City Without Suns

City Without Suns by Wade Andrew Butcher

Book: City Without Suns by Wade Andrew Butcher Read Free Book Online
Authors: Wade Andrew Butcher
to desperately access the transceivers.  I became hesitant and second-guessed what I had done.  When the supposed receptions stopped, I realized the extent of my mistake and the flaw in my thinking.  Those who accessed the transceivers were punished under the assumption that their tampering had reintroduced the blackout malfunction.
    I initially intended to disclose my fake repair to a broad audience.  Now I hide my knowledge in the interest of my own preservation.  There would be no accolades for the person that performed repair allowing new transmissions after the certain discovery of my falsehood.  I would without question be charged with tampering in the first degree.  Instead I let everyone believe that my initial forgeries in the logs occurred as a natural anomaly with the receivers, an intermittent period of operation.  I now know that my attempt to create visibility and accolades for myself with Leonidas and his staff would have the opposite result.  I wanted them to think that the elegant simplicity of the ship systems, although susceptible to the fragility of human neglect, could be harnessed with a little work and a dose of my unique curiosity.  I am ashamed at what I have done and see no choice but to keep it secret and stay invisible to our Commander.
    I have seen the man from a distance.  When I tried to get a closer look, I was urgently ushered away by one of my teachers as she held an arm around my head shielding my eyes.  At first I thought she was blocking my view, but I realized then that she was trying to avoid drawing attention and prevent him from seeing my distinctive eye color.
    A blessing and curse, engineered back on the planet from where we came, my eyes cannot be mistaken as a random gene variation, which are rare as our DNA is synthesized and implanted.  I would have preferred a traditional eye color to accompany my ability to detect light outside the normal visible spectrum, but apparently an iris of fluorescent green that glows in dark rooms was a prerequisite.  I find it strange that among a community of genetic alterations that a person different from the others should be subjected to ostracism.  I guess nobody has figured out how to eliminate cruelty from the human brain.
    Even my younger brother, diseased with potentially fatal bacteria assumed to be a benign and uncontagious artifact from our surrogate mother, makes fun of me in front of others.  There is little we have in common.  My bond with him is no greater than with any other in the Ward.  I do not know the origin of my feeling that brothers should have a strong relationship, but it is not a mutual sentiment.  He has a misplaced sense of power among the youth perhaps stemming from his unexplained strength, which he flaunts as if trying to assert control of surroundings that cannot be altered.  My unfounded admiration of him would not exist if I weren’t hanging on to some unspoken connection that I feel for him as my sibling, even though being a sibling has no meaning or significance in our society.  I cannot make a logical argument that I should care for him in any way outside of how we are taught to put the interests of our community colleagues ahead of our own.
    He is training to be a mechanic, one of the more prestigious and coveted positions we have.  My training is in cognitive science, which includes computing machine operation and maintenance. That position does not receive any respect or admiration, which works to my advantage these days as I covertly monitor communications on the ship.  I can reveal in my notes here, but will not discuss outside that I was the one who cut the lights in my brother’s workshop.  Yes, I have some mild sense of satisfaction in walking right up to him undetected in the dark, slapping him as hard as I can in the back of the head, and exiting quietly while he is left to fume over which of his fellow trainees assaulted him.  Every time he attempts to belittle me in front of

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