It is 2088, thirty years since the end of the ten-year Oil Wars.
Sala and Cham live in an enormous overcrowded city that they are forbidden to leave, for their own protection: the world outside the city was contaminated during the wars.
Because the Oil Wars left the city short of energy, everyone has a small chip buried under the skin on their wrists, which measures how many units of energy they use. It also notes where they are at all times, to keep them safe.
The government uses most of the city’s energy to build virtual simulations, so that people can experience beautiful places without actually going anywhere. They cannot travel, but there will be no more wars. The city is at peace.Download Ebook
Not Without You by Gill Harvey
One Year Together
Sala and her friend Niki pushed past the people who had gathered in the rain outside the meat-growing laboratory. They were all shouting angrily, “Work! We want work!”
Government agents had just arrived, so the crowd would soon be forced to leave. Sala was so busy staring that she didn’t look where she was going, and stepped into water up to her ankles.
“Urgh!” she said. Her right boot was wet through. “Let’s get out of here.”
“What was that about?” asked Niki, as they hurried on down the street. “What are they all doing there?”
“My mom says the packing equipment is broken,” said Sala. Her mom was a scientist in the laboratory. “So they’re demanding the packing work instead.”
“And will they get it?” asked Niki.
Sala shook her head. “Mom says the equipment will soon be fixed. Anyway, there are loads of robots doing the work for now.”
“So they’re just getting wet for no reason?” said Niki. “What a life! Too many people, no jobs, and rain, rain, rain…