ALPHA Chapter One (first post)
The Rook glides effortlessly along the balcony, he's closely followed by a number of Pawns. Beneath their armour plated chess piece exterior, they are robots and masters of the Dome. The dull black painted finish of their coats completes the sinister look.
"Gentlemen we must have discipline!" Alpha begins his robotic rant. "There is no call for stupidity in our lives! The man Jangle has been found in an air shaft..." The Rook's voice echoes around the assembly area of the Dome. "If we are to survive you must obey us. We are your masters! We have built the city to protect you as our planet hurtles aimlessly through space" He continues, monosyllabically, the way only a robot can. "We are a small number on a very small planet. The Dome occupies nine tenths of the surface, the outside is uninhabitable..." His machine like voice drones on. And on..."I repeat, we must have discipline, the man Jangle is dead! That is all... Dismiss."
Young men begin to return to their living quarters or their place of work. Three of them, Arrow, Crescent and Dart walk away from the meeting together.
"I suppose they'll be watching us all, more closely now." Says Arrow, to no one in particular.
"Yes," replies Crescent. "I think there's some big panic going on behind the scenes." Then he thoughtfully adds. "I wonder what Jangle was up to?"
Before anybody could answer a Pawn bumps into Crescent, knocking him to the hardened concrete floor.
"Come on you men, back to work, these components need finishing!" The Pawn urges the three young men before gliding off to admonish another group.
"Slave driver!" Whispers Dart as he helps Crescent back to his feet. "We always have to meet some deadline for these rotten machines." He looks around to make sure that none of the chess pieces are watching or listening.
"That's a bit strong Dart! Don't you think? The machines are our masters, after all. Don't forget!" Says Arrow, speaking up for the robots.
"Our gaolers, more like!" Dart Hurriedly replies.
The three young men complete the short walk from the big meeting back to the assembly line in the highly mechanised workshop. They work side by side at the same bench, day after day, piecing together intricate castings to produce something... but they don't know what it is.
Crescent looks up at the other two and out across the workshop where several hundred more young men are busy working on different projects. The whole place is buzzing with activity.
"I wonder if we'll ever find out where we came from?" He asks, knowing that the others only know what he knows and that everybody only knows what the Rook and his cronies have told them anyway.
"I want to know what's going to become of us, do we really have any future?" Questions Dart, ignoring Crescent's cry from the heart.
The loss of their friend Jangle has affected the men more than they are willing to admit to themselves and the soul searching questions they are asking each other reflect this.
"Can anybody tell ME!!! WHAT'S going to happen to US?" Dart screams! But only Crescent and Arrow can hear him. The workshop is a noisy place, it is jam-packed full of heavy machinery.
It's Arrow who finally answers his question. "Not here we don't Dart, you know that as well as anybody. Here, there's only us and them!"
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