It's about to Go Down!
The First Installment of the Billionaire Bunker Story
[This is the first installment of the Billionaire Bunker story. To read the introduction to this series first, click here. Also, I revised this post after publication to have people wearing “virtue-signaling face accessories,” a.k.a. cloth masks.]
Billionaire Bunker: It’s about to Go Down!
Jonathan was bored out of his mind. He doodled absentmindedly as his professor droned on and on about the effects of the cis-hetero-normative-patriarchy on the evolution of the Indonesian grass moth.
He gazed out the window. It was a sunny April morning. He watched a bird for a moment, then a squirrel, then a curvy young woman walking by in black yoga stretch pants and a hot-pink halter top. She probably had a pretty smile, he thought, although there was no way to know: she was wearing at least two cloth masks over the bottom half of her face.
His attention returned to the lecture just in time for the professor to announce, “Therefore, it is clear that dimorphic physiological sex differences in the animal kingdom are not biologically real, but are instead mere reflections of humanity’s own misogynistic framework for understanding animal biology; thus, animals are assigned a gender at birth, just as arbitrarily as human children are.”
Jonathan groaned, a little too loudly. The professor paused and asked, in a sarcastic tone, “Did I hear someone ask a question?”
The handful of students who were still paying attention giggled. Jonathan pretended to be reviewing his notes. The professor, satisfied with the way he had addressed the interruption, resumed his lecture.
Suddenly, Jonathan’s phone started buzzing. He casually pulled the phone from his pocket and glanced down to see who was calling. It was his father. He let the call go to voicemail.
A few seconds later, his phone started buzzing again. He declined the call once more and fired off a text message: “In class. What’s up?”
“Call me ASAP!” was the immediate reply.
Jonathan groaned under his breath. He didn’t mind missing a few minutes of the nonsensical lecture, but he did not like talking to his father.
He decided to multitask by returning the call while using the bathroom. He waited to start dialing until he had already started to pee.
After a couple of rings, his dad picked up and shouted into the phone, “Jon, it’s happening!”
“What’s happening?” asked Jonathan. “What are you talking about?”
“No time to explain! You need to go to your dorm and throw anything that you absolutely need into a bag right now. My driver is on his way to get you. He will be at your school in 45 minutes.”
“Why are you sending your driver? I can just drive myself.”
“No you can’t,” his father shot back. “You don’t know where it is. We’re going to the bunker.”
“The bunker?” Jonathan was confused. “What happened? Everything seems so normal today. Are you sure?”
“Positive,” replied his father. “Just have your shit together when my driver arrives. He’ll call when he gets there, so have your ringer on. You better not keep him waiting.”
“Yes, sir,” said Jonathan.
Another student emerged from a stall and gasped loudly, before stammering, “You-you-you’re not wearing a mask!” The young man pulled up his t-shirt over his face and scurried towards the door.
“And you didn’t wash your hands!” replied Jonathan. “Hypocrite!”
He finished up in the bathroom and returned to class to fetch his bag. “Gotta go,” he whispered to the girl whose seat was next to his. Her name was Michelle. They had recently started dating.
She mouthed the words “Call me later” and held her hand to her ear like it was a telephone.
He nodded and blew her a kiss. He wanted to bring her with him, but he knew his father would go ballistic and refuse to let her into the bunker. He threw his backpack over his shoulder and started walking towards the door. He paused and turned back briefly, just to get one more glimpse of her.
She caught his gaze and sensed something was wrong. She silently mouthed the words, “Are you okay?”
The professor stopped talking, stared incredulously at Jonathan for a moment, and then said, “Excuse me, Jonathan, are you going to stay or are you going to go? The rest of us are trying to learn something important.”
“You’re trying to learn it too?” asked Jonathan, with a wry smile. “I thought you already knew all this stuff!”
“Very funny,” said the professor. “But seriously, I need you to either take your seat or leave my class.”
“Yes, sir,” said Jonathan.
“Sir?!” cried the professor. “I know that I specifically told you all that my pronouns are ‘doctor’ and ‘doctor.’ I worked very hard to get my PhD, and that is how I choose to identify, as a non-binary human individual with a doctorate in evolutionary sociology! You will not misgender or mischaracterize me if you wish to continue your studies at this university. Do you understand?”
“Yes, doctor,” said Jonathan. He winked at Michelle and smiled at her as he walked outside.
As he marched towards his dorm, he thought about Michelle and wondered if he should just stay with her instead. Unlike his father, Jonathan was definitely not looking forward to living indefinitely in an underground bunker. Maybe if there really was a nuclear war, for those above ground the end would come so quickly it wouldn’t even matter. Maybe a quick death would be better than life imprisonment in a windowless dungeon. Maybe dying with Michelle would be better than living without her.
Jonathan took out his phone and dialed his father’s number. “Hey, Dad, can Michelle come?”
“Absolutely not. Is that the girl you used to date in high school?”
“No, not her. This is the girl I went to visit during Spring Break.”
“Whatever. No. There’s not enough room for anyone else. Besides, if the world ends, I’ve deliberately recruited the other residents of our fallout shelter for the — how should I say it — breed-ability of the young women. You will have significant mating opportunities.”
“That sounds so weird,” said Jonathan. “But to use your terminology, Michelle is perfectly” — he paused and scrunched up his face before continuing — “she’s perfectly breed-able, so why not bring her too?”
“I don’t know anything about her family, their history, or her genetic fitness. The young women who will be in the bunker with us will be impeccable in every relevant category: biological fitness, intellectual acumen, social conditioning, etc. Look, son, we are like Noah and his Ark. We are going to be the beginning of Humanity 2.0, meaning we get a chance to start over after the Great Reset has eliminated all the ordinary losers from the gene pool. There is going to be a New World Order, and we are at the forefront of it! What a time to be alive!”
“You sound like a Nazi,” replied Jonathan. “Like, you’re actually looking forward to billions of people dying.”
His dad just chuckled. “I don’t create tragedies; I just find a way to profit from them. I was informed by multiple credible sources that Operation Fireball will be be initiated by the end of the week. Everyone who will matter to the future of our species is going to be safely underground when it happens. All the folks on the surface will get wiped out. So we got two, and only two, choices: be among those who get burned up and then irradiated to death — and if anyone does manage to survive the first strike, they will have to face plagues and starvation and pestilence and all that crazy shit from the Book of Revelation, so the lucky ones will be those who get killed right away — that’s one choice, dying with the deplorables on the surface, or you can be among the survivors in the caves and bunkers, who live in safety and health and who will be the ones to carry on the legacy of human civilization when we emerge from our bunkers and build a new world order. Whatever choice you make, the surface world will still be destroyed. Your only choice is whether you get destroyed along with it.”
Jonathan bit his lip and sighed. “Got it. Look, I’m back in my dorm now. Let me get my stuff packed. See you soon.”
“And only the stuff you really need,” said his father. “The bunker has everything. It’s stocked so full, there’s not room for any more shit.”
“My driver just texted, by the way. He said he stopped to get gas about a mile away from campus, so you better hurry.”
“Yes sir,” said Jonathan, opening the door to his room.
“And don’t keep him waiting!” continued his father. “We don’t have much time, so you got to hustle. If you aren’t there when the shit hits the fan, you get locked outside, where you’ll be stuck with all the folks who will be burned alive, so hurry your ass up!”
Next Installment of Billionaire Bunker Coming Soon!
Thanks for reading this installment of Billionaire Bunker. Don’t forget to subscribe to this As the World Ends substack, so you don’t miss out on future installments when they’re released!
Thanks for reading A Ghost in the Machine! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
Thanks for reading As the World Ends! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.