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They say every population gradually moves towards an equilibrium in the people consistent with the 95-4-1 rule.
Mrs. Tao was droning on as usual, talking about things that Sam would never need to know—nor care to know. Instead of paying attention to something worthless, Sam was focusing all of his attention on the doodles in front of him:
The world slowly came into view; first too dark to see, then too blurred to see, and then too confusing to understand. Widening his eyes in surprise, confusion, and worry, Tom tried to sit up from the relatively hard bed he seemed to be laying in. He’d only raised up a few inches when an outstretched arm pressed back firmly against his chest, pinning him in place.
“Don’t move,” a heavily-accented (French, Tom thought) voice quickly said. The woman’s face was still blurred, but Tom could see her hovering over him in case he tried to stir again.
Normally, I would turn my pillow over to get to the colder side after I’ve sat up at night writing. I normally set my laptop on my pillow and prop myself up on one elbow to write, and the warmth of the laptop lingers on my pillow afterwards. When I can’t stand to keep my eyelids open any longer, I slip my laptop under my bed, turn my pillow over, and lay my head down where my electronic baby was just moments before. That’s what I’d normally do.
Not tonight though. It’s been a rough day.
The ding of the elevator informed me that it had arrived on my floor, ready to carry me off elsewhere. I lifted my head from the water fountain and wiped my lips with the back of my hand. The shiny, metal doors slid apart from each other, revealing two others already in the elevator—a man and a young woman—looking quite distraught at the delay in stopping at another floor to pick up another patron.
“Mail to Johnson!”
The Captain held up a single, white envelope before tossing it on the table he was standing behind. He had a short crew-cut haircut, like the rest of the soldiers in the room, and was still in uniform although the day had already passed.
The room smelled of Man and sweat, but everyone had gotten used to it almost immediately when the Team had marched in four months ago. Aiden Johnson and his team had had a hard day in Training and were ready to call it a night after opening their mail.
“Do you want this strawberry?” Dr. Steven asked calmly.
I looked up at him, and then at the strawberry in his hand. It was a small strawberry, clearly not the best in the bunch. But it was a strawberry, and I love strawberries. Even a tiny strawberry would be a joyride for my starving tastebuds. I quickly responded, “Sure, I’ll have it.”
The doctor smiled gently at me and closed his hand around the strawberry. He strolled to the opposite end of the table that I was sitting at and set the fruit down on a small, white coaster.