The Slates

A distopian Futuristic novel about a world where overpopulation and pollution are critical and the government rule all. Can a small group of Slates, young boys and girls undergoing rigorous state education, discover the true agenda? My first novel of magnitude so be kind :)

N.B. this is a first draft and once the story is complete I am going to revise, edit and complete the book so please ignore any pesky typos, awkward English or minor plot holes. thanks :)

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5. Administration

Administration was like a haven from the chaos of the outside. The walls were a gentle white, lined with desks armed by about ten Works. There were some kids in there having a hushed conversation at one of the desks, but overall it was pretty quiet. The lady I’d followed in sat at the front desk, obviously hers, and pulled some papers from a draw in the table. I walked over and sat in the chair facing her. After a momentary flash back to test two, she pulled me to attention by beginning to speak. ‘So! These are just some papers to sign so that us Works can do our best jobs protecting and teaching you and ensuring you can have a great job once you complete your education. Now I’m aware you are yet to have been assigned a name and therefore cannot sign - please wait a sec!’ At this point she pulled out another sheet of paper from her desk. It was a long list of names, from what I gathered from a quick glance as she read it. For a moment her eyes glided down the page. ‘Aha! Your name is to be Toby. Is that okay? I can use the next if you’d rather.’ Toby? Toby.

    ‘Yes, Toby is okay.’ I responded, unsure what else I could say.

    ‘Great, Toby! Now if you could please sign on this line that’d be great!’ I looked at the line and the text above it. It consisted of a long list of I agrees and I wills. The pen she’d given me hovered in my hand over the page. Should I? I wasn’t sure what it all meant, what significance it held. Feeling the woman’s intensifying stare on my forehead, I signed on the dotted line. Toby. The word felt weird to write. I realised it was the first word I’d ever written. Toby. ‘Great! Now, the next thing is an in depth tour of the compound with some other level 1s who’ve come in today and then you’ll be showed your room in the boys’ accommodation. If you’d please go through the door at the end of the room, the others are waiting there for you - I think there is only one more to come and then the tour will start. Bye, Toby!’ She smiled one more and then logged on to her computer and out of our conversation. I looked at her once more, muttered a bye in response, though I didn’t even know her name, and then walked to the door at the back of the room. As I walked through the room I observed the different scenes at each desk. At most sat a Work, mostly female, though there were a few men, typing into their computers, but the screens were perfectly black from the angle at which I viewed them. At those which had a Slate sat in the opposite chair, the conversation instantly died the moment I walked by, the silence being accompanied by aggressive stares. I moved rather faster when passing such desks. Eventually I got to the door on the far side. I pushed it open. The next room was very much a waiting room. There were sofas on most of the walls, a water machine in one corner and some devices on side tables which seemed to be attracting the attention of all the people in the room. There was also a table in the corner covered in food. I looked at all the inhabitants of the room. Five were about the same age as me, three girls and two boys. Standing on the right was a man with no badge, a Work, who was clearly the tour guide. All of them were staring at these devices. Suddenly one laughed, A new sound to my ears, giving away the purpose of these devices: entertainment. Though he’d yet to look up, the man had clearly noted my entrance.

    ‘You’ve probably noticed the food over there. You haven’t eaten since your becoming, though you hunger far slower in those first weeks. You will be hungry now, and thirsty too, so take some time to have a drink and eat some food.’ He remained glued to the screen. I took a moment to feel within myself. There definitely was a grumbling in my stomach and a dryness in my throat. I decided to go to the water machine first, were I had a drink of the fresh cool water and then the food table, where I consumed some lovely green grapes and crunchy crisps. Both were enjoyable for me and ended my previous dissatisfactions. I then sat on one of the couches and picked up one of the devices, eager to see what about them was so entertaining. I found it to be sort of game were a bird moved through a landscape filled with obstacles and followed wherever you looked on the screen. I tried, and died instantly; I did better the second go. I continued like this, it was fun, until the final seventh member of the party joined us. The guide did look up when she entered, as did I and the others - we were ready to go. We waited for her to eat and drink before we left. I watched her religiously as she did so. Her long hair falled onto her shoulders and slim body moved elegantly around the room. I especially wanted her white hands as she picked grapes and removed stray strands from her face. I couldn’t quite pin down what I was feeling in that moment but then the Work spurred us on, and I was shaken out of that dazed state.

    ‘Okay group. I’m Cal and I work at Administration here in State Compound 4. Today I’m going to be your tour guide around the Compound.’ At this point we were all standing in the front of the Administration building by the first lady I’d meet. She smiled sweetly at us. ‘Before we commence, does anyone have any questions?’ He looked round the group, scanning all our confused faces.

    ‘Yes,’ I said, pointing at the girl I’d previously watched. ‘What is her name?’ Cal chuckled like I’d made a joke, though I didn’t think I had. She looked confused.

    ‘Why don’t you ask her?’ He replied, still smirking.

    ‘Ok. What is your name?’ I looked at her instead.

    ‘Amber.’ She replied looking from me back to Cal.

    ‘Great. Any other questions? No? Let’s go then.’ He turned and exiting the door into the avenue. I looked back to Amber and the others and then followed him out.

 
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