Crin: The moon's phases

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I opened my eyes as the alarm tolled on, waking the community after the standard ten hours of night. I looked out my window at the dim light that was steadily getting brighter. I never understood why the lights got gradually brighter; reaching its brightest at midday, and then dimming once more. My mom says it's for our eyes to adjust, my grandma says the founders were imitating some primitive light source. I have no idea what that could be.

I swung my feet over the edge of my bed and slipped out of my gray sweatpants and shirt and into some jeans and a different gray shirt. My wardrobe isn't very colorful but no one's is. The colors are sparse here on Crin, so I try to savor them all; my mom's blue eyes, the orange of my carrots and the green vegetables in the greenhouse. And my favorite, yellow; it's the hardest to find but the sweetest. I know of only one place to find it, the wheat field. In the harvesting season, it's a beautiful golden glow that makes even the light seem yellow and happy instead of harsh and white. But I rarely have time anymore to go there.

I quickly brushed my teeth and ran a brush through my ashy brown hair. It hung straight until it ended bluntly at my chin. I got tired of long hair a while ago and have been cutting it with my knife whenever it gets in my way. The bathroom was cramped, not unlike my forty square foot room, and I was already getting claustrophobic. I hated the small house I was commissioned. It was very basic and boring. The main room had a sink and small refrigerator with a white couch for "family time". Family time constituted of the retelling of our days and then my mom talking about what charming thing Gade said the other day. Gade and I have a pre-arranged marriage which means our parents got together and decided we must get married because we would be so perfect together.

It's not uncommon to have a pre arranged marriage in Crin. In fact I had a friend in grade school who recently got engaged to her pre arranged fiancé. And I like Gade; he's been one of my best friends since I learned to talk and we get along well. We sort of have a relationship, have one since we were fourteen and we realized that we were probably going to spend the rest of our lives together.

I shrug this topic off since it's only 6:30. I take a swig of water straight from the sink and head out the door. I emerge in my home center, number twenty-three of the sixteenth home center. I am greeted by other gray houses with white doors and a single window that lead straight onto the road. No one in my home center has a car. Only those who live in home center one get cars, or even needs a car. They are the ones who travel outside of Joon to other communities. This rarely happens since Joon is the capital of the Seven Communities of Crin so the leaders of the other communities (Linn, Shen, Mid, Jennerson, Koin and Zoh) are usually reporting to us. Joon doesn't hold any power over the others; it's just the biggest so the Council uses it for its capital.

I jogged down the road out of home center 16 and past the factories that dot the outskirts of town. My goal is Cafeteria Seven. We're not very creative when it comes to names here on Crin. The founders were focused on convenience and practicality. I jogged past a couple of factory workers who were on their way to work. The factories produced our clothes, furniture and other necessities. It's where most of the part-time soldiers worked. Seventy percent of the population work in the military, I myself work in the chemical field. I was first in command over my department, a 3rd class commander; a role that makes my parents proud, although they would have been disappointed with a position any lower. They are both 2nd class commanders of their specific fields. My mom specializes in military tactic and my father in weaponry, which makes him one of my bosses.

Since we are not at war, there isn't a ton for the military to do so most of us train half of the day and then work in the factories or fields to keep our community running. That's what the lower soldiers do anyway. Since I am a 3rd class commander I work the majority of the day so I don't have a second position. I completed my school education last year a couple months before my sixteenth birthday. We start attending school at age four for eight hours days until we turn ten, then we are at school for thirteen hours a day. At age fourteen we pick a specific military field to specialize in and study that every day for two years. Every child is required to train in the military but they do not have to pursue it as their position.

I, naturally, chose to pursue the it and ended up top in my class and was quickly given a high position in chemical weaponry. I was commissioned my own house and with that, a new cafeteria schedule. This meant I was in the second block which started at 7:00. I turned a corner around another factory and approached the large and crowded building. The cafeteria is one of the biggest buildings in Joon since we have a large population to feed. People milled about the room standing in line to get their food and sitting in large groups at the many tables. I got in line and studied my surroundings, seeing if anyone I knew was there or if they had already eaten.

My eyes quickly latched onto my best friend Keen. Keen was my second in command, we had met when we were fourteen and both studying explosive technology. We had a lot of fun putting together mini bombs that burst out in colors and sound instead of fire. Keen became fascinated with the beautiful lights and enrolled in a lightworks class. What I had thought was a fun thing to pass the time became a serious hobby for Keen. He started creating soft lights that danced in the air around his room and floated as he worked. His artwork looked alive and he acts as if it is. The military encourages an artistic outlet, so we don't hold our frustrations in and become driven by our emotions. Keen was able to take the courses along with his standard classes.

I thought about what he could be creating as he sat at his table tinkering with something I couldn't see. I grabbed an apple and a container of cottage cheese and headed towards his table. He sat alone and didn't notice when I sat down, so focused on his project. I scraped the bench back, making a lot of noise so I wouldn't startle him. Keen was startled very easily which could be fun at times but he is embarrassed by this so I try to be nice. He looked up and smiled, lips parting over perfectly white teeth.

"Hello Commander, how are you this fine morning?" I sighed at his formal tone. Keen often thought it was funny that since I was his superior, he was technically supposed to only speak to me with respect and politeness. I hated when he did this, which is why he did it.

"I am lovely, thank you for asking." I said indifferently, not letting him get satisfaction from my irritation. "What are you working on?" His eyes immediately came to life.

"The latest technology issued from base." I leaned forward, interested in the metal object in his hand. It was a small sphere that was no larger than my hand

"It's called Subtle. You shoot it into the air and it releases compressed gas. It's able to spread across a two mile radius. All you have to do then is light a match and Boom!" He spread out his arms, miming a large explosion.

"Interesting, why did you bring it in the cafeteria? If you broke it open we would all catch fire." I wrinkled my nose and leaned back into my seat.

"And we could already fill up a two mile radius with gas by flying a plane over or bombing a gas line." He put on a patient expression which annoyed me.

"Yes but that wouldn't be very subtle would it? This way we don't need to announce to the enemy that we are attacking them and then they could blame it on a gas leak."

"True, but what enemy? If all of the communities know about this then we wouldn't have much of an advantage or even the element of surprise."

"The other communities aren't our enemies. We are at peace and always have been." He said a little disgruntled now at my points.

"Exactly." I said matter-of-factly and bit into my beautiful red apple.

"It's still amazing how they fit so much into so little." He turned the sphere over in his hands searching for an explanation with his green eyes. He made a face and then put it down.

"So now that you've crushed my enthusiasm..." I rolled my eyes.

"I'm stating fact. There is no one out there to attack except ourselves."

"There has to be something the government's hiding. Why would our entire lives revolve around military if there wasn't something out there to explode?" he questioned, his brow furrowing in concentration.

"We need to be able to defend ourselves, what else could our lives be based around besides military?" The idea of something other than a life of preparation and war craft confused but intrigued me.

"Well art for one. Or love?" He cocked his head at me and winked. I giggled in response and finished off my apple; laughing at the idea of a community centered on love.

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