Z for Zero-sum (Part I)

Freida Dantas stepped out of the queue to look around. The machine wasn’t that far from here–only a few hundred more. She looked behind. The queue went on for as long as she could see. She too had started from the end of the queue many hours ago. The machine took only a second to judge, so the queue had kept moving continuously. But she worried if there were more hopefuls in the queue than seconds in a day. She had been queueing up religiously for her pronouncement every day since she had died.

She’d learned of the system the day she had arrived at the purgatory. Learned is probably not the best word to describe the process. She had woken up in the purgatory a week ago knowing about it instinctively, with no recollection of her prior life. She knew exactly when and where to queue up for the machine. The machine would tell her if it was her time to ascend to the heaven yet. She’d witnessed thousands of ascensions on her first day. The ascendants one after the other had stood under the

Dissent(I) : Vanguard

   Jotteau put on the headphones, turned up the volume, put his feet on the messy table and laid back in the chair, listlessly petting his fluffy grey cat, Leia, trying to grasp the fact that it was the last day of his life as a normal teenager.
    The soothing image of Lake Ibirthina reminded him of his childhood at his grandparents'. Very little had remained after the Galactic Empire had marched on Ibirthe. Qaetha would soon be next.
    He had promised to be at the vanguard with Khristeer, but Jotteau did not have his resolve. He would miss his parents, his friends, his life. He felt an uneasy void in his stomach, asking him to stay back. But he knew that the sacrifice had to be done.

You can read the second part of this story here : Dissent(II) : Whispering Wires
This story is about a cusp in the protagonist's life. Change is certain in life. It's about how we embrace it, for you change with it too.

This post is a part of Friday Fictioneers. Every week, bloggers from around the world submit hundred-or-so word stories. You can read them here, or maybe even participate if you feel like it. The photo today was provided by Douglas M. MacIlroy.
To those of you who know Write Over the Weekend, this post will be was the first part of my puzzle to this that weekend's prompt. I will write wrote a story that's a continuation of this one.

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