Memories. That's all the past was. Just memories.
Slowly, hesitantly, I lifted my hand and traced my fingers over the cold grey concrete walls; the walls that caged me in as if I was some wild animal, the walls that trapped me within it as if I was a psychopath, the walls that shut me away from everyone else, the walls that stole my freedom, my hope, my life.
A loud, angry cry burst from my lips as my hands balled into fists. I punched at the wall so hard blood burst from a blister on my finger. My deep green eyes watched as the bright red stream trickled down my arm.
I heaved a deep breath as I dropped to a sitting position on the cold hard floor. I leaned my head back against the wall and closed my eyes.
Music was blaring. Bodies were moving in rhythm to the beat. Disco lights were flashing. Games of pool and table tennis were in full force. People were drinking, laughing, chatting. I had never felt more at home.
I turned to glance over my shoulder and my eyes landed on my ever-watchful brother. He gave me a quick grin and a wave and I returned the gesture.
Suddenly, the door to the bar burst open and a entire troupe of guards in black uniforms swarmed inside.
"Inspection!" Commander Shumway, leader of the guard, called out as he stepped inside and swept the room with his steely gaze. "Okay, you all know the drill. Show your I.D. and chips please."
I gasped and stumbled backwards, narrowly missing bumping into some guy behind me. I whirled around and looked everywhere, but I couldn't see my brother.
Panic surfaced within me as I fought my way through the crowd of merry youths towards the back door. I had to get out of here!
Just then, someone grabbed my wrist and pulled me forward and away from the suffocating throng encompassing me. I breathed a sigh of relief. It was my brother, Bellamy.
"Listen to me: whatever happens you get back home, you get back underneath the floor. You'll be safe there ... like always," his urgent words rang in my ears.
"W-what are you going to do?" I queried desperately, tugging on his arm.
"Cause a distraction," he returned as he began to remove his weapon, a shock baton, from his belt.
"Bellamy!" I cried. "H-how do I get home?"
Bellamy froze, then turned to glance at me, "O ..."
"Cadet Blake! Why is your weapon out?" Commander Shumway bellowed from across the room. He shoved his way through the crowd of youth towards us.
"Uh ... sir, she's fine, I've already scanned her," Bellamy stepped protectively in front of me.
Commander Shumway raised his eyebrows and nodded. As he turned away, however, he glanced down towards Bellamy's belt and paused, "You don't have a scanner." He looked at me, "Where your I.D.?"
"Oh, please, Commander Shumway I'm begging you she needs to leave," Bellamy stuttered, his words tumbling over themselves. "As a fellow guardsman, just let us walk outta here and I'll do anything you want ... anything ..."
Commander Shumway narrowed his eyes as he spoke, "Are you a guardsman yet, cadet?" He locked eyes with me as he commanded, "I.D. now!"
I stared at him for as long as I dared, then, without a second thought, I shoved past Bellamy and the commander and made a break for it. I sprinted towards the open doorway, my head throbbing and my breaths coming out in pants.
"STOP HER!" Commander Shumway shouted after me.
I had just reached the door when two guards suddenly descended on me. Wrenching my arms back, they forced me to a stop. Squirming and kicking, I was dragged back into the room and forced to my knees.
Through a haze of tears, I looked up at Commander Shumway's stern, unforgiving face as he stepped forward. "Take her to lock-up," he ordered brusquely.
"Bell ..." I whispered as I was heaved up and onto my feet. I stared into the hopeless, heartbroken expression on his face and gulped. "No ... please."
I buried my face in my hands and groaned, trying to forget what had happened all those weeks before.
"I - I'm okay," I whispered over and over to myself. "You don't get floated until you're 18 at least! I'm only 16. I'll get a review from the Council. They'll free me. I - I'll be alright ... I'll be alright ..." But I knew, even as I rocked back and forth, even as I spoke these words over and over again that I wouldn't be alright - not now, not ever.
It didn't matter what age I was, it didn't matter how many reviews I received, it didn't matter - none of it did. Fact was fact: I was unwanted. I would be dead before my 18th birthday. I was going to be floated for a crime I had committed. That crime? Being born.
My head snapped up and I stared at my cell door in shock as it flew open. Three guards entered the room, grim business-like looks on their faces. I jumped to my feet, eyeing the shock batons in their hands. "W-what's going on? It's not my time to go! I haven't had a review yet! Please..."
The three men didn't respond, though. They just advanced towards me. One of the nearer guards whipped out a pair of handcuffs as he barked, "Turn around and face the wall."
My heart sank. Tears trembled in my eyes. "No ... please ..."
"Turn around and face the wall ... NOW!" the man shouted as he lurched forward. Grabbing the back of my neck, he spun me around and flattened me against the concrete behind me. I sputtered and groaned in protest but to no avail. My hands were forced behind my back and the cold metal of the handcuffs were snapped around my wrists.
Jerking me backwards, the guard dragged me from my cell and out into the still, empty, white-painted hall. "Take her away," he nodded at his two associates.
"Yessir," they responded simultaneously.
Each of them grabbed one of my arms and began hauling me off, down the long passageway towards a large metal grate that stood at the end of it. The entire way, I struggled desperately to escape, but it was no use.
I knew what awaited me at the other end of that door and I knew it wasn't good.
Maybe I'd been wrong after all. I wasn't going to be dead before my 18th birthday ... I was going to be dead before my 17th.
I exhaled sharply as my mind turned over the events of the last hour. Leaning my head back against the wall behind me, I closed my breath and willed myself to stop breathing so fast.
1 ... 2 ... 3, I thought to myself as I struggled to control the rage of emotions that were swirling throughout my mind. Just breathe, Octavia, just breathe.
BAM. I was dragged, struggling, kicking and yelling, through the metal grate and into the room beyond.
"Stop fighting!" one of the guards warned me, waving his shock baton around. "You don't want me to use this."
I glared at him and then I glared at the baton. "I'm never gonna stop fighting! Not until you give me what I want!"
"And what's that?" he sneered in response.
"I - I need to say goodbye to Bellamy!"
The guard paused.
"Please ..." I begged. "He-he's all I've got left ..."
A shadow was thrown across the floor as someone came to a stand-still behind me and the two guards. One of the men glanced questioningly over my head towards the figure.
"No," the steely cold voice of Commander Shumway cracked the air around me. "We don't have time for goodbyes. We must get her to the drop-ship before take-off or she'll be left behind. The launch begins within the hour."
"You monster!" I screamed, turning and lunging for the commander. "I hate you! How could you do this to me?"
And, just like that, I was stung by the guard's shock baton.
A volt of electricity flowed throughout my body, causing me to drop to the ground and writhe in pain at the contact.
"Oh my god," I gasped out when I could finally breathe again.
"Don't cause us any more trouble," Commander Shumway spoke, gravely and authoritatively. He sent a knowing look at the guards hovering nearby. "Take ... her ... to ... the ... drop-ship ... now."
As I was hauled to my feet I demanded angrily, "What the hell is a drop-ship? Aren't you gonna float me?"
Commander Shumway smirked as he looked at me. "Oh my dear Octavia. You're gonna wish we had."
My eyes widened in horror as I was dragged away. What the hell was going to happen to me?
I was marched through a maze of empty prison cells, passing the prison courtyard on the way. I had been locked up in solitary so I hadn't had the pleasure of being allowed to socialise with any of the others kept here. It was fine by me, anyway, I had spent all my life in hiding, only seeing my mother and Bellamy on occasion. I wouldn't even know how to interact with a large group of people.
I heaved a deep shaky breath, my mind spinning over the last 16 years of my life.
I was the second child born to my mother ... Bellamy had been the first. He was a good guy. He always looked out for me and brought me presents even when it wasn't my birthday. He was big and strong and I was so proud of him the day he burst excitedly into my hide-out and told me that he'd made the cut: he was going to join the guard.
I couldn't help but feel jealous though. Bellamy would tell me all these amazing stories; but I knew I would never get to experience any of them myself and that made me sad.
According to the rules of our community, only one child was allowed per family. Anyone else caught breaking this rule would be cruelly executed ... as well as the unwanted child. In my case, that unwanted child was me.
The leader of our community was Chancellor Thelonious Jaha. He was head of the Council, a board that many prestigious and privileged people sat at. They were our form of government and the guard? Our form of punishment. They did whatever the Chancellor told them to do without question. It was like they were his little minions, carrying out his dark deeds in the dead of night. To be fair, Chancellor Jaha isn't as bad as some of the previous ones we've had, but let's cut to the chase: all the privileged care about is themselves and Chancellor Jaha was no exception.
There were 2,659 of us in this tight-knit community. Everyone had their special talents in their own special sectors, some of which included the medics, the mechanics, the scientists, and the workers. Each sector was marked off with a specific number and were subject to frequent surprise inspections.
As for me, my "home" was in a dingy cold corner of the washroom that no one used anymore. Whenever I heard the officers' boots clattering across the floor, I would pull up one of the floorboards and hide beneath it until the inspection was over. However, the guards barely ever made the rounds around the washroom so it was only on occasion that I was forced to hide.
One day, a few months after my sixteenth birthday, I was sewing a broken button back onto a pair of my old overalls when Bellamy hurried into the washroom. In hushed tones, he told me of a masquerade dance that all the youth were having in Sector 4. He was going to take me there as a belated treat for my birthday! I was so thrilled I couldn't believe it! For the first time in my life I stepped outside of the washroom door. For the first time in my life I saw the outside world. For the first time in my life I wasn't weird, I wasn't unwanted, I wasn't unusual. For the first time in my life, I was dancing with everybody as if I belonged, as if I was wanted. Then ... then the door burst open and ... and I was caught.
While I was waiting for a review, my mother, who had been caught in the middle of a capital crime, was punished by death. Bellamy wasn't allowed to come and see me in jail and was under strict supervision by the higher guards of his squad.
When I was locked up in solitary for all those weeks, I had plenty of time to think and reminisce. Me and the other people in my community were the last remaining survivors after a plant of nuclear bombs exploded and destroyed the world over 97 years ago. Our ancestors, who were only 400 in number at the time, had fled via a large spacecraft they called the Ark. They managed to live through the chaos that completely ruined the earth, turning the only home that humans had ever known into an inhabitable, radioactive mess. Our ancestors had stocked up enough supplies to last them and their descendants for 200 years. But, after those years were up, they'd be forced to return to the ground.
However, as the lapse of time drew on, glitches began to occur in the Ark's system. Oxygen, which was our primary concern, was leaked into space and much of it was lost. So, the council decided to pool their resources, ration food, and limit the population. One way of executing the latter was the rule of one child per family.
The government was very strict. You could do anything, no matter how slight, and you'd be arrested and put into lock-up. You could stay in there for years. It depended on whenever the council was ready to review your case. If they voted for you, you could be released, but if they decided against you, you would be floated the day of your 18th birthday. Being floated basically meant that you were locked in an air-tight room and sucked out into space with the push of a button. The pressure of the non-oxygenic, harsh environment out in the atmosphere would crush your brain within seconds. It was a speedy death, but a painful and horrid one none the less.
It was a fate I was more than sure to suffer.
The two guards hauling me to my death pulled me through yet another set of secured metal doors before jerking me to a stop.
Breathless, I gazed upwards and then froze.
Prisoners of all sorts were being formatted into orderly lines. Group by group, they were being marched down a nearby corridor, each accompanied by a squad of guards.
I shook my head in shock and confusion. What on earth was going on?
I was forced to stand in a line amongst another group of about a dozen youths who all had their hands tied behind their backs. They all gazed at me in curiosity as I approached them. No doubt they had heard about me, the unwanted stowaway, by now. It was probably a novelty to them that I'd managed to survive undetected for so long.
"Group 13!" the harsh voice of an officer up ahead reached my ears.
"C'mon, let's go," a bunch of guards shuffled me and the others forward towards the front.
There, standing next to the corridor we were about to walk down, was Chancellor Jaha, his second-hand man Marcus Kane and the highest ranking doctor in our community, Abigail Griffin. As we each passed them, our bonds were loosed from our hands and silver cylinder wrist bands were snapped onto our arms.
We were escorted down the passage towards an air-tight compartment. It led straight into one of the spacecraft's launch pads were a missile was set up and being loaded with prisoners.
Was the Ark having yet another oxygen crisis? Were they gonna blow the missile and kill us all? Were they planning to reduce the population so the others would have a longer shot at life?
My group was taken aboard the large contraption and assigned to seats that had been built into the inside. There were two levels and I was directed to the upper one. As I clambered up the small ladder, I couldn't help but think of Bellamy.
I was never going to see him again.
Tears pricking my eyes, I settled down into my seat and watched as the other prisoners did the same. A bunch of officers came through and checked our seatbelts. I still had no idea what was going to happen to me and, judging from the quizzical, incredulous looks on everyone else's faces, they didn't either.
As the last of the guards exited the missile, there was a loud hissing noise as the doors creaked shut.
"Hey, you're the girl they found under the floor, right?" a snarky feminine voice snapped me out of my reverie.
Straightened up, I opened my eyes and shot daggers at the blonde, blue-eyed speaker as I snapped, "What's that to you? And the name's Octavia, not 'girl-under-the-floor', got it?"
"I've never met a runaway criminal before," the girl laughed lightly, completely ignoring my sardonic comment. As I continued to stare at her, I noticed a hint of malice flicker in her eyes.
"Well, we learn something new everyday," I responded with a shrug as I turned away.
However, the girl was far from finished. Leaning forward in her seat, she snarled, "If you're a criminal just for being born, I wonder how much more of a crook you'd be if you actually committed a crime. I wouldn't want to be in your shoes!"
"That's it!" I seethed. I flung off my seatbelt and marched over to the girl. I grabbed her by her hair and forced her to look up at me. "Never ... cross ... me ... again. Is that clear?"
The girl stared at me and then gave a short laugh before ejecting a stream of spit straight into my face! Surprised, I stumbled backwards, right into her outstretched leg.
I went tumbling to the ground. The girl jumped up from her seat and hurled herself on top of me.
"Stupid bitch!" she screamed right in my ear. "You're an unwanted, unloved un-necessity. If you really care about the rest of us you'll jump off this drop-ship right now and kill yourself!"
A mist of rage settled over me as I freed my arm from her vice-like grasp and punched her square in the face. The girl didn't even flinch as my fist made contact with her nose and mouth. She just wiped the blood off her face and smirked triumphantly. "Game on," she hissed as she dug a knee into my stomach.
My cry of pain was cut off as my head was slammed back into the ground. A stinging blow was delivered to one cheek and then the other. Another knee found its way into my side and a fist, with the girl's entire body weight behind it, slammed into my chest.
I wrenched myself away from her and erupted into a spasm of coughs. "You bitch," I gasped out.
"W-what did you just say to me?" she growled as she prepared to throw herself on me again.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa!" a loud masculine voice yelled over the chaos that had erupted. "Let's take a chill-pill and calm down, alright?"
I glanced up, right into the brown doe-eyed gaze of a short, stocky youth. His brown hair fell in waves that curled up around his shoulders and ears. His jacket was unzipped and his chest was in full view of everyone. His lower lip was busted and there was a cut over his left eye. As he bent down to give me a hand up, I saw the muscles ripple beneath his arms.
I gagged and snatched my hand away from his. "I'm good ... thanks," I muttered to myself as I scrambled to my feet. What a good-for-nothing show-off, I inwardly scoffed.
"Fine. Whatever," the boy threw his hands up in the air as he turned his back on me. "But seriously ... you were getting your ass kicked."
"Spacewalker!" someone jeered from the opposite side of the room. "Didn't recognise you for a minute there."
"S-Spacewalker?" I repeated, confused.
"Yep. That's me," the boy spun around to look me in the eye. "Or just Finn Collins if you prefer."
"Spacewalker? That's a weird nickname," I muttered as I slowly made my way back to my seat and plonked myself down on it.
"Yeah ... well that's because he ventured out on an unauthorised, illegal space walk and wasted three months of the Ark's oxygen," the blonde girl that I'd been wrestling with rolled her eyes as she stood up and brushed herself off.
"And since when did you kid yourself on knowing everyone's backstory?" I retorted.
The girl's head snapped up and she glowered at me. "Since when have you learned your lesson on keeping your mouth flippin' shut?" she growled.
"Ladies, ladies," Finn held out his hands and gave each of us a pointed look. "Let's not get into this again."
I huffed as I wrenched my seatbelt back on. "Whatever ... Spacewalker."
Finn just grinned mischievously in my direction as he sauntered off, his head held up proudly.
I rolled my eyes. What an asshole.
Suddenly a screen situated to my left flickered to life, revealing Chancellor Jaha's face.
Most of the prisoners shouted and booed at him as he began to speak.
"Prisoners of the Ark, all one hundred of you, listen to me now," he said in a dead-calm tone. "You've been given a second chance. And as your chancellor it is my hope that you see this not only as a chance for you but as a chance for all of us; indeed, for mankind itself. We have no idea what is waiting for you down there. If the odds of survival were better we would have sent others, but frankly, we are sending you because your crimes have made you expendable ..."
I puckered my brow in confusion as I whispered to myself, "W-where are they sending us?"
As if to answer my question, Chancellor Jaha resumed his speech with one more statement, "We are sending you to the ground."
Without realising it, I grabbed the sides of my seat until my knuckles grew white. My breaths were coming out in short and uneven pants as I took in the staggering news.
We were going to Earth.
"You're sending us to the ground?" a panicked girl shouted from across the room once Chancellor Jaha finished his speech. "We'll die down there!"
"Do you think they care if we live or die?" a boy seated near her scoffed in response. "They're sending us down to the earth to die! They wanna get rid of us so the privileged will get more luxuries and space to live."
"YEAH!" "That's right!" "Screw you, Chancellor!" "How dare they do this to us!" "They can all frickin' die! I don't care about them!" "Yeah gal, preach it!" "Bastards!" "You feel happy sending us to our death, aye? Do ya?"
A chorus of angry voices erupted from all around me.
I shrunk back in my seat and twiddled nervously with my fingers. I had always known I was going to die. Even though being sent to my death didn't take me by surprise, being sent to the ground did.
"I - I thought the Earth was still inhabitable," the scared, confused voice of a little girl piped up beside me.
I turned my head and gazed sympathetically at her. "It's okay. We'll be fine," I tried to assure her.
The little girl shook her head and burst into tears. "I - I don't wanna die," she hiccuped.
A wave of rage pummelled through me. This was a little girl, 12 years old at the most, who was being sentenced to death for some petty crime. She deserved to live a life. She deserved to grow up and have a shot at being happy.
Clenching and unclenching my fists, I tried to calm my temper by asking her, "What's your name, sweetie? I'm Octavia."
The little girl wiped at her eyes as she sniffled, "C-Charlotte. My name's Charlotte."
I smiled as I stuck out my hand. "Nice to meet you, Charlotte. Hey, do you wanna know why I was sentenced to death?"
Charlotte glanced up at me and nodded her little brown head.
"I have a sibling," I told her. "His name is Bellamy. He was the first child born to my mother. I'm the second one. I'm being killed for being born."
Charlotte stared at me for a long moment before whispering, "T-that's awful."
I nodded as I playfully shoved her shoulder. "What about you? What could an innocent little girl like you possibly do that was so bad?"
"I - I ..." Charlotte hesitated. "M-my father was floated. I - I watched him die in front of me. I screamed and swore at the chancellor. I saw a sterilised knife from Mrs Griffin's medical equipment that was sitting on a table nearby. I grabbed it. I tried to kill the chancellor."
I was taken aback. "Wow. Charlotte, t-that's so brave of you."
"You really think so?"
"Yeah, of course. You know, most people here would love to think about killing the chancellor but they'd never actually do it."
Charlotte's mouth wore a hint of a smirk. "I guess."
My next statement was cut off by a loud vibrating screech that shook the air around me and stung my ears.
"W-what's happening?" Charlotte cried out. Her hand shot forth and grabbed mine. "I - I'm scared," she whimpered.
"It's gonna be okay," I whispered comfortingly. "It's gonna be okay."
The floor shuddered beneath me as I heard the unmistakable sound of the missile firing up.
Then, the countdown began over the P.A. encrypted into the drop-ship.
"10 ... 9 ... 8 ..."
I leaned back against my seat and screwed my eyes tightly shut.
"7 ... 6 ... 5 ..."
I'm sorry, Bellamy. I'm sorry I couldn't say goodbye.
"4 ... 3 ... 2 ..."
"... 1 ..."
The drop-shop launched from the pad, rocking the entire compartment and tearing the air with horrendously loud noises.
We were catapulted out into space, the rocket blazers attached to the drop-shop guiding it down towards the earth.
"Okay everyone!" a guy shouted out from nearby. "It's gonna get real rough when we hit the atmosphere so stay put and pray that we don't blow up."
"That's really comforting to know right now!" a girl screamed in response.
"O-Octavia ..." Charlotte trembled.
"We're not gonna blow up," I reassured her, sending a dark look in the direction of the boy who'd put forth such a suggestion.
"What?" he snapped as he eyeballed me. "It's true."
"Shut-up Bryce!" someone yelled at him from across the room. "Now is NOT the time or the place."
A woman's robotised voice spoke over the loud-system as she calmly declared, "The parachute will open in 3, 2, 1."
The entire drop-ship groaned and shuddered with the additional weight as the parachute flew open, slowing down the metal contraption's fall-rate.
"We're about to land! We're about to land!" a girl seated near one of the drop-ship's windows screeched.
"Stay put if you wanna live!" someone else called out.
The drop-ship slammed forcefully into the ground in a whirlwind of noise and chaos. Then, all was still.
With baited breath, I looked up. The computer screens had blacked out. All the wires connecting to the P.A. had snapped. Our communication with the Ark had been broken. The smell of hot metal and the burning sear of flickering sparks reached my nostrils. A cloud of dust settled over me and everyone else as a few of the support beams holding up the roof collapsed. The entire contraption groaned and creaked as it tried its best to hold together.
"We've got to get outta here!" someone proclaimed. "Quickly, before this thing falls down on us!"
Leaping from my seat, I helped unstrap Charlotte and led her towards the ladder leading down towards the lower level of the drop-ship. However, everyone was swarming towards it, shoving, pushing, yelling, crying. Charlotte and I got caught up in the tidal wave of stampeding bodies as everyone fought for a chance to escape.
Finally, after a few minor injuries and some falls, everyone managed to exit and join the other throng of passengers that were swarming around down below us.
Charlotte and I were the last ones to get out of the stuffy hell-hole we'd been trapped in. I assisted Charlotte down the ladder, making sure she wouldn't be trampled amidst the angry mob, before beginning the climb down myself.
A deep, masculine voice, yelling for everyone to quieten down caught my attention. I froze halfway down the ladder. I knew that voice. I glanced around and saw a tall, familiar figure standing in the middle of the crowd below me.
Bellamy, upon hearing my voice, paused in the middle of calling out instructions. He turned around and gazed at me, a hint of a smile flickering on his lips.
"O," he said. "Oh my god, O."
"B-Bellamy," I choked. I jumped off the ladder and landed neatly on the floor. Shoving my way past the other prisoners, I neared my brother and enveloped him in a big hug.
Tears blurred my vision as I felt Bellamy's strong arms encircle me in a warm embrace. After a few seconds I pulled away and inhaled sharply.
"What is this?" I demanded, pointing at Bellamy's jacket. "A guard's uniform?"
"I - I borrowed it to get onto the drop-ship," Bellamy explained. "Someone's gotta keep an eye on you."
I rolled my eyes and smiled as I hugged him again. I could hear Bellamy's deep throaty chuckle as he returned the embrace.
"Idiot," I shoved his shoulder as I stepped back.
"Hey, here's the door!" someone called out from across the other side of the room.
Bellamy and I exchanged quick side glances. Then Bellamy, yelling for everyone to make way, shoved his way through the crowd towards the indicated spot. "How the hell do we open this?" he muttered.
"Here," I pointed to a lever that was attached to the wall right above my head.
Bellamy gave me a nod of thanks as he stepped forward.
"Stop! We can't just open the doors!"
Bellamy and I turned around to face the speaker, who was making their way towards the front of the gathering throng.
"C-Clarke?" Bellamy questioned incredulously.
A girl, her dark blonde hair plastered onto her sweaty forehead, her breath coming out in uneven pants and her fists clenched by her sides came into full view of everyone as she stepped forward. "The air could be toxic!" she exclaimed.
"If the air's toxic we're all dead anyway," Bellamy returned in a somewhat annoyed tone.
I glared at Clarke as she continued to protest. I knew all about her from Bellamy. She was one of richest, most privileged kids in the Ark. Well, she would have to be; her mother was Abigail Griffin, the most prestigious doctor on the Ark.
"What are you doing down here, Little Miss Princess?" I mocked. "You're one of the privileged. Certainly didn't expect that someone as prestigious as you could be a criminal."
Clarke paused, turning towards me with a death glare in her eyes. "Do you mind?"
"Hey!" some chick shouted from the other end of the compartment interrupting the heated conversation between Clarke and Bellamy. "T-that's Octavia Blake! That's the girl they found under the floor!"
A ripple of awed murmurs arose from everyone gathered in front of me.
The girl under the floor? That's how I was known?
With a snarl of rage, I lunged forward, intent on putting an end to the gossiping rumours circulating about the drop-ship.
"Wait, Octavia, no!" Bellamy grabbed my arm and forced me to a stand-still. "Let's give them something else to remember you by."
"Yeah?" I bit my lip as I pulled away from him. "Like what?"
"The first person on the ground in 97 years," he returned.
My eyes widened as Bellamy reached up and pulled the lever. With a loud hiss and a shudder, the door opened. Bright streams of blinding light burst into the drop-ship, temporarily blinding each of us.
When our vision cleared up, however, none of us moved. All we could do was stand there and gape at our surroundings.
Green. So much green. Lush green grass. Tall green trees. Intricately patterned green leaves. Thick green weeds and bulrushes. Sunlight. Breathing into my soul, washing me with warmth, smiling kindly upon me. Water. Fresh clean water. Rippling streams. Drops of dew. Puddles of clear crystal goodness.
I stepped forward, inhaling a deep, big breath of fresh, invigorating air. Beautiful, glorious air. The Earth's air.
I took another step forward and then another one until I was standing right at the edge of the doorway.
"You can do this," Bellamy whispered encouragingly.
With a suppressed smile of excitement and eagerness, I jumped from the doorsill to the ground a few inches below.
I closed my eyes and raised my arms up in the air as I shouted, "We're back bitches!"
Everyone screamed and yelled with excitement and new-found energy as they tumbled out of the drop-ship from behind me and dashed off through the grove of trees in front of us, hooting with laughter, delight and pure joy.
We'd made it. All one hundred of us. We were on the ground.