At the healthy age of 17, every boy and girl must be chipped, this chip will take one week to complete a full cycle of searching your memories, fears and secrets. However, if you are hiding any secrets or information that could be dangerous, the council will not hesitate to kill you.
A few days after Cassia has been chipped, she uncovers more and more about her past, and some very emotional secrets, but she only has five days until her cycle is complete, and she knows what will happen to her if the council finds out.
Rebellious and Determined Cassia doesn't want to live by the rules anymore, and she plans to bring an end to them...


2. Chapter two


Chapter two


It was the first thing they taught you in school, before learning how to flush a toilet, and before learning how to chew, but the first thing they taught you, was how to see the patterns in the Stars. I had been four when I started school, I remember all of the bright primary colors that made our small classrooms happy and cheerful on a daily basis, and I would wake up early every morning to go and stand by the large black gate, and then when it opened, I would skip inside, and smile to myself. However, my favorite thing, was seeing the patterns in the Stars, I loved how they would give us a HB pencil and a small A5 notepad, and tell us to draw the Stars, and then, they would tell us to find some patterns in our drawings. I remember two of my patterns, a horseshoe, and a small flower. I had been so pleased, and I would have run home to our Pod, and Mum would have to wake Dad up, so that he could see the patterns too. After that, it just stuck, and I would remember it, and when I looked up at the Stars, I would see many patterns.

In my small rucksack, I had my A5 notepad, and a HB pencil, just as I would have done when I was little. I knew where I was going, it was where I used to go with the primary school, the highlands. I loved the highlands, there were so many cliffs to choose from, but I knew the exact one I wanted to be on. I looked down at my watch, for what felt like the a thousandth time, 9:27, I had ages until sunrise, but sunrise was not what I wanted, all I wanted, was the Stars. Already the highlands were towering above me, tall and proud, as they had been for the past twelve centuries. 

I placed my foot onto the bottom of the cliff, some of the stone crumbled away, and fell down next to my other foot, which was still firmly in the ground. I grabbed onto a large bit of stone with both of my hands, and pulled myself upwards, I was no longer touching the white chalky ground. The rough edge of the rock was digging into my hands, and I felt a warm liquid trickle down my fingertips. I looked up, squinting my eyes to see the top of the cliff, I would estimate it was about one hundred meters, a deadly drop if I were to let go. I held my breath as I removed one of my hands from the sharp rock, and felt along the rough face of the cliff for another stable rock. My hand rubbed against a small hole in the cliff, I held onto it firmly, and found two more foot holds, I then hoisted myself up again, nearly breathless. It's okay I reassured myself, but deep inside, I knew that it wasn't. I suddenly felt a sharp pain across my foot, my foot slipped off the rock, and before I knew it, I was hanging by two hands. 

My breathing instantly became shallow as the rocks dug further and further into my bruised hands, and I could feel my fingers slowly loosing their grip because of the amount of blood. I was scared and helpless, and I was hanging from a cliff. If I fell, I was sure that I would die.

“Anyone?” I whimpered helplessly, but only the howling of the wind replied. 

“Please” I whispered weakly. On my right hand, I was holding on by three fingers, and on my other hand, two fingers.

“Cassia!” I heard someone shout, someone? A person? My turned my head frantically to the right, there was a boy on the cliff, he was wearing no harness, but only his blue jeans and stripey brown shirt.

“Cassia, take my hand!” I heard him yell over the wind, I shook my head, because if I were to let go, I would fall. The boy leaped to another rock, he was like a Monkey, elegant and professional. If I were to estimate, he were now only three meters away from me.

“Cassia, jump!” he shouted, his voice muffled by the roaring of the wind. I looked down, but instantly regretted it, I shook my head again. The boy jumped again, I held my breath as he landed with a sickening crunch against one of the rocks. However, he didn't fall, he was holding on again, and was only a meter away from me.

“You have to take my hand Cassia” he said, more softly this time. I rubbed my foot against the side of the cliff until I found a suitable foot hold. I then let go with one hand, and I jumped. 


I felt a sharp pain on the side of my hip, and all over my feet, but I didn't open my eyes just yet. I thought about what the chip inside of me just experienced, the Council won’t be too happy about my results, or...the boy. My mind went back to the boy that had saved my life, and I suddenly realized that I was probably in a hospital. Now was the time to open my eyes, a lady was stood above me, holding a large needle. 
"W-w-what?" I stuttered.

"Shh." the lady whispered, putting her finger to her lips. 

"What is this?" I asked, not listening to her instruction. 

"You nearly died Miss.Dawson, you need to be injected, hold still." she told me as I started to fidget. I stopped as she tapped the needle, it was de-ja-vu, it felt like I was in the Implantation room all over again. I held still as she placed the needle on my arm, just as the other lady had done, and she pushed the liquid in. I didn't wince this time, after the pain I had gone through, it felt like nothing. The lady slowly pulled the needle out of my arm and placed it on a small table next to me.                      

"The boy." I whispered.

"He's fine, the Doctors have already worked on him, but now it's your turn." she replied steadily.

"No, not yet, I-I want to see."

The lady pursed her lips, "follow me." she said. I hesitated for a second, but then pushed myself up onto my elbows, and slowly stood up on shaky legs. As I walked, the pain in my hip got worse, and my feet felt like they were going to give way. The lady didn't take me far, only over to a tall mirror that was hanging loosely on the wall. She stepped back, letting me have a look at myself. I gasped at what I saw. The person in the mirror was a stranger, her lips were cut as if she had done it herself with a razor, her legs were almost purple with bruises, her arms were cut everywhere, and her once smooth face now had a large red cut running from the corner of her head to her jaw bone. I was completely lost for words, but I could think of a million things that my parents would want to say to me right now. I reached my hand up, and ran my finger down the cut on my face, I hoped it wasn't permanent. 

"You should go and lie down again" said the lady, who was stood behind me. I nodded, still speechless, and hobbled back over to the white cotton bed. I sighed with relief when I layed back down, and my tensed muscles relaxed. I was still shocked more than hurt, and I dreaded the moment that Mum and Dad would walk through those doors, their faces red from their weeping. I pushed the thought aside, and focused on myself. I couldn't remember falling, or hurting myself, yet I was still in a hospital. Before I could ask the lady, I heard the door click open. I looked over towards the door, Mum and Dad were stood in the doorway, just as I had imagined them, I didn't show any emotions, I just gave them a blank face.

"Mr and Mrs Dawson, are you here to see Cassia?" asked the lady, stating the obvious.

"Yes...thank you." replied Dad, his tone was flat and his face was straight like mine. I could almost feel the awkwardness in the air as she left. I wanted to close my eyes, but Dad's cold icy glare kept my eyes focused.

"Oh Cassia," Mum sighed and came to sit on my bed, "why?"

"I needed to get out," my tone was flatter than I wanted it to be. 

"But why?"

"I don't know. I'm sorry," she hugged me and rested her chin on my shoulder. I hated lying to her, and I hated lying to Dad even more, but I knew that it had to be done. 

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