Author's note: This is the beginning of a piece that I'm really proud of and looking to continue with. Enjoy!
An AwakeningLight floods the street below, drowning the pavement in vibrant shades of purple and gold. Dash awakens from his slumber and cracks a window, spilling the cool summer breeze through the air, inviting the night into his small apartment bedroom. Sounds of sirens and car horns linger below, followed by the low mumble of voices conversing over tires racing through the intersection. The warm glow of night illuminates the room, highlighting his shadows as he reaches for his coat and heads for the door.
Darkness swarms the empty hallway, caressing the walls with a tender breeze that guides him through each corridor. Barely perceptible, a faint light lingers at the end of the hall, inviting him to follow through the distance. The darkness becomes his disguise, his only shield from exposure. Silence falling over the floor, reverberating through the ceilings, voices from distant floors echo through empty space.
Sector 14 was Eden’s first priority; only the most knowledgeable and gifted have been chosen to reside under its reigning grasp. For many, 14 was safety—a permanent reassurance for those who followed basic expectations and protocol. For others, it was a prison.
Behind its door lies a different world, a facility based on experimentation, searching for the pure bloods: the ones they call infinite. In their world of aesthetics, becoming an infinite was ideal. Endangered, they are, to live in a place such as Eden. Blonde hair and blue eyes with skin like porcelain, infinites consisted of a perfect gene. The others, savages and half-breeds, envied the blood running through their veins. Concealed under the Sector, they lived secret lives, hidden from those that hungered for their flesh and bone.
Beneath their skin lies a mutation that can only be found within a pure-blood: prolonged life. And thus the infinites are born from it.
Dash lingers through the halls, running a hand across the cool surface of a wall, allowing its guidance through the impenetrable darkness. There, she stands before him in the empty hallway; gazing onward, he barely notices her inching closer towards the exit—a narrow fire escape planted against the building. Dash climbs through an open window, easing his way down the iron bars, feet clashing against the cool metal floor; lurking behind, she follows in his footsteps before meeting him on the pavement. Without hesitation, he moves through the alley, vigorously twisting and turning within its maze of intersections. Halting at a dead end, he turns to face her.
“You can’t stay,” he barks, “I won’t allow it.”
She looked at him with pleading eyes, opening her mouth as if to speak but not daring to say a word. The alley was the only safe place for communication during the few hours they had to rest; any interaction between half-breed and infinite was forbidden under the district’s rule.
Dash was a half-breed. A flaw in society’s eyes.
Brown hair, green eyes, and skin painted a burnt shade of sand; he was nothing close to a pure-blood. They became looked down upon, the half-breeds, diminished to nothing but savages by the district. Genetically, Dash was merely average.
She knew of the consequences that came with living in Eden, the savages that lusted for her flesh, the vulnerability of being an infinite among those of a different breed. She was innocence under a different name—dangerous, she could fend for herself. The Sector had taught her well under their commands, providing her with the basic training that every well-rounded infinite underwent.
“I can’t leave you here, Dash,” her voice was hoarse, engulfed in sadness that left her throat dry. Her eyes shone under the streetlights, glistening against their heavy glow.
“Eden is not what it used to be.” He paused, staring down at the rock beneath his feet before kicking it aside. “Please don’t make this difficult, Moira.”
In its lavish glory of skyscrapers and vast beauty, the city was once a different kind.
Beneath every corner, a new story to unfold. “The Future of our District” it was called. The first reconstruction of a new hope, surfacing from barren land: the remnants of a past life. A safe haven for all within, it provided them with life, giving back every desire they once had. It was the district’s decision to move all within its walls and it was also their decision to let it crumble. The streets, immensely populated and swarmed with filth, were once brand new and freshly paved.
It wasn’t long ago that Eden was created.
He knew she would be taken within a matter of weeks—her time with him is limited, deteriorating with every new infinite found dead in the streets. Eden was no home to her kind anymore. Betrayed, their people were, dissected to a whole new race.
Their Sector would be rummaging for missing infinites in a matter of minutes, with more being snatched from their beds every night, it has become a routine for district officers; Dash knew their time was growing short as the night crept deeper through the alley. He looked at Moira, her tears dried beneath her eyelids. She was strong, that of which Dash was certain.
“Don’t worry about me, I will find a way out,” he reassured her, squeezing a hand within his while escorting her back toward the fire escape.
“What will happen to Eden?” She cringed at the question.
He could see the desperation in every tear she shed. Trembling beneath weak arms, she was merely a child to him. “I don’t know,” he admitted, watching Moira as she ascended the ladder, her porcelain skin glistening under the light of the city, disappearing through the metal bars and escaping from view. Dash didn’t know when he’d see her again. He didn’t know what they’d face after extinction.
The demolition of their world to build another, the extermination of all people that inhabited Eden. Quarantined to face their demise, all but the infinites would survive this final round. Not a single district member would be pleased to hear that half-breeds infected their perfect little city, wreaking havoc among the dimly lit street corners and blackened alleys. The deaths have gone too unnoticed, the number of infinites grown too few. This was their final resort. Dash was certain of his fate.
Rid the world of all potential flaws to the infinites.
He’s faced one before, but how many more could he survive? And if there’d be others after this, how many more until the district is content with their world?
“Their world,” he spits under his breath.
All that mattered to him was her safety in New Eden, a safety for all the infinites granted passage from each Sector. He closed his eyes, taking in the breeze that lingered around his back. The streets that would turn to rubble within a matter of weeks now seemed so distant to him.
A silence fell over the alley, swarming him with visions of what it might become.
We are all savages under this roof, he thought to himself.
But living in Eden was the only option for half-breeds; their fate decided long before the creation of the new world began. Dash thought of the innocent children, fresh to this earth and the people around them, their chance at survival limited and cruel. The annihilation of an entire race based on the struggle of infinites against savages. It wasn’t fair to any of them.