H is for History
The year is 2600. In the early 2000s, no one is exactly sure when, nuclear winter destroyed the climate and environment. A group of people were able to go underground and survive. Using the stockpiled canned food, they were able to sustain themselves until they were able to set up a community underground. They figured out how to grow plants underground and used a seed bank to gather enough food to sustain the community. During that dark time, records were hard to come by, so exact dates aren’t certain.
Frequent storms and cold weather keep people in their underground tunnels and reinforced buildings. Each building is made up of 20 floors, but about half of them are underground. Not that anyone would know since there are no windows anywhere. It was one of the safety precautions the builders used. Everything is made to be reinforced.
Above you see my description that I wrote based on the extensive questions in The A-Zs of Worldbuilding. Below, you can read an excerpt from Chapter 2 from my novel Exploration.
Remember this (and most) of my posts contain adult content!
The few hours before the Matchmaking Ceremony went fast. I don’t know what I filled the time with, but before I knew it, I was getting on my nice clothes and getting ready to go downstairs. I waited in our common area. Each floor had groups of couches we could hang out in. Later today, we would have a meeting there with everyone on our floor. But right now, the common area was mostly empty.
My room’s door opened practically into our lounge area, and I would walk through there to get to the kitchen or dining room. But I wasn’t hungry anyway.
“Hi, James,” I said when I saw the dark-haired boy sitting on the couch. No, not boy. Young man. Or, just man. Whatever. We were considered year 18s now, not kids. What a difference a day makes, or something.
“Hi, Mara,” he said. Usually, he smiled when he saw me, but he wasn’t smiling now.
“What’s wrong, James?” I asked.
“Do you know what you’re going to pick for your job options?” he asked.
I chuckled. “Um, not really. You?”
“I have no fucking clue.” The language might feel harsh to you, dear reader, but the most offensive curse words lost their impact decades ago. Now the young adults and teenagers like to say them because they’re funny old-timey words.
I sat down next to James and put my hand on his arm. “Worst case,” I said, “pick a job at random, and if you hate it, pick something else.”
He shrugged. “Not a bad idea. I just want to know,” he said, emphasizing the last word.
“I know, James, me too,” I replied. If there was one frustration I had with our community, it was that sometimes we had to wait to make choices.
I wanted to get on with my career and meet my partner NOW, but I couldn’t. I had to go through four years of training and exploration first. Ultimately, I got to make my choices, even though the Matchmakers guided my choice of partner. I could always walk away if I didn’t like the person. Or, more to the point, if we didn’t like each other.
In my city, Zebulon, the Matchmakers would decide who my best match, or matches, were, and we would live together. But there was no marriage like there was at the beginning of the 21st century, 600 years ago. At the end of each year, we were given the choice to stay together or end our relationship. If we ended our relationship, the Matchmakers would try again. But even our matches were chosen based on the information we provided. So ultimately, it was our choice, guided by the experts.
So, today we would give our top two career options, and tomorrow we would start training. I understood James’ concern about making a good choice. But all I could think of was that we now had access to all the exploration rooms. Who would I lose my virginity to? And what would I learn in the viewing rooms.
What is a Matchmaking ceremony?
Who will Mara lose her virginity to?
And what is in those exploration rooms?
Find out all that and in Exploration or come back tomorrow to learn more!