As was custom, the Chosen slipped away from her village under the shroud of night, taking with her all her possessions. These were left in the Burning Pits to be destroyed, and no trace was to be left.
As was tradition, when her family awoke to find her gone, they made no mention of her, and ate their morning meal in silence, waiting patiently for the days orders to be relayed to them.
As per regulations, the guards met her as she ascended the steps of the Temple, and walked silently beside her. They escorted her through the sanctuary to her chambers. She entered, and they remained outside her door, waiting for orders.
As the Ritual demanded, the Chosen removed all her clothing and placed it in the incinerator, donning instead the garments befitting her new position, which lay on the bed. As she lifted the Robe of the Servant and reverently slipped it over herself, a note fell from a sleeve. The Chosen lifted the note and obeyed the instructions, taking a small, bullet-like object from the bedside table, and placing it in her right ear.
As he had a thousand times before, the man in the shadows spoke.
As every Speaker had before her, the girl gasped, and asked hesitantly,
Deep in his darkness, the man smiled.