The blast shield that covered the entrance to the fallout shelter was dull with age. As far as Lila knew, nobody had entered or exited through it in over two decades. She herself had only been a young girl when the government issued the lottery that decided who would have a place inside.
Her parents had not been permitted to come with her.
Cut off from the world, radio transmissions and satellite contact had ceased after a week inside the sunless underground complex. The last few seconds of video footage streamed to the shelter showed growing mushroom clouds in all directions, before it went dark. With no guarantee that the Earth above them would ever be the same, and enough facilities to live underground indefinitely, the vote was unanimous; they would stay underground until they had no choice but to leave.
In the decades since, the survivors of Fallout B had settled as far away from the blast shield as possible; the better to forget about the dead planet above them.
Lila wanted to remember, however. She would slip out of bunk at night and sit facing the blast shield, reminiscing.
A screech of metal echoed through the dim chamber. Movement caught her eye as she stood, eyeing the door warily.
Something was on the other side, trying to get in.