Chapter One: Jet-Black Dominoes

I'm the writer of the family. My sister, Raine, is the musician, and my brother, Dexa, is the artist. As we haven't reached adulthood yet, we haven't taken on a specialty, and retain these general terms. My sister will probably become a violinist and my brother a painter, but things might change. They rarely do, but there's a chance.

My mother is a clothing designer and my father teaches salsa dancing. Perhaps an odd match, but I suppose the Government had their reasons for pairing them. They get along well enough, anyway.

Things are almost completely set in stone from the day you're born.

The Government pairs together children born on the same day and in relatively close-by areas to be married when they reach the age of seventeen. People are divided into two distinct types: the Logical and the Creative. There is almost no interaction between the two aside from casual talks and general politeness. You can guess what my family belongs to.

When the paired couple marries, they are expected to have children as soon as they both have completed their schooling and have a steady income, if not before. I don't know what happens if you don't. No one's tried it.

When the woman gets pregnant, the scientists check the fertilized egg and change its genetic structure to fit the demands of society. For instance, a writer had died when I was born, so they made me a writer, and so forth. They make sure any "defects" are taken care of before the baby is born, so there are no deformities. Everyone's got perfect skin and hair. They don't really change appearance too much, at least hair, skin, or eye color, so there's still diversity, but if the parent insists on a certain trait, they'll change it, for an extra fee.

They check the genetic personality traits and remove any undesirable ones, though they for the most part they try and stay out of that (or so I'm told). They don't want "to play god", they say.

It is virtually impossible for someone to be exceptionally "gifted" in more than one area. I suppose if anyone is, they keep it hidden. No one knows what would happen if someone had multiple talents.

That's the problem with me, you see. Not only can I write, but I can sing as well. I don't even want to become a writer. Singing fills me with so much more joy than writing does. No one knows, of course.

I'm the writer. I shouldn't be able to sing.

But I can sing, and I can sing well, if I do say so myself. Not to be conceited or anything, but what's true is true.

I just don't know what to do. I'm nearing my seventeenth birthday, which means two things: my impending marriage and getting my license. At seventeen, we have to go to the Department of Physical and Mental Aptitude (DPMA), where we are put through a series of tests. Upon completing these, we are then scored and receive a license for the sub-area we scored best in.

In all honesty, I'm considering cheating the system.

There is no law outright forbidding the getting of two licenses, because, by all means, passing two different tests should be impossible. Everyone is only good at one thing, why should the Government worry about things such as multiple license registrations?

I don't know how to go about such a thing, but I think I'll try and get two licenses. What's the worst that could happen?


Every morning I get up, get dressed, eat a small breakfast, and walk outside. I then step on the sidewalk outside my house, face toward my school, and wait for the sidewalk to move. Public transportation is unsanitary and expensive, so the Government made a high-tech mode of transportation: moving sidewalks. Each street has two sidewalks: one going one way, and the other going the opposite way. It's really quite ingenious, and if you tire of standing, you can always sit, as long as you know where you have to change sidewalks.

This particular morning, as I stood on the sidewalk, my bag at my feet, I noticed a strange young man standing on the opposite side of the street. He had medium-length shaggy black hair and bright green eyes. He wasn't on the sidewalk; he was on a lawn, and he just stood there staring.

I turned my head sharply away from him and looked forward. It was best to ignore anyone who didn't seem normal.

I didn't look anywhere but ahead the entire way to school, even once I walked through the wrought-iron gates which read Rivercrest High: Writer's Section. Walking through the dull gray hallways to my first class, I saw the boy again, leaning against a wall in front of me. I hastily changed direction and went an alternate route to my class, where I sat in my seat hurriedly.

Caiden, my fiancé, came in shortly after and sat in the seat next to me, smiling widely.

"Hey, Lan," he said cheerily.

I faked happiness, "Hey."

Our teacher walked in and I was saved the trouble of conversing further with him. It wasn't that he was a bad guy, and I tried to like him, I really did, since I was to be married to him shortly, but… We were just friends, though he didn't seem to know it. We'd been engaged since birth but I would never find it in my heart to love him romantically.

We never really did anything at school, Ms. Lefa just let us work on our "masterpieces", as she called them, and, really, that's all anyone wanted to do.

I flicked my gaze over to Caiden and sighed to myself. He wasn't bad looking, either. He had light brown hair and eyes, and a carefree, easy attitude. He didn't have that brooding writer thing going on, which was sort of surprising (and a little disheartening, to be honest, as I'll admit that there is an appeal for that sort of thing), and, really, there was no one better to support my novels.

It was a little unusual for us to be paired together, as normally two people of the same profession aren't really put together, but it wasn't totally unheard of.

I looked back to my journal and lost myself in my newest work, never looking up again until the bell to send us home rang. I walked out quickly and jumped on the sidewalk home, eager to leave to try and work on my plan. My birthday was only a few months away.

I sensed movement behind me, and twirled around.

It was the freaky guy. I looked around quickly, but there was absolutely no one around. The street I was on was really more of a side road, and eerily deserted. I clenched my fists in anticipation.

"Who are you?" I asked, keeping my voice calm and steady.

The boy gave a rather charming smile, which disarmed me. "My name is Jet," he said in, honestly, the most soothing and attractive voice I'd ever heard.

I looked skeptically at him. "Why are you following me?"

"To talk to you," he replied simply, shrugging.

I creased my eyebrows. "Why?"

"I can help you."

I paused. "With what?"

"Your little… problem," he said casually, glancing at me.

"What problem?" I asked guardedly.

"You know," he said knowingly and handing me a small metal rectangle that looked similar to a hotel key with a hole through either end of it.

I stared at it.

What did he mean, my problem? Surely he couldn't mean my talents…

The silver card turned an amethyst color, and I looked at it in surprise.

Jet chuckled. "Aha! You do, in fact, know, then."

"What?" I asked, completely bewildered.

"The card is purple, yes?"

"Yes…" I said.

He smiled. "When it turns purple, that means that we are thinking the same thing. So you do know what problem I am talking about."

"Hey, wacko, I don't know what you're trying to pull…" I said, trying to step backwards. The metal had returned to its innocent silver color again.

He rolled his eyes at me. "I can't explain the specifics right now, but that card is connected to my thoughts, and, now that it is in your possession, you can somewhat know what I am thinking."

"What? That doesn't make any sense!" I said.

He sighed, clearly agitated. "I told you, I can't explain it all right now!" he looked around, but the street was still deserted, though we were nearing more inhabited areas, and he looked pleadingly into my eyes, "Trust me."

I hesitated. What have I got to lose? "Okay…"

He smiled. "I'll get in touch with you later. I have to go. Keep this safe," he said before producing a chain and attaching it to the holes in the card and putting it around my wrist, "and try to figure out its other properties, if you can."

I nodded my assent, but at the touch of his hands, my mind blurred slightly.

Such nice hands…

My wrist felt slightly cooler, and I looked down to see my new bracelet turn purple. I looked up to find Jet gone.

Staring at the metal card until it turned silver again, I blushed.


A/N: And that's that for the first chapter! I very much like this story so far and plan to keep working on it efficiently and, hopefully, quickly. I'm really going to try to discipline myself to keep working, and since I get 30 minutes every day at school to work on it in Creative Writing, I don't think I'll have a problem.

I plan on further chapters being longer. This one's a bit short (a little over four pages), and I normally like to keep chapters at about nine pages long. This just seemed like a good place to end :3. As for the chapter title… I have no idea. I just thought it sounded cool :3.