A foggy mist smothered the ground, darkness sunk low, blurring my vision. My arms, legs, and body trembled violently. As a creak and a crank whistled from below the dirt I stood. The mist released from under the door that shuddered as it ascended, gate-like. Light manifested and glimmered into my eyes, the cruelty of its wandering words...death.
I awoke from the nightmare, sweating, shaking my head, I clamped my hands to my forehead, realizing it was only a dream. "Oh..." I rubbed my crusty eyes, and slumped out of bed. Making my way to the news room, I noticed my cat, Leonard, was still asleep. Oh how innocent. I turned my head back to the holo-door and pressed my palm against it, the hologram disappeared. I walked inside to be flooded with the usual 'Breaking News' headline. The news had seriously become a big lie. Today's story was about some neighborhood arson burning down an old conspicuous veteran home.
A museum per say. As always, a life counter stood in the very left corner of the news broadcast. 15,013,353,984. Steadily going down about a three thousand every hour. This was the normal death rate. It isn't surprising to anyone, not me at least, with the arena games going non-stop, I wouldn't imagine it any differently.
The arena games, definitely the most fearsome situation to be put in. Over sixteen arenas across the globe exist, multiple live broadcasts of the games, giant armies of lower class individuals fighting to the death for their very survival. If you are drafted for the games, you will permanently be apart of the system until you die. No one has ever fled the system, and anyone who tries will be executed. Rich people are the last on the automated list to be drafted. It's basically a system set up to kill extra weight, and maintain a sense of order.
I left the room and went to my fathers room. My mother was drafted when I was four, she died the next day. I was now seventeen, and my dad was a drunk. Dad was sitting in a chair, smoking a cigarette. Yes, people still smoke...unfortunately. My dad was watching the arena games.
"Hey Michael, whats up?" Dad said.
"Nothing, just woke up, what are you doing?"
"Just watching the arena games, they are fighting war elephants."
"Oh, the usual Friday special?"
"Yeah—listen Michael, I don't know how to say this but..." His voice trailed off.
My heart stammered in fear of what he was about to say, I could hear his demeanor whispering it into my ear. I was crying.
"No—no! You...you can't be serious! Are you sure?"
He looked back down on the floor as he opened his mouth, putting the cigarette in the ash tray.
"I'm afraid it's true."
My mind was racing, what could I do? They would surely find him, if we tried to hide him. Then it hit me, there was nothing I could do for him. It was the most depressing moment in my life.
"I'm sorry son it had to be this way. You will be an orphan, and they will presumably draft you soon after my death. I just wish you could have had a better life Michael. I'm sorry." He started to cry.
A paper fell off of his lap and found its way to my foot. Picking the yellow paper up, I realized it was his draft notice. "William Hunning, you have been drafted for the arena games, you have twenty-four hours after receiving this notice to arrive at the nearest arena, or you will be executed swiftly." Then it had his picture and a list of his relatives at the bottom.
I felt so, empty. Dad is going to have to sell the house before leaving, I can't take ownership of it because I haven't turned eighteen yet. That means essentially, I will be moved to an orphanage, usually the highest priority on the draft. So, you don't see a lot of kids unless they come from a wealthy background, because they are dead. I know it is harsh, but everyone is too scared to rise against the government we set in place for ourselves. Then, we just let the evil-minded take over our freedom.
My dad got up and stood in front of me, he shifted over to his neck, and unhooked his necklace.
"Michael Hunning, it is in my honor to be your father, I pass down this necklace to you, it is over three thousand years old, protect it, for you are of Lystagian bloodline, protect your bloodline and preserve it. Your powers have not yet manifested. Our dead ancestors have declared the new generation to be Lystagian, do not embrace this powerful gift, hide it, and remain anonymous among your subjects."
As he clips the necklace around me, a surge of energy engulfs me, my vision begins to distort, and my body falls lifelessly to the floor.
Vivid images of blue, and some kind of vortex, circulate my mind, pulsating. I feel extremely energized, but immobilized. I hear the door clank open. "Goodbye, son."
It shuts behind him, and the vortex disappears slowly into darkness, as I drift off into a mundane sleep that I cannot wake up from.
In this time of sleep, I felt power, and I also felt warm. My ancestors loomed above, watching me. I was still in shock from finding out I was Lystagian. Hide my power? Why? Everything was so confusing. I just hope my dad is okay, I have already been through that once, and I don't want to go through it again.
A voice boomed in my ears, "Young Michael of the Eighteen Lystagian, you are lucky to be gifted with this power. My name is Kendghake of the Seventeenth Lystagian, I grant you the Lystagian Gift, but to manifest this power, you will need to dig deep inside yourself, and find true purpose in your life. Your heart is the mold of your power, now it is raw, unrefined cook power, find what you are looking for inside."
The voice disappears and I lose consciousness of my sleep. The next time I wake up, dad will most likely be dead.