Power Outage

The power went out last night. It was about as big a disaster as you might expect. Nobody expects it in an age of multiple redundancies, buries lines, and robot-managed power systems. It’s amazing how many things people take for granted rely on those electrons zipping around. There were accidents. People shouting in the streets. It was really on the border of a riot.

The power was out for five minutes.

The last outage I could remember was back when I was a young girl, living in the country. Systems weren’t nearly as robust away from the major cities. A big storm came through and blew out multiple relay stations. We just hung around the house, lit some candles, and played some non-digitally-enhanced board games for the first time in years. It had been a fun little window in time, for me.

In the city, it was a flat-out nightmare. Somehow even the backup generators on the transit grid had failed. Traffic safeties kicked in and everything ground to a halt. For a few moments, it was actually quiet in the city for the first time in decades. Then the shouting started.

Man, if you think people get upset when there’s a minor crossover hiccup in the traffic routing. You have no idea.

I was fortunate enough to already be at home when it happened. I stared out my window at the madness – or at least what I could make of it in the nearly defunct sunlight. I heard more than I saw. The peace officers were just starting to make their way down the line, urging calm, when everything clicked back on.

The noise of the city doesn’t really bother you so much, living in it, but when it all blares back on at once it felt deafening.

I wonder if I should move back out into the country. If there’s any left.