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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3. The setting

 

I had only been at Heather's 1 week when Asher showed up.

Our daily routine would be that by the time I'd wake up in the morning, Heather would be at the studio with Dr.Jey and the Fabelta Plumeria Stars. I would be alone at home until 7 when she showed up and helped me make dinner. That is, until the morning he showed up.

I woke up and got dressed in my pale yellow sundress that I had finally washed the night before. I showered and let my dark brown hair dry into it's usual soft, bouncy curl, falling just above my elbows. I grabbed the book I had borrowed from Heather's bookshelf called “The Sea Song”. Nose buried in the book, I descended the stairs and into the kitchen, past the table, and opened the fridge, blindly reaching for the strawberries. I set them on the counter, turned a page in my book, and opened the cupboard, grabbing a bowl and transferring the strawberries into it. Throwing away the empty container, I grabbed the bowl and walked back to the table and glanced up to sit down, and shrieked, book and strawberries clattering to the floor.

There was a boy, no older than 18 sitting on the other side of the table wearing a highly amused expression. His strait blonde hair was shaggy and messy. His eyes were light blue, almost gray. He had a gray T shirt on. He smiled, strait white teeth shining like the sun. “So you're Brielle?” he stood up and crossed the room in his faded jeans to my still-frozen figure and held out his hand. His figure looked very strong and fit, but not to the point that he had creepy, bulging muscles, “I'm Asher. I'm a 17 prodigy.” I blinked finally and shook his hand.

“Prodigy? Really?” I answered. And he told me his story.

Asher was taken, like me, on his third day of learning-school, just a year before me. Except, he wasn't allowed back to his family. You see, 17s are always taken into a Lock City because their classification means that they can fight. And they will. They are naturally brave and strong and strategic. Prodigies are rare and the fact that he was a 17 prodigy should've guaranteed his “ejection from society” -the phrase the 2s use in stead of death. However, the 2s saw an opportunity to train their troops (17s in Lock Cities) to fight ASAC and themselves, and they took it. Asher became their personal trainer. He, however, accidentally obtained information about ASAC last year and he agreed with their views, so he ran away, and one does not so easily run away from the Maintown. He reached ASAC after 6 months and stayed there up until a few weeks ago when I turned 17. Apparently ASAC knew about me being a 0 and they had kept tabs on me. They sent Asher to recruit me. The 2s were right. ASAC contacted Heather and let her know about Asher coming. Heather was in league with them the whole time. So was my dad. They wanted me to become a rebel. Hate washed over me. How could they do this? Decide my future? Betray me? My mom? Or did my mom know? Asher could sense my shock.

“Here,” he held a letter out to me from Heather. I opened it and read:

 

 

Brielle,

I'm sorry we kept this from you. Your parents feel that they know you better than any classification sorting machine. They DO They know this is what you need to do. They had to keep it from you because they were sworn to secrecy. They promise to find you soon though. They Will meet up with you and ASAC. Listen, Brielle. You are a strong, smart girl. You can do this. Just go with Asher. I assure you that he is trustworthy and respectable. I love you, deary!

XOXO,

Heather

I sighed, refolding the note and looking up at Asher. “Well I guess we're going on a trip. Should I, er, get some boots and jeans on?” I stuttered, still a little shaken. He laughed.

“Naw, you can wear your dress. We're just going out on the dock. A couple people from the Society should be here in about an hour.” His smile annoyed me. How could a rebel be so friendly and normal? Especially when he was a prodigy. I gaped at myself. How could a prodigy be normal? How could I ask myself that? Being a 0! The person thought to be most abnormal on the Globe! I let myself smile back at the blonde boy in front of me. He stooped down and began picking up the spilled strawberries and handed me my book back. “Why don't you go get packed?” I nodded.

An hour later, Asher stood on the dock holding my small bag of essentials. I was just locking the door and leaving a quick note for Heather. I went and sat at the edge, dipping my bare feet in the water. “Where are you shoes?” he laughed sitting down next to me. I rolled my eyes.

“I hate shoes. It's like being blind to what your walking on.” I replied. He raised his eyebrows at me, but shrugged. So the Anonymous Society Against Classification is just gonna drive up and snatch us in broad daylight?” I laughed. He smiled back.

“Nope.” He was now squinting hard at the water and standing up. He held out his hand and helped me up too, ignoring my questioning glance. The water started moving and parting as something broke the surface not twenty meters out. I dropped my jaw. What on earth was it? Asher looked at me. “Can you swim?” he grinned. Not waiting for my response, he stuffed his shirt into my canvas bag, put it on his back, and dove in. I glared. He was lucky that nothing valuable was in that bag. Following his lead, I dove into the clear water. He had turned around underwater, waiting for me to jump in. I caught up quickly and he looked surprised, nodding, we glided to the giant, torpedo-shaped object. Asher climbed up the ladder and I followed, breaking the surface, hes sun-bright smile met me. He put his hands around my waist, lifting me into the torpedo.

Three very normal people greeted us inside, apart from the fact that they wanted to destroy the government, of course. I was shocked to realize that once inside the vessel, the walls were glass. You could see everything outside. It was quickly explained to me by a boy named Herve that it was clear to us, but on the outside, it took on the appearance of it's surroundings making it virtually invisible. I nodded, smiling. We soared through the Ocean like a shooting star. The whole 4 hours we were traveling I lay, curled up against the wall, staring outside at all the wondrous creatures. I listened to Asher talk to Mike, the captain. I could tell that he would be another prodigy if he wasn't in a society against classifications. They seemed to be best friends. After a while, a handsome boy, the third Society member in the vessel with me came to sit by me. His name was Mitt. He was tall, like Asher, but he was paler and had nearly jet black hair, spiked in the front. His eyes were deep, chocolate brown. He told my stories and we laughed together.

Once we were close, Asher came to sit by me. He smiled. “I think you'll enjoy this.” He pointed at a landmass ahead and I noticed that the vessel was surfacing. We broke surface 50 meters from land and I looked at the shore, eyes wide. Huge skyscraper ruins lined the horizon along with a giant, green lady holding a book just out of reach of the rib-deep water. The ruins of the old world? The dangerous places that the 2s warned us about? Asher laughed at my expression and climbed the ladder to stand on top of the vessel. I followed at gasped if the ice air. Mike, Herve, and Mitt then appeared wearing water-proof shorts for swimming. Of course, Asher and I had already gotten these clothes wet. We all dove into the frigid ocean at the same time, swimming towards the shore. And I, of course, beat them all.

☼ ☼ ☼

I received a warm greeting and a large man with a booming voice announced that he had just received news that my parents had just sent out a request on passage from Cozumel. How they got there puzzled me. A ship was sent for them immediately with Mitt and another man, Joshua. A woman, Patrice, laughed as she ushered me into a small equipment shack and stripped me of my pale, icy, yellow sundress and helped me into jeans and a long sleeve T which both snugly hugged my petite figure. She also gave me a thick coat, mittens, and earmuffs-things I hadn't worn since the Learning House. She gave me thick, hot chocolate in a mug and told me where to find Asher's apartment.

I became shocked as I walked through what I thought were ruins. The Society had repaired and approved everything in this City. I found that the rebels actually were much more numerous than I had ever guessed, filling several of the big sky-scraping towers. I found Asher's apartment with ease in the organized Settlement. I knocked on the door and Asher's sun-smile appeared before me in seconds. He welcomed me in and showed me to where would be my room where he had my dried canvas bag sitting on the neatly made bed. “Eventually you'll get your own apartment, of course,” he smiled, “but for now this'll do.” I nodded. He took me to a restaurant to eat. The food was delicious. We walked home and he told me the plan, which frightened me beyond belief.

“Brielle,” he spoke, “your the only member of the society that the 2s know about besides me, and the difference is, the entire population of the Globe knows who you are from when you were little and on the news.” I remembered that morning. The morning after my classification. I woke up in my parents bed. They were on either side of me watching the holo-news. Images of reporters walked around the room talking about the newly classified 0, 8-year-old Brielle Cherish from the Cayman Isles. 2s were being interviewed about how to proceed, answering “just go on with your regular lives. The dangerous girl is being contained, however, be cautious for as you all know, she is probably highly and abnormally skilled.” It was then my holo-image appeared next to a anchor as he said, “and here is the image of this dangerous girl. The fact that she looks so innocent-looking is perhaps even more dangerous!” My small image twirled in a sundress in front of the bright, sinking sun, giggling. I remembered that home-holo video. I had been on the beach in our back yard. It was taken 3 months before. A thought now popped into my head, “did you see that news cast, Asher?” I asked.

He looked at me, surprised. “Yeah, I did. I remember thinking, 'oh, gosh, I'm not alone'.” I smiled at him. He continued, “Hah, anyway, the population knows you. We have the equipment to broadcast a giant holo-cast in the sky above each town in the Globe. We've already planted the holo-machines. You're going to just make a quick speech and we're going to play it for a whole 24 hours nonstop...” he paused and glanced down at my expression I was holding my breath and shivering. He draped his coat around my shoulders. I smiled. “Well?”

“Okay.” I agreed, “but I'm really not great at speeches.” We laughed, our breath clouding the air.

☼ ☼ ☼

The next morning I woke up in the still-dark cold morning. I was surprised to see Asher in a chair next to my bed. His elbows were on his knees, his head in his hands. His shaggy strait hair was messily nested above his eyes which were closed delicately. I sat up and scooted towards the edge of the bed in my baggy T shirt and baggy sweatpants. I reached out my small arm and rested my hand on his shoulder. “Asher?” I whispered, “Ash?” I got out of bed and brushed his soft hair out of the way. “Asher?” I lightly shook his arm. He woke up and I expected to see his sun-smile light up the dark morning but it didn't. Instead, his sad eyes looked at me. He sat up tall, stretching and ruffling his messy hair. My shoulders dropped and my eyebrows crinkled together, “what's wrong?”

I didn't scream when he told me that my parents along with Joshua and the handsome boy, Mitt had been caught and taken by the 2s. I cried. For the first time in years. The penalty would be death to be caught members of ASAC. At first, I just let tears stream down my face and I let Asher hug and comfort me, but it got to be too much. “No.” I finally said. I stood up, probably looking terrifying in my pajamas with a tear-streaked face. “No! You! You and your stupid society let my parents get taken! If I do that speech they're as good as dead! No, Asher! I won't kill Joshua, I will not kill Mitt, and I certainly won't kill my parents!” I turned away from him and his hurt eyes, away from the certain death of my parents, and I ran out the apartment door and into the new morning. Into the pale yellow light.

☼ ☼ ☼

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