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Chapter 2 (v.1) - Chapter 1 - The Gathering

Submitted: July 15, 2017

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Submitted: July 15, 2017





  I sat in a chair in the 9 to 12-year-old section just under my friends. Mattie reached down to put both her hands on my shoulders. "I can't believe you're not up here yet," she murmured distractedly, eyes following someone's movement in the distance. I looked towards where she was staring.
  Our Leader was just settling down in a chair at the top of our formation. Around her, a row lower, was a group of the Council, each ring of people getting larger and one step lower until we got down to the under 5s, who didn't really have seats. There were Caretakers standing near them.
  "Isn't it strange how there's supposedly less of us as we get older?" Lilly whispered under her breath. Strange stares followed our little group-huddle from up above.
  You're supposed to stand up after the leader does.
  We'll probably be in trouble later.
  I stand up, blushing, Lilly looking shy and Mattie looking anxious.
  The Leader clears her throat. "Ah-hem." We all stand straight and still as statues. "Please direct your attention to the video screen now."
  We all look up to the screens surrounding us. Little faces eager to understand what they cannot, but the older we get the older this history gets.
  I stare up at the screen.


  A vast, grey neighborhood with tall buildings and streaming crowds. I believe this was called a...City in the old days? We have "Cities", too, I guess, but a whole lot more open and modern.
  This was where the war started. The scenery changes, gets both more beautiful and more destructive as the Earth slowly crumbles away.
  The Earth was no longer inhabitable; it got destroyed. But we took some of our advanced technology; used it to find a new place. A new Earth, one that was still filled with teeming, lush valleys, where we could build Suburbs and Burrows and Provinces. Schools and hospitals and roads. But there was a surprising lack of trees to work with.
  We built two sets of spaceships to take us here: The Genesis Fleet and The (much smaller) Ark Fleet. One for humans and one for animals. We brought a lot of other stuff along too.
  This isn't the science or history class version, so it doesn't go into too much detail about how the wars started or what types of animals had to be left behind.
  I've never seen a real one, but I would've loved animals like tigers, polar bears, and swans. They left behind a lot of beauty, and destroyed even more of it.
  The video changes to an image in a hospital: the first child born as a true citizen to Klegan. The Mirror technology had just been properly developed. The project that started on Earth and developed a large part of today's life system.

  The eyes are the mirrors to the soul, or so they say.




 Melody had not gone to the Gathering this time. I mean, true, she was supposed to be the Leader-in-training (technically), but take one close look at her face and nobody would soon accept that fact.
  She was a disgrace. An only child, not even a child, a grandchild. Her mom would've done great. She just wasn't fit for this role. Her green eyes didn't fit the picture.
  She needed a new face. Someone who is...a revolutionary.
  That girl! The redhead. A common rule-bender with a mom in a position of power; her dad worked near the children. She wasn't leader-born but she had an aptitude for rebelliousness. She was also a fellow Naturalist. An adventurer.
  And she would be brought to the president's mansion along with her friends soon enough. Sometime today, after the Gathering was over. One more rule-breaking incident to push her a step closer towards Melody's side.
  It was the 16th hour. They'd been in there since the 12th, since noon.
  They'd probably gotten through all the daytime activities by now.
  She stood up off her clean white bed and walked down the hall towards the top step. And sat there. Waiting.




  I walked carefully, casually down the aisles. All the way to one of the railings and then all the way down. She was standing there, waiting for us. Mattie behind me with her wild curls bouncing over one shoulder in a ponytail. Lil ahead of me with her honey-blonde hair pulled up into a tight bun. The Leader's gaze raked over us three pathetic pupils; three kids who were wasting her time. Was it just me, or did her eyes linger towards Lilly for a second?
  It wouldn't be too unusual. Just look at her. Her eyes! She'd been under watch for over a year now.
  I looked over at one of the bodyguards standing behind Sophia.
  His eyes, his irises were as black as midnight.
  Some form of a Shadeless?
  My greatest fear; my worst memory from just before my 9th birthday:
  I was at the doctor's. It was about 3 months after Rose was born. Just a regular checkup, right?
  Or maybe not.
  I stared into the hand-held, handeled mirror my mom had given me. My eyes were the full, pale gray of a Helper. Not that this ancient artifact could tell me that. Even if it was very pretty. I would only know for sure when the doctor came and switched on the Mirror on the wall opposite me.
  Dr. Ray knocked on the door and stepped inside.
  "Hi." I smiled, waving. My legs dangled off the bench as I wiggled one foot impatiently. Dr. Ray smiled the knowing smile she seemed to use only around my family.
  She turned around and pressed a button on the white-washed wall. The dull gray glass, looking like dead metal a moment before, turned into a clear, shining mirror-glass. In an instant I was off the patient's table I'd been resting on and being ushered over to stand right in front of it. My breath was tense, anxious, with only a week left to go. My classmates had started showing subtle color changes since before this month began. My eyes were darker, but considering their current state, that could just be all-the-more dangerous for me. As the Mirror zoomed in on my young, anxious face, I held my breath, willing myself not to close my eyes.
  But when I opened them, Dr. Ray was smiling down at me.
  "Congratulations, Honey. You're just in time."





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