By Raine Love Perez
I raised my right arm, forearm facing up as the smartphone microchip implanted in my wrist projected a hologram out in front of me. One click on the hologram and I was teleported on Floor 13, Section J. My brother appeared by my side moments after and we started to walk.
“Ah, what beautiful morning today,” he said.
“I guess,” I said.
I looked up scrutinizing the solar panels all over the ceiling. I wanted natural sunlight. Like in the stories.
Silence fell, and was quickly shattered when Darius said, “The Union’s planning our next clearing mission two days from now. Forty-eight hours and you’ll get to go outside again.”
The Union. A group of AIs who make the big decisions. The members appoint new members, and the Head chooses the heir. Simple and straightforward.
A clearing mission is when all combatants leave this city-sized skyscraper we call Florae, and clear off all the Grymers in sight. The primary reason why I became a combatant is so that I could go to the Outside. Killing off the demonic creatures that took over our world would be the secondary reason.
Soon arriving at our house, Darius placed his hand on the scanpad to make the front door disappear, allowing us entry to our humble abode. It solidified again after we were in.
While Darius headed down the hallway, I sat down at the kitchen counter where my sketchbook was and started drawing. My hand subconsciously dragged the pencil along the paper, trying to replicate the image in my head.
I drew grass to replace the marble floors I knew so well, hills to replace the modernized buildings, a river to replace the roads, a sky to replace the ceiling; clouds, the sunset, and…
A large weeping willow tree, set right atop one of the hills. Oh, how I wished to see one of those in person…
“Oh, and Nova?” Darius called. “Remember when I broke the washroom door?”
I raised an eyebrow in confusion, never recalling him ever breaking a door.
“No? Okay. Anyways, the lock is broken,” he stated, casually, as if it was a normal day-to-day thing. I eyed him as he sauntered into the kitchen I was in.
Mental note: The lock on the washroom door is broken.
Related mental note: Darius breaks things.
This was my life.
My life in Florae.
And I wanted out.