Pale Yellow (Condensed Version)

Brielle was classified as a dangerous unknown form age 7 when the government officials couldn't decode her DNA codes. Forced to go silently and calmly by the government for a decade causes her to act out with a small bit of rebellion. To keep herself from being taken and locked up, she leaves to join the resistance and try to stop what she believes to be morally wrong. (For full Movella, see Pale Yellow (Full))

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4. The plan

I found myself back at the beach, freezing. I decided to explore the equipment shack I changed in the day before. Surprisingly, my favorite sundress was still there, hanging up, now dry. I considered my options and decided that I was already cold and I wasn't getting any warmer. I changed into the pale yellow cloth and wrapped myself in a kind of net material as I sat against the creaky wood walls. I thought of my parents and how the whole reason they were in danger right then was because of me. They had both been fine with their classifications and had no problem with the 2s or their system, then I was classified. From the day I was pronounced a 0, my parents started doubting the leaders. They saw no danger in their little girl. When my parents requested that I have a tutor, the tutor was only permitted to teach me the basics. I knew how to read and I learned social skills. I learned some math but not enough to be able to do anything with it. The 2s goal with me was that they wouldn't give me enough training that I would be able to become an expert in any area like the rest of the population. I wasn't allowed to have any training in arts or music or construction. Normal children, once they are classified, are sorted into groups with children of their same area of work. They all learn basic reading, math and social skills, but each group also only learns things specific to their classification. Like Singers would learn Theory and Music vocabulary and Constructioneers would take other advanced math classes. Their was no need for anyone to take classes not specific to their area of work. It would be too complicated and, of course, the 2s needed to prevent something that use to happen before the New Ways were established: passions. A while ago, young girls would be really talented with, say animals, but they would develop a love for music. They would follow their “dreams” or “passion” and ultimately fail. So the New Ways were developed.

Hot tears burned my face. I could have been classified, I decided. I could've been a 93, a swimmer, or a 34, a writer, or a 7, because I really wasn't a bad singer. But I wasn't. I hated the 2s. I remembered something Mitt told me on our trip here. He was classified as a 2, but at thirteen, he decided he didn't want to lead people and order them around. He loved photography. An olden-time skill his dad, a holo-machine constructioneer, taught him. When he told the leader of his group at the learning house, he was reported to the 2s and immediately relocated to a Lock City. People who didn't accept their classification were “dangerous”. Especially a 2. He escaped on his 15th birthday with Herve, the other man in the vessel with me, and they left for ASAC. Now Mitt was probably back in a Lock House.

As the thoughts tumbled around in my head and my eyes blurred with salt water, I drifted to sleep.

☼ ☼ ☼

I woke some time later, but I could tell it was still early. Asher was walking up and down the beach, calling my name. He was getting closer. I heard I light tap on the door at the other side of the small shack as it swung open with a long creak. Asher sighed my name as he saw me behind the piles of beach signs and rafts, curled up in a mesh net, “why on earth are you in your sundress in 20°s?” I peered at him through my eyelashes and saw him walking towards me. “Now,” he said, slouching down next to me, “here's the deal. I don't think the government will harm your parents, Joshua, or your precious Mitt.” I looked up at him, surprised, but his face was blank of any expression that might have been there. He sighed, “Brielle, they want to know where you, me, and the rest of the society is. They'll use them as bait.” I flinched, but was slightly relieved by the theory.”

“Asher,” I breathed, “that may be true, but if we still to the broadcast, the 2s will be so furious that they'll kill all four of them for sure.” My voice caught. He saw me shivering and untangled me from the net, handing me a coat.

He shook his head. “No they won't. This isn't the first hostages they've had.” the bit of information shocked me. “They will probably make a sort-of ransom, but Joshua and Mitt have been trained on what to do if caught. I assure you, they'll be okay.” I felt like someone had just taken a brick of lead off my back and I was now so light that I could float right up to the sky.

“The 2s better be prepared for some serious payback.” I shivered. Asher laughed. His sun-smile finally lit up the dark shack. He held out his hand and pulled me to my feet.

☼ ☼ ☼

A week later I had written my speech with help from a woman named Leslie, I had been taught how to present it, and I was finally sat down in what Leslie had called an important meeting. Asher, Leslie, myself, three other people from the society, and Todd, the leader of ASAC were at the long table with me. Might I also add that I am shocked by how urgent this meeting was since I soon discovered it was for wardrobe.

“All right!” A tall, thin man stood. He was wearing a crisp purple shirt and nice slacks. His hair was black and cleanly trimmed. He turned and flashed a smile at me, waving, “Hello, Brielle. I'm Dante. The members of the society called to putting together the broadcast have all agreed that your look will be important since that's all the population will be seeing. Now, you're hair. I think it's color and length is fine. Nice and free. So leave that down,” the two people I didn't know were rapidly scribbling notes, “as for your make-up. A little blush, some black mascara, nice and innocent looking. I'd like a sundress also for the outfit. As for the dress color, I have no idea.”

A scribbling assistant raised her hand, “I was thinking maybe red, it represents rebellion.” Dante rejected the idea and I could see why. We didn't want to appear dangerous. More colors were suggested. Green, nature. Blue, solemn. Pink, girlie. I frowned at each one. I finally bit my lip and spoke up.

“Um, what about yellow? Pale yellow?” I volunteered. To my surprise, Asher snorted, rolling his eyes.

“Yellow? I can't stand that color. It represents sickness and decay. Cowardice.” he spoke. I was a little annoyed. Yellow had been my favorite color since I was little. Of course, not just any shade of yellow.

I disagree,” I boldly stated to Dante, avoiding Asher's eyes, “I specified pale yellow not dull or bright yellow. Pale. It represents happiness, the sun, spring. Or like a yellow rose, It represents friendship. Or, like the first light, a new beginning.” I looked at Dante, his eye's wide with wonder.

“Brilliant!” he squealed, “In fact, wear that dress you were wearing when you arrived, it is so beautiful.”

I smiled and nodded. Hardly no make-up, same old hair, and my old pale yellow dress. At least I would feel at home.

 

 

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