“Run, before it’s too late.” I warned as the guards pushed me into the cell. The same cell I was in before - the same claw marks on the wall and floor where I had almost gone crazy. “Ha! Yeah, before it’s too late.” one of the guards mocked closing the cell door behind me. But I could feel it - I could feel their fear of me, of what I could do. They had seen me take down 20 genitally engineered soldiers by myself - without the help of Guinevere. I cracked my neck, making my hair fall to the side revealing the hideous scar across my right eye. The scar I had inflicted upon myself in that time I was crazy - I mean I would never be able to tell the difference anyways. I smiled as the guard shuddered at the sight of the scar and I backed against the far wall and sunk to the floor calling upon Guinevere. The mist swirled around my legs as she appeared, the same hideous scar I had given myself was across her right eye as well. I felt bad for inflicting pain on Guinevere, she did nothing.


1. Luke and Liam


I looked out the window, it was raining - great. Someone sneezed in the far corner of the train. A girl sat there, with a Kleenex to her face. I looked back out the window, the girl sneezed again, louder this time, and coughed into her sleeve. It was kind of annoying, being on a a bus with a lot of people and not having any music to listen to. We are heading to the city. I've been to the city numerous times before, so this wasn't new to me. But I knew that there were a lot of kids on this bus who have never been out of their town before. I come from 1, the town closest to City; the towns went all the way to 15 - closest to the forest surrounding our country. I don't have many friends in 1, none in City either. I always felt like I was out of place in 1; I mean just take my name for instance! Luke! That is abnormal in 1 - my name belongs in 10 or 11, not 1. The girl sneezed again, and I rolled my eyes. She wore a skinny jeans, and a grey sweatshirt with uneven hemlines. In her lap was two large books, and a whole bunch of Kleenex's.

The whistle blew and City came into view as we past the outer gates. Tall white buildings towered over the train tracks which were suspended by long silver cables. The girl's eyes widened as she looked out the window, and I scoffed running a hand through my hair. The boy, Louis, sitting next to me looked around the train and started to laugh. "You would think these people had never been to City before!" he exclaimed, and many people shot him looks.

"Not a lot of people even leave their town." I said sternly. "We live in 1, it is easy to leave town." Louis rolled his eyes. 

"It's not our fault where City put us." he said, "Just like it's not our fault what we are assigned to." The train screeched to a stop, knocking the girl in the corner over onto the floor. Louis laughed, cocking his head to the side so his black hair swooped to the side of his face. I got up quickly as the doors opened, and walked out of the train, ignoring the two people helping the girl to her feet. When everyone was out of the train a woman in a white coat came up to our group, a large smile on her face. 

"Welcome 16's! Ah, how wonderful it is to see you in person!" She said opening her arms in a welcoming. I crossed my hands over my chest as the train left the station. Louis smirked at me and I rolled my eyes. "If you would please follow me." she said and turned abruptly and started walking down a long white hallway. I'd never been to this part of City before - no one below 16 can come into this building. We walked after her, into a large room with seats lining the walls. "Sit in order of date of birth and town starting with 1." The woman pointed to the seat next to a white door. Louis sat in the third chair, after twin girls, I sat five chairs down from Louis, and I watched the girl from before take the last seat on the other side of the room. 



I sat there, watching as one by one the 16's went into the room. I didn't want to be there. I was sick, and City was a strange place. 1 already went through, as well as 2 and 3; 12 more towns to go, about 100 kids to go before me. I was the last person to go. By my name you would expect me to be a guy, you would guess wrong. I am a girl, with black hair and blue eyes like every other 16 here. Our society was strange; they breed people to have certain traits, like black hair and blue eyes. We didn't get to choose our jobs, or what we would eat everyday, or what town we wanted to live in. It was all chosen for us; our spouses, our children, our pets! Everything was chosen by the counsel, even our names; and I hated every bit of my life. I lived in 15, a town closest to Forest; the people in 15 were mostly all hunters, they were aloud to go into Forest and kill animals for food, but you couldn't go at night.

Forest is a strange place; full of ginormous creatures. We were only permeated to kill the small creatures; because the fear that if we killed the bigger creatures they would get mad and attack the country. I didn't mind per say, other than that my father was killed by one of the monsters in Forest; or that's what they say. When I say my father, I mean the family I was given to after birth. I know - it's a messed up thing. Through out history people had their own children, and they ended up alright! We read stories about the 20th century, where Forest grew out of control and covered every inch of the Earth, even the oceans were covered.

Forest was made in the 20th century in a lab, scientist's were trying to figure out how to fix the forests that were being cut down everywhere. They found a solution alright; the solution was a genetically made tree, that grew 12 feet when you cut off one. The scientist's started to plant the trees without permission in fields, and cut down forests. When people saw what they had done, they tried to cut down the trees; but they grew out of control when they tried. As I said, 12 feet for every one foot that was cut down. They don't grow any other way then being cut; which is a good thing now, or we would have no place to live. The trees were starting to be called Latteras Redwood, or that's what the scientist who made it called them. She was a short woman, with brown hair and grayish-blue eyes; or that's what the stories say she looked like. Her partner in the project that ruined the entire world. That woman was tall, and had dark brown hair with green eyes. No one mentions their names; it's kind of forbidden now. 

So here I sat, waiting for my name to be called, watching one by one as the room emptied. "What do you think your job is going to be?" the boy next to me asked. I looked at him, and smiled politely.

"I really have no clue. There isn't a job that really speaks to me. What about you?" I asked back, wanting to be polite.

"I hope I get to be a hunter." He said with a smile, I nodded; that's mostly what kids from 15 got. We would be hunters, that's all everyone wants us to be, and what most of us want. But not me. I don't want to be a hunter, I don't want to be anything. I want to choose for myself; but I guess that will never happen.

"Lucas, enter the choosing room." a voice sounded over the overhead system. The boy next to me smiled over at me, took a deep breath, and said.

"Well, that's me! See you on the other side." Then he left; and I was alone in the white, large room. About 20 minutes later, the speaker came on again.

"Liam, enter the choosing room." I stood, up took a deep breath and walked through the door. The room was small, and the door closed with a slam after I entered. There were three mirrors on each of the walls, the floor was purely white, not a scratch or speck anywhere. "Find a way out." The voice from the speaker said. I tried the door that I just came in, and it was locked. I looked up at the white ceiling, it was smooth just like the floor - no way I was getting out through there. I looked around the room again; of course, nothing had changed. I strode over to the farthest mirror and pressed my hand against it; there was a gap between my hand and the reflection; I walked to the mirror on my right and pressed my hand against it the same way I had done the other. Again there was a gap between my hand and the reflection; so I walked to the mirror behind me and placed my hand against it. I wasn't sure what I was looking for, but it had to be something with the mirrors. They were the only things in the room. This time, when I placed my hand on the mirror, there wasn't a gap like the others.

I knocked on the mirror in different spots, hearing the sound it made. It sounded hollow on the other side; I could punch through, but then the glass might shatter and cut my hand. So I chose to kick it instead. The fist kick sent a jolt through my body and through the mirror, making it shake against the wall. I kicked it again, and again, each time, not waiting for the shaking of the mirror to stop before kicking again. The shaking got so violent, and the sound so loud, I had to cover my ears each time I kicked it. Around the 15th time I kicked it, the glass shattered; flying everywhere. I quickly covered my eyes before the shards could reach me. A piece of the glass cut my cheek, sending red hot blood to drip down my face and onto my sweatshirt. I whipped it off quickly and walked through the opening I had just made. Twenty or more people stood around the shattered glass, smiling. "Did I pass?" I asked.

"Indeed you did, in the fastest time too. Come; onto the next test." A woman said, reaching her hand out for me to take. I quickly took it and she lead me into another room. "I'll meet you on the other side." And with that she left me to walk into the room. This room was large and open, there wasn't a roof, and the sun shined brightly down on me. I walked down a white stone path around trees and a river. On a large rock was money. I looked around; this had to be my test. I could keep the money, or... I looked around the open room, and saw a little girl, with bright green eyes and dark brown hair, a 7 I realized. She was skinny, her bones showing under her light brown clothes. I knelt down with a smile.

"What's your name?" I asked softly.

"Amelia." She answered, her voice chirpy.

"Would you like this money? I don't know who it belongs to, but no one else is here. And if anyone comes looking for it, just give it to them and say 'I found this on a rock, I apologize for taking it." The girl nodded and I smiled wider, giving her the small amount of money that was laying on the rock. 

"Thank you." she said pocketing the money. 

"No problem. Now you stay safe, okay?" 

"Okay." I patted her shoulder and stood up and continued on the white stoned path. There was a door where the path ended, and I opened it to see the same woman before standing there smiling. 

"Very good Liam, very good. Come with me." I followed the woman into another room. "This room you will get a tattoo, everyone gets one. Your mind and emotions are scanned by this - even your memories down to when you were a baby, and it was give you a tattoo on what it believes you will be good at in the future. This is how your job is chosen. It will look closely at the two rooms before now and take that in to consideration heavily." I nodded, remembering my parent's tattoo's. They were both small, and on their right shoulder. My mom's is a bird with a berry in it's claws - a gatherer, my fathers was a man with a bow with a dead stag next to him - a hunter. I wondered what mine would be. 

"Do I need to take my shirt off?" I asked and the woman nodded. 

"Yes, take off all your clothes please. The tattoo may not be just on your shoulder; yes that is where all hunters and gatherer's tattoo's are, but not all people's tattoo's are there. Take mine for instance; it is on my arm." She lifted her sleeve and the black markings of her tattoo were showcased. It was a tattoo of people; one in the center, and the others outstretched behind him - counsel member.  I nodded and started to take off my clothes. The woman smiled and pulled down her sleeve. "I will leave you to get your tattoo, put back on your clothes after it is done and exit that door right there and you will be taken back to all the other 16's." I nodded looking at the white door. Then the woman left and I stripped the rest of my clothes. 

"Lay face down on the table." A robotic voice said, as it spoke, the corners of the room lit up in blue, I did as the voice said and laid down on the table. I could hear the ceiling open, and the room came alive with long robotic arms holding multiple devices. The entire room was illuminated in blue for a couple minutes, then the robotic arms started to work, a tattoo machine started and the needles broke into my skin. "Hold your arms out to your sides." The voice ordered, and I obeyed silently. The needles worked across my skin, working down my back, across my arms, and down my legs. "Turn over." The voice commanded, and I flinched as I turned over. My skin felt raw from the needles piercing my skin. The machine started again, tattooing my arms, across my chest, between my breasts onto my stomach and down my legs. This was not like my parent's tattoo's, at all. Abruptly the machine stopped and my body ached all over. "Put on your clothes and exit." The voice ordered, but I couldn't move.

After around 10 minutes of writing in pain, I got up off the table and put on my clothes. My arms were covered with an elegant design, as well as my legs, chest, stomach; everything. What could this mean?" There wasn't just one design there were multiple designs mixed together, and it wasn't just black ink, there was every color imaginable on my body. But the color that stood out the most was forest green. I slowly put back on my clothes and exited the room to face the 128 other 16's.

"What took her so long?" people asked their friends; but there was one man who wasn't joking around, asking what took me so long. He looked like he knew what happened to me. I stiffly made my way to sit in the corner of the room. Everyone in the room was showing off their tattoo's, and I'm glad no one asked about mine - I wouldn't know what to say about it. Show them both arms? - my legs? - what could I show them? Nothing. So I sat there, writhing in the pain my tattoo gave me. 

"Congratulations 16's! When you return back to your towns, your parents will will give you a book that describes what your tattoo means. If you have any more questions, call City, and we will answer anything you ask." The same woman from before said; then lead us back to the train.            

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