"Stop dithering." The man behind Pepe spat.
Pepe limped away from the gate, staring at the ground. It was rough and cold, and her bare feet hurt. The piece of paper burned with rage and guilt in her hand. It seemed the best thing to do was to completely forget about hearing, seeing, feeling. To fall asleep on her feet. Pepe kept her eyes open and stared unblink, her lips sticking together with lack of speech.
It seemed to work. Someone behind her gave her a shove. It was loud again. It was a strange kind of noise. Guards shouting and girls sobbing but the mass of the noise, like the flour in a cake, was footsteps. There were thousands and maybe millions of people, half of them where kidnapped Real girls like Pepe. In a kind of school hall, but bigger. You could barely see the ceiling. The walls were grey.
That was the worst thing. At home everything was leafy green or muddy brown or old brick red. The colours were warm and made you feel you could wrap them round you and fall asleep. At special occasions there were yellows and crocus purples and maybe even blue. Those were not the colours worn by the Reals today. It would have been ordinary. But their calm and natural colours looked garishly bright against all the grey. It looked so hideous Pepe shut her eyes.
'Hello.' A voice leapt out from the microphone someone was holding. It was a women's voice, but Pepe couldn't see her face through the crowds.
'You may want to know why you are here. IF you didn't know already. You realise that you have gone against our laws. Your opinions are wrong. You have the potential to be evil. You should deserve to die.' It continued.
'NO!' Someone said. All heads turned to some nearby Pepe. She was tall and and had a subtly pretty face, and Pepe didn't recognize her. 'We're not evil or wrong. I think you're talking to yourself!'
There were nervous laughs and many gasps of horror. 'Who was that?' The other voice said, this time faster and louder.
'Me. Mae Davis.' yelled the tall girl. Pepe was confused. Bravery can be stupidity at times like this.
'Well, "Mae", I would like you and any others who found that funny to see me at the end.' No-one interuppted. 'As I was saying, You should deserve to die, like your parents. But as you are young enough to become us, you will be educated in our life and your previous life will be forgotten. When you are old enough, you will be released into everyday life. The method has been tested before successfully. We can guarantee that by the time you are 18 you will join in the war against Real."