Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Microstory 1652: Safe as Houses

I’ve decided to give you some details about how the Bicker Institute survival facilities are populated, and how they operate. Forty-nine people are rescued from each of three generations. They are protected from birth, all the way until they age out of the program at 42. If all goes according to plan, they are unaware that they are Inheritors, or that they are being watched, until it’s time to populate the Houses. As medical science progressed, the method used for selecting the next generation of inheritors became more sophisticated, but the basic idea remained the same. Thirty-one girls, and eleven boys per generation per House are meant to be able to repopulate the planet, should all other life be extinguished, for whatever reason. They would be joined by seven people they deem wildcards. These wildcards are not closely monitored by Sentinels, and their genetic makeup is kept a mystery. They are chosen to better simulate real life, where people do not choose mates based upon genetic health or diversity. The wildcards also rotate in and out of the program more often, as things change about their situations. Inheritor housing assignments are part of a complex process, later aided by an artificial intelligence. One might be placed in a House on the other side of the world, should their genes be compatible with a group there, and there is also a social component that they try to account for. Wildcards, on the other hand, are selected based on their proximity to any given House, and should they move, they might be taken out of contention without ever knowing it. Older generation wildcards are chosen specifically for their useful professions, which the Institute believes could help the Houses prosper. Two soldiers, two law enforcement officers, two doctors, two nurses, one paramedic, one EMT, a midwife, a doula, a cook, and a leader.

The breeders are not alone in the facilities. Seven people who belonged to the Institute the entire time will be there to help guide the inheritors, and maintain order. These include a leader, a primary medical professional, an engineer, an electrician, a mechanic, a gardener, and a logistician. As for the Houses themselves, there is a standard design foundation, but each one is unique, and they are not all bunkers. There are some commonalities that they need for the people living in them to be safe, and feel comfortable. Of course they all have sleeping quarters, with extras for a growing population. They will also have a gym, kitchen and cafeteria, bathrooms, microponics for food production, and storage for non perishable food items, as well as other necessities, such as water treatment, sewage, ventilation and climate control, and extra supplies. As far as the actual bunkers  go, they’re a lot more comfortable than one might expect. They could have made things simple, just by burying one large building underground, and letting people sleep on cots. But they spent the extra money, and went the extra mile. Everyone gets their own room, until they pair up, and start moving around. The furniture is nice and new, and everything is well-maintained. Like any good survival strategy, this system includes redundancies, and even modularization. The different sections of a bunker won’t physically move away from each other, but they can be closed off, and last independently, for a period of time. The three biggest concerns are radiation, incursion, and flood. Though no system is perfect, this one is pretty thorough, and well planned. There is even a smaller bunker section in the deepest part of the facility that’s filled with those cots, should the rest of the structure become compromised. Not all of the Houses made it through the end of the world, but enough of them do to keep the human race alive, and when it all comes down to, that’s all anyone in the Bicker Institute was hoping for.

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