Ashton was speechless, he wasn"t expecting something like that. What a ridiculous commercial that was!
It isn't just that too...the following commercials after that are just the same. It was bad and cringy, yet for some reason, Ashton could tell that this kind of marketing might just work in a world like this.
Mildly disappointed, Ashton secretly shook his head and instead looked out of the window. What he see out there was more pleasant than those commercials at least.
He saw the transit entering some sort of tunnel, it was dark at first but after they exited the tunnel, Ash was greeted by an sprawling city filled with vibrancy and colors.
Now he understands why the area they were at previously was considered 'The Slums'. Comparing that area to what he sees right now...there's just no competition.
He saw skyscrapers with enormous crystals flashing with vibrant lights. He saw people weird riding flying vehicles like; swords, Pegasus, turtles, cars, he even saw a house floating above ground.
The city proper looked very modern if not, more advanced than what his old home has. There are sky-rails here, all kinds of vehicles, holograms...people came all sorts of sizes and shapes, there's even animals on the leash - types of pets he had never seen before, he even saw several people flying around without the help of any apparatuses.
There's so much in here that he doesn't understand and he can't wait to know more about them. Whilst he understood that this world, being this advanced and magical as it is, contains unimaginable dangers, he couldn't help but be interested about it.
The transit moved-along and Ashton's attention was completely captured by what he could see outside. He tried guessing things by their appearance but he wouldn't know if he's right or wrong since this is his first time seeing them.
He could read some of the signs but he can't make sense of them just yet. He figured that he shouldn't pay much attention to that since there will come a time when he'll understand them later.
Time passed and after four hours, the transit finally arrived at it's destination. The driver announced that they're already at the Federal Center and the Nuns told the kids to get-up and get ready.
Just like before, Ash remained behind the group. It looks like they completely forgotten about him. It should be fine since they're already here, he just needed to follow them anyways.
'Hmm, smaller than what I was expecting.' Ash thought as he looked at the building in front of him.
The Federal Center was smaller than he initially thought it would be. It's about...six? Seven-storey tall? It's because there are skyscrapers surrounding it that this place looked out of place.
Still, the building looked very modern. There's glass windows, sliding doors...he even saw some type of authentication device being used by the employees, it was awesome and fresh.
The Nuns looked at the kids and rounded them up. They kind of surrounded them since there are a lot of people around. Seeing as most of them are kids at his age, they're probably here for the same reason as them.
Ash saw the Sister Millibeth whispering something to the others nuns. When thee nodded, Millibeth then walked up and talked to the guards.
They had a brief discussion and then Millibeth returned to them, Ashton then heard her say:
"Right on time, we must enter now, we can't delay them or else they'd kick us out."
Ashton raised a brow but didn't say anything. And just like he expected, the Nuns told them to enter the center.
Upon entering, Ash's first impression was 'Woah, it's cold.' Because it is indeed cold in here. He instinctively searched for AC's but he couldn't find any.
Though, when he followed the direction where the wind was coming, he saw some kind of blue-ish...ritual circle? Something like that. The wind was coming from there. His first thoughts was how? But then again, he also thought that its useless to think about this so he threw the question at the back of his mind.
He looked at his surroundings and inspected it closely. What he found was, the whole 1st floor of this building seems to be dedicated for receiving people.
Majority of the area are filled with chairs, there's desk at the very front with pretty women talking to kids his age. On top of their desks, there's stacks of paper and some sort of mechanism that kids stuck their index fingers in.
Ashton saw them wincing for a bit and when they pulled out their fingers, the ladies will give them either a candy or a lollipop.
'Uh, that reminds me of Dentists. These women aren't Dentists, right?'
"Alright kids, listen up." Sister Millibeth gathered their attention which woke Ashton out of his stupor, "See those chairs right there? Go there and sit next to the last person. Observe how the line progresses until you reach the pretty sisters in front okay? Don't be afraid, we will be here."
The kids nodded at her and the oldest naturally took charge. They walked towards the chairs and the oldest sat next to the last person on the line.
Ashton's eyes nearly popped out of its sockets when he sat down.
'Holy hell! What was that!?'
No he wasn't hurt nor his butt was poked by any pointy implements either. He was just surprised by how soft and comfortable this chair was.
They look unassuming at first glance but the moment he sat down, he felt his butt sinking into a cloud or something. Judging by looks of his fellow orphans, it wasn't just him who was shocked about this.
One of them even looked like he was contemplating if he could steal this chair.
'What is this made out of? Memory Foams aren't as soft as this that's for damn sure. What the hell?'
All of a sudden, the line moved. People started standing up so the orphans also followed them. The line moved in a snake-like pattern. And judging how fast the line was progressing, it shouldn't take long before they're turn is up.
Ashton looked around as he waited, he inspected the 1st floor in curiosity, trying to make sense of the things he could see.
From observing people, he figured out some neat things about this place. For example; apparently, vending machines are also a thing in this world.
They looked so different that he initially thought they were supposed to be TVs but no. He saw someone walking up to it and it automatically lit up. Then he saw the person pressing it and then feeding paper bills on the slot on the left side of the screen. Then, an opening showed up and spat the man's drink.
'That was cool.' Ashton wanted to get up and try it himself but he remembered that he actually doesn't have anything on him, not even a single cent of money.
Ash also discovered signs leading to some other areas such as the comfort room, the employee-only room, he also saw the elevator that will take them up to the next floor...
Ash continued looking around and taking notes of his surroundings. The line steady progressed and by the time that it's their turn next, Ashton focused in front of him.
He didn't wait long until the women in front of them gestured 'come' to them so they stood up.
As soon as Ashton sat down, the woman in front of him gave him a friendly smile and asked:
"Good morning, my name is Apple. May I know your name?"
"Ashton." He replied. Yes, he chose to talk this time, he didn't want to make things difficult for this woman after all. Her job already does that he assumed.
"Alright Ashton, today is your Awakening Day! Isn't that exciting?"
'Building up rapport? CSR much- Ahem!'
Ash merely nodded causing things to get a bit awkward. Still, since Apple was a professional, she didn't let it get to her.
"Okay so Ashton, this is how the process is going to go. Here, I will ask you questions to fill up your Profile. This Profile will be submitted to the government so I'd appreciate it if you can answer it as detailed and as truthfully as you can, do you understand?"
Ashton nodded again. Yeah, this process is really taking him back to the good old days.
The woman then asked him several questions about himself, which Ashton answered as smoothly as he could. Once the form was filled-up, the woman went through it with him to check if everything written in the there correct. After that, she said:
"Okay Ashton, we're at the last step on the registration." Apple then gestured the device next to her and continued: "This device right here will take a blood sample from you which will be added on your profile as well."
"Insert your index finger please, you will feel a slight prick but that's normal, don't be shocked."
Ashton nodded and did what she said. He felt the prick but it wasn't as bad as he thought, it didn't hurt not it was enough to make him wince. He then withdrew his finger after Apple said that it was done.
"Awesome! You took it like a champ! That's impressive! Here, have a lollipop."
Ashton fought the urge to laugh at this.
"Okay, so we're done here. You see that Big Brother over there? The one with the weird tattoo on his left eye? Go to him and he will take you to the second floor where your awakening will occur."
Ashton nodded and stood-up from the seat.
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