I wake up to the sound of Jace coming back with my glass of water. I sit up and happily take the glass of water from him, holding it with both of my hands. When I take the first drink, the ice cold liquid soothes my throat.
"We should leave in about an hour if we want to be sure to get to floor twenty on time," Jace explains. "Do you want to do anything before that, maybe go look around in the Commons?"
"Yeah, that sounds fine. What do we have to go to floor twenty for anyways?" I ask, realizing that he had never actually told me.
"It's for your Naming Ceremony." He tells me. "Obviously you don't remember your name, and neither does anyone else in your group."
"The people who were awoken around the same time you were." He explains.
I nod my head in understanding. "Well, if we're going to look around the Commons before we have to go to floor twenty, we should go now."
"Yes ma'am," Jace replies sarcastically. While he was busy typing in a code for the hidden staircase to open, I gulp down the rest of my water, noticing that it had gotten warmer since my last drink. I get up from my place on the bed and go to the refrigerator to put my glass away because there was no counter space in the room. After setting my glass down on one of the shelves, I notice that there was an opened bag of cheese sticks, so I grab one before I shut the door.
When I turn around, Jace is standing by the open padlock, smiling at me. He obviously knew that I had tried to sneak out the cheese stick, but even so, I tuck it away in a pocket on my gown. He just rolls his eyes and turns to press enter, and immediately the floor tiles shifted.
"Ladies first," Jace says smirking, while motioning to the opening.
I didn't even hesitate before descending out of my room, being surrounded by all of that white was starting to give me a headache. The staircase was quite long and lined with lights all the way down. The echo of both mine and Jace's footsteps was causing my ears to have a swelling sensation.
After nearly 40 steps, we reach a landing. On the other side, which was only about 10 feet away from us, there is a big metal door with a small round window near the top. I try to see the Commons through the window, but it was frosted glass, so I could only see shadows moving across the other side.
I walk to the door and place my hand on the cold handle, tugging at it with every ounce of strength that I could muster up. After a few more tries at opening the handle, I could barely get it to budge. I turn around and look at Jace, blood rushing to my cheeks with embarrassment. I move out of his way and he opens the door with ease, and holds it open for me to walk underneath his arm.
When I walk into the Commons, it was unlike anything I've ever seen before. It is a large room, about the size of a football stadium. There are many people bustling around the place, some are dressed like Jace, some like Marlene, and I see some confused people like me, dressed in hospital gowns. On the wall opposite from my I can see tons of elevators, at least 10 of them, which all shine in a silvery color, lined up in a row. Their shafts are glass, so you can see the elevator going up and down, and they seem to be going very fast.
To the left and right of me there are many metal doors just like the one I came from. Some of them had people standing outside of them like Jace and I, some had people going inside of them, and some are sealed shut. On the left side of the elevators is a large food court, and to the right is more doors with labels like "Pools", "Commons B", and "Game Room".
"Whoa,' the word escapes my lips before I could stop it. I look over to Jace, "There's more than one of these Commons?" I ask him, astonished. I can't believe that there could be more than one, I mean, this place is so huge. No wonder they needed six years to do all of this.
"I know," he responds to me, sounding as if he himself were still amazed by this place. "What do you want to do? We have time for either Food Court or the Game Room before we should go up to floor twenty."
I think for a second, looking between the Food Court and the Game Room. "Hmm," I say out loud, "Let's go check out the Game Room," I decide.
I don't even wait for Jace before taking off for the Game Room, which surprises even me. I have just woken up from a six year sleep and I was already in an adventurous mood. I knew Jace was following close behind me, and every once in a while I turned back around and smile at him, which he returned every time.
Finally reaching the room, I walk into the entry way. I nearly stop dead in my tracks at the sight, and for a few second I forget to breathe. The room around me is a vast field of bright neon lights and people playing games. On the ceiling are spotlights that shine down in bright colors of purples, pinks, and yellows, and on the walls are lights that look like submarine windows, which let off a dim white. The room is full of noise; the beeping of games being played, the happy cheers of the players, and the retro music that is playing in the background. I can't help but smile, the atmosphere in the room makes me feel so giddy inside.
Jace is standing next to me, and I look up at him. He's looking down at me, smiling as well. He had obviously seen how ecstatic I had been at the sight of the room, and for a second I feel myself being embarrassed that I had acted in such a childish manner, but when I look back at the room the embarrassment was immediately gone.
"Do we have any time to play a game?" I ask Jace, having to talk louder than we did before because of the noise in the room.
He looks at his watch, and then responds, "There's time for one short game, but then we better get going." He explains.
I immediately went for the closest open game, which is one where a light goes around a ring and you have to try to stop it in between the brackets. Each time I press the stop button, the light seems to keep moving because it always ends up around 10 bulbs away from the winning spot. I sigh, and turned away from the machine after finishing my game and end up empty handed.
"Should we go now?" I ask Jace.
He nods, then leads me out of the Game Room and over to the elevators. He presses the up arrow and we wait for our elevator to come down. When it finally gets to our floor, he presses the button marked 20 and the doors seal shut. We shoot upwards, and my stomach lurches at the sudden acceleration. We reach floor twenty within a matter of seconds, and the doors open once again.
We step out of the elevator and Jace goes over to the wall in front of us and examines the sign with directions. To the left are bathrooms and offices, and to the right is Ormalius Hall. Jace and I turn to the right and start walking down the hallway, which is lined with large chandeliers, and potted plants on either side of the hallway. There are glass windows down the entire length of the hallway which makes it possible to see down to the Commons, which look substantially smaller from this height.
We continue walking for a while, and finally we reach a set of large dark wooden doors, which have magnificent golden handles designed to look like vines of a tree. I grab one of the handles and pull the door open, revealing a great stadium-like room. There is seating in an oval shape that goes all the way down to a large landing at the bottom. There are already tons of other people sitting in the seats, and down on the floor I see a stage where a lady wearing a dress suit is standing.
Jace walks ahead of me, and I follow him all the way to some open seats about fifteen rows away from the floor where the woman is. I know see that she is standing behind a microphone and next to her feet are two tall stacks of white note cards. She stands there for a while, not moving or saying anything. Her eyes are plastered on something above the seating, and I follow her gaze to see that she is staring at the doors we had come through. Suddenly, a green light flickers on above the doors, and the woman begins to speak.
"Welcome, everyone. If you don't already know this, you are in Taide, Naura. Today, we will be hosting a Naming Ceremony for Group Four. I will be calling each person who has yet to receive a name up here, one by one, and announce your name, which is written on a note card," she explains, motioning to the note cards next to her feet. "So, without further ado, I will be starting over here," she turns around and points at a girl with fire-y red hair and many freckles.
I don't know how much time had passed between the start of the ceremony and when I am finally called up to the stage with the woman, but about half of each pile has been claimed. The girl who is seated in front of me, who got the name Katress, is now coming back to her seat. By now I had figured out that the next person was always the person sitting behind the one that had just gone, so I stand up and make my way down the steps and onto the main floor. The woman motions towards the steps for me to come up and join her on the stage.
Once I am on the stage standing next to the woman, I see that she has sweet facial features and pale purple eyes. She gives me a smile and bends down to grab the top card off of the girls' pile, which is next to her right leg. She stands up straight and holds the card out in front of her. In the second between her picking up my card and reading it, I feel my heart beat speed up. What if I don't like my name or it doesn't suit me? I don't think that there is a way to get it changed. I feel a sweat beginning to break underneath my arms and in my feet.