The Magnificent Kraallesna Jirina's Encampment Dept 745, Cell 43
Cold - tonight will be a cold night. As they always are, of course, but tonight especially so. It was a hard day, though, so most likely I will sleep through it anyway.
It's always cold here, in the Encampments. Some say it's like that because the Kraal can't afford to heat the entire country. Some think it's to condition us, so we begin to not notice the chill, and yet others believe the Kraal doesn't like us, so he keeps it cold on purpose. I know that the Tucskja don't like the Cudja, but I don't think that they would go through that much trouble just to make us feel uncomfortable. They're still people, after all, and no person is truly evil.
I can't see much from my bed, as curfew is past, and the lights are off. In the dimness, I can distinguish the shapes of my parents in the one bed, curled and limp. They must be asleep. My brother has tucked himself in a corner, as he always does when sleeping, and he moves restlessly; I suppose he's not asleep yet. If he doesn't sleep now, he'll regret it in the morning.
Cudja - "alien" - that is the word for us. I don't know what we were called before we fell under Tucskja rule, or if we even were different from the Tucskja in the beginning. I never ask about our pasts, because "To ask of evil deeds is to commit them in your heart," according to my mother. I still don't quite believe that, because if we were not to wonder things, people would not have changed since the day they were created by the Father.
The Father is the one thing that I know separates Tucskja from Cudja. Cudja believe in the one Father, sacred and holy, who created the world. Tucskja believe in many Fathers and Mothers, all with flaws and roles. My parents tell me that the Devil plants lies in the souls of their priests, so as to lead them away from truth. How valid that is, I don't know. I suppose there's a lot I don't know.
Some people say that you can't hear snow, but I think I can. Maybe it's because I've listened to it my whole life, ever since I was born in this same room. But I know it's snowing right now, because I can hear the sound of the snow. It's the sound of millions of tiny pieces of barely anything stacking up to slowly become something. The sound of nothing at all. One comes down, and another lands on it… and another… and another… until I've fallen under its spell, and given in to my aching body.
193837 Adelsky Square, Minij, Rivza
The window facing out to the square is heated, but it's snowing hard and the frost catches its way across the pane anyway, making intricate paths as it creeps in from the corners. Its 11:11, but Pasha Vinka has nothing to wish for. He has everything: when your father is an advisor to the Kraal's Rava, you lack nothing.
He thought briefly about getting to sleep soon; the lights in the Square are unlit and the city was asleep. By day, the landscape seen for miles from his sixth floor suite is lit up by the sun, the building lights, and the reflection off of the snowbank. On sunny days it's wise to wear goggles out of the house for fear of eye damage.
There's knocking on the door, and while he walked over to answer it, he thought to himself, better not be that damned curfew officer again. It's not like my bedroom lights are causing societal damage.
Sure enough, it's the badged, uniformed and balding officer. Upon opening the door, the policeman gives a start.
"Excuse me sir, but I'm going to ha- Oh! Your Honored Vladatic, my humblest regards." His eyes widened and he gave a little bow of submission. Pasha's 6'1", redheaded, amber-eyed, and ominous aura gave away instantly his position as part of the privileged upper class in Rivza - as, he thought to himself, it should. I'm glad Mr. Policeman knows his place.
"With respect, Vladatic, it'd be nice if you could turn off your lights within a few hours, so as to make sure the other citizens could sleep well. But no rush: do as you please."
"I will. Thank you." With that Pasha curtly shut the door in the portly man's face and grimaced to himself. It's not like he was doing work; why his lights were on he didn't really know. It's just that in this cold, quiet, empty floor, the dark made everything even lonelier than it already is.
The life of a Vladatic is lonely sometimes. Upper-classmen have duty, responsibility, and civil obligation to the State of Rivza and the city of Minij, and duty comes before pleasure. That itself is the foundation of the principles they lived to uphold.
He got up and turned the lights off. As he settled into bed, he could just make out in the distance the faint glow from the quarry and the night shift of workers.
However lonely being an Upper-classman was, it was better than being a Cudja.