There was a commotion outside the ticket office. Two guards held down one woman, pressing their heels firmly into her back. Her rain drenched hair splayed all around her and a streak of red ran down her cheek into a single blood soaked tear. The guards were yelling but I couldn’t quite work out what they were saying. It wasn’t often we would see something like this happening in the street. Most of us abided by the rules but I guess this woman had chosen not to.
The rain was making thunderous claps against the roof of the ticket office. It was another dull and dreary day. April was usually much warmer, but not this year. I waited patiently with my roommates. We were next in line.
I passed my number through the kiosk into the hand of a pale and chubby receptionist. A screen lit up, acknowledging my ticket had been scanned.
Unit 244, Room 1740. Check in complete.
The tickets were our lifeline, containing all our information. We would be informed of our work assignments, our upcoming social interactions and our budgets. In return, the Authorities could keep an eye on what we were doing. Every time we entered or left a building, it would leave footprints on our tickets. Budgets were an accumulation of points earned from working which we could use towards food, clothing and other items we may need.
I looked back to the window, the glass as tall and wide as the far end wall. From here you could see most of the plaza.
The woman was now being hauled into the back of the guards dusty truck whilst an onlooker, a Unit, chased after them yelling.
He looked helpless and desperate, his arms reaching out to her in one last attempt to touch her. The guards battered him with a long baton, it’s surface reflecting in the small slither of sunshine that tried to peer down on Maineport through the thickness of the clouds. I gasped as the guards baton crashed into the mans skull, knocking him to his knees.
My roommate, Daryl, nudged me in the side and I tore my eyes away from the scene outside. I turned towards him.
“We’re done, Pearl. Come on.”
Daryl strode over to Medical, following our other roommates, Cam and Sprite. Sprite hated Medical. Her needle phobia was sometimes too much for her to handle and she would often pass out.
I went first. The medical assistant did her usual check up. Tongue colour, check. Pulse, check. Blood pressure, check. Then blood samples were taken, leaving yet another pin prick in my arm.
“Pass,” the assistant declared, scanning my ticket with the update and handing it back to me.