My name is May. It's my 13th birthday and like all children who turn 13, I am given my identity. It comes to me in the form of a small, octagonal card, roughly the same size as my juvenile palms. It's a pretty, translucent sort of light blue, and I can see tiny, indecipherable little lines of computer code scrolling every which way across the surface of it. Everything there is to know about me, my history, my living compartment, my parents, their parents, it's all here in the palm of my hand. It's a miracle, both of science and in the simple fact that I am even 13 years old.
When I was born, the doctors rushed me to a private ward in a restricted area. I was perfectly healthy, breathing fine, but it was horrifyingly obvious that something was wrong. I was different. My eyes were the most shocking at first, until my hair grew in. Everyone in Sky City, that is, everyone but me has some variation of the same blonde hair, blue eyes perfection, but not me. My eyes are green, and my hair is like dark chocolate. Naturally, my parents were horrified, but I believe it is my mother's enldess sense of pity that compelled them to spare my life.
I vaguely remember the many specialists they consulted throwing around phrases like "genetic fluke" or "damaged DNA manipulators" and a lot of "irreparable". I never knew what any of it meant of course, other than cryptic repetitions of an obvious fact. I am a freak in the most literal sense of the word.
The little miracle card in my hand beeps and a vaguely female electronic voice comes from it.
"ID module A307 activated, please stand by for instructions."
A holographic map of the city appears above my hand and our living compartment on level 2 highlights itself, along with a route to the transport station down to level 3, the bottom of the city.
"Please report to level 3, sector Alpha at 0600 tomorrow to begin training for basic maintenance. Failure to report, or tardiness will result in severe penalty as per code: Elder. Thank you." The map and the voice dissapear, leaving the words "Obey Elder" on the card briefly before they too wink out. Father has gone to the dining table to read, and mother is cleaning something. Neither say anything. I try not to feel sad about it, but can't think of anything to say, so I just go to my room to pack. I wonder if they requested this particular job for me so they can tuck me away in a tunnel somewhere where no one will see me, wile I learn to weld pipes.