Cities, Heterotopias & Science Fiction (F19)

Draft 1 - Section 2

I wake up from my much needed rest to a soft knock on my door and a voice calling my name.

“Arilyn dear, it’s time to wake up. It’s already eight and the schedules for today have come in.” 

I jump up at my mother’s statement. I’ve never been late to begin my schedule and I’m not going to start today. I open my door and see my mother standing there. Her kind blue eyes gazing at me with worry. Well of course she’d be worried, there’s no time to slack off when your Life Test is just around the corner. 

“Sorry, mother. I had a little difficulty falling asleep last night and ended turning my alarm off before falling asleep again. But don’t worry it won’t happen again.” 

She looked me over while replying, “Fine, as long as you understand. You’ll be living on your own starting tomorrow and there won’t be anyone to look after you anymore. Let’s just go to the dining room and have breakfast while you take a look at your day.” 

“Give me a minute to change my clothes, I’ll meet you at the table,” I reply as I close my door. Once it fully closes I hear a small sound of agreement and her footsteps disappear down the hall. I quickly strip out of my sleep wear and put on my uniform, a pair of black slacks with a turquoise polo. I slip on my black socks and grab my silver pin with a single downward point, like an upside down teardrop. 

I’m proud of this pin as it is an indication of  my current place in society, a graduate preparing for official placement in society. Before this pin I had a silver circle pin that revealed my role as a student. An official member of society, like my parents, wear a pin with two downward points. Leaders of specific groups have the two downward points along with an upward point. Each of these official member pins come with various color gems in the middle to indicate the specific role. In this city turquoise gems hold the highest power. This is because  people with gems as the same color of the city theme run the city. They work directly with black gemmed pin holders from the Capital to ensure the city runs smoothly. I respect them greatly and would be delighted to be placed in that track. Although it is interesting to dream of the different paths, there is no real need to wonder and fret because the Life Test accurately places the person in the role they are best suited for. No matter the struggles you had in school, a place can be found so that you can find purpose and, therefore, happiness. I smile to myself at the thought of finally having an official place somewhere. The possibilities seem endless and I fight once again to stay focused. 

I rush downstairs and go to grab my bracelet laying on its charging station. I put it on and enter my code to access my schedule. For the past week my schedule has been the same and today follows the trend again. I get an hour to have breakfast and then I’m expected to arrive at the city library by 9:30 and conduct a self study session on a variety of subjects for the Life Test until noon. After that I get a free period, called Break, as does the rest of the city where we are allowed to eat and intermingle with other members of the city. I promised Sophia we would meet up today before her Life Test, so I will have to send her a place to meet during Break. After Break I am sent back to the library to once again study. Then my day ends by heading back home for dinner and sleep. 

I get to the table and find Father and Mother still reading their schedules in between eating bites of breakfast. As Mother is a leader in the Education Team, she almost always has a full schedule. Although Father isn’t a leader, his job on the Weather Radar Team keeps him just as busy.

“So, how’s your schedule today?” Father asks, glancing up from his own schedule. 

I know the routine and therefore wait first for my Mother’s answer before giving my own. 

“I’m being sent to the third year classrooms to help with a more difficult math lesson this morning and then will be redoing an eleventh year history lesson from yesterday,” Mother replies.

I speak up, genuinely intrigued by the last statement, “Why does a lesson need to redone?”

“Well, I was informed yesterday that an instructor taught an entire lesson filled with false information relating to the rise of the Capital and the Life Tests. Since eleventh years are students will be taking their Life Tests next year they have to be properly prepared and false information in a lesson is terribly improper for our instructors,” she responded. I could hear the irritation dripping from my Mother’s answer. She doesn’t get irritated often but when it directly affects students or her Team she just can’t help herself. After a pause to reduce the irritation in her voice she continued, “She has been removed for our city’s Education Team. We are sending her to the Capital for lessons to refresh her knowledge and role as an instructor. After that she’ll be assigned to a new city.”

My mind is swirling a bit with this new information and speak up in confusion, “I’ve never heard of someone being removed from a city. Wasn’t she assigned here through her Life Test? What did she teach that would call for something this drastic and —”

“There is no need for you to worry about this matter. Just know that this type of event only occurs in very extreme cases and special circumstances arise.” Father interrupted abruptly. “As for the information, it was false so it isn’t necessary that you know. We don’t need you to have something in your head that could be mixed up with real information before your Life Test.” 

“I agree with your Father. There is a reason why the lesson is being redone. It was taught in a manner that made students confused about other material. I don’t want you to have a similar issue when you don’t have time to sort through those falsities.”

I open my mouth , but close it when I catch the look in my parents’ eyes. I remind myself that they only want the best for me. After I adjust my point of view I respond, “No need to worry Mother, I was just intrigued by the protocol you mentioned. I had not heard of it being used before and worried I had missed something in my studying.” 

The statement wasn’t a lie, I am genuinely curious about the instructor. It isn’t completely true though. I wish I could talk more about it, but with my Life Test tomorrow I just need to focus on my studying not on an issue that arose within a Team. 

My mother’s face brightens as she replies, “Well, I’m glad to hear you are being so thorough in your studies on government affairs. Though I can assure you that there won’t be a need for that information tomorrow.”

The conversation then shifts back to the normal everyday breakfast talk. I inform them that my schedule is the same as yesterday and my father tells us he will be monitoring the storms once again. We finish breakfast in silence with my parents looking over details or notes in their schedules. I finish breakfast just before nine and prepare to leave for the library. I collect my bag filled with my materials and wish my parents a good day at work. 


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