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The Bubble - a dystopian mess


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Yes, I am aware that this is a forum based largely on fantasy. 

And yes, I am still going to post the first draft of some stuff I wrote that is 100% dystopian and 0% fantasy. (It’s also 100% storming awful, but that’s besides the point.)

Me and my friend basically were talking about how plants are only 2% efficient because the CO2 concentration is too low, so the obvious answer to that is pump a load of CO2 into the air. Slight problems with that for us humans - not to mention the rest of nature - but it’s hypothetical okay?

Anyway, we thought that if we put all the humans in a completely sealed dome thing and made a supercity underneath it for the entire population to live in, and put enough oxygen in that ‘bubble’ for humans to survive, and made it completely self-sustaining, we could put loads of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and it not impact humans. (Clearly, being forced out of your home and living in this confined, cultivated, sterile ‘city’ would be included under that ‘not impact’ bit. Like I said, hypothetical.)

It sounds mental, and it probably is, but here it is anyway.


50 years ago, humans decided that the species was too much of a threat to the planet to be allowed free rein over it. Failing ecosystems, dying plants and a permanently red sky prompted the world’s governments to devise a project. A radical, risky controversial project, yes, but everyone agreed it had to be done.


20 years later, they had erected an enormous, self-sustaining city, built to house all of humankind. It was completely sealed inside a huge glass dome, and projections had been set up to ensure no one suspected there was anything outside worth seeing.


Every human was required to move there within the month, leaving behind their homes, communities and livelihoods, and were relocated to a sterile living area where they were told to settle in and make themselves at home. Most humans were happy. Some, known as Dissenters, were not, but they were swiftly and efficiently silenced.


The governments involved in its creation were satisfied with their masterpiece. They were proud of their careers’ work.


They named it the Bubble. 


A name they would come to regret, for bubbles can be burst.

Instalment 1: (i’m not sure if they will turn out to be long enough for chapters so i’m calling them ‘instalments’)


I sit in my room, listening to the Symphony Orchestra rehearse in the block below me. Their music is beautiful, but it lacks something I can’t put my finger on. To me, it doesn’t seem like real music - it’s just notes. There’s no raw emotion, no feelings that haven’t been carefully cultivated into what the Directors desire.

I used to belong to the Symphony Orchestra, but I left. It was nothing like the grand orchestra I used to belong to, before the Bubble.

You see, I am old enough to remember the Relocation. The great, worldwide upheaval as everyone left their homes and came to live in this sterile, lifeless shell of a home.

I must be careful - such words walk the line between freedom of speech and outright treason. And I am on my very last warning with the Directors, ever since I evaded their Dissenter extermination programme. Much as it pains me, I must keep my treasonous thoughts in check, lest the Directors hear of them. 

And so it is that I am confined to my rooms, listening to the Symphony Orchestra play fake music and wishing the other Dissenters and I had done more in our youths. It is too late now, of course - I am almost fifty, and the other Dissenters are long gone. Even if I were to try something, the Directors’ grasp on everyone’s lives is simply too great, and those very people whom I seek to liberate would resist me, I am sure.

My one hope lies in my daughter, Elle. Her fiery spirit and unquenchable desire to fight our oppressors provide me with a small consolation for the world when I am no longer in it. Watching her grow up has been the greatest joy of my life, from the curious girl who wanted to be a warrior to the fiercely loyal young woman I know today. Perhaps… perhaps, if the world were full of people like my Elle, the Bubble would have collapsed years ago.

Alas, it is not, and the Bubble thrives more than ever. 

Abruptly, the music stops. All in unison, no fading last chord. It merely - ends. In a robotic movement, I hear footfalls crossing the hall and ascending the staircase. Then, a knock on the door. Elle

I begin to enquire after the rehearsal, but Elle stops me. “Not now, Ami, I can’t, I just - not right now.” For the first time I take in her slumped posture and tearstained cheeks. Oh no. 

Elle never cries. Never. Not once have I seen her shed so much as a single tear, even as a very young child. 


”Rehearsal was- fine.” Her voice catches on the last word. “I don’t want to talk about it.” She slips past me and into her room, closing the door. 

I will have to talk to her, to ascertain what exactly has happened. But that can wait.

I pull on my boots, leaving a brief note on Elle’s pre-cooked dinner to say I am going out. 

I may not be a youth anymore, but that does not mean I cannot perform a little espionage to find out what left a usually stoic daughter weeping.

Criticisms would be VERY much appreciated :) 

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that's.. actually a cool idea. sounds like the type of book you'd find in a library, one of those underrated, single book author type books that is a hidden gem if done right.

Not sure what to say in the way of criticism, besides some basic grammar/syntax points, otherwise I think it's a good opening, definitely would read more

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Here’s an Elle pov instalment:


I sink down onto my bed, bury my head in my pillow, and pull the blankets close around me. I make sure the door is locked - no one must hear me, ever. Only then do I cry.

Great heaving sobs rack my body, obliterating everything else. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.

My mother, Ami, thinks I am some sort of hero of old, ready to charge into battle and singlehandedly defeat the oppressors. And maybe I used to be like that. But now, it’s hard just to get up in the mornings. It’s so emotionally taxing to watch Ami look at me with that horrible mix of admiration and love that makes me want to scream. I’m not who you think I am. I’m an impostor. The Elle you know would never bow under something so silly as… you know… her greatest deepest secret being revealed and broadcast to the entire Symphony Orchestra and its staff.

Oh, God. That brings another wave of shame, self-hate and sadness, threatening to tow me under. Careful. You almost said the D-word. But I’m used to them by now - they don’t really hurt that much, and they’re never as bad as some other people get, and-

And do the lies really run so deep that I repeat them even in the security of my own mind?

Really, Elle? You’re supposed to be brave.

But the truth is, I’ve never been brave, or loyal, or fierce, like Ami thinks I am. I cower in a corner while others sacrifice their lives for me. I stand and watch on as millions are subjected to the absolute cruelty of the Directors. I deserve every last punishment they can give me for being depr - depres -

I’m not even brave enough to say the word in my head.

I suppose it is no good to hide it, or suppress it. 

Today, my friend Mira revealed to the entire Symphony Orchestra that I was depressed. There. I said it.

I close my eyes and force myself to relive it. Mira’s gentle face that said it was going to come out at some point,   the laughing, the whispering, the mocking sad faces, the Director in charge walking off speaking into his radio -

Speaking into his radio.

The Directors know that I have committed a deep and terrible sin against their supposed utopia. I’m in danger.

But I simply cannot find it in me to care. I collapse onto my bed and lie there for a long, long time.

I am still there when several large bodies knock down the door to my room, thrust something sweet-smelling under my nose and everything goes black.


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  • 3 weeks later...
On 12/13/2022 at 11:49 AM, CalanoCorvus said:

that's.. actually a cool idea. sounds like the type of book you'd find in a library, one of those underrated, single book author type books that is a hidden gem if done right.

Not sure what to say in the way of criticism, besides some basic grammar/syntax points, otherwise I think it's a good opening, definitely would read more

I wholeheartedly agree on this. solid concept and the characters are great, I want to read more of it.

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