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Silversuit III


One hundred years have passed since the dreaded bacteria attacked humanity, causing women to become sterile and shortening men’s lives. Marauding bands kidnapped children, now the most precious commodity on Earth. Only those living in the coldest lands have survived.

A strange silver liquid covered the skins of a few chosen ones, giving them extraordinary powers. These Silversuiters became the sworn protectors of the world leaders.

Hero teachers saved thousands of children and evolved into the most respected leaders on the planet. As generations passed, they became more powerful and finally absolute dictators.

L’ora R’oak and her companion, rogue Silversuiter Fourth, become the heads of the resistance to overpower the Supreme Teacher and the Tenured Council.


CHAPTER 1:  The Coloring Book

Wrapping her old blanket over her head to cover the lumps in her wool ski cap, L’ora slipped out of the transit pod and, bent over, shuffled toward the down ramp. Moving close to the protecting wall she reached the bottom of the ramp and faced the swirling winds. A quick look around confirmed no one else had dared this unseasonal blizzard and she braved the driving sleet to dash across the promenade. Tattered and damp banners streamed in the blizzard’s tormenting scream and the broken and ruined decorations decried the cancellation of the day’s festivities, the beginning of the weeklong worldwide holiday.


Holding tightly onto the banister, L’ora climbed the few icy steps of her building and slipped and slid to the nearest access portal. Pulling her standard issue ring through the slit in her threadbare gloves, she pressed its crest into the round slot and quickly eased through the misty opening in the frame. It’s just as cold in here but at least I’m out of the freezing wind, she thought and raced toward the nearest lift portals. Keying her ring, she stepped into the waiting pod and clung to the handles as its clear panel wrapped around her. Barely giving her time to catch her breath, the pod lifted and swiftly raced into the myriad of tubes whose octopus tunnels wove all over the huge residential complex. 


As the pod whistled through the tubes L’ora closed her eyes and again kept the panic at bay by thinking of her famous Great-Great Gran’s stories of her youth when sellers used similar pods to send their money markers from the credit cashers to the central offices.

The pod finally shrieked to a stop and the clear panel slid around her and opened onto an empty hall. L’ora rushed out and turned to her right to begin jogging down the chilly corridor. She stopped for a second to check the large crack in the frame for she no longer tried to keep track of the latest code number of her floor. Pulling her blanket around her, she faced the whistling drafts and dashed down the hall. Running past the long “N” corridor to her left and the next eleven corridors, she reached the end of the hall. There she turned into the smallest corridor and headed toward the threshold of the only frame on the right hand side. Her “Z” corridor, wedged into the south side of the building, barely fitted her cubicle and the two frames in front marked "Storage" and "Maintenance.” At the threshold of her portal, she ringed her access circle and stepped into her room, the space in her frame misting behind her. One step brought her to the C.H.A.R. parallel to the frame wall.


“Cato, your mistress is home,” L’ora said, lifting her lightweight inside jumpsuit off the furry body curled tightly against the cold. Picking up the fawn-colored cat, she gave it a soft rub and laid it back down, covering it with the general issue blanket. “I’m so sorry I had to take the blanket Cato, but it’s just too cold outside. I don’t think anyone else went to work today, not at the beginning of Constitution Week.”


L'ora hung her waterproof carrysak on the side of her C.H.A.R and opened it to peek inside, assuring her treasures were safely there. Stepping over to her cabinet, she pulled out a soup container and measured a full ration of cat food into Cato’s bowl. “Here Kitty, Kitty,” she said, putting the bowl down under the blanket and setting her soup to heat.


Stripping off her outside coverall, she pulled on her jumpsuit, shivering as the inadequate material gave her little protection. She left the soft wool ski cap pulled over her head, mentally thanking Great-Great Gran for her long ago gift.

Hanging up the heavier outside coverall on a wall peg, she grasped her soup and stretched out beside the cat. Nudging the controls at her shoulder she watched the transparent pod closing over her. Her shivering skin bathed in the warm air eddying from the Controlled Heating And Recliner.


L’ora relaxed and sipped the hot soup, luxuriating in the first minutes of a week’s holiday. Cato finished his bowl and curled onto her lap while she finished hers. “We’re getting an added bonus credit for the holidays,” she said, “so we can stock up on a few extra rations.”


Triggering the 3D wall newscast, she watched the Supreme Master Professor speaking to the world. Extolling the brilliance of the Founders who wrote the famous Constitution, he expounded at length, portraying their importance as the center of the weeklong yearly celebration. Several Master Teachers stood behind him, nodding their heads at certain pertinent comments.


His mysterious silver-suited protectors flanked his sides; their skin shimmering with the silver covering enclosing their bodies. The shining muscles of their strong arms and legs were easily visible through the glimmering paper-thin covering. Their faces were expressionless, stern and handsome.

I wonder if their Silverskin makes them as powerful as rumors tell, she thought.


L’ora slipped her hand into her carrysak to find her treasure, a page-sized pamphlet. “Look Cato, as archivist, I was able to find the actual written words of the Constitution. I wonder why I could find nothing else except this, hidden in a children’s coloring book called Laws.”


Bending her knees, she propped the thin book against her legs and on the uncomplaining cat. Turning the first page, L’ora began to read. It’s strange to actually read something written on paper.


CHAPTER 2:  Silversuiters

Three times L’ora read the small book. Perplexed, she looked at Cato, “This is something so different from what we were taught. These rules give power to everyone, not just the Teachers. During the celebrations, why doesn’t anyone read them instead of learning the lives of those who wrote them? Why do we celebrate something not being used?"


Cato looked past her with wide turquoise eyes. With a long “M-e-o-w”, he jumped off her lap, under the pod cover, and dashed through the back portal onto the emergency walkway surrounding every floor of each compound.


“Cato, come back!" . . . Trying to catch him, she leaned under the pod cover, almost slipping onto the floor.


A strong blast of wintery air blew across her back and, with a feeling of disaster, she turned to the now opened portal of her frameway and gasped at the sight of the two muscular Silversuiters standing there.


How did you open my frame and what do you want?” she said, her heart pounding with fright.           


“Herdez, get the cat before it warns a neighbor,” commanded the taller Silversuiter. His sturdy companion saluted, crossing the stiff fingers of each hand to lie on the biceps of the other arm. Turning, he raced around the C.H.A.R toward the outside portal, his plated arm held out before him.

"Yes Sir, Commander Fourth, I’ll be right back.”

Fourth watched Herdez’s disappearing figure, He wouldn’t dare mock my new command, he thought.


Looking fiercely at the C.H.A.R. and the figure covered by the blanket, he said, “L’eo R’oaks, you are under arrest for taking unauthorized material from the archives.”

“N-no,” she managed to say with just her eyes showing over the old blanket. “I’m Head Archivist for the Sixth Zone as my father and grandfather were. I’m allowed to revise unclassified material. See, this is a child’s coloring book but it has the original words of the Constitution.”


Fourth snatched the booklet from where it had slipped off her lap and began leafing through it.   



“. . . This is heresy, it can’t be the original.”

He started reading it in earnest, only noticing in time L’ora’s attempt to slip around him and dart through the frame to the corridor. Reaching out a long silver arm, he grabbed her wrist, pulling her around before him.


The opened frame misted shut behind her.  

When his hand touched her, suddenly her body no longer obeyed her. Each muscle followed his body’s commands as thousands of painful pinpricks ran up and down her skin. As if a robot, she marched up to him, her mind begging her to flee but her muscles only responded to the orders of his nervous system.


Make your captives totally subservient; the words from the training manual said. His fingers ordered her right hand to creep up her shoulders and unlatch the catches of her jumpsuit, causing it to slip down to her feet as he ripped away the sleeve of the arm he held. Reaching out, the Silversuiter snatched the non-issue wool covering from her head.


Gasping in astonishment, he watched as long waves of red hair pulled out of the wool and flowed down her shoulders and back. He pushed her back against the C.H.A.R. and stared in amazement. “Great Gaia! You’re a girl!” he said, “What deceit is this? How have you managed to avoid the laws to keep your head shaven? When I turn you in, you will be tried and sentenced to painful tortures by the Tenured Professors.”