2.1 Facing the future

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My name is Chaotica Lazarus.  I am one of the few children born in the shadow of the accident that Riverview suffered many years ago, the accident that separated our community from the rest of the world, that severed links between us and everyone else, between us and what you might conceive of as civilization.  My parents, Alf and Shana Lazarus, were survivors of the accident, and they, along with most of the remaining survivors, dedicated their lives to restoring Riverview to its former glory.  But now my mother, like many of her generation, has passed on.  My father is an old man.  In a few years, all those survivors will be gone – wiped out by the ravages of old age, or sicknesses brought on by the fallout.  And it will be down to us, to me, my peers, my children and maybe even my children’s children, to carry on the work my parents’ generation began for us.

I do not really know what Riverview was like before the accident.  My parents and teachers would tell us stories about clean, clear running water, from a river.  About electricity and gas that helped their homes to function.  About grass and plants and flowers and fruit…. I can barely conceive of these things.

When my sisters, my brother and I were younger, we would sometimes hear our parents at night when they thought we were asleep.  They would talk into the night about how things used to be, and sometimes they would cry – for those they had lost, for themselves and the other survivors, but most often for us – for those born in the shadow of the accident.  They would talk about all the things we missed out on, and how they would hope of a better life for us.  But I don’t know what that better life would be.  I have never seen the things they saw – they saw more horror than I can imagine, yet they also saw more beauty than I could ever dream of.

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My twin sister, Castrovalva, is friendly with the artists’ colony here.  They are an underground movement, who are constantly changing location.  Their work is always under threat from the Altos and their mob who despise all creativity.  Some artists have gone “missing” and many people fear the worst.  Others have received beatings, or been blackmailed into turning against the community.  It is not an easy life.  Yet Cas is longing to be part of that community, to stay with them and help them.  They see it as their mission to restore some life to Riverview by bringing colour, light and music to our town.  Some of them have painted flowers and grasss on the pavements and walls, although there is less of this now than when we were children – the punishments are too severe, too frightening.

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She stays here with us because she is afraid that if she left and something happened to her, it would break my father’s heart – but I know it is only a matter of time before her sense of calling becomes too strong to resist.  I am afraid for her, but I love her and I know she wants nothing else from her life, so I want her to fulfil her purpose, whatever it costs us.

There are so many challenges facing us before we can become restored to the world around us, before we are once more accepted.  My father’s generation seemed so sure about what needed to be done, but they are dying in front of our eyes.  We know so little about the world outside of Riverview, and so little about what this town used to be.  We are tasked with carrying on their work (and there is nothing more I want to do – my parents are my heroes) but we are intimidated by the task.

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My elder sister, Byzantium, is working at the school, helping others as we ourselves were helped to understand reading, writing, arithmetic and the other basic skills of life.  Her husband, Shavran, works for the military corps, as my father does.  My little brother, Davros, has recently left school.  He wants to be a doctor and develop treatments for the variety of sicknesses people have developed since the accident.  He has personal reasons for this – my father suffered skin damage since the accident, to the extent that it has affected his genes, and it sometimes makes him feel very ill.  I suffer from the same sickness.  But my complaint is minor – there are people here with missing limbs, tumors, and many, many people die young.  Davros is a real inspiration to me, and I only hope I can be as dedicated as him.  He has been given  primitive battery-operated chess game from work to help him train his brain to become logical.  I don’t know whether their supply of batteries will last for long, but Davros spends every minute he is not at work cramming through medical textbooks or playing chess.

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Sometimes my father tells him that he is too serious.  My father worries about us.  I know he feels a burden for us – he and my mother brought us into this world, and I know that the life we have here is not what they desire for us.  But although it is cramped, and dark, and smelly and confined – what other life is there?  We have love, we have a purpose – what more could we want, or need?

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As for me, there are many things I want to achieve with my life.  I don’t think I will ever leave Riverview.  I don’t expect the conditions here will improve enough in my lifetime to make that so.  I know it crushes my father and the other survivors that it is taking so long, but yet they have done so much – the air is lighter, the spirits of the dead seem to oppress our town much less than they once did (or maybe I am older and less afraid) and the elderly are living a little longer than they once were.  I do not know of a life outside of this place so I do not desire it in the way my father does – yet I want it for the future generations – and most of all, I want to work for it to honour my parents and their generation.  It would crush me to die and not have dedicated my own life their cause, to the purposes they set themselves to when they could just have easily given up.

I want to be an athlete.  My mother and father were both so keen on exercise, and my mother used to tell us how much it improved her life and her health.  Since I began to exercise, I have lost so much weight, felt my lungs open wider – like I can breather more.  I want others to feel the same.  I want others to be strong, not just strong in spirit and resolve, but strong in body.  There is still so much debris here and so many places that need physical rebuilding.  If we become strong, we can start to change that, start to really make significant changes here.  I firmly believe that a healthy people can create a healthy town.

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However, I have another duty – one that is perhaps even greater.  When I became a woman, my father asked me something.  He wanted me to carry on his work, not only through helping to restore the health and structure of Riverview, but to take on the responsibility of helping repopulate it.  He asked me if I would be prepared to run this home, to bear children, to raise them to carry on the Lazarus name and mission.  I accepted – he’s my father, the most wonderful man I know, I would do anything for him.  Yet I know I need to undertake this task soon, and I do not fully know what it will require of me.  Nobody with my illness has given birth before – I do not even know if I can conceive.  Neither my brother or sisters have this responsibility.  It is mine, I accept it, and will honour it, but it is a big, overwhelming responsibility, and I do not know what lies ahead…

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6 Responses to “2.1 Facing the future”

  1. moondaisy101 Says:

    I truly like it, because most of what is said is so deep, but I miss pictures… close-ups, her face and eyes when she says these things… you give your charcters immense insight and understanding of their plight… at the moment, that is what carries the story… Love it and look forward to read more! (P.S. bring the angle of the camera down, don’t be afraid of meeting your characters face to face. Let us look in their eyes… use Tab E, z and Y… :))

  2. There are more close-ups in the coming chapters. There aren’t in this entry because it’s more a setting the scene one.

  3. This is really good. Can’t wait for the next chapter.

  4. I just love this story. You make me want to try the apocalypse challenge myself.

    I’m going to miss Alf, but you’ve got me drawn in to Chaotica’s story hook, line, and sinker.

  5. Rad you the only problem with this story? It maks want to try the apoc and I’e filed so many of them with sims2 I’m not sure it’s wise for me to even consider trying a sims3 one.
    It’s a great story Rad, I just feel guilty tyhat I’m not more up-to-date with readig it.

  6. theemmettlegacy Says:

    I can’t imagine trying to rebuild a civilisation when you’ve never had any experience of the time before the accident, never known anything other than the horror you’re currently facing… It must be so difficult. I think you put this across really well in this chapter, Rad.

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