Transference: Prologue Part 2

When Liam was eight years he had decided what he wanted to be when he grew up. He wanted to be a Designer. They had taken one basic class in school talking about some of the elements of the world that the Ancestors lived in and how parts of it were created or changed by Designers who studied the programs. It seemed beyond fascinating.
He wandered home by himself at the end of the day. Most of the other children his age had care takers or friends that they walked with but Liam’s care taker never showed up for him.
And almost no one talked to him except to yell ‘Nerd!’ Which was fine by Liam, it was probably better to be alone anyways. All the popular kids seemed to want to become soldiers when they grew up, which was fine of course, but didn’t someone have to take care of the city while the rest of the population was off waving stun guns in enemy faces?
Liam sighed. Those were the kind of questions that got teachers and adults to pat you on the head to stop worrying about things while you were still young. Those were the kind of questions that got you shoved into a wall and call a ‘Stupid Head!’ by your fellow students. Which was it? Nerd or Stupid Head? Liam had learned sometimes it was best just to sit quietly and observe and not bring any more attention to himself and the fact that he was an offset of the others.
Liam got home and quietly turn the key in the lock, opened the door and crack and peeked through. The coast was clear, he could hear his care taker Burt in the bathroom taking a shower. Liam went to the kitchen first and then grabbed something to eat, which was difficult considering that there were a thousand beer bottles everywhere. Some empty, some full. But there were some basic rations in the back of the fridge. Liam took the food and went back out the door. It was time to go to the library where no one was allowed to yell anything, let alone insults.
At the library, Liam tucked himself in a back corner with a computer and did some research. How did one become a Designer? There were some basic computer programming courses that one had to take and then more advanced ones after that and then eventually specialising in Designing. If worse came to worse he could become a Clerk for a bit he thought. He found an application form and filled it out as best he could. He just need his caretakers signature because he was under 10years old.
Liam printed off the form for later and folded it and tucked it in his pocket. He would have to figure out how to sell it to Burt who kept trying to get him to join the army. Liam couldn’t even fight off the bullies what hope did he have in an army with stun guns? No even the thought of it made him feel sick and nervous. Being a Designer would be better, he could stay out of the way of other people.
Liam got back to the apartment later and Burt was lounging on the couch nursing a bottle in his lap.
“Where have you been?” Burt barked at him when he came through the door. His eyes were a bit on the glassy side. “The trash need to go out and the kitchen is mess!”
Burt was mostly coherent today, that was good, maybe there was a chance.
“Sorry. I had to get a form to fill out. I need you to sign and then I’ll clean up right away.”
“What form?” said Burt and then he took a long drink while Liam waited nervously.
“Um… it is a career choice form. I am applying to become a Designer.”
“What happened to going into the army. Didn’t I tell you that was what you were going to do.”
Now Liam had to tread carefully. Burt was suggestable right now but that didn’t mean he might not just rage instead.
“If you force me to do army training for the next two years I will only make you look bad Burt,” Liam said quivering. “I don’t stand a chance when it comes to fighting or conflict.”
“That is true!” said Burt. Part of a care takers review score depended on how well their Ward was doing. “I don’t want you making me look bad.”
“Exactly. So why don’t we train me in something that I am good at. I will do well, you will do well and we will both win.”
“So what do you wanna be when you grow up then kid?” Burt said already forgetting how the conversation had started.
“Well I am good with computers so I was thinking I could become a Designer.”
“I see,” said Burt squinting.
“I already filled out the form you just have to sign the bottom,” Liam held his breath while taking the form out of his pocket and unfolding it and putting it on the coffee table. Then he grabbed a pen and put it next to the form. Burt signed it while squinting at it like he couldn’t really see it.
“Grab me another bottle from the fridge,” Burt said when he was finished.
Liam grabbed the form scurried to comply. His heart was pounding too fast.
“And clean up the mess!”

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