Unaltered

Jaz is a young Unaltered girl, living in a world ruled by rich Modified and controlled by vicious Mechanics. She embarks on a interfallacting journey to raise enough money to undergo the process that will turn her into a Modified, but she ends up in a desperate fight for her life where she finds out more about herself than she'd ever thought possible.

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6. Chapter V

Chapter V

Jaz

 

 

I am aboard the Stormer. How I got here is all I blur of excitement and nerves, of fear and sheer joy. 

I flop down on the bed, oh the joy! An actual bed! It is creaky on a metal frame, rickety and unstable and probably thirty years old. I stare at the ceiling, gleaming white. 

I've memorized the layout of the ship in just a few trips about. There is four wings, all surrounding a set of three rooms, the captains lounge from where he steered the ship through the depths of space, the cafeteria and the recreation room. The four halls were four the four different classes above the ship, not Unaltered, Modified and Mechanic, but worker, crew, guard or passenger. 

The workers are the ones like me, Unaltered people who are here to earn a living. Crew are the people who operate the ship. Guards are the people, Mechanics mostly, who keep the passengers and workers in line. Finally, the passengers who are here for a recreational journey only, the rich Modified. 

A guard is stationed outside my door. It is clear he is Mechanic, metal and circuitry swarming him. 

Wires wrap around his left arm, ending at the elbow. His legs are mostly metal, circuit plates popping on his face. A chip and a plate on one wrist, plates going up the other arm. 

Beneath it all though, he is strangely beautiful. His hair silver-blond, his eyes sharp and blue. No implants for him. He looks at me, and I see his disgust. 

Vibrant hair. Pale eyes. Ghostly pale skin. Stick thin. Dark circles hanging under my eyes. On top of it all, dressed in my baggy grey Stormer uniform, three sizes to large. It was clear how I'd look to him, weak and pitiful. I feel my anger hardening, sharpening, embers beginning to catch flame, burning hotter than the sun. 

"What are you looking at?" I spit, and he flinches. 

"...nothing..." he says hesitantly, and I see him glance around, looking for something—or maybe someone. His robotic posture collapses, his eyes softening, hard face relaxing. 

"Really?" I ask, voice dripping with fake incredulity. "I'd advise you to get your robot eyes off of me." 

He flinches. Then turns away. Puzzled and feeling strangely victorious, I plop down on my bed and burry my face in my hands. 

Hours pass, nothing happening, then a call comes from command, saying for all the workers to come to the cafeteria. 

I head out, and see the same Mechanic outside my door. I glare at him, and he deliberately refuses to meet my gaze. Puzzling... 

I make it easily to the cafeteria, before almost anyone else. I check out the different people. Some are sitting, some standing, others barely awake. There's a grand diversity, ranging from tall and lanky to short and pudgy, pale skinned and rich chocolate complexions. 

Ten minutes later, most of everyone has arrived, and the meeting begins. 

"Welcome aboard the Stormer, where for a month, thirty-one days, you will venture through the depths of space, earning a living for yourself once you get back to earth." A man announces. He is average height, with rich brown eyes, brown-black hair and a matching goatee. He looks to be about in his late thirties. 

For a moment, everyone is silent. It is demeaning. No one moves. No one dares to breath. 

"You're work will begin tomorrow. That is all for now. Good luck." With a curt nod he dismisses us. Everyone begins to make their way out, filtering out in lines like large ants. 

I let myself be carried along by the flow, thoughts on what tomorrow will bring

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