The Rebellion *Chapter 1*

February 12, 2012
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“Come on, please?!” begged a young woman, her crimson hair setting off her emerald eyes, “Why not?!” She was standing in front of an 18 year old boy, his eyes cold and his tone firm. It was obvious they were having a disagreement, and that the boy was winning.

“Aria, for the last time: I am not letting you hunt alone! It’s too dangerous! There are wild animals out there, and you’ve heard the rumors! There might even be Feds!” he said, his last appearance of calm evaporated.

“Fine!” spat Aria, turning on her heel and walking away, “You’ll regret that when the camp goes hungry because my lousy “partner” crashes through the forest like an elephant!” She decided not to tell him she was born a year too late to know what an elephant was, and instead sniffed and walked out. Because the televisions were run on electricity, the last generation that had seen it was her big sister’s, having been alive Pre-Shadow Era.
She huffed and marched across the rope bridge that led into the girls doom, then flopped down onto the little palate she called her bed in the corner of the room near the back exit. She pulled off her bow and quiver, placing them neatly beside the bed in her own cubby that had cleverly been built into the floor of the tree house, that way it was camouflaged and safe from any girls that got it into their mind that mess with her stuff. Looking around the room, she noticed that Dusk wasn’t there yet, with was an added bonus. She had made the mistake of mentioning to her big sister that she was going to
speak with the Branch Leader, and from then on it was nonstop warnings and advice, all of which fell on deaf ears. She knew how dangerous it would be to speak to Tristan about anything, seeing as how if she made him mad, he had to power to banish her from the camp, leaving her alone and defenseless; basically dead but too dumb to know it. It hadn’t gone well, and she didn’t want Dusk to know just how bad it had gone, though as far as she knew she wasn’t banished. Growling, she got up and paced, wanting desperately to go out and hunt, help get rid of her anger, but knew, like a slap in the face, that she couldn’t go until Lanada got back from whatever she was doing this period. She was, most probably, not doing as Aria was and skipping her last period class, but helping overtime like the giant suck-up she was.
After what seemed to be an eternity, Aria heard the patter of feet, then the distressed sounds of the bridges as multitudes of children ran across them, eager to get to their dorm. Aria sat on her palate and watched as girl after girl shuffled into the building, searching for two familiar faces to appear out of the crowd: Her sister’s, and Lanada’s. Seeming to be one of the first one’s in the room was Dusk, her dark auburn hair shining, as always, in the sunlight that filtered through the top leaves of the dense foliage of the forest. Her eyes matched Aria’s the mischievous light the gleamed in the latter’s was replaced with a more excited one, as of the moment. “Aria!” she called out, pushing through the thick clump of girls at the doorway and coming over to Aria’s corner. “Well?” she demanded, sinking down to sit next to her sister, “How’d it go? Are you banished?”
Aria chuckled and shook her head. “Sorry to disappoint, but no, I’m staying. All he said was ‘I am not letting you hunt alone! It’s too dangerous! There are wild animals out there, and you’ve heard the rumors! There might even be Feds!’ Now, is that not bull or what?” she asked, her eyes filling with frustration all over again. “I don’t understand! He knows that I am the best shot in the camp! How can he try to belittle my talents and not let me out? I can easily disappear; I mean, I did always win in hide in seek as a kid!” By the time her rant was over, her face was flushed red and her hands were clenched into fists.
Dusk, on the other hand, was smiling comfortingly. “Aria, he’s trying to keep you in camp for your own good. Tristan,” she said the name with a faint accent so it came out TrI-stan, “Doesn’t want you hurt any more than I do, and the best way to prevent that is to have a partner when hunting. That way if something comes up and you don’t notice it,” she waved her hand to silence Aria’s potential outburst, “Your partner can warn you. Or,” she added quietly, “If there really are Feds and one of you get taken, the other can come back to camp to get help.” She nodded as though that was that, than smiled sadly. “Aria, I’m sorry, I really am. I would volunteer to be your partner, but you’re too young, you know that.” She gave her sister a pitying look before she gave her a brief hug and got up to go talk to some of her older friends.
Aria sighed and got up, looking around for Lanada, before finally finding the peppy blonde girl sitting near the door, her head bobbing up and down as she followed the movements of an acorn on the tree neighboring theirs. “Lanada?” she started, tapping the girl on the shoulder, “Mind if I join you?” Lanada she thought, rolling her eyes, you’ll be sent to work with the Housemother the moment you turn 18.
Lanada turned to face Aria, her platinum blonde hair spinning around, her small, delicate hands pressed to her mouth in surprise. “Aria!” she squeaked, “You just scared half to death!” She gazed accusingly at Ari, and then flashed her a smile. “Oh well, I guess I should be used to you and your silence by now, huh?” Her bright blue eyes shone with excitement as she blurted, “Ari, you’ll never guess what moiety I got chosen for!”
Aria sighed and rolled her eyes. “Let me take a wild guess: You’re going to work under the housemother?” She shook her head with exasperation, wondering how one person could be so clueless.

“Oh my goodness!” she gasped, grinning now from ear to ear, “How did you ever guess! I’ve kept it a secret!” By this time, the girl was bouncing up and down on her bottom, threatening to fall of the edge of the hut if Aria hadn’t pulled her back a few feet.

Aria sighed and shook her head, smiling slightly. “I’ve had a hunch,” she chuckled, then stood. “Hey, I’m going out to hunt, so get ready and meet me at the Trunks in 10, okay?” she asked, stretching her arms above as she walked towards her palate to collect her things.

“Ari! I can’t, not right now!” called Lanada, stopping the former in her tracks.

“What now?” demanded Ari, turning to face her younger, more annoying counterpart.

“I promised Ms. Brigs I would come by after I put my stuff away to help her!” protested Lanada, her eyes wide and pleading.

“Fine, will you at least walk down there with me? I want to check and see how well the prey is running, okay?” she asked, an idea budding in her mind.

With much deliberation, Lanada hesitantly nodded. “Fine, but only for a look, okay?”

By that time, she was talking to air, for Ari had already disappeared into her hut to gather her things and had walked past her, now a few strides ahead.

“The Trunks” as they’re called, are what they sound like: The trunks of the trees that the teens make their homes in. Massive, thick old redwoods, they are more sturdy than the old “cement” pillars the Pre-Shadow Era people had used, and twice as pretty, or so everyone thought. Some of the unoccupied trunks have been hollowed out to be used as watch stations, so that is were the duo carefully avoided, or at least, that’s were Aria carefully avoided.

While going off on one of her tangents, Lanada had walked right past one of the watch posts, causing a couple of the well trained warriors to emerge and confront her. Smirking, Ari used this as a distraction, so while her hunting partner was told off, she slipped out undetected. A noble sacrifice, she thought, grinning as she raced through the undergrowth silently, her bow already drawn when she felt someone pluck her off the ground as though she were a child. “Wha-?” she began, and then a rag soaked in something sweet-smelling covered her face and swept her off into the dark, cold oblivion...

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