Today we’re chatting with another citizen from New Detroit in the future. Please help me welcome Frederick Shepard, Tru’s father.
Hello Mr. Shepard!
Please call me Fred.
Let’s get started.
If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do? I’d spend the day enjoying my family. We don’t spend nearly enough time together.
So family is important to you? Always.
What impression do you make on people when they first meet you? A little harsh. I’m not a demonstrative person or a fan of public displays.
And after people get to know you? I’m a good guy concerned with the safety of my family.
Between you and your wife, who is Tru closest to? Probably her mother. She thinks I’m too hard on her, but Tru doesn’t make it easy. The girl insists on living life her way. She doesn’t realize the dangers waiting for her outside the door.
What dangers would those be? The girl is a Creative. I’ve tried to get her to put that nonsense out of her mind.
Why? The government banned creativity about five years ago. Every day Riza forces seek out people like Tru. Being a Creative is a death sentence. I’m trying to protect her life.
Why is the government against creativity? The New Order is run by scientists and technologists. They surmised that creativity was a wasted pursuit. It doesn’t further society. Science, technology, engineering, and math are those avenues which help society grow.
But life without creativity is dull. Excitement is relative. Will it feed you? Clothe you? Provide medicine when you’re sick? No. It was a necessary sacrifice to support a dying country.
You sound supportive of the New Order? No. I’m a realist. Speaking against the government is also a death sentence which serves no purpose for anyone. I have a good job, a wife and family, and we have a place to live. I put food on our table. What do I have to complain about?
When you put it that way… What about happiness? What about it? I’m not jumping for joy, but who is? There’s more to life than happiness.
Like what? Responsibility.
What about your daughter’s happiness? Tru is young. She has yet to learn that sometimes you must make sacrifices. You may or may not like the outcome.
You know Tru has a problem with lies. How do you feel about secrets? As I’ve previously stated, sometimes you have to do what you have to do. We don’t live in a rose-colored world. My daughter needs to change her filter and accept reality. People lie. Sometimes it’s selfish. Sometimes it’s to protect those we love.
What are you most ashamed of in your life? Good question. I’ve led an honorable life. There is no shame in it.
I guess that makes you a perfect man? No. Just realistic. I’ve also strived to be the best in all I do. I follow the rules. I do what’s expected of me.
Very well. If you could spend the day with someone you admire, who would you pick? There are family members, dead and gone, that I’d love to spend time with not because they’re admirable. My brother, for instance, I would love to spend another day with him and let him know what his behavior will eventually do to those around him.
What happened to him? He died.
How? Not important.
Has your life turned out the way you expected? No. No one’s life turns out the way they expect it. Life is full of twists and turns and various paths. It’s not for us to plan a perfect existence. Only God knows what our lives will be. We’re just players in the ultimate game.
Wow. Never thought of it like that.
Is there anything you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t done? What would happen if you did it? I want to travel, but that’s something restricted by our government.
Where do you want to go? I’d love to see the Dominican Republic. I have distant relatives I’ve never met.
What’s the worst thing that’s happened in your life? The day my brother died.
What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done to someone? Nothing I care to speak of.
What are you most afraid of? That my daughter continues her pursuits. She’ll only get hurt in the end.
What’s the most important thing in your life? Family. It’s the only thing important in anyone’s life.
How do you feel about your life right now? What, if anything, would you like to change? I wish I could turn back time. I know it’s cliché, but I’d like to return to the house we had in New Palmer. Tru deserved to grow up there, not at our current address.
I thank you for your candor. This ends our Fireside Chats with residents living in 2025. I hope you have enjoyed learning a little about the inhabitants of New Detroit in the American Republic.
If you want to learn more of their exploits, be sure to pick up your copy of “Regress: The Alliance Chronicles” when it releases on Amazon.com March 31st!