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 :)


4. Slate Compound 4

I’d assumed that the real world would contain a multitude of new sensations and emotions, but those I first experienced were not what I expected. Once I’d stepped up into the space in front of me, a door slid up from the ground and shut me in. A moment of blackness followed, as if I’d closed my eyes, and then a single light bulb flicked to life. I looked at the bulb curiously, as previously all light had simply radiated from the walls, with no obvious point of origin. With this light I looked closer at the space. The walls were rough and coloured with an array of blacks and dirty browns. I spotted on the far wall a faded stamp reading in loud capital letters SLATE TRANSPORT UNIT. I considered the name. It felt military, utilitarian. Like I was cargo needing to get from A to B, preferably without damage. Just as I thought that word, the whole room shook and started to move forward. The noise of the grumbling engine intensified and I very nearly fell over, managing to grab hold of the bench on the left side and lower my bottom onto in. For another half an hour I remained like this, clinging onto the bench and making sure my head didn’t collide with the wall behind or the ceiling above. Finally I felt the vehicle slow to a stop, and the engine quite. For a moment I continued to sit still, just in case we started moving again, but relaxed when I heard the opening and shutting of doors and the muffled voice of two or three men outside. Then the door slid open.

    If I’d previously been shocked at this new land, then I was now blown away. In my peripheral vision I saw the face of a man who’d opened the door for me, but I was too dumbfound to acknowledge him. What greated my eyes was huge. Walls four times the height of the van, covered in shining metal spikes. The sun’s rays beat down on my white flesh for the first time and I looked up to it in the beautiful blue sky, but immediately felt that same burning in my eyes as I had from looking at the walls in the first room. That place felt time a dream to me now; or maybe this was the dream. The sound which greated my ears was that was human shouts and shatter and whispers. Hundreds upon hundreds of voices layered on top of each other in a colossal inaudible, indistinguishable heap, yet I could only see five people around me: it was from beyond the wall. After this huge wave of information washed over me, my eyes locked onto the face of the man in front of me. He was big. He owned a stern face and no hair, and stood with his arms crossed on his large chest. ‘Welcome’, he said, with a rye smile, ‘to Slate Compound 4. Hopefully the SCU boys weren’t too rough on the driving, don’t want to give a bad impression! Now if you’d follow me, I’ll take you in.’ I was shocked by the way he spoke: loud and bullish, like he was the boss. Maybe he was. I thought it best to keep my mouth shut and obey, I had a lot to learn. I had to jog to catch up to him and then continue doing so to keep up with his fast stride. ‘You call me Sarge. I run this operation: getting you Slates in, and making sure nothing, no-one, else does. My motto is ‘don’t fear the wall’, and you remember that. This wall will do you infinite good, boy, no matter how scary it looks. Now raise your hands and walk through the scanner, good. I’ll pass you over to one of the girls from the desk and they’ll take you from there. Good luck, kid. Work hard and don’t fear the wall.’ He gave me a hard pat on the back a walked back through the gate in the wall through which we’d entered, setting of the alarm as he went; no one stopped him. I was in the compound. Where I stood seemed to be the start of a huge avenue right down to what seemed to be a field. On either side was a row of shops, ten in total, and then two huge buildings at the end, either side of the field. On this avenue milled hundreds of kids my age through to four to five years older. The Slates, I thought. While I was standing amongst this mess of humanity, one boy, who looked older than most, glanced right at me, my white badge, and said to his companions with a sneer, ‘fresh blood’ and then melted back into the swarm. After another few moments I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned to see a smiley woman with big hair and a neat dress standing beside me.

    ‘Welcome to Slate Compound 4! This is where you will go through your state education and grow to become a Work! Sorry to keep you waiting a moment, I was on the phone! Bad timing, oh well. I am going to give you a brief tour of the compound and then we’ve got a few papers to go though in Administration, but it’ll be quick! So! There are six main areas I’m going to tell you about for now. You are currently standing on Main Avenue, which is the walkway from the field down at the bottom there to all the shops and classes we can see on the left and right here and ultimately the gate in and out the compound. The shops I just mention are, as you can see, lined along the avenue. There are five on each side. Those our left cover the Fundamentals, like Mathematics and English, and the mealtimes, both equally important! On our right are the Humanities and Administration, where we’re going next. Finally, down the end is the field, and either side of that is the boys’ and girls’ accomodation! You’ll get to see all that later. For now we need to head to Administration. Follow me!’ Again I was shocked at how differently she spoke to Sarge and the woman from the white rooms. After another moment of reflection I walked after the lady, who was walking across to the first shop front on the right: Administration.

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