You can read the previous part here: Part 4

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30 March 2052

The clock screeched a loud alarm, reminding the empty streets that it was midnight of the thirtieth day of March, ten days away from the “washbraining” ceremony of this year. Well, technically it was nine days, twenty-three hours, and fifty-nine minutes, but really, wasn’t that the same thing as ten days?

Not to the two girls walking on the pavement. No, to them, every second was precious. And the earsplitting screech was simply a reminder of the ticking clock. 

“How far are we?” Cara asked, shivering.

“Only two minutes closer than the last time you asked,” Rachel sounded annoyed.

“Which is?” Cara pressed.

“Three hours away,” Rachel looked at her phone to confirm that this was an accurate number. 

“I’ve never been to this part of the town,” Cara confessed.

“Yeah, I haven’t been here either,” Rachel said. “I don’t know why the Party would set up in a dump like this one.”

“I don’t know, maybe they wanted to avoid detection?” Cara rolled her eyes.

“But why?” Rachel pressed. “They’re totally legal, aren’t they? What if they’re also doing something wrong?”

“The Cipher probably wants to eliminate them, so that they can be the only party contesting the elections,” Cara reasoned.

“Then they’d have a legitimate reason for winning each time,” Rachel said, catching on.

“Exactly,” Cara approved. “Say, how long until we get there?”


A few tiring hours later, Rachel and Cara found themselves at Old Town, the last remnants of life from thirty years prior. Old Town had elegant houses and beautiful architecture, at least, it was beautiful when it was compared to the boxy downtown. Anything was beautiful when it was compared with downtown.

Rachel looked intently at her phone. “Let’s see, we’re looking for that building right over there,” she pointed to an incredibly boxy building that looked newer and better maintained than most of the other buildings.

“Figures,” Cara muttered. “They build the ugliest building possible, and then put it right in the middle of the nicest place in the city. And we wonder why they never win.”

Rachel snorted. “They might not have enough money to make a building like the Cipher Tower.”

The Cipher Tower was the absolute boxiest building of all time. It had no spire at the top and not even a single solar panel. It was also absolutely colossal, standing at nearly ten thousand feet tall. Of course, it never looked impressive, just incredibly ugly.

Rachel knocked at the door of the building in front of them. It opened to reveal a security guard. “Who the hell are you?” he asked.

“Supporters of the Party,” Rachel replied. “May we speak to the leader?”

The guard let them in, grumbling about stupid kids. Rachel and Cara took the elevator to the top floor and were greeted with a black door. Rachel opened it and the two of them saw a small office with a small man in it. 

The man turned around. “Okay, how’d you find this place?”

“That’s none of your business,” Rachel said coolly.

“Good,” the man approved. “The less you say, the better. Now, how can I help you?”

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You can read the next part here: Part 6