A/N: Please Read/Review and I will return.
Prologue: Elsie's Diary, 22nd June 2012
Nobody believed the reports; nobody believed the world was in it's final days.
Many believed they knew how the world would end: atomic bomb, solar flare, comet strike, but never this. They fantasied about it in their lunch breaks, on the bus, in the lonely hours of the night. Did they ever imagine something so brutal as the Earth's eventual undoing?
Someone must have. And now the human race is looking down the barrel of a shotgun. Never again will the upholding of morals and virtues be known as "humanity". For now, humanity is a stinking cesspool of a race, bent only on a mission for self-preservation – at all costs.
So, remember our old life. Remember televisions, nylon, democracy. Remember how far the human race came.
Because whatever rises out of this rubble won't be the same.
I woke up as Seren Beaumont. I will fall asleep tonight in a strange bed, in a strange house, in a strange part of town. I will no longer be Seren Beaumont.
All my life I have been told never to keep a secret. A good wife's heart is honest and open. I could almost remember the words, as they lay in the page on the old Academy parchment: somewhere between reasons why your husbands needs are more important than your own, and why your husband will always be more interesting than you are. I had worked hard, memorised the book from cover to cover, lived by it's rules, which is what made this secret so hard to keep.
My Graduation will be this afternoon: and I have asked to become a Legionnaire.
The Graduation is not the surprise, all girls graduate, at the age of sixteen. We sit an examination, based on the work we have completed on Home Studies, Child Development, Cookery, all the basics you need to begin a successful life with your husband. Then, on your sixteenth birthday, you say goodbye to your old life, receive a card with your new identity scrawled across the middle: the name of your husband, and your new occupation.
Most women become Breeders, their only function in life to repopulate the singed remnants of the Earth. Each child means extra benefits from the Leaders. Be generous to your husband, provide him with children freely.
The process is similar for the men, except they first become a Legionnaire. They prove their worth protecting Compound Deva:. They are the guardian angels of the fledgling society we are forming here. The more prolific and decorated they become, the more they receive from the Leaders; more land, more livestock and more wives.
I believe I may be the first women in the history of Compound Deva who has requested to become a Legionnaire. It is certainly possible I may also be the last.
I walked to the Academy for what would be my last time, each step leading me closer to my fate. The Academy was located in Moenia, the central district of the compound, named either for the tall ramparts which enclosed the crowded streets of the district, or the ancient castle which sat atop the hill. No one remembered - there were few people left who recalled the initiation of compound Deva. Perhaps my grandmother Elsie was the last.
The general noise of life continued around me: street sellers calling out their wares, street children playing in the little space they had. My nerves had made me feel hollow, and their noise seemed to flow through me.
The Academy protruded, tall and foreboding, from the large hill which was topped with the ruins of the castle. I entered, tracing the steps I had followed my entire life towards the Women's wing. The place had always felt sombre, and today, as I joined the line of girls waiting to discover their fate, the silence felt oppressive. I saw girls who I have been friends with my entire life, but they ignored me, as I ignored them. Today was the start of our new lives, the people in this room were only remnants of our past.
The queue shuffled forwards, towards boards which held envelopes that would dictate our fate. I held my breath and prayed. This would be the beginning of my new life. The life of a warrior and a Legionnaire. The only life I had ever considered.
I found my name on the board and collected the envelope that was waiting for me. This would hold all the answers. My hands visibly shook as I opened the envelope. Just two phrases and a map.
"Spouse: Gabriel Finch.(Farmer). Occupation: Breeder."