You enter The Pit.
What strikes you first is the glass, its shining gleam in the half-light. The seating area closest to the stage — on your left — does not have any seats at all but is a standing area, entirely enclosed in a glass dome. That must be the area reserved for the less fortunate, for the Upper Hallers like you. Directly in front of you is the first row of seats, each set of four boxed off from the others, also in glass. The rows further back thin out slowly, until right at the top, where there are only two seats per box.
How bizarre. There’s something about the set up that makes you think of a quarantine, although whether it is the audience or the performers being protected, you’re not quite sure.
You walk closer to the seats, close enough to see that the row you’re next to is row G. It stretches to the other side of the theatre, an array of enclosed seats. Each box is numbered; the one nearest to you has an ornate 8 etched into the glass door. You test the handle, and the door swings open a couple centimetres, beckoning you to go inside and try out the chairs for yourself.
But some hidden instinct is warning you not to enter — you don’t belong there, it was not made for people like you but for the elite, the classes who live in the luxury of the Lower Halls. Your place is further down, closer to the stage, and it is there that you should go.
Which do you listen to?
* Your curiosity — go into the box!
* Your instincts — leave Box 8 alone.