Transpara Stars

Two years ago, everything was normal. Our biggest threat was terrorists from foreign countries. We kept the information we needed in our cell phones. People actually continued aging after their twenty-fifth birthday. We were free-willed human beings who lived in houses made of wood and stone and glass and metal, who lived for the next iPhone, who wasted their bodies and minds in a desperate attempt to survive and thrive. That was before the Clones showed up.

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1. Prologue

Two years ago, everything was normal. Our biggest threat was terrorists from foreign countries. We kept the information we needed in our cell phones. People actually continued aging after their twenty-fifth birthday.

    We were free-willed human beings who lived in houses made of wood and stone and glass and metal, who lived for the next iPhone, who wasted their bodies and minds in a desperate attempt to survive and thrive.

    That was before the Clones showed up.

 

    They call themselves Cranarians, but we call them Clones behind their backs because they look exactly like humans.

    They look exactly like us, but they are actually very different. Everything about them is superior: their technology, their minds, their physical abilities. They’re like the X-Men, but from another planet.

    

    They made sure we knew that they were superior as soon as they touched Earthen soil for the first time.

    They landed on top of the White House in America and the Eiffel Tower in France, the Great Pyriamids in Egypt and the Taj Mahal in India. The message was clear: We are the rulers now.

    They rounded us up, removed us from our homes, and kept us on their grounded spaceships for six months. While we were on the ships, they erased our free will, our humanity. Anyone over the age of twenty-five was killed. Children were taken to a special area designed to keep them safe, healthy, and happy until the age of thirteen. Once they turned thirteen, they were removed from the Play Zone(our nickname for it), and a chip was implanted in their spine.

    When we were finally release from the ships, everything was different.

    Children went to a new, improved Play Zone.

    Teens were sent to what we began to call the Workhouse.

    Adults, which was anyone between the age of twenty and twenty-five, were set loose to live in the town, which was promptly named Glasstown.

Glasstown literally appears to be made of glass. Every building is crafted from a stone not found on Earthen soil, or anywhere in our galaxy. The stone is very similar to glass, but harder, more manipulative, and tougher. The houses built out of this stone, known as transpara by the Clones, were undoubtedly beautiful to our dull human eyes.

    

    Once we were off the ships, we began to learn the full abilities of the chips that we’d received on the ships.

The chips turn our brains into tenth-generation iPhones. Any data we need, we can find using the chip.

    There are two different kinds of chips: the CH03 and the FW01. Teens get the CH03, at the age of thirteen, and that is replaced with the FW01 on their twentieth birthday.

    The difference between the chips is that the CH03 chip enslaves us. It has a tracker so that we cannot run or hide or leave the Workhouse. If we do try to leave, the chip has an electric fence mechanism that will send us scurrying back to our work stations in a flash. There is a limited amount of data on it, rather than an endless storage of information.

    The FW01 chip has endless data, no restrictions, no tracker, and nothing to enslave its host. There are rumors, though; rumors that the chip manipulates its wearer, removes free will while claiming to give more freedom.

That makes us CH’s afraid.

As much as we want to be free, we don’t want a freedom that may be compromised.

We want our lives back. We want our home back.

But any attempt at rebellion is always squashed down by her.

She is impossible to deceive, to defeat. She is the most powerful Clone in our district, which makes her their Queen.

Their queen. Not my queen. Kyrella will never be my queen, no matter what kind of chip she implants in me.

I want my free will, and I want it perfectly intact.

 

Her name for me is CH001988, but to my fellow CH workers, I am Astrid.

I’m seventeen years old, meaning I have three more years until I am an FW.

I don’t want to be another mindless zombie for the queen to play with.

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