The Domed City
In my series, Survivors of the Apocalypse, there are two groups of people. The largest group have survived for 300 years inside a sealed city, protected from the outside by a dome. This protected city was constructed as a bio-dome experiment as a prelude to colonizing the moon or Mars. When a pandemic swept the world, the people living inside the dome locked their doors to keep out not only infected people, but also to avoid any contact with anything from the outside.
The experiment became the hope of humanity’s continuation as a species. As the world collapses outside the protected city, the people inside held onto to their belief that a cure would be found. Years passed, generations lived and died, and the sanctuary was now their trap. To go outside the dome was to die.
Harsh methods were needed to preserve life inside the dome. First and most important was birth control. The original population was 25,000 people. When they sealed the doors for good, families were immediately limited to one child. Within a few generations, the numbers of people inside was around 10,000.
Though the city was supposed to be self-supporting, some resources could not be renewed. Even with recycling, certain items would become scarce. Medical treatments would be rationed as would drugs. This item alone would likely decrease lifespans.
The food growing systems would struggled after being in use for 300 years. As each planting was seeded from the previous crop, the plants would lack genetic diversity. The soil was grow poorer even if fertilized with whatever waste the city produced. Food rationing would have been enforced from the start, but as each crop produced less food, the rations would barely stave off starvation. For the young and the older inhabitants, these hardships would be felt even more resulting in higher morbidity rates for those age groups.
Perhaps the most devastating result of a poor diet was on the fertility rate of the women and the health of newborns. Each year, fewer and fewer women are able to conceive. Infant mortality rates skyrocket. Children who live past infancy are small and weak. Decreased fertility has been linked to starvation and a low body fat percentage in many medical studies like this one. There also some research that says these fertility changes can be passed onto offspring.
Even though the population numbers drop well below what the city was designed to maintain, the dwindling resources cannot stretch. The city was never meant to go so long without resupply. The leaders take more drastic measures.
Protocol demands that anyone who becomes ill at all must be quarantined. People start to notice that more and more older people are going missing. Inquiries to the authorities bring explanations of mysterious fevers that have killed those gone missing. Then younger people start to go missing. Children who learning difficulties. Adults who have been injured or have any kind of disability. Some people become suspicious, but the leaders of the city keep a firm hold on their secrets as they reduce population to save the rest.
What has happened to the missing? The leaders don’t want to bloody their hands with murder. They prefer the quiet remote kill. The undesirables or those no longer useful are exiled outside the dome. Once outside, it’s only a matter of hours until they sicken and die.
In my book series, this group of exiles and the outsiders who save them are the heroes and heroines who will search for a way to save not just themselves but the entire human race.
Exile’s Savage Lady: Book #3 of Survivors of the Apocalypse, is the final story in this saga of an America after a pandemic has nearly wiped out mankind. Robin Linden was saved by the Gibbs family when he was exiled from the domed city. He can’t enjoy his new life in the outside while those inside the city are slowly starving. Kerry Gibbs has finally found her match in the strong, quiet city man. When he decides to sneak back into the city and rescue his people, Kerry can’t allow him to go alone. Once inside the decaying metropolis, Kerry realizes the man she’s grown to love intends to save the poor city folks even if it means sacrificing himself. She’s not willing to let him, but the power-hungry city leaders might take the decision out of her hands. Is her love enough to keep Robin at her side? Find this book on Amazon.
Susan Kelley lives in a large, country home in Pennsylvania where she and her husband raised six children. She has been a fulltime writer for years after retiring from teaching high school. This is her nineteenth published romance.
You can find Susan:
On her blog: Susan Says
Would you ever agree to live in a biodome for a long period of time as an experiment? If you were in charge, could you think of ways to reduce population that were more humane?