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Floor 1492

Sam was a bit of a problem child, he was always sneaking out of school to go explore on floor 1492, even though most of it was locked.  I learned of this secret when I started paying attention to some of his school doodles.  Secretly, I was pleased because this was a sign to me that Sam was seeking to find a greater truth than the humdrum life of our underground existence.

I confronted him one day about this, to observe his reaction and see if I could get through to him.  “Sam,” I said, “I see that you are a good boy and are doing well, but that sometimes you go to floor 1492.” 

His reaction was violent and startled, his glance darted back and forth gauging his escape routes.  “Well, I…” he began, but I interrupted him again.

“No, this is a good thing, I think, that you are naturally questioning and trying to learn about the truth!”

He stared and stumbled wildly, perhaps thinking he was about to be punished.  “I would like your teacher to come in for a moment,” I said.

His teacher came in wearing the usual suit and tie.  “We were concerned when you said you’ve been going to floor 1492.  Normally that is grounds for more serious punishment.  But we see that as a good sign, showing promise.”

Sam’s glance darted back and forth between me and his teacher and then elsewhere, and for a moment we were really worried he was going to call security.   “Wait a minute, you, a teacher, are okay with me going to floor 1492?”

The teacher and I looked at each other nervously.  Could we trust Sam?  Would he call security?  But Sam was our best hope.  “Sam,” I said, “I think it’s time we take you up to see what’s really going on on the surface.”

His teacher hurriedly left to go on to his next duty.

I took Sam to the surface that day.  I wanted to show him what was the result of the solutions of our forefathers, who thought that granting Eminent Domain to the remaining land was the only solution to the problems of over-population, starvation, and the need of the people.  For as far as the eye could see, in every direction and all the way, even over-flowing a little on to our cement platform, ran machines intermixed with land, and here-and-there almost indiscernible signs of animal activity. 

“What… what are those?”  Sam cried frightfully.

“Chickens.”

Indeed, in some spots, there was sign of animal life.  Everywhere there was a horrible tell-tale sign and smell of industrial machinery.