Its a cruel, cruel world. One filled with Poverty. One filled with Economic Inequality. One filled with Sexism. You'd think with what was spoken, this would take a place in a past time. But it doesn't. Welcome to 2515, where technology, medicine, and economy have reached its peak. There is everything you could ever wish for, right at the tips of your fingers. Cellphones have been replaced with small implants in your brain that let you speak with whoever whenever. Instead of pets, people have created Androids that can do everything humans can do, but without the hassle for companionship. Everything from the skyline seems perfect. Until you get to the slums. In the lower parts, past the flying, shining cars and city lights, a cluster of small, metal houses and buildings is a world all its own. Here are where the lame lie, the betrayed weep, and the broken breath. Those who fall less than perfect. Those who had a mistake from love. Those who have no 'use' to those above. Children and adults alike scramble to find proper food, entertainment, and livings for their families. Livings as the servants to those above them, livings as prodigies, working to make a name. The few who do end up in one place, a place where usually the rich and glamorous learn to carry on their perfect lives. Welcome to Leo Heights Academy. Here we take the super rich and powerful and train them to carry on with their bright futures, or the less fortunate with gifts to offer our world, and give them a chance at bringing their families up from the dusty slums. We believe the best future is achieved by connection of the good and bad, so here we do not separate our students by their castes. Do you have what it takes to succeed? Are you gonna be a pheonix, or are you gonna continue your legacy? Just be warned, to both castes: The other side isn't what it may seem. __ Dear Miss Esther Tatterdemalion- It will be my pleasure to let you know that you'be been accepted into Leo Heights Academy! You're skills in Engineering has caught the eye of our talent scouts in a previous sighting of your middle school, Blackwood Middle. Since then, we have reviewed your records and recommending peers and professors, and have found you worthy of entering the Academy this coming year, your first year of what was supposed to be high school. Given that this is important opportunity, we know you'll accept, and have enclosed in the following package: Three uniforms of your more recent measurements and recorded preferences. A packet of your scholarship information, given your caste. And your Electronic ID, which contains your name, your school map, your schedule, and works as your dorm key. Please keep it on your person at all times. We shall send a pod for you on the morning of September 3rd, at 4:00 A.M. Please say your farewells before then, as we keep a tight schedule. See you at the Orientations- Headmaster Daniel Crysilist __ Esther sighed as she looked at the items across the rickety table in the kitchen, her mother limping across the room. Her dark green eyes flicked up to her mother's form, watching the thick, dark braid that swung across her small back. "My daughter, acknowledged by Leo Heights... Its almost like a dream," The older woman sighed, her smile tranquil as she stirred the bits of chicken and potatoes on the gas stove. Her dark brown eyes glanced over at her daughter's, and she gave a bigger smile, "Its hard to believe it. It feels like just last week you were seven and playing baseball with the boys and fixing that old Gazelle in the junkyard with old Mr.Gales. Now you're almost grown and going to a much better place." "Just because it has money doesn't make it better. Its filled with the same people who shunned you, who ma-" "Now, now, Thia, It couldn't be helped. I was simply... Unworthy of the man's attention," Her mother said, sighing as she rolled up her long sleeves even further. A small hint of red on the woman's forearm peeked from the gray shirt. Her white, long skirt hid a wound that Esther had seen many times before, one that had ruined her mother even more. However, despite the smudges of dirt that came from her mother's work at the farms, and the slightly premature wrinkles of her mother's tanned skin, and the scars of her past, Esther knew that her mother was still considered the prettiest woman in the slums: Just a small bit of pampering would bring out her former prestigious beauty, when she lived in the skyline. In many ways, Esther considered herself lucky she looked a lot like her mother. She shared the slight darkness of skin, the high cheekbones, the large eyes, and the delicateness of features. However, if someone were to look, they would see a considerate amount of differences: The lack of her mothers slight frame (where as hers contained slightly wider shoulders, more muscle tone, and wider hips, as well as a small bump of height), the dark green (as opposed to her mother's dark, mysterious eyes), and wilder hair (It usually took Esther a while to brush her mess of black, thick waves, so her mother's intricate braided crown was out of the question). "Yet he got you knocked up? Mom...", The teen girl said, setting the letter aside. Her mother simply sighed as she gave Esther her plate of food. "Esther... As much as you try to make it sound bad, your father gave me the best gifts with you. He gave me great friends. He gave me a reality check. He gave me dignity. He gave me a beautiful, talented child.," She said, sitting down, "And he gave me a new name, a fresh start. I want to thank him, to be honest." Her smile seemed to radiate her optimism, as she looked at the items, "But, I won't lie. I want you to find his child and beat them at whatever you can. I want you to prove he left a good thing behind, and that you aren't faulted by your rough start." "But how will I know its them?" "Just look for the mark below the eye. A small mole, like you have, but on the other eye." Esther's hand fell to the small mole under her left eye, a mark of her own her birth father left. A mark she could not erase. A mark that left her boiling. "I will find them, and I will prove myself worthy. For them all to see." ____ The morning of the orientation, Esther was really freaking tired. Her mother had woken her up at 2 in the morning, telling her she needed to look her best. After the hour it took for her to get her hair in order and put in a high ponytail, the other hour was spent packing a few keepsakes (including her mother's cookbook and special taiyaki pan) and doing her make up (even though her mother had not done so in a few years, she had not lost her touch). After a quick breakfast and goodbye to mother (everyone else she knew had come by last night with all kinds of food and a celebration for her), she was standing in the cold dark of early morning, dressed in a white button up top, a dark gray zip up hoodie with the Leo Heights symbol on her chest, and black (rather comfortable) pants. Since it came with no shoes, Esther wore her favorite pair of high heeled sneakers, making her 5'5 come up to 5'9. She held a bag in her right hand, and her electronic ID in her left. When the clock struck 4, a white, sleek Hummingbird (a rather expensive car, but with a crappy engine and mileage, and no speed. Simply put, a kiddie car for those with too much money) appeared. Esther stepped in quickly and the car went back to the skyline. When she arrived, however , she began to feel the nervousness bubbling up as she stepped out. The car drove off, and she was left in front of a startling white tall wall, surrounded by many colorful flowers. Right in front of it, a big, gold lion sculpture stood tall and proud. One glance reminded Esther why she was here, having her square her shoulders as she walked into the gates on the bottom of the tall wall, scanning her ID. Immediately she was struck by lots of kids, all dressed rather extravagantly in unique uniforms fitted to the people themselves, mostly showing off a feature or another. As Esther looked back and forth, she bit her lip, trying to keep down the hot prickling beneath her skin. 'Am I the only one from the Slu-' She was cut off by a rather heavy weight falling on top of her.