— Jack Green
Not long after Step Day, a lof of families from Datum Earth looked for extra property on the Low Earths. The Greens rented a small cabin in Madison West 2 but soon found it too close to home. Having a phobic son, they left him to stay with Tilda's sister.
They eventually heard about a project to develop Madison West 5 from a clean slate and invested a bit of their money in it. Alas, since they didn't make a lot of money there, they had to go back on the Datum, taking turns, to earn money doing their regular jobs.
Soon enough, Tilda felt she wanted more, she wanted her own dream instead of living someone else's dream. This is how the Greens, under Tilda's impulse, decided to leave everything behind (their son Rod included, to Jack's bafflement) to journey West across the Long Earth.
In 2028, two years after they settled down on Earth West 101,754 and two years before the events of The Long Earth, they received the Letter, brought by Bill Lovell, saying the assets of the pioneers living beyond Earth East 20 and Earth West 20 were to be impounded by the Datum government.
As the town got in turmoil, with people going back to the Datum and others thinking about it, Jack was among the people who wanted to stay and advised people to do the same. At that time, Tilda was already ill in bed and they didn't talk much to each other.
Three months after they received the Letter, Katie got married with Harry Bergreen. They brought forward their wedding to make sure Tilda was still around to attend the ceremony where she was holding Jack's arm for support to be able to stand up for the pictures.
Two months after the wedding, Tilda died of her tumour. She is now resting in a grave by the river, her favorite spot. Jack felt guilty for her death even if Tilda was always the one pushing to leave the Datum.
A life in politics
When the Datum government tried to embrace the scattered colonies in its Aegis and had to make everyone pay taxes, Jack already furious about the Letter got even more enraged and turned to politics.
In 2040, Jack was sixty and suffering arthritis. He had an office in the city hall of Valhalla since he was working for Ben Keyes, Valhalla's mayor. He helped found the Children of Freedom movement and was one of the organizers of the Footprint Congress. He was involved in the Declaration of Independance movement and helped write Ben Keyes's speech.
Around March 2040, he got a visit from Helen, now the mother of a boy named Dan, married with the famous Joshua Valienté and living in Hell-Knows-Where. The Valientés were in Valhalla to look for a school for Dan and also on their way to the Datum to advocate for the trolls's rights in front of the Congress.
Helen, who hasn't seen Jack since last Christmas, tried to convince her father to stop running away from his guilt by bossing people around but she quickly realized that she chose the wrong moment to see him since all of Jack's attention was on the TV screen on the wall of his office as Ben was delivering the speech that Jack just sent him a few minutes ago.
Operation Prodigal Son
Around April 2040, President Cowley, in response to Valhalla's declaration of independance, sent several Navy twains on Operation Prodigal Son with the objectives to remind all those colonies that they were US citizens.
When a group of militaries led by Nathan Boss from the USS Benjamin Franklin were stranded without their equipement in the middle of the forest not far from Reboot, they were found by Bill Lovell and brought to Jack's place.
Jack agreed to lend them a Stepper to get some help and give them some water. But when Lieutenant Sam Allen, in charge of the Marines, asked for a spare room for Ensign Toby Fox, tasked to do a census of the town's population, Jack refused saying that he wouldn't accept US dollars from them, that they used "favours" in Reboot and also that the government they represented forfeited any right to get help from him or his community when they trashed Pioneer Support and impounded their assets back in 2028.
Allen, furious, threatened to cuff Jack but was held back by Nathan Boss. When Maggie Kauffman, Captain of the Franklin, heard about the incident, she kicked Sam out of the ship and asked to meet Jack in person.
The march and the Gentle Revolution
In July 2040, the twains from Operation Prodigal Son finally arrived at Valhalla. Around fifty senior officers from the Navy, escorted by marines, marched in direction of city hall. At their arrival, they found an empty city, except for a group of trolls singing in a square.
As they got closer to city hall, suddenly, people started to step in bearing fruits, picnic baskets, food and various gifts. After some useless attempts to get people out of the way by the marines, Jack showed up and introduced himself to Amiral Hiram Davidson and proposed to talk about the situation in the mayor's office.
The conflict ended as the two men walked toward city hall.
He stubbornly refused expensive Low Earth drugs but agreed to come live with Helen, who was back in Reboot.