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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Swimming to Antarctica

I'm swimming off the snow-white coast of Antarctica, but I don't feel the chill of the frigid waters thanks to the snowsuit I'm wearing. A buoy bobs up and down on the waves, containing a large orange emergency light. I activate the buoy and the light begins to flash.

Having done my duty, I turn back toward the continent. The ocean stretches out forever, all around me, vast and terrifying. I recall an emergency manual that contained advice on how to avoid being swept away into that deadly eternity, but I don't remember the lessons themselves, so I just keep swimming for the shore. It's so small on the horizon.

Eventually I wash up on the rocks. I check the data pad on my wrist and see that there are a number of escape options. I could fly straight north to Australia, straight north to the empty expanse of the Pacific, straight north to Chile, or straight north to a tiny coastal community of South Africa, called Freepoint. Evacuation to Freepoint is, appropriately enough, free, and advertised as a $400 value. Moreover, Freepoint is supposed to be extremely welcoming to tourists and refugees. I touch that option, and am whisked away.

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