After The Great Devastation Excerpt

Everyone who worked at the Complex lived at the Complex.  They said we were free to travel, with proper authorization, but kids never did travel without adults.  I hadn’t traveled since I came to live at the Complex.  I didn’t miss traveling.  I saw on the monitors how horrible life was outside the Complex, with all the pollution and the runners and the crims and the dangerous food.  A few times I watched the transmissions that were being sent to the Outsiders, our nickname for everyone who didn’t live in a Complex, and it was loaded with implications that soda pop and compact foods and chemical mixtures were real food.  There only choices of things to eat was from a selection of stuff that wasn’t really food.  It was made up of a myriad of substances, pressed and shaped to resemble real food and drinks.  Whereas we Insiders (the dwellers in the Complex) consumed only whole natural organic food and drink which was properly prepared for us daily, the outsiders drank mixtures of water with artificial colors and flavors and ate all that processed dried food, covered with chocolate and flavored with sugar.  It was obvious to us why they were always so sick and weak and had so many mental problems – they got no nutrition from their food.  I felt sorry for them, but the admin of the Complex said it was nature’s way of keeping us healthy while letting them survive a shorter time, as to not let them suffer very long from all the diseases that were out there.  As one of our cooks told me, “You are what you eat.  We are whole, natural and organic.  The outsiders eat nothing but junk, so what does that say about them?”  I felt sorry for the outsiders, since they didn’t have access to real food, but the attitude of the insiders was that the outsiders didn’t know what they were missing – and besides, they liked it!  I almost couldn’t believe it, but then, I knew they were different from us.  Their whole lives were different, their lifestyles were different, their attitudes about life were different.

At precisely the same moment, Kenrick, Big Hawk, Hiding Cathy and I left our workstations, went to wash our hands, and we walked through the Complex to Kenrick’s pod.  The guys lived on the south side of the Complex, the girls on the north, and the married couples were interspersed among both sides.

“You won’t believe what I was able to get!” Kenrick told us.

“Goat cheese?” Big Hawk asked enthusiastically.  He always asked for goat cheese, and that was one item that was hard to get at our Complex.  I knew we had lots of cows and sheep and chickens that were grown nearby, but for some reason, we had no goats.

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Coming soon: Book 2 of the Trilogy: "The Hidden City"