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Monday, 16 March 2015 02:24

Earths by Sophie Szecsodi

The way I'd been taught, I'd had it forced down my throat that we scribes were replaceable, and that the troopers were the best of Third Earth. And I believed it. Because it was true. My parents were given the best of houses, whereas even the best of the scribes lived in borderline horrible conditions.

The Master Scribe continued, "But you will both have to prove yourselves."

I breathed out. "In what way?"

"You will have to come up with that yourself. You will also be taking a test. Physics, biology, English skills, mathematics, and a practical examination on ship building. I say, Miss Atlantia, you get to work." And with that, she stalked out of my room, slamming the door with a bang.

Shortly after, I went to see Eagle. Knocking quietly on his door, I thought about what I had to study. Physics and ship building were my forte, with maths shortly after. English was next, but I was terrible at biology. How could I 'show promise'? A million questions fizzed in my head.

Then Eagle opened the door. "What's this abomination before me?" he said with a fake sophisticated edge.

I ran my fingers through my brown hair. It was a mess. I rubbed my eyes. I could not remember being this tired. "Yeah, sorry. It's been worse."

Eagle laughed. "I'm just messing with you. What's up?"

"It's this whole weapons thing."

"Master Scribe came to see you?"

"Yeah, and while I remember, thanks."

"For what?"

"For sharing the credit. It was you who discovered the magnetic shield that's protecting Mundi, and yet you let me in on it, so I could have a chance. So, thanks."

He was silent, his brown eyes contemplating something. They seemed to glaze over, but then they returned to their intelligent shine. He leaned over and ruffled my hair some more. "Don't mention it. Besides, it'd be more fun to be retrained with a friend. Now, come on in, we better study up for the test, and find a way to show some promise."

His small room was notably less fancy than mine. His bed did not levitate, he had no TV, his desk was much smaller and his window had only one setting.

"Welcome to my humble abode." He did a little bow and nodded at his chair in the corner. As I crossed the room, the light flickered. "Sorry about that, thing's been broken for ages."

"It's not your fault," I sighed.

"You seem down, Lanti."

"Yeah. How am I going to show promise?"

"Well, what's your strong point?"

"Physics," I mumbled.

"Well, the Government needs more weapons against Mundi, right? Design one."

I looked up at him and smiled. He'd always had the best ideas. "All right."

"Now, I'm going to get to work on yet another energy-efficient machine." And with that he settled down into his work.

Typical Eagle. Concerned with the natural environment. It's a big deal to him that we protect the resources we have, but all I say is, why? Why try and protect the little we have when there's so much unused on the next planet, Mundi? Yet another reason for the Mech War. Resources.

It was early in the next morning before we were done. I yawned and rubbed my eyes. I had just finished my weapon model, something I called the Tazer Ray, with unlimited ammo. Basically, you pressed a button and a light shone into a super-mirror, reflecting it in your opponent's eyes, before launching out electric shockwaves, stunning and sometimes paralysing your target.

Eagle was fast asleep. I walked over to him. He had a blueprint laid out on the table that he was now sleeping on, and next to his head was a model of a car, driving around a circular track. It was a little, green, right-angled triangle shape with four wheels. Suddenly the car stopped moving and the circuit track beeped.

"KILOMETRES CLOCKED OUT. PLEASE TAKE DATA AND RESET PROMTLY."

Eagle jumped awake.

He chuckled. "Don't worry. The kilometre counter's in overdrive. Hit its limit." He yawned.

I looked at the track. There was a little screen with the numbers 9999 flashing in red. Eagle wrote something down and refreshed the clock, and the little green car started moving again.

"It's an energy-efficient car. Has solar panels that fold in and out and a backup windmill. Should be able to drive a hundred thousand kilometres. I'm going to have to request a better timer." He tapped the box on the track. "What about you?"

"A tazer ray. Reflects light from a super-mirror into your enemy's eye before paralysing them. And it's reusable."

Eagle chuckled. "Good. You better take it back to your room, Lanti. Don't want to leave it here." He laughed. I nodded and left.

It was a long way back to my room from Eagle's, so I let my mind wander from my tazer project. Eventually, it landed on Mundi. Mundi, with its clear, unpolluted lakes and its huge, wild forests. Why were we trying to rape it and destroy the Mundens?

"Atlantia!" I slapped myself. "Your parents' war is about to be yours. Pick your side!" I shook myself and walked briskly.

I had to choose my side.

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