The Society

The Society

Status: In Progress

Genre: Science Fiction

Houses:

Details

Status: In Progress

Genre: Science Fiction

Houses:

Summary

From the ashes of the Great War, the Society was born.
The Society must live, for they are all that’s left.
Or so they say.

Ashlynn Hael has never bought it. Her life on the Low side of the Society has convinced her that if a city as dysfunctional as them could survive, there had to be others, right?

Not that it mattered. Once you’re a part of the Society, High or Low, you’re there for life. The Low Society are subjects to the High– separated by a century of power and wealth. They’re pawns in the game of the High Society, and Ashlynn is the next victim.

When her summons arrives to marry the President’s son, Brenton, she knows a death sentence would have been kinder. No woman went to the High Society and returned to tell the tale. As far as she’s concerned, her life is over.

But as she and Brenton are forced into a life together, they begin to uncover the truth of the Society; truths that neither one of them were prepared for. As revolution brews hot beneath the surface of the fragile peace, Ashlynn and Brenton will learn just how much they have to fight for...and how much they have to lose.
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Summary

From the ashes of the Great War, the Society was born.
The Society must live, for they are all that’s left.
Or so they say.

Ashlynn Hael has never bought it. Her life on the Low side of the Society has convinced her that if a city as dysfunctional as them could survive, there had to be others, right?

Not that it mattered. Once you’re a part of the Society, High or Low, you’re there for life. The Low Society are subjects to the High– separated by a century of power and wealth. They’re pawns in the game of the High Society, and Ashlynn is the next victim.

When her summons arrives to marry the President’s son, Brenton, she knows a death sentence would have been kinder. No woman went to the High Society and returned to tell the tale. As far as she’s concerned, her life is over.

But as she and Brenton are forced into a life together, they begin to uncover the truth of the Society; truths that neither one of them were prepared for. As revolution brews hot beneath the surface of the fragile peace, Ashlynn and Brenton will learn just how much they have to fight for...and how much they have to lose.

Chapter1 (v.1) - The Summons

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: January 25, 2017

Reads: 85

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: January 25, 2017

A A A

A A A

Ashlynn Hael stood on the porch of her small flat, a single black duffel bag slung over her shoulder. She wore simple black pants, black shin-high military style boots, and a dark purple, long sleeve shirt. Her long, dark brown hair was down and fell below her shoulders with it’s natural wave, and rustled in the gentle fall breeze.

If Ash had no idea what the day was going to bring, she’d comment on how beautiful of a day it was. The leaves on the trees of the New England city were vibrant colors of orange, red, and yellow, and the sun shone brightly in the bright blue sky.

But Ash saw nothing else today except the end of life as she knew it. In a few minutes, two guards dressed in all black would arrive at the corner of her street to escort her to the other side of the city; the High Society, where she would be wed to the President’s son, Brenton, in two days. Ash shuddered.

She never wanted to go to the High Society, and she certainly never wanted to get married. She was perfectly happy in her small flat shared with her best friend, Rashire, in the Low Society side of the city. She was happy with her job as a medic in the infirmary, happy with her simple but full life.

Until she was summoned.

It wasn’t supposed to be her. It was supposed to Guinevere, one of the prettiest girls in the city, for Brenton, arranged since they were 13. But Guin couldn’t pass high school courses, and the wife of the President’s son had to be intelligent.

Or so Ash was told, anyway.

She never did understand how it was her that was chosen. Maybe because her father was the elected spokesperson for the Low Society and they knew who she was, or maybe it was because she was one of the only few to take on college-level courses. She didn’t know; but she would never forget how she felt that day.

It had been chilly, and the infirmary was filled with people seeking relief for the seasonal cold. She had gone about her normal duties when a guard came into the building. It wasn’t unusual; guards came in and did rounds routinely, but this guard, tall and dark with unamused eyes, came straight to her.

“Ashlynn Hael,” He had said deeply, not as a question, but a statement. He handed her a cream colored envelope with the President’s seal on it. “We will meet you at the corner of Baker and 12th in 7 days time.” He was gone before she even opened the letter.

She had seen an old horror movie from the old days once; one where people would watch a video, some really messed up video, and in 7 days, they were dead. That’s how she felt. She had just been handed her death sentence.

 She had only had a week to get her affairs in order, but it only took a few days. Women were summoned regularly from the Low Society, so the protocols in place for their departure were used often. No one ever wanted to go to the High Society, for they knew as soon as they left this side of town, they became more worthless than dirt. High Society men treated their women as playthings; there to cook and clean for them, act as eye candy, and as sex slaves to do with as they pleased. Any defying them, and you would find yourself beaten within inches of your life. Rarely did the women ever come back to the Low Society, but occasionally, the men thought it was a fun game to bring them and taunt them in front of their friends and family. Once, a man dumped his wife at the infirmary because she could no longer stand and it was a nuisance to him. Ash realized she knew the girl; she had taken courses with her, but her face was so badly bruised that you couldn’t recognize her. She had died that night, mostly from her begging Ash and the others not to help her. They obliged.

 Ash swallowed bile that was creeping into her throat. She couldn’t bear the thought that that could be her soon. She didn’t know anything about Brenton, other than that he was the President’s son, a lawyer, and very attractive, at least from what she had seen of him on TV. But attractive or not, he would be like the rest of them, and Ash wanted nothing more than to run away beyond the trees surrounding the Society.

But there was no point to fight the High Society summons, or try to run; they would simply kill you. There were too many women lying in mass graves from taking their own lives or trying to run. Ash tried not to think about it. She had considered ending it before the summons, but that was tricky. High Society would do anything to execute Low Society members, so even a suicide could be ruled a murder by them.

 No, Ash had come to peace with her situation. She knew she would see President McConnell regularly, and hoped to be able to do something to help her people. She knew the President had to know how bad things were; she guessed he just didn’t care.

 She hoped to change that.

 And if not, and if Brenton was as bad as she had had nightmares about, then she had a contingency plan.

 She glanced up at the massive clock tower that stood in the middle of the Society, separating High from Low and exhaled.

 She descended the few stone steps from her simple flat and refused to glance back. Any sentiments had to be cast aside right now; the only way she would survive this was to be strong.

 Her eyes set on the clock, she headed towards the corner of her road. The Society had put the clock up as a divider, and also as a ‘means of union’, since everyone looked at the marble tower. Ash scoffed at that. The Society was built from survivors of the Great War. Those that were wealthy enough to have bomb shelters and stay out the warpath allowed refugees into their city, which Ash learned was once called Boston. At first, they all worked together as survivors, but as time progressed, the wealthy began flexing their muscles, and rioting began. To keep the peace, the Low Society was separated, keeping the poor from the wealthy, and over the last century, the High Society's power had only grown. Those in the Low Society were taught that they were lucky to be in the city, for the rest of the world was a nuclear wasteland, and without their counterpart, they would die.

Ash didn't buy it for a second.

But that didn't stop them from ruling their lives, and Ash was living proof.

As promised, the clock chimed 10, and the same black guard that delivered her envelope was standing at the corner, hand resting casually on his rather large gun. He was at least a foot taller than her and twice as large; what did he expect she was going to do?

“Miss Hael,” he nodded slightly. She returned the nod, her stomach churning all sorts of ways as they started towards the clock tower, where she would be transferred to a High Society guard.

He was silent as they walked, but glanced occasionally over at Ash.

“I'm not going to try to run,” she said bitterly after about the tenth look he gave her.

“I didn't think you were,” he responded simply. His voice was impossibly deep, and Ash realized he was younger than she had originally thought.

“So stop looking at me,” she snapped.

“I've escorted more women over this border than I wish I had,” he said after a moment. “Some cry, some curse, some even pass out. I'm just making sure you're still in one piece.”

Ash exhaled, feeling embarrassed for snapping at him. “Oh.”

He nodded. “I recognize you, you know. Been in the infirmary more than my fair share about of times. You’re very good at what you do.”

“Oh. Thanks,” Ash said awkwardly. Guards didn’t normally talk; they were just the silent protectors when on duty.

“You pulled a bullet from my shoulder,” he said with a small smile.

She looked again at his face and pursed her lips.

“I remember you now too. You screamed like a girl,” she smirked slightly.

“It hurt like hell, I’ll embrace my girly scream.”

She couldn’t help but laugh at that, and so did he.

“I’m sorry,” He said genuinely after they stopped laughing. “That this is happening to you.”

For a few moments there, Ash had almost forgotten her fate. She swallowed hard.

“Me too.”

They didn’t speak again; walking through the rows of simple grey flats made of concrete and plastic siding lining the street, or what resembled a street. They said the Great War had destroyed most cars and factories, and it had taken time to get electricity again, let alone build cars. The results were streets with cracks and potholes, overgrown with weeds. Street signs still existed, but were rusted and many fallen over; a nod to the past they were once a part of. Most people now got around on bikes, even in the High Society, or they walked. The Society wasn’t huge, and cars really weren’t necessary to get from one point to another. Ash had seen on TV, though, that the High Society streets were well-kept, regardless of their lack of cars too.

They reached the edge of the city, where tall buildings that once stood great and shiny were crumbling. Skeletons of old cars still lined the streets as permanent ornaments because they didn’t have the resources to get rid of them. While the High Society buildings were better maintained, they too showed signs of wear over the decades. The Society worked to restore resources that the world once had in the old days, but it was a slow process with the city being so deeply divided.

The city center separating Low from High was one of the nicest areas of the entire city. The brick ground and black park benches came into view, followed by the tan marble base of the clock tower, engraved with the motto:

 

FROM THE ASHES WE ROSE. TO THE STARS WE WILL FLY.

 

THE SOCIETY MUST AND WILL SURVIVE.

 

The Society must survive. That was the real motto. Everything they did in this place was for the good of the Society because the Society must survive. They were all that was left.

Again, Ash didn’t buy it. They couldn’t be the only group in the world who survived the Great War. She hoped not; for the future of all of humanity being based on a group who couldn’t live amongst themselves and were so uncreative that the name of their town was literally The Society...well, that didn’t bode well for rebuilding the future.

“This is where I leave you,” the guard said solemnly, interrupting her thoughts. Another guard stood at the base of the clock tower; this one was shorter, older, and had pale eyes and light hair and generally looked annoyed that he was there. Ash was certain she was going to puke.

 “Good luck, Ashlynn,” The guard said with a curt nod. She nodded back and turned back to her new guard, who hardly glanced at her as he turned around and started walking.

 Ash crossed over the line separating High from Low, leaving her old simple life behind, and stepping into her new one.

 

 As far as she was concerned, she just stepped into hell.


© Copyright 2017 Mae Piner. All rights reserved.

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