Introduction

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This is dedicated to @furple0 for thinking up of the segregated blood colours, and allowing me to develop it into my own story with my own characters and creations. Also, to my best friend who helped me edit this story. I couldn't have done it without her.

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(sorry for the lil bit of self promo, but most updates about publication, updates, etc are over there)

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I pace aimlessly on the bustling platform, scuffing the soles of my boots on the concrete whilst gripping my travel bag with sweating palms.

Several other anxious eighteen year olds surround me, awaiting the train that would whisk us to the city; to what would usually be a mere day-trip into the concrete jungle, now held a title worth thoughts shrouded with fear.

I flinch, feeling cold fingertips poke the hollows of my cheeks — my eyes rolling as my best friend, Aria, giggled with maniacal delight. "Engage me in conversation, before I wither away," the redhead whined playfully, earning a half-hearted chuckle. "So... you think we'll be celebrities?" Aria twisted a lock of copper-red hair around her fingers in thought, allowing the curl to flop into her eyes and hide a smattering of freckles.

"I have absolutely no idea," I laugh, surveying my eyes over the crowd. "Though I'm sure that would entail you getting out of bed, so let's hope not— ow!"

Aria snickered, "Don't be mean.., I am perfectly capable of getting up before noon."

"Good for you," I taunt, sparing her a glance before peering around us anxiously. "I thought there'd be more people."

"I guess we're the only lucky ones born in January—" the redhead cheered sarcastically— "Besides, the government may be wealthy, but not wealthy enough to hold massive ceremonies every month. They haven't risen the taxes that much."

I chuckled absently, continuing to watch the quietly murmuring crowds — some people were talking amongst themselves, whilst others remained tucked fearfully beneath their parent's wing. "Hello, earth to Pearl?" Aria laughed, waving a hand before my eyes, "You're doing that creepy people watching thing again."

"It's not creepy," I defend in a quiet hiss, "I'm just trying to figure out whether personality affects anything in the test. The brain is pretty powerful, though I doubt it can change our biological status. Like, what if a guy was so into childcare and paternal stuff, but still ended up an assassin? That's crazy."

Aria hummed in agreement, before nodding over my shoulder. "What about him?" Subtly peering over my shoulder, my eyes fall upon a lean man cladded all in black, with a hoodie drawn to cover most of his face. "Do you think underneath all of the brooding angst is a sweet, emotional man who loves scrap-booking and cupcakes?"

"Hey, don't be judgmental," I chastise, playfully shoving her, "He could very well be a brooding reincarnation of your grandmother."

Aria gasps, whacking me with her bright pink purse. "She was an assassin!"

"Yeah, and she had, like, fifty cats."

"And she named every single one of them—" Aria held her head high— "Tank, Stabby, Obsidian-Black-Night, Hades, Mr Fluffles..." Aria trailed off just before thunder rumbled overhead — almost masking the quiet hum of an approaching train. Goosebumps abruptly form along my skin and I feel waves of nausea wash over me.

How a society could be so cruel as to segregate people based upon their blood had always been a mystery to me. A woman could strive to have it all, only to discover she would be forced into the closest thing the 22nd Century had to slave labour.

It was unfair, unjust and I questioned just how the bill even bypassed parliament, much less become sanctioned almost worldwide.

My step faltered once the maglev train — an advanced model that hovered above the tracks — came to a precise halt, the doors immediately opening like a clinical welcome. "This is it." I breathed a shaky sigh, whilst Aria silently clutched onto my free hand.

I felt the dread of those around me as I counted how many steps it took to reach the door of Carriage 12. After approximately seven steps, I caught the fearful gaze of many who sought out the comfort of those experiencing the same thing; a unanimous wave of fear.

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