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The Academy of Young Scholars
School was an interesting concept for Miah Jones, but not a necessary one. She thought she was too smart to fall for the crap the magisters dealt out. She could read, write, subtract, multiply, add, divide, argue successfully, and steal. All that good stuff that helps a person survive. It was the year 3000, and the same year things would change drastically for Miah Jones. What affected her was not the year, but the law that was passed years before that fateful year, the law that caused Miah to run constantly from the Ultimate Supremacy. This law as called the Scholastic Act, which declared that all children the age of sixteen and younger must attend the Academy of Young Scholars, aka a prison for training children to betray their parents and stay loyal to only the Ultimate Supremacy. This law was passed in 2993. She had been running for seven years, and at the age of thirteen, the Scholastic Act caught up to her.
Miah Jones thought about all she had sacrificed and lost to get away from this ridiculous bill as she sat glumly on the train. It was all gone for nothing, her mother, her father's professorship, and her chance for a normal life, just because some random woman reported her for stealing bread from the baker. She hadn't even needed the stupid bread! She had a stash of canned food, water, and stale munchkins back in her apartment. She had just wanted some fresh bread! Could anyone really blame her?
Her mother disappeared when she was seven years old. She was outside, packing clothes, when Supreme Warriors had come to their home. Miah and her father, Tank, witnessed them hit her as she tried to prevent them from entering their home. Tank had dragged Miah into the basement, and stuffed her in a hole in the corner of their basement. For hours, Miah had to sit there. Tank came back eventually, and they ran for their lives. They fled to New York City, a place where it was practically impossible to find someone, much less a child. Miah never knew what had happened to her mother, but she assumed she was dead.
Miah thought about Tank. He had gone off the day she'd been caught to find a job. He had been educated at Harvard University, the only university left, and he was very strong. There was no doubt in his ability to find a job. He taught her everything she knew. She wondered when, and if, he would return to their small apartment. She then wondered whether she would ever see her father again. He'd been telling her since her mother died to not leave their apartment. "It's not safe out there, boo." He had told her. Why hadn't she listened? She groaned, and buried her head into her hands.
"Want to listen to my iPod?" A shy voice interrupted her thoughts. Miah looked over at the little boy sitting next to her. He was holding out a silver rectangle to her, with wire extending from a little hole.
"What's an iPod?" She inquired, and slid closer to the boy. His face flushed, and he struggled for words.
"It's-it's-it's a music...thing." She looked at him, confused. "You put these earphones in-" He held up the wires and on the end there were two circles. "And you hear music." Miah, interested, grabbed the circle and shoved them in her ears. A loud blast of "music" erupted in her ears, and deafened her for a moment. She screamed in pain, and the boy yelled in response. He pulled the wires from her ears, and ran from the compartment. She sat, in silence, and felt very lonely.
Miah tried to escape the train twice on the way to the School. She would've tried a third time, but the conductors locked her in a compartment with two Supreme Warriors. One time, she had been locked in the animal stalls, but she had to escape by riding a cow out of the train. The cow, ironically, was named Runner. Runner was not very fast, mostly because he wouldn't run. After they had captured Miah, they locked her in this room with the soldiers.
One of the soldiers was middle-aged, just a little older than Tank. The other soldier was barely a "Warrior". He looked a little younger than Miah. The young boy was talking continuously to the older soldier, who looked indifferent. Miah, who felt sorry for the boy, responded to one of his stories. The boy looked insanely happy, until the other soldier smacked him over the head. Miah yelled at the older man for cruelty, and he slapped her. Miah cried out in pain. The remainder of their trip was in silence.
She woke up to the boy shaking her. "Get up, ma'am." He begged quietly. The sky outside was dark, the pollution blocking out the moon and the stars. The older soldier was nowhere in sight. She realized this might be a test for the youngster. She decided to behave. As they walked from the sleeping train, the boy whispered to her, "Please help me." She looked at him strangely, and noticed the fear in his eyes. "They hurt me." He breathed, pain lacing his voice. Miah spotted the older soldier, who was keeping watch at one of the doors that led to the safe outside world.
The boy slipped her a long, gruesome knife. Miah sighed, wondering how she got herself into these situations. She could give the knife back to the boy, and doom both of them. Or, she could try to save the boy, and risk losing her own life. She clutched the knife in her clammy hand, and crept on the older soldier. She laid her hand on his shoulder. He spun around, and she held the knife to his throat. The boy pushed open the train door, and leapt. She took the hilt of the knife, and slammed it into the soldier's head. He fell to the ground, unconscious. Miah threw the knife out of the open door. She looked at the sleeping soldier, and noticed he looked peaceful, but cold. How hard had she hit him? She turned to the blurry snow that whipped by her. She guessed that it might cushion the boy's fall. She pushed herself from the train, and fell.
The fall seemed to take forever. It was like she was descending in slow motion. She could see her poor mother lying on the ground, almost like she was dead. She could see Tank struggling to find a job at a bank. She could see the lady who reported her for stealing with a look of disgust on her face. She could even smell the newly baked bread. She saw the little boy she thought she saved.
When she hit the icy snow, she realized she was very wrong.