GENRE: Young adult, futuristic fantasy
The last thing I want to do is get into a fight with the security patrol and be taken down by a stun gun. So, why am I standing in the hallway of District Thirteen High School, the second week of my junior year, watching the forbidden?
They built this huge stone fortress surrounded by a high chain-link fence and topped off with barbed wire last year in 2019. It's supposed to keep us safe from domestic terrorist attacks involving murder and explosives. The riots of 2015 destroyed most schools in my district. For four years, we met in churches and juvenile detention centers.
Daily power brownouts dim the lights in the hall here in Virgo, the last remaining city on the Northern Peninsula after the tsunami. I have excellent eyesight and make out four armed security guards in black full body armor with silver badges on their chests. They wear black helmets with plastic face covers. They remind me of giant killer insects.
The guards stand by the metal turnstiles, scanning students in. Boys and girls in school uniform of baggy blue pants and long-sleeved blue shirts plod along. By decree, we all wear blue sneakers, carry blue backpacks, and keep our hair cut no longer than one inch below our ears.
Students present their right arm and show the guard the spot where implanted ID numbers and personal information resides under the skin. Some kids rip the microchips out. Those poor creatures get sent off to be reconditioned and reprogrammed.