Bella has never enjoyed living in Sector G. It's dull, lacking in colour and charisma and everyone is so involved with their own personal life she is left alone.
So when Transfer Day comes, she has her one chance to escape.
But the choice she makes could kill her.
And with every step she takes, she is watched...
So when she meets mysterious H, a boy with shining talents, who offers to help her, she wonders if something about her is different.
There is.
*Cover credit goes to @LilyAnnaNightshade!*


8. Moving

The last speech draws to a slow close and the girl leaves in tears, no buzzer was heard. The presenter says something about leaving quickly and no last good byes then the TV screen's go black. It isn't long before the two Sector Leaders come striding in. They are reasonably young, one a little older than the other, but both formal looking. They wear black, to blend in, although one of their shirts has a flash of purple striking along the chest. I smile at this. No more black forever now, just other colours. The older one begins to speak, directly looking at every Tradee gathered in the small crowd surrounding them.

"Good evening Tradees of Sector G. You now longer belong to Sector G. You belong to us. We are your owners, not like you are dogs, but we rule over you and keep you in check. Any form of rebellion will not be tolerated and you will be sent back to Sector G. Clear?" A murmur of 'yes' arises from the crowd. I say it too.

"Now, you will journey back to Sector J where you will discover where you stay. There are houses in an area, there are four to a house, two boys and two girls." There is no reaction. I am used to living with Brent. But this is different. They are strangers, people I've probably seen before, but never remembered.

"All we will do is make you line up at reception and then be told your house number. Then you will wait outside your house until the final person checks in. They will be given the key along with three others and you can let yourselves in. You have one key each, do not lose it.

Now, the Sector J train comes into the station very soon. I suggest we start moving." The two Sector Leaders move out of the entrance and we push forward. As we walk, we walk in silence. For sixteen years we'd all learn to keep our heads down and not interact. People kept looking at me, sometimes glaring, sometimes smiling, but always looking. Why? Then I remember I was the separate buzzer. The one that it was not a joint decision. I wonder which Leader pressed it. I assumed the younger one, since the buzzer sign lit up on the right and he sat on the right. We soon come to the train station and we wait. The summer air crawls past my neck, flicking my hair lightly.  It takes precisely eight minutes for the train to arrive and we pile on, each sitting by ourselves.

For some reason I want to get up and interact with the other people, but I hold myself back. They should make an effort to say hi to me, not for me to go wandering up to them. Besides, they probably think I'm creepy.

Sector G's national anthem plays through my head. When time comes, to go back home, you know where to go. Sector G is valiant. Sector G will always be your home. Atrum specialis velieris. 

That last line always intrigued me. It's Latin but no one could ever translate it, only the smartest of scholars could. Our machines always break down when we try to solve it so everyone seems to have left it. I haven't.

"Next stop, Sector J home centre," says the muffled voice over the speaker and I lift my head. I can just faintly see the tall black buildings of Sector G that scrape the sky. My heart drops a little. I'm never going back there again.

The train slows to a gradual halt, throwing me back a bit in my seat, and we all file off. There is a circular desk and there are four people sitting at it. One for each Sector, I think and join the long line. I carefully observe the others.

Sector N stand in clumped clusters, talking rapidly and waving their hands a lot. They all have white hair except for one girl. She has a streak of gold running through and I catch her eye awkwardly. I smile timidly and she raises her eyebrows, then turns away. What does that mean, I think.

Sector K's line is strange. They exclude several people who stand lonely by themselves and the others are in groups. Sector K seems harsh. My heart tugs with pity for the people alone, wishing they had friends, wanting friends. That has been me on the inside for sixteen years.

Sector L stand in one huge chain, talking back and forth, snapping their hands to the side trying to have several conversations at the same time. How can one person channel so many conversations and words? Words are powerful things, like bullets, how can those people take so many shots at once? I shake my head in disbelief and turn to face the front.

I am a few people away from the front and I wonder what my room mates will be like. Nice? Harsh? Stupid? Clever? Sly? Creepy? Kind? The person in front of me moves away and I'm standing at the desk.

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