In the not-so-distant future, workers are forcibly drafted into their fields, and the Labor party chooses Silas. Because he’s new, strong, and trained for Command, everyone wants to use him for their own purposes. But when a strange girl shows him that he can choose his own destiny, Silas must make his first real decision—which side he will fight for.
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The door is open and the room is dark. I peek my head past the door and then flash my light inside. It sounds as if someone is talking right to me, but the room is empty. I don’t know how it’s possible, but like Gideon said, I can hear every word being spoken in the classroom two stories up. Class has already begun.
Kezziah said they call the teacher Joseph, but I wonder if she was kidding. The voice I hear has a high-pitch nasal quality to it and I can’t decide if the teacher sounds like a masculine woman or a feminine man. But nasal or not, the words are fiery.
The teacher jumps from subject to subject with such abandon it’s difficult for me to keep up or even be sure of the current topic. My ears continue to listen but I’m not hearing the life changing revelations I was promised, so my mind wanders.
I try tuning back in but the ‘history’ lesson has become as boring as I feared it would be. I bite off a huge portion of a meat stick and chew like a cow but then the teacher’s words ring in my ears and I stop chewing so I can listen more closely.
“It should be no mystery why you are really here but the truth has been hidden through decades of misinformation and indoctrination. You are here because the Citizens put you here to serve them and because the Regents choose to control your lives. You are slaves.” He pauses and then repeats himself with greater emphasis. “You. Are. All. Slaves. Here to serve those who control you.”
I hold my wrist face-up on the table and stare at the barcode tattooed into me like I’m an inmate and the number branded into my skin like I’m cattle. If I had a knife I’d carve the symbols out of my flesh.
The teacher concludes, “You may not be able to change the past, you certainly cannot alter your origins, but you can break free.”