Para sat alone in an empty room with nothing but a single rubber ball to keep him company, a gift from "Nanny" - the same woman who had locked him inside the windowless room and separated him from his twin-sister, Dox.
Para had shared a close bond with Dox since they were infants yet Nanny had made sure Dox was moved to a room far away from Para - the boy was unable to feel the presence of his sister and it filled him with an empty feeling inside.
He had grown to sitting quietly in the room, looking at the floor - a camera constantly observing him from high above - a collar strapped firmly around his neck at all times.
After a few minutes Para looked up as the doors opened, a pair of large robots entering the room alongside a short yet stocky woman dressed in the manner of a stereotypical maid - her glasses shining in the artificial light as her shoes clipped against the metal surface.
"Nanny is pleased with you, Para - you may now play with the other children.." the woman declared.
Para had no time to respond as the robots swooped down and grabbed him by either shoulder, lifting him up and leading him down the hallway - Nanny following behind - Para had learned not to question, not to speak.. thus he simply walked along in silence.
"..your sister has been so very naughty, Nanny provides her with such love and warmth - yet she is a greedy girl.. Nanny is proud of you, Para.. you are not greedy.. you know to respect Nanny's words.." the woman continued.
Para lifted his head upon hearing Nanny's words and finally spoke out, unable to do otherwise "..no! please.. Dox is good.. she.." he began, only to freeze as the robots suddenly came to a halt.
Para's heart raced as he was spun around on the spot to face Nanny, who had also come to a stop - crossing her arms she frowned at the boy: "..do you question Nanny's words?".
Para gasped and quickly shook his head side to side "..n-no, Nanny! you are good an-and you are k-kind! ..I.. I'm sorry..".
Nanny continued to frown for a good few minutes, Para barely able to stop tears as his heart raced faster and faster - fear making him desperate to flee.. yet the robots held him in place: "Nanny does not believe you, Para..".
"..n-no! I'm sorry! I'm -!" Para begins, finally breaking into tears.
As Para broke into tears Nanny afforded a small smile, then nodded slightly - the robots proceeded to spin Para back around as they began walking down the hall once more: "..very well, Nanny shall forgive you Para, even if you are a very rude little boy..".
Para bowed his head as he continued crying a little, the robots dragging him along as he no longer had the strength to walk on his own.
Upon reaching the end of the hall a large metal door opened to reveal a large open air prison, filled with children ranging from the ages of seven to eighteen - each one wearing a collar much like Para and working on collecting ore and scrap metal, which were in turn dragged along in large carts to a nearby collection-site.
Para was dropped on the ground by the robots and Nanny walked over to his side, bending over she removed his collar while motioning another robot over:
"..Nanny should not allow you to play after what you said.. however Nanny is kind..".
Para didn't reply as the robot approached, holding what looked like a modified pole - like the ones used by animal-control officers to deal with dangerous strays: Nanny reached over and took the pole, placing the collar around Para's neck and tightening it.
"..come along now.." Nanny said, pulling on the device, as she did so Para got to his feet and began walking after her - several robots followed the pair as Nanny went in a circle around the complex, taking Para along with her.
After the circle had been completed Nanny removed the device and two robots proceeded to swoop over and grab Para's shoulders as Nanny once again attached the familar collar to Para's neck:
"..what do you say to Nanny?".
"..t-thank you, Nanny.." Para said, almost a whisper.
"very good, Para.. you may now return to your room.. Nanny is sure you shall enjoy playing with your toys..".
Para could say very little as the robots lifted him to his feet once more and led him down the corridor, eventually dropping him back in that lonely room and closing the door behind him: the sound of heavy locks being activated soon after.
<<..Para?>> a voice echoed in his mind, causing Para to look up.
<<..it's okay.. don't be afraid...>> the voice echoed.
"..w-who are you?" Para whispered.
<<..a..friend..>> the voice echoed.
"..I don't understand.." Para replied.
<<..just listen.. alright? ..I know things look bad.. but just remember.. when you're sad.. when people make you cry.. the light is always open..>> the voice echoed.
"..I.. wait.. don't go.. wait!" Para began, noticing the voice fading away.
Meanwhile far away from the prison an armored figure stands and watches, a pair of metallic wings spreading out as the figure slowly takes flight from the area:
<<..Para?! ..what are doing?!>> a voice speaks out through a com-link.
<<..just visiting.. an old friend..>> the armored figure replied, disappearing into a shadowy portal.