(G1) Chapter 6: Underground
I stood looking at the bricks and rock that didn’t hold and realized that we were blocked in. How much air did an underground bunker have anyway? Just how long could we survive?
Alistair sighed. “It’s probably for the best. Those damn rocks are radioactive. Who knows how long it will be before it’s safe to go up there.”
“And just how will we know when it’s safe?” I asked. The reality of everything was starting to set in. One can only theorize what it is going to be like to live underground but until you do it you really have no idea.
“We did bring a radio down here with us.” Why does everyone assume that a radio will do any good in the event of natural disaster? A radio assumes that people survive and that every power grid stays intact. It’s a big assumption to think that a radio will do anyone any good.
“Alistair, you do realize that people have to survive in order to run a radio station and broadcast news. You also realize that in order to do that there also has to be power. Let’s assume for a moment that one of those things is missing from the equation. You pick which one. How will we know?” I looked around the room and started moving furniture around and organizing everything. We were going to have to live here for a while so I might as well get started.
Alistair came over and helped me move the couch. “You know, I didn’t consider that.”
“No one ever does.”
We worked in silence for some time. When the last of our belongings had a place we tackled the next big project. We took stock of all the extra building supplies that were left behind since we now needed to add a horse stall to the mix and give the unicorn his own area. Cleaning up after the dog was going to be bad enough, I didn’t want horse crap in the middle of our living area.
I have no idea how long it took us to get everything set up as we needed it, but once it was all in place we fell asleep both emotionally and physically exhausted.
When we woke we were met with an unexplained surprise. I had come to realize that my lack of forethought meant we would have to share all the produce we had stored away with the unicorn. While it didn’t seem like a problem, I had no idea how much a horse of any type ate. As I was taking carrots over to Dune, I named the unicorn Dune, I discovered a huge stack of hay bales in the corner. I knew we didn’t bring them down there and there was no way anyone was going to get in or out. Maybe it was unicorn magic. I tried not to think about it too much because finding an answer was sure to make me crazy. Well, at least crazier than living underground was going to make me.
As a curiosity I turned on the radio. We were able to catch one brief news report before the local stations back up generator gave out. “This is Admiral Thomas from Fort Gnome. I am giving this report for anyone listening who may have survived yesterdays disaster. All of Sunset Valley is gone. The last news I received was that other cities and countries were experiencing the same intense radioactive meteor shower that we did. Chances are other places are in the same situation that we are here. It is highly recommended that any survivors find shelter and stay there. Do not, I repeat, do not spend any time outside if it can be avoided. Radiation levels are extremely high and there are no medical facilities to treat radiation sickness…” That is where the broadcast ended.
I looked at Alistair. Things were worse than Alistair had originally expected them to be and he tried not to look worried. He tried to flash me a reassuring smile. “We are safe down here.”
Being safe was different than living.
But that is what we tried to do. The days were filled with cleaning up after the animals and playing with them, reading and playing foosball and chess. Alistair continued to paint. It was ironic that we were probably living in the best decorated bunker the world had ever seen. To pass the time Alistair also took up horseback riding. For someone that thought I was insane for trying to rescue Dune, he had sure taken to him.
We lived off of the weird granola stuff we picked up in Egypt and the produce we stored away. What water we had was saved for drinking and the animals. We bathed using Shower in a Can.
I always though that the stuff was weird, but it served it’s purpose. My biggest annoyance became my husband. Since we had nowhere to go and no one was going to be visiting, just like a man he decided that he didn’t need to wear anything but his underwear. “What’s the point?” He asked when I said something to him about it. “It’s not like we have a washing machine to clean anything we wear.” Spoken like a true man.