5am - 6am: One Girl In All The World
"Tell me where the bomb is!"
Lillith brushed her golden hair, not seeing her reflection in the grubby mirror. The voice echoed in her head, the second-last sound her father had ever heard. They had questioned him for so long, and this time, with his last breath, he gave his only answer.
They shot him. Men in blue uniforms, four of them, restraining one man with his hands already shackled behind his back. And their commander turned his pistol and emptied it in her father's chest. Until that moment, it had been resting against her's.
She put on her lipstick for the final time. Today was a special occasion and the cherry red stood as an appropriate if predictable symbol for the blood that would flow. But the flow of blood is not always so bad, is it? Without bloodshed, there would be no life. Predators need their meat to sustain themselves. The first time you know a woman can create another human life is when she bleeds. It's the same sign for when she first tries, at least if you do it wrong. And there's that saying about the tree of liberty...
There were not a lot of trees in the Underworld. Lillith glanced at the window, where a brown sky hung over smoggy glass. The Underworld, that was the name they had given these rough-hewn caverns beneath the glowing green grass of windswept Portman Island. Well, they said it was windswept; not much wind down here either. No wind, no rain, no sunlight. Lillith punched the candle closer with her fist, her face flaring pink in the reflected glow.
Lillith had been to the Surface. She had lain in the sun with her father and a ragtag band of rebels, and she had survived. It left her with a warmth to her hair, like the sunshine that these poor saps in this dirty hole never saw. They said one breath of Surface air would kill you, and if it didn't then the Creatures would. The former was not true, though the latter made it difficult to learn exactly how long one might survive up there without being slaughtered by the monstrous, hulking brutes that snarled and drooled and seemed so maddened by their physical afflictions they could not stop rushing headlong into anything in their drunken path. The Creatures tore across the landscape, eating at random and stampeding everything in their path. They existed. She remembered them. If she did not have work to do, she would rather roam among them than with the true savages down below.
Lillith shook her golden mane and looked once more into the mirror. She was ready and she looked the part of the obligatory attractive distraction who would grease the wheels and facilitate the plan. A femme fatale, she supposed, thinking back on ghastly novels that twisted their predictable plots into springs that squeaked despite being heavily laden with cheese. Would daddy be proud? If that was her role, so be it. She looked the part, and the important thing was the bomb looked viable. Ego could come later; she had a job to do.
Lillith gathered the bundle under her dress and left her home for the final time. For now she walked the streets, just another would-be mother, mourning the man who would never see his child, mourning the child that might never see the sun.
She was down the street, swimming in the scents of fresh-baked bread and not-so-fresh fish, when her house erupted in flames. Smoke spread across the craggy ceiling of their underground cell. A crowd rushed toward the column of soot and ash. Lillith did not look back.
* * *
“Sixteen yes after the Great Calamity's poisonous aftermath forced the humanity to dwell in the sealed chamber of the Subterrenean Survival Space, the town of Joshua was destroyed by the cowardly bombing of the leading Surface Sickness specialist Doctor White's laboratory."