Charlie – The Citadel


The Citadel

Charlie | Geelong High School
Secondary English | Term 1 2021

The artificial light glinted off the citadel, a winding skyscraper stretching up to the full height of the dome surrounding it. The apex of the twisting building separated into a circle where a large ball of blue-silver matter hovered. The silver light from the Dome danced off the squares of the citadel making seemingly random patterns. The strange dance of lights would momentarily cease to display a message such as a reward for finding an outlier in the system or an important upcoming event. The citadel captured the light in an hypnotic and unnatural way sometimes even bouncing off the building to target a citizen and temporarily enter him or her into the whisper: a world of endless light. As Chloe was being driven by the citadel, she motioned her hand to the top of the publicar and pulled the warm light of the whisper into her. As she had experienced many times before, the light flooded into her pores working its way in, connecting to the brain. Chloe’s vision blurred and the view of the publicar eroded giving way to the silver light she had become accustomed to, and then she was no longer sitting in her car.

Flat plains of solid light stretched to the edge of the whisper. A seemingly masculine figure of a lighter colour blue light stood in front of her. She bowed her head to the blue light. Blue indicated a representative of the citadel and they spoke to citizens on only special occasions. The man stood in a rigid pose and when he began to speak his jaw stayed completely shut. “Chloe #7 you have been selected by the Citadel to give birth to a high-ranking son. Prepare in the next 5 days.” The light of the man faded and the ground Chloe stood on started to dim. She was pulled out of the whisper and the publicar announced that there would be 7 minutes before they reach their destination.

Chloe, as she often would, stared at the citadel while she waited to arrive at her destination. Thickly bundled wires came out of the apex, twisting and connecting to each house. To prevent damage from outliers the wires were encased in a cold metal, an amalgamation of many other metals that was harder than steel. Chloe thought about the son she would have shortly; she was quite ambivalent to the idea. On one hand bearing this child would automatically move her up in the system. She could get a better station in the hospital and bring in a higher salary, her son would be the son of a high-ranking citadel official meaning he would have many advantages that she had not had. On the other hand, she had foolishly hoped for a small romantic connection to the father of her child. Of course, this was not possible, feelings of intimacy inhibited productivity and thus were reserved for outliers. She knew it was going to be a boy by what the representative had told her, she would have to suffer through some dreadful medicine that influenced the chromosomes of the child. Being a doctor, she had of course prescribed some to her patients and she had heard of the side effects from the patients. Many reported extreme nausea, vomiting, insomnia and hallucinations.

She was sent medicine that would influence the child. Of course, she would not be able to raise the child, but the whisper, schools and the Father would guide her son. Of course, he would not be legally considered her son but that was beside the point. Chloe took some of the pills and fell asleep dreaming of boundless light.

The medicine was even more awful than her patients had been able to put into words, she was constantly vomiting and what little she could eat was not kept down for long. She only had a small escape to the whisper before her anguish called her out again, she had to continue or incur the wrath of the Citadel.

A droid rushed to her house, this would be the son of a very high-ranking official of the citadel, so discretion and care were needed. The droid administered drugs that dulled her mind and senses, before she knew what was happening the droid was holding a newborn baby, he had a small round face with an adorable nose, even as a baby he exuded an air of authority. Chloe took one look at her son and fainted.

When Chloe woke the child was still in her house being nursed by the droid, Chloe felt a wave of love wash over her as she saw the baby giggling and gurgling. The doorbell rang, and without being invited in, two representatives from the citadel entered her home. They didn’t stop to talk, and they did not seem to acknowledge her presence; they just took the baby and left. She had wanted to stop them but that meant jeopardizing her whole family. What could she do but watch? Chloe went to sleep that night and had nightmares of infinite blue light.

Charlie | Geelong High School

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