As I run, a smile breaks out on my face, for once again, running gives me the illusion that I am free. Of course I am anything but free, it still feels nice. The city blurs past me as I go, and for once, I know exactly where I am going. I have to talk to Adam.
I go to what is most likely the least safest place in the city for me right now: The Council Building. I walk in, get onto an elevator, and wait as the cart goes to the top. What am I doing? What do I intend to achieve by coming here. I'll be lucky to leave unscathed. The doors mercifully open to the room where the prying eyes of the Council now fall upon me.
"Julia! What a pleasant surprise!" Says one of them, a young woman with blonde hair and brown eyes says. "To what do we owe this delight?" Adds another one, this one a man with cropped hair and blue eyes. I look across the panel until I find Adam, and he mouths the words "get out" to me. Ignoring his orders, I say, "Is there any chance I could talk to Adam? I just have a few questions about training." "I don't see why not," says the woman. Eleven of the twelve get up and exit, leaving Adam behind. A moment of awkward silence passes, until I break it. "You sir, owe me an explanation," I spit out with my jaw clenched. "Not here I don't. Follow me," he says.
We leave the main room, ride the elevator back to the first floor, and then we duck into a maintenance closet. "This is the only place in the building where conversations aren't recorded. Still, use your words carefully," Adam says. Anger rises up in me, and I grab the collar of his shirt, yank him down to my level, and say, "Don't you ever tell me to use my words carefully. I will say what you deserve to hear: I despise each and every one of you twelve. All my life I've lived by your rules, and look where my power has brought me. I make one small slip-up, and you try to poison my friend. You expect your citizens to obey you through blind trust, and you never tell us anything about what you're doing for us. Enough secrets Adam; I know you want to spill them. You did this afternoon when you told me I could trust you but not the rest of the Council. So prove that I can trust you. What secrets are you twelve hiding? Oh, and I would chose your words carefully now, Adam."
I'm not very intimidating, what with my small build and inexperience with threatening people, but my green eyes do wonders when it comes to making people coward. "You want answers? Well then listen close because I will not repeat any of this again: when people undergo their examination, we do something that we don't tell them about; we look into that person's future. When we looked into yours, we saw you leading a rebellion to overthrow the twelve and their way of life. You succeeded, and started a new era of peace and equality. Naturally, the twelve's first instinct was to kill you, but I was the one who suggested you receive the power of dominance. You see, the twelve only give out that power to the people who could potentially become a threat. They give that power to people with a weak will, and it becomes too much for them to take in. The power is meant to destroy them, and no one who has ever gotten that power has survived through it. However, I saw something in you that the others didn't; your will is incredibly strong, and I knew that you could master the power. Julia, I am not like the Council. I hate the system as much as you do, and I think you could overthrow them," he says.
His voice rings with truth, and even a person with the power of truth could tell that he's being completely honest. "If you hate them so much, why are you one of them?" I question. "I wanted to be one of them so I could find out their secrets and exploit them somehow. Because of my intelligence, they let me join when I was seventeen. Now I'm nineteen and I know everything about them. I was just waiting for the right person to come along and make good use of their secrets. That person is you, Julia," he answers. "Ok, but all of this still doesn't solve the problem that you guys poisoned Susan," I shoot back. "It was their way of teaching you a lesson about what happens when you break rules. What they didn't know is that Cassia healed her, and now all is well. There's always a flaw in their system," he says with a grin.
I drop my gaze and stare at the floor. What am I supposed to do now? Adam puts a hand on my shoulder and says, "Don't worry; I know you can master your power without fail. And I can help you get back to the woods without being seen if you want," he offers. "So you know about Peter?" I ask, my cheeks blushing at the sound of his name. "The next time I tell you we have cameras everywhere, I really mean everywhere. But hey, Peter's a good guy. I met him a few months ago when the Council took a trip to the other side. When we looked into your future, he was a big part of it and the rebellion, so you need to get back there. Next week, I will teach you the power of transparency that will allow you to become invisible, thus allowing you to go back undetected," he says. "I have to wait a week to go back and see him? He'll think I abandoned him!" I yell. "Keep your voice down!" Adam whispers harshly. "And yes, you will have to wait if you want to keep everyone else you care about safe. I can change the Council's mind about a lot of things, but not hurting people. Be smart about this, Julia."
"So what do you want me to do until then?" I ask. "Keep a low profile, and don't do anything stupid," Adam says. "Define 'stupid'," I challenge. "Well, stupid could be these things: going back to the woods, going over the wall, trying to talk to Peter, challenging the Council, telling anyone about this conversation, eating regular-stuff Oreos instead of double-stuff-" "Ok, I get it...wait, Oreos?" I ask as I cut him off. "Don't judge me," he says with a smirk. I fight back a laugh as we begin to leave the closet.
"Wait a minute," Adam says. "We need to make sure nobody is around when we leave the closet. Suspicion could arise and I could lose my job. I need you to use your power of the sense of touch," he adds. I nod, close my eyes, and touch the floor. I can see in my mind the entire layout of the first floor. There's guards at the front doors, but the hallway we came down is clear. "We're good," I say. "Ok, but one last thing. Julia, look at me," Adam says. I turn around and look him in the eye. "The conversation that we just had never happened if anyone asks. Do you understand me?" He asks, the seriousness and pleading in his voice ever present.
"I understand," I say.
YOU ARE READING
Julia Lancaster lives in a society where once you come of age, a power is bestowed upon you based on your personality. However, when she receives a power nearly too much for her to handle, she will come to find much more than she bargained for. In a...