Every day Sam Suung wakes up at noon to go to the office before the global warming increase the heat so much that you can't go out properly because of the stifling atmosphere: ten years ago a solar storm has almost desstroyed life on earth and mankind was forced to live six feet underseas where people could find a new home to restart everything.
Sam Suung has been living since then with her boyfriend Nokira who is weirdly acting as if he was her brother; both of them had lost everything they had and everyone they loved when they struggled to get in Society, the capital city of the brand new world the governement had built underseas. They live in a quite well equiped small house, located near the city heart.
Sam works as a daily journalist for the worldwide TV channel and newspaper New World Telegraph that relays latest information about lasting development policies and earth's evolution. Unlike Nokira she is rather lucky, brought up in a family of intellectuals: her friend had poor school results which unabled him to get great job opportunities and let him to work for the governement as an odd jobber.
Sam Suung caught up the aerobus to go straight and fast to the office: her boss couldn't bear lazy belated employees.
At 8 she was already sit behind her desk, trying to finish a bunch of articles about recent environment measures taken by the government.
As usual she felt bored because the channel and the newspaper were controlled, sometimes censured before being broadcasted and published. Obviously she couldn't talk about the Traumatism and its sequels or even criticize politics such as the scandalous Amnesia program.
While she was typing the last article someone knocked loudly at the door:
- Come in.
Al Cartel, her mid-aged boss, entered seemingly angry:
-You were supposed to give me the articles yesterday so that they were sent to the governement to be checked. Not to mention that they are always subversive and more often since a few weeks I don't get the authorizations to publish them, are you really unable to write more neutral ones?
- I can't let go of the feeling that the sytem has turned out to become kinda dictatorship...
- Don't pronounce such extreme words, the New World Telegraph may be cancelled if "they" eaverdrop. It's unlikely I'd tend to consider your ideas as dangerous but you're dismissed from now on for the sake of the whole company. Please leave as soon as possible, I'm not joking.
- This was planned for long, wasn't it?
- It was your last chance, I'm going to hire Maa Kintoche a famous journalist who has opportunities to become an Official so he should be more reliable.
- Nice to meet you Mr.Al Cartel intervene a soft voice from the door.
- Good morning, what a relief you're on time.
A handsome young man, neatly dressed entered:
- Wh-What the...?! Is it him?
Sam Suung was nervous: she thought she had most likely met him in the past but where and when? She glanced at his deep green eyes and red short hair, puzzled by the feeling of safety that reached suddenly her heart:
- Who is she? What's the problem with her? Maa Kintoche asked. Nice to meet you, though he said to Sam Suung with a gentle smile.
- I... I don't know! Al Cartel exclaimed in panic.
While Maa Kintoche was wandering around, Al Cartel pushed away Sam Suung in the corridor:
- How can you dare... Who do you think you are? You were talking to a would-be Official! If I were in your shoes I'd apologize properly to him.
- No matter it's nothing, really... nothing. Anyways I'm leaving.
- Wait a minute!
Surprised both of them turned their looks to Maa Kintoche leaned against the threshold:
- I can't remember but I'm sure we already met in the past he said meanwhile putting something strange, round and smooth in the girl's pocket as she entered the rooom to pick up her things. "Good luck" he whispered in her left ear in order to be listened only by her.
- What a jerk! How can he dismiss you so suddenly although we can't make ends meet ?! Nokira inquired.
- I'm sorry it's all by my fault, he used to have issues with the government who judged my articles too subversive.
Nokira looked strongly at his girlfriend for a moment before answering:
Maa Kintoche was cleaning and tiding his new workplace when he found suddenly a few photographs hid in a folder left behind by his predecessor. He couldn't help but to look at them, intrigued by the fact Sam Suung could have forgotten so private and precious things such as her memories behind without noticing.
There was various ones showing her alone as a child, with a hazel-eyed ordinary young man or sometimes with him and a mysterious mid-aged guy who was surely "Sempai" the leader of the Lonesome movement: somehow the three of them looked like a family. Maa Kintoche felt unexpectly sad, tears climbed over his cheeks when he stared at Sam Suung in her child self: was it because they shared the same characsteristics or because she didn't look straight at the camera lens not smiling with ghostly eyes?
According to him the second reason was far more realistic, she was probably caught up in the middle of a move but soon he stated that it was not sadness but guiltiness that had driven him so depressed.
- Have you finished settling? I need a series of articles about the recent sustainable development policies tomorrow on my desk.
- I will work hard to fulfill my goals but may you allow me to leave work sooner this afternoon? I've forgotten I had an appointment with someone important to me to... let me attend the Exam.
- I hope it's not a lie otherwise you can go and never come back. The New World Telegraph won't be able to handle such a lost of time and benefit! See you later...
Maa Kintoche didn't wait until he would have changed his mind, turned off his computer meanwhile gathering his things and the photographs in his bag and left quickly.
Sam Suung was preparing dinner when the doorbell rang loudly. Nokira was supposed to work late until nightfall so she wasn't waiting for anyone else. She wondered if nothing bad had happened to him while walking to the door. She was surprised, almost frightened when the camera lens showed her Maa Kintoche's face. She thought she wasn't forced to open her door to him but his quiet smile was awhile friendly and reassurant.
- What's up? she asked politely welcoming him in the living room with some refreshing orange juice (he dislikes alcohol)
- Sorry for probably disturbing you but you've forgotten these...
He gave her the photographs: she was shocked, took them away his hands and put it in a safe.
- Did you look at them?
- Yes... I did.
- Will you keep the secret?
- Why such a question?
- As you may know the men in most of them are my boyfirend Nokira and Sempai the Lonesome movement's leader.
- Alright I...
The doorbell rang again interrupting him.
- Who is it? Sam Suung inquired.
- Hello it's Sempai, is Nokira back from work? We have to talk together in private for a moment.
- He will arrive soon, come in.
The door slid at the minute she pushed away Maa Kintoche in the kitchen and arranged the living room in a rush. Sempai entered, looked around briefly to check the cameras and the microphones:
- Seems like we can freely talk but can you guarantee me no one would spy this conversation?
- I assume there isn't any Official living around here. Do you want something to drink? Wine? Beer?
- Only a glass of water please, I don't drink alcohol during daytime.
- Alright wait here I would feel ashame if you see the amount of dishes I don't finish to wash up yet.
He sat down in the sofa reading his mailbox. Sam Suung hed to the kitchen; given that the back door was open she guessed Maa Kintoche had left.
- What's your business with Nokira?
- How should I put it? First of all what do you know about the Intellect class?
- Only what everyone knows: they are intellectuals persecuted by the government, strongly opposed to the system. It's the Wonderland family who leads the uprising. Am I right?
Sempai glanced at her, reflecting on how to make his answer to be proper and honest at the same time. A smile pierced his impassive face:
- Say me what you remember of your previous life and I may tell you who you are...
For the third time the doorbell rang and Sempai stood up steadily:
- I have to leave for now someone would have followed me. I will phone Nokira, join us as soon as you can at the headquarter. This house is no longer safe.