Part 1

The dark haired Sub ran as fast as he could, his heart pounding in his chest and his blood gushing through his veins, almost deafening him in his blind panic to escape. His bare feet slipped on the wet foliage and he almost fell but he regained his balance and sprinted towards what he hoped was safety. They were closing in on him, he could hear the hounds baying somewhere behind him. He had no where to go, no where to run. He couldn’t run to his home that would just endanger his whole settlement. His only choice was to try for the wilderness. The dead lands. He didn’t know why they were dead, they just were. There were pictures painted on the walls of the cave he shared with the rest of his clan. Men pointing sticks at other men. Men falling to the ground and then a strange cloud, not unlike the edible fungus that grew wild in the forest. He didn’t understand the drawings, they were just there.

His hunters were getting closer now. They had things, objects that could help them track him and dogs that could run you down and hold you until the men got their nets on you. The Sub made a dash for the river, maybe he could lose the dogs by swimming across, but his hunters had thought of that and had circled around him.

The net fell over him and he whimpered in fear, struggling to fight his way out. In an instant the hounds were on him, snapping at him till he held still. The men surrounded him, congratulating each other on his capture as he knelt trembling with fear. Subs that were captured by the Elite were never seen again. In his silence way he bid goodbye to his life.

“Time to get up Justin.”

The young elite turned over in his sleep, dragging his fingers through his thick bleach blond curls and scratching his scalp before snuggling down and drifting back to sleep.

“Time to get up Justin.”

The young man groaned and dragged a spare pillow over his head, trying to protect his eyes from the influx of blinding sunlight that was now flooding his penthouse apartment as his computer opened the blinds of his roof.

“I should unplug you,” he grumbled under his breath.

The automated voice quipped back blandly. “It is unadvisable to unplug the HC-200-4-82. To do so would cause a cascade effect through out the whole building, causing a system wide power outage for all the residents of this building. This would be considered an act of sabotage and the officials would be notified. Although this does not carry a sentence of incarceration, you would however be forced to carry out a civil service penance, thus taking away all your free time and placing you in an environment that you have been noticeably avoiding like the nurseries.”

Justin groaned. “I didn’t say I was going to unplug you, just that I’d like to.”

“You still have to get up Justin.”

Justin sat up and slapped the palms of his hands on the bed either side of him. “Alright, alright I’m up already!” he shouted as he swung his long legs out of bed.

“Your shower is ready Justin.”

“Isn’t it always?” Justin grumbled moodily.

“This unit can hear you whisper Justin.”

Justin rolled his eyes and walked nude to his bathroom and stepped into his sonic shower. Justin closed his eyes and let the powerful waves wash over him and tried to imagine they were real water. Water was much too valuable to waste on cleansing the body. So dirt and grime was blasted away with sonic waves that made you tingle all over. While he was daydreaming he was interrupted by the automated voice.

“What would you like for breakfast Justin?” it asked.

Justin sniffed and stepped out of the cubical and walked back to his bedroom to dress.

“I’m not hungry I’ll eat later,” he replied.

“This unit will not release the doors until you have eaten breakfast. It is recommended by the government that you eat at least two slices of wheat produce, one bowl of high fibre and fruit produce and two protein units. Shall I prepare your breakfast now Justin?”

Resignedly the young elite sighed. “Yes please mother and coffee to wash it down.”

“Orange juice is an approved breakfast beverage and I’m not your mother. Your mother was a glass tube in the reproduction centre and you were brought up in the state nursery. Ironic as you now spend so much time trying to avoid going there.

Justin groaned and shook his head. Why did he have to get the sarcastic computer?

“Get dressed Justin you will be late for your assigned workplace again, also your food is in the dispenser.”

Justin smiled. He had to smile or he would rip the components right out of the master consul. He quickly dressed in the cream cotton loose pants that the automated help had provided and slipped the long-sleeved, high necked tunic over his head. He buttoned the neck and smoothed down the fabric. It, like the pants was cream cotton and hung down to just above his knees with deep side vents that reached to his narrow hips.

“You still haven’t eaten breakfast Justin.” The computer said matter-factly in its male voice.

“Still haven’t eaten breakfast Justin,” Justin mouthed as he walked over to the food dispenser and removed his official breakfast. He sat down at his dining table and began to eat.

“You have a call Justin.”

Justin took a mouthful of orange.” Thank you please put it on display.”

“Justin thought you’d still be there.” On the video screen was a young Elite maybe two or three years older than Justin. His darkish hair had been cut short and spiked with the tips bleached blond. He wore a suit similar to Justin's only his was dark green, emphasising the green of his eyes.

“Hey Lance, mother has locked me in again till I eat breakfast,” Justin joked.

The Elite laughed. “You really need to tweak his settings a little.”

As if to make a point the masculine voice quipped. “In five minutes you will be late for your designated employment Justin.”

Justin rolled his eyes again. “If you’d unlock the doors I wouldn’t be,” he snapped.

“If you’d eat your breakfast, I’ll unlock the doors Justin. You now have three minutes and you will be late for your employment.”

Justin banged his head repeatedly on the tabletop, much to Lance’s mirth.

“Forget about mother for now. I’m calling because there’s a hunt organised for the weekend.”

Justin looked up. “Don’t you have enough heads in your trophy room?” he asked.

Lance leaned forward. “Not like this one. Normally we only get to hunt old or sick Subs. This one is young and healthy.”

“What?” Justin's interest was pricked. “Are you sure, how?”

“A friend of mine was on a hunting party for the government, they spotted a Sub, the usual kind. Then suddenly there was this young buck. They couldn’t resist. It took them three days to capture him, can you imagine!” Lance grinned excitedly. “Do you want in Justin?”

“Fuck yeah! This is one head that will be mine. Lance this is a chance in a lifetime, to bring down a young buck in it’s prime, not old and infirm.”

“Okay, Saturday morning at 6am, make sure he’s up mother,” Lance joked.

“I’m not his mother; his mother was a glass tube in …”

“He knows dammit. It’s a term of endearment for Pete’s sake! “Justin screamed in frustration the computer went silent.

“I’ll be ready,” Justin said.

“Good because we are giving him a twelve hour head start. That’s the condition that we got him under. The government are trying out your new scanner, congratulations.”

Justin grinned at his good news then frowned. “Still 12 hours, that’s a lot.”

Lance laughed. “He’s a Sub, he’ll lead us straight back to his clan and sit and wait for us to find him.”

“You are now five minutes late for work Justin.” The computer said loudly.

“You had better go. See you Saturday.” The screen that was displaying lances image went blank.

“The door is open Justin and your transport is waiting.”

The blond Elite picked up his bag and walked out of his apartment. “Thank you mother,” he quipped.

“You are welcome son,” the computer quipped back and Justin laughed.


The slim dark haired man huddled against the concrete wall, his blue eyes wide in apprehension. He could hear noises outside the door, strange sounds that the men made with their mouths. His nude body was cold without the sun to warm him and he shivered.

When the men from the dome had cornered his father he had acted on instinct, attempting to protect his parent and lead them away giving the older man a chance to escape. He had felt sure that he could outrun them but he had been wrong. They had tracked him for three days and nights, finally capturing him and bringing him to the cold concrete room.

The door opened and he whimpered pathetically as the three men entered, two holding pain sticks. The two men advanced on him, shocking him repeatedly until he was a quivering mess on the floor. The third man stepped forward and grabbed the helpless Sub by his hair and forced his head forward. He pressed a hypo spray to the nape of the Sub’s neck, injecting a small computer chip and tracking device into his body before letting him fall back to the floor. The two security men shocked him once more and then again causing the Sub to lose control of his bladder, leaving him lying in a pool of his own urine.