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Snippet #2568213

located in The Dome, a part of Cultured for the Humans, one of the many universes on RPG.

The Dome

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Character Portrait: Beth Character Portrait: Peter
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Beth hung back as the other Cultureds entered the Leisure Dome, watching the placid space fill with excited, white-clad figures. For many of the Dome's inhabitants, leisure time was the highlight of their day: a time for stimulating activity and friendly competition. The others raced off to their favorite places in the dome, ushering over friends with animated waves and wide smiles. Their trivial discussions about what games they would play today were white noise to Beth; her mind was set on something far more serious. As the other Cultureds passed by, she only had eyes for one: Adam. She made sure to position herself behind him so that he couldn't see her, using a cluster of Cultureds who'd grouped themselves by the entrance for added coverage. If there was one person she wasn't keen on talking to, it was him. After a few moments spent scanning the dome, Adam walked off in the direction of the pond. Beth exhaled a sigh of relief and set off in the opposite direction, determined to put as much space between her and Adam as possible. She wished for the hundredth timen that day he'd never told her what he'd seen outside the Dome, feeling her anxiety rise as she recalled his first days after returning from solitary confinement. As one of the few Cultureds who'd experienced solitary confinement herself (though admittedly for a much, much shorter period of time), and as a friend of Adam's, she'd felt obligated to approach him, to ask him what had happened. The answer she got was more than she'd bargained for, and it was safe to say she'd do just about anything to un-hear all Adam had told her. Honestly, what did he expect her to do with that kind of information? ...Believe him? Believe him over everything she'd ever known, everything she'd been taught to believe? She knew first hand the trouble asking questions could bring... There was no doubt about it: Adam was dangerous, and it seemed to her the less time she spent with him, the safer she'd be.

Beth's feet walked the familiar path to a clearing in the dome she and Peter often frequented, and she found a small smile playing at her lips despite her uneasiness. If there was one person who could put her mind at ease, it was Peter. They'd both been tense since Adam's return (Peter was increasingly threatened by Adam's talk), but they found comfort, and even happiness, in each other's company. Beth had never known real happiness before she began spending time with Peter. Of course she knew the definition of happiness, and there had been elements of life in the Dome she enjoyed, but no part of her life before Peter had ever brought her more than mild enjoyment or fleeting feelings of pleasure. After she was punished by the Carers at age 15, things had seemed particularly bleak. She shut herself off completely, trading her friendships for the security of robotic compliance. She did as she was told, and little else. The other Cultureds came to regard her as cold and distant, a girl so unapproachable she really wasn't worth the trouble. But Peter had, miraculously, seen past her icy exterior. Against her better judgment, she'd slowly opened up to him, allowing him entrance into her private, sheltered world. She still feared the Carers, and worried they might disapprove of the relationship that had developed between her and Peter, but she found him worth the risk. Besides, Peter was forever reminding her that as long as they continued to do as they were told, the Carers had no reason to separate them.

As Beth walked through a neat line of trees, Peter came into view. He was standing alone in the clearing, apparently lost in thought, and Beth felt her heart beat a bit faster at the sight of him. It hadn't been long since she'd last seen him, but the time between their meetings always seemed to last a lifetime. "Peter," she called to him, pulling him from his thoughts. "Peter!" She walked faster and faster towards him, until she found herself nearly running. What was it about him that made it so hard to control herself? She resisted the urge to throw herself into his arms as she reached him, instead stopping herself in front of him and gingerly reaching out to take his hand. "Peter..." she repeated a third time, her voice tender. I missed you. She wanted to say that, anyway, but she didn't dare say the words aloud. Instead, she let her actions do the talking, tightening her grip on his hand and taking a tentative step closer to him. These days anxiety had become her constant companion, but in this moment, Beth felt more at peace than she had in a long, long time.