Left abandoned by the "survivors" (at least that's what they were for a while), this state-of-the-art facility is practically untouched; it's residents barely having time to unpack their belongings and start to make their own 10x10' slice of heaven feel more like home before it happened. Two voices ring out in an alternating pattern on the in-house PA system.
The first, a cheery female voice, greets new arrivals:
"Welcome to L7, the last safe spot in all of the Tri-state area!
If you can hear this, that means you are influential, or lucky, enough to have been selected as a survivor of humanity's destruction, or should I say attempted destruction, considering we survived!
Your new home comes equipped with a full kitchen and dining area/common room, as well as personal quarters for each and every one of you and your fellow survivors. The staff of this facility will spend most of their time in the adjoining offices, systems rooms, and of course, tending to our very own Cyber Tree.
At the center of the facility is the Cyber Tree, which in addition to the 150' deep phytoplankton tanks provide all the clean air and water we could possibly need through photosynthesis and the plankton's natural filtering abilities! The Cyber Tree is the lifeblood of L7, and every citizen is required to be mindful of it and its safety.
The life of the Cyber Tree is the life of L7."
The second, a mechanical voice...
"Warning! Warning! Excessive radiation levels detected in sectors A1 thru G7. Sealing off uncontaminated sectors... Error, no sectors to secure. Oxygenation Center in danger. Releasing anti-mutagen agents into tanks. Release failed - anti-mutagen reserves empty. Area requires manual detoxification to protect the Cyber Tree. All available personal dawn protective suits and proceed to the Oxygenation Center.
Warning! Cyber Tree sensors detecting significant radiation intrusion! Immediate action must be taken to prevent the loss of all oxygen providing systems!"
At first glance, the question on your mind is probably What went wrong? However, look closer. The real question here is: DID something go wrong? Confused? Think from a survivors point of view. The water tanks are empty - not even irradiated phytoplankton floating to the surface. The tanks of anti-mutagen may have been emptied in previous anti-radiation attempts, but surely that tree had more than a couple dozen leaves on it when in full production. The kitchen is stocked with wine and plates, but the most the un-opened boxes could hold is a weeks worth of food, even when severely rationed. There is only one conclusion: L7 was never intended to keep humanity alive, but the $500,000 raised every time someone bought a spot in one of its identically prison-like bedrooms was surely intended to keep the company alive.
(Without walls: [link]