My thumb brushes over the words engraved into the pen entwined with letters spelling out a quote that I had permanently etched in my mind. These letters have always grounded me, told me of my insignificance.

Know those above you, and those below you, and then you will know where you are.

I know where I am. I am in a world full of fear.

I glance up and smile at Cawryt, who was sitting to my right, and she returned it. Miming falling asleep, we giggle silently, oblivious to the shadow looming over us. I feel a sharp pain on my head and I duck it in alarm.

"You filthy human children should at least concentrate in my lesson! Do you want to end up in the Dump?"

I look up into a harsh, lined face- the face of my teacher. She has grey streaks in her hair, hanging down in thin, oily strands, sticking to her rectangular glasses. The only thing that seems young about her is her eyes. They are an inhuman neon blue and have a sort of shimmer to it, a glow that is meant to startle humans and make them cower. After all, she is a Veisiat. And Veisiats have always been above us.

They weren't human, oh no. No human had the right mind to colonise a whole planet and kill off nearly all the innocent people there, before forcing young adults to be their slaves in their hunger for power. They were, in my own terms, aliens. Different from humans, and they always make it a point to say so.

Which explains her language.

"Sorry Teu," I mutter, using the word for teacher that Veisiats command us to use.

I have never cowered under a Veisiats gaze. Never. I have never been startled by the glow of their neon blue eyes that signified their position in society. Why? Because I have eyes exactly like them.

I have always been self-conscious of that fact, as strangers I pass on the street would look at me and shrink a little, even adults, thinking that I am a Veisiat. Luckily, I am not. I lack the only other feature that made it possible to tell the appearance of our species apart- two jagged black lines down the back of their necks. Still, those were not as noticeable as the eye colour, which I had. The only good thing about having those blue eyes is that I don't get frightened by stares from Veisiats, and I always keep my cool in what are, to my friends, nervous situations.

Like now.

Teu huffs in annoyance and marches down the row of desks, returning to her former position in front of the room. Cawryt shudders to herself and stares hard at her desk, obviously scared by when Teu's eyes glowed in anger. There is a moment of shuffling as everyone looks back at their screens, as if they have been concentrating the whole lesson time.

Soon, the bell rings for Laran, and we grab our screens, minimizing them to the size of a pea and click them into our wristbands, before quietly walking out of the room. Laran wasn't far from where we were, so we arrive quickly, filing in and arranging ourselves in a neat line. Our Laran Teu is human, and most likely the only human Teu in the whole school. He motions for us to pick up our guns, specially fitted for students, or Jye, as they preferred to call us. They are loaded with special bullets, small sparks of electricity that causes pain, but cannot kill.

"Students." He nods his head, as he always does when he uses a term that does not abide to the rules of the Veisiats. Being human, he often does that.

"Sir." We chorus, and Laran begins.