1 Prologue

The year 2022...

"Jo! Come on!", the storm raged on as we walked through the cityscapes with injured bodies. The woman yelled to the man behind him, he was close to giving up his life due to his injured hand. Fresh blood dripped from the man's hand. He was terrified, frozen in one place he could only lament the blood that drips from his hand.

The young woman frustrated as ever slapped him amid the raging storm.

"Get a grip! If you die here, I die!!", she shouted in rage.

The woman reached her bag and found the item that she wanted to use, a handkerchief. She tied the handkerchief around his bloodstained hand. The man gritted his teeth, terrified of the sights he saw with his naked eyes. As he watched the source of light coming from behind the woman back, he knew they're both in trouble.

"Get down!", the man pulled the woman down with him.

For those clueless souls, those lights mean salvation however that light was the opposite of salvation of what mankind wanted.

* * *

My small figure walked through the ocean of men, with both my ears plugged with earphones. I danced through the droplets of rains following the rhythm of my favorite music Moonlight Sonata, the dance stops midways as I averted my gaze toward the hologram advertisement along the streets.

Wishmaker, that search engine machine that has been rising over the Global Market, many have owned and buy Wishmaker, including myself. As I dozed off walking while latching my eyes to the hologram, I was surprised by a sudden arm circling her neck.

"Aria, you look dazed sista", a teenage young girl with galaxy hair circled her arms around me. I fixed my white glasses annoyed, after that, I fixed my twin ponytails hair that was ruffled thanks to the rainbow sugar hyperactive attitude.

"Lola, what's the big deal?", I grunted. Lola tiptoed around her small friend, she looked down to my panda eyes. I had sleep deprivation for a while now, my mind couldn't stop circulating and thinking. I pushed Lola slightly annoyed with her presence. I walked through the sea of students in front of the university gate.

In front of me stood a tall ten-story building in blinding white angelic rays. As much as I wanted to hail whoever built this university, it seems too excessive and whitey for a design university. Da Vinci University, quite a feat to take the famous artist name and ended up designing a hospital looking university. The irony of the 22nd century, everything looks the same with new upgrades and practicality. The white hallways could change their wallpaper every day with the help of holo wallpaper.

"But to me, it's still the same old annoying hallway of death" I grumbled under my breath.

"Light up buddy, I mean it is a cool feature, but I have to agree with how freaky the world is right now" Lola agreed.

"But you know, all of this cool stuff makes me wonder how the world was back then", she continued.

Even as they speak, I always had a hunch that everything around me is artificially made by people who pretended they knew everything. I didn't know how the world runs its wheels last century, but I just had a hunch that people didn't play God back then.

At the beginning of the twenty-second century, mankind already created the cure for any kind of disease, they even made artificial weather and plants.

This of course boosted mankind welfares, but I didn't like that one a bit. I noticed that lots of people like the practicality and the advancement, this caused me to feel "different" than the others.

Shutting off my "different" mindsets from my peers and go with the flow, was my ways to adapt to the world advancement. Even if I dislike how the world runs its courses.

Well thanks to their development, the world had lost it's aesthetic. They lost the essence of time, more like the essence of the passing time.

"Don't you think human are crossing their boundaries by these extensive upgrades?" I sighed.

Just before Lola could answer me, another familiar voice came from the opposite direction they're walking.

"Hey Aria and Lola, what's your class for today?" another shortie shows up, but she's six centimeters taller than me.

That girl is none other than Glass, my best friend, and gamer mate. She always had this deadpan look in her eyes, she is a rather flat person and rarely laughs. Lola and I waved to Glass, they gathered in the middle of the canteen.

"My class today is pretty hectic" Lola sighed. "Plus I had a part-time work so you know". Glass nodded listening to Lola in silence.

"I think I had an evening class till 3 pm? But after that I have to go somewhere else" I replied coldly.

I clenched my fist tightly, I had kept that device hidden from my friends otherwise they're going to make fun of me. That includes my schedules after university.

The three of us walked together to their respective classes, that's when I saw the person I wanted to avoid, that group of six people in the corner of the hallway, they sat on a bench closely like a pack of wolves. I would like to avoid that group if I could but before I got away, one of them spotted me.

"Oh if it isn't Aria! Come here! Come here!" a cheerful voice blared out of nowhere.

I walked slowly to that unavoidable pack, that voice belonged to none other than Andy. Andy is the gossiper guy of that group, a guy I wish to avoid at all costs, to be honest. Andy waved his hand to me, "Hey, guess who just got rekt!?".

I raised my eyebrows to his sudden outburst, "Um what?'. "You know that bitch Ale, who just broke up with Marvin'', Andy smiled mischievously. I don't understand what's so funny about the fact someone just broke up.

I didn't think about it too much, I just nodded to everything they said to cause it's troublesome if I were to say something else.

"So what do you think about her?", the nerd next to me spoke quietly.

I looked at him nervously, Joel looked into my eyes deeply. I feel like I almost suffocate myself. I looked down as I answered his question, "It's not my business but she may have crossed the line".

He stared at me hard, I had no idea what's his problem but his gaze made me uncomfortable, especially since I have a thing for him. He's always good at everything. Meanwhile, I couldn't even hold my candle. It's funny.

"Joel", I tried my best to smile as if nothing boiled me.

"Hey Aria, what are you doing?", Joel greeted me with an angelic smile.

My friend told me that I'm crazy when I told him how angelic Joel's smile is. Personally speaking, I am drawn to his innocent face of his, not sure of his true personality inside. I broke eye contact immediately with him to hide my reddened face. Joel stared me intently, his stare reminds me of a hawk in pursuit of its prey.

"I just turned in my assignment", I replied to him while browsing my cell phone browser. "You?".

"Oh I haven't even done it yet", he smiled sheepishly. "The deadline is at 1 pm, right? No biggie!!".

This part of him irks me, despite his tardiness and undisciplined behavior he always manages to get an A that I try to achieve. My inner voice couldn't help but rage in anger, spectating such tardiness, but I decided not to say anything to him.

"Oh cool, why didn't you do it last night?" somehow a slip of my irritation escaped from my mouth.

If I could slap my face right now, I would do it.

"Why? Well probably because I'm playing LeL with my friends", he still replied with a grin.

"I see" I replied with a deadpan face.

I accidentally glanced at Joel's laptop screen and noticed the clock.

"Aw crap gotta go" I packed my stuff.

"What's the rush?" the brown-haired girl Emily asked.

Emily Harrington, the girl I wish to avoid and shush. I had this strange rivalry feeling with Emily. She always flirts with Joel which sometimes made me feel nauseous and bothered. The way she flirted with Joel was pretty much aggressive and disgusting.

Nevertheless, Joel let her do that to him. Sometimes I questioned myself that maybe Joel is secretly a playboy, he looks innocent, and yet something about him contradicts each other.

When we talk about a contradiction, deep inside everyone has a contradiction, human creation itself is a manifestation of contradiction. However, Joel's personalities are so contradictory that he makes me uncomfortable sometimes.

I walked home quickly, the seas of humans irritated me to no end. Wherever I go, they never cease their activity. Moreover, because of my height, they tended to bump me over and over. Maybe their eyes were that blind, even I could see a mouse from miles away you know.

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I reached the subway station just in time, but then the presence of a greenish shape pod next to me made my mind wander elsewhere. The pod next to me is none other than a home pod, a pod that could transport people to their respective homes by showing the scanner our ID, followed by the pod machine scan the chip inside our body.

The luxurious and practical pod seems to be the better choice for my hurried self, and yet at the same time pricey as heck. People who wanted to save their money, won't use that pod recklessly as the Pod price for transportation is 1000 gm.

Well, it's usually the rich adults and kids archetype who use these pods anyway, I wonder how they could refill their gm. GM as in Gem is Alpha City international currency. Gm money is saved inside a card called gm card where we can withdraw and store money.

I decided to take a peek at the Teleportation pod while waiting for the next train. Nonetheless, the inside is flawlessly white and classy. Looking up, there's a television portable that shows many kinds of ads like shampoo products, electronic products, you name it. Not long after a shampoo product came up, an ad with a star logo in it shows up.

"Wishmaker! The future of the world! The endless fountain of knowledge that can solve any human problem just with a "search" button! Together we can grasp our dream in eternity!", the ads played in a quite long duration.

"The future search engine of mankind huh?", I grumbled skeptically.

Just when I was about to watch the whole ads, the subway train came like lightning. I stopped fooling around the subway station and got on the train.

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