Finding the Light

3013. The population of the Earth now lives underground hiding from the nuclear waste that has been left behind.

But the time has come and two people must leave the shelter.

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6. Deciding

It came down to the last few days before the prophecy was to be fulfilled that Peter III chose the two who would be going topside. The remaining twelve males and eight females were called again to the main hall but this time the rest of the shelter was there. The candidates were led ceremoniously to the front and a forced silence fell upon the room. 

"My friends, my family." Peter III's voice boomed out across the room taking up every inch of space. He had the most magnificent voice. "I gather you here today to present to you the young man and the young woman who will go to the surface and fulfill the prophecy," as he said this the room exploded into applause and cheering. "they will go for six months and return with their news. If the surface world is once again safe and able to be inhabited then they will return and we shall monitor them in quarantine to make sure. If they do not return..." He paused for quiet "Then we will assume that they have found no sign of the world being safe." He did not add that the assumption would be that the two who had left would be dead. He moved across the stage to allow the people of the shelter to see the candidates in full view. 

It was a spectacular sight, the young men and women who had trained relentlessly for the past four months to get to where they were today. Each and every one of them was dressed in purple robes from the times before The End. It had been said that religious leaders had worn gowns like these but no one was sure. 

Peter III spoke once again "And without further ado, I present to you our two representatives," a small pause for effect "Henry Murphy and Griffon Howard!" Once again the crowd erupted and the two victors were showered with applause and screams of appreciation. 

The largest smile bounced onto Henry's face; he had done just as he had set out to do. He leaped into the crowd, aiming to hug his parents who were crying with joy on the front row.The crowd enveloped him and everyone was cheering his name. Nothing could have prepared him for the euphoria that he felt. He had read of the world before The End and he was fascinated by the animals and the plants; he wanted to see it all. He knew that everything would be different but he adored the thought of being the first man on the surface in 995 years. He jumped with the crowd and hugged everyone he could.

Griffon on the other had was frozen on the spot. She felt her mouth dry up and her throat close. Tears made their way down her cheeks but the audience misunderstood their reason for existence. She was lifted high and carried out on the backs of the crowd just as Henry was being. She glanced at him. It was blatantly obvious that it was what he had wanted. But it was not as she had hoped. She was paralysed by the thought of having to go out there. Images flashed through her mind of a world that she dreaded; rabid animals, no life anywhere. She had seen ancient images of the world before The End and could not fathom how someone could possibly want to destroy something so perfect. She began to shake and she went dizzy before blacking out.

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