The Last Man

The Last Man

Postby Wayne23 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:14 pm

DDS:CB 2016: The Last Man

May 1, 2125 (more or less)

Okay, we’ll get to basketball eventually, but first, a little about me. I am unique, in a situation that has never happened before and will never happen again. I’m just about positive I’m the last person alive. Let’s go back a little.

My name is Alvin “Lefty” Wright. I was born in the year 2000. My dad was a college hoops star, and by the time I was born, a high school hoops coach. He was 6’6”, my mom was 5’11”. He figured that since I was sure to be tall he should get me interested in the game as soon as possible. He did. I took to it. I loved it right from the start.

Being a southpaw was an advantage. Guys weren’t used to guarding lefties and because of that my shots tended to be more open. Dad taught me the fundamentals, and made sure I stayed with them. As a result, by the time I was 10 years old I already had a terrific outside shot.

I grew to be 6’10” but he insisted I play Small Forward, and even Shooting Guard in middle school, and since he coached me in high school, I played those two positions there. In high school I shot a little better than 55% during my senior year, and barely under that on threes. We won the state title my last two seasons.

We were from the Northern California, and I wanted to stay close to home, so I went to Stanford. Dad made sure their head coach committed to playing me at SG and SF, and Coach Michaels kept his word.

I started as a freshman and averaged 18.3 points, 7.2 RBs, and 4.4 assists that year. I got better every year. I was 2nd team All American my sophomore year, 1st team both my junior and senior years. And no, I had no interest in leaving early for the NBA. I was a really good student, and I loved math and science, especially physics. I was committed to getting my degree in physics, and I did.

We were a powerhouse my senior year. I led the country in scoring, and was 3rd in steals. We got to the national semifinal, and we were up 7 with 3:11 to go when I went up for a rebound, came down wrong, and tore both the ACL and the MCL in my left knee.

By that time, 2022, these injuries were usually able to be pretty much completely repaired, but mine was about as bad a knee injury as it was possible to get. It ended any chance of my playing pro ball. I have walked with a very slight limp ever since. There’s often a little pain, but not enough to cause any real problems.

Losing my shot at the NBA wasn’t so bad; it was never something I was truly excited about. My plan had been to play for a few years, make enough money to set me up for life, so that I could live the way I wanted to, and then retire- 5 years at the most. So, when that clearly wasn’t going to happen I figured I’d stay at Stanford and get a Master’s in physics. I did, and also served as a grad coaching assistant coach with Coach Michaels.

Having a coach for a dad I had always been interested in the coaching aspect, and dad and I had hundreds of coaching chats. I knew my stuff.

I got the Master’s but by that time I was hooked on coaching. Stanford didn’t have a spot for me but Cal-Berkeley did, so I wound up as the #2 there, in charge of recruiting. Two years later I moved up to #1, and in May of 2028, I was offered and accepted the head coaching job at Cal ST Bakersfield, in the Western Athletic Conference.

More on that soon.

By 2028 the planet was not in good shape. The years 2016-2024 had been disastrous, as the U. S., and many other countries pretty much completely walked back all efforts at stopping, or even slowing down such things as climate change, pollution of the environment… Fracking was happening everywhere, and dozens of new nuclear power plants were being built.

Actually, I think I’ll weave all of that into the story of my coaching career, and tell it, “as it happens,” so to speak. I’ll kind of alternate between that story, and the one that’s happening now.

Next chapter: A little about my life here in 2125. Oh, and how I happen to be still coherent and in pretty good shape at 125 years of age.
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Re: The Last Man

Postby Wayne23 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:55 pm

Still May 2125: Okay, the last time I saw another human being was about 25 years ago, maybe a little more, but definitely not less. I’ll get to the whys and wherefores, but it’s important to understand that.

I like people, and I was always okay in social situations- a coach couldn’t be successful otherwise, but I never had a problem being alone, and when I was coaching I longed for chances to just be alone, and away from the madness. Well, I’ve had plenty of that since.

It is stranger than you can imagine to go through your life certain that you are completely alone. It took a while, but now it’s just part of my life to know that there simply isn’t anyone else.
BUT, a lot of technological advances took place between the time I was born in 2000, and the time it really started to seriously fall apart, somewhere in the ‘60’s.

3D printing got to be way bigger than anyone would have thought possible, and virtual reality, via holographic chambers got to be as popular as TV and computers were in earlier times.

Both of those things get me through. The 3D printers don’t even need to be loaded anymore. They get the materials they need from what’s around them, and they can produce anything that is programmed into them, which is just about anything you might possibly want or need. I don’t need to hunt for food or grow crops. I just dial up whatever I want for a meal, and a few seconds later, out it comes, at just the right temp. The unit is portable enough to take along with me when I roam, which I do often.

As for the holographic chamber (We came to call them HCs), you name it, it’s in there. People made huge fortunes putting together programs of every possible kind. You want to ski or climb Everest, you want to go to a jazz club in New Orleans in the 1920s, you want a date on a Friday night? It’s all there. I could have actually kept coached via HC, with all of Division I in there, and new recruits every year. But by the time the NCAA collapsed I’d had enough of coaching. Oh, the people you meet in the HC are not real, but by every conceivable standard they appear to be. They look, sound, and feel 100% real, and there’s no interaction you can have with a “real” person that you can’t have with a HC person.

The HCs are portable, too. I can fit both the 3D printer and the HC into the back of a pick up truck, and can load and unload ridiculously easily. Oh, everything is solar powered, and we figured out how to store solar energy for relatively long periods of time.

Okay, let’s go back to May of 2028, and I’ll take you through my coaching career.

(Author’s notes: This one will be a bit different from other dynasty reports.

First, I’ve been lazy lately, simming games. I plan to play them all out. But since I pretty much go at full speed with stops at every whistle until late in the game if the game is close, that won’t slow me down terribly.

Second, I will not report on individual games until the post season. I expect to summarize games in groups of 3-5. Not sure how that will work, since I’ve never done it before.

Third, I hope to do what I have occasionally done in other reports, and have multiple voices reporting; again, we’ll see how that works.)
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Re: The Last Man

Postby Wayne23 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 6:26 pm

5/1/2028: First day on the job. I hired three assistants before the end of the day. We don’t have a lot of money so I did what I could. Joel Judd is my #1. He’ll Recruit. 3 year contract. #2 is Clint Field; 1 year, scout. Caleb Jones is #3; 1 year and he’s my bench coach.

The only goal the A. D. gave me was to not finish last.

We buy the West Gold scouting report.

I’m about 2 ½ hours from home, so I got a little apartment north of campus. It’s nothing special, but has everything I need. Oh, Dan and Hal seem to like it. They’re 3 months old, both jet black and short haired. I got them when they were 8 (Hal) and 9 (Dan) weeks old. I got 2 because I’m not home that much and they’ll keep each other company. The names? “Dan it all, what the Hal are you two up to now!” I’ve already found a neighbor to look in on them when I’m on the road.

6/25: I’ve been busy. Met with the staff nearly every day trying to decide what we’ll run on O and D, how often we’ll press… We went over all the video we could of last year’s team, and whatever we had on incoming frosh. Guys will play themselves into or out of playing time once practice starts in October, but it’s nice to have an idea going in. We expect to go with Princeton and Triangle against man, and we know what we’ll do against the various zones, and presses. On D we’ll go about 75% man, 25% 3-2. We won’t press and trap often but when we press it will be man to man.

We also got our recruiting lists together. We’ll focus on California and the surrounding states, but we’ll see if we might be able to steal someone from beyond our area.

I’m getting to know the personnel here in the athletic department as well.

I’ve talked with my A.D. about a schedule. I told him to go easy. I want wins while I’m trying to build a program.

6/26: 5 scholarships. Looking at 27 guys, all from the West region.

Dan and Hal greet me whenever I come home, and stay near me most of the time. They have different personalities but they both bonded to me right from the start.

7/4: Went home to spend the holiday with my folks. It was nice. Took the kittens. Let ‘em run around loose in the car but brought a carrier to get ‘em in and out.

7/11: Recruiting is slow, but we expected that. We’re not an attractive program given that we haven’t had a winning season this decade. We’re selling our “new beginning.” It’s not going terribly but it’s not going great.

7/25: We’re seeing a little interest from recruits, but not a lot. Patience.

I haven’t talked about my love life and I probably won’t. I like women, and I date, see women, hang with them- all of that. I’m a loner though. I don’t see myself getting married, or even living with anyone.
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Re: The Last Man

Postby Wayne23 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:48 pm

May, 2125: I try to vary my days as much as possible. I’m a night hawk, always was. I read a lot, and actually do play some games. The HC technology produced some incredible games, WAY beyond the “shoot and kill” games that dominated for so long. The ones I like are mystery solving, exploration, redoing a historical era to make it come out differently, space exploration- well, I play 6, varying from one to another from time to time. And remember, I am fully immersed in the game, able to walk (or run, swim…) through the scenarios and interact with characters in every way I would if they were in the “real world.” There are fail safes built in so that I can’t be killed, or even injured- well, injuries happen from time to time, but usually due to user error or bad decisions.

We didn’t get very far in space exploration before our society went to hell, and it was always an area of fascination for me. The game here combines exploration with some problem solving. It’s intricate and very well constructed. It may be my favorite of all the games.

Even though the 3D printer is capable of supplying all of my meals I like to cook, and occasionally I get the ingredients from the printer and cook my own meal.

I get some of my exercise in the HC, but I also explore. I’ll get in the widebody pickup truck, load in the printer and the HC, and go. I’ve covered much of the country by now. At the end of the day, wherever I stop is “home.” I take out the HC, set it up, and sleep in a real bed in there.

Often, the next day I’ll hike the area, wherever it is. I always carry a high powered rifle because there are still some animals around, large and small, and I’ve been attacked by a bear once, and mountain lions twice, and I’ve seen some scary looking snakes.

Boredom isn’t really an issue but it was a real adjustment to live a life where there was absolutely nothing I HAD to do. That took a major refocus.

When I do get bored, restless, lonely… I go into the HC. I programmed about a dozen friends and acquaintances, based upon people I knew at one time or another earlier in my life, and I hang out with them sometimes, just doing the kinds of things we did in real life. I also go “clubbing” and let the program present people to me in that setting.

Sometimes I go to concerts. And yes, every entertainer you can imagine is in there, performing both in an arena setting, and in a small club setting.

Again, if I can imagine it, there is almost certainly a program for it.

Maybe I’ll start with the history of how I got here next time.
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Re: The Last Man

Postby Wayne23 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:37 pm

8/21: We offer to 2 guards, 2 bigs. Holding #5 for now.

9/4: I am NOT impressed by the academics of many of my players. We’re working on that now that the semester has started. Mandatory 2 hour study halls 5 nights a week, tutors in place… I expect good
grades and I will get them.

9/11: The guys we offered to all have at least a little interest.

9/18: Increased interest from our 4 offerees.

I wanted a weak schedule and I got it. 8 of 12 pre-conf. games are at home. That’s great this year but probably not so great next. But I intend for us to be better next year.

9/25: Lost 2. We offer to 2 more.

10/2: Got 1! PF #143.

1st day of practice. Not bad, really. I think we’ll be stronger inside than outside, but let’s see how I feel in a month

10/9: Got the other 3. One great #, 2 poor ones but whatever. PF #98, PF #259, PG #782.

When we’re ready to move we want another PG.

11/6: We have a lineup, at least for now. There will be changes and adjustments as we go along.

Senior Deke Howe starts at PG and plays some SG. Soph Leo Hawk starts at SG and plays both SF and PG at times.

Junior Joey Daws subs at SG. Walk on frosh Ram Butler is waiting in the wings.

Soph Rob Baer starts at SF.

Senior Tad Stan starts at PF and plays some C. Junior walk on Eric Costa starts at C and plays some PF.

Junior Seth Best and frosh Chad Benn sub inside. Frosh Dee Herd is hoping for his chance.
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Re: The Last Man

Postby Wayne23 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:07 pm

May, 2125: Okay, so how I got here. Again, the story of how I lived this long will be told when we get to it, since it happened at least in part due to my coaching, but this part of the story I can begin now.

It started to fall apart in the late 60’s, as I said. By the late 70’s it was a royal mess, everywhere, and in July of 2079 some sort of critical mass was reached and society simply fell apart. And it seemed to happen throughout the world, all at the same time, more or less.

At that point life was a struggle to survive, and the odds were solidly against it. People banded together, in one form or another. There were lots of small societies that came together, and many of those lasted for a long time if they were large enough to post armed guards in large numbers 24/7. There were also roving outlaw bands. Some of those lasted a long time, too.

But things just got worse and worse. The sea levels rose to the point where coastal areas had moved miles inland from where they had been. This made lots of major cities and even most of some countries uninhabitable, and it also wreaked havoc with crops. Major areas of the world got a lot warmer, and that further messed up crop yields, and meant lots of changes regarding what could be grown where, or, in some cases, could be grown at all- anywhere.

A fresh water issue became a problem, then it became a disaster. An estimated billion people died for lack of potable water in India, and about ¾ of a billion each in China and Latin America. Another ½ billion or so died in Africa. By 2085 or so there were less than a billion people on earth by most estimates, and most of them were really struggling just to stay alive.

Then in November of 2086 a super volcano erupted. That was the final blow. For a few years the atmosphere was so dust filled that almost no sunlight got through. But the first year killed almost everyone who had made it that far. The few who survived did so because they had what I had- access to both a 3D printer and a HC. Of course they need a way to power those without sunlight; few were able to figure a solution to that. I did.

The solution? Before power got too low in eitherdevice I placed the printer in the HC, programmed in a “Day at the Beach” program, and charged the printer. Then I had the printer print out fully charged solar panels, batteries… for the HC. I just continued to do that. It was vital not to wait too long. I had an alarm system set up to remind me.

The last people I remember seeing attempted to steal my printer and HC. That was in October of 2099. I shot and killed all three. The way it happened, I had gone for a walk, which I often did. When I rounded a corner no more than 250 feet from my home base I saw the men just as they saw me. They went for their rifles. Mine was already in my hands, with the safety off. I got them before they got a good shot off. One of them fired before he went down, but the bullet went way wide of me.

No remorse. No guilt. They would have killed me if I had been a little slower, or a little less accurate with my rifle.

Just for the record, those three were the only people I ever had to kill.

I may have seen someone after that but I have no clear memory of doing so.

How did I get so good with a rifle? I was actually a little late to the party on that, but by about 2065 it finally penetrated my skull that things were changing in major and dangerous ways, so I got a permit, got some training, bought a rifle, and went to the range at least once a week. I hired an instructor to work with me and she was fantastic. By 2068, when I needed to be, I was a damn good shot- quick and accurate. Oh, given a choice, go for quick with a rifle that shoots lots of rounds quickly. Just keep firing.
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Re: The Last Man

Postby PointGuard » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:14 am

And then.....
just Lefty....
was left.
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Re: The Last Man

Postby Wayne23 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:45 am

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Re: The Last Man

Postby Wayne23 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:59 am

11/20: 3 of our 4 committed recruits sign. The other is a juco, and sometimes they don’t sign until very late, but they always sign. Still chasing a guard.

11/21: 3-1. Lost our first game, won the 2nd in OT, then won the 3rd and 4th.

Ball handling and fouls are our biggest issues. We’re scoring well outside, with Baer, Daws, Hawk, and Howe all in double figures, but not getting much scoring inside.

12/5: 7-1. 7 game win streak. Joey Daws, who does not start, but who has the 3rd most PT on the team, leads us in scoring with 15.8. 5 guys averaging 10.1 or more. We’re +12.8 PPG. No one is getting a lot of rebounds but everyone is getting some; our leading rebounder gets only 4.5. We’re +6.4 RBs. Ball handling is weak. We average 15.9 TOs, as do our opponents. Even in steals, too (6.4). But +2.7 assists. It’s definitely a team effort. (Author’s note: I’m surprised at this great start, BUT weak opposition and 6 of 8 at home. 5 to go before conf. play starts, the next 3 at home, then 2 on the road.)

We’ve offered to a really good looking PG from the Czech Republic, but he’s showing no interest so far. He’s worth the gamble though.

12/25: we end pre-conf. play at 11-1, with an 11 game win streak bookended by two losses. We scored well, 78.2 PPG, #26 in the country and +9.0. We had a great edge in RBs, +5.7. Not so great with the ball, 16.2 TOs, -0.5.

Joey Daws continues to be our leading scorer with 14.3. We don’t get enough inside O. Eric Costa gets 10.2, and Eric Herd does well from the bench, but Tad Stan needs to score more; he starts because of his D and RBs.

All in all I am very pleased with our start. Let’s see how we do in the WAC. Our only goal is not to finish last, and I’m not worried about that. I’d love to finish in the top 3.
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Re: The Last Man

Postby Wayne23 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:59 am

One of the major areas of refocus for me was that my work ethic had become obsolete. There really is nothing I need to do here, and nothing I do will make any difference to the planet. I’m it, the last man. Whatever the planet
is to become in the future has nothing to do with humanity. In a real sense, maybe it never did. We just thought it did. I’m sure that a cockroach, to the extent that it can think at all, thinks it is the “crown of creation.” That cockroach may be right. There are LOTS of them left.

Which brings me to the topic of plants and animals. Some survived, most didn’t. I’ve mentioned hiking in the woods, and encountering animals there. In truth the wooded areas are rare, and the animals in them are rare.

Climate change had a lot to do with the disappearance of large wooded areas. Drought and seriously rising temperatures did a number, and pollution did a bigger one. Developers raped and pillaged, cutting down trees for lumber, and just because they were in the way.

But in large areas of places like, Montana, the Dakotas, Idaho, Wyoming…, in Northern New England, and in even larger areas of Canada, there are places.

As to the animals, the numbers are small, since the volcano really wiped most of them out, but I think the numbers are growing. I have no data, just the evidence based upon my travels.

And I chose to travel. By 2105 it became pretty clear that if there were any other people around there weren’t many, so I left the fortress like surrounding I was in and decided to go exploring, which I have been doing ever since.

I drive about 4 hours a day in that solar powered, wide body pick up I mentioned. If I see anything interesting along the way I stop and check it out, staying an hour, a day, a few days- however long it holds my interest. Then I move on.

Remember, anything south of Delaware or Maryland, and in a straight line heading west from there, is pretty much not worth going through. It’s all barren desert. And anything south of say New Jersey, again drawing a line west to the Pacific, is almost as bad.

So I roam what used to be the northern U. S. and Canada, and since I spend my indoor time in the HC, wherever I park is home.

I’m in good shape, and I try to stay active in order to stay that way. When I can do my exploration on foot, I do so, and I do some kind of rigorous activity in the HC at the times when I don’t think I’m being active enough. I’m not out to break any records with the pace I set, but I get more than enough exercise.

Anyway, back to that work ethic thing, which is related to the meaning of life.

I never thought life, mine or anyone else’s, had any meaning other than the meaning we imposed on it. I never believe that there was anyone in charge of the universe, or of the humans in it. I do feel, or did when that was relevant, that life was better when a person focused on doing something to help other people, and other life forms, as well as the planet that is our home. I know I felt better living that way. Being a teacher, which is what coaching is, if you do it right, meant I spent my life working with people, and I always felt it was a much bigger part of my life to make my players, student helpers, staff… think about ways to better themselves that went way beyond basketball. Obviously, from what I said just above, I’m no preacher, but we talked about doing our best to bring out our best selves, and doing our part to make it a better world.

Given that my entire coaching career happened while the world was in the final stages of falling apart, that took some doing, but I hope I helped people in that regard.

So now, that’s irrelevant, utterly meaningless. Does that depress me, or make me feel that my life is meaningless? It doesn’t depress me, and I already talked about life’s meaning, or lack thereof.

Now I live to live. I live to experience new things, to enjoy as much of my time as I can, to challenge myself intellectually…

And, for the most part, I really enjoy my life.

Next, 1979-1986.
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