“Perfection. That’s what we strive for. It’s what everybody strives for. We must be perfect. Selection will help us become perfect. It’s our duty as citizens to participate in Selection. The first step is Registration. Registration will take place on January 01 when each citizen is 5 years of age. The computer data base will then match us with our appropriate mate. Selection will help us become perfect. ” I stared up at the holographic woman speak in a soothing monotone voice as it replayed the message. My mother grabbed my hand and made me lose focus on the woman.
My mother’s hand tugged my resistant self along as we walked through the crowd. People from every part of the Sector were here, all for the same reason, so their child can be Registered and find a mate. “Hurry up, Emmary. You’re next.”
I sighed and continued to drag my feet. Even at the age of 5 years I was a stubborn brat. “But, Mother, I wanted to go to the park.”
Mother simply picked me up, tired of fighting me. “Please, Emmary. We’ll be done in a few minutes and then we can go to the park.”
My face lit up, happy that I would get what I wanted. “Okay.”
We got up to the white counter where another hologram greeted us. “Welcome to Registration, what is the child’s name?”
The hologram paused a second, “What is the child’s gender?”
The hologram paused a second, “What is the child’s birthing number.”
I raised my hand, “I know, Mother! I know.” I looked up at the hologram. I closed my eyes and started to recite the number I had already memorized. “4.. 57..2..9"
I smiled up at the hologram, which simply asked the next question. “Please make the child stand on the sensor pad so height and weight can be measured.”
Mother pointed to where I needed to stand. I stepped onto the sensor and stood perfectly still. A few seconds later the hologram told us what needed to be done next. “Please make the child put his or her thumb on the pad in front of him or her so fingerprint and identification can be recorded.”
I followed the instructions given and placed my thumb on the pad in front of me. After a few seconds a sharp pain penetrated my thumb. In reaction to the pain, I screamed. Tears started to soak up my face as I pulled my thumb away and a trickle of blood followed.
I could hear the hologram above my crying, “Please calm the child as it might scare the other children. The taking of the child’s blood is necessary to ensure her identification is correct.”
Mother gave me a bandage to stop the bleeding. “Emmary, it’s all over. Please be a big girl so we can see who you’ve been matched up with. After that we can go to the park like you wanted." I wiped my nose on my sleeve and nodded. “And don’t use your sleeve as tissue.”
The hologram spoke again, “Emmary Eaton you have been matched with Vox Bly. At the age of eighteen you will return here on December 31, 2116 to be escorted to your match. Thank you and have a nice day.” The hologram shut off, signaling that my Registration was complete.
It was the first time I had heard my match’s name, but it wasn’t the last.