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  CHRISTINA J. ADAMS

  2013 Copyright Christina J. Adams

  All Rights Reserved

  For my Dad

  With all my respect

  You are always there when I need you

  And to the One I love

  You fill my life with wonder

  Table of Contents

  Chapter 0.5: Silas

  Chapter 1: Silas

  Chapter 2: Silas

  Chapter 3: Jamar

  Chapter 4: Jamar

  Chapter 5: Silas

  Chapter 6: Silas

  Chapter 7: Jamar

  Chapter 8: Silas

  Chapter 9: Silas

  Chapter 10: Jamar

  Chapter 11: Silas

  Chapter 12: Jamar

  Chapter 13: Silas

  Chapter 14: Silas

  Chapter 15: Jamar

  Chapter 16: Silas

  Chapter 17: Jamar

  Chapter 18: Silas

  Chapter 19: Silas

  Chapter 20: Jamar

  Chapter 21: Silas

  Chapter 22: Jamar

  Chapter 23: Silas

  Chapter 24: Jamar

  Chapter 25: Silas

  Chapter 26: Jamar

  Chapter 27: Silas

  Chapter 28: Jamar

  Chapter 29: Silas

  About the Author

  ~~~~~

  And Carillians for the Machine

  A darkness filled the nation, little ones beware

  Oppression comes to all and torments without care

  Chaos, pain and death chase our people every night

  We only had two choices: Die or stand and fight

  The battle that we won was not without its cost

  Someone had to pay for the dignity we lost

  Tireans, Faans and Ajaks begin new life serene

  Justice for all and Carillians for the Machine

  Ajaks in the chamber, Tireans on the throne

  A cow in the stable, a hawk to soar alone

  A horse on the battlefield as a Faan is to war

  A spy in the branches and a boat on the moor

  Memory is the answer, emotions are the key

  Protection for our cities, light for all to see

  A moment of compassion hides a lone wolf unseen

  Plague, darkest night and Carillians for the Machine

  Dangers on the horizon, Tireans beware

  Before the foul disease starts spreading everywhere

  A dagger in the shadows, bloody and unclean

  The answer is Carillians for the Machine

  Chapter 0.5: Silas

  Guards brought the fifteen-year-old boy in yelling and kicking. They forced him to the shiny table in the center of the room. The table’s metal glinted from the sole bright light directly overhead. It was more metal than Silas Durant had seen in all his eight years combined. The light from the metal was blocked as two guards held the teen down on the table while a third guard secured the straps for his arms, legs, chest and chin. He was left alone for a few minutes, but the time did nothing to calm him. The teen strained and pulled and screamed.

  There was a nervous hush on the other eight-year-old kids that Silas could almost taste. All 27 of them had been locked in the adjacent room for over two hours, but no one wanted to move. They were frozen, watching the teen through the glass wall. It was the first time Silas had been taken anywhere without his parents and now the guards said he wouldn’t be living with them anymore.

  Silas leaned closer to the glass. The teen on the table looked a little like his parents’ neighbor, Mrs. Dowell. He had her light brown eyes and the same lips. Unlike Mrs. Dowell, he had several strands of dark hair growing on his upper lip that weren’t quite enough for a mustache. Silas knew Mrs. Dowell had children and her youngest had been a boy. She didn’t like to talk about it, none of the adults did, but she had left a teddy bear in the old crib and baby boys were always given teddy bears. It struck Silas deep inside that this could be her son.

  A man in a white coat walked calmly over to the teen and began attaching some kind of head gear to his forehead. A thick strap went completely around his head. Two studs were connected to the straps and a visor was hooked to them so that it curved around the top of the teen’s head. Lastly, a sensor on the top of the visor was screwed to a large metal box with a clear tube running to a deep rectangle bin. The man stepped back and went to monitor the numbers on one of the screens.

  Now that the teen was connected, he struggled even more. The man in the white coat clicked several sections of the screen and different colored lights reflected off the table. The teen stared up at them and his muscles began to shake involuntarily.

  “Please, don’t,” he begged. The sound echoed inside the children’s room as clear and crisp as if they were standing right next to him.

  Silas couldn’t see what the teen was watching. It was higher than the top of the glass would allow him to look. One of the other boys in the room tried to press himself against the glass, but it must not have worked because he gave up after a minute.

  “Stop please. I won’t do it again,” the teen repeated over and over. Tears began to form and slipped down the side of his face.

  Something flashed on the screen the man in the white coat was watching. The man glanced up to a small room made from darkened glass with wooden stairs leading to it.

  “He’s ready,” was all the man in the white coat said.

  There was a loud click, a speaker crackled and a deep voice said, “Start the Machine.”

  At those words the teen began struggling again. There was a grinding noise. All the lights in the building brightened and the boy screamed. He kept on screaming as small glass balls rolled down the tube from his head to the container.

  The light in the children’s room hissed and brightened too and all the children glanced up at it. Some of the girls in the room began to cry. Soon it seemed as though everyone was screaming or crying. A girl ran to the door and began pounding on it, but no one let her out.

  Silas swallowed. He tried to close his eyes, but he couldn’t. The process lasted for hours. Most of the kids huddled together in small groups as far away from the window as they could. Silas wanted to hide with them, but he was motionless. He wanted to cry or scream, yet nothing would come out.

  The more glass balls that rolled away, the quieter the teen got until he was completely still and then everything became too quiet. The teen’s eyes were dull and unseeing. His fingers limp and his mouth parted. His chest breathed so softly that Silas kept watching to see if it would stop. But the teen kept on breathing, in and out. Then the man in the white coat came back and unhooked the completely unresponsive teen. Another man came, lifted the teen into a wheelchair and took him away. There was no need for restraints. Silas didn’t think the teen even knew what was happening to him.

  A speaker in the room crackled and several of the girls started crying again.

  “This is your only warning,” the same deep voice from earlier said. “Fall in line, obey the rules and don’t make waves or this will happen to you.”

  The kids struggled to their feet and lined up by the door. Silas joined them secretly relieved to be moving again. They waited in line for another hour until a guard came and escorted them to their new rooms, a ten-by-ten foot cell with a wooden bunk bed, a toilet and some cubbies hanging on the wall. Boys were taken to one ward and girls to another.

  That night Silas huddled in his new bed. He couldn’t sleep. He kept picturing what had happened earlier. Every sound made him jump. Even the buzzing of the hallway light was strange. So when footsteps sounded down the hall, Silas was immediately tense. The door to his cell slid open and Silas watched in horror as two guards entered. They grabbed him and moved him out of his
cell, away from the boys ward and into the building where the Machine was kept.

  No sound would come out of Silas’ mouth and he felt like he wanted to collapse, but somehow his feet kept him upright and held his weight. There was a spotlight on the empty table where they had strapped the boy. It made the chrome seem shiny and dangerous. Silas could hardly take his eyes off it, but then he heard someone talking in the corner.

  “This one is different. See how he’s not crying or shaking.”

  “Test him anyway.” It was the voice from the speaker.

  The man in the white coat appeared out of the darkness and held a scanner near Silas’ head. It beeped and whirled but did not hurt. Silas stood still holding his breath and hoping that whatever they planned to do would happen quickly.

  There was a final beep. The man pressed the button and held the scanner to Silas’ head again. When the final beep sounded once more the man grunted.

  “He doesn’t even register.”

  “Test him again.”

  “I tested him twice to be sure. This boy has no emotional registry at all. He must be defective.”

  There was silence from the darkness, then a sigh. “Not necessarily. I’ve heard of cases like this. We’ll have to keep our eye on him and I want to get regular updates sent to me, for my eyes only. Wipe the last hour from his memory and take him back.”

 
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