Communication and Writing

In the years following the War, Dalton residents began creating their own methods of communication. Although some electronic systems were re-established within the Citadel for internal notices and messages, for the most part physical letters were written to stay in contact with anyone not regularly seen in person.

Dalton residents often create their own pencils from charcoal and ink for pens from various berry juices and walnut shells. Paper is created in the Grey, some recycled and some created new from wood or other plant pulp. Most paper in Dalton is recycled rather than thrown away, even important documents that are no longer needed. Paper can be bought in all markets but the Blue. However, there is a large market in paper smuggling there, and many runners regularly steal paper because it is highly valued. Mixeds creating protest propaganda often recycle their own paper and also make their own low quality paper from grasses. Some rebels have been found by the fact that their residence roof gardens were all only paper grasses, without food plants.

Although school students are not allowed to take their textbooks with them, they are often given a former student’s notebook, which they treat as their textbook when they are studying at home. These notebooks have often belonged to many people and have conflicting information, crossed out patches, and multiple revisions scribbled in. Every student hopes to either get the notebook directly after a very smart person, or the first use after someone who took few notes so the book is nearly empty. Only a few are fortunate enough to have new notebooks. Some students leave notes to the next user in the cover or on some pages.

A single regularly published news leaflet is available weekly for Citadel officials. It is a highly politically correct and non-inflammatory source the mainly lists Council actions and local events. Another paper geared toward business owners is published sporadically, cycling through editors rapidly but never gaining much traction. Any distributed printed material has to pass Citadel regulation and receive an approval stamp. Being caught possessing unapproved material results in a fine, distributing it in a prison sentence for a human or Reconditioning for a Mixed.

Graffiti is a popular communication method in the Blue, where even if residents cannot read, the symbols used alongside messages often convey their meaning. Paints are made from natural materials like clays, or sometimes more ominously blood from a butcher shop is used. Many Mixed are illiterate because of the problems with foundation schools, so the image-based graffiti is often the best way for an insurgent group to spread its message.

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