The sunlight blinds Chloe as they walk towards the schoolhouse. She uses her free hand to shade herself from the rays. Cassidy does the same as she walks beside her. Octavian is simply resting his hands behind the back of his head, pretending the sun isn't a bother.
The walk was quiet until Octavian couldn't take the silence.
"Y'all haven't said a word since we started, are you all nervous?"
"I am a little," Cassidy admitted.
"Why? We were all trained specifically to do certain jobs, it's not like you're going to get the job where you'll have no idea what you're doing."
Octavius boosts in front of them.
"I'm the best fighter in our whole school group, so it's obvious I'm going to be a warrior protecting the leaders from outsiders and whatnot," he boasts.
Chloe rolls her eyes at his arrogance however right he is. No student could come close to his fighting skills.
"I'm just hoping I'll be able to get the hang of things quickly before I'm pushed into an official job," Jimmy added in.
"You're one of the smartest in our class, how could you not? I don't understand these nerves you all have. You're getting your assignment and we're going to do them up until we get promoted."
"And what about the failures who thought they would receive their dream assignment? Where do they go?" Chloe challenged.
Octavius snorted. "You think you're a failure?? You??? You're probably going to get one of those government jobs! The failures go to sanitary remember?"
"But what if that's not what they want? What if they're not happy with that?"
"Then they shouldn't have failed." he shrugged.
Chloe's irritation channels to her hand utterly making Jimmy to wince at the pressure.
"Sorry," she whispered.
Jimmy nodded in response.
Moments after Octavius' comment, the school appeared closer. Students were crowding around the entrance from all directions. There were murmurs of both fear and excitement. Chloe's worry builds up once more.
"You are all to go to your main classrooms as you have done many times," the school's director announced, "I know you are all excited but we must proceed quickly so you can meet your mentors."
Jimmy untangles himself from her with a reluctant smile which did not help her anxiousness.
Before the boy could utter a word to her, Octavius leads him to their room. She felt an embrace from behind her knowing who it was immediately and returns the embrace.
All around then there were heaps of hugs and tears from students. Chloe tries her best to hold her own tears.
"We'll see each other at the party," Cassidy reminds her.
Chloe nods and breaks from the embrace. They give each other assuring smiles before going in opposite directions. She was not able to hold the tears any longer. She feels overwhelmed by the drastic changes that would happen.
Her mind was racing as she waits for her name to be called. As jobs were announced some were met with joy, some anger, and some sorrow. When there job was announced, they were to immediately follow the further instructions. The class becomes thins as names are called. The job Chloe truly desired was to be a simple librarian where nothing would be expected for her other than keeping up with books. Chloe clutched her own book partly hoping her father's voice will come other with some guidance.
She jolted out the sound of her name and almost forgot how to breathe.
"Record keeper." her teacher announced as she handed her a folder with her career stated in big bold letters.
"Your next steps and directions will be in this file. Do this immediately. We hope you prosper in your field." Before she could take a breath, her teacher leaned close to her with a stern face.
"Tell no one." she whispered.
Chloe nodded quickly but with confusion, she tries avoiding the stares of the remaining students as she goes to find her mentor. From the information the file has given her, she would be working in the towers. It stands on a hill overlooking the community and almost touched the clouds. Rarely anyone goes into the towers and if they do no one knows why. From what civilians have heard and seen, people who seem crazed or deranged go in and come back out better and normal. She examines the information about her job finding that it only pertains to keeping records of the community's history.
Its entrance was small only containing an open cell like structure with pulleys and levers. If the tower isn't intimidating enough, she hasn't the slightest clue how the structure works. Chloe blindly trusts her directions and steps in the cell then pulls what appears to be wooden lever. Chloe jolts as the cell begins to rumble and creek. Slowly it was being lifted. As it got higher, she could examine all of Vaterra from the schoolhouses, to the government buildings, to her own home. Her fears were washed away with wonder. The cell makes a hard stop causing Chloe to return to reality. She stepped out of the cell into what appeared to be library.
No, not just a library, it was way to big to call it that. This library looks like it holds a thousand times the books the library at Vaterra holds. Chloe was too tempted to reach out and grab a book. When she opened to a random page, dust sprouted and flew everywhere. Some reached into Chloe's lungs causing her to cough. The text was extremely faded and she can barely make out the words.
"Finally! A servant!" a new voice rang.
Chloe jumped and nearly dropped the book.
It was an old woman who looks as if she has centuries of experience with the world. She was looking at Chloe with a delighted expression.
"All the others were too weak but maybe you'll do as I say!"
"Are, are you my mentor? The papers said I needed to look for someone by the name of Annie."
The old lady comes towards her and gives her a hard pat on the back.
"That would be me kiddo! There isn't really much of a tour, it's just me and these accursed books to keep track of. You can easily walk across the bridge to the other tower that is also filled with more books, but that's where I'll be staying. If you step foot in that other tower I swear I'll whack you! All you need to do is keep record of every living body in Vaterra and write history from time to time. My old fingers and eyes are getting too tired with all that writing, that's why you're here!"
Chloe holds down a giggle at the old woman's threat.
"What do you do in the other tower?"
"I fix the delusional sand that's all you need to know for now."
Chloe thinks it's best to not pry about it for a while.
"Am I the only one you're mentoring? I couldn't be."
"I can only keep up with only one of you youngins. You always find ways of getting in trouble. Just do as I say and maybe you won't fall off this tower like some of my previous students."
Chloe's eyes widened in shock at the thought of her or anyone falling from the tower.
"I'll do as you say."
"Good! Now all I need you to do today is rewrite some of these faded records. It'll help you memorize some history and civilians here! Maybe you'll get done for that graduation being held at the mayor's home."
Annie gave her specific books to recopy and some parchment.
"I remember my graduation party, it was a strange experience to say the least.
Chloe lifts her head from the words.
"What was it like?"
You're coming of age and the directors take you off your suppressants. You come of age but I still think y'all are youngins. You start to say and do things you wouldn't have otherwise, all that fun stuff."
Chloe eyes her with inquiry.
Annie gave her an irritated look.
"You're chosen as a record keeper and you don't know the terminology for the pills you were given as a child? My you have a lot of work to do! Now get to it or you won't be done in time!"
Annie's words oddly both hurt and relieved her. Chloe was one of the top students of her entire class, she was supposed to know everything the school about the history of Vaterra. However the weight of her shoulders of being called the know it all book snob was lifted.