So I decided to try out a bit of a story-style for this challenge, because commentary was so boring when it’s just Ariadne and she has almost nothing to do.
When Ariadne got home… it wasn’t the way she left it. The town was just gone. All that was left were smouldering ruins. By chance, a truck passed by, containing a couple of her friends; they’d heard about a new town being built and were off to try their luck. She decided to join them, taking only the clothes on her back and her old clunker of a car. Something told her that working cars would be a commodity these days.
The more places the group passed, the more she wondered just what on earth had happened; everything was in ruins, even the big cities were desolate wastelands now.
When they arrived at the beginnings of the new town, she was struck by two things:
Firstly, the snow-covered landscape was beautiful, if remote.
Second, the houses all seemed to be built underground. She guessed that the area suffered severe storms, and an underground house would be the best way to conserve heat.
She picked out a plot at one end of what was called Compound B; it was a group of plots surrounding a small park area. There was a similar one named Compound A on the other side of town.
Before long, her underground bunker had its first level. Even with the help of her friends, it had been exhausting digging out and building a room this size, so they stopped there. She didn’t need too much while she was on her own. The restrictions on what the residents could and could not buy were pretty severe, but she understood that resources were limited. She’d been warned about the pilfering of food, so made sure to put her fridge in a lockable room. Nothing else she had was really worth stealing. Except the Science Station; she’d crammed it in her car before she’d left Uni, hoping to utilise it at home. Well, home was a different place now, but she was sure she would still find a use for it.
Once she was ‘moved in’, she went over to the big park in the middle of town; she’d been told this was where people gathered to socialise and play games. There was a makeshift shelter to one side, which housed a single public toilet and a couple of games – but it wasn’t even finished, and only offered partial protection from the wind.
There were plenty of people to meet, and she quickly made a bunch of new friends. She was even able to get DNA samples from some of them, and she hoped her Science Station would have enough juice to analyse something.
The curfew was strictly enforced, so she found herself alone in her bunker all night. She found things to do, and was glad she’d thought to buy so many books on her first day. Only new immigrants to town were permitted to buy books, so she’d spent almost all her money on them, figuring she would buy more stuff for her house when she got a job.
Only a job wasn’t easy to find. She had a degree, but Business wasn’t really something that was a priority at the present moment. Not when things like medicine and safety and food shortages were so much more important.
After her first payment to the mob left her with zero funds, she knew she had to do something, and quickly. Dylan, one of her new friends, told her there was an opening at his workplace, and she jumped at the opportunity.
It wasn’t until the first shift that she realised she was now working as a criminal.
Having heard how difficult it was to keep a job if you weren’t friends with your boss, Ariadne set about befriending her new boss as soon as possible.
Even resorting to town gossip.
Because of the water restrictions, it was very difficult to get enough water for a proper wash. Many people went without, but Ariadne couldn’t stand the feel of grungy skin, so washed in her sink at least once a week.
Despite her hesitation about her career, she found she was very good at it, and earned her first promotion very quickly.
Though she wasn’t sure how reading a book would help her be a better criminal, she would take any opportunities she could get.
At home, she pretty much spent all her time in her PJs; it was so much easier to keep them clean than her layers of clothes for outside.
It was only a few days before she had some time off. Though she would have preferred to continue working a bit longer, she was forced to take the time.
So she went visiting a friend’s house on her first day off. It was much fancier than her own bunker; obviously the owner had been around a while longer than she had.
Beignet Tart was the first fairy she had ever seen, and she was fascinated. Beignet said that supernaturals no longer had longer lifespans than humans; during the disaster something had happened to reduce their time.
She got a DNA sample from Beignet, and vowed that if she could only analyse one specimen, it would be this one.
That night, she broke the sink while having her bath. She was too exhausted to fix it right away, and it almost flooded her bunker!
So she fixed it the second she got up the next afternoon.
When time and curfew permitted, she chose to jog to and from the big park.
Her athleticism was always in demand at work, and she hoped she could reach maximum fitness one of these days.
By the time another week had passed, Ariadne had received a couple more promotions, and chosen to focus on being a thief. Maybe she had chosen to be a criminal, but that didn’t mean she was evil.
Others around town started romances, some even chose to start families. Ariadne wanted to be secure in her job and her finances before she thought about settling down.
She even befriended some of the local cops. Her thief friends said that was surely why she hadn’t yet been jailed, not even for a night.
She robbed the bank, and was promoted the same night.
In between work shifts, she alternated between playing soccer and working out.
And eventually, she reached maximum athletic skill.
From then on, she was outside as often as possible, building relationships with the townsfolk.
Though it sometimes seemed like she was in a loop of working and exercising, the rest of the town was flourishing.
Then her boss asked her to befriend Josh’s partner, Nikki. She’d gotten to know Josh her first day in town, but the realities of strict curfews meant she hadn’t yet met Nikki.
By chance, she had the day off when Josh and Nikki decided to take their new baby boy out for the first time.
Ariadne swooped in to make friends.
With the bonus from completing her boss’ request, Ariadne found herself a Master Thief and at the top of her career! Things would be much more relaxed at work from now on; people wouldn’t be fired if they were late or missed a day of work, and they didn’t always have to ‘work hard’.
Now that she was confident she could take a day off, it was time to analyse the DNA sample.
And she was successful in cloning a fairy child!
With the advances in technology, everyone would live longer.