Modern Mary chap. 1.1
For those who want the backstory, click on
“Mom, stop yelling I’m up,” I exclaimed as I awoke groggily.
“Well sweetie, I just don’t want you to miss your first day of the tenth grade and I know you have a habit of missing the shuttletram, so up up up,” she said as she clapped her hands together. She then quickly walked over to the window and opening the curtain. Bobby quickly raised her hand attempting to block the sun from her eyes.
“Mom, you know how I am with the light in the morning,” as I grabbed my Rayban’s with her other hand putting them on.
“I know sweetie, but you keep your room so dark and dreary. I just thought you could use some light to help you wake up. Isn’t the sun refreshing,” she said opening the windows inhaling deeply the ersatz wind. “See now that’s better.”
My eyes almost could not keep up with her, trying to keep pace as they followed her out the room.
“The shuttle tram leaves in thirty minutes, so I’d advise you get ready quick. I already packed your lunch, it’s in the kitchen. I’ll see you when you get home.” Slam!
“Okay mom, just go to work. I think I can handle making the tram thanks,” as I stretch my arm up rubbing my eyes under my Rayban’s looking up at the moldy ceiling. My gaze quickly shifts towards my door again, my ears alert to the hinges.
“Oh and I forgot to tell you, I’ve registered twenty credits to your RFID, that’ll be your money for the week. I’ll see you at nine tonight,” she replied through the crack of the door. And Again. Slam!
“Time to get ready for school I guess,” as I went to the bathroom. I threw water on my face. Still feeling the tired from the night before. Our apartment began to shake, I could tell that the tram was on its way. Been used to it for years now, that’s how I could tell that mom officially left. The trams always shook the building as it bolted up and down the sides. They say it’s safe. I guess it is because the building hasn’t collapsed yet, but I can’t say that for the things in the house. Let’s just say we avoided hanging things on the wall. No pictures, no shoe racks. Everything in the house that stood had to be mounted to the floorboard and walls. First thing I did was check my RFID chip. There was twenty bucks like she said, more than enough to get me to school and back. I took off my Rayban’s and placed them on the side of the sink. I turned on the sink for a little while running the water. It often came out brown, our pipe system was, so old that sometimes we had the boil the water to remove the impurities. I didn’t trust the water here. It seemed contaminated, but heck I was used to the taste, but I could never get used to the color. Grossed me out is all. As I came out the bathroom, then into my room I dried my face with a towel that was hanging from my closet. That’s when I noticed the vibration. I started to search my room frantically. Turning everything upside down. Until I saw it, on the floor like usual.
“ Cami Gram, hey umm, I know I’m late, but I’m walking to the tram as we speak,” she said as she jumped into her Jeans jumping on yet again to fit herself in them.
“C’mon Veronica Kelton you know I know you better than that. You’re not even out your front door yet. That’s why I called ya. I know you might not make it, so I’ll try and hold it for you, hurry up,” Cami Gram replied.
“Okay,” I replied stuffing my mouth with a spoon full of eggs. I walked over to the fridge for milk and gulped that down as well. I almost forgot, I ran back to the bathroom and grabbed my Rayban’s then back to my room as I grabbed my laptop and some cables as I stuffed them into my bookbag. I could feel the slight rumbling. Dammit I can’t miss the tram, mom will be pissed. I ran for the door and quickly putting the key code securing the door. I was having trouble because the rumbling that was coming from the tram was messing up my inputs, but finally, I got it. I still had my phone pressed between my ear and shoulder, not realizing that he had already hung up the phone until I was out the door. I stuffed into my left jean pocket. Mom had me install it since I was good with things like that. I secured it with a code and a thumb print. Damn thing cost us three hundred twenty nine credits, guess it was worth it. We’ve had intruders in the past. Although there was barely anything of value, we had to make sure that we were properly guarding our food reserves. The last time we were robbed we could have starved if it wasn’t for Pat. Checking the door one last time I ran down the corridor. The rictor shaking of the building seemed to steer me off balance as I was running down the corridor. I could tell that the tram was about to arrive because it started to feel more like an earthquake the closer I got. I turned left and saw Cami Gram waiting for me.
“Good you’re not late, cut in front of me so we can get seats together,” he said, smirking at me.
“Yeah, had trouble with the locks. I’m just glad I made it,” taking a deep breath. The run wasn’t that long, but it was hard to be in shape when you lived here. There are local gyms, but we could never spare the extra credits to be able to afford access. We have a treadmill in the house. I tried fixing it tons of times, but parts for simple things like that have become expensive. Inflation was rising every day, due to lack of resources in the city. They distracted us however they could, but in life’s still moments I believed we all all could smell the piled shit beneath the bull.
“Alright everyone step in, step in you know the drill. Strap up securely and remain seated,” the Tramconductor Steve Masover yelled. As I walked in I pressed my thumb to the RFID scanner. Everyone in the world was hooked up to the RFID system. It was how the government kept, such good track of the number of citizens every day. It was important to our survival, and although there were many who disagreed with the system there was no way they could do anything about it. Everything was connected to the RFID chip implanted in our thumbs. Our right thumb specifically. It’s how we bought things, its how mother was paid, it was something that was central to our society. I walked to the back of the rusted car. I didn’t really trust these things. There were rumors that the upkeep on them wasn’t very great. We were poor, so mom could never afford hoverbile.
“Were you able to do the homework?” Cami Gram asked looking at me with doubtful eyes as he pulled down his harness.
“About that…I was actually hoping that I could get it from you,” as I pulled down my harness making sure it was secure. I really didn’t trust these things and although it was weird for me I was deftly afraid of heights.
“I knew you didn’t do it, so I sent you what I did. You gotta start doing the homework you know. We need to both get into solar energy engineering if we want to get good jobs. I’m tired of living in the slums,” Cami Gram said as he held his bag close. I decided to do the same, looking up simultaneous, the conductor fiddled recklessly with the various gears and levers.
“Okay, my monitor reads that everyone is secure. We are launching in three two one…,” He pressed the screen a few times and then lifted a latch. The tram started to move, but only lurching us back and forth coming to an abrupt stop. “It’s okay folks it does that sometimes, just remain seated.” Tramconductor Steve Masover muttered, “Stupid piece of government garbage.”
Pulling down the latch he then slammed it into place again. We started to move. Almost instantly, I could feel the G-force pressing me down into my seat. As I looked out beside me, the barriers were clear. On the tram was the only time we could see over the barriers. Clutching my harness tighter I looked over at Cami Gram. He laughed, he loved riding the trams. Shaking my head, I looked back out the window and saw how much of a wasteland the earth really was. It looked nothing like anything from the history textbooks I remember from my elementary years. We all learned what happened to the earth. We abused her, stripping her for energy. Our ancestors thought they were smart then. Running everything off the energy that came from the earth. We had no mercy on her, stripping her of her resources until there was barely anything left. Although we knew that solar energy was the way, it was still cheaper to mine the earth of coal, oil, other forms of energy, as well as luxuries, such as Jewels, and gold. It was all a bad idea. Science later discovered that there was a reason we should have never intruded in the earth. For one, the oil was the earth’s fuel. It constantly created oil deep in its crevices. It took a few billion years, but the oil reserves from the earth was used to keep the mantle hot. Now, the earth is slowly cooling, and due to other various harsh conditions everyone in the world was forced to move to the Tri-state area. Our ancestors used the last of their resources to build upwards. The United States then convinced the U.N. that it was best that they use all of their resources, to build ourselves homes that scrapped the sky. Allowing the earth to rest from the abuse we caused her. The history books always said that civilizations that abused their soil always fell. However, because of greedy careless capitalist mankind we were only allowed to travel a fifteen mile radius about to the point of Pennsylvania. The G-force became an opposite force, as our body slung slightly forward. I was getting tired of the shaking. People sometimes passed out from all the shock and the low oxygen levels the further up we went. The tram conductor had to wear an oxygen mask. They say it was during the first testings of the tram the conductors would on rare occasions pass out, so this was mandatory.
“We have arrived now on the 339th floor, all passengers who wish to get off proceed off the tram with caution and have a nice day,” the Tramconductor Steve Masover announced.
“Alright, we’re here,” Cami Gram unbuckled his harness and started to push it up. I had a little trouble unbuckling mine, so he helped me.
“Thanks, finally we made it — alive,” I said pushing my harness up and getting up.
“Don’t be such a drama queen Veronica Kelton, these things are pretty safe. I heard that there were only two accidents last year,” as he looked back at me walking off the Tram.
“Only two, wow! I guess that would be a world record considering I heard only twelve people died too,” I said as I stepped off the tram.