In a dystopian America, Trinity Shire, and three other teenagers are taken captive by the government to be used as scientific experiments. The scientist plan on making the "perfect human". They strive to create someone that is able to conquer anything. They spent years perfecting a chemical that could wash out the mind of a human so they can't think for themselves. They plan to build an army of mindless power machines, but will they succeed? Copyright © 2013 by Cassidy McClurkan,
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1. Prologue

Copyright © 2013 by Cassidy McClurkan

All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.



             The sun breaks through the barrier of trees, putting me into panic mode. I rip the cover off of my body and launch myself over to the small mirror hanging over my dresser. I rake out the tangles of strawberry blonde hair, and wince when I comb across sensitive hairs.

            “Trinity!” a silk like voice calls from down the hall. “Have you gotten the eggs yet? Are you even up?” My mother asks, her voice growing closer as she approaches my room. In a sad attempt to prove that I had been up, I throw my hair into a slick ponytail. It stays pulled back neatly because of the grease that had bathed my hair last night while I slept.

              “I’m up, mom,” I say through the toothpaste suds that spill out of my mouth.

              “Likely,” she says with a knowing smile. “Here are your clothes for the assessment today.” She used to be beautiful, but now the stress of past wars and poverty has stripped away her youth.

             She places grey pants, a grey shirt, and a long draping cardigan on my bed. Everyone wears grey to the evaluation. I guess it because no one is superior except for the officers, who always wear white suits and a blood red emblem on their sleeves.

              I’ve heard of stories when people don’t wear the assigned colors. Apparently it’s a sign of rebellion. I mentally add that to the “Things Not To Do” list.

             That list seems to be getting longer and longer each day.

             I slip on the monochromatic outfit, then lace up my brown combat boots. I splash some water on my face to eliminate any dirt and then race out of my room. I glide through the narrow hallway of my house until I reach the kitchen, which is small and quaint. Old cabinets file along the side. Torn wallpaper crumbles off the walls, exposing the moist wood that it managed to conceal for such a long time. I reach for the freshly baked bread and cram a sliver of it into my mouth. It melts away before I’m out the door to collect the eggs.

               With the woven basket in hand, I begin to place the warm eggs into it. I glance out into the field to see my father gathering corn. All of our food is shipped somewhere. All we do is grow the food and give it away. We keep a modest amount, but I have a feeling that will change soon.

               I’ve learned to adapt to change quickly.  Around here the only thing that stays the same is family, and that’s only because it’s blood. My family was in the farming business long before I came along. I just do what I know best. I never do anything more or less. I just stick to what I know.

              I’ve known some people to be taken away from their homes and put in jail because they haven’t worked as hard as others. The people that work harder will never get promoted; they just get more taken from them.

              I shoo away a hen before collecting the last egg, which warms my palm. When I look out again, I see my father heading back in from the fields. He must be ready to go. Quickly I walk towards him. He wears grey, of course, and his hair matches his clothing. “How’s the harvest so far, Dad?”

          “Well, enough that we're going to have to give more this year. You know how they are. They can’t let us have what we created.” The same tone of bitterness oozes out of his mouth like it always does on Assessment Days. I brush it off, but an odd feeling sweeps in over me, and the words what we created leaves me uneasy.

           “It’s going to be just like it is every month, Dad.” I flash him a reassuring smile. He tries to smile, but his lips seem to quiver instead. I tell myself I’m only picturing things, but I know deep down inside I’m not.

              When we reach the porch, eggs and corn in hand, my mother is already waiting for us. She carries a bundle of cloth. That is her “donation.” We walk in silence until we merge into the large group that heads toward the Harvest House, which is where worldwide announcements take place. Since we are the farthest away from the so-called government, we recieve the information last, which can be a good thing or a bad thing.

               “Trinity!” I hear my name called by a familiar voice. I turn around to face the only friend I have ever had. I dare call it a friendship because I only see her once a month.

               “Everly,” I say while wrapping her into a hug. “It’s so nice to see you.”

                “Yeah,” she says pulling away, “I thought I was going to die before I got to tell you the news!” I can’t decide if she’s exaggerating or telling the truth. In this day and age, one can never tell. An ecstatic smile lifts her slim cheeks. Her long, light brown hair cascades down her shoulders and rests on her chest. Like me, She, wears a long, draping cardigan along with grey pants and a grey shirt. Her olive-tone skin is characteristically creamy and there is never a blemish upon it. I often compliment her, telling her how lucky she is, but she always replies, “Yeah, well, it’s not like that at home. I promise.”

            “Tell me!” I say, I can almost read her mind. It has something to do with Renner, the boy she won't shut up about. He was assigned here a few years ago to keep post for war, I guess. He’s handsome, yeah, but I don’t see how someone can devote all her time to thinking about boys and love. To me, love is something I will never find.

            “Renner.” She pauses to gaze into the sky with a dumb look wiped across her face. She sighs as if reminiscing.

           “'Renner' what?” I prod.

            “Asked me to marry him!”  Her cheeks flush with excitement, and she clasps her hands together, waiting for a response.

             “Wow,” I force. I try to act excited, but I know what marriage means.

             Apparently Everly senses my disappointment, and quickly interrupts my thoughts. “I’m not going to leave you, Trinity. Renner said we’d settle down here.”

              “But you’re nineteen! Don’t you think that’s young?” I question. I know they can get away with marriage at a young age because Renner is a soldier. He draws benefits, and in that case, I’m glad Everly will as well.

               “Trinity, you know how things are today. If a rich guy asks me to marry him, I’m going to say 'yes'!”

                I sigh, “Well, when’s the wedding?” I try to perk up, but I have a feeling I’m doing a poor job in convincing her that I’m happy. Besides, how can a person marry somebody she hardly knows?

            “Soon,” she says, “and I want you to be there.” She pokes me on the shoulder, and gives a soft laugh. I laugh too and then ask her for details on the proposal, just like normal girls would. I continue the ruse all the way till we reach our location.

             Once we reach the tall glass doors of the Donation House, we split up into age groups, something we’ve never done before. I bid my goodbyes to Everly and dismiss myself from my parents.

             We're met with numerous lines, and more people in the lines than I thought lived on the plantation. “Excuse me. Oh, sorry,” I mutter as a squeeze myself past the lines. My heart begins to settle when I find a line of seventeen-year-olds, and I settle in the back. I fold my arms into my chest, the basket of eggs still dangling from my wrist. Ever since I was a child, I tired to make myself as small as possible. I don’t want to be seen; I don’t want to be noticed. I don’t speak to people unless I have known them for a long time, and I can trust them. The list of people I talk to is brief.

             The shades of grey begin combine into a smoky blur, and I give up trying to recognize people.

              I stand patiently, and occasionally find myself looking over at the clock, forgetting that it doesn’t work. My attention snaps when I hear the static of a microphone echo throughout the tin building. The room falls into silence as we wait for orders. “Once you have dropped off your donations, we need all young adults ages 13-19 to go to Room 24.”

              We wait for more instructions that never come. Then the whispering starts. People comment about how strange the set up is this time, how we should be worrying. I try to think positively. The officials have always provided us with enough, I lie to myself.

               I shuffle my feet, mimicking the people in front of me. As the line dwindles, I grow closer to the officer, the one to whom I turn in my items. His face is not welcoming. Creases have formed between his eyebrows from wearing a cold, hard face.

             His glance meets mine, and I quickly avert my eyes. “Trinity, you bring eggs. Let’s see them,” he snaps.
            On command my arm jerks, and I offer him the eggs. He counts them and nods. “Room 24. Take a right down the hall, and it’ll be there your left.”

            I timidly step past him and look down the corridor. I’ve never gone past the guard, and I don’t know what to expect down the halls. You can trust them, Trinity. A voice whispers, but the other side of me tells me differently.

               I glance back, hoping to see Everly coming up behind me, but I don’t. Instead I see Renner arguing with an officer, Everly by his side. Among the low murmurs I hear his deep voice, “She’s with me, and we are to be married in a few months.”

            “Papers?” the officer asks, and Renner produces them. “All right, she doesn’t have to take the test. Go on,” the officer consents with the wave of his hand.

             Instantly, fear shoots through me, pushing away all the lies I tell myself about the government. Why isn't she taking the test? Why are the non-privileged taking it? What’s going on?

            I turn on my heels and resume my journey down the hall. Take a right, and it’ll be on your left. I repeat the directions in my brain until I run into the bold numbers that read "24."

            When I enter, all eyes are glued to individual tablets, something my fingers have never been worthy enough to touch. “Take a seat, Miss. I will explain the directions once everyone is seated.” says the man in charge. His skin is suspiciously clear. Nearly translucent. By the looks of it, he’s from the inner city.

             Minutes pass, until everyone is seated and has a tablet in hand. I trace my fingers along the glass screen. Graphics appear and fade with each touch. “My name is not of the importance, but yours is. I want you to scan your hand into the tablets.” Everyone seems to follow with ease, but I struggle to keep up. “Now you will see test. This test is simply to evaluate where you are in your education. The government seeks to create schools so we need to know where you are academically.”

            Seems simple enough, I tell myself, still trying to open the tablet. “You will review different character traits. We want you to select the ones that describe you, and you only. Then you will be asked a series of mathematical questions, and so on. Select the appropriate bubble based on your answers.” He says, “Now, let's begin. Your education awaits you.”

            When he smiles my hands begin to shake, and my palms sweat. My tablet clicks open, and I am faced with the first question, followed by five bubbles from which to choose.

             You are faced with a suspicious stranger; what will you do? I read. What does this have to do with education? I shake my head and look at the answers.

A.   Analyze his actions.

B.    Avoid him.

C.    Take action and seek out his secrets.

D.   Follow him around to see if your suspicions were correct.

E.    Threaten him, and force him to reveal what he is hiding.


              I study the answers, and then make my decision. I select the opposite of what I would do. I can’t trust this test, and I don’t want to give away any true information about myself. I tap letter C.  Besides, I’ve always wished I were brave.

              I plod through nearly a hundred questions of that type, then about ten more concerning my education. In the end, I’m glad I’ve lied to the test. The government can’t know me. They can’t use me.

              Feeling powerful about my rebellious act, I begin to think I’m brave. I know deep down inside I am not.




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