It’s time I told you all about the Nonexistents. They’re a vital part of the whole Vengeance trilogy and so they deserve their own post (and their own collage – I’m quite proud of the one I made and I hope to explain all the different pictures by the time I’m done this post). I’m also going to be talking about Existents, but overall, the two are one and the same. To put it simply, Nonexistents are Christians, people who believe in the one, true God who made the world and all that is in it. I’ll explain about the name, but to do that, I have to give a little background.
When the first warning signs of the world changing dramatically for the worse appeared on the horizon, the Christians started building huge underground bunkers to escape to if things got really nasty (and by huge, I mean huge. They’re pretty much underground cities). One thing that helped was they discovered giant caves under the surface of the earth that had been left alone for centuries. They also discovered tunnels that led under the sea, which would make communication with Christians in other continents much easier. Then the overthrow of the government came, and the first new queen took the throne and most of the Christians went into hiding, either above ground, or in the bunkers.
Religion was rooted out and books were burned to keep the people ignorant, so as more and more Christians escaped (they also took anyone else who wanted to come, and, believe me, there were a lot in the early days of the new regime) they took as many books with them as they could, knowing it was vital to preserve not only reference books and such, but also stories and novels and classics. It was an organized effort on six of the seven continents, and soon most Christians, except for some relatively small pockets were underground. Antarctica is colonized a little later (I just thought I’d stick that in – I have about two pages worth of timeline in my ‘notes’ document) and about eight years after that, the first Existents were sent out.
[note: the reason the Christians started to be called Nonexistents, was because nobody thought they existed anymore, so whenever people talked about them – which wasn’t often – they referred to them as Nonexistents and it caught on. And Existents go into the outside world, so they ‘exist’, so to speak]
Existents are young people between the ages of thirteen and twenty-five who are sent out into the world for supplies, to bring news of the Outside, and to bring back converts if at all possible. Each one is carefully selected and only let go if they are completely for it. The young people sent out are those that have become one of the Faith, of course, and they rarely turn down a mission request, even though it’s highly dangerous (as in, only one out of three returns every time). Of necessity, most of the Existents are women (they work as maids in rich people’s houses) but several boys go out as well (as trainers or students in the facilities, depending on their age).
They wear a tag made of wood with their name burned into it, and the number of mission they’re on. The maximum number of missions for an Existent is usually two or, at the most, three, mainly because it’s so dangerous. After a couple of missions, the Existent’s tag is hung up on a wall with all the other tags of successful Existents and they settle down and marry (I mean, they don’t have to marry, but it’s what they do most of the time). If an Existent doesn’t return after their year-long mission, it’s doubtful they ever will whether because of being killed, or choosing to stay on the Outside. If they receive news of an Existent death, which doesn’t often happen, a facsimile tag is made and put on a special wall for dead Existent tags.
I don’t feel like I’ve explained everything well enough, and I know I left stuff out (it’s so complicated), but that’s the basics of who the Nonexistents are and what they do. If there’s any questions you may have to further clarify things, just leave in the comments. I’d be happy to answer anything (as long as it’s not spoiler related).