Overview Cast List The Forgotten History of The City- No one remembers quite when certain people in everyday civilization began to develop supernatural powers, but such people began to pop up all over the world. One of those individuals was a man who developed the ability to absorb others. When he absorbed regular people his life would be extended, and he would become more fit and healthy. However, when he absorbed the gifts of other people, he would be able to use their gift for a little while, until it ran dry. He began to gather together a following, A group of people who were desensitized to the modern world, and longed for something different. These people saw him, their High Power, as a prophet, and the harbinger of the new era. He delivered upon their desires. Flawlessly. He and his followers overthrew the government of a small country and reigned supreme. For a time things were perfect, as the High Power went out of his way to create a utopia. However, when he silently provoked other countries into attacking his country, he used it as an excuse to utterly destroy the area around his city, and create a giant dome to contain his little pocket country. Gradually, the people who knew the past of the High Power began to die, and the re-education of the people began. History became a useless subject, even as the sciences were promoted. Eventually, people began to believe that the world outside this city was utterly destroyed and beyond salvation, due to the greed and ignorance of the previous people, and the High Power created this place of sanctuary for their safety. There is no other safe place in the world. To maintain this illusion, the High Power captured slaves, raising them as a lesser group of people, inferior to all humans. They were responsible for maintaining the sewers, for sorting through trash to gather recyclable materials, and, most importantly, for spreading a toxin outside the city that would kill all life, to make sure no one ever doubted that the land outside the city was nothing but a wasteland. These people are controlled by a limited, select few, who know of the slaves but are so convinced of their inhumanity that they feel no guilt keeping this information from those who might be swayed by temptation to believe these people were human. Ultimately, though, the main purpose of this city has become to make more people of power, for the High Power's consumption. Anyone who is identified has having a power is immediately moved to the second most affluent section of the city, where they will live a life of great luxury and wealth, the right to have as many children as they want (as long as it is with another person of power), and general good things. Unless, of course, they get selected to become a part of the High Power, in which case they vanish into His service, and are never seen again. No one knows what happens to these people, but it is generally considered one of the highest honors there is. Which isn't surprising, seeing as people worship the High Power as a god. Once a month there is a devotion to his existence, but for the most part people simply take several quiet, personal moments every day to admire his existence. Outside the city, other countries continued to exist. However, the few that attacked this country, whether out of some attempt to "rescue" the civilians, or out of fear of the High Power's.. power, were completely obliterated by the High Power. People go around the city and its wasteland, doing their best to forget it exists. The City Today- Inside the city, most people are happy. Every person has an identification number, which allows them access to different parts of the city, holds their banking information, and allows them to connect to the internet through an ARCH, Augmented Reality Contact Hologens. Every person who is legally born has one, and it is this number that grants people access to the places they need to go to work and play. This identification number is tied into the Citizen Network for Responsible Living, commonly refereed to as CeNtRL, which primarily consists of a single score that marks how responsibly an individual lives, based upon their work and health habits, social habits, and friend groups. This score affects a person's potential for employment, access to areas that would normally be off-limits to them, as well as the chance that they will get raised to the top of the waitlist for having another child. Every woman is granted the right to have one child. At puberty, all children are given a surgery for their health. For women, this means that they can only release an egg when given a certain chemical. This works like birth control, except backwards. Women can apply for that chemical whenever they want for their first child, but after that they are filtered through a system, which determines the people who are most likely to create more desirable children, both in terms of obedience and magical powers. No one is ever told they can't have a child, but the wait list can be as long as a person is alive. However, it is really easy to get a second child. Not that people know this. It just makes them feel special when they are "bumped to the top of the wait list". While there is definitely upper, middle, and lower class, there are no truly impoverished citizens within the city who adhere to the system. Everyone is guaranteed a certain standard of living, as long as they work and play by the rules. However, there are some people who fall through the cracks, either willingly or accidentally. These are people who are simply unimportant enough that the city doesn't care if they follow the rules. People avoid them, just on principle, and nothing really ever comes of them. The City also has police. These are different from the people who monitor people's IDs and citizen scores, since for the most part citizens handle the policing of themselves and each other. But there are always occasional exceptional situations. For the most part police in this city are like a special forces unit, who handle thing that get out of control, and the few rebels and terrorists that arise to try and buck the system. The city is divided into 26 quadrants, A through Z. A is at the center, while S-Z rings the edge. A is the home of the High Power, while B is the home of identified people with power. C is the home of high powered people. D-G is the home of all managerial businesses. H-L is the residential district for the middle class, while M-R is for the lower class. S-Z is the place for all industry, and is by far the largest part of the city. Because the City is limited in size, after everything filled up, the city began to grow up instead of out. At this point, most, if not all, parts of the city are buried at least 60 stories deep. In general, the taller the building the more affluent the people who live or work there. However, solar channels take sunlight from the high levels and bring them down to the bottom, so everywhere is illuminated during the day. For this reason, the districts are actually crooked, with the more high end districts having a much larger presence on the top, and the "lesser" districts having a larger presence in the bottom. Some districts have no presence at the top, while others don't descend more than a couple stories. Most to all travel is done on a monorail system, the Maglev, which will have several different levels of tracks that stop in a single building. There are certain expectations of the people who travel in the higher tracks. Energy is generated through solar panels that have been mounted to the dome, while a hologram system within the dome hides select things from the people within the dome, including the slaves who climb the dome to clean the panels, and any air transportation of the outside countries that may draw close to the City's airspace. Robots have a strong presence within the City, but never take human form and rarely, if ever speak in anything identifiable as a human voice. This maintains the unconscious belief of the people of the city that being human somehow makes them inherently superior, which is what allows the slave system to remain in place outside. Robots are pieces of specialized equipment that have just enough intelligence to adapt to a situation in order to allow them to continue their job. While for the most part people live and die in the district they are born in, that does not say there is no room for people to rise above. People take aptitude tests at the end of every section of their schooling, which will slowly funnel them into the place they will be most suited to work. However, every child is presented with three choices from the test, which gives the illusion of choice in their future. If they are exceptionally good at their job they will get promoted, but for the most part people say in place, which creates remarkable job security. Only really unusual circumstances will cause someone to lose their job Peregrine: Secretary to the Prime Minister, a man of great public appeal but no true work ethic, Vera is the one who handles much of the day to day running of the city. There is very little of significance that happens within the City that she is not aware of. A quiet worker, Vera has no problem with allowing the Prime Minister to take all the credit for her hard work as long as she and her son are allowed to live in peace. The arrival of Jessica into her daily life is about to change that peaceful monotony. Handed over at a young age by his family, who were poor workers that longed for a better life for their Gifted son, Josh has the ability to psychically bond with others. What he didn't know is, when they die, he permanently gains a portion of their power, if they are gifted, or their strength if they are not. After his best friend in the Gifted community was committed in the service of the High Power, he learned the dark secret of the City, and may end up sharing it with a trapped courier in order to find a way to escape. A former gifted citizen with the ability to manipulate people's beliefs, Kara was released by direct permission of the High Power to work as a member of the police. Her appearance caught the interests of a group of IDless terrorists, who wanted to kill the High Power. With their help, Kara has become a bit of a celebrity among the police for foiling several "terrorist attacks". Her loyalty is entirely in question, but everyone believes she's firmly on their side. Suddenly getting pulled for the Mentor rotation for rookie Charles may put her at risk. A former high executive who ran many corporations within the industrial district, Luther's wife left him after their only son finally left home. Falling to drink, Luther's job performance rapidly fell, until he was let go altogether. Trying to pay off the debts he had garnered forced him to turn his house back over to the city. Now living as a homeless man, he survives off the occasional generosity of strangers, and a large bonus he receives for reporting unregistered gifted. A stroke of luck allows him to glimpse graffiti artist Jessica in an act of magic. Born to a once rich but disillusioned family, who came to realize that the Waiting List was not a list at all, Lizzie was an illegal third child, conceived by a black market drug. Born without an ID and therefore no ability to enter society, Lizzie spent most of her early childhood living in hiding, where only her parents and siblings would ever visit her. A few years ago she found a way out of her self-imposed cell, and she has since been acting as a rebel, breaking into people's houses to try and show them the corruption of the system. One particular adventure, though, leads her into the waiting arms of an underground society consisting exclusively of IDless citizens. Responsible for maintaining a population of slaves, Marcus believes with all his heart that the slaves are not human. However, his life is thrown into chaos when one of his slaves dies, and is replaced by a young girl who looks exactly like his recently deceased daughter. BKenScout: A young man discontent with the options given to him after graduation, Ryan works a secret side job as an underground runner with a team of other people. In the first arc of this story, he finds a way to enter into District B, and enters into an unexpected relationship with one of the people there, Joshua. A free-spirited underachiever, Jessica is also a hidden gifted, who uses her short-range teleportation ability to get herself out of sticky situations when she is caught in acts of vandalism. Unfortunately, an unexpected situation causes her to reveal her power in the presence of Luther, a man who reports undocumented gifted in order to survive as a homeless man, and she is forced to rely on the generosity of an uncertain ally, Vera. A recently accepted guard, Charles was paired with Senior Guard Kaya for his mentor. He is gung ho about his job, and walks the tight and narrow path. Unfortunately, he will soon find himself plunged into a situation of questionable legality and morality, where he will have to make a hard choice. Something of a celebrity within the City, Anthony is known for being the man to hold the highest CeNtRL score for the last five years running. He has made it his ambition to aid those with low scores and help them understand what a wonderful place they live in. However, his life is about to take a turn when he meets two IDless girls. When the City was first under construction hundreds of years ago, one country slipped in a group of gifted spies, in hopes of gaining information about the soon-to-be High Power. However, when he dome was created, these spies were sealed in tight, unable to escape. Now they live as a silent, underground network of IDless people, doing whatever is needed to survive. One such individual is Norah, a young woman who dreams of using one of the few known underground escape routes to leave the city. She ends up meeting another IDless, Lizzie, who dreams of very different things. A young girl who recently started working as a slave. She knows no life but that which has been forced upon her. NPCs: The High Power - A god-king with the ability to absorb others, he rules with an iron hand over this city. Everyone worships him. Hand of the High Power - A boy raised from birth by the High Power, and who was fed the power of the previous Hand when he got old enough, the Hand is directly linked to the High Power by psychic bond. He is fed the powers of other gifted by the High Power, and acts as His will in the city. Prime Minister - A man who was practically born into his position, the Prime Minister is able to put on a front of exceptional studiousness and hard work. However, he is an incredibly lazy man, and foists everything he can onto his willing Secretary. 6:48 The brilliant number glowed behind Joshua's closed eyes, slowing increasing in brightness until it roused him from a restless sleep. Once he would have rolled over in bed and tried to ignore the brightness, until his brain woke up enough to remember that ignoring his unobtrusive alarm would lower his CeNtRL score for the day. Now, however, it was a relief to finally be able to open his eyes, to set about getting ready for the day. It distracted him from the thoughts that smoldered within the back of his head, only needing the smallest bit of fodder to burst back into full flame. It was ritualistic, waking up. It always happened the exact same way. He would carefully roll over until he was at the edge of the bed, before tipping his feet over the edge and setting them down on the comfortably heated stone floor. He would then stand, ignoring as the covers of his bed slowly straightened themselves until it was once more perfectly made, and move over to the window. It only took a small tug at the edge of the curtain to get it to slide open and allow sunlight, real, natural sunlight, streaming down from the curve of the dome, to enter and illuminate the rich cream walls of his room. Once, when he had been a small child, such light would have been a luxury beyond his wildest imaginations. Now it was rote, nothing but a tool used to make sure he didn't run into his dresser. He casually selected from the clothes, all of them neatly folded, and in the shades of grey and blue he normally favored. With the fabric draped over one arm, he stepped into the shower, quickly setting the temperature at the recommended 108 degrees. It was one of the few luxuries Josh still honestly enjoyed, for the warmth of the water always seemed to empty his mind of all thought. Only the prompting that appeared on the wall, letting him know he was getting close to using up his daily allotment of shower water, prompted him to get out. Despite the water purification systems built into every building, clean water was a valued resource. Exceeding his limit would severely impact his score. For a moment he considered the thought that it might be worth it to not think for a little while longer, but he quickly banished that notion, turned off the water, and stepped out of the shower. Underwear, pants, shirt, socks, all neatly pressed and without a single crease. When the evening was over he'd drop them down the chute to the laundary space. They'd be back in his dresser before tomorrow morning, as clean and perfect as they were today. Josh's flat was large compared to the standards he'd known growing up, but for an individual living in sector B it was considered quite compact. His friends, when they came over, called it "cozy". He guessed it was more out of respect for his feelings than any true belief that the term applied. It consisted of his bedroom, a master bathroom, and a combined kitchen and living space. Both the living space and the bedroom had access to a large balcony, which overlooked the gleaming and carefully tended spaces that made up district B. Other than the size, his living space was desirable in many ways. It was on the top floor, which meant it contained specially designed skylights. During the day, he never required additional illumination. Perhaps even more importantly, his balcony looked directly towards district A, where the High Power resided. Josh had meticulously set up a small space on the porch, hemmed in on all sides but one, where he could kneel on the ground and silently contemplate the glowing residence of their Savior, ruler of the City. This space had somehow become well known throughout the district, and it wasn't uncommon now to see similar spaces set up on balconies throughout the space. Josh had set it up about a month ago. He had needed something that looked good, something he could use to mitigate the dead feeling in his heart whenever he caught sight of that district. He had quietly worshiped the High Power, just like the rest. Now, he could barely even stomach the thought. This place saved him the need to pretend in front of others. That the trend had caught on only aided him, in more ways than simply having it affect his CeNtRL score. Passing through the arched opening that connected his bedroom to the rest of the flat, and heading towards the kitchen, Josh settled in the single chair at the small wooden table. If he had guests over the table would unfold further sections, and more chairs would be brought in from somewhere in the building. Most of the time, though, Josh preferred the space to pretending his was popular enough to need a large table. Once he was settled his eyes flicked up, engaging the ARCH, and the table in front of him was slowly replaced by a web of glowing letters, similar to the ones that had woken him this morning. Eyes flicking up again to engage voice command, he politely requested, "breakfast options?" The table in front of him quickly filled with holographic representations of the various breakfast options that would most closely meet with the dietary goals that his dietitian had outlined for him at their last meeting. He had been remarkably strict in his diet this week, finding himself taking little pleasure in the food he would have normally enjoyed. He was too distracted. Hoping to shake himself out of his reverie somewhat, he flicked through the options, before finally settling on pancakes with a rich, nutritional syrup that would quickly cut through the sugar content of the meal. The stove clicked on, and the door to the fridge opened. The meal would be ready within 10 minutes, and the ARCH would alert him when it was done. In the meantime, he stood, moving over to the door to the balcony, which slid open accomodatingly. And that was that. The morning ritual was complete. He could now do whatever he pleased. B was a place of uncomparable luxury, the rightful domain of the Gifted, who existed within this city to serve the High Power in ways that the non-gifted could never truly understand. It was probably a good thing that there was no obligation to directly articulate what it was that the Gifted residents of B offered to this city, because none of the residents would have been able to offer a satisfactory answer. They did not work, not even in the most perfunctory of senses, like the elite in their managerial or guidance jobs. They certainly never actually saw the High Power, except on festival days. They simply lived their lives in luxury, with no demands placed upon them, other than the expectation that they would one day marry and bring new life into this world. There certainly didn't seem to be much "serving" done. If any of the residents were required to identify one method in which they served, they would all point to the Blessed, the select among the Gifted who were called away to enter directly into the service of the High Power. It was a clockwork occurrence, once every two weeks except for special occasions, when more might be called, but it rare enough that the call was considered a remarkable boon. A sign of favor upon the Blessed and his or her associated. All proclaimed to love it. Most probably even meant it. None refused the call. None were ever seen again. Perhaps that was the reason why no one knew what the call actually meant. All they knew was that it meant getting close to the High Power, and serving him. Many people called it "becoming one" with him, because it sounded impressive. They didn't know it was more true than they could possibly expect. After all, Josh knew. He wasn't supposed to know, but he knew anyways. That knowledge was slowly ruining his life.