In the year 3000, Earth became over populated. There was no place to live and many people died of starvation.Then the Leaders of Land 9, where people once called United States, thought of an idea. With the idea of natural selection, they decided on a plan in which those that are "useless" or "weak" will be "erased" from Earth. Those people with a tag on them will be hunt down by everybody on Earth and "erased." Therefore, the start of the hunting begins.
Sophie, who live in Land 9, District 101, is a weak but cheerful and intelligent person. Despite losing her mother and father when she was six years old, and despite her uncle and aunt, her guardians, treating her like a servant, Sophie looks forward to each day with a smile. Because of the incident that also killed her parents, half of her body is functioned by technology. What will happen when a tag is put on her? Will she survive or will she be "erased"?


9. The Beginning of the Night


     Xavier stood up and grabbed my hands. "You…talked."

     I ignored him and walked towards the chess set. I reached my hands to try to grab it, but I couldn't reach it. I kept on trying to reach it like a child trying to grab a candy on a countertop. Then, a hand reached over and grabbed the chess set. I turned around and saw Xavier standing there with an weird expression. It was a cross between anger and shock. "Xa...vier."

     Now his expression was full of anger. "You can talk. Did you lied that you couldn't?"

     I held my hands out. "Wait!" My eyes widened and I gasped. "I…can…talk."

     Xavier looked at me with distrust in his eyes. "You…didn't know?"

     "No…I... just…notice." My speech was still sluggish.

     "That is fine. Let us finish our food." He smiled and sat back down to eat. 

     Coldness crept through me as his formality and fake smile hits me. A thought came to me. He doesn't trust me. 

     That was the end of the conversation, and we didn't say anything else through our meal. Then, when we finished our food, Xavier stood up and got ready to leave. I pulled on his shirt to stop him. "Xavier, I-" I was interrupted by the ringing of his device.

     "Hello?" Xavier answered the call. Then, his expression changed. "What?! How do they know about her? You said that somebody reported that I hid a candidate? They want me to –" He sighed. "Fine, I will be there tonight." He ended the call and turned to me. "Let's go."


     "Hurry up," Xavier called.

     I was trying on dresses in the changing room. "I am almost finish," I called back. I was resisting the urge to take the dress back off, yet, ironically, I felt very familiar with it, after a few minutes.

     "We don't have much time left," Xavier called.

     I sighed. Pulling my pink gown along, I pushed opened the door.

     Xavier turned to me. "Fin…ally" After he saw me, he immediately turned away. "Good. Let's go."

     I imitated him. "'Good. Let's go.' " I copied his way of walking, and tried my best to copy his expression. Then, I made a face at him. "Pokerface."


     We finally arrived at a very big and grand mansion. When I got out of the car, I stood there with my mouth agape. "Wow." After a few seconds, I turned to look at Xavier. "So… Why am I here?"

     Xavier, who had just got out of the car, stood very far away from me. I heard him sighed as if he was reluctant. "Someone reported that you are living with me, so you are coming here to give  an explanation."

     I still didn't get what he was saying, but he started walking, so I followed him.

     When we walked into the mansion, everyone stopped talking. They were staring at us, or, mostly, me. Some were whispering and some were snickering. Then, a girl walked up to me. "What a beautiful dress you are wearing," she exclaimed.

     I sensed her sarcasm but I said, "Thank you."

     "It is so…unique…  so different from what everyone else is wearing." She pointed at other people to emphasize what she said. 

     I looked around. Everyone was wearing informal clothes. Instead of embarrassment, anger rushed through me. They are making fun of me. I turned and ran towards where I thought the kitchen would be. "Excuse me, do you have a scissor?"

     The chef blinked a few times. Then, he gave me a scissor. 

     I smiled. "Thank you." I turned and walked back to the entrance.

     Everyone was shocked. "What are you doing," Xavier and the girl asked.

     I grinned. "I am going to live up to the pretty words you just said to me." I took the scissor. Snip! Pieces of my gown fell on the floor. Everyone was stupefied as they looked at the pieces of fabric from the gown on the floor. 

     When I was finished I stood there. "I thank everyone for watching this show. I planned to give you all a surprise." I looked around and smiled. "I am glad that you enjoyed it."

     From a distance came a clapping sound. A man in his 30s walked towards me. "What a marvelous show. I was starting to get bored, but this just brought amusement to me."

     Everyone started to whisper. "That is Leader Walkington."

     For some reason, I had a strong feeling of dislike towards him. So weird. I never seen him before, and I don't have any sense of familiarity with him. Why is it that I dislike him?

     Beside me, I heard someone cursed. I turned and saw Xavier standing beside me. Was he mad at me? I was about to say something to him, when I realized that he wasn't even looking at me. His eyes filled with hatred was directed at Leader Walkington.

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