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‘2025- Nevada USA.

The Dome has risen. Our community is happy and well. With the Dome to protect us we shall thrive and prosper. Our people are to never leave the Dome. For the Dome is our protector.

2125- Dorm 4

“I don’t want to do this” someone whispered in my ear. I turned to see my best friend,Grace, with a chalk white face. “Well neither do I but we have to” I whispered back even quieter. If we were caught having doubt in the masters’ decision for us…I don’t even want to think like that. We were shoved by the crowd of other 16 year old teenagers behind us. So I pulled her to the side of the hall. “Grace, you listen to me. This is something that happens to everyone. We’re just having a job chosen for us. Then training begins. These jobs are based entirely on our personality, So whatever you get you will be happy with. Do you understand?” I was happy to see some color run back to her originally tan face. “Okay, Do you remember your number?” She nodded “Do you remember yours?” she asked “Yup, 72.” I answered back with a grin. “Come on we’ll be late for the ceremony” she said excitedly and started to pull me down the hall to join the others

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We were sitting on the stage in the showing arena. The stage was a raised circle that was currently covered in a red curtain to cover us from the citizens.They shall see us when the ceremony starts. There were whispers of excitement throughout the teenagers. No matter what job we had we were more excited to see what the city was like. When we were growing up in the Dorms we were never allowed to leave the property. The only information we could get about the city was what we learned in school, what we could see from our windows, and what we managed to talk our old teachers into telling us. Now it was our turn to join the City. To finally live life. To have a perfect life. The showing arena was in the middle of the City. We never got to see the cities though. We were ordered to use the catacombs underground to get to the arena. There were two hundred sixteen year old’s on stage. The stage was suddenly hushed as we heard steps starting up the stairs. I felt Grace’s hand grab mine. Usually I would have swatted it away, but I decided that given the circumstance it was okay. The man came into view. I decided I didn’t like him almost immediately. He had hair that was almost graying out. He had slight stubble and scary pale eyes. The smile plastered across his face seemed too fake for comfort. He walked behind the chair that was in the middle of the 5 seats made for the masters. He looked to be in his 50s. he was too young to be a master but he acted as if he belonged. The other masters joined him. Some young women were helping them on stage they were all nearing their 80’s. 50’s spoke “ Are you all ready? You can finally join the city now.” I was resistant to how he spoke to us. He said it in a voice that reminded me of a person asking their dog for a treat. I could practically feel the tension melt away from the people around me. That was when the tension suddenly reached me. In the hall I felt so confident. Now I could feel cold, nervousness practically nip at my spine.I don’t even know why but I wanted to go back to my dorm and watch some movies with Grace. I didn’t want to grow up. I don’t want this. There was no going back now though. So I just squeezed Grace’s hand back. She looked at me with bewilderment. I tried to hide behind a wall of fake confidence but Grace saw through that. She threw her arms around me and I only hesitated a little bit to return the favor. “Are you okay?” She whispered in my ear still hugging me. I nodded against her hair and tried to hold back tears when I realized that after we get our jobs we may never see eachother again. I pulled back and gave Grace a grin. She smiled at me and said “ I promise you Lileth. You will be happy with this decision ““57- Grace” The announcer said. I willed myself to let go of her hand and clapped respectively along with the rest of the arena. She stood and took a deep breath. She was walking toward the raised circle on the stage.” Grace, your occupation is to be Leader of the force.” I was stunned but happy for her. I could see her doing it. She reminded me of a mama bear when she saw someone getting hurt. I could easily see her protecting the City. I smiled at her as she looked back at me before she took her training instructions. I tried to stay strong as I saw her get ushered out of the arena to begin her new life. The life I wouldn’t be there for. I shut my mind up after I realized I was staring at the exit of the arena for too long. I heard them call for 70- Gabriel. My mind reeled when I saw Gabriel leave the arena. I realized that I would be leaving through that exit too. “71-Jared” Everything seemed to fuzz. My hearing, my sight, my feet and fingers suddenly fell asleep. The world seemed like a fuzzy screen on a television.

Then I heard it. Clear as a bell “73-Aimee” The world came back. I looked around, confused. I obviously wasn’t the only who felt this way. There were whispers of confusion and some pointing at me. I could feel my face burn red. I tried to will away the blush. Make it look like I knew this would happen. I sat there for 128 more placements. Until I was the last on stage with only the Masters sat in front of me. 50’s stood up and dismissed the audience. Who seemed to be as confused as I was. They were whispering their guesses to each other as they passed. “Does she have to go back?” “ I bet she’s in trouble” “ I’ve heard she’s never been one for the rules.””Coming back to bite her”. I glared at them as they passed. Thankfully that shut them up. As soon as the last people had shuffled out and security closed the gates. I stood up. I was too stressed to sit down anymore. I didn’t care what the masters thought. They waited. I opened my mouth then closed it, Dismissing what I was about to say. I walked up to the table where the masters sat. 50’s stood as I stopped in front of the table. 50’s smiled. The other masters grinned too, their eyes seemed glazed over. I stared at them until 50’s spoke “ I’m Henry Stalin.” I stayed silent. Realizing my mouth was open I shut it and nodded. “I bet you’re wondering why you aren’t leaving the arena with your friends”. I took note that it wasn’t a question.I felt my lips move “Why am I here?” Weird. I sounded somewhat confident. “You’re here because you’re useful.” I heard the man say. My head snapped up in anger. “Useful for what?!” I yelled. This was stupid. Why couldn’t they just tell me why the heck I was here? “How am I useful? Except for now I’ve never left the Dorm grounds! What would I even be ‘useful’ for anyway? I could teach you how to eat in class without anyone seeing! But that’s it” Stalin shot his eyebrows up. I suddenly realized I had yelled at the most powerful people in the city. Could I be more stupid? No. they were being stupid. We’re all being stupid. I sighed “Would you just stop talking in riddles or whatever and tell me what you want?” suddenly Stalin smiled at my response “You just passed the first test Ms. Knightly” I momentarily forgot that my last name is Knightly. Not even my old teachers called me by that. “Test?” I said softly then I got angry. “What test?” Stalin laughed this time. His laughed seemed to boom in the empty arena. “You’ll see in time. Ms. Knightly.” He waved over one of the girls that helped the masters up to the stage. “You take Ms. Knightly to the facility.” Her eyes flashed over to the old women to his right. He noticed this “I will help Mrs. Wrigs.” The girl looked at me. She looked to be about 22. She had olive skin and hair that was pulled in a bun. She was shorter than me. I just stared, unsure of what to do. “Well what are you waiting for?” she asked. Then turned around for me to follow her.

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She walked down the hall and grabbed a navy pea coat off the rack. We walked toward the doors. As we exited I was dazzled by how tall and bright the city was. I stopped and looked around. The buildings were so much taller now. There were lights everywhere instead of the occasional lamp post back at the dorms. I was suddenly grateful they wouldn’t send me back. I can never go back now. “Ms. Knigh-” I looked at the girl. I forgot she was there. “Lilith.” She shrugged “Whatever, Lilith.” She pointed to herself. “Sara. ‘Kay, I know you’ve never seen this place before but we just can’t stand in the parking lot all night.” I just looked at her. She sighed. “Come on. This won’t even compare to where we’re going.”She got out some metal sticks around a ring in her pocket. She turned and opened a door to some kind of black bubble on wheels. She looked at me as I stood outside, I was unsure of what to do. She sighed and reached to the side of her. I heard a click and saw a door on the other side swing open. “Get in.” I stared at her. No way I was getting in this bubble. She looked right back at me and said “If you do not get into this car right now I will call Stalin and have him drive you” I widened my eyes and climbed in, shutting the door behind me. “ So you said this thing is called a car?” “Yep” She pushed the metal sticks into a slit on the side of the wheel that steered the car. Suddenly the car started to vibrate under me. The scenery started to move by faster outside the windows. I flailed my arms out to the sides of the car to stable myself. Sara laughed, earning a glare from me, then the car started to move out of the parking lot. Once we got on the main streets the buildings were taller and the streets were filled with people even though it was past midnight. Even the lights changed instead of normal yellow bulbs that were back by the parking lot there were thousands of red, blue, pink, yellow, green. They were put together to make pictures and words. We passed by lights that spelled things like ‘Open 24 hours’ and a bunch of other things that passed by too fast to read. I didn’t notice that my hand was pressed on the window until it started to move down, making me flail back onto Sara. She laughed when I crashed into her side. It made us swerve a little, earning some honks from other cars and small screech from me. She sighed when she was done laughing. I turned to her glaring again. “What?” she said innocently. “You could have killed us! I’ve never even been in a car before and I’m not ready for my first ride to be a crash! My fear isn’t funny!” I yelled angrily.  She sighed after I said fear. “Trust me honey, that was not fear, that was just a surprise.” I wasn’t sure of a comeback so I just said “Don’t call me honey.” She smirked. “Whatever you say honey.” She turned and stopped at the front of an incredibly tall building. She took out the metal sticks and stepped out of the car. I followed her lead. We walked through the doors to find a bustling lobby. There were young and old people bustling about. Holding rectangles to their ears and talking into it. I recognized them as phones, but the ones we had at the dorms were connected to the walls so we didn’t get any ideas at least that’s what Dean Higgins said. I followed Sara to the front desk where a cheerful plump women was typing away at a computer. She looked up at us and pushed away from the computer. “Hello how may I help you ladies?” I looked at Sara ‘What am I doing here? Why did I just follow her? Why did I have such stupid blind faith? Sara looked the woman dead in the eye. “We’re here for the Aufstan Project.” The lady’s face turned serious. Then picked up the phone on her desk and pressed a button .“We have the girl.” “I heard a voice on the other end. “Send her down.”’

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