The Survival

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short teaser of a possible novel. After chemical contamination ruined the over world. People fled to shelter, but few survived. Eventually underground chambers were found. The survivors lived for centuries in the catacombs. After a thousand years they found the toxicity levels where low to none. Over years they gradually made a group of sectors that held people before they where sent off to makeshift towns where they help to surface a failing community. Sector X the least successful colony is menacing its inhabitants. The laws are simple, don't befriend anybody, and destroy the weak. Every week the weakest group member gets sacrificed and a new member of the colony comes down to the town. A teenager named Mark challenges these laws after the disappearance of his life long friend Catherine. He is banned for his treason and he sets out to find Catherine.

Submitted: November 21, 2014

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Submitted: November 21, 2014



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It's been thousands of years since the disaster. A thousand years of genetical engineering and dietary supplements made from the moss Troy, Catherine, and I scatter the sewers for. We work in silence most of the time, that is until Troy's rambunctious attitude gets him going.
We then joke about our crew of immature teens back at the cabin, who will take a trip to their impending doom in Center which is a battle arena, and the next inspection from out government in Sector X. Today we talk about something different.
I collect the moss we somehow manage to turn into basically our food, medicine, and alcohol in the hall adjacent to Troy,
"So Troy," I say.

"Yeah" He responds casually.

"You seen cat lately?" There's deep concern in my voice.

"Two days ago, why."

"She hasn't been at the cabin, or here with us."

"Maybe she took a trip to the hills to see her boyfriend."

"Nobody goes out there, everybody knows the consequences. Plus she doesn't have a boyfriend." He chuckles and ignores my statement. I go back to work. It's like I'm on autopilot, time seems to pass substantially. Maybe it's genetic modification that makes this happen, a way to make us more work efficient, maybe our attempts to control evolution aren't working as well as we thought. Either way I don't focus on the thought.
Back at the Cabin, Troy and his friends watch some kid named Leo Harper get trampled by the Beast, a giant mutt we captured trying to raid us of our food. It's one of the few species left on earth.
I look around for Catherine but don't find her in the group of people surrounding the Center. I plant myself a few feet away from Troy and the others, who get weird when they watch the child's meaningless struggle against the Beast, which now has him pinned down. Usually, after the beast eats the child, our crew leader, an old man named Everett Boeing would announce the newcomer to take the child's place. A small price to pay to guarantee a thriving Sector. Survival at all costs, right?
It's getting late, an hour has passed since the boy's sacrifice and Everett still isn't here. Neither is Catherine. Nobodies gone to search for them either. I can't blame them though, there are some horrifying things outside Sector X. Troy and the rest of the rest of the crew sit by the fire, it's supposed to be our duty to wait at all costs for our leader to return, but some have the sense to go to sleep. I don't.
Just when I'm about to try my luck at sneaking into the cabin Everett returns. To children follow in his tow. This catches everyone's eye, we're supposed to maintain seventy people at all time no more, no less. He gives me a troubled glance and I realize it's about Cat.
Slowly the children, one girl, and one boy stand tall by Everett's side. He clears his throat to speak,
"Today is a tragic day, we've lost one too many. Catherine has been missing for three days, one of you older members explain what that means?

Tom, a quiet one, a year younger than me speaks, "It means the girl's dead."
"Correct," he confirms, undeterred by the harshness in his words. "But casualties are expected in this menacing world, we can't let that phase us. Go to the cabin, now. We have work to do tomorrow.

I trudge along to the cabin. Catherine's dead, as long as I can remember she'd been there. And by what I can tell Everett thinks I have something to do with that. By the time I reach the door I'm furious, or sad. Probably both. I slam the door open and walk towards Troy. He's chatting with his friends without a care in the world.

"Troy," I say, stern and cold.

He glances around and the room goes silent,
"What," he chuckles.

"Do you even care that Catherine's dead?" Everything about this situation makes me want to punch him.

"You know what they say, friends are a liability right?" He says and goes back to talking in his acquaintance's.

I'm so angry I think I must've popped an artery. I grab Troy by the shirt and slam him into the flimsy cabin wall. It brakes and we fall into the pond. I'm not done, I slam my fist into his temple so many times I lose count. He pushes my head underwater. That won't stop me, I swim deeper until Troy is forced to let go. Then I swim up, only to be greeted by three of troys dirtbag acquaintances. One, Tom grabs me and slams me into the dirt. The other two start kicking me while Troy puts a rag over my face. Slowly reality becomes dimmer and I feel faint.

I wake up to the sound of wind and rain. Slowly my eyes drift open. I'm not in the makeshift infirmary. I'm in a forest surrounded by an odd formation of stones. I recognize this, I was a liability. There's a note next to me.

Sorry Mark,
We enforce these rules for a reason. To stop things like this from happening. I'm sorry we couldn't give you a second chance like I got, but times are getting tough. We don't have time for failure, and with you that's what we had. When I was a boy, they told me the same thing I didn't agree with it but it was for the best. When the gas was unleashed one thousand years ago we were scattered into hiding, just in the last four hundred were we aloud to walk among it again. And with that came responsibility. This is bigger than you, bigger than Sector X. It's humanity Mark. Please understand.
I crumple the note up and dispose of it. I understand all right. But maybe humanity doesn't deserve to survive. I look around, I recognize this path. Ten years ago I cam this way from Sector X. Maybe Catherine is there, she can't be dead. I feel it.


© Copyright 2018 Michael Brunst. All rights reserved.

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