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|Give This a Chance||1334.3||-147.7||1st issue.
THE RESISTANCE - FOR A BRIGHTER FUTURE
Welcome to the first Resistance Newsletter! This will be a place to share important information to keep us all better informed about what’s actually going on around us. Some of you have already told me this is a waste of time and resources, but I’m going to ask you to give this a chance and see what happens. Right now I’m seeing people without any farming knowledge accidentally kill their plants, while others have the knowledge but not enough manpower. Many are afraid because they heard rumours that machines have been sighted nearby, while the scout teams know that it was just a guy who got scared by a rustling bush - it does not need to be this way!
My hope is that this newsletter will make us more connected. Which will in turn make us stronger. So please bear with me! And if you have anything to share: don’t hesitate to come see me at my office in Varuhuset in Old Östervik, and help make this newsletter truly important.
Hello everyone, I’m Marja - the rugged-looking mum you can find trying to make a home at the Post Office in old Östervik. I know we all look pretty rugged by now, but sometimes I don't even recognize myself in the mirror, and that’s a bit scary.
I arrived with my family from up north some days ago (my husband Fredrik and our 6-year old Nikoli say hi as well). We had heard rumours about survivors in Östervik, but I hadn’t dared to hope there would be this many. I actually started crying when I saw the intact barricades - that’s a VERY NICE sight. I hope this newsletter can become a part of what you all have built here, and to those whom I’ve already talked to about this: I’ll try my best to not let you down! Please come see me if you have any feedback!
|We Could Use Your Help||1186.1||-107.8||2nd issue.
MEET RIIKKA - ÖSTERVIK’S NEW FARMER
Riikka has firmly explained that she is in fact too busy for an interview, but as long as I ask my questions while helping out with the planting I’ve been allowed some time with this busy woman. “We could use your help here at the farm, you know,” Riikka says as I pour soil into one of the lined up pallets. “Instead of having you holed up in some make-believe newsletter office.” But that is actually what I’m here to fix - Riikka and her friends know how to make food grow, but more people are needed to help out if we want the farm to become part of our food supply. The only problem as I see it is that people don’t know that they are needed.
“I’m too old to fight,” Riikka tells me. “That became painstakingly obvious when I broke my arm after a tumble down a puny little hill.” Riikka and her friends were fleeing from up north when they ran into a group of machines. “Had they seen us, we would be dirt by now,” Riikka continues. “So I guess I shouldn’t complain over a broken arm.”
I think that a broken arm must make farming quite hard, but Riikka doesn’t seem too bothered as she digs down some recently found spinach seeds, her hand moving faster than my two combined as she makes sure the seeds are at their appropriate depth.
I ask if there’s anything more I can do for her and for the first time that I’ve seen she stops still in her tracks; her gaze suddenly distant. “If you get Layla back I’ll do anything you ask of me for the rest of my life,” she says. But before I can ask further she walks away towards the house, the door slamming shut behind her. I finish filling the pallet I’ve been working on with fresh soil before I return to my “make-believe” office.
HOW TO MAKE BREAD ON A STICK
Börje shares his recipe and some tips and tricks to make the best Bread on a Stick - remember to choose a good stick so you’ll get that perfect twirl!
|That Tremendous Explosion||730.0||-12.5||3rd issue.
DOES ANYONE HAVE INFO ABOUT THE BOMB?
Many of you are asking about the bomb. I understand that. We are all shaken by it. If you, or someone you know, knows anything about it please come see me. People need more information about this. I think we all felt the earthquake and heard that tremendous explosion. At first I thought it was some new horrendous machine, and if it wasn’t for my family, I honestly think I would have given up then and there. Is it strange to say that I felt relief when I saw the cloud form in the sky? A nuclear bomb is the most horrible thing we knew of from before, and yet it was better than another one of these monster machines hunting us. That says something about the new world we’re living in. Some of you think the bomb came from the machines, but I don’t think that (or is it just that I can’t think that because it would break me? Sometimes I don’t know anymore). I think it must be some other force trying to help us against the machines, and I will cling to that hope until proven wrong.
PRACTICE YOUR SHOOTING SKILLS
Unsure how to handle a gun? Let Ousmane help you! He’s holding shooting practice each Tuesday and Thursday up by the school as long as people show up. He previously worked as an instructor in the military, so you will be in good hands. Also, if you’re in a bad mood his never ending smile and infectious laugh might be what’s needed to cheer you up. You are allowed to smile even if the world is hard after all.
I want to send a big thank you to everyone who has come to see me over the last week. I was in fact close to giving up on this project, but the amount of support I’ve gotten this week is overwhelming. It turns out that there are a lot more people than I knew reading this paper, since the same copy apparently travels between many hands. Riikka even came by my office to tell me they have gotten all the help they need at the farm for now. In just a week! I think that’s amazing! Thank you to everyone who’s making a choice to participate in building this community. And look out for posters and further information about a Community Meeting that I might try to put together this week - we still have a lot more room for growth!
|Ways We Can Evolve||1250.9||-13.8||4th issue.
COMMUNITY MEETINGS ARE NOW A REALITY!
I’ve been talking with many of you since the first week I got here about regular Community Meetings and how they would help organize us. And now it has happened! This week Östervik’s first Resistance Community Meeting was held!
We had 9 people attending, which is amazing - 9 people who want to take responsibility and think about ways we can evolve. We had coffee and freshly baked cinnamon buns, and I’ll make sure we find you something nice for the next meeting as well! The Community Meetings are open for anyone, so don’t hesitate to come and check them out!
This time we discussed the need to better organize our patrols. Up until now the military group has been responsible for all patrols, but they are too few and are exhausting themselves, so we need more people to learn how to do this. Commander Ström will put together a mentor arrangement for you to join, and I assured her that many of you out there will show up to help with this, so don’t fail me now! We depend on you!
Other than patrol duty we will look into organized scavenging and farming, and Aster talked about hacking into the military communication systems so that we can reach survivors all over Östertörn - she will look into that.
For questions regarding the Community Meetings, come see me or Anders. Anders has done a great job putting this one together. I mean, he even managed to bake cinnamon buns!! So a huge shout out to him! Clap, clap, clap!
ARE OUR GARDEN GNOMES A THREAT?
There’s a rumor I’ve been asked to address about some kind of mix between garden gnomes and the small machines known as “ticks”. Apparently the gnomes have merged with these machines. This all seems a bit far fetched if you ask me, but there are people here who SWEAR that they have seen them. I guess that until we know more, the wisest cause of action might be to stay away from any gnomes you come across? Just in case they turn out to be some kind of hybrid killing machine? I don’t want to frighten anyone needlessly, but safe is still better than sorry after all. Take care, and please report anything you find out about this to me.
|We Shall Not Let Them Build Their Walls||1006.1||457.2||5th issue.
This week I got to know Janek, an electrician who has been studying the machines since the day they showed up. Lately there’s been sightings of machines building structures a bit all over the place which is deeply worrying - it seems like they are planning for something, and if so, we desperately need to know what.
Janek is very welcoming as he invites me into his house, or his sister’s house, as he tells me. “You are doing a good thing with this community,” he says. “I wasn’t sure if I could contribute with anything, but if you think I have something important to say, maybe I do. We need people like you to guide us.” He offers me a Fizzly Pop and we sit down on his sister’s couch.
“At first I thought they were building forts for the Russians,” Janek says. “But I’m not sure. The structures I have seen do not seem built for humankind. They resemble human structures, but ultimately fill other needs; walls protecting cables that go into the ground, super computers surrounded by crates. Sometimes it even looks like they mimic us in a way. They erase our homes to build their own structures atop the rubble. Almost like they’re trying to rebuild human society, but in a way that fits them.”
Janek shudders and grabs a Fizzly Pop. “We should not let them build their walls,” he says in a low voice. “We cannot let them expand. They will just grow stronger. But I’m just a man with a limp. I do not know what to do. I just know that we have to be stronger than we are if we want humanity to stay on this earth.” He reaches out towards me and I let him take my hands in his. His grasp is tender but I can feel strength in that tenderness. “Your mind burns bright, Marja. If you can see the future, don’t let anyone make you lose hold of it.”
As I leave the house, where Janek still waits for his sister Marta to return, I don’t know if I want to laugh or cry. But that’s the power of people. That is what we need to fight for. That is what we need to grow stronger than ever before to protect.
I’m sorry this issue is a bit late, Nikoli has been sick so the newsletter got put on hold for a while. I’m thankful for all the help and support we have received during this time, and I’m happy to say that his fever has been down the last two days.
|Our Dirty Little Secrets||1120.8||49.9||6th issue.
REPORT FROM THE CRATER!
This very day I met with the first survivor we know of who has actually been to the infamous crater. Philip’s voice is broken and he speaks sparingly, as if every word is a fight. He warns me not to get too close since his protective equipment didn’t fully keep him safe from the radiation. But he wants us to know what’s there.
“They didn’t drop it just anywhere,” he coughs. “Bunker. There’s a bunker there. A hidden one. Not part of the evacuation program. Secret. Except that someone must have known. Someone with a bomb knew and didn’t like it.”
I feel stunned. What does a secret bunker mean? I ask if Philip got inside but all he could enter were the transportation corridors. The doors leading further in were all locked. So is whoever dropped the bomb satisfied now, or should we anticipate more to come?
“We don’t know how many secrets they hid here,” Philip says. “This archipelago idyll was more important than we all knew. And more twisted.”
But even so, it has now been over a month since the bomb dropped, and we have seen no further activity in the area. Neither machines nor any foreign soldiers seem interested.
“But they know more than we,” Philip coughs and stares with vacant eyes at the clouds. “The ones with the bombs know more about our dirty little secrets than we do.” His voice is little more than a rasp now. I hand him a glass of water before he silently nods that there is nothing more to say.
“The Growing Tree” wants to inform everyone that they are interested in buying apples and have both food and ammunition to trade. Any apples you want to trade can be left at the last house by the road leading north from Östervik. Just don’t ask me who this “The Growing Tree” person is, they just leave letters to me on the steps leading to the Post Office. But we need ammunition and food, so if anyone has apples to spare, why not make the trade?
For anyone who thinks that I “manipulate this community according to my own personal agenda” I just want to say that everything I do is for the BENEFIT of this community. “My personal agenda” is to help this community grow and make sure that as many as possible are aware of the needs and problems we face. If this makes me into some “manipulative wanna-be tyrant” I don’t know what to tell you, Mister Concerned. People will listen to me as long as I come with sensible ideas, that’s not the same as being manipulative. But feel free to come and see me so we can talk about your concerns face to face. I wouldn’t want these concerns to in any way hinder our continued growth and survival after all.
|This is Just the Start||1119.8||-76.7||7th issue.
So there’s apparently a whole bunch of people out there who do not like schedules (or is it just generally all types of change you don’t like?), and want to “go back to doing things like we did before”. And this glorious “before” is, as far as I can tell, people living side by side without coordinating anything; patrols covering the same areas without knowing about it, fresh food going to waste because one group of people has too much while others go hungry just two streets away - these are things that were happening before and they PUT US ALL AT RISK. Sure, I know that a lot of people don’t like schedules, but is that inconvenience really worth the machines killing your friends?
And you know what? All this RELUCTANCE to search for better ways to survive just makes me want to do MORE. You think that a schedule for patrols and food scavenging is a big thing? This is just the start! It’s time that we look at the bigger picture. I mean, what’s our main goal here? What’s our vision? Our dreams and hopes?
If I had a shotgun for each time someone told me to “not be so optimistic” I could make an army out of the whole world by now. But how do we know where to go if no one dares to dream any more? Do you honestly think we would die if we were a bit optimistic now and again? I know it’s hard, but you actually CAN be optimistic even if you’ve lost a close one. Dangnabbit, that’s the exact time you NEED to be a bit optimistic! Right now we are only set on surviving. Growing food and having organised patrols is all well and good, but is this really the best we can do? Is following a schedule really the end of our limits? No! Of course not! But we do need something to set our eyes on. A long term plan to believe in - and a plan that does not involve all of us throwing ourselves at the machines in some foolhardy attack, please. So when you’re done complaining and actually want to discuss alternative solutions: just come by my office. Let's figure this out together, okay?
Börje Persson has been missing for a week. Last known to have gone to trade apples with “The Growing Tree”. If anyone has heard from him please let Riikka and Mona know as soon as possible.
|Something No One Else Dreamed About||1174.4||-286.4||8th issue.
FIGHT BACK BY TAKING ON ASSIGNMENTS
Previously I’ve mentioned Aster’s initiative to help survivors all over Östertörn to organize in the war against the machines. Aster has since then been working night and day to make this a reality, and now her efforts are paying off! As of today, anyone can gain access to specific military communication computers (called FMTel stations) and see information that Aster is sending out! By hacking into this system Aster is able to send out lists describing growing threats we observe, so that survivors can focus their energy on tackling high priority tasks.
“I wanted to help organize things,” Aster says and sips on what must be her fifth glass of cola since I entered her office. “Sometimes people just don’t know what to do, and they can feel unmotivated to go on. But knowing that they are part of something bigger can help. Knowing that we are here in Östervik, that they are contributing, like you always tell us to do Marja – that truly helps people. So I just wanted to be a part of that.”
I feel truly inspired standing in Aster’s cramped office. Here’s a person who’s seen an area where their expertise can help. Aster alone has come up with something no one else dreamed about. If you feel discouraged and don’t know how to help, just look at Aster and think about your personal strengths and how to use them. As I leave her office, Aster has turned back to the FMTel station, laughing as she rapidly types on the machine. I think I hear her mutter something about a bike before I leave. Walking outside I have the feeling that the world is just a little bit brighter.
LOOKING FOR ORANGE SODA
Please deliver to Björntunet Hotel on Himfjäll Island in exchange for a bottle of well-aged red wine or an original signature from Benny Malmqvist, member of Barb Rose.
Editor's note: Benny, this is the first and ONLY time I'm publishing this. Please stop sending me letters and use your time for something more constructive!
|Things Might Turn Ugly||842.1||292.5||9th issue.
LEAVING THE IRON CHURCH
Most of the residents of Östervik have come to know about the group calling themselves “The Iron Church” by now. If you don’t know what I speak of, it's the often quite muscular people who always move in groups and seem to think that all food belongs to them. They’ve even set up some kind of “recruitment corner” here in Old Östervik - which I advise you all to stay far away from!!
Lisa has lived with the Iron Church for over 2 months before she decided to leave them. “I read your article about Aster and it’s so nice how you all have your different ways to contribute here. It made me think about how I can help. And so here I am,” Lisa says. Her eyes briefly meet mine before they return to scanning the windows behind me. There have been several confrontations between the Iron Church and the Östervik Resistance lately, and Lisa is worried that things might turn ugly. “I’ve read about the Östervik Resistance since the first newsletter, you know. I would never forgive myself if I just sat back and let the Iron Church destroy what you’ve built up.”
The group existed already before the Cataclysm. “They were prepared for something like this,” Lisa says. “The members had stocked up on food and they were all training vigorously to be as ready as possible for the day when foreign countries would invade. That’s why I joined them to begin with. I mean, I just wanted to survive the next day and they seemed to know what they were doing. My mind was all desperate, ever since I ran from the machines that first day I’ve not been able to actually think, my mind has just been shut off while my body has been running. But boy, was I wrong to join them. Do you know that new members are put on a field with nothing but a baseball bat, and are only allowed to return once they’ve killed a machine? I’ve seen three young recruits die this way and I’m sure that’s not even all! It’s forbidden to express any kind of weakness, like showing doubt that you would be fit enough to take on tons of machines.”
Lisa sighs and nervously scratches a scar on her left arm. “All these recent fights over loot… The Iron Church members are getting more and more annoyed with you guys, you know. I think some of them are planning some kind of “retribution”. But I read that you have your own food production going on, right? You don’t need to risk a fight over some canned beans, so maybe we can just leave the looting to them and just not involve ourselves?” Lisa looks at me with such pleading eyes that I have to stop myself from making any promises then and there.
The information that Lisa has so courageously shared with us is very much something that we as a community need to reach a decision about, and fast. I’m lifting this to be the main topic for the Resistance Community Meeting this Friday. Please join if you’re able.
Editor’s note: Lisa is not the person’s real name.
|Observation Posts||961.1||-109.2||10th issue.
REPORTS FROM BOO TOWN
Finally some news from up north! We have heard before of Soviet soldiers in the areas north of Boo Town, and I know that this has made people both worried and hopeful. Are they here to invade, or will they help? Right now we’re trying to prepare for either possibility, which is quite stressful.
This week there arrived a group of people who were actually at Boo Town as the Soviets arrived. From what they tell me the Soviets suddenly marched down from the north and quickly fortified the northern parts of Boo with some kind of ready-made fortification walls. The Östertörn survivors already had defenses at the bridge in case of a machine attack, so they found themselves in some sort of involuntary stalemate. They received no signs of either an attack or attempts at communication though. Instead they report sightings of the Soviets setting up what looked like observation posts. After two days, the machines came in heavy on the whole town (possibly as a reaction to the Soviet presence, but no one really knows for sure) and as far as they know the Soviets retreated back further north.
And that’s it folks, we know what happened in Boo Town. The good news is that apparently we’re not at war with Soviet. Yet, anyway. Personally I think they are here to get a grasp on what’s going on with the killer machines. Even though I admit they should have talked to us if it’s information they want. Anyway, we clearly need to keep an eye on the northern areas, so that we know what’s going on.
I am sad to say that this will be the last newsletter issue for a while. So many of you have expressed your support and gratitude for my work over these weeks that I’m actually crying a bit as I write this. We have come a long way together. But as I’m taking a more active role as the President of the Resistance Community Meetings I will need to focus my time there for a bit. The frequent requests that I meet with all our different groups in person to help organize and evaluate the current structure will also be something that requires a lot of my time, but I’m more than happy to do it! We’re moving forward, I can feel it!
Know that you will all always be in my heart. Whether as your Editor or as your President, I will always strive to give you all the best possible future. And I’ll still be at the Post Office if you ever want to discuss something. I will listen. And remember: If you fight for something you believe in, anything is possible!