"We were taught to love our own Tribe. If you dislike another Tribe deeply, take it up with the Centre and your leaders. They will advise you, in extreme circumstances, you may take matters into your own hands."
From the agreement of the country of Tribes.
At the age of twelve I was taken from my parents house, I wasn't scared, I knew what would happen. They took me to the centre, where teenagers are taught away from Tribe interference. At age 17 choosing begins.
"What's your first lesson Ice?" My friend Urien asked as we walked towards the hall in the grand building, where Tribal matters are discussed, and today where Tribal history and matters are taught to class 5B, "Ice, hello? You still there?" Urien waved his dark hand near my face, snapping me back to attention.
"Oh what sorry?" I replied, spotting Andraste ahead of us, "Andra! Wait up!" Andraste stopped waiting for Urien and myself, "sorry Uri, after this it's fight class," I said, remembering his question, I loved fight class, most people didn't, I wasn't meant to, my Tribe, Steren, is meant to be filled with peaceful dreamers, at least according to the Centre.
"Poor you, I have astrology," I've always known he loved astrology, I wonder which tribes he will apply to, maybe he'll go to my tribe, my parents would like him.
"Hey guys!" Andraste cheered, she was always so happy, I loved that about her.
We walked into the hall, most people, at age 16, still acted according to their tribe, and hated others from different tribes, nearly everyone sat with their tribe, some people sat near the front with their friends. There were no seats left at the front so we went to where a lot of people from Aled sat, third circle, the whole room was made up of raised circular seating, broken up by the door, with a platform in the middle
"Settle down everyone," A middle aged voice came from the edge of the room, Miss Y came onto the platform. Today was our first lesson in Tribal history in the Central, we've had history lessons, but this year is all about choosing a tribe to go into after any extra education so a lot of things have 'Tribal; attached.
"I'm sure you all know about the different Tribes already," Miss Mayr said in a voice that could only of come from a member of the Holder tribe, matter-of-fact. "Here are the most basic descriptions available to the public from the Centre," Miss Mayr announced as a circular board came down surrounding the platform, sealing Miss Mayr in a thin layer of what ever material that was.
Afon - Entertainers, Friends to everyone.
Agrona - Fighters, Planners.
Blejan - At one with nature and animals.
Tame - Thinkers.
Mora - Seeks better.
Off Record - Removed from records, sent to the outerlands, cannot return, considered hostile.
Steren - Peaceful people, quiet. Astronomers.
Zara - People of style.
Aled - Orphans.
Barracks - Members of the army, navy and airforce of the country of the Tribes
Centre - Politicians, governmental buildings.
Co - Families from more than one tribe.
Holder - Teachers, impartial, carers of Aled.
Upper - Upper education.
"Of course this has been overly simplified, but this is your first lesson," Miss Mayr announced, "from this you are expected to select at most five Tribes you would like to consider, of course you may write what you would like to do before your Tribe for example, upper or barracks, but please make sure you write down your selection," Miss Mayr said from within the circular board.
Once we wrote this down, we would have to focus on these for the next half a year, then we had to choose again if we wrote down Upper or Barracks. I'd known what I wanted to write since I began this lesson, maybe even before, pieces of paper numbered down the side were passed around the room, when I got mine I began writing,
Isolde Kent 5B/A 17083389
After that I was stumped, I knew I didn't have to select five, but most people at least put four, I thought for what felt like an hour.
I felt the need to put that, somehow my parents found out when my older brother didn't put Steren on his form, they were heart broken for weeks, I don't want that to happen again.
"Hey what did ya put?" Urien asked Andraste and me as we left the hall for lunch time, Urien looked at Andraste with his big brown eyes and smiled, raising his hand to scratch his messy dark hair.
"I put Upper, Steren, Afon, Tame, Agrona and Blejan," Andraste answered, "not that I would want to join Agrona, I'm just curious about them," She assured Urien when his smile began to go away, "You?"
"Um, Upper, Afon and Steren," Urien answered, "I'm not too curious about the other tribes, I know I'll have to put in applications for three at the end of the year, but these are the only ones I'd ever want to join," I don't think he realized but that was one of the lowest numbers for selection ever heard of, "what about you Ice?" Urien and Andraste turned to me, stopping just as we got past the door to the schools canteen.
"Um, promise you won't hate me?" I asked, worried, Andraste looked at me, confused with her light blue eyes but nodded her head, sending her orange pony tail flying all over, "Upper or Barracks," they both looked shocked, but I continued talking, "Agrona, Afon, Tame and Steren," they both tensed up.
"Aww, little Steren Star wants to join Agrona," A male voice I couldn't quite make out, honey sounding, "how cute," I turned around to face him, before I could see him he had ran away.