“Adam! Adam! Over here.”
Crap. Adam thought. He had almost made it out of there. All he had wanted was a snack before he headed to work.
He turned to face Robin and gave her a small apologetic smile, pointing at his watch and indicating that he needed to leave. Robin wasn’t having any of it. She got up from her table and bounced over to him in that overly perky manner she had.
“You can’t possibly be thinking of eating that on the go?” She said as she reached him. “You’ll make yourself sick! Come on, I’ve saved you a spot on our table.”
Robin linked arms with Adam and dragged him towards the table.
“I really have to go,” Adam said. “I’m going to be late for work.”
“Oh nonsense,” Robin said. “I’ll speak to Mark, I was his egg you know.”
“I think you mentioned that before.” Adam said. About 500 times. He added silently.
Robin sat Adam down next to her and he gave a small wave to the three other people at the table. It was her usual crowd, two more gossiping women called Lucille and Amy and the girl that they had adopted from the very beginning, Amara. Amara was the youngest survivor, she was 15 years old, tall and slender. She sat now in her chair in the same awkward position that she always sat in, hunched over and with a permanent uncomfortable expression on her face. The next youngest after her was 19 and as such, Amara had always seemed out of her comfort zone since she arrived. The other three women fussed over her and, although she never seemed to like it, she let them.
Out of the four people at the table, Adam liked Amara the most. Partly because she was the only one that didn’t annoy the crap out of him but mainly because she was saved for the same reason that he had been; a preservation of the Arts. It was felt by the people who had been tasked with the job of picking the people that were to be saved, that there should be a representative of all areas of living that the UK had to offer. As such, not only were there the geniuses and peace keepers amongst the survivors but there were also the leads in different fields such as music, languages and dance. Adam had been saved for his knowledge of performing arts and Amara had been saved for her overwhelming and quite frankly, amazing talent as an artist. Amara could paint and sculpt and design worlds that people couldn’t even dream of. She had been doing it since she was five years old. Her paintings, back in the old world, were already being sold for millions of pounds, she was a complete genius in the world of art.
There were some in the survivors who seemed a little dubious about the choice to preserve these areas by keeping people like Adam and Amara alive. These people tended to believe that their spots in Utopia could have been better delegated to people more resourceful and beneficial to science and the general workforce. As such, there had become an unspoken bond that had formed between the people saved for this reason. They looked out for each other and had found themselves naturally drawn to each other socially. Amara had been one of the exceptions to this however. No matter who she was with, whether it was the gossiping women she was sitting with now, the artistic group that she should feel a kinship with or the people who didn’t think too highly of her, she still presented as the same awkward teenager that didn’t know how to interact with others. This was bizarrely what Adam liked about her. He recognised a bit of his own helplessness in her and welcomed the familiarity.
“What’s new?” Adam asked Amara, scraping his chair away from Robin and closer to her.
Amara shrugged and stared at her coffee.
“Gary told me that you created something for the clinic.” Adam said.
Amara shrugged again. “It’s meant to be for a children’s ward, but…”
Adam nodded his head in understanding. But there are no kids. It sucked. Not one child had been saved. It was felt that they were too young to work out just how great their potential was likely to be, as such it would be up to the people in Utopia to create children afresh.
There were some who had been happy to take on this task, namely the three women who were nattering away on his very table and along with the survivors, a large bank of sperm had also been saved from the apocalypse. There were twenty women currently trying to get pregnant. They had been trying for the past four months, but so far nothing had happened. No one had got even close. It was starting to scare people, knowing full well that if no one here manages to procreate then they were essentially looking at the last people to ever see this world.
Of course there was speculation about the other countries and what they had done to ensure survival, but there was no way of knowing if their plans had been successful. None of the countries had conferred with each other, each had taken on their own responsibilities and as such, they had no choice but to assume that they were the only ones left as there was no way of proving otherwise.
“I’m sure that the painting will get to be seen eventually where it’s meant to.” Adam offered.
Amara gave him a sceptical look. She didn’t believe his words any more than he did. Everyone had begun to feel really hopeless regarding this.
“So Adam,” Robin said. “How’s life treating you at the moment?”
Adam took a sip of his coffee while he contemplated his answer. He went through the more accurate choices of answers he had; Crap, boring, empty, hopeless. Certain that none of these answers would be what Robin wanted to hear, he instead chose his more standard answer.
“It’s okay,” he said. “Can’t complain.”
“What have you got planned for the rest of the day?” Amy asked.
“Nothing much,” Adam answered. “Just work.”
“Where is it that you’re appointed to again?” Lucille asked.
“Oh come on Lucille,” Robin answered for him. “You know that, he’s on the vineyards. He’s with my rescuer, Mark.”
“Oh of course.” Lucille said. “Silly me. I did know that.”
Of course you did. Thought Adam. You knew it the last five times you asked me too.
“Mark says he’s a natural at it.” Robin gushed. “He doesn’t have a bad thing to say about him.”
“Mark doesn’t have a bad thing to say about anyone.” Adam said.
Robin nodded wisely. “He is a darling, there’s no denying that. I’m glad they’ve reassigned him to the fields rather than allowing him to continue in that awful fighting he was doing before.”
“Yes, making wine to get all of us pissed for the rest of our days is definitely a better job than saving people’s lives.”
“Well, if you ask me, soldiers are redundant nowadays. There’s no space for fighting in this Utopian world.”
“Wasn’t the fighting the thing that kept us alive in the first place?” Amara asked.
“Well sure, there may have been a time when this was needed, but we’re passed that now sweetie.” Robin said. “Now we can stay safe in the knowledge that we are in a peaceful society. There’s no one left to fight now. You shouldn’t worry your little head about it.”
“I’m not worried,” Amara said. “And they still have soldiers around, half the people here belong to the army.”
“That may be, but they’re also being used for other things as well now.” Robin said. “Like Mark.”
“What about that group of people that went out on a mission?” Amara asked. “Are they fighting?”
“Of course not,” Robin answered, in her most patronising tone. “They’re just on a big treasure hunt, that’s all.”
"She’s not five Robin.” Adam said. He turned to Amara. “They went to see that if the rest of this building is secure, no fighting, just excavation.”
Robin looked at him abashed. She appraised the situation and then eventually said. “Well, you had better get going Adam, we wouldn’t want you to be late for Mark.”
Adam tried his hardest to suppress a smile. “Of course, why didn’t I think of that?” He said and stood up.
Before he left, he turned to Amara. “I’d like to come and see this new painting of yours, if that’s okay.”
Amara simply nodded and Adam gave her shoulder a reassuring squeeze. “Well ladies, I appear to be late. I shall speak to you all soon, no doubt.”
And with that, he left the room, taking his untouched food with him.