Dawning Realisations | Uniform 28

Altair sat across from Kiara in the dimly lit room, separated only by an old wooden table. He sat still, held in place by Kiara’s fierce glare. Both of them waited for the other to speak, unwilling to be the first to bend. Eventually Altair spoke, fed up with the prolonged silence.

“Why did you ask to speak with me?” Kiara took a moment to continue staring at him, collecting her thoughts.

“You were once a 1-star were you not? Before your time as a government lackey?” Despite his irritation at her wording he nodded. Kiara hummed in acknowledgement before continuing.

“Why then, if I may ask, would you aid in the capture of the figurehead of a revolution aiming to give rights to the group you were once a part of?” Kiara’s voice was low and dangerous. Both of them knew she could not do anything to Altair without being punished but Altair knew exactly how much danger he would have been in were they not being watched.

“Ms. Westwood, I can assure you that my actions had nothing to do with my allegiances to my fellow 1-stars, or with Matthew. I have never wanted to put him in any danger. The be truthful I owe him a great deal, he helped me out of a tough situation. Had it been up to me his fate would be a more peaceful one. Sadly, the cards were never in my hand and like many around us, I am simply following the rules in a game that others play.” A look of realisation appeared upon Kiara’s face as Altair spoke.

“You were one of the 1-stars Matthew gave a job to, weren’t you?” she could see by the look that he gave her that she was right and continued speaking.

“What then, could have driven you to betray someone who had risked so much to help you?” Altair looked conflicted before sighing and answering Kiara’s question.

“They have my family.”

Rise | Uniform 15

Matthew requested that Kiara did not to tell them his plan and with a nod in his direction she left him to prepare. Though there were no clear leaders of the 1-stars each warehouse was run by a council. These councils would collect information on 1-stars around the city and control who could stay in each warehouse. The issue would not be to make the council hear Matthew’s message, but to make them agree to his plan.

That night, Kiara found Matthew sitting alone against a wall of the warehouse and told him the news. The three groups were prepared to meet, but before risking their members the councils needed to know what the purpose of this meeting was.

“Tell them that it’s time the rest of society stops treating us like scum and learn that we are people too. Tell them it’s time we stop standing idly by as our fellow 1-stars are pushed around and take a stand against those who’s oppress us.” Kiara smiled at him and told him she would make sure his message was heard.

A week later Matthew stood on a makeshift stage in front of thousands of 1-stars. Nervous, he collected his thoughts before walking to the edge of the stage. He took a breath and almost backed out of giving his speech. He was just about to turn away when his attention was caught by a woman near the front of the crown trying to calm down a screaming child while restraining two children more. It was likely that the father was either dead or a higher ranked citizen who had once used her for his own pleasure and then cast her away. Perhaps the same person even fathered all three children. Matthew knew that hers was not the only situation like this and was reminded of his motivation for gathering the 1-stars. He knew that if they didn’t do anything their situation would never improve, and he knew they would not survive it getting worse. With a deep breath, he stepped onto the stage. The cacophony of conversations stilled instantly as every person in the room focused on Matthew. The only sounds were the calming screams of the baby Matthew had seen earlier. Taking another deep breath, Matthew surveyed the crowd in front of him and spoke.

So in the next instalment Matthew will give his speech. What will he say and how will it be received? Hope you are all enjoying the story so far! It’s nearing its end (Unless I decide to make it longer than planned) so keep reading for a few more days to find out how the story ends for the 1-stars. See you all for the next instalment tomorrow!

Mistakes Happen | Uniform 13

Hey!  How are you guys? Hope you are enjoying the story so far and are as excited as I am to see what is going to happen to Matthew! Anyways, the last instalment left off with Matthew being accused of stealing a keycard…

“Think about it. He is the only 1-star around here. Of course, he must have taken it. No one else would have anything to gain from taking my keycard.” The officer turned to face Matthew and seemed to agree with the woman. Slowly he moved toward Matthew, unhooking his baton from his hip as he walked.

“Sir, I’m going to give you five seconds to return this woman’s keycard before I decide to force you into doing so.”

Due to his shock, Matthew barely had time to reply that he hadn’t taken the keycard before the officer’s baton slammed into Matthew’s leg. He screamed in pain while falling to the ground. In panic, he curled up into a ball in hopes of minimizing his pain before being hit again, this time on the back and in the arm. The officer paused in his assault to repeat that Matthew should return the keycard. Three more hits landed before the woman interrupted the officer.

“I found it! Sorry to worry you like that officer. It turns out it was in the inside pocket of my suit though I can’t imagine how it got there.”

She left immediately after that leaving the officer to turn back to Matthew. He expected the officer to help him up and apologize but the officer did no such thing.

“You heard the lady. She found her keycard. Now get up and keep walking 1-star, before I make you,” the officer spat out.

Limping, Matthew quickly shuffled out of the square, ignoring his pain for the time-being. Never had he felt so weak or insignificant. He turned into an alley a few blocks away from the center to avoid a group of 3-stars that were walking in his direction. The alley was dark and smelled as though rotting corpses enjoyed congregating there. He had barely made it halfway through the alley when a 1-star walked up to him. He told Matthew that he had seen what happened and told Matthew to follow him if he wanted to survive the night. Seeing no choice, Matthew shuffled behind the man as fast as he could. The man’s strict pace caused waves of pain to course through Matthew’s body with each step, but he pushed through it, unwilling to lose his best chance of survival, until the man stopped in front of a large warehouse.

Whats in the warehouse? Who is this ominous 1-star leading Matthew? 

So Matthew’s had a rough day. Will the next instalment bring some good news or will the bad keep piling on (I mean I kinda wan’t to give him some good news but so often my writing takes a dark turn without me intending it to so who knows). Read tomorrow’s post to find out!

A Cold Goodbye | Uniform 12

Hi Guys! So Matthew is about to confront his parents for the first time since losing his star. Will it go well or will they be as cold-shouldered as most people are to 1-stars?

Almost immediately after Matthew’s father entered the kitchen he stopped abruptly, seeing Matthew. A stern expression overcame his face as he saw that Matthew only had one star now and he moved towards his wife, preferring to look at her over Matthew. Mathew watched as his parents stared at each other in shock. Neither of them had ever thought it a possibility for Matthew to lose a star. Matthew saw his father’s shoulders rise with a sigh and quietly, almost as if he himself didn’t want to hear the words spoken, he told his son to get out and not to come back.

Shocked by what he had just heard Matthew froze and stared at his parents.

“What?”

Matthews whispered question had barely sounded when his father spoke again. Louder this time, his father repeated the command, restraining his mother when she tried to run to Matthew. His father screamed at Matthew to get out in rage unshed tears shining brightly in contrast to his reddening face. Knowing that his father could not be reasoned with in this mood Matthew left the house. Both of his parents turned away, neither of them able to bear watching his figure leave.

Having nowhere to go, Matthew walked to the city center hoping to find a 1-star to learn more about his situation and how to survive it. Having walked around for a couple of hours, Matthew began giving up hope of seeing any 1-stars that day. He began turning back to try his luck with his parents again when he heard a woman’s scream. His head snapped in the direction of the noise and he saw a woman frantically yelling about having lost something. As she was explaining her situation to a nearby police officer, Matthew moved closer to the pair to see what was happening. He overheard that she couldn’t find her keycard. As she explained her situation animatedly, her eyes passed by Matthew before stopping her explanation abruptly.

“He must have taken it,” she accused to the officer, voice cold and eyes assessing as she pointed straight at Matthew.

CLIFFHANGER!!!

What’s going to happen to Matthew now? Where is he going to live? Is he going to get arrested for something he didn’t do? Hope you guys are enjoying this and come back tomorrow for the next instalment of Uniform! 

A Starless Night | Uniform 11

Hey! So the story has reached officially the halfway point! Matthew has been demoted to a 1-star and will now learn some of the implications of that. The question remains though: What will he do about it? 

Almost the exact moment Matthew walked through the doors two guards stepped forwards and escorted him back out of the building. As a threat to the political structure within his society, the government had assigned two new officers to the building with instructions to keep all 1-stars out. This was to prevent the situation from repeating. The guards grabbed Matthew and told him to ‘remember his place’ as he was left outside of the building. He had been told a similar thing when his star had been removed. He was told that it was dangerous to stray too far from your place and that there were often consequences for such actions, his being the removal of a star. Matthew was not sure if political enemies were still being killed from time to time but Matthew felt somewhat fortunate that he still had his life.

Matthew stood at the bus stop for a few minutes annoyed at the way he had been treated. He was tempted to wait at the stop for his ex-colleagues to leave the office but thought better of it. He knew that this was likely the exact behaviour that would push him over from harmless activist to active threat in the eyes of the government. When the bus came he quickly walked on and sat in his usual seat only to be roughly pushed out of it by an elderly man next to him. He was about to question the man before being pushed into the 1-star section by the elderly man’s cane. Realisation dawned on Matthew that with the loss of his star, everything in his life would be different.

When the bus arrived at his stop, Matthew rushed out, careful not to make eye-contact with any of the other passengers. Feeling saddened and angered by the day’s events he stormed home, relieved that the day would soon be over.

When he walked into the house he called out to his mother who instantly replied that she was in the kitchen. Slowly, he walked into the kitchen to see her. His mother turned at the sound of his footsteps, a bowl of rice in hand, ready to be placed on the table for dinner. As she looked at him however, she dropped the bowl in shock. The porcelain shattered, spilling rice all over the floor. The noise might as well have sent a shockwave throughout the house, freezing Matthew in place and alerting his father who quickly rushed into the kitchen to see what was happening.

So Matthew’s learning that things he had once took for granted are no longer an option in his life. How will his parents react now that they know of his rank change? Will they support him or turn on him? 

Hope you liked it and read tomorrows chapter to find out!

Forced Demotion | Uniform 10

Hey! Last we left off Matthew had just spoken to a group of 1-stars who turned out to have been respected members of society before losing their stars and any power that came with it. Matthew then decided that he would try to do something about the injustice these 1-stars faced by offering them work. This instalment looks at how that plays out.

Word quickly spread among the 1-stars that someone in the conscription office was giving them jobs and as it spread, more 1-stars began coming to Matthew’s office. Eventually, his boss became suspicious and Matthew had to send most of the 1-stars home to keep up the pretence of indifference, but the seed of doubt had already been planted. People would notice when 1-stars left Matthew’s office looking happy, rather than dejected.

The next day as Matthew was about to walk into his office a 5-star, flanked by two 3-stars walked up to him and ask if they could speak for a moment. Matthew wanted desperately to say no, as he had his suspicions about the meetings topic, but knowing that he was outranked and could not refuse he simply nodded and followed the men out of the building.

His co-workers stared as he Matthew left but no one intervened. Although they had no way of being sure of what was happening, they all suspected that it had something to do with the increased number of 1-stars leaving Matthew’s office.

The workers soon returned to their jobs and the remaining day at the office building was slow and uneventful. This quickly changed in the evening though when Matthew returned. The secretary gasped when he walked through the doors drawing everyone’s attention to his return. Many did not recognize him at first as his clothes were dirty and worn, his hair was tangled, and he seemed to have aged years in the few hours that he was gone. As they looked at him more closely though, it became undeniable that this was indeed Matthew. They wondered what could have happened to him until, one by one, their eyes were drawn to the most drastic change in his appearance: one of his stars was gone.

So now Matthew is a 1-star! What is he going to do? How are people going to react? Hope all of you are doing well and that you liked it! As always the next part will be posted tomorrow!

Purpose | Uniform 9

Hey! So we have almost reached the 10th instalment of Uniform and I am so excited! There are probably going to be about 20-25 instalments but that might change if I change the story throughout. Anyways, here’s the next part!

The 1-stars that Matthew spoke to had very different backgrounds but all had one thing in common. They had all seen 1-stars as equals rather than societal garbage unworthy of their attention, a view that Matthew had begun to adopt.

The day after he spoke to Arlo, Matthew decided to go to work without wearing his tie. This was both as a personal protest of the stringent class system in place, and out of curiosity to see how his peers would react to his unfinished uniform. He left early to avoid his parents and arrived at the office a quarter-hour earlier than usual. Once he entered the lobby he heard a gasp come from the secretary followed by quick, staccato footsteps. A few seconds later he felt a hand on his shoulder and heard a low voice.

“Sir, you are going to have to put on your tie before continuing to work.”

“I’m sorry but it seems that I forgot it at home, officer,” Matthew replied.

The security guard’s features were overcome with annoyance before his face smoothed into a calm and neutral expression. “It’s alright sir, we have a few extra ties for just this type of situation. Please don’t let it happen again.”

The officer left and returned a minute later with a standard black tie which he handed to Matthew. Forcing a smile, Matthew took the tie and with ease donned the tie using a standard knot. He thanked the officer before walking to his office.

That day, Matthew decided that he would try to make a difference in society. He knew that he would never be able to do as much as Altair or Arlo could have, but he felt a need to try. Though unable to change the lives of mass numbers of 1-stars or shift political stances, Matthew knew that he could make a difference in the lives of individual 1-stars. From that day on, Matthew decided to find simple, inconspicuous jobs and give them to any 1-stars that came to his office.

That’s it! I’m seriously beginning to think that 300 words might be too short… If I do a project like this I might make it 500 words… but then again I don’t want to write and edit 500 words every day but we’ll see. As always I hope you liked this instalment and the next part will be posted tomorrow!

Fallen Stars | Uniform 8

Hey! So we left off with Matthew wanting to figure out if Altair was telling the truth or not but how will he do that? 

Every day for the next month Matthew would take the bus home after work and then walk to the city center. There he would wait until he found a 1-star and spoke to them. This wasn’t a very successful method as he wasn’t always successful in finding one and had only met seven 1-stars in the four weeks. However, it was the best plan he could come up with and the people that he had met proved Altair’s story without question.

The first 1-star used to be a secretary for the mayor but she had spoken out about the medical testing done on 1-stars. The second was a businessman who after discovering the truth about the class divisions only hired 1-stars. The third and seventh were police officers who had both been sent to arrest multiple 1-stars but upon discovering their histories restrained from beating them as police were known to do to 1-stars they deemed unruly. The fourth and fifth were doctors. The fourth had once prioritized a 1-star’s surgery over a 4-star’s appointment due to the gravity of the 1-star’s wounds. The fifth had begun stealing medical supplies from the hospital and smuggling them to 1-stars throughout the city earlier that year when a health ban was passed against 1-stars. The sixth, and perhaps most notable, was once a presidential candidate named Arlo, one that Matthew remembered.

He had a similar background to Altair’s In that he discovered the truth about 1-stars in university. However, rather than trying to tell people about the government’s silencing method, he decided to wait until he had power to change it. He worked hard to become a strong political figure and later a presidential candidate. He could have become president one day had it not been for his assistant finding out about his plan whilst reading through his notes one day, and discovering his secret. His dropping out of the election was covered up as if he had been very sick and he was never heard of again. Most assumed that he was dead.

So there you have it! Matthew has discovered that Altair was telling the truth and that the government is far darker and crueller than it seems. The question is: What will Matthew do about it? AS always hope you liked this instalment and read the next part which will be up tomorrow (probably a bit earlier than this one)!

Truth or Trickery | Uniform 7

Hey!

So this instalment will end the meeting between Matthew and Altair and will lead into some more intense and action-filled story-lines… (probably). Anyways, here it is! 

A smile immediately appeared on Altair’s face before he jumped up and hugged Matthew, a gesture that would have been frowned upon by most people. The embrace lasted a few seconds at most but shocked Matthew nonetheless. He had never been this close to a person since his childhood. It brought on confused sense of joy to know that he could make someone happy enough that they would disregard social standards and succumb to a reaction of such raw emotion.

Matthew was soon left to ask Altair to leave after being thanked profusely and continuously. The rest of the day went by quickly with only two other people coming to see Matthew. On his way out of the building, he was stopped by his boss.

“Listen, I know that you gave a job to that 1-star and I understand. We all make mistakes. Sometimes they trick you with some fake sympathy story to prey on your emotions and before you know it they’re gone and you can’t even recall at what point you gave them a job. However, you must understand that there are better, more deserving people who are trying to get these jobs as well. I’ll let you off the hook this time, but try not to let it happen again.”

Matthew wanted to interrupt but he had begun doubting his meeting. Was it possible that Altair had lied to him? Was there another way to explain his education? Did he even have a family?

Matthew continued asking himself these questions as he waited for the bus to arrive. Once it came he moved to his class’ designated area and sat down, eager to return home. The route home took longer than the one to work and Matthew was given a lot of time to think about his encounter with Altair. The more he thought about it, the more confused he got until he realized that there was only one way to find out the truth.

Was Altair lying? What’s Matthew gonna do to figure out the truth? Is the government as oppressive as Altair led Matthew to believe? 

These questions will be answered (probably) in the next few instalments so don’t forget to check in daily! Or feel free to comment with guesses! You might be right! Or have such a great idea that I change the story-line to fit it! 

Subtle Leash | Uniform 6

 

So the last section ended with Altair discussing methods used by the government to erase oppositional viewpoints. Now, we look more into Altair’s rebellion of this prompting Matthew to re-evaluate how he sees society.

“That’s terrible!”

After a pause to collect himself from his sudden emotional outburst Matthew continued.

“I still don’t understand why you don’t wear a tie though. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a 1-star without a tie before.”

“That question has a simpler answer, and the story is not as interesting I am afraid. Simply put, I don’t wear it because it is a symbol of conformity. The tie is issued as the final piece of the uniform, forced upon us before going to university. A place that was once meant for self-discovery has now become nothing more than a training facility for people who have unknowingly already been initiated into the government’s meticulously managed machine.  The ties are used to remove people’s differences. No one is unique, which may make some feel safe, but it also means that no one can question anything. No one can be creative, or independent. The only difference is the stars. A single marker, categorising people into indisputable classes.”

The following silence lasted a couple of minutes as Matthew took the time to process what he had just heard. He thought back to all the 1-stars he had seen in his past but found that he remembered none of them. Any one of them could have once been a politician’s son or a retired policeman, but he had never looked closely enough to notice. Remembering the rules he was given with the job, Matthew sighed before speaking again.

“Look, I’m not really supposed to give jobs to 1-stars.”

“Of course not. Heaven forbid anyone opposing the government can find means to survive.”

Seeing the downcast look on Altair’s face after his sarcastic outburst, Matthew quickly continued.

“I’ll see what I can do. There are a few places in need of workers quickly. I can’t guarantee it will be permanent. You will most likely be fired once you’re no longer useful but it might be enough to get you through the next few weeks.”

There it is! Part 6. I don’t know why but I feel like the instalments are getting shorter… despite the fact that this is one of the longer sections (if only by a handful of words). Oh well, it just means that I’m just as excited for the next part as if would be if I were reading it. Seriously though… Every time I reach 300 I have to force myself to stop because otherwise I’ll keep writing ‘one more paragraph’ for hours until I finish the story. Ok well anyways… part 7 will be up tomorrow!

Ok Bye! Hope you enjoyed it and check out some of my non-writing posts that I’ll be posting over the next couple of weeks!