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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Sci-fi · #2071295
Everyone tries something new for the first time. This is one of those times for Forrina.

The Orbital Dormitory1

     A male got spun around as Forrina ran past him. His books and paper flung out of his hands as she did it. Another male landed on his backside hard when he’s pushed aside by Forrina. Forrina suddenly stopped in her tracks. She pitched forward a little. The only reason she didn’t land flat on her face was because her feet froze to the floor.

     “Stop running in my hall.” Echoed a female voice that could be heard everywhere in that busy hallway.

     Forrina could now continue on. She walked very quickly. She’s also extremely careful not to cause any more trouble with the others there. Forrina stopped in front of one door. When it slid open she saw a couple involved very intensely with each other.

     “Sorry, I thought this was my room.” Forrina quickly turned and briskly walked away. Her room happened to be a couple of doors down. “I must have remembered the wrong room number.” When she walked into the right room she suddenly froze in her tracks again.

     “This can’t be my room either.” Forrina started to turn to leave when she noticed her belongings on one of the Sleepers in that room.

     “You must be Forrina.” Ienni doubled her fists then crossed her arms in front of her. A slight bow completed her greeting. “You are in the right room.”

     Forrina returned the greeting to Ienni. Then she glanced at the two males in the room. “These must be friends of you.”

     Kuvvon stepped forward to greet Forrina too while Rollim just stopped removing his belongings. “I’m Kuvvon. Behind me is Rollim. You have already greeted Ienni. We are your roommates for the next six years.”

     “I knew this Orbital was both sexes, and even the same floors – but not the same room.” Forrina returned greetings with Kuvvon and Rollim.”

     “Is there a problem with this living arraignment?” Rollim asked.

     “I’m not innocent,” said Forrina. “I was just a little surprised when I got here. It’s chaotic out there, and the rooms I’ve seen so far isn’t much better.” A couple of doors down there’s a couple involved. Next door there’s a young female already studying for a year of Learning, and in a Sleeper across from her was a male reading a Study Manual.”

     Ienni, Kuvvon and Rollim glanced at each other – and smiled. It’s Rollim who spoke first. “The involved couple are Jaccine and Broddic.”

     “The young female is Shoanna and the male reading is Addom,” said Kuvvon. “Shoanna is ten.”

     “Only half our age,” commented Forrina. “She must be one of the Special Ones.”

     “Shoanna is,” said Ienni. “So are her three roommates. Except they are all our age.”

     Forrina used her eyes to scan the room. On both sides were two Sleepers with a floor to ceiling Storage Sectionals in between them. Right in front of the Sleepers was a desk and chair.

     “Me and my parents took a tour of the Advance Learning Center below and the Orbital Sleeping Rooms,” said Forrina. “They didn’t like the Personal Care Facilities at both ends of this hall next to the Transport Cubicles or the two Personal Care Facilities in the center of the hall. My parents are going to go crazy when they find out about this arraignment.”

     “Is that going to be a problem for you?” Kuvvon asked.

     “You can request a transfer to a female only room,” said Rollim. “The big problem with that is everyone will think it’s because you are a Female Lover.”

     “I don’t have a problem with living here with all of you, but my parents might. They live like it was when they were my age,” said Forrina. “It wasn’t like this when they went here a million years ago.”

     “So you’re a Generation Learner,” said Kuvvon. “That’s one of the reasons why you’re probably assigned to this room. We’re Generation Learners too.”

     “The Advanced Learning Center likes to pair up Learners in at least one way,” said Ienni. “They think it will make learning better.”

     “We will find out,” said Rollim. “This is the first year they are trying something like this.”

     “After getting a tour of this Orbital I knew I wouldn’t be getting much privacy living in these rooms,” said Forrina. “I didn’t expect it to be this bad though.”

     “It does take a little time to get used to it,” said Rollim. “Especially if this is your first time away from home.”

     “That’s why they want use to get here a few days early,” said Kuvvon. “So that we can get used to it before the learning begins.”

     “Is that why there’s so much chaos going on in the hall?” Forrina asked.

     “It pretty much is, but not completely. It’s usually very wild around here every night after learning all day,” answered Ienni.

     “I have a big brother and sister who went here a few years ago,” said Rollim. “Ienni had a brother go here recently too, and they all said the same thing.”

     “Hopefully a lot of noise and chaos isn’t going to be a problem for you,” said Kuvvon. “It’s going to be like this for the next six years.”

     “Not a problem for me,” said Forrina. “The louder the noise the better I study, learn, by.”

     Forrina went to her Sleeper and started removing her belongings. For about an hour nothing else happened. Then Ienni walked up to her and said, “We are curious about something. Why were you running down the hall earlier?” She pointed to the Data Monitors on the desk when she asked that question.

     “My belongings made the first shuttle up here, but I didn’t. I wanted to get to my room so I could remove my belongings because I thought we started Learning tomorrow.”

1I only used the word ‘dormitory’ in this story because of the Prompt for today.
 Earth is the only planet that uses that word.

The Word Count, including this line, is 998

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