“Water, Water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink.” So goes the Rime of the Ancient Mariner as well as Episode 6 of The Colony. With dead fish floating in the canal that now smells like raw sewage, the survivors are facing a formidable dilemma. In 4 short days their fresh water reserves will be gone.
Humans can survive a couple of weeks without food but water is a different story. Our bodies are nearly 80% water by volume. Every organ needs water, especially our lungs, eyes and blood in order to function smoothly. Water is the first key to survival. Dehydration is the beginning of death.
Jim and Deville set out to design and build a 400-gallon cistern to harvest rainwater, while Reno and Sally construct a motorized tricycle to travel greater distances at faster speeds in search of water, food and various supplies.
The clouds fill the skies and a distant thunder the ears of the colonists; yet still no rain from the promised storms. The potable water supplies are down to within 48 hours.
In a constant attempt, veiled as it may be, to perform security, Michel is picked as the “Home Security Officer,” to stand guard throughout the night as the others sleep restfully. He makes it until roughly 2 am and then fatefully decides to doze off in bed.
At 4 am 3 outsiders force the front door open in a brazen night-time burglary. The colonists are violently awakened to the sounds of busting glass and smashing doors. Instantly they are aware that Michel abandoned his post, fell asleep on duty and now no one feels safe. Praying for rain and hoping against an outsider raid, they decide to begin discussions on choosing a leader.
Food, like water and security is front and center in their minds. Jim and Michel head out on the hunt and stumble upon a small alligator in a nearly dry, abandoned swimming pool. Fashioning a lasso, Michel calls it a “man catcher,” they manage to trap and transport the small gator back to the Colony. The Colonists balance killing the reptile with the growling of their stomachs and the gator loses. Dinner, not to mention the blood of the kill, will be abundant.
As the colonists continue to make the best of it, constructing windmills and cisterns, tricycle and forges, they continue to also build envy amongst any onlookers. You sense they are being watched and the more “bling” they build, the more of a target they become. You wonder when the silly, yet annoying little raids of marauding thieves will cease and an eviction by a superior band of outsiders will begin.
Becka, Sally and Reno set out on the newly designed and configured tricycle, a hodge-podge of a motorcycle, a trailer and scrap from the surrounding compound. Their virgin voyage takes them to an abandoned fast food restaurant where they collect old grease from a fryer, a bag full of cockroaches (Becka offers they could eat them) and some odds and ends. Their first excursion into their unknown surroundings is a successful one.
Still no rain.
The group now sets its sights on electing a leader. Convinced that a “person in charge” will make all things right and good, they fashion an election with a double secret ballot. In what can only be described as a knock-off of the TV series Survivor, each colonist has an opportunity to voice for the camera who they like for the newly created position and those they would never vote for.
In the end, Sally is elected as the new commander of colonist forces. The group breathes a collective sigh of relief though I cannot imagine why. A leader would not have kept Michel awake on his botched nighttime security watch; maybe it’s dehydration, maybe near starvation but for some reason that rationale escapes them. Their leader is more a psychological scapegoat than a commander.
And still no rain; the cistern sits nearly empty.
Robert, looking out an open window, surveying the skies, longing for a downpour takes time to read a poem he has carried with him. It ends with the word Hope.
As the word hope whispers in your mind, the rains come with a passion; before too long the heavens open up supplying their new confederate with life giving water.
Brian Brawdy is a former New York Police Officer turned survival expert/political analyst. He is a frequent contributor to Off The Grid News, the co-Host of Off The Grid News Radio and the editor of BrianBrawdy.com