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  • Writer's pictureCasey Truly

Sorce: Birth of Echo (Preview) Pg. 2

Up until now my identity was wrapped around Laurie. Everything she did, her dreams, her aspirations. I didn’t realize I hadn’t even thought of my own, I was just tagging along for the ride. Maybe that’s why she left, maybe I’d grown too complacent with my own life. Not that it matters now. She’s gone. EERAH EERAH EERAH! My alarm is blaring at me. Normally I’d be irritated, but I just don’t care. I feel an endless void forming in my soul that’s trying to drag me down and consume me within it. I stare at the alarm for a moment: 8:30A.M. it reads. An hour before my first class. I smack the alarm to turn it off then drag myself from under the covers then head over to the bathroom. Using the toilet, brushing my teeth, combing my hair, all these mundane tasks feel pointless. I’m definitely in a slump and I have no tangible desire to get out of it. I put on my relatively new tunic; the one Laurie bought me a few months ago. I normally wear a regular shirt, jeans, and custom-made shoes, but now I’m an Apprentice, a first class Sorce. Which means I have to dress the part. The tunic was a long-sleeved white and black one, with layers of fabric that kept you cool in the day and warm at night. I paired this with black pants and white shoes. It’s custom for you to wear symbolic or themed clothing for your first three years, after that, you can practically wear whatever you want. Though, mostly everyone wears some form of tunic, jacket, suit, skirt, dress, padding, or they have specific tastes or a cultural influence. The day she bought it for me I was shocked, these things weren’t cheap since they were made from a special sorce material, as strong as the toughest metals, but softer than most silks. I love this tunic, but now it’s just a painful reminder. I head out to the cafeteria to get something to eat. Not that I’m hungry, I just know that if I don’t eat something, I’m not going to be able to focus. I leave my dorm room; the automatic lock makes a beep sound. I notice a couple of other students already down the hall and some leaving their dorms at the same time as me. Is the Master of my first class going to uptight? It’s Sorce Manipulation 103, so they’re probably not going to be too harsh. I did some training over my last summer, getting down the basics of sorce manipulation and some basic elemental skills but nothing too advanced. I walk into the cafeteria and there’s a line, of course, and Laurie, a few people away, getting her meal talking to some of the other students, people I’ve never met before. My psi-phone and watch vibrate in unison. Sorce Manipulation 103: in 5 minutes. I’m growing more irritated with these reminders and alarms. A few of the other students are talking as I approach the line. My sneakers make a distinctive squeak across the cafeteria floors. There’s been a rock stuck on the bottom of my shoes for months and every time they squeak it’s got the undertone of something being carved into stone. Laurie knows that sound and she turns to see me. We make eye-contact and I feel both happy and sad to see her. She immediately turns her eyes away and jumps back into a conversation with the guy standing in front of her. Now I’ve definitely lost my appetite. I bypass the line and go for the snack shelf next to the register. I grab an energy bar and a water. A guy with the nametag that says “Rosh” is standing at the end. Rosh has a huge beard, looks like he’s in his late twenties, big but in a muscular way.

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