Chapter 3: Elisa

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This couldn't be happening; this wasn't happening. President Steel didn't have the authorization. Someone would stop him, right? The squeaking brakes disrupted my train of thought, as the truck finally came to a stop. For twenty minutes it'd gone around picking more people up. Each time the door opened, I held small hope that it would be mom or dad, but each time that door closed, my hope continued to die. Erik leaned into my ear whispering something in Spanish, but I wasn't listening. There were things even your slightly older brother couldn't make better. The bright light, as they opened the door once more, was especially blinding. Different soldiers wasted no time in dragging us out towards a train station.

A Blue Blazer with Steel's presidential pin on his lapel was speaking through a megaphone, directing everyone into cars. A Red Blazer, holding a white iPad in one hand, and a stylus pen in the other, stopped and asked for our names. "Erik, Emilia, and Elisa Fierro-Guerrero." I said. He typed in our names then held out the iPad asking us to press our right thumbs down on the sensor. ID cards slid out from a printer beside him, which he slipped into a lanyard and told us we had to wear these at all times.

"We need to find our parents." Erik said to him.

"You don't have parents anymore." he answered.

He waved over a soldier to escort us to the train. I looked down at his name tag memorizing his name: Stark.

Another Blue Blazer was scanning ID's and separating the boys and girls. I grabbed Erik's hand gripping it tightly, but the Blue Blazer gave us a sharp look before yanking our hands away. Emilia screamed out his name, reaching out to him. I shielded her eyes assuring her everything would be okay.

"Don't be scared." Erik pleaded, letting himself be guided towards the other boys.

I shrugged off the Blue Blazer trying to take me where the other girls were. How in the hell was this being allowed? He couldn't have that much power could he?

Everyone thought it was a joke when Steel announced his candidacy. He was the crazy racist guy with the ultra-young wife who wanted to build a wall around the nation. We laughed and shrugged no matter how many times it was reported that he was climbing in the polls. Before we knew it he was being sworn into office. The joke went too far. We were so stupid. I sat Emilia down on my lap. She looked up at me with wide, reddened eyes. I wiped away the smeared tears with my fingers.

"I'm scared." She whimpered.

"I know, but we'll be okay."

President Steel couldn't get away with this; someone had to intervene, right? Wrong, so wrong. No one could get in without his authorization. The whistle blew before the train lurched forward. Emilia curled her little fingers around the material of my shirt. A Blue Blazer was standing at the entrance, scanning the rows of seats every now and then.

I swallowed hard, trying to take in calming breaths. The beautiful scenery just outside the window only made me fear our final destination. After a few minutes, a sign detailing the Langley city limit flew past the window. I could hear the stifled sobs coming from somewhere in the back as the train settled to a stop on the tracks. The Blue Blazer asked us to form an orderly line then we filed out one by one, most of us holding little children like Emilia. Our ID's were scanned again then we were separated by race. A young Asian girl yanked her arm away screaming that this was ridiculous. A White Blazer slapped her towards a group of other girls.

"Get in there with the other slaves." He snapped.

I squeezed Emilia taking a light jog to our group before we were shoved around.

"The auction will begin in a few minutes." the White Blazer announced.

The what? Was he joking? Gasps ripped through each group of girls followed by hushed tones. President Steel was serious about this. I sucked in a breath as a sense of urgency, burned through my body. I had to get out of here; Emilia would not be a slave. I wouldn't be a slave. We were herded into a facility where hundreds of chairs had been lined up in four sections facing the stage. Red velvet ropes were set up to the side where we were told to stand. I followed with the other girls looking around quickly for an exit, but they were all heavily guarded. A Red Blazer walked up to the stage, welcoming us to the first official auction of the New Nation. Above her head was a banner with block letters that stated: Federal Auction Block.

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