Back on Earth, and in the underground city of Hazan literally underneath New York City. There is no way to know whether it is day or night except a city clock that alerts the citizens what time of day it was.
For one Undergrounder teen girl named Hannah Smith, it was early evening. She had just gotten out of her cheer practice. Just before she entered her slowly decaying house, she enters a steel, upright box. She puts on a pair of goggles, and turns on the box. She was soon surrounded by a strong light inside. It was considered her “daily sunlight” for every five minutes. The Undergrounders, though they were also Normals, had very translucent skin, no matter the ethnicity of the person, or the color of their skin. Their eye colors were very dull due to no sunlight. Their eyes were very sensitive to light. If there was any chance for the Undergrounders to resurface, they would have to wear special sunglasses, and cover their bodies to protect themselves.
After about five minutes, Hannah enters her house. She sees her parents watching something on their TV. Technology in the underground world wasn’t as highly advanced as on the surface world. Their technology was stuck in the 2060s era and earlier. Those on the surface world wanted to help the Undergrounders, but they couldn’t risk the Normals’ health by sending in much newer stuff. Radiation was still in the atmosphere in very unhealthy levels. The only items that were sent down were food from genetically-modified cloned animals, fruits, and vegetables. They were purified right before the food were sent down. There were underground farms, but it wasn’t enough to feed everyone.
So make do, the Undergrounders ended up regressing slightly in technology. It was like they went back to the 2010s. They had to constantly keep up the repairs on very old laptops, tablets, cell phones, and even iPods. The “latest” iPhone is the 2020 iPhone 14!
The television set her family owned was from the year 2018. It somehow still worked, but it was nothing compared to the much more advanced television sets on the surface world. Hannah walked into the living room with a very worn-out couch that had seen better days. She saw her parents having huge grins on their faces. She walks up to them, and saw what was making them happy: President Atkins announcing the plan to transplant all Undergrounders to the planet GH569.
Hannah heard rumors about a possibility of moving the Normals to another planet, but she wasn’t sure if they were true or not. All her life she wished to live on the surface, and have sunlight on her face. She wished to breathe in fresh air. It was something she was determined to have, but every day the hope was slowly fleeting away. She knew the surface on Earth was very unsafe for the Normals. It was still recovering from the War of 2070. There was still radiation in the air. The sun was still not as strong due to constant nuclear winters. Even the summers weren’t quite as warm. And even if the she could live in a world filled with fresh air and bright sunlight, it would still be unsafe for both herself and her people. Their eyes and skin are too sensitive for the sun.
As soon as Hannah heard the news about the move, she felt a determined smile grow on her face. As soon as she began to be filled with hope, her parents turned off the TV with a grim look on their faces. Hannah looks at them, unsure of what’s going on. She asked, “What’s wrong?”
Her father said grimly, “There’s something you have to know about GH569. We can only tell you as your little brother and sister are too young to hear this.”
Hannah began to feel nervous. She asked nervously, “What’s going on?”
“Hannah…we will be assigned to live in one of the six cities mentioned on the announcement. These cities have fences surrounding the cities. Whatever you do, do not venture into the forests.”
“Dad, you’re scaring me. What do you know what’s on the planet?”
“Your mother and I work with the ISA even
though we live underground. We know what’s going on that planet. That’s why you
cannot, under any circumstances, go outside the city that we’ll be living in.
Hannah sighed, and looks down. She nods her
head. Her father smiled, “Good. Now let’s eat. We must begin packing.”
Hannah nodded, but was still feeling curious to know what was on GH569 that her father made it sound unsafe.
It’s now late at night. Hannah couldn’t sleep. She was still thinking about what her father said. She knew her parents worked for the ISA, which meant they must have information on their laptops. She decided to get out of her bed, and walk out of her room quietly. She made sure her parents were asleep by quietly opening the door to their room. They were. She silently closed the door, and walked to their small library.
In their library held several bookshelves filled with books, actual hardcover and paperback books. The last book to be physically published was back in 2040. After that, all books were electronic.
She walked up to one of the laptops, dating back to 2015. She saw her father’s name, Alan, on the laptop. She opens it up. She had to guess the password several times until she was able to unlock his account. She finally got in. She looked into his files, and found one labeled as “GH569.” She clicked on the folder…