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After The Fall

by Lucas Winter 11 months ago in Short Story
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Prelude To Migration

It is currently early in the morning in the summer of NE 109 (that is 109 years into the NEW ERA) and this is the day our family begins the migration... I'm Lux, (pronounced lukes, it means light in a long dead language) i just turned 39 and im from whats being called the centurion age, which is really just a fancy way of saying i was already an adult when our world was 100 years in to its new era. im a child of the second brood and my children are of the century born, jova is 7, jonath is 4, and ericla is 3... theyre perfect, the spitting image of my first brood grandparents, blonde curls and strong blue eyes... my wife korina is the most incredible thing, her beautiful face along with her lithe, graceful figure are only the two most shallowly beguiling aspects of her being... shes a genius and an artist and a more amazing partner than i can hope to describe but this isnt about us its about the migration.

one hundred and ten years ago our world was a wildly different place. disease and violence were constant threats like they are today but that year 110 years ago they were to take a backseat to a wholly more impressive disaster. history says an unknown particle of some unknown origin collided with the earth and started an almost year long chain of events known as the fall. the first people to understand what was happening were fishermen in the pacific who saw the collision take place. the reports say a distortion in reality hit the water off the coast of alaska. a second later the sea was rent asunder by the coastal shelf splitting apart. tidal waves as high as the chrysler building began rocking the entire world and every volcano erupted seemingly at once... it took 1.000013 seconds for the distortion to pass through (we lack better understanding of what it actually did) the earth and in that one second the entire world was plunged into chaos.

my great grandparents were (supposedly i should add as no record of them other than my parents stories exist) working together in a government facility at the time of the fall and were lucky the place was equipped with a shelter. a bunker of sorts, created by men fearing other men and so equipped to live out fallout and radioactive apocolypse. it was here that the most people survived... some five thousand souls were able to make it to the bunker before the hot dark ash and sulphuric storms killed 99% of the population of earth... as far as we know only 10 bunkers were utilized in the whole world. each with fewer than 3000 people in them. my grandparents were born within ten years of the fall in a repop facility in the Edenver1 bunker called the hatchery. they called this generation of children the first brood.

Life for first brood children was as youd expect, mostly lived indoors and under immeasurable stress. they utilized their still working knowledge of the power and communications grid of the civilisation whod made the bunker and established a community called eden-ver 1. there the first brood raised crops and began to make contact with other groups and they worked out the timeline for reestablishing the civilized world. soon dc2, winsr3, koree4, pan5, krem6, angeles7, columb8, rio9 and peru10 would all come to look to Eden-ver1 as the hub of all information about the world outside of their respective bunkers. it was the first to have running communications and is still the broadcasting center for the entire world... it was fourteen years into the new era before the communications lines were established... my grandfather was 7 and my grandmother was 9. the outside world was explored first by probes then by flying machines called drones, then by brave and well trained exploration groups. other than in the bunkers almost no human life survived.

after the first brood many different groups emerge, radicom and pregov were the big ones... radicom or the radical communal living party was a group of edenver1 explorers and frontierspeople who decided to start the first outdoor society called rocky rim in the nearby mountains. they were peaceful and altruistic and quickly became overwhelmed with the lack of hygiene and societal problems. they lasted 22 years before they became cannibals. pregov or previous government abolitionists were a faction of people who believed the old society had caused the disaster. they were militaristic and used the communications grid to sow seeds of dissent and anarchy into the very essence of bunker life. they caused five mass suicides and 2 bunker annihilations before they were stopped. then the demopeople and the UNIGs were established sometime around 57NE. the demos were pitching government through votes and representatives, UNIGs or United Nations Interoperational Guilds people were expressly opposed to the demos. they preached the power and safety of a united world... all bunkers as one or no bunkers at all and that sort of thing. the were the only group who could actually agree on anything and so they are the government of today... Im a member of the UNIG Press corps and my wife is the voice of reason (secretary of state) for UNIG1.

so the migrations... we found out eventually through atrocious genetic mutation and infant mortality rates that we lacked the proper understanding of the hatchery system to continue populating in such small groups. then we became aware of an urgent necessity for our groups to exchange members. so we started in 73NE to send families with exploration groups to a point between Eden-ver1 and dc2... it was terribly slow at first. we'd send folks with equipment and food and theyd head towards the rising sun on paths beaten by the rugged explorers from the earlier generations... finally we established sippi14 in 84NE. i was just 4 years old. since then every year a familial group is sent to sippi14. mother father and healthy children go to find a family with healthy children from dc2 who are then raised with their kids with the intention of forming stable genetic lineages... we're still not sure if the experiment is going to succeed but its the hope of my generation that our children wont have to worry about the evils and pressures that plagued my mother and fathers life.

so today is my families day to go seek out our childrens future mates... we have only a locket shaped like a golden heart with a picture of the mother and father of the children we will one day marry our children to. it was carried here by the last series of merchant wagons from dc2 and it is a hopeful and wonderful reason to brave the wild untamed land between here and sippi14. nowadays most migrations make it with zero deaths so we're heading out of the capital for the new world and going on an adventure to seek our childrens futures... i just hope the people in this locket are as devoted as my wife and I are to being healthy members of this united world... id hate to have to put them to death and take their children by force but im prepared for that as well...

whatever the eventual end our journey begins now

Short Story

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Lucas Winter

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