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I open my eyes. In a flash it all returns to me. The torrent of bodies, bloodied and scarred. The screams, the pleas. Nausea whips through me and shakes my body like a rag doll. And so begins the new day.
My name is Shakia Napel. I live in Base 55. I am 15. What remains of my family has been scattered so far and wide that we have no hope of recovery. But that’s what they want you to think. To tear down invisible walls inside of you, any hint of resistance, and smother it.
I sit up. A quick glance around my room brings me back to reality. Reminds that today is another day. Another day of the endless torture I have so long faced. My clean set clothes have been set carefully on a shelf, as they have each morning since I’ve been here.
Along with them sits my wrist watch. It has been programmed with my schedule for the day. Every moment, every second has been accounted for. I have exactly 42 minutes before my first activity. 05:15 Breakfast. But I already know sleep has become impossible.
I swing my legs down being careful not to wake my roommate, whose name I still do not know. I wake up long before she does, and am in bed long before she is. According to my schedule.
Emotions run through me, anger, hatred, fear, longing, but mostly regret. Regret for not running fast enough to warn my family. For allowing the Justice to steal them from me. Regret for living, when so many others did not. For every time I save one of their soldiers’ lives. But just as I have each day, I shove these thoughts away. I have no room for them here.
With a sigh I stand. I feel as though I have aged 50 years in the 4 months I’ve been here. Here, not home. Because here will never be home. Quickly I change knowing that these thoughts will only bring back the memories.
I make my bed and silently close the door behind me. The long corridor
of white doors does nothing to ease my tormented mind. 1045, 1044, 1043, 1042…
These are my neighbors who I will never know. We are placed in groups whose
schedules rarely match. Making your life more solitary than ever.
While I walk, against my will, my thoughts return to home. Our port by the sea, the long warm summers. Spending hours upon hours at the lighthouse with Keela. Keela. Keela. Keela. I have to stop. Hunched over with my head between my hands his name rings over and over. Keela. Keela. Keela.
If I had a single friend in this desolate place, I might be able to bear our separation. If I knew if he was dead or alive. If there was some hope… hope. Hope is often at the forefront of my mind. But hope I will not get.
I look at my watch, 15 minutes until breakfast. I don’t have time for this… I think to myself… Pull yourself together! 1003, 1002, 1001, 1001. The elevator. My worst nightmare. It wouldn’t be so bad if you didn’t have to scan yourself in before you enter. I put out my hand, and cringe as the needle pokes into my skin. “Shakia Napel.” A robotic voice says and the doors open.
Inside the door is a scanner, first my eyes, then my wrist watch. When I first arrived I accidentally put my wrist watch in first and consequently was punished. Which is one of the reasons I hate it so much. The security in this place, Base 55, is such that you have certain routes that you can only use at certain times. For example, I am not allowed in the hall leading to the hospital until after I finish breakfast at 05:55.
Then the elevator drops, quickly and without warning. There is no indication as to what level you are on. It goes to where your schedule says you are supposed to go. In my case, breakfast at 05:15. It’s not written on my wrist watch where I’m supposed to go, but the elevator can read data that is not visibly written there. But I know where I will go. Breakfast, in Eating Center #4, Table #8, Chair #9. I know because on the back of my chair, and electronic device has my name written on it, until 05:55. When it changes to April Meadows.
I sit with the same people every day. But there is not one of them that I would call my friend. They were all born to this world, and know no other life. They are not aware of the misery as acutely as I am. They are not reminded of it every waking second of every day, because it’s all they’ve ever known.
There is only one person out of the 9 others who sit at my table who I even remotely like. Her name is Makila Amber. But even though I like her, each time I see her it feels like a dagger has gone straight through my heart. Makila was my mother’s name. It might be me, but I believe that they have placed me with her so that I never can forget that this place is my prison.
The doors open. Straight ahead is Eating Center #4. I am 10 minutes early, an unprecedented amount of time. So it is empty. There is not one speck of life in Eating Center #4. My chair doesn’t even have my name on it yet.
I sit, and am reminded of how tired I am. My eyes flutter closed and the images begin…
I am sitting in the top of the lighthouse. My chair so comfortable that I doze on and off throughout the night. I have not had more than 4 hours of sleep in 3 days. Slowly I nod off. But am awakened by a sharp scream, a scream so earth shattering that I can feel it all the way through to my bones. With a start I jump out of my chair. Eyes riveted on the scene before me.
Justice Assault Soldiers fall from the sky, seeming to appear out of thin air. As quick as I can I light the warning fire. But it is already too late for the townspeople. They are greeted with an onslaught of gunfire, and most are dead before the cold night air reaches them.
Remembering my training, I race down the lighthouse stairwell. I reach the bottom just as the top of the lighthouse is blown off by a mortar. The force of the blast pushes me to the ground.
I am suddenly and painfully on my feet. Blood drips down my face, but I pay it no mind. I am running, but I seem to cover no distance at all. It’s as if the earth is rotating under my feet and I am unable to keep up. I am 20 yards away from my home when they reach it. Before my eyes my family are dragged out and beaten, while our house goes up in flames…
I've written more, but that's all for today. Hopefully I'll be able to post more either tomorrow, or some other time this week.