“How did your family land here under the ground in these caves?” I finally asked Avalon one day, at the end of a day of gathering moss and fish for our soup.
She answered with a smile, “I was born here in this shelter, and my mother before her. But her mother, my grandmother Sophia told me the story of riding a canoe with her brothers and sisters, in a big rush one sad day, running with fear from an invading virus that was sickening and killing the world. The air was thick with pollution and viruses, and there was no where above that was safe. My grandmother’s father’s father remembered the safety of Cave’s, and seeing the river go underground, they hiked down till they could see a cave entrance. They entered and found this place down many miles- our sanctuary from a world gone mad. “
“Oh, yeah.” said Artie. “I remember the CoronaVirus 2019. It killed half the world in two years, and mostly what was left was the rich Europeans, and people from India, like me and True, here. There was a green revolution all over the world, they say. Big business took over the solar and wind farms, geo-thermal farms, and the American North East Coast and the West Coast got annexed by Canada. Then an Empatharian Revolution took hold in 2020, and people all over the world met in pods networked together for peace-building. They’re still working on it 75 years later! Ha!” Artie laughed.
I was trying to figure this out. “So you’re saying that your people have hidden from the sun, hidden from the sky, because of fear, all this time?”
“Yes,” said Avalon. “It’s not safe out there. People are hunted and forced to wear masks, pay taxes, and look at computer screens all day long. Right?”
Artie and I looked at each other. “Not exactly,” I began.