How Things Started…
Bernard Farnsworth, John Elway and the Samsa brothers are a work crew digging in one particular tunnel in a small mine as slaves. Taken under different circumstances and outfitted with ‘obedience’ collars (it takes 3 collars to deliver the necessary pain to Elway), they have been together for 4 months.
Sixteen hour shifts are the norm. Time off isn’t much better. The gruel and the slimy purified water that passes as sustenance is torturous for the non-roach members of the group. While the Samsa brothers are content enough with the food and water situation, they are in the same shitty situation as everyone else when it comes to time above ground in general. Since the previously abandoned mine is located in a large area known as a death zone, radiation sickness starts to set in after too much time above ground. So the past 4 months (a entire year for Farnsworth) have been an excruciating back and forth between backbreaking work underground and horrible living conditions above ground.
They are the captives of a group of marauding mutated animals who seem to think there is something valuable in this ancient abandoned silver mine. As a consequence of being enslaved the longest, Farnsworth has surmised (and shared with his fellow slaves) that their captors are part of a cryptic alliance known to some as Zoopremacists (that particular label is considered a slur to members of the alliance and anyone overheard uttering it will earn some animosity). Zoopremacists believe in the superiority and prophesied destiny of mutated animals and see all other lifeforms as nothing but tools and obstacles.