by Tony Dunnell
1) Maximum permanent capacity
100 114 125. No exceptions. Temporary capacity may exceed this number on a case-by-case basis. Refugee status is granted in some cases, but temporary shelter is temporary. No exceptions. Temporary residents with refugee status may apply for permanent residency through the council, capacity allowing. The council’s decision is final.
2) Respect the day/night cycle, unless assigned otherwise. It helps build community.
3) All activities that create strong vibrations are strictly prohibited. You may talk, walk, cook etc. freely and normally. Activities such as running and the playing of loud music are monitored. Activities such as drilling, hammering, sawing, ball games etc. are strictly prohibited unless previously approved by the council.
4) Respect the zones. All residents are allowed to move freely between the residential and communal areas (green) unless under quarantine or arrest. Entering red zones (utilities, waste, armory etc.) is strictly prohibited unless previously granted access.
5) All residents are allowed to leave the bunker at any time and at their own risk, unless the immediate surface area is occupied (by unknowns or hostiles). If you wish to leave, either on a temporary or permanent basis, you must first contact a council member. Unless assigned to a surface mission, be aware that re-entry is at the discretion of the council and/or senior hatchkeepers.
6) Any attempt to leave the bunker without prior permission, or any unauthorized attempt to open the main or secondary hatches, is punishable by death.
7) Acts of physical or sexual aggression by bunker residents are punishable by expulsion or death, at the council’s discretion.
8) Romantic couplings must be approved and registered with the council. Before a partnership is approved, the couple must consent to the council’s rules on procreation and pregnancy, if applicable (see amendments).
9) All residents must accept the rules of passing (see amendments). Your bodies are your own up until the point of death, at which time the body becomes the property of the council, to use as it sees fit. Traditional religious practices do not apply and will not be considered.
10) In the event of a passing, the council will decide if the vacated bunker space will be filled and by whom. Applications are accepted. The council’s decision is final.
11) In the event of the passing or demotion of a council member, elections will be held to fill the vacated position. All bunker residents above the age of 18 are eligible to vote unless their voting rights have previously been revoked.
12) Voting rights cannot be revoked in the (one) week running up to an election, unless the eligible voter has committed a serious and irrefutable crime (including, but not limited to, murder, rape, or an unauthorized attempt to leave the bunker (see 6)) during said one-week period.
13) All residents over the age of 15 can volunteer for surface missions.
14) If insufficient volunteers come forward for a surface mission deemed “vital” (see amendments), lots will be drawn among all mission-eligible residents. Refusal to abide by the results of the draw will result in permanent expulsion from the bunker. No exceptions.
15) In the event of a breach by an unknown party or known hostile entities, martial law will be declared. All residents over the age of 10 must immediately report to the muster point outside the armory, where weapons will be assigned.
16) During a breach, failure to follow the commands of council members or designated security officers is punishable by summary execution at the hands of the aforementioned. No exceptions.
17) In the event of a breach, all hostiles, human or otherwise, are to be targeted and killed on sight. Acts of mercy are punishable by expulsion, at the council’s discretion.
18) Respect the mealtime schedule. It helps build community.
Tony Dunnell lives in a Peruvian jungle town on the edge of the Amazon rainforest, where the people are happy and the insects are big. His stories have also appeared in Daily Science Fiction and MetaStellar. You can read more of his writing at tonydunnell.com.
The idea for this story came to me when, quite randomly, I started imagining a set of rules posted on the wall of an underground bunker. I went with it and started writing, and the community started to take shape—as they do. Communities can be strange, and even more so in times of crisis. And rules are part of that, whether we agree with them or not.