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Published by roshnirose, 2019-01-20 10:46:14



In the midst of winding tunnels, iron doors, and   
gigantic vaults, a gleaming silver pendant twitches,   
releasing a ray of light that burns from its core. The   
shimmery dust of underground realms coats its spidery   
carvings, which tell of forgotten, ancient civilizations.   
One of three with the same silver coating, the pendant   
has finally received its calling.    
It is awakened, and the clear box that served as   
its warden for over a thousand years starts to crack.    
Soon, it explodes, penetrating the silence with   
the delicate sound of breaking glass. Sheer power   
vibrates from the pendant as it glides in the direction of   
is owner.    
Thirteen years later, it will find her.    

ONE  among supposedly many different species that thrive 
  hundreds of thousands of miles away.  

A buzzing noise forces my eyes open. I groan,  It must be nice to live there. Luna can be so 
swiping my hand through the holo, which displays a tiny  boring sometimes, and this is proved as I swipe open 
pixelated figure cartwheeling across the flashing “6:00  the gray curtains to reveal an even grayer landscape.  
AM.” Usually, I stay in bed until my holo gives me a 
mandatory wake-up alarm, but today I stand up  I look away from the scene. We are lucky to live 
cheerfully. One day until my thirteenth birthsol!   on Luna, such a technologically capable, unharmed 
planet. Earthens, though few, only live in the sparse 
I slip on my standard academy uniform, a formal  green land as self-sufficient farmers surrounded by 
shirt and pants that I’ve equipped with hidden holoports  air-cleansing domes. The rest of the Earth is shrouded 
and screens. Every student is allowed to customize  in pollution and plastic, land razed by fracking and 
theirs to an extent, and I take pride in my  mining.  
inconspicuous, yet effective design.  
Now, school research groups are the only visitors 
head to the brightly lit, white-tiled bathroom.  to the once blue planet. There’s one trip this year, but 
Inside, I quickly scan my teeth against the dental niche,  going would take away school time during one of the 
feeling a cold shiver moments later. After this, the sink  busiest times of the year. I don’t want to miss any 
automatically switches to my face program, and I  important lessons, especially in Computer Science 2 - 
emerge from the bathroom feeling clean and refreshed.   my hardest and most enjoyable class.  

As always, the kitchen is empty - I’m still the only  A quick glance at my wrist shows me that it’s 
one in my family that bothers to wake up this early for  time to leave: 6:23 AM. I look at my calendar, pressing 
school. I reach for a cereal packet and shake out some  today’s date, 12/12, for three seconds to mark its 
of the pale, square chunks. I hold them over the water  passing. It’s a task I carry out every morning, and today I 
dispenser, waiting for the mixture to turn white.   quickly open the terminal and program an all-day 
holographic confetti blast for tomorrow.  
At school, we learned about the original liquid, 
milk. It was produced by cows, an Earthen animal. One  I do this every year on my birthday. Up until last 
year, 2217, I used to painstakingly write out every 

sparkle, but I’ve learned to simply define it as a function.  eight, and nine. No one else seems to be on campus, 
I type in ​i(confettiblast)​ and it’s set for tomorrow. Poor  and I wave the doors closed. 
aunt Gina and Benjamin. They won’t know how to turn it 
off; that should annoy them to the Earth and back!   On my way up, I see the classrooms mostly 
empty, but for the instructors prepping today’s 
I walk over to my desk and remove the thin,  holograms. The first level has unique buildings filled 
rectangular drive, double tapping it to make sure the  with handmade sculptures, while the second features 
homework is safely stored. Shoving it in my pocket, I  wallscreens with student work. Mine, the third level, has 
head to the airlock and select my hover from the  only three wallscreens, showcasing the best work from 
wallscreen. It’s named Granger, a reference to the  years 7, 8, and 9. I frown as I see Jasper’s math 
character from my favorite Earthen story. Granger pops  research paper in the eighth year screen slowly 
out, and as I place my feet on her smooth foot pads, a  scrolling down. Jasper! And I thought mine was the 
clear case rises, shielding me from the lunar regolith  most in-depth.  
that coats everything outside.  
In first year, we were given an engineering 
The path to the academy is deserted, but I see  assignment - to create the tallest tower using 
some homes with bright lights shining through the  interlocking metal dowels. … For weeks after, he and I 
windows. Other than that, there are no differences.   would test design after design, and our friendship was 
A few seconds pass, and I arrive at the academy.   
It gleams bright, the polished feldspar granules carefully 
bonded together to create a structure that will endure   
through the eons. Twelve cube-shaped sections are 
stacked in rows of three, each with one 
semi-transparent side.  

There are twelve sections in the school, one for 
each year. Mine is eighth, so I walk over to the 
holovator and select Level 3, the floor with years seven, 

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