‘Virtually the entire University is undermined with tunnels,’ Chet told Billy B. ‘You mean like the buildings have basements,’ Billy B. asked? ‘No, some buildings have basements but all have tunnels that are often under the basements,’ Chet replied. ‘Have you been in any of them,’ Billy B. asked? ‘Yes, last night,’ Chet said with a grin. ‘What is in them,’ Billy B. asked? ‘Some have Civil Defense candy and crackers from the 1950s and 60s’,’ Chet said. ‘I tried the candy and it is still good,’ he continued. ‘I wonder if anyone lives in those tunnels,’ Jane said. ‘It would be an excellent place for the homeless to stay warm…I imagine many heating pipes in them,’ Neva J. said. ‘Some of them are as large as a massive corridor while others you have to crawl on your belly to make your way through,’ Chet informed them. ‘Are they well lit,’ Jane asked? ‘Yes the University tunnels have lighting throughout them and periodically I have found couches and upholstered chairs and vintage furniture in them,’ Chet answered.
‘To the Tunnels, we shall go,’ proclaimed Neva J. as she loaded the picnic basket and packed the Merlot! ‘My goodness it is dark today…almost like night,’ said Jane as they loaded into the 57′ Chevy. ‘It has been a bit dark since the Crisis,’ Neva J. responded. ‘You just do not see the people that you used to on Campus,’ Billy B. mentioned as they locked the doors of the Old 57′ and entered the Tunnel. ‘It feels like air-conditioned comfort in here,’ said Charles who had decided to join the group at the last minute. ‘Both the heat and the AC are produced by a Steam Plant that burns coal and there are AC vents throughout the Tunnels,’ Chet said.
As the group walked for over a mile it occurred to Jane to ask Chet what he was doing in the Tunnels last night when he ate some of the Civil Defense candy. ‘Well, Beth and I enjoyed some after we watched Succession on HBO,’ Chet replied with a wink. ‘Beth who…Billy B. asked with a start…and what is Succession or HBO?’ ‘Oh I do not know where to begin…after the Crisis, we all came down here and now are in our mid-60s’…it beat the radiation sickness,’ he said with a strange look in his eyes. ‘But we are just kids now…what do you mean the mid-60s…that is the age of my grandparents,’ asked Jane with an exasperated look on her face.
Around the corner were Chet and Beth and Jane and Neva J. and Billy B. and Charles enjoying the quiet life of the retired. They often delighted in going around the corner to relive the memories of their youth and the unique opportunities of living in the Tunnels…and on the edge of two parallel universes…