I wake up again before the Sun has risen, movement in the house around this hour is nothing but a hauntingly familiar memory. It’s been three weeks.

 

She was always the rebel of the family, our Celeste. She was Mum and Dad’s first born, blonde hair and blue eyes. The family’s pride and joy. She probably felt indestructible.

 

For a short while, we thought she was.

 

I’m awake now, stretching out my limbs and giving a slight groan, my toes reach the cold wooden floor. I pad quietly out to the hallway.

 

Celestes’ room was across the hall. Beside our Dad’s study. I’d catch her walking out now and again. Holding a pen or a scrap of paper tightly behind her back. She may have known her place. The Authority made sure of that. She had been there for our Dad’s promotion. He had always been a popular figure in Newcastle.

 

Both him and my mother were socialites, advocates for the Authority during the doctrine war. If it hadn’t been for them, who knows where we would be or what we would be doing?

Her bedroom door has been locked since the day we realised she was taken. An argument erupted between her and our father, forcing Celeste to confess that she had not only had a part in Newcastle’s rebellion, she was their leader.

 

He told her to keep her voice down, we knew it was too late, Mum was already crying. The grieving process had already begun.

 

Once the Authority know that you’ve spoken out

 

You’re never heard of again.

 

No one survives the Authority.

 

“I’m a good kid. I’ve never caused problems” i Mumbled to myself. Jiggling at Celeste’s door handle.

 

“The Authority has never hurt me”

 

I give the door a forceful shove. Something is in front of it.With a grunt I slide across the floor trying to pry the heavy weight away.

 

It takes a few more tries before I hit the floor, groaning in pain I look around  Celeste’s room.

 

It’s been forever since I’ve been in here.

 

From the outside, we were model Authority children. Perfect home, perfect family. But a glance at Celeste’s room would  have changed that in a heartbeat.

 

She lived for the rebellion. Notebooks filled with scrap papers of plans. Masks and balaclavas

 

“The Authority has never hurt me” I remind myself quite sternly. Hands barely touching over the different rebellion memorabilia.

 

Photographs were strewn across Celeste’s bed. She was in a few of them. Spray-painting  posters or hanging up signs to fight with the rebellion.

 

It all looked so…harmless.

 

No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t find a reason that the Authority deserved to take my sister away. In a blind panic I realised she really was – just – gone.

 

The Authority may not have hurt me yet. But at any given chance they are willing to.

 

It was a hard, selfish realisation to come to. And sweat dripped down my brow as I realised what I would have to do to make things right. To find my sister. To get to the truth.

 

“I am part of the rebellion”

 

I choked the words out. Sweat dripping down my back. But the room only grows colder.

 

“I am a rebel. I, I am part of the rebellion”. I can feel the darkness shift around me. My eyes grow wide as my words grow louder and more frequent.

 

The final thing I remember is black. Darkness grabbing me under before a bright light shines over me, leaving me whining, groggy until I fully come through.

 

“Good morning, soldier”

 

A soothing voice calls out to me.

 

“Today begins your first day of training”

 

“Training?” I croak, shifting awkwardly from the bed – I think – that I’m confined to – great.

 

“Today begins your training to fight in the upcoming war against the rebellion”.

 

Even better.