You may have noticed that I say Notorious Pittsburgh is a collection of 22 true crime stories collected from Pittsburgh’s history. If you have purchased book (thank you), then you may have noticed that there are 23 stories in the book. So, what gives?
Well, story 23 is not true and it is not from the past. It is actually a fictional story and came about because my editor asked me, “Have you ever considered what could be a future notorious event in Pittsburgh?” I pondered that question and then decided I would give it a try and it became story 23, not true, but certainly possible.
I have always been fascinated by a quote about Pittsburgh attributed to Mark Twain that has become legend here. If the end of the World was coming, I would want to be in Pittsburgh because I would have at least five more years. It has been referred to on many occasions as Pittsburgh is often criticized for being behind the trends. Sometimes that is not a bad thing.
I often have day dreamed what if an apocalypse did happen. Would we be able to survive it, even if only for five years, in Pittsburgh. Many of my scenarios lead me to predict that it was possible. Pittsburgh’s downtown is surrounded by water – the famous three rivers. This makes it easier to defend against say a zombie invasion.
Pittsburgh also has a wealth of a critical resource – water. Not just the three rivers, underneath this area is an underground fresh water aquifer, often referred to as the fourth river. If a time arises where water becomes scarce, and this is a scenario often talked about, we could be sitting on a gold mine if we don’t damage it.
I am sure you can think of other ways that Pittsburgh can survive the end of the World. Feel free to add your thoughts.
I also enjoy reading what is often described as “near fiction”, science fiction that takes place in the not too distant future. So, my editor’s challenge was very fun for me to consider. Pittsburgh will definitely experience notorious events in the future and some probably similar to the stories in this book. However, I chose an institution that is held in very high esteem (rightfully so) in Pittsburgh as the setting for my future notorious event.
I chose Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). What could happen at such a fine institution of higher learning, you ask. I have been reading up on nano technologies which are not too far off in development. At the time, I started writing this new story, CMU had several construction projects underway and had a brand new advanced technology lab already completed.
Couple this with the fact that CMU is at the forefront of advancements in many fields, including nanotech, and the fact that they have already developed technology for the United States Government, including the Defense Department. Well, it was easy to imagine a scenario when some secret technology developed in a private/government project could go awry from its intended target and wipe out the rest of the World while somehow sparing Pittsburgh for last annihilation.
And that became Story 23. The final story in Notorious Pittsburgh.
But, Story 23 does not have an end of its own. I am going to attempt to remedy that in this space. I say attempt because I am even not sure what the end is. I started with a premise and turned it into a first chapter. I have some ideas, but not a full outline at this point.
So, I invite you on this adventure. I hope it is entertaining for you to watch this story fully unfold. Stay tuned to this site and we shall see what happens together.