, it’s important to review the following rules and regulations:

1. Please don’t jostle or shake the clear glass pod capsule that contains the cryogenically preserved body of our founder and benefactor, Sheldon Adelson. Admiral Adelson, as you all know from your induction materials, bravely took over the financing and construction costs of the Toffler V after the federal government, in a shameful and utterly cowardly act of fear and anti-science bias, refused to fund our initial experiments in lunar-based living. Admiral Adelson — we conferred that honorary title on him during the freezing ceremony — was (and maybe still is; cryogenics remain a mystery) a spiritual leader of our territory and the visionary founder of the movement to put high-end casino gaming into space.

2. You’ll recall from the initial information you received from our organization, or perhaps from the many infomercials that Callista and I have starred in, that the Toffler V community is a free and open place that prizes liberty and core American values above all else. That’s one of the reasons we maintain a low tax rate and have refused, to date, to enact any sort of sales tax. (I’ll bet you appreciated that when you bought your Survival Pods!) That said, we all do have to live in close quarters as we wait for Tofflers VI and VII to be completed and pressure-sealed, and so that makes for a sometimes awkward proximity. Passageways and tube corridors are barely wide enough for one, and the rooms for meals and general recreation can get crowded, as can the Shower Pods and Elimination Chutes. None of us expected — least of all Callista and myself — that my ex-wife, Marianne, would be among our first residents here on the moon’s surface. It remains, to me, a baffling choice. Nevertheless, as it says on our (fingers crossed!) state flag, “It’s a Free Moon Base!” and Marianne is entitled to citizenship in the Toffler V as much as anyone else. And we need all the people we can get in order to be able to petition Congress for statehood. It’s just that simple.

3. The strength of our Moon Base is in the community. Therefore, there are simple community rules we’d like everyone to be mindful of. Food canisters marked “NG” or “CG” are to be left untouched and wrapped, in their dedicated shelf in the Nutrition Tube. In general, anything in the NT or another storage area that is marked “NG” is to be left untouched and unmoved. This is the prerogative of the Elders of Toffler V — offices currently occupied on a temporary basis by Callista and me — and we appreciate your understanding of this protocol. Citizens of Toffler V — whom the media wags like to call “Gingrinauts” — are allowed to use any available storage spaces below shelf 2 in the Nutrition Tube.

4. Right now, the Toffler V library contains only works written or edited (or inspired) by me or Callista. Space — if you’ll pardon the pun — precludes us from offering more varied fare. As you know from your initial safety briefing, Kindles, iPads, and other forms of electronic “readers” are not currently cleared for use on the Toffler V. In the meantime, please enjoy reading the works of your co-founder and Elder, me.

5. While we have regularly scheduled elections to select Elders and Senior Ministers, we have decided to suspend these until such time as the residents of the Toffler V — not to mention the technical aspects of the Experimental Unit — are “ready” and prepared for a more fully realized and robust democracy. Elections scheduled for this year have been postponed until next year at the soonest, and in their place Callista and I have graciously agreed to stay on as Elders. Governance in space is an altogether different and more complicated matter than governance on Earth, as you’ll soon discover — and when you take a moment to consider the effects of weightlessness, the absence of atmosphere, the extreme cold of the environment, and the experimental nature of the Toffler V itself, you’ll understand why it’s important that Callista and I can count on your absolute and unquestioning obedience in every aspect of your time here on the Toffler V.

Thanks for reading this short introduction. By now, the outer layer of your skin has been irradiated and sterilized, and you can put on your jumpsuit.

Welcome to the Toffler V! The next return trips aren’t scheduled for another 27 years! Settle in!

Newt and Callista

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