Shiver

*NANOWRIMO15* ❝Cʟᴀssɪғɪᴇᴅ_: Dᴀɴɢᴇʀᴏᴜs_❞ ▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂♙||⚛∙⚗||♟▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂
Get ready for a frosty dystopia. ANNO_2079_ Evanna Frior lives in a world coated in frost and ice; Tetrahmona. She was born in Prague, a city-silhouette in the north of Tetrahmona. Its skyscrapers rise tall and proud above the frost lands. The only city believed to have survived the greatest snowfall ever experienced by mankind, Prague is sheltered from the 'wildlings,' by its city walls. Nobody leaves the city; nobody enters it. Prague's inhabitants must follow a code that builds them to follow instinct to turn over any outsiders and anybody who is different. Most people do so. But not everyone.

Evanna does not live like everybody around her. She is a tetrahon, a native of the world she was born in. A daughter of frost. And that means only one thing. DANGER. ▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂▂ ❝Wʜᴇɴ ᴇᴠᴇʀʏʙᴏᴅʏ ʜ ᴀ ᴛ ᴇ s ʏᴏᴜ, ɪᴛ's ʜ ᴀ ʀ ᴅ. Bᴜᴛ ᴡʜᴇɴ ᴇᴠᴇʀʏʙᴏᴅʏ ғ ᴇ ᴀ ʀ s ʏᴏᴜ, ɪᴛ's ᴇᴠᴇɴ ʜ ᴀ ʀ ᴅ ᴇ ʀ.❞

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3. T w o

 

Vance

Even the council room is cold, though the heating is supposed to be up at maximum.  The frost creeps into the chamber, slipping through the large windows, hitting every single person in the room, engulfing the circular chamber in the lower temperatures. I listen with rapt attention to my fellow inner circle members. As per usual, I speak little, preferring to use my other senses to formulate possibilities. To slowly get to conclusions. The conversation draws out a tangent of matters of unimportance and my focus slips in and out, my gaze often straying to the large glass window that covers half of the room, replacing the wall. A dull white light traces our contours; somehow it makes everything feel  so much colder. 

 

I don’t recall the last time I’ve ever felt so miserable, so guilty. The greater part of me wishes I’d never accepted the post in here. The government trusts me. They trust me. I follow a code, I follow the rules, I am their soldier. Expectations are theirs to set, and mine to live up to. This is all I have left. This is what I am, this is who I am. I have become a part of them.

 

Nevertheless, the ice haunts me.

 

The ghosts haunt me too and spit wisps of frosty air at me in a reawakening of their fading last breaths, a reminder. And they wail, oh, they wail. You could have saved us, they cry. Their voices fade in and out of my mind. You could have… 

 

Now, they interrupt my careful, calculating thought pattern with white hands that stretch out from the flesh of my brain, batting away at my silver stream of consciousness, causing it to break. I shake my head. The probing fingers disintegrate into mist, and I regain my focus. I keep my mouth shut, unwilling to say anything until my opinion is required and so I listen, still. 

 

It does not take much longer before I begin to tire of their endless, petty conversation. I stand up. “Excuse me, gentlemen, and lady,” I say politely. The chatter cedes and all faces turn to me. “I shall be back right away.” They all know what that means, so they nod, and I am granted permission to leave. I feel a pair of blue eyes on my back, and am only relieved of that feeling as the door shuts behind me. 

 

I make for the bathroom, where I spend the five minutes I need to wash my hands with unnecessary care. I’m just wringing them underneath the lukewarm water for some time, watching as the soap bubbles slide down the lengths of my fingers, and hang there like miniature, flimsy stalactites before the running water shakes them apart like a wind would across snow. I gently shake my hands in the sink to dry them before gently patting them dry on a paper towel. I check my appearance in the sink. My bangs have come loose from where I gelled them to my head this morning, and I have lost my strict look. I decide to leave them there, parted to one side, curving loosely and lightly upon my forehead. Much better.

 

My stride holds more confidence as I return to the council room. I type in my five-digit passcode, allow for a retina scan, and enter. The metal door slides shut behind me, and wordlessly I take my seat. My attention is more focused, now. The ghosts have decided to grant me some peace.

 

“We do not have the time for this.” Diana Malcolm, our chief executive, starts. her voice holds a tone of agitation. “We must find a way to secure the city whilst building it. Our priority is the wall, not the housing.”

 

“But the people must have shelters,” Adamík Beneš argues gently.

 

“Spare us your people-loving and focus,” Jonathan snaps. He has little patience, this man. I dislike him tremendously. “The wall must be our priority. There’s no bloody point in trying to control a population if they’re all dead. It’s common sense.” He shoots me a glance that would have made me recoil in my earlier years. 

 

“Personally, I have to agree with you,” Ethan Sengdala says. I stay silent, running their voices over in my head, thinking about what they have just said. I have a different opinion.

 

Thank you,” Jonathan replies. For an old man, his sarcastic levels are quite admirable. Ethan takes no notice of his tone and ignores it. Feng Zhuan, our Taiwanese diplomat, remains silent. Jonathan looks at him, expecting him to just say something, but he isn’t looking his way, and thus pays him no attention. I feel something like amusement stir up in me at his obvious annoyance. 

 

“Common sense,” he growls. “If Ramesh was here, he’d agree with me. The Wall is more important than the housing. Otherwise, they’ll die.” Malcolm is nodding her head as he speaks. 

 

I intervene; now is my chance to say something, or else I shall never be addressed. “The Wall is already being built,” I answer. “If the people are unhappy, they will ask for changes. They will ask for a lowering in taxes, they’ll ask, essentially, for a people’s government. We weren’t elected by the public, may I remind you; they hold onto our structure because they believe we’re the only ones fit for the job. We cannot fail them.” Adamík’s eyes are on me; I see him out of the corner of my eye. It’s nice, knowing someone is on your side. Zhen appears to be undecided. I cannot blame him for that. I ignore Jonathan’s stare and focus on Diana, who is listening to the point where she is considering changing her mind. I must say it feels nice to have my opinion pegged down with some sort of value. My gaze strays over to Jonathan, and one hand slides down to my thigh to begin some nervous drumming with my fingers. I know that look. I know it too well.

 

I settle my gaze on Adamík. To my relief, nobody interrupts me as I continue. “We have soldiers to protect our people, we have weapons. The wall will not take much longer to finish being built; but people will need homes and shelter and food and warmth. We need to try and eradicate poverty.” Something like fury rises into my voice as I turn around to meet Jonathan’s eyes, this time with an unflinching stare. 

 

My fingers stop their pitter-patter on my thigh. “You want a perfect world?” I snap. “That’s how you do it.”

 

His eyes rein me in again, silence me. I am their soldier, and nothing more.

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