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Welcome to Rhovanion

 

Before going further, there is something you need to know. There are 3 major rules to be respected in this country:

1) Know your value.

At the top leading positions you have the Herons, upright, defenders of Peace. Then you have the Henslows, great scientists, constantly working for the sake of progress. Finally, you have the Ginks, bound to protect their families, designed for Altruism.

 

2) Do not go against your Nation.

It is your duty, as a Rhovanian, to work to enhance your quality of life as well as to benefit your country. Do not disrespect the Law, any disrespect will lead to an arrest and a trial. If you are found guilty of mischievous activities against your motherland you will be condemned to death. You, citizen, cannot in any way, have the right to protest against the government in place. For the sake of all, it is highly recommended to firstly  inform the representative of your area, who will then inform highest political personalities.

 

3) Compose yourself.

Your country is offering everything you need, do not seek better education nor a better position at work. There is no such thing as devise to conquer, Rhovanian education is the best education you can receive. Do not seek to be someone that you are not unless you want to disrespect your deepest convictions, simply speaking, do not attempt to run if you cannot walk.

 

Charming innit ? My name is Harry Styles and let me rephrase this for you.

Welcome to Rhovanion.

1) If you're a Gink, I'm sorry for you.

We were born to complete each other rather than to compete with each other BUT here, this is not how it works: If you're a Heron, perfect, your know-it-all spoiled ass can rest in peace. Congratulations, you're the top of the crop. If you're a Henslow, well, you are not as valuable as the Herons of course but you're smart. Unless you decide to use your creativity to actually create something else than a frying pan which can never burn, you're pretty little nerd face can continue his chemical experiment. Finally if you're a gink, I'm sorry for you, you are at the bottom of the ladder, in Rhovanion you are considered as the petit peuple, even though  you probably deserve better.

I almost forgot the fourth class : Ablazers.

 If you're an Ablazer I really cannot be sorry it would mean I'm complotting against the government. You are not even in the ladder and the simple echo of your name frightens half of us here.  Stay where you belong, in your own city of Campfire.

2) Shut your mouth.

Do not criticize the government. Do not attempt to run for political position if you have not been chosen by the government to do so. Do not complot nor interfere against the government. Respect the government in place, always. Oh, and do not be an Ablazer, do not talk to one or breathe the same air as one. Just don't.

 

3)Shut your mouth 2.0.

You're a Gink and want to be a dentist? Please do not even dream about it. There was a time when anyone could do anything, now  your dreams are shaped by your class. Herons study Law, Peace and anything related to justice. Henslows study mathematics, science, engineering. Ginks are allowed to be cook and farmers. If you're lucky ( or gifted) you can become a physical education teacher. If you are an Ablazer I simply don't know. Ablazers don't have the right to go near other people. They haven't been a single one visit from an Ablazer since the president, Mr Ares, banned them from basically everywhere except the city of their own, Campfire.

It is forbidden to talk about them, communicate with them or try to make them walk freely in Rhovanion. Anything Ablazer-like must be reported and examined by authorities. Any propaganda for the sake of Ablazers must be punished.

Everything that you need to know is that, they have a thing in their blood that makes them lost it from time to time and therefore if you follow their way you are not  following the government, that too is forbidden. ..

 

 

×

 

First day of 3GE, also called by parents Third Grade Education. I think you need some details. Here in Rhovanion,  two third of the population go to school, amazing.

There is the First Grade Education, from 6 to 11. If you're a spoiled ass, you can go to Pre- First Grade which basically means 1) you are very rich 2) you are under 6 years old.

 Then there is the Second Grade Education, from 11 to 18, most of the ginks will stop here (or before).

Finally there is the Third Grade Education from 18 to 21, if you really love school or want to be in the political circle you can go in Fourth Grade Education until 25 even 28, but only if you're a complete show off and Daddy said so.

One last thing: I'm in third honours which only mean I'm 18, if you are 19 you'll be a second honour and at the age of 20  you become a first honour. Really simple.

×

'Please tell me the food is good.' Mutters Niall while adjusting the buttons of his brand new shirt specially designed by one of his mother, Alea.

'Please tell me the boys are good.' Replies Harry straight back. His shirt is made of the same fabric as Niall's and has the same colour, students wear uniforms here, really not surprising when you know that adults wear uniforms at work too.

'The fuck they decided to put grey for the third honours?? Third Grade sucks.' Niall mutters again, he is quite complaining about everything all the time, especially when he has to wake up two hours early for he lives in one of the 8 suburb areas disconnected with the capital, District.

'It suits your eyes, I'd totally do you in this uniform.'

'Fuck you.' Niall laughs while pushing Harry ( a big smile on his face).

 

×

Before going with their homeroom teachers, the students are gathered in the yard. A giant hologram screen appears in the middle of the air, high enough so everyone can see.

A man in his 60s appears on the screen: he is neat, has his beard shaved and long hair tied. The screen only displays his body until his hips but his vest and shirt suffice to tell everyone he is the richest guy you can find. Strangely, he looks like anyone else, brown hair, brown eyes except that he genuinely looks content and relax.

 

Students of the Third Grade Education School of District,

It is with great pleasure that I wish you a good educational year. I would like to wish to all of you the success any citizen of District deserves. I would like First-honours students  to follow what they have accomplished so far and remind them that soon enough they will become the new skin of District. Furthermore, I would like to thank Second-honours for their constant enhancements and love towards what they know best. Finally I wish the best to the third honours, may they be fulfilled with joy and knowledge.

 Third Grade Education School of District is the best of Rhovanion therefore I would like to remind you your duties: determination, composure and greatness.

You, among many others, are the most sacred entities of Rhovanion. As the father of this great nation I am proud of what you will accomplish for Rhovanion and convinced that you will do your best to lead the country to broader horizons.

Know your value, do not go against your Nation and compose yourself, for the sake of all.

The screens switches off and everyone shouts "FOR THE SAKE OF ALL" in sync.

×

' Attention people. Now that every Third Honour is here,  I am going to register each and everyone's speciality.' Says Miss Krule, professor of Manners and also Homeroom Teacher of Harry and Niall's class.

 She is probably 40, long blond hair tied perfectly in a bun. As anyone else, she wears a uniform, black and gold, the colours of District. In her hands, a small black notebook.

 

'Think I'm gonna take Medicine.' Niall says which makes Harry laughs.

'Ginks. Quiet.' The teacher points at Harry and Niall. She frowns. It's a shame she is so austere and conceited, she could be really beautiful otherwise.

The students are no more than 25, given how things work, Harry guesses there are more Herons and Henslows than Ginks. Not a single Ablazer, of course. It is forbidden to be near other classes if you are an Ablazer.

They are all in uniforms, some have added a pin on their shirt displaying their pride, it goes from ' Look at me Daddy works for the District High Council' to ' How rich do you think I am ? Richer than that.'

' Sports Education speciality. Raise your hand.' She spits. Niall quickly raises his hand along with 2 other Gink guys and one redhead girl, surely a Gink too.

 'You're in.' She sighs. She looks like she has already lost all hope for the day, it's only 9.

'Chemistry and Experimental Study.' A whole bunch of students raise their hands at once. Miss Krule starts to count until she reaches 11 .

' That's too much, among those who raised their hands how many of you are Henslows? Keep your hands up.'

Only seven now. She smiles.

' Seven. Perfect. You're in.'

 'Engineering and Urban Affairs.' She sighs again, someone's going to have a long day. Five students raise their hands, all in. ' How many of you do NOT have a speciality ?' Harry and six other students raise their hand. ' Special Forces ?.' Two students raise their hands proudly.

'For the Sake of Rhovanion.' Niall mocks in a fake glorious tone. Ginks are not really fan of the army or the police. Not surprising given the fact that, because Ginks used to be friends with Ablazers,  officers are given the right to burst into the suburb  areas and "control" whatever they want. Sometimes they are just shooting on sight.  For the sake of Rhovanion, of course.

Miss Krule looks at them, she scribbles down their names content with herself.

 'Great, really great. Only five of you left. Teaching Speciality raise your hand, please note that it is now only possible to take this class if you are a Heron.

I am teaching this class, we will have a great time together.'

A girl coughs and raises her hand, Miss Krule looks at her in disdain ' talk.'

'Last  Summer we were told… teaching speciality was still available for Henslows…'

Miss Krule smiles awkwardly. ' Well, your information is outdated now. If you want to be a Chemistry teacher you have to take the chemistry speciality and then you will be, or not, able to have the right to teach young lady.' She tries to smile again but her whole traits are clenched.

'Is it possible to be added on the chemistry and experimental study please Miss Krule?' The girl begs.

'Not at all dear, they are already seven. But I can put you in the Engineering speciality for sure, which gives us 6 in Engineering and Urban Affairs and only four of you left.'  The girl nods even though she looks completely desperate while someone in the back whispers ' It is what it is.'

 

'Laws and Justice Affairs, Raise your hand.' Harry and the other four, two girls and one guy raise their hand, they are all Herons, born and raised please.

'You.' She points at Harry. ' You are a Gink, aren't you?' She furrows her brow.

'Exact Miss Krule, but my father, Mr. Syd Styles works for the Educational Policies and Regulations office, you surely know him.' Harry smiles, totally used to this kind of look when it comes to justify his aspirations. In fact, when it comes to the upper positions, everyone knows each other. They know who you are, your class, the class of your parents and your grandparents. The top of the crop might even know where you are from and where you live.

Suddenly her whole face changes and she attempts to smile again which secretly makes Niall smiles, doubting her capacities to look kind.

'Of course, Mr Styles. Yes. How is he doing? Great I hope.' She scribbles down the name of the four other students and slams the notebook.

' Now we are going to begin on your Manners and Well- Behaviour course. There is one book under your table, please open them and go to page 3 on how to be a great citizen. '

 

×

'What's next?' Niall mutters closing his pencil case.

'Lacrosse!' A guy behind them says happily. Harry and Niall turn around: Tall, dark hair, brown eyes, muscles all around. ' I'm Liam.' His eyes shrink when he smiles. 'Liam Payne. Henslow, Engineering and Urban Affairs.' He keeps smiling, he is cute.

Harry and Niall shake his hand.

'I'm Harry and this is Niall, nice to meet you mate.' He smiles, his dimples shining.

 

×

 

The whole class heads to the stadium and everyone puts a more comfortable uniform. Eventually they all start to warm up except Harry who's the only student of his class to be granted the right to not practice sports because of medical conditions.

It'd would be false and a bit judgmental to say that Harry cannot run or play Lacrosse, the national sport. He can play and gives everything on the pitch until his lungs just stop to function properly. So no, he is certainly not going to die the first day of Third Grade Education. Plus, the third and second honours have really great shorts this year.

Harry sits on of the seats just in front the pitch, the game is on and quickly Niall along with the two other Gink guys appear to be the fastest players. The redhead Gink is waiting with other girls their turn to play.  Hopefully it's Summer which means they don't have to play inside. There are only two seasons in Rhovanion: during Summer, everything is green and shinny. It's usually mild to hot and there is no fog, neither rain, nor wind. Everyone loves Summer. Winter is different, given the fact that Rhovanion is an island, this season is mainly made of harsh rain, cold wind and heavy fog. During six months everything is just dull and grey and wet.

 

Let's be honest, if you're not really fan of Lacrosse you will quickly feel bored and trapped. In utter despair Harry decides to read his manual of Manners. It's really not a good idea because the split second he starts to resume his lecture, page 6, he is even more bored. Harry never liked this kind of course, somehow it always felt wrong or least hypocritical but here, in Rhovanion and especially in District the capital, you don't get to say that you dislike the manual or the type of education the government gives you. Rule number 2 Do not go against your nation.

Most of the time if you complain, at best to your parents, they will tell you to be grateful for at least you are not rotting in the fields as farmers are, that you are being raised according to the best system Rhovanion has created. Which means ' Shut up and read your damn Manners manual, page 6.".

.

Page 6 The Greatness of the Rhovanion People.

Why one would want to go abroad? Rhovanion has everything you need. His new political system, created after the liberation of Rhovanians under the thumb of President McADams forty years ago ( also called the mad Ablazer) provides fair chances for any citizen ready to exploit his class at best. Furthermore, the Rhovanian landscapes are rich and wild, you want to hike ? Why don't you go near the sub-A 3 ( also called suburb areas ) with its wild and prolific forest ? You dream about the beach ? Just go on holidays in sub-A5.  Our educational system is one of the best in the world as it permits everyone to enhance its deepest characteristics and wishes. Our only concern is to improve anyone's life according to his or her class, one could resume our concern with one simple phrase ' separate but equal'. 

In page seven to 120 you will learn how upright and fair is our judicial system. Then, page 121 to 225  you will study the duties of each class and be able to fathom fully the -

 

'That's my seat!' A guy says angrily which makes Harry starts. He raises his head and see a tall guy, wild shoulders, blond hair, who looks at a poor guy with flames in his eyes. ' Get the fuck out.' Two other guys are behind him, also tall and blond. They have a pin which says ' Up-right' a pun which basically indicates that not only Herons are reputed to be upright but are all at the top of the ladder.

The poor guy stutters and stands up. His seat belongs to the first row of the bleachers, slightly higher than the ground floor,  less than 3 feet. In fact you just have to climb four steps and you've reached the first row. There's no barrier of protection but unless someone  makes you fall - which is forbidden -  you cannot be hurt, you can even jump safely instead of taking the stairs if you want. 

'Hey!' Harry stands up and puts his book on the seat. ' The fuck you doing? ' He calls at the blond guy.  ' there are plenty seats here, just pick another.' He crosses his alley and reaches the stairs. Hopefully Harry was sitting on the third row.

 He walks towards the poor guy who is now sitting again.

 ' you okay mate?' he offers a smile but the guy is pale and completely frightened. 

Harry feels a hand on his shoulder and turns around to see the chief of the blond squad whose cheeks are completely red.

'What d'you want?' Harry spits.

'I want my seat, get the fuck out of my way.' The guy breaths heavily which makes Harry smiles, the guy looks like nothing more but a big blond ball ready to explode.

'You Herons, really need to chill.' Harry says shaking his head.

'At least I'm not a Junk.' The three blond guys laugh.

'You meant Gink.'

'I meant what I meant. So get the fuck out.' He spits touching Harry again.

'Stop touching me you're not really my type.' Harry jokes but his jaw is now clenched. The guy looks at his two mates and shakes his head in disdain.

'Wow. So you're a Junk and a fag?' they start to laugh but Harry pushes the guy and makes him fall over. Considering his height, the guy falls but is physically not hurt. The two other guys jump off the row and lift him up.

'I swear to you -'

'Oi!' A voice interrupts. ' What happened?' A guy barges, he is smaller than Harry, has brown hair and bright electric blue eyes. He has a badge on his uniform which has the same colours has Mister Heron guy, white shirt and Mountbatten pink suit.

'This guy right here just frightened another student, had punishable remarks about my class and homophobic words on top of that.' Harry spits. The electric blue eyes guy turns his head and frowns.

' Did you push him over the bleachers ?!' 

'He did Tommo.' The fucker replies.

'I was not talking to you Burke, you three get out of here.' They do as they are told and Harry figures Blue Eyes must be someone important or at least respected among the other honours.

'Come here.' He tells Harry and Harry executes himself not really sure if he should remain bold. ' First year hm? You should know by now what you must and must not do. There are other ways to defend people. Violence is forbidden here, you know that?' Harry nods.

He tries to remain focus on what the guy is saying but he just wants to push him in the face too.

'You do not have the right to take the defence of someone like that. Any incident must be reported to higher authorities. Especially  the first day of school AND when you are a third honour.'

That's how they justify everything. Herons. You've been assaulted by a Heron on the street ? We are sure it was a mistake, he could not have been a Heron, Herons are upright and fiercely defend Peace, for the sake of all. Do not try to defend or save a guy being beaten up, call the most competent authority for the case.

Harry tries to remember how many times he has seen such case of injustice but he cannot. Most of Herons and at least two third of Henslows think they can do and say whatever they want just because Daddy is working at the National assembly or Mommy is a general attorney.

In fact, Harry is quite tired of those bullshit perpetuated during his whole life. For most of people this is normal, even Ginks believe themselves to be inferior.

'Fine?' Blue Eyes interrupts Harry's thoughts.

'Fine.' Harry mutters. He tries to wait in front of the bleachers until Niall and Liam are done playing but the sight of the Blue Eyes shithead makes him want to bury his head in a hole and shout until his throat is sore. So he just climbs the stairs, takes back his book, gives one last smile to the poor guy still a bit pale and leaves the school.

 

×

*from Harrison*

A small know-it-all shithead just told me to compose myself on a dumbass named burke.

*From sub-A 6 fucker*

How was he like ?

*from Harrison*

 ' Burke ?'

*From sub-A 6 fucker*

No. the small shithead.

*from Harrison*

 Bright blue eyes, chocolate hair, fringe, prob first Honours, Heron.

*From sub-A 6 fucker*

A 1H ? Are you crazy? Where are you?

*from Harrison*

Heading to my Father's office, going to have lunch with him. Can't stay here any longer. Sorry Ni.

*From sub-A 6 fucker*

It is what it is H. You need to chill. You don't want to be suspected of something you didn't mean do you? 

No worries gonna hav meal with Liam and his friend Louis. x

 

×

When Harry arrives at his father's office, everything his neat and clean. The wall are pale blue and all the furniture are made of glass. His father, a tall man with brown hair and penetrating brown eyes is waiting at his desk. Two plates are laid.

'Aah! That's my son! Come here! ' Harry passes the desk and kisses his father on the cheek before sitting just in front of him. ' Tell me Harry, how was it?' He smiles but Harry does not smile back.

'Took Law speciality.'

'Did you say you were my son?' His father asks his mouth as full already.

'Yes Dad.'

'Good. Good. Why that face? What else?' he takes another bite and sighs at its taste. The meal must be tasty as always but Harry is not really hungry.

'I had an altercation with a guy. A Heron. His name is Burke.' The face of his father changes suddenly. His whole traits are clenched now.

 

'May I know why?' He takes a bite but still frowning.

'I had to defend that poor guy, he was going to be slain.'

'Go on.'

'Hm, Burke said I was a Junk so I just pushed him and he fell.'

'This is not the way a young man is supposed to behave Harrison.' His father frowns taking a bite of his meal.

Here in Rhovanion there are only two kind of meals: the plant-based meals (usually excellent and expensive) reserved to the richest and the pills meal, usually taken by farmers and any non-rich people. Those meals cost less to be made and have been created to give anything you need to be in a good health. Of course there are better pills than other. But even if they'd cost as much as the plant based meals they would still be given to the poor. Just for things to be clear: "Separate but equal".

'I know Dad. I am sorry. I will apologise to Burke as soon as I see him.' Harry promises even though it is not entirely true, of course he will apologise but he is not sorry at all because  this is not the way things should be and his father well knows that.

'You know the three rules.'

'Know your value, do not go against your nation, compose yourself.' Harry reels off.

 

It has heard those three rules his whole life, this is one of the first thing you learn as a kid. Behave, always.

'I don’t want to hear anything like this again son. This is disappointing.' Ouch.

It is true that Harry had heard those words many times but never from his father. When he was younger grownups would tell his parents that his behaviour was condemnable for he had escaped school or asked too many questions.

'Sorry. I did not want to disrespect you nor anyone.' Harry says his heart still aching.

' Compose yourself. Keep a low profile,  egreed?'

'Promise.' Finally his father smiles again, because of course this is unacceptable but he has heard those kind of stories so many times he knows other people will be glad to judge and punish him, partly because it is unacceptable, partly because it will make them feel superior.

'Good. Do you have access to the library ?' His father inquires, he starts to eat again.

'I think I'll be able to study at the Law section, yes.'

'Awesome. I know how much you like to read.' His father winks. He takes another bite and follows ' I reckon you have cooking class tonight?' His father says not looking at Harry.

'I do.' Harry simply says but the simple thought of it gives him his appetite back.  Harry loves  to cook.

 

×

'Is everyone here ? Good. Really good.' A small woman hurries  to the blackboard. She doesn't have any bag, just a transparent pad. It looks like glass but it's not.

'My name is Marlowe, but here in class please call me Mrs. Payne.' She says her voice slightly louder. Harry and Niall look at each other and smile. Then they look at Liam with funny smiles on their faces.

'Don't say anything.' Liam hisses.

'As you certainly know I am to teach you the wonders of Engineering and Urban Affairs. My rules are simple, do NOT ever disdain science. Science is life and you are lucky to be here to study it. Secondly, do NOT consider yourself free of discovering. I have already inform your parents that you are to go on trips with me to be fully immerged we the beauty of this course. Finally please COMPOSE YOURSELF, prevent yourself from having any dangerous behaviour that could lead to arrest and shame. I will be pleased as long as you stay curious SCIENTIFICALLY.'

Everyone nods. You don't really get to say otherwise and everyone respects that. Plus Miss Marlowe may be crazy but she is the kind of person you can't possibly hate. She is spontaneous, smart and always joyful.

 

'Now if you may form groups, your first task will be to do a report on any environmental devise you want.'

A students raises his head, small, big glasses on his nose and smiley face.

'Excuse me Mr. Payne, could it be possible to do reports on environmental invention such as the replacement of certain nano-cells by high- reconstructive celluloids in the apple orchards?'  Mrs. Payne smiles brightly.

'What's your name dear?'

'Cicer Mrs. Payne.' The guy smiles back.

'Excellent choice Cicer, bright invention, Henslow made obviously.' She touches her pad and what looked like a simple glass turns into a screen, no keys, just holograms and a translucent screen. 

'Well. I'm waiting. Groups. You have until tomorrow to find a subject.'

'Guys!' Liam whispers ' I know what we could do! Damn cool subject!  You're in?'

Except between classes Harry has not really talked with Liam but Niall did, during and after the Lacrosse game,  he told Harry Liam was cool so Harry just nods.

×

'You think this is cool?' Niall mutters.

'Come on Niall! We are talking about tractors here!' He says smiling brightly. Harry smiles too, just because the way Liam's eyes disappear under his smile is really unique.

'I don't know anything about tractors but I'm in.' Harry shrugs and Niall glares at him.

'Harry!'

'What? Do you have a better idea ?' Harry offers a smile, he knows Niall doesn't.

' Yes! Well… Not really… ok.. I'm in.' he gives up.

 A guy in a three-piece suit comes across the room and stops just in front of Liam, Harry and Niall. At first he is so clean and neat Harry thinks he is a robot, but he is not, he is just the housekeeper, flesh and bones.

'Would you like something to eat or drink before going on tractors gentlemen?' Niall nods.

One thing you need to know about Niall, if he is lucky enough to go in a place ruled by rich asses he will eat and drink everything he can. Why? Simply because he adores being taken cared of. Who doesn't love to be spoiled anyway?

'Can I have a juice please ? And a piece of cake ?' He asks displaying his brightest smile.

'I'll have a Stinger, thank you Leon.' Liam follows.

Ah Stinger cans: the favourite energy drink of the spoiled-asses. Brand new technology plus the  scientist Mr. Stinger created it entirely recyclable, you can eat the can if you want. No one really knows how it is made, but everyone knows it makes you smarter at least for a few hours.

'Nothing for me thank you.'

A few hours later, the screen of the computer ( which is nothing but the surface of the coffee table) is full of open tabs and sketches.

'So remind me again how it was made?' Niall asks, Niall is great in sports, Manners and History but certainly not in science.

I'm not trying to defend him but there's no such thing as computer/coffee table device in the sub-As, we have something we call books. Yes, I know, it sounds crazy, but our books are not made of touch-sensitive pages ( where you can add drafts, text and do research on), they are made of paper.

' Most older farm tractors used a manual transmission with several gear ratios, typically three to six, sometimes multiplied into two or three ranges. This arrangement provided a set of discrete ratios that, combined with the varying of the throttle, allowed final-drive speeds from less than one up to about 25 miles per hour.  Lower speeds were used for working the land and the highest speed used on the road.

Slow, controllable speeds was necessary for most of the operations performed with a tractor. They helped give the farmers a larger degree of control in certain situations, such as field work. ' Liam says simply.

'Ok.' Niall answers a bit too quickly.

'Ok?' Harry asks raising his eyebrows.

'I got it yes!' He spits even though they both know they have been lost ever since Liam started to redraw the history of agricultural engines.

 

One more hour is enough for liam to finish the report.  He just touches a button and sends it to his mom's electronic office.

He looks at them both very please with himself.

'Told you it'd be cool!' he chuckles while patting them. 'I like to work with you guys! You've got great minds!' 

Harry has never seen Niall as glad as he is right now. Knowing that you have intellectual capacities and hearing a Henslow telling you that you're smart is two different things. Even though they just listened to liam for three hours ( and ate 4 pieces of chocolate cake (but Niall doesn't wish to discuss that. ) ) they are glad.

'Now let's play!' Liam stands up and crosses the living room to reach two massive black velvet sofas.

The sofas are situated in front of… nothing really, it's just a wall, but of course it wouldn't be just that.

 No sooner does Liam say ' the game is on' out loud than four translucent screens surround him. It's like a cage make of holographic walls.

'Come on guys! Join me!'

But the thing is, Niall and Harry don't have many rich friends, of course they have played such games before ( In the office of Harry's dad mainly ) but what they see is simply brand new and awesome.

Niall rushes to join Liam and passes through one of the walls.  When he enters, the cube expands itself and again when Harry join them.

The four walls turn electric blue. 

The same blue as the guy who barged at Harry.  ( Why does he think of that right now? )  

'Okay guys, I'll be the sergeant… Step back, triangle formation.'

 

As soon as they step back, a gun appear in their hands and a helmet on their head. Everything around disappear, there's no living room anymore, only the battlefield ( which is nothing but sub-A 1 mainly constitute of hangars and factories).  Their uniform is black and gold, the colours of District.

The game is totally immersive which means there's no main menu, as soon as the gun is in your hands raise your head and run to save your life.

 

The game could be fun, if only the aim wasn't to kill people. The few soldiers following them don't really seem to be helping but hopefully Liam is good. Of course he would be good Henslows have a taste for adventures even though most of the time we are talking about  science.

 

'Down!' Liam shouts and Harry and Niall do as told. A split second after waves of fire surge in their directions.

'Up! Let's go to the north.' Harry and Niall nods.

They run until they reach a small hangar. Liam drags them behind a container.

'Ok mates! With all my respect , move your lazy arses !' He shouts, he is completely in the game, where is the kind smartass of earlier?

The more they gain ground the more they have to 'clear' Ablazers.

×

When the game finally stops, everyone is sweaty under his uniform, even though you don't actually run your brain thinks you are and your body responds : higher heartbeat, higher energy and sweat.  

 

 Liam and Niall hug each other pleased with their victory. Harry just sweeps his brow and sighs wishing he hadn't say yes.

There are no longer helmets and guns but holographic fireworks and soldiers cheering them.

 

'Cleaning process: on' A melodious voice interrupts the shouts.

'Everyone stands still!' Liam shouts.

They do as told and holographic waves hit them from everywhere. It takes 10 seconds for their energy to be refilled and their clothes to dry.

 

The same melodious voices states ' cleaning process off. Anything else Liam?'

'No thanks AMI'

 

'Amazing what you can do with just a pinch of electromagnetic waves and cerebral lures don't you think?' 

' AWESOME!' Niall guffaws.

Harry laughs too not because the game was particularly awesome but because Liam is amazing, he doesn't play just because he is thrilled by war, he plays for the sake of it, for the beauty of being lured by a computer.

 

' This is what I want to do after ThirdG!'

'What? Soldier?' Niall mocks heartily.

'Game designer you prick!' Liam roars his eyes disappearing again.

 

'Really well played Liam.'  Leon interrupts. Somehow there is a way to watch the game Harry reckons.  ' I just came to tell you that your parents are to come home. '

 

'Oh. Okay. Yes, of course, it was fun guys! I'll see you tomorrow! It's a shame Lou wasn't here, District vs. Sub-As is really fun when you're four!'  Before he gets to do anything Niall hugs him briefly and thanks him. 

 

' You really scared us with the tractors stuff but the rest was fun mate.' Harry teases before joining Niall at the entrance door.