- Author: Mary Hallberg
Book online «The Immortals Mary Hallberg (top non fiction books of all time .TXT) 📖». Author Mary Hallberg
There are a lot of things about The Immortals that the general public doesn’t realize. One of them is the sharp contrast between living as an Immortal and living as an ordinary citizen. Sure everyone knows they’re as different as night and day, but they can’t really comprehend it until they’ve had their feet in both worlds.
For the first four or five years after the economy collapsed, people kept their electronics. They wanted to sell them because they needed the money, but nobody could really afford to buy them. So they just kept them until they were worn out, then threw them away. Now very few people have more than just a TV, maybe an old computer.
If an Immortal doesn’t have at least two of every major electronic — car, phone, television, and so forth — they’re practically freaks in The Necropolis. The grants are a hundred thousand dollars a month, but things are a lot cheaper than they were a few years ago. The Immortals only make up a small percentage of the population, so electronics aren’t exactly in demand anymore, at least not like they used to be.
The Necropolis is small by pre-collapse standards, but it is still the second largest city in the world. Other countries have their own system and cities that are similar, but they still can’t hold a candle to it. The largest is Los Angeles, where most of the pre-collapse celebrities still live. There are at least two million people living there as opposed to the nearly one thousand in The Necropolis, but being a former celebrity doesn’t give you access to TNV or lifetime grants, and none of The Immortals were celebrities before they joined. All the major music, movie, and TV studios went bankrupt post-collapse and a lot of those workers, just like the rest of the country, were used to blowing through money like candy. So they were all in the same rut as the rest of the country by now.
So if you want to go to a place where luxury and wealth abound, The Necropolis is the place to go. Unfortunately, the only thing harder than getting in is getting out, and the price of staying is much higher than any lifetime grants could pay for.
I never thought I’d see so many people at a funeral.
I haven’t been to many funerals, but the few I have attended weren’t nearly this crowded — not even my dad’s. The entire sanctuary was filled to capacity and people were standing in the back and along the aisles. A few minutes before the service started, the ushers came and spoke to them. I overheard one of them standing close to me say this many people in the building was a fire hazard and they would have to leave. I also never thought I’d see anyone kicked out of a funeral.
Most of the people who got thrown out were reporters who probably didn’t want to be there anyway. They shuffled to the front steps of the church without much protest; they probably couldn’t see much through the stained glass windows but were just waiting for us to come out so they could snap our pictures or ask us questions. I guess I should have at least been glad there were so many people at my grandpa’s funeral, but it made me even more upset. These people weren’t here because of my grandfather, at least not because he was a wonderful man they wanted to pay their respects to (even though he was and they should). They were here because he was famous.
It was obvious that the minister didn’t know grandpa very well because all he did was reread his obituary (which I had already read when it was posted online the day before) and talk about eternal life in heaven. Seems like the only place you can hear about heaven these days is at a funeral. He read John 3:16 and a few passages from Revelation, but I tuned him out. I hadn’t been to church in over a year and even when I had gone I hadn’t exactly paid close attention. I didn’t remember much about the Bible except from Sunday School lessons as a kid and they don’t usually talk about Revelation to little kids. But the little I have heard of it always makes my skin prickle. This passage talked about a new heaven and a new earth and how God would wipe away everyone’s tears and there would be no more death and no more pain. It wasn’t as bad as the bizarre imagery of three headed beasts and lakes of fire, but I still wasn’t buying it. There wasn’t much death where I came from, but there sure as hell was plenty of pain.
It was a pretty typical funeral service, I’d imagine. Mom used to watch old movies where people went to funerals but only the graveside was shown and everyone wore black. Most of them were murder mysteries and some policeman would always come talk to the victim’s family and ask them questions like “did Johnny have any enemies?” We weren’t going to the graveside until later, most people wore dark colors but not all black, and if any reporters were going to question us at the graveside they probably wouldn’t ask us if grandpa had any enemies. Everyone knows he didn’t...well, except maybe for a few panel members he pissed off when he left The Necropolis. And why on earth would detectives question people at a funeral? Wouldn’t it have made more sense to bring them in for questioning at a better time? But it’s not like anyone else had any answers. I had a feeling that at least half the people in the room and more than half the ones attempting to peer in through the stained glass windows didn’t know much more