Halina could not bare it. Galahad had been gone for a whole week and she had been trapped listening to her brother and all of his new world policies that benefited literally no one else but him and who ever he deemed deserving. She had not seen the effects of these new laws and something in her dreaded the thought. But now it was night, she lay sleepless on her back with everything she had heard relaying through her brain.
The world was pressing in around her and she felt as if she just could not breath anymore. It felt as if she had been lying there slowly dying on the inside for hours when in reality when she checked the little roman numeral gold clock on her nightstand, it had been five minutes. Five mediocre minutes. She groaned and threw her quilt away from her warm body.
The cold air greeted her body from the chest down. She considered getting back into the warmth for a second. But then what would she do? She was haunted by everything her brother was deciding. She would just lie there tortured with every blink. She bit back against her bodies cry to be warm and got up. She dressed into her thickest warmest clothes and snuck out of the building.
The city was so different. While wondering the streets in the dark, the first thing she noticed was that the hospital had been demolished. It was one of the things had been established. Every home at a certain wealth range had to have a hospital wing, each of the wealthiest families had to have a personal doctor assigned to their homes, they had to know how to perform surgeries as well as emergency care, and they had to have at least one nurse – who also had to be a midwife. To have children if you earned under a certain amount a license had to be applied for. The babies were also under set restrictions, if they weren’t completely healthy they had to be completely aborted… Halina cringed at the amount of families ruined in this week alone.
Close to the council hall were many tall buildings that were all solidly established corporations. All small businesses had been unregistered and shut down. This meant that all the corporations had no competition. Either their way or no way at all.
After that were the entertainment section. This was one huge ring shaped building that circled the corporate market area. It was like someone had built a ring of archways that had stairs inside the walls that went up to the main level. The main level was made of glass and was were the high class went to eat, drink, party, and sex. Beyond that was residential. Each residential house was like its very own manor with large amounts of land of their own. Beyond that there was land, mass amounts of land that was being well kept and guarded by a huge wall. The wall had check points that anyone under a low wage had to have a special work license to enter. They couldn’t stay and if caught without a good reason for remaining beyond their work shift were detained and barred from the area.
The floors had been newly laid, the buildings newly built. To have accomplished this in a week her brother would have had to have every working man on it constantly until it was complete. He had made an extremely specific set of wealthy families happy. In return, there was a promise to keep him at the top of the world. There was no way for a social shift. You were born into what you were born into.
Halina knew that there was a security section somewhere. Kyle had made special care to keep them comfortable so that they would do their jobs. Even though they were trained to be mindlessly brutal soldiers, Kyle knew well enough to grease the palms of those he needed to use.
He had also removed schools. Schooling was now so private, it happened in the classroom that every family had built in their homes. Anyone outside of the main city point had had the right to education removed. The separation between poor and rich had now grown so sickeningly massive in just a week Halina felt guilty just being a part of it.
She reached the edge of the entertainment ring when a sound behind her made her check over her shoulder. The wide white stone and glass street was empty. The only thing she could hear after that was her heartbeat against her chest. The entertainment district was closed for the night. There should have been no one else here. She inhaled deeply and when her eyes and ears caught no shadows behind her she carried on walking.
She turned direction and began to walk the outer line of the entertainment ring. When something sounded as if it had shuffled right up behind her. So, close she screamed and spun on her heels.
“What do you want!?”. Her voice echoed cringingly loud in the silent night. She grabbed the thick material of her coat and pulled it into her body. When no one answered again she went to continue on her way again. Her heart was in her throat. Someone was following her. She was certain of it. The feel of a hunters stare in her back was growing more intense. Just when she thought she felt the soft brush of someone’s fingers against her cheek she spun around again. The follower disappeared again. Her whole body shook. She should turn back, but she was far enough away now to be taken before she made it. Just before she went to head back a pair of dark arms swept her up and pressed her back into the shadowed alcove of one of the entertainment rings steps. A big familiar hand over her mouth.
“Shh”. Galahd said. “Please”.