Anax moved down the long corridor. The only sound was the gentle hiss of the air filter overhead. The lights were down low, as demanded by the new regulations. She remembered brighter days, but never spoke of them. It was one of the Great Mistakes, thinking of brightness as a quality of the past.
Anax reached the end of the corridor and turned left. She checked the time. They would be watching her approach, or so it was rumored. The door slid open, quiet and smooth, like everything in The Academy zone.
The panel was made up of three Examiners, just as the regulations had promised. It was a great relief. Details of the examination were kept secret, and among the candidates rumors swirled. "Imagination is the bastard child of time and ignorance," her tutor Pericles liked to say, always adding "not that I have anything against bastards."
Anax loved her tutor. She would not let him down. The door closed behind her.
The Examiners sat behind a high desk, the top a dark slab of polished timber.
"Make yourself comfortable." The Examiner in the middle spoke. He was the largest of the three, as tall and broad as any Anax had ever seen. By comparison the other two looked old and weak, but she felt their eyes upon her, keen and sharp. Today she would assume nothing. The space before them was clear. Anax knew the interview was being recorded.