Electricity in The Tribe

Power and Chaos…but no power

Imagine a world without power – no lights, no computers, no tv’s, no dishwashers, toasters, hairdryers or electric toothbrushes. No ovens, microwaves or stereos. This is how life would be if there were no adults to run power stations and no one to run the technological infrastructure.

In the beginning of The Tribe small sources of power were utilised, especially batteries. But batteries only lasted for so long and could only be recharged so many times before they were useless. Jack and Dal put more thought into a long term system and developed a windpowered electricity system for the Mall.

Other sources of power in The Tribe have been modified to suit. The Loco’s and the Chosen used slave power. They were said to have made bike powered machines that the slaves would peddle all day for the electric generators – shocking!

Without electricity there was a huge effect on society, everyone had to adjust. It was like life had gone back to a pre-industrial existence. Without a steady supply of electricity it was back to cooking over an open fire and making sure food was cooked properly or there was also the risk of contracting salmonella and other food poisoning. Back to the days of going outside in search of adventure instead of sitting in front of the tv.

Without tv what do you do at night? There wouldn’t be Survivor to watch on TV because you’d be surviving every hour of every day yourself. There would be no listening to music or playing computer games. Other things would have to be found to keep you entertained and busy.

We tend to take lighting for granted. With the flick of a switch we can see everything at night and we’re not often put into a black out situation unless there is a power cut. So candles are used instead – but these pose problems of their own, they can be extremely dangerous and the slightest inattention could mean disaster. Street lighting would no longer be, and this would make the streets more hazardous to anyone who couldn’t defend themselves against rival tribes.

Who has the power?

People who have had control of the city have never been able to fully help or restore the situation of power and electricity. Trading is done with what little resources they have like batteries or sometimes force is used like Zoot and his Loco’s. Even the Mallrats had no power and limited batteries apart from the small amount generated from the wind.

No leader has had the solution for the city’s desperate thirst for electricity and many things have been tried.

All that changed with the arrival of the Techno’s who came with battery powered computers and laptops. They carried vast repository data and information from the days of the adults, and they knew how to utilise it. Ram’s technical brilliance enabled him to spearhead a study of how different technological processes had worked in the days of the adults. He had the ability to run a full size power station.

Ram was determined to restore the power station – through trial and error – to bring power to the city and all it’s inhabitants. Where originally all they got was frustration they were able to realise they had the technology to turn the power on and did so with a large public ceremony.

The Techno’s switched it on. Once again people can enjoy music, lighting, microwaves and t.v. although there is nothing to watch. Perhaps the Techno’s will broadcast their own tv station?

Why turn the power on?

What are the Techno’s motives? Why would they want a return to using electricity? Is it benevolent, are they doing it as a nice gesture? Perhaps Ram missed his microwave snacks, or maybe it was out of kindness thinking that with would come peace, stability and happiness to the city. Of course this is what Jay wants, to build something better, to open hospitals and schools.

Or perhaps it is for something more sinister. To win the favour of the citizens, to continue to rule. Through light power the Techno’s could gain political power.

The Consequences

How do you keep a power station running? It’s a Coal Power Station but who digs the coal? Do the Techno’s intend to do it themselves or do they have others in mind – the Virts.

Electricity can bring creature comforts like microwave popcorn but what about the effects on the environment – Pride is totally against electrical power because of the potentially devastating effects on the environment – global warming. Should mother nature come before popcorn and hi-fi stereos? Something has to give way – how do you choose?

How long has the power station been sitting idle and how disintegrated are the lines? Fuses are likely to be blown and not everything will work. The potential for explosions and faulty wiring is enormous. There are plenty of potential fire hazards but where is the fire service?

Before power there was just power and chaos but in Tribe 4 there is power and it adds a whole new element to the city. Does electricity strengthen the city or hinder the city?

What are the Techno’s planning next? Only time will tell…