Who’s ready for the premiere of The 100 on the CW tonight?
Based on the book by Kass Morgan, it’s set in the future where humans live in city-like spaceships orbiting far above Earth’s toxic atmosphere. No one knows when, or even if, the long-abandoned planet will be habitable again. But faced with dwindling resources and a growing populace, government leaders know they must reclaim their homeland… before it’s too late.
Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents are being sent on a high-stakes mission to recolonize Earth. After a brutal crash landing, the teens arrive on a savagely beautiful planet they’ve only seen from space. Confronting the dangers of this rugged new world, they struggle to form a tentative community. But they’re haunted by their past and uncertain about the future. To survive, they must learn to trust – and even love – again.
The door slid open, and Clarke knew it was time to die.
Her eyes locked on the guardâs boots, and she braced for the rush of fear, the flood of desperate panic. But as she rose up onto her elbow, peeling her shirt from the sweat-soaked cot, all she felt was relief.
Sheâd been transferred to a single after attacking a guard, but for Clarke, there was no such thing as solitary. She heard voices everywhere. They called to her from the corners of her dark cell. They filled the silence between her heartbeats. They screamed from the deepest recesses of her mind. It wasnât death she craved, but if that was the only way to silence the voices, then she was prepared to die.
Sheâd been Confined for treason, but the truth was far worse than anyone couldâve imagined. Even if by some miracle she was pardoned at her retrial, thereâd be no real reprieve. Her memories were more oppressive than any cell walls.
The guard cleared his throat as he shifted his weight from side to side. âPrisoner number 319, please stand.â He was younger than sheâd expected, and his uniform hung loosely
from his lanky frame, betraying his status as a recent recruit. A few months of military rations werenât enough to banish the specter of malnutrition that haunted the Colonyâs poor outer ships, Walden and Arcadia.
Clarke took a deep breath and rose to her feet.
âHold out your hands,â he said, pulling a pair of metal restraints from the pocket of his blue uniform. Clarke shuddered as his skin brushed against hers. She hadnât seen another person since theyâd brought her to the new cell, let alone touched one.
âAre they too tight?â he asked, his brusque tone frayed by a note of sympathy that made Clarkeâs chest ache. Itâd been so long since anyone but Thaliaâher former cell mate and her only friend in the worldâhad shown her compassion.
She shook her head.
âJust sit on the bed. The doctorâs on his way.â
âTheyâre doing it here?â Clarke asked hoarsely, the words scraping against her throat. If a doctor was coming, that meant they were forgoing her retrial. It shouldnât have come as a surprise. According to Colony law, adults were executed immediately upon conviction, and minors were Confined until they turned eighteen and then given one final chance to make their case. But lately, people were being executed within hours of their retrial for crimes that, a few years ago, would have been pardoned.
Still, it was hard to believe theyâd actually do it in her cell. In a twisted way, sheâd been looking forward to one final walk to the hospital where sheâd spent so much time during her medical apprenticeshipâone last chance to experience something familiar, if only the smell of disinfectant and the hum of the ventilation systemâbefore she lost the ability to feel forever.
The guard spoke without meeting her eyes. âI need you to sit down.â
Clarke took a few short steps and perched stiffly on the edge of her narrow bed. Although she knew that solitary warped your perception of time, it was hard to believe she had been hereâaloneâfor almost six months. The year sheâd spent with Thalia and their third cell mate, Lise, a hard-faced girl who smiled for the first time when they took Clarke away, had felt like an eternity. But there was no other explanation.
Today had to be her eighteenth birthday, and the only present waiting for Clarke was a syringe that would paralyze her muscles until her heart stopped beating. Afterward, her lifeless body would be released into space, as was the custom on the Colony, left to drift endlessly through the galaxy.
A figure appeared in the door and a tall, slender man stepped into the cell. Although his shoulder-length gray hair partially obscured the pin on the collar of his lab coat, Clarke didnât need the insignia to recognize him as the Councilâs chief medical advisor. Sheâd spent the better part of the year before her Confinement shadowing Dr. Lahiri and couldnât count the number of hours sheâd stood next to him during surgery. The other apprentices had envied Clarkeâs assignment, and had complained of nepotism when they discovered that Dr. Lahiri was one of her fatherâs closest friends. At least, he had been before her parents were executed.
âHello, Clarke,â he said pleasantly, as if he were greeting her in the hospital dining room instead of a detention cell. âHow are you?â
âBetter than Iâll be in a few minutes, I imagine.â
Dr. Lahiri used to smile at Clarkeâs dark humor, but this time he winced and turned to the guard. âCould you undo the cuffs and give us a moment, please?â
The guard shifted uncomfortably. âIâm not supposed to leave her unattended.â
âYou can wait right outside the door,â Dr. Lahiri said with exaggerated patience. âSheâs an unarmed seventeen-year-old. I think Iâll be able to keep things under control.â
The guard avoided Clarkeâs eyes as he removed the handcuffs. He gave Dr. Lahiri a curt nod as he stepped outside.
âYou mean Iâm an unarmed eighteen-year-old,â Clarke said, forcing what she thought was a smile. âOr are you turning into one of those mad scientists who never knows what year it is?â Her father had been like that. Heâd forget to program the circadian lights in their flat and end up going to work at 0400, too absorbed in his research to notice that the shipâs corridors were deserted.
âYouâre still seventeen, Clarke,â Dr. Lahiri said in the calm, slow manner he usually reserved for patients waking up from surgery. âYouâve been in solitary for three months.â
âThen what are you doing here?â she asked, unable to quell the panic creeping into her voice. âThe law says you have to wait until Iâm eighteen.â
âThereâs been a change of plans. Thatâs all Iâm authorized to say.â
âSo youâre authorized to execute me but not to talk to me?â
She remembered watching Dr. Lahiri during her parentsâ trial. At the time, sheâd read his grim face as an expression of his disapproval with the proceedings, but now she wasnât sure. He hadnât spoken up in their defense. No one had. Heâd simply sat there mutely as the Council found her parentsâ two of Phoenixâs most brilliant scientistsâto be in violation of the Gaia Doctrine, the rules established after the Cataclysm to ensure the survival of the human race. âWhat about my parents? Did you kill them, too?â
Dr. Lahiri closed his eyes, as if Clarkeâs words had transformed from sounds into something visible. Something grotesque. âIâm not here to kill you,â he said quietly. He opened his eyes and then gestured to the stool at the foot of Clarkeâs bed. âMay I?â
When Clarke didnât reply, Dr. Lahiri walked forward and sat down so he was facing her. âCan I see your arm, please?â
Clarke felt her chest tighten, and she forced herself to breathe. He was lying. It was cruel and twisted, but itâd all be over in a minute.
She extended her hand toward him. Dr. Lahiri reached into his coat pocket and produced a cloth that smelled of antiseptic. Clarke shivered as he swept it along the inside of her arm. âDonât worry. This isnât going to hurt.â
Clarke closed her eyes.
She remembered the anguished look Wells had given her as the guards were escorting her out of the Council chambers. While the anger that had threatened to consume her during the trial had long since burned out, thinking about Wells sent a new wave of heat pulsing through her body, like a dying star emitting one final flash of light before it faded into nothingness. Her parents were dead, and it was all his fault. Dr. Lahiri grasped her arm, his fingers searching for her vein.
See you soon, Mom and Dad.
His grip tightened. This was it.
Clarke took a deep breath as she felt a prick on the inside of her wrist.
âThere. Youâre all set.â
Clarkeâs eyes snapped open. She looked down and saw a metal bracelet clasped to her arm. She ran her finger along it, wincing as what felt like a dozen tiny needles pressed into her skin.
âWhat is this?â she asked frantically, pulling away from the doctor.
âJust relax,â he said with infuriating coolness. âItâs a vital transponder. It will track your breathing and blood composition, and gather all sorts of useful information.â
âUseful information for who?â Clarke asked, although she could already feel the shape of his answer in the growing mass of dread in her stomach.
âThereâve been some exciting developments,â Dr. Lahiri said, sounding like a hollow imitation of Wellsâs father, Chancellor Jaha, making one of his Remembrance Day speeches. âYou should be very proud. Itâs all because of your parents.â
âMy parents were executed for treason.â
Dr. Lahiri gave her a disapproving look. A year ago, it wouldâve made Clarke shrink with shame, but now she kept her gaze steady. âDonât ruin this, Clarke. You have a chance to do the right thing, to make up for your parentsâ appalling crime.â
There was a dull crack as Clarkeâs fist made contact with the doctorâs face, followed by a thud as his head slammed against the wall. Seconds later, the guard appeared and had Clarkeâs hands twisted behind her back. âAre you all right, sir?â he asked.
Dr. Lahiri sat up slowly, rubbing his jaw as he surveyed Clarke with a mixture of anger and amusement. âAt least we know youâll be able to hold your own with the other delinquents when you get there.â
âGet where?â Clarke grunted, trying to free herself from the guardâs grip.
âWeâre clearing out the detention center today. A hundred lucky criminals are getting the chance to make history.â The corners of his mouth twitched into a smirk. âYouâre going to Earth.â