02/28/2024 Snippet, THE VISITOR FROM OUTSIDE.

Fighting through the Not-Covid Plague! Now my oldest kid has it! Yay!

So today I got to see the inside of the Sentinel Dump for the first time. This primitive phone I was given ‘rang’ for the first time, and that was fun; I almost completely missed it. Fortunately, I figured it all out quickly enough to take the ‘call.’ It was Osborn, and he wanted me to know that I could just go to the Dump at any time I liked. My morning was free, so I went.

You know, you read in books just how primitive the 20th century was, but you don’t really think of what that means in real life. I was expecting some piles of trash and maybe a shack or two, but the Sentinel Dump is huge. Which makes sense, because it was getting so much trash from everywhere. What I didn’t expect was how loud it was. Osborn’s put up soundfences in various spots, and you can see why once you’re past them. Everywhere I turned, there was another hulking mass of ancient industrial equipment (and I mean ancient. Like, pre-electronic, sometimes), wheezing and growling and whining everywhere. And they’d move on their bases, rattling and shuddering, like they were just about to fly into pieces the moment you looked at them.

I don’t know what they were doing. Taking large bits of junk and breaking them into smaller ones, mostly. People would dart between the machines, dumping pieces out of baskets and putting them into hoppers, heedless of the oils and ichors that might get smeared on their clothes and faces. And the smells! The air tasted of metallic grease and slime, and I took with eagerness the face mask offered to me by a Dump employee here to show me the site. She was eager to help (they all were), but I left as soon as I possibly could, and breathed a real sigh of relief when I came away from that place, and could breathe cleaner air. Which tells you a lot about how filthy and nerve-wracking the Sentinel Dump is.