Willowlight

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Summary

Rei lived in luxury until her beloved brother died, leaving her with their project her parents wanted destroyed. Now she has to escape their influence and name while trying to build her own reputation and regain the life and normalcy she lost, joined by four other runaways who have their own stories and reasons for helping her reach the top.

Genre:
Drama / Scifi
Author:
Victoria Noel
Status:
Ongoing
Chapters:
2
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
16+

Another Runaway

Rei sat down, her white and gold backpack under the bench she had claimed for herself. All around her workers in various colors and uniforms walked in, lining up in uniform lines on different platforms to be taken to different districts for work. She would normally be on a front platform with her friends to go to the school block. But since she was formally disowned and kicked out, she had no suck luxury. Her parents had seen to that. She also lost her job at a local store. It would be bad business to have a disowned government child working for you. At least in this area, where the rich really rule the world.

She was ok with that outcome though. Her parents never loved her, her friends were as fake as her boss. The only one who loved her was ten feet under. She waited for the bullet train to arrive. It would take maybe two days, but then she would be in the capitol and able to start over there. As the crowd grew, she could feel the stares. Almost everyone in Cloud City knew her. They were wondering why she wore the white and gold of her former status instead of something more muted, like brown or green. Like the other runaways located around the platform. It was all she had. It was just unheard of for a runaway to be of a high status.

The looks vanished as an alarm sounded and a roar of screeching metal filled the platform, shaking the concrete ground as about six trains stopped in front of their respective clusters of people. Rei stood and opened her bag, pulling out a small card. The doors opened in silence and all that filled the platform was boots of various wear and make scuffing onto trains. Except the capitol train, in its pristine, white self. Only seven or so stood with Rei as they scanned their cards across pop up readers. The other passengers were runaways. A few brown port workers, a green deskie and two blue runners. She was shocked there were athlete level kids going. But she guessed it wasn’t that uncommon. All seemed related in some way too.

They each walked on in silence into an empty car. Since it was a long journey they were given meal passes and slips for showers located in another car. She picked a seat closest to the bunk hall lounged on the bench. The annoyingly white bench and white cushions with soft glow lights on the floors. She pulled out a slim, grey laptop covered in various stickers she had collected over the years. She watched the school message board flood with remarks on the top student being absent and the slow realization that their biggest funds ticket was probably 200 miles out already. It was pure chaos. Her school focused heavily in technology sciences and she had carried them for over a year, even against capitol and competing national schools. She wasn’t a runner like her older brother, or a debutant like her sister. Maybe her skills would be more appreciated since she was gone.

That irony wasn’t lost on her. Nor were the glares she was receiving from one of the runners, who had moved up a few rows to watch her.

“If stealth was the mission, you failed. And if you really are interested, its just a bunch of schools forums falling into chaos over a top performer missing class.” She said, not even looking up from her laptop as she typed away. She looked up when she felt more than one pair of eyes. She was now surrounded by the two runners and the deskie.

“Which school?” One of the runners, whom Rei assumed was female from her voice, asked, her eyes a sharp red when she briefly looked up. A Typher.

“The main one is Exalia. The super fancy science school that produces a lot of government deskies.” Rei replied in a neutral manner, watching the reactions. The only one of significance was the deskies audible gasp. His eyes shined with excitment behind dulled contacts to help with staring at a computer all day.

“I knew I recognized you from somewhere. You’re the head who always wins the coding contests. And a few others, but mostly the records you broke.” He kept going for a moment before the other runner stopped him.

“So miss richy rich was the top, big whoop. Means nothing when you get outside of the family.” She said, arms crossed.

“Miss ‘richy rich’ also might have connections, can more easily get access to stuff and probably had a side job and has money.” Rei said, interrupting before they started. “Besides, I know you two were also kicked out. And I know my dads PA’s kid was ‘troubled’ and kicked out of every school and was about to be sent to become a porter.” She added.

“So you’ll help us?” The deskie asked, ignoring the looks he got.

“I just need your names and tattoo blood samples.” She replied, fingers flying across as she opened document after document. She shuffled through her bag and pulled out a small scanner with a small needle on the end of it. She held it out across the table, waiting. Lian was the first to move and prick the skin right above her tattoo. Cassandra followed her lead and last was Amon, who looked a little apprehensive at the idea of pricking himself. He did do it once it was clear that was the only way she would help.


Cass woke up early, like always. The rest of yesterday had been spent in silence, if that included Lestire’s constant typing. She took off the eye mask, tossing it off the top bunk. She was greeted to the dark room covered in bright white light from a single source. She looked down to see the girl still going at whatever she had been doing. She wondered if she had even slept or if she had gotten up early. Either way, she was grateful for the eye mask her sister insisted she use. She jumped down from the top bunk and riffled around in her bag, making sure nothing had been touched.

“I didn’t touch your bag, if thats what you’re worried about. No one else was let in either.” Her voice was cold and distant. It sent a small chill down her back, the thought that without even looking up Lestire knew exactly what she was doing. Or maybe she had seen enough in her peripheral to know what she was doing. Either way, the disassociated voice was enough to scare her. She sighed and jumped a little when the main cabin lights started flickering on, including the in-room floor lights. Lian knocked on the door and Cass opened while Lestire put her laptop up and took out her blue lens contacts.

She instinctively grabbed her bag and took it with her as they went to the showers. It was just a separate car between the sleeper cabins, between that and the food car. It was empty and rather large. She set her bag down on the counter and watched as Lestire opened one of the cabinets that were filled with grey jumpers, towels and various other toiletries. She waited for the other girl to pull stuff out and grabbed one of what she needed.

“Grey for undecided or runaways. Convenient yea?” Lestire asked as she changed and got ready to take a shower. Cass numbly nodded.

“Yea, guess its a pretty common thing.” She mumbled, grabbing what she needed and starting her own shower. The water wasn’t cold or hot, just lukewarm. It was strange, but it felt nice. Like the heat she had been subjected to was just washed off and was replaced by comfort she hadn’t felt in years. She made sure to not take too long, to be ready when her sister was in. She combed her hair while she waited for Lestire to finish, the grey almost blending into the dark skin of her neck and hands, the few things not covered by the jumper and boots. She heard a soft knock and let Lian in to the small cabin. The five other cabins looked occupied at that point as well, which meant they would need to hurry up.

She stayed silent while her sister went about doing the same thing, though at a much faster pace. Even Lesitre stayed quiet while her sister got ready. Once Lian was done they left, leaving behind the clothes of their past, and headed to the dining car.

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