An entry for Flash! Friday, vol 2-19. Update: this story was the winner for the week.
The Senator stepped out of the train and marveled at Mile Deep Station. “The electric bill must be astronomical!”
“The light is Cherenkov radiation,” explained the General. “Our nuclear reactors produce enough electricity to light up Pittsburgh.”
“Harmless. It’s to keep humankind alive, after all.” The General pointed to a storage area. Pallets stacked four stories high. “Food to feed ten thousand for a lifetime. Seed banks. Hydroponics. Textbooks. Spare parts.”
“I hope it’s enough.”
“Earth’s surface should be habitable again within two centuries.”
The last of Mile Deep’s new inhabitants disembarked the train. The Senator patted the General’s shoulder. “Time to go.”
“Senator, are you sure you won’t stay?”
He shook his head. “Our way of thinking is what made this place necessary.”
They boarded the train. As the doors closed, and the train began its slow return journey to the surface wastelands, the Senator took a final look at the future he would never know.