Discovering Me Prologue
I peek around the curtain to see into the house of the auditorium, scanning the crowd. I find Athena, Leo, and Albie in the second row a little off to the right, but no him. Where is he? Leo spots me peeking, smiles, and gives me a double thumbs up as he nudges Athena, who begins waving spastically. Albie, who I can see chuckling at the other two even from back stage, gives me a simple one sweep wave with a small smile on his face. He’ll be here. Breathe.
“Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen,” Curie Kingsley, Albie’s mom and one of the city’s liaisons, addresses the audience taking center stage. “As you are all aware for a member of the Elite Caste to graduate from their studies and begin work in their area of choice, the Elite member must present to the city their first significant discovery which must be approved by a committee of qualified Elites.” Breathe. I should have just read the paper to him there and then, or given him a copy at least.
“Today we have one of our most promising up and coming Elites presenting.” Curie smiles over at me in the wings. She thinks she’s being comforting. Ha! “Her areas of study are more numerous and broad than most, covering primarily psychology, psychiatry, sociology, archeology, anthropology, and a little neurology. I know. She never was good at making decisions.” The audience laughs. If only I thought it was funny. Breathe.
“Now without further ado, I am proud to welcome Antigone Lace to the stage for her graduation discovery presentation.” Applause roars through the auditorium. Curie exits as I head towards the podium center stage where she had been.
Breathe. One foot in front of the other. Look up! Smile! Breathe. Begin.
“What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” This. I’d do this. Look up! Stronger. Louder. “What would you do if you knew you could not fail? A question originally posed by famous American Pastor Robert H. Schuller. Later the question would inspire Sophia Randolph to create the Randoplh Aptitute Dectecting Scanner, or the RAD Scan.” Breathe. “Over a century ago, it changed our world forever. The RAD Scan can determine as early as the first day of a person’s life what said person could be guaranteed to achieve, the maximum of their potential if correctly applied.” There are so many eyes. All staring at me! “The country in an attempt to improve both efficiency and level of achievement began using this device to separate each child into a group of those with similar capabilities called castes. Each city was divided into a series of sectors, one for each caste. The children are nurtured in whatever manner is required to make the most of the talents that the RAD Scan guaranteed.” Twenty-four seats per row. Thirty rows. Twenty in the balcony. “Since switching to this way of life, the country has produced more philosophers like Aristotle, more scientists like Isaac Newton, more artists like Picasso, and more saints like Mother Teresa than have existed across the entire span of history.” 1,200 people. Approximately fifteen people standing. 1,215 people. Two eyes each assumedly. “While separating the castes has cause some distance between the groups, there is no tension.” 2,430 eyes. “Only great peace has existed since the systems implementation.” All on me! Where the hell is he?! Breathe. “What would you do if you knew you could not fail? It’s an expression meant to free the world’s possibilities. That is what it did for Sophia Randolph. That is what Sophia Randolph meant to do with the RAD Scan. But…” Dark blue eyes. There he is. I said smile not goofy grin. Deep breath. “But the expression, this way of life, has slowly become a cage, a limitation on our dreams…”Here goes nothing.