Crown’s Plank (forty-four) Hex-EL Marrow
Before they were permitted to leave for the school building, before they could ever go outside at all, they had to activate their Flecks. Anyone caught outside their assigned house without an activated Fleck would be subject to immediate solitary conﬁnement. No one wanted that, no one.
There was a pecking order at Crown’s Plank and Flecks helped everyone know where everyone else stood. Green Flecks were the most trusted and had the most freedom and responsibility. After that, the levels descended through blue, purple, yellow, orange, and ﬁnally red.
A red Fleck meant the person was not only in solitary, but that if any chance encounter did happen, they were to be ignored, treated as if they didn’t exist at all. It was meant to be dehumanizing, to knock them down emotionally to the lowest point possible. Even their name was stripped away – they were to be referred to only as “the red Fleck” in conjunction with the house they stayed at on the property. It was eﬀective. Most red Flecks lasted about two days before they began long stretches of crying; quiet crying, of course, red Flecks were not to disturb others with such nuisances as sorrow and loneliness.
Flecks were implanted in the left eye. Well… implanted is the wrong word, really. A laser was used to etch the luminous, programmable tissue into the iris of the eye. The procedure was performed immediately upon arrival at the property as part of the intake process. It didn’t hurt, but the intake staﬀ made damn sure it was emotionally terrorizing.
The right eye was etched when the recipient ﬁnally decided to Give Over.