Chapter One: The Awakening

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The sound of air sirens fills the air as Abaddon rose from his bed. There was nothing frantic about the way in which he proceeded to gather his uniform and lay it out. There were no stampedes of people gathering in- wake of the siren nor were there family members running to gather their loved ones in the quiet burrow of Ocracoke. In fact, the whole island was acting as though this was completely normal, because it was.


“Abaddon, can you take your sister to Education Center on your way to Work Center this morning? Your mother needs to renew her License to Assist this morning.”
“Dad, she’s only four, why is she going this early?”
“Ab, you know they’re working to make you operators more efficient, look at you. Sixteen and still questioning The Elders’ decisions.”
“Whatever, I can take her I just don’t understand this sudden push for younger kids.”
I don’t really understand why my parents are so quick to follow every whim of The Elders especially since they don’t even live on the island. I’ve lived in the same house for 16 years, my parents before me. After the funding of the ARPANET, to deal with the need for operators, they moved “the underprivileged” out to different remote locations to learn how to operate the computers for users on the mainland. My parents think they’re wonderful, they gave us this house after all and they pay for all of our education to work at the Work Center. After going to the Education Center when I was five for ten years, I started at the Work Center on my 15th birthday. It’s good work and I know that it is critical to keep society running but I always wonder about what’s beyond the island?
“Abaddon, get your sister and go or you’re going to be late!".