As Hope lay on the floor lifeless, the door to the room slid open.  I quickly placed two of the bed frame pieces in the doorway to keep the door open.  I immediately pulled the light cord out of a lamp and separated the two power wires.  Remembering my med lessons, I applied the electrical current across her chest.  The shock restarted her heartbeat, but not her breathing.   The door attempted to close again but was blocked by the two pieces of bedframe. I placed my mouth on hers and blew air into her lungs.  Seconds later, she gasped for air and her eyes fluttered.  As she regained consciousness she exclaimed, “You…you killed me?”

“It was necessary.”

“My head hurts.”

“That will pass in about half a tick.  Can you proceed?”

She stood and steadied herself, then nodded.  Feeling prepared we left the room, taking the remaining two pieces of bedframe with us.  I carried a long piece in my right hand and a short piece in my left like slicers.  We walked down the hallway suddenly realizing that we were the last.  Two of my podmates survived and were bloodied and bruised, Grunt Z2 and Radar D8.  The rest were Raptors.  I walked swiftly toward the group.

“Where is Designation Phile?”

“I am here,” said a six feets tall man with black hair, pale skin and reddish eyes.

I continued my pace and used the long, jagged bedframe to stab at him like a slicer.  He predictably grabbed the bed frame piece and stopped it using both hands.  He smiled a wicked smile until I thrust the short piece into his abdomen and out through his back.  He released his grip on the long piece.  I spun on my heels to gain momentum and using the long bed frame piece I stabbed him directly through his heart.  He made a gasping sound then fell to the floor.  I pulled both pieces out of his body then faced the group.

“That makes eleven exactly.”

The hidden doorway appeared and opened.  The remaining Raptors exited quickly through the door.  Grunt, Radar, Hope and I were left.  Administrator-Delta walked in through the hidden doorway.

“Welcome to the Politic.  I am Administrator-Delta.”  At the mention of his name Hope bowed reverently.

“Hope, you surprised us today.  Remove the robe, I know about the clothes.”

Hope dropped the Raptor robe as if it were combusting.  

“Ladies and Gentlemen,” Administrator-Delta began, “The Politic is the world of adults.  We are a society of rules and contentment.  We look for innovation, creativity, and experimentation.  We foster peace and harmony and we expect adherence to the rules.  You will all be given daily tasks in accordance with your designations.  You will be given a domicile, goggles, and clothing in keeping with your station.  There’s much more to be discussed, but let’s continue after you have been to the meds for examination and been cleansed.  Grunt Z2, Radar D8 and Spear, please enter your new lives through this portal.”

Grunt Z2 and Radar D8 slowly shuffled cautiously toward the doorway. I turned to Administrator-Delta, “What about Hope?” I asked.

“Hope will not continue with you.  Her actions cost the Politic one of our best Raptors.  I’m afraid repurposing won’t do.  She will go to reclamation.”

“Administrator-Delta, please, sir, no,” she begged.

“Hope,” I replied, “Don’t you understand?  Repurposing doesn’t work on you anymore.”  I positioned myself to face her directly. “You are worthless to the Politic.  You have this disgusting scar and you can’t do the job you were assigned.  I’m alive, you failed.”

“Spear, you…how can you?” she asked confused with a note of sadness.

“Administrator-Delta, since she is to be reclaimed, I would like to offer a counter proposal.”

“I’m listening.”

“I’m Spear.  I can tell by my designation that I am significant.  I would like to keep Hope for a sparring partner and a domicile companion.  Since my rapturing never took place, I think a fitting role for her will be as a servant to me.”

“Don’t try to fool me, Spear.  You are important to the Politic, but remember we’ve monitored you since you were young.  We know that you’ve conspired with Hope and that she told you that information.  I will grant your request, but always be careful about who’s fooling whom.  Remember, she survived forty-three Rapturings and has today survived her forty-fourth by aligning with you.”

“So you agree to bring Hope to my domicile, this female that was one of my podmates?”

Hope smiled, obviously excited.

“It is acceptable.”

“Good.  Thank You Administrator-Delta.”  After bowing with respect to him, I turned and pulled the fake scar material off of Hope’s face.  Administrator-Delta and the other two survivors stared in disbelief.

“Her name is Ele-65545.  I’ll expect her before lightfall.  Send this imposter to reclamation.”

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