A Summer Within A Summer And A World Outside A World

 

Camp Belknap

 

 

 

 

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A Summer Within A Summer, A World Outside A World

 

The two most important days of your life is the day you were born and the day you find out why.”

~Mark Twain

 

 

 

Occasionally I gaze out the window of my well organized, cleaned and perfectly formatted bedroom. A perfect bed, made, in the middle of the room with two bedside tables place symmetrically on either side of my bed. Both have identical lamps, but one has some water on it while the other one is filled with a tissue box and a digital clock. All so clean and tidy. Every cabinet, every box and every device laid out on my desk in an immaculate fashion. But one thing wasn’t perfect in my bedroom, and that is the crave for fresh air and relentless fun. 

 

After beginning at Fenn for not even a complete week yet, I received an Email prompting a camping trip from Mr. Irwin. I thought in my head:” Great, exactly what I needed.” After a summer to and from the airports across the globe, I to some extent got bored of modern, city life and wanted change gears for a bit. And here is my chance! A trip to the deep woods of New Hampshire where no one is allowed to have technology with them. Sometimes we really do need these breaks from an overall planned out lifestyle and the total reliance of technology that as humans, we have adapted very well, but isn’t necessarily the most healthy and beneficial way of communicating. Over snapchat or instagram. Just not articulate enough to me. 

 

Five O’Clock in the morning of my first, maybe second Wendsday at Fenn was spent eating a simple but highly nutritious meal, then loading up the bus. To my surprise it wasn’t packed, as we only had about 30 people to fit on a 50 person bus. I’m the type of person who despises technology but is forced to use them and perfect it’s techniques (my typing skills maybe?), but would rather do things the primitive way, by hand. For the bus ride I urged myself not to look at my phone, although I packed a spare charger, a charging case and a fully charged battery. No headphones, nothing except a book and the ever changing view outside the windows. This went on for quite some time and I eventually decided it was time to watch a movie for the remainder of the ride. 

 

Arrival at camp was smooth, everyone there greeted our cluster of people waiting to unload the bus. And we got to meet our cabin leader, Mack, who was an outstanding guy in almost every field. Sports, academics, art, you name it. As you might expect from any new place you visit, we were briefed by the camp staff, made clear of the rules and regulations and sent to lunch. It was a great lunch, you might not think at first as it was only burgers, but the assortment of topping you were able to put on it is countless, two full tables of it. I’m not sure, it places so much stress on deciding on what to fill your plate with. And went off to general swim, which is basically doing a wide variety of water activities like canoeing, which I liked the best because i won’t get wet, swimming, paddle board, kayak etc…

 

Over the course of three days, the activities had remained the same, On one day we tried some sailing and rock climbing, but I was not at all bored, I was pumped for the next day. One of the things that really stood out to me at Belknap was the respect and teamwork put into doing these activities, since the first day I began noticing drastic differences in people, people were forced to socialize, at first it was hard for people, it was hard for me too feeling so foreign to this ancient way of communication, but we adapted fast, by the next day we were up and running at 8 AM and not sleeping, still sprinting hard on the soccer field after 9 PM, a thirteen hour day in intense physical stress, somehow we didn’t feel tired, reluctant or wanting to give up, we wanted more timed on the fields, in the water and in boats. A relentless fervor. 

 

One of the most impressive things that struck me on that trip was seeing the milky way galaxy up close, no telescope, with your bare eyes. This time however I did not feel joy rushing in my veins, instead I felt confined and restrained. I realized that there was still more in this world than just smartphones, maximizing your own profits and other things that most of seemed to have forgot about the vast frontiers still left covered for us. And that was the motivation that is pushing me forwards and putting some of the building blocks on the mighty construction project of ingenuity and discovery.


Mid Term Essay

Squandering Time

Iphone-6s

"If you live an average of 80 years, then 30 of them are spent sleeping, 5 spent eating 20 years working and 20 years learning, you really only get 5 years to yourself, so make that time count."

~Steven X

 

    When our minds conduct irrelevant actions, time still persists. I am that kind of person, I organize every app on my iPad and iPhone, tune every setting to the most optimal condition, and makes sure that every red dot on the corner of every app disappears. I do this every other day, every week, every month, nonstop. One Tuesday after school, at 12:45 school let out and my mom drove me home. Before eating, before petting my dog and changing I go straight to my room, lay out the iPad and iPhone on my bed and begun an unending series of moving around shaking apps of different colors. Took me around fifteen minutes to get the apps set in designated locations on every screen that synced on both devices, and continued onto the settings; I went through every battery saving switch I could turn off or turn on, you think there will be only two? Well, you’re wrong, despite me knowing that all notifications are turned off, screen brightness is just right at around 50% and background app refresh turned off completely. I just had to check those settings again and again, worrying that I could’ve missed one button. And did I say that I had to change to a fresh wallpaper every other day? So I would do that, browsing through the internet for minutes until I finally settled on an impeccable wallpaper that I was happy about and had resemblance to one of the stock Apple wallpapers. After that was taken care of, I went to my search history, cleared it, and exited out every app that I ever opened. Doing this, I gave away 45 minutes of my life, time that I could’ve used to help myself, or help others, instead I donated that time to a device whose purpose was to deliver calls and make my life easier, I just made it harder for myself.


Thanksgiving Essay

Steven Xing

11/19/2018

Freshman English

 

 

Thanksgiving Essay

The Many Uses of a Manual

Thanksgiving-orig

 

“Helping one person may not change the whole world, but it could change the world for one person."~Unknown

 

 

    Most of us lead rather reclusive lives in this new era, and many of these people forgot the roads they took to get there, the people who helped them, and the things they’ve done. The present always holds the most attention, while the past is often neglected, and future not considered. Despite all that I recall very clearly that it was my community, the circle that our house was located, with four other houses, whose owners helped us get settled in when we moved to Lexington from Seattle three years ago. The day we finished the 11 day long moving trip by car from Seattle to Lexington, we were exhausted, no one had any energy left for anything, not even food, we just went to sleep on the ground at five in the afternoon. The very next day we began moving things into the house, the furniture, toys, etc… while my mother was on the phone with various electrical, network, companies to schedule what seemed like thousands of appointments. It felt like that just the physical strain of moving the furniture had burned our family our already, and when we finished a days hard work of moving around items, we realized that we were totally oblivious to the logistics of a new place, whether it be setting up a new routine for everyone, arranging transportation for my brother and I, or schools. But thankfully, our neighbors had most of this prepared for us already, they came with cookies and flowers to welcome us, along with a thick pile of papers detailing general things that goes on in the town, and those manuals, we still use them today. What our neighbors did that day, whether they do that for all newcomers or just us, didn’t just alleviate the pressure of moving three thousand miles from the west coast to the east, it demonstrated that we are not just neighbors, but we are friends who just happen to live next to each other, and can be relied upon. So for closing, Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow neighbors and all those who assisted me in times of want and need.


Power of Hard Times

Power of Hard Times

Risk and Reward

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“The mind tires before the body.”

~Every Athlete



    Experiencing hardship is an unavoidable part of anyone’s life, but by enduring through one gets rewarded. I experienced this through a summer camp I went to this past summer. It was a swim camp, two weeks long and in the Sunshine State, strenuous training day after day, and rest becomes a luxury. When I laid in the camp dorms, it was like my heart was being suspended on a string, watching the clock tick, dreading the challenges that will come next. Every minute seemed like an eternity, and when the coaches screamed for us to go to practice, my mind subconsciously raced through the possibilities of skipping, but I managed to stop that thought every time. Every time my muscles ached with the production of Lactic acids, ideas of giving up enveloped my mind. Everytime that happened, I thought of the consequences of me forfeiting-”Nope, that’s not going to happen, I don’t want to lay my place in everyone’s eyes as the first and only one to give up.” Then I cut my mind to the benefits these two weeks would bring-”I would be one step ahead of my peers in regards to swimming, I want that glory.” As I boarded the plane back to Boston, I reflected on my actions and experiences; I realized that hardship is like lifting your legs on a staircase, it’s tiring, but once you get to that next level; excitement awaits. Gold medals aren’t made of gold, they are composed of sweat and hard work, and the rewards I gained from those two weeks in Florida was priceless. It wasn't merely good results in meets, but I learned a lesson that could be carried on to different aspects of life.


Passion of Place

Passion of Place

Hidden Opportunities

Golden-opportunity




“That place is the source of derision, that derision is my impetus.”

~Steven Xing



    We all have reasons for our motivations to do things, whether it be friends, feelings or simply curiosity, we all have reasons to do things that otherwise would not be done. For me, it is a place, a place that reminds me of things that I would want changed, and this is also my motivation to continually exploit myself and constantly thrive. It was the summer of 2013, and I was at sailing camp. I was sitting in an abandoned boathouse having pizza with one other kid a grade above me who was having pasta. I was daydreaming at that moment and not even realizing that I was humming a random tune, all of a sudden I was shaken back to consciousness by a loud slap on the back of my head and a stream of swear words behind me. I didn’t turn back to look at my attacker, instead I looked at the empty chair in front of me that was occupied a minute ago and continued eating. My body was rigid as I ate the food, it felt as if one bite off of a pizza took an eternity, I was frozen, I was too young to know what to do. Meanwhile, another slap came from behind, more swear words. This time I took off, but rather a little faster than walking pace as I had no shoes on and it was sharp, uneven ground outside. Not once did I look at my adversary, I knew who it was. To this day that short scene still plays in my mind; the red brick boathouse with it’s single, long chimney and a few crooked chairs on the inside and an old dusty whiteboard that served as a makeshift classroom for the sailing camp. The rage I compiled that shameful day and the treacherous actions I had been subjected to did not shake my confidence, instead it presented me with a new opportunity, a goal that would come to shape my life, I did not desire equal revenge, I chose to supercede them not at that moment, but in the future. The symbolic importance of that boathouse was, is and will be the fence that keeps me on track to that goal and the fuel that propels me physically and mentally.




The Power of Family

The Power of Family

 

“Family is the compass that guides us, they are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter.”

~Brad Henry

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    No person, no thing, no place is obligated to guide you, educate you and comfort you. But a family, my family will do just that, but even more. The wrong decisions I made, the mistakes I made, no one could understand me, no one would forgive me. I knew, deep in my heart, it is only my family that could condone my faults and wrongs. Occasionally I flounder in school, my academics fail and my grades drop. I didn’t have the courage to tell anyone, not even my family, I would lie, I would do whatever I can to make them happy, to make them proud. But I knew it was no use, they all knew me too well, no time did they come screaming at me because of the flaws and errors, instead, they congratulated me on what little achievements I gained. They don’t point fingers at my weaknesses, as I often do when I discover faults in others. Sometimes I feel guilty, not replying to their hard work on the backstage with equal or greater effort under the spotlight. I regret the negative feelings I had towards them occasionally, my misunderstanding of their perspective. I underestimate the effort they put into my learning career, the many things I love to do, I feel deep regret. Every once in a while, my optimistic feelings plummet, staring at my surroundings dull and without color, no one understood me, not even my closest friends. When I was on the verge of tears, nobody knew was was happening, except for my family, they somehow knew just the right way to comfort me, the soothing sounds of familiar voices bears the healing powers. It was like a battery getting recharged with joy, and I am myself again. The situation may be dire, when I thought I am stuck and kerfuffled, it my family, and only my family that brings me back to dry land and rejuvenate me back to my normal life.

 


The Power of Family

The Power of Family

 

“Family is the compass that guides us, they are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter.”

~Brad Henry

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    No person, no thing, no place is obligated to guide you, educate you and comfort you. But a family, my family will do just that, but even more. The wrong decisions I made, the mistakes I made, no one could understand me, no one would forgive me. I knew, deep in my heart, it is only my family that could condone my faults and wrongs. Occasionally I flounder in school, my academics fail and my grades drop. I didn’t have the courage to tell anyone, not even my family, I would lie, I would do whatever I can to make them happy, to make them proud. But I knew it was no use, they all knew me too well, no time did they come screaming at me because of the flaws and errors, instead, they congratulated me on what little achievements I gained. They don’t point fingers at my weaknesses, as I often do when I discover faults in others. Sometimes I feel guilty, not replying to their hard work on the backstage with equal or greater effort under the spotlight. I regret the negative feelings I had towards them occasionally, my misunderstanding of their perspective. I underestimate the effort they put into my learning career, the many things I love to do, I feel deep regret. Every once in a while, my optimistic feelings plummet, staring at my surroundings dull and without color, no one understood me, not even my closest friends. When I was on the verge of tears, nobody knew was was happening, except for my family, they somehow knew just the right way to comfort me, the soothing sounds of familiar voices bears the healing powers. It was like a battery getting recharged with joy, and I am myself again. The situation may be dire, when I thought I am stuck and kerfuffled, it my family, and only my family that brings me back to dry land and rejuvenate me back to my normal life.

 


The Call of the Wild Literary Analysis Essay

Steven Xing

Freshman English

10/23/2018

Literary Analysis Essay

 

 

Apex Predator

 

Perseverance keeps one alive, violence helps one strive

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 “He was glad for one thing: the rope was off his neck. That had given them an unfair advantage; but now that it was off, he would show them. They would never get another rope around his neck. Upon that he was resolved.” (Chapter I, The Call of the Wild, Jack London)

 

 

    Up the mountain paths, through the bald Northern Canadian tundras and treading through the densely packed snow, the animals toiling for over three thousand rigorous miles. It was violence that introduced them to each other and to their surroundings, and it was violence that eventually tore them apart. It was perseverance that brought them the glory, but it was their unwavering steadfastness that ultimately laid them to rest. In the novella Call of the Wild by Jack London, Buck and his fellow sled mates had grown to understand that violence is what kills them and perseverance is what keeps them alive. In contrast with the apathetic and careless life Buck lived in Santa Clara, The wilderness proved itself to be a harsh and torturous environment. In the perspective of humans and animals, both show that the Alaskan tundra is a survival of the fittest, and violence is an indispensable factor.

 

    Buck, Sol-leks and the remnants of the crippled team were enduring through the snowed out Klondike paths while dogs were falling one after another and getting shot by the ignorant Hal, the dogs’ master:

“However, one of the dogs, Dave, is suffering from a strange illness that no one can diagnose. The men decide he is too weak to pull the sled and try to pull him out of his position, but he protests until they put him back into his rightful place. They realize that he wants to die working and harness him into his usual position. The next day, he is too weak to travel. He tries to crawl into his position but collapses on the ground and howls mournfully as the team moves away. The Scotsman retraces his steps, the dogs hear a shot ring out, and London writes that “Buck knew, and every dog knew, what had taken place behind the belt of river trees.” (The Call of the Wild, Chapter IV).

Dave, although severely wounded and knew he was going to die, decided that his duty to serve the humans, their masters, was more important than his own life. The dogs began to lose hope, but they were determined to serve their masters until death, especially the old, one eyed Sol-leks: 

Sol-leks, the one-eyed, still faithful to the toil of trace and trail, and mournful in that he had so little strength with which to pull…” (The Call of the Wild, Chapter V).

Sol-leks, although hungry, whipped and injured badly, remained eager to work. He found, although not joy, but satisfaction in his toiling, and persevered through the trails. Faithful, he withstood through his pains, his weakness and his abuses, and he endured an impossible three thousand miles. This perseverance eventually kept Sol-leks and the other dogs away from Hal’s deadly revolver. Sol-leks and Buck concluded that without their unwavering courage and perseverance, none of them would have escaped the revolver, other animals, or the humans who are constantly in pursue of their lives.

 

    Buck, after being kidnapped from his home in Santa Clara, began on a journey of toil, mistreatment, growth and realization. Abused and enslaved by many of his human masters, Buck was finally thrown into a camp full of other dogs. And he quickly learned that these dogs were not the friendly dogs living in his neighborhood in California, these dogs follow the law of club and fang:

“Curly was the victim. They were camped near the log store, where she, in her friendly way, made advances to a husky dog the size of a full-grown wolf, though not half so large as she. There was no warning, only a leap in like a flash, a metallic clip of teeth, a leap out equally swift, and Curly’s face was ripped open from eye to jaw. It was the wolf manner of fighting, to strike and leap away; but there was more to it than this. Thirty or forty huskies ran to the spot and surrounded the combatants in an intent and silent circle. Buck did not comprehend that silent intentness, nor the eager way with which they were lick their chops. Curly rushed her antagonist, who struck again and leaped aside. He met her next rush with his chest, in a peculiar fashion that tumbled her off her feet. She never regained them, This was what the onlooking huskies had waited for. They closed in upon her, snarling and yelping, and she was buried, screaming with agony, beneath the bristling mass of bodies…” (The Call of the Wild, Chapter II). 

Curly is an innocent, friendly dog, while on the other hand, Spitz and the other dogs at the camp are cruel, primitive beasts. This is to contradict the differences between the wilderness and the cities. But also serves as a purpose to demonstrate that the wild, especially the sled dogs are extremely brutal and violent. This taught Buck that here, in the wild, danger is around every corner and every step he takes could be his last. He must adapt to become merciless and violent. 

 

    The Call of the Wild by Jack London should be implemented in the curriculum in any middle school or high school because the book offers important life lessons and demonstrates the disastrous outcomes of violence. The Call of the Wild teaches young adults that having the courage to do something and failing at it will open new doors and give you more possibilities:

“John Thornton asked little of man or nature. He was unafraid of the wild. With a handful of salt and a rifle he could plunge into the wilderness and fare wherever he pleased and as long as he pleased. Being in no haste, Indian fashion, he hunted his dinner in the course of the day's travel; and if he failed to find it, like the Indian, he kept on traveling, secure in the knowledge that sooner or later he would come to it. So, on this great journey into the East, straight meat was the bill of fare, ammunition and tools principally made up the load on the sled, and the time-card was drawn upon the limitless future.” (The Call of the Wild, Chapter V).

John Thornton is a very brave and determined person, he would not stop traveling until he found his food. Occasionally he would fail and not find anything for the day, but he would persist and wait an entire day if it was called for. Being able to persevere is a crucial skill to have for older kids as this greatly influences many aspects of their academic skills including sports and art because these areas especially requires practicing over and over again on tedious and seemingly pointless drills and techniques. Having the ability to persist also has a means of helping alleviate stress, as giving up on a piece of work means it being piled into an insurmountable amount of work, thus creating stress. Learning to overcome obstacles will teach students to overcome hardship and find ways around that obstacle, and not trying to break something that cannot be broken. Another benefit that comes from reading this very successful piece of literature is it’s ability to engage young students to think about and assess on the myriad of unthinkable catastrophic events most likely caused by aggravated humans, but also urges students and young adults to have an introspective analysis of their own faults, and correcting them before it develops into something that is fatal to themselves and to others.

 

    Until the end of the novella The Call of the Wild, the lessons Buck had gathered through blood, sweat and injuries remained with him. The violence he face constantly reminded him of the potential dangers that surround him, and the bloody three thousand mile trail he labored through served as a perpetual reminder that his life, and everyone else’s life is earned through labor and hard work, and that nothing comes free. 


Call of the Wild Reflexion


RUDE AWAKENING

By Steven Xing

 

The blood longing became stronger than ever before. He was a killer, a thing that preyed, living on the things that lived... Surviving triumphantly in a hostile environment where only the strong survived.”

~Call of The Wild

 

 

 

 

 

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Food is expendable, clothing is disposable, tents and equipment could be ditched for a smooth, fast and stress free journey across the Alaskan tundra. Call of the wild by Jack London proved that in the wild, it’s the survival of the fittest when Buck, a house dog enjoying a lazy and luxurious life in Santa Clara, inside judge Miller’s house. He gets to do whatever he wanted and was apathetic when told to work, he ate his food slowly and secured dominance over the other dogs living close to him. But his careless life was tragically altered when he was kidnapped and sold to various travelers or business people to pull sleds for them on the snowy Alaskan terrain. Buck realized that to survive in these conditions, he must learn to fight and rob others, and follow the rules of club and fang.

 

 

In the story, Jack London uses vocabulary that us rarely seen in today’s writings, such as the word brumal, which means hibernation, makes it extremely difficult at times to understand what the author is trying to say. In addition, Some of the words London uses in Call of the Wild seem to be an unsuitable fit in a particular sentence, again increasing the difficulty of understanding his works and analyzing the underlying themes and his tone towards the story. 

 

Jack London wrote his story to portray how a person, although illustrated in the story as a dog, can adapt to any environment if it becomes a threat to his or her well being. He utilized the technique of anthropomorphism to create the characters the the animals in the story. Another subtle thing the writer did was his tone towards most of human characters in the book denoting a possible ridicule of animal abuse, “enslavement” and not viewing animals as lives during the time Call of the Wild was written. Even an already successful leader, Spitz, wasn’t able to escape the jaws of his fellow underlings when he lost the advantage against Buck. Which comes to demonstrate that in a world of perpetual competition, not even a leader who has already achieved his status could survive without fighting.

 

Overall this book took me to the window of the past, particularly the Alaskan gold rush period. What the minds of the humans were, what the dogs were and are possibly thinking, their intentions, etc… Animals, especially dogs are loyal, as depicted through the story, how when Dave was on a sliver of his strength, he strained himself to pull the sled and was reluctant in forfeiting his position to another dog. This book also taught me to adapt to the environments and change the way of doing things according to the situation and needs.

 

 

 

 


Reading Reflection

Reading Reflection

 

Night came on, and a full moon Rose high over the trees lighting the land till it lay bathed in ghostly day. And the strain of the primitive remained alive and active. Faithfulness and devotion, things born of fire and roof were his yet he retained his wildness and willness. And from the depths of the forest, a call still sounded.”

~Jack London



Call of the wild, just like any other book written in 1903, was popular back then more than a hundred years ago, but why,. Why then is this novel I still relevant today? We have to trace back into the book, the language, the message and what it ridicules. The language used in the book by London is eloquent, impactful and methodically placed so that one does not contradict or intervene with the other words. We didn’t read it because other people thought it was worth the grind. But we are reading it top pull out the juices and emotions buried within. We analyze what the other people missed about the author and infer using various techniques. A foreign place, a primitive and unwelcoming group of organisms and a different set of rules not affected by laws. A lawless haven for not just dogs but also humans.


A Primitive Essay

Turmoil and Bewilderment

 

Steven Xing

Alijah Clark

Conor Kennealy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men, no machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.”

~Elbert Hubbard



“Run, run, run! Get that thing off my ass!”

 

“It’s so freaking fast!”

 

“Quick, here’s one of those storage compartments on a hover plane, get inside!”

 

“Close the door!”

 

“Rrrrahhh, ah finally got it to close, that was rough!”

 

“I thought this is military property? How did this thing get in here?”

 

“Don’t ask me, I’m still trying to find service!”

 

“Stop worrying about texting your mom, anyone got anything sharp to pierce the skin?”

 

“Knives are gone, guns are gone, all my weapons just bloody vanished!”

 

“I have a paper clip, but I’m not sure how much help that’ll be.”

 

“I have a pen but I’ve never used it, my grandpa gave it to me as a souvenir from the past. But it’s still sharp,I think it would do the job.”

 

“Pencil? You mean the yellow stick thing people used like almost a century ago?”

 

“What the hell do those things even do? What, are you supposed to write with it or something?”

 

“I think you have to stick it in your hologram devices to charge it!”

 

“I say you’re wasting precious time.”

 

“And I will use it as a weapon now, I don’t know why but I think all the tech just sort of disappeared, no bullets for the guns, no service for our phones and all the tech just like stopped wor…”

 

“Just use the pencil thing and stick it in the lion’s neck, that should do it. Unless you guys are too scared?”

 

“Is that a challenge, because I’ll slit his throat right now.”

 

“Uhhhh, Conor, not sure if you already know this, but I think that lion out there has the other half of your leg…”

 

“...Ahhhhhh! My leg, the lion just bit it offfff! Ahhhhh! Help me!”

 

“Dude, that’s gnarly, that would be a simple surgery in any hospital to reattach it or get prosthetics, maybe a clinic could even do that?”

“Looks like Conor’s down for the count. I would go find help, trust me you wouldn’t bleed out because you remember those microbots that were injected into everyone when they were born? Yeah that should stop the blood.”

 

“Yeah I don’t really think so Alijah, all the tech has been compromised, including those robot things, so I’m dead meat.”

 

“Right, so I will go find help even if we are the second to last people on Earth. The only other people still alive are the ones who could live nomadic lives without technologies down south. But for now I guess the lion can eat Conor for dinner. That’ll buy me some time to relocate our civilization towards the south.”

 

“No! I’m good guys, I found some parts, you all run ahead, I’ll build a bionic leg! Go, there’s no time!”

 

“Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah… Hey Conor look at that, I think I found some water, finally… Conor? What the, is that blood on that plane?”