Consensus: Part 2 – Delusion



A curved structure that extends over Esh to protect it from the environment. It is anchored to the ground in several places along its perimeter and is supported by a single column at the center. It consists of a metal framework, with semitransparent panels that function as optical filters to clarify the incoming sunlight. Attached to the framework at regular intervals are machines for warming and dehumidifying outside air before pumping it through exhaust vents into the city. The framework is also designed to collect rainwater and channel it to processing centers throughout the city for use in homes and businesses.


The central part of the city, known for its wealth and technology. The Center is where the Founders’ concepts are the most fully accepted and implemented.

Clarine Waite

Rena’s adoptive mother. A logistics supervisor at a food distribution center and a model lower middlerate citizen.


The holographic information system used by all citizens of Esh. Designed to be a collective mind of useful information. New and existing content requires votes in order to remain relevant and accessible. Irrelevant information is deleted from the system.


Green spaces located throughout the city, designated for recreational use and shared by all citizens.

Community Hall

The place where citizens go to attend consensus and become informed on voting issues. Community halls and the staff who run them are supported by citizen donations. There are numerous halls located in each city segment.


A weekly gathering of citizens, where they inform one another about social issues and inspire each other to vote.

Dalyn (Dal) Rigby

Rena’s first and best friend who lives down the street from the Waites. Seventeen years old. Male. Goes by Dal.


Rena’s father.


A city of approximately two and a half million citizens. Circular in shape and organized into twelve segments. The wealthiest area is at the Center, where the most advanced technologies are utilized to bring citizens together in a communal, urban existence. As one moves away from the Center, society becomes more suburban, low-tech, and individualistic.


A device for accessing the Collective. A terminal that is external to a citizen’s body, intended for multiple users.


The group of scientists and engineers who created Esh and the rating system that is the basis of society.

Gareth Waite

Rena’s adopted brother. Five years old.

Hutton (Mrs.)

Rena’s communications teacher.


A device for accessing the Collective. A terminal that is internal to a citizen’s body, intended for a single user.

Janelle Rigby

Dal’s mother.

John Barrett

Leader of an Outlier recon team.

Kalmus (Dr.)

A university professor from Segment Eleven. One of the discussion leaders for the young adults at Rena’s consensus meeting hall.

Kirti Vasu

Rena’s friend who lives closer to the Center. Female. Sixteen years old.

Lowrate, Lower-Middlerate, Highrate

Slang terms for classes of citizens, based on where they are positioned within Esh’s rating system.


The downward-angle position of a held firearm, allowing an unobstructed view to the front while keeping the weapon ready for use on short notice.

Lukas Kagan

A young OCON operative assigned to spy on Rena. Male. Seventeen years old. Orphaned by Outlier radicals. Later adopted by OCON and raised as a ward of the city.

Lyn Mallory (Dr.)

Rena’s counselor.

Marshall Waite

Rena’s adoptive father. An efficiency consultant and a model lower-middlerate citizen.

Nadia Prall

A former Outlier who, at the age of four, wandered into the Outskirts of Segment Six. She had no implant, indicating that she had been born outside of Esh instead of removing herself from society as other Outliers. Her presence highlighted the need for a method by which Outliers could reenter society if they chose to do so. Ms. Prall later became a productive member of society and the poster child of the Reentry process.


OCON is an acronym for Outlier Control, a classified intelligence and para-military organization created by the Founders to protect the citizens of Esh from Outliers.


Agents of OCON. They live within society as normal citizens, conducting a variety of political, economic, and military operations to maintain social order.


Former citizens of Esh who have removed themselves from society and its rating system.


A three-digit number, displayed on the back of the right hand by way of a subdermal, flexible LED array. A citizen’s rating is his/her percentage of value (from 000 to 100), relative to the rest of society. Also referred to as one’s number.


The process by which an Outlier may reenter society. It involves legally establishing one’s identity and undergoing surgery to install an implant that connects them to the rating system.

Rena Waite

Adopted daughter of Marshall and Clarine Waite. Adopted sibling of Gareth and Suzanne Waite. Sixteen years old.


The commander of the Outlier military. Referred to as Commander Ryce.

Suzanne Waite

Rena’s adopted sister. Two years old.


The director of OCON. Referred to as Director Terrell.


The public transportation system of Esh. It is comprised of an above-ground network of tubes, through which pods—filled with citizens—are propelled at very high speeds. There are twelve curving lines, arranged in concentric rings spiraling out from the Center. In addition are twelve straight lines radiating from the Center to the Outskirts. At each intersection are switching stations providing access to the transit system. Also referred to as transit stations. From there, citizens can pay for a cab ride, but most aren’t willing to spend the credits.


Short for converse. A holographic messaging system used to communicate remotely with other citizens. Also used as a verb.


The act of rating a product, service, personal or business interaction, or any other part of Esh’s society. The average of all current votes determines the rating or number of that thing, as well as the laws of Esh. Votes expire after twenty-four hours, ensuring that all ratings stay current.

Yan (Mr.)

Rena’s social studies teacher.