Welcome to Denver – The Newcomer – Chapter 1

“What’s your name?”

“Tucker. Marvin Tucker.”

“You seem nervous.”

“Just tired. Took a long time to get here.”

“Well, you’re here now. Welcome to Denver.”

She pulled back a seat and gestured for Tucker to sit down.

“I’m Traci Lam, I’ve been assigned to be your Welcomer, which means I’ll also be your initial case worker. You can request a new case worker at any time and for any reason. Do you consent to me being your case worker?”

“Sure, yeah. Whatever that means.”

“Great. It just means I’ll be helping you adjust to life here. And with any problems you might have. Are you comfortable with disclosing your gender?”

“What? I’m a man,” said Tucker, surprised by the question.

“Some things are different here than where you came from. There are certain questions we have to ask. You’ll get used to it. So may I call you Mr. Tucker?”

“Go right ahead, Ms. Lam.”

She smiled.

“The first thing we need to decide is where you’re going to live. Of course, you’re welcome to stay here in Denver, but a lot of newcomers prefer to—”

“Oakland.”

“Oakland?”

“I have people in Oakland.”

“That won’t be a problem. The Oakland Communes are very welcoming to newcomers. Have you given much thought to what kind of contract you’ll wish to sign?”

“Contract?”

“I’m sorry, sometimes I get ahead of myself. Living Arrangement Contract. It’s an agreement you make with the commune to determine where you’ll live, what kind of contributions you’ll be making to—”

“Contributions?”

“Yes, Mr. Tucker, you—”

“Now, listen, Ms. Lam. I ain’t got any money. I told them folks at the border. I ain’t got no money.”

Lam smiled wide. “Neither do I, Mr. Tucker. None of us do. That’s not really how things work here.”

Tucker’s eyes widened.

“So that’s true? You people ain’t got no money here?”

“You’re from… Georgia, is it, Mr. Tucker?”

“Atlanta.”

“You’re a long way from Atlanta, Mr. Tucker. There’s a lot you’ll need to learn. When we talk about contributions we’re talking about work contributions. Of course, if for whatever reason, you don’t feel capable of working, then—”

“Well, I don’t mind workin’, Ms. Lam.”

“Of course you don’t.”

“I been workin’ all my life.”

“Of course you have. But we find that some newcomers have suffered physical or emotional stress that prevents them from—”

“I don’t mind workin’, like I said. But I don’t get how y’all get nothin’ done without no money.”

“The standard contract is pretty straightforward. You work 15 hours a week helping with essential labor for the commune. In exchange, you get a place to live, you get electricity, high speed internet, water, sanitation—”

“For free?”

“Well, yes, I guess. We don’t think of it that way.”

“What kinda work I gotta do?”

“There’s a lot of flexibility there. Most people choose to rotate their assignments on a weekly or monthly basis, so it doesn’t get too boring. Other people choose to specialize. I see here on your intake form that you have military experience, so if you wanted to, you could join our self defense service.”

“I think I’m all finished up with soldierin’, Ms. Lam.”

“Of course.”

“So what kind of work they want me to do? I been doin’ some carpentry, back in Atlanta.”

“If you enjoy carpentry you could specialize in it. Or you can just make it an assignment that you rotate into on a regular basis. We also have apprenticeship programs, educational programs, I have some brochures here that—”

“I think I’d like to keep on with carpentry, Ms. Lam. And I don’t mind doin’ other jobs, neither. I ain’t too picky ‘bout none of that.”

“Well, then, we’ll give you a standard contract with an emphasis on carpentry, for now. Of course, if you change your mind, you can submit a new contract at any time with your case worker.”

“That’s you, ain’t it?”

“Well, yes, for now, but once you get to Oakland you’ll probably want to select a local case worker.”

“Can’t I stick with you?”

“Certainly, we could carry everything out online. I do have a couple other remote clients.”

“I think I’ll be stickin’ with you, then, Ms. Lam.”

Chapter 2 is now available here.

4 Responses to “Welcome to Denver – The Newcomer – Chapter 1

  • So is this like Australia Project or something?

    • Emerican Johnson
      5 months ago

      Not sure what the Australia Project, google didn’t seem to help… What’s that about?

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