Jorge is an ancient man,wrinkled,dirty...he is peddling one of those tricycles built for seniors through a street in a major metropolitian chinatown years in the future. The tricycle has saddle bags and a wire mesh net on the front and back. These are filled to the brim with books and papers. Also, there is a small police scanner/GPS/internet access panel on his handle bars. There is an antenna as well very tall and dilaplidated.
Jorge spends his days sifting through people's garbage and recyclables
looking for books to resell. He is what they call a book poacher. It is amazing how many people are throwing
away good used quality books. People still read, but the idea of recreational reading amongst the younger generation has diminished to a small sub culture. The average reader needs to get rid of the books once they have a baby or begin cellular harvesting. The baby and/or tissue takes up that shelf space. People don't used paper anymore. But there is a small dedicated movement of readers especially for old hard bounds that makes it worth while for these poachers to go from can to can looking for books. They can try recycling aluminum which is plentiful, but a good poacher who knows something about what he is looking at, can make better scores for
less money. And if the poacher is connected to collecters without the used
book store middle man, they can make serious score, at least serious score
for someone on the street (which most of them are).
The city has probably only 5 poachers worth anything and that same number
at any time trying to break out of aluminum and get into paper.
There once was a time when paper was the manner in which we preserved
text. Now, it is the least reliable least immutable. People use paper only
to write down things they don't want to last. Handwritten messages can be
destroyed. Emails can not. Even the most security minded govt systems have
The Poacher has taken pity on a younger newbie, he tries to counsel the
younger man, but the younger man attempts to steal from the poacher so he
is then ostracized. He comes back when he has something very deadly, he
has been picking through the wrong garbage cans, and he is now on the run.
Not from the law, but from free roaming organizations more like
underground Mafia than anything else. They have their own everything (even
their own manner of currency). They want what the young man has swiped and
the dont mind bothering our poacher to get it.