T is for Time
There aren’t particularly seasons, though there are sometimes more or less hurricanes and storms. Since they don’t go outside, it’s not a particular issue as long as their top floors aren’t damaged. Surveillance equipment is important, and the outsides of their buildings are watched so that people can go out and repair them as necessary. No one lives on their top floors so if major damage occurs, it doesn’t affect living spaces.
Their days are 24 hours, because that’s what days have always been, but they can’t see the sun, so it doesn’t matter. Their day is broken into thirds: 8 hours of work, 8 hours of recreation/personal time, and 8 hours of sleep. There’s an emphasis on getting enough sleep to be healthy.
Time is marked on clocks placed throughout their buildings, though watches are available for those who want them. Since their workdays are highly regulated to be only 8 hours, there isn’t a large need for vacations, but they still get two days off every week to do whatever they want. They can’t go away on vacations, really, so there isn’t a need for extended vacations. Sick days are taken on an as-needed basis, though most illnesses are able to be treated quickly if they haven’t been eradicated.
The community has stuck to time as close as they could to time Before. Seven day weeks with the same names as before, day and night. The lighting along the corridors is dimmed for the 8 sleeping hours, but there are people who work those hours (medical, emergency, police, child-minders).
Above you see my description that I wrote based on the extensive questions in The A-Zs of Worldbuilding. Read on for an excerpt from Chapter 11 in Exploration: An Erotic Novel.
Remember this (and most) of my posts contain adult content!
Part 2: Mara’s Special Assignment
Chapter 11: First Day
I slept restlessly. I didn’t want to oversleep on my first day as an actress! I had set an alarm, even though I had never overslept before, but with my new job on the line, I was nervous. Or maybe the nerves had nothing to do with worrying about oversleeping and everything to do with what my job assignment was really going to entail.
Thirty minutes before my alarm, I gave up on lying in bed and got up. The nice part about being up early was that I didn’t have to worry about fighting for the shower with Jean and Carla. I had been sharing space with people literally my whole life, but it would be nice to have more showers. Usually it wasn’t an issue, and we had worked things out when it was, but I hadn’t talked to them about what their schedules looked like last night.
When I was done with my shower, I grabbed my letter and went out to the kitchen. I hoped that James would be there cooking breakfast as usual, but he wasn’t. I thought about going to his door, but we had said goodbye last night, and I wasn’t sure I wanted a repeat performance.
I poured myself some cereal and sat down at the dining room table. Others started to filter out as I ate, but no one seemed to be particularly chatty. When I was finished, I put my dishes in the dishwasher and looked at the clock on the wall. My letter said that I should leave my apartment at 8. It was only 7:30. But, I decided it was better to be early than late, so I went to the elevator anyway.
I followed the directions in my letter that told me to go down to the tunnels to Zebulon 14, Floor 10, Room 10. I lived in Zebulon 9, which was just one building away from 14. I got to the first floor and signed out in the lobby. It was standard for us to sign in and out of buildings in case of emergencies. It was as simple as an ID card swipe.
I realized that when I exited Zebulon 9, I was looking right at 14, but I had to walk around to the other side to get in. Each building only had one access point on the south side of the building.
The tunnels were well lit, with frequent maps. Fans generated fresh air, so there was always a low hum. There were a lot of people bustling about. Many jobs started at 8, so there were a lot of people going to their jobs. Most jobs worked on three shifts, starting at 8 am, 4 pm, and midnight. There were variations, of course, but with how strict our schedules were that no one worked more than eight hours a day, it was pretty standard. I had learned in school that people used to be compensated with money for work, but we had no such thing in Zebulon. Everyone worked in some capacity for eight hours a day. We worked five days on, two days off. We were given choices on our jobs and automated things people didn’t want to as much as possible. If there was a job that was critical that no one wanted, there was a rotation made so that everyone helped out at some point. I only partially paid attention when they talked about jobs at meetings. I would figure it all out soon enough.
It only took me a minute to walk the length of the building, and then I entered the lobby. It was very similar to mine, but someone was waiting to greet me at the desk. Residential lobbies were rarely staffed. We just swiped in and out when we left.