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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2. The problem

 

There's always that great moment right before fully waking up, when you can't sort out dream from reality, when the whole world is at a standstill, and everything is perfect. Then you open your eyes, and The dreams and realities quickly sort themselves out, and more than often, at once, the world isn't nearly as perfect as it seemed.

That moment for me regularly consisted of the same events. First, a dream. A dream where I was normal. Where I was a classification like a 12 or a 17 or a 65. Where I went to the Learning House every year from August to February. Where I would come home and hang out with relatives and chill with friends and be someone's valentine and flirt with boys and get in trouble and go to parties during vacation for 2 weeks. Where I'd go back to the Learning House from the end of February to June where I would do a bit of the same things before graduating. I would graduate and have a huge party. A few years Later I would fall in love and get married to a brilliant, amazing guy and we'd have a beautiful home and even more beautiful kids. Where I was happy.

Second, I would wake up, but not fully. I would smile, waiting for my husband to wake me with a kiss, but after laying there for a moment without one, I would become confused.

Third, I would open my eyes. And I would remember everything. No boy loves me. I have nearly no friends. I was expelled from the learning house on my third day there. I am 17. I have no children. I am an outcast, I am a 0.

☼ ☼ ☼

I sat on the edge of my enormous bed, looking out the huge wall of windows in front of me. There were no water crafts in the Caribbean water that my room overlooked, an unusual but appreciated circumstance. The water was a unmatchable shade of blue-green. The sun had just stepped out of the watery horizon and low into the sky, painting an orange stripe down the water and spilling the rest into the sky. Despite the banishment placed upon me, I enjoyed my life... to a certain extent. When a 2 escort was present, I was permitted to walk through the surf. Other days, I spent in the home library. Despite my unbearable classification, my mother was still an 8, classified for being beautiful and attracting people to her naturally. My father was still a 72, a high-ranked engineer, earning a very large salary, thus our mansion on the Sea. I was grateful my flawed classification didn't effect my family as a whole and it never would, or so I would think.

I stretched and walked into my closet and dressed in pale yellow sundress and tied my long, dark, curly hair into a tail at the base of my neck. I splashed some cool sink water onto my sun-tanned, freckled cheeks and descended the stairs into my kitchen. Greeting my mother, I walked to the kitchen's back-room and asked a house helper for a fruit bowl. Thanking him, I took the bowl and sat at a bar-stool next to my mom. She sighed “ASAC is acting up more and more. The 2s are getting edgy and are worried that they'll try to recruit you. I'm worried they're gonna take you to a Lock City, Elle.” she says. ASAC is Anonymous Society Against Classification. They are Rebels who have never been caught and slowly are becoming more of a threat. If the 2s suspect that ASAC wants to recruit me, they would most likely take me to A Lock City, where considerably dangerous people such as some rare “prodigies” and people who show signs of rebellion live. It's a City within Maintown, where most 2s live. It's basically a jail society.

“Relax mom. They don't have any reason to believe I would join ASAC. They can see that I'm not a rebellious girl.” I soothe her.

“Right, you appear that way, but in the eyes of a 2, without your DNA decoded, there's no way of knowing if you're ...safe.” she argues, looking concerned. I roll my eyes. Me? Dangerous? Hah.

A house helper appears in the kitchen out of breath. “Miss Cherish and Miss Brielle,” she pants, “Mr. Cherish requests that you report to his study now.” My mom and I raise our eyebrows at each other. Shrugging, we make our way through the halls to my dad's study.

“Lon?” my mom calls as we step through the door frame.

“Emi, Brielle, over here.” he waves at us from a room off his study filled with holograph machines, Screens, Cameras, and the likes. His handsome face looks tired and worried. He gestures my mom through the door and asks me to wait outside for a moment. The door shuts and I know that he's turned on the sound-proofing system so I don't bother trying to eavesdrop. I wait for the end of the “moment” he asked me to wait for as it stretches on past 45 minutes. Finally, the door opens and my mom's voice calls me in. I enter and shiver at my parent's nervous looks. They sit me down and talk to me and of course it's bad news, but I should have seen it coming. My dad received a tip-off from his friend from learning-school who works in the Maintown that this morning it was decided that the 0 from Cayman Isles will be transported to Lock City #7 this evening, the Lock City with highest security and the most dangerous people. Criminals. Crazy criminals. Not of course because I'm a criminal, but because it's highest-security. My mom explained softly that the guards don't care what happens within the Lock City. People in there get beaten, brutally injured, and even killed in #7. So my dad “:saved the day”. He contacted Heather, a 24, an old friend of my mom's who works as a Marine Biologist in the Ola town. She's out not far from our island for business. She will cut her trip short and bring me home to Ola with her in 6 hours, at 3pm. There, I will stay in hiding. Of course, the 2s will notice my absence but they won't punish my parents. The story will be that I was gone this morning , kidnapped. My parents will cry and the 2s will just assume I have been recruited earlier that predicted. 2s will immediately try searching for leads on where ASAC and I went (with no prevail) and all will be well.

My parents finally fall silent, watching my reaction as I sit, arms folded, ice-cold, delicate hands brushing my biceps. Face turned away from them, lips pressed, pondering. All will not be well. It is the same thing as giving in to the 2s. I will still be sent away from my family, once again, letting my life be ruined by the 2s in stead of fighting back. But I know that my parents want this. Either way, I will lose and my parents will not be at ease unless I go with Heather. So I will.

She comes an hour early, driving her water-craft back and forth in the distance past our house: the signal. So I go. Leaving everything behind. Sensors would detect any extra baggage so it is just me in a pale, yellow dress, swimming under the water out to the boat: something I haven't done in years and I've missed. I come up for air, lungs on fire, right next to the craft. I drum my fingers on the side of the faded yellow surface to let her know I'm there. She stays in the boat and mutters, “Swim below to the tank.” so I do. It's large, glass tank for snatching animals that are sick or caught. Being small and thin, I easily curl up inside. Her sensor goes off in the Craft and she hits the switch, pulling the tank through the hole in the floor and into a small observation room in the craft. The tank becomes a small pool where she could study an animal and then, perhaps, free it. I stay, treading in the water and wait a few moments. The door finally opens, bright sunlight illuminating the room and Heather enters, flipping on a light and shutting the door behind her. Her eyes crinkle into a kind smile, frizzy blonde hair poofing in the humidity.

“Oh, ” she exclaims, “deary! You have your mamie's eyes.” Her voice is sweet and tangy, “Now, hows about you get all dry and changed,” she laughs and helps me out of the observation pool and hands me a fresh sundress, probably hers since it's long like her frame. Then, she embraces me, wetness and all. “Oh honey,” she adds before leaving the room, a sad smile on her face, “I'm sorry about this stuck you're in. Must be awful.”

I smile at nobody as the door shuts. I am a 0 and this woman treats me 100% normal. She is kind. This will be better than the Lock City.

I change and then Heather gives me a quick tour of the craft. One room in particular interests me. It's her transport room. It's completely full of tanks that are full of colorful species. Only one tank is completely empty except for one little starfish. He is delicate and the purest white apart from a thin pale yellow line painted down each long tentacle. To me, it looks like a beautiful flower or sunburst. I ask Heather why it's separate.

“Oh, well I call her 'Aliana' it's a name meaning different. If I put her in the other tanks, the fish would kill her. She's endangered. When other sea creatures see her they think she's dangerous because they don't recognize her and her colors are very different.” she laughs, gesturing to a tank full of particularly kooky fish. She winks, “Hypocrites. Yes, I was surprised to find her yesterday. I'm taking her back to my studio. I have arranged that the 24 who owns the only other Fabelta Plumeria Star ever discovered will come out here and we're going to breed them.” I shivered. Aliana was just like me. She's an outcast just because none of the creatures know about her. Heather permitted me to take the Fabelta Plumeria Star to the observation pool if I was careful. I spent the rest of the trip to Ola town watching myself in a different form move around in the pool.

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