** This is my first try at creating an original story. I rather like the idea I created, and I hope you do too.**

Prologue

Survival. That is the only thing that mattered. There was nothing else a person could do. Nothing ever changed in the Slicks; nothing as long as anyone remembered.

I was always going to be an underling. No matter how good I carried out my task, I was always going to remain at the bottom. There was really nothing you could do.

The Cloudlings didn't care about us. To them, we were just things they could boss around and make to do their bidding. They never realized that we had families and lives too.

My mother had been an underling, and so has everyone in my entire family. We have all been at the bottom since the Clouds came into power. They declared my family worthless, fit only to work in the factories that spewed black smoke day and night.

But we are strong. They would never survive a day down here where chaos and violence ruled the streets. Either the smoke or the stab of a steel knife would kill them.

No one realized what we could survive if we tried. We were the only ones in the five regions that could survive in the Arid Plains. Everyone else died when they breathed our contaminated air.

The Leaflings were almost as bad as bad as the Cloudlings. They got to live high above in the clean air and swing from branch to branch in things we have only heard stories about.

Trees they are called. Apparently we are too dirty to have something as majestic here in our city. Apparently they are only for the higher reaches of society.

Even the Rocklings have their shiny stones. I have seen them once when my brother brought them home from the factory. I wasn't supposed to have seen it because my brother got taken away.

Inklings worked just as we did, but instead of toling by dangerous machinery, they sat in heated libraries surrounded by books. They could read in several languages while us Underling children couldn't even read one.

What do we have: black smoke, black sickness, and black hearts. But we also having something no one else ever will have. We are born with rebellion running in our veins.

My name is Aurora Underling, and I am strong.

**Please remember to review. Let me know what you think and how I could improve. My later chapters will be longer, don't worry.**