STRAY: Chapter Eight

STRAY: Chapter Eight

STRAY: Chapter Eight

by J.K. Hogan

Noah’s stomach cramped with hunger as he tapped the glass touchpad that controlled the holographic display. He was using the library’s public data-deck to take a practice test for his level twos. If he got the grades he thought he would, he might be able to escape his almost certain future of working in a factory or a plant, and instead become an engineer. Level two proficiencies were the highest level of education for everyday citizens—doctors, for instance, went on to level threes. Noah knew from his history lessons that back in the days of brick-and-mortar schools, level twos were referred to as “university.”

He sipped bitter coffee that someone had left sitting on the machine, obviously having forgotten about it while it was being filled. Gods, he was hungry. He hadn’t made many sales at the Bazaar last Tuesday, and a couple of his regular customers had stopped coming around, so he had literally five dollars to his name at the moment. He just had to manage not to starve to death before he took the tests, then he could get a decent job and find an actual place to live and, like, food and stuff.

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