Omega (First Three Chapters)

Last September, everyone in my high school took a standardized test. But we hadn’t taken the OAAs since 8th grade. This one was different. A woman in a suit walked around the room observing us the whole time, presumably to check if we were cheating. When I got to PE class, I was forced to run around the gym until I passed out. More people in suits held stopwatches and tablets, recording our times. We had several other physical tests, and then went about our day. We weren’t told ahead of time about any of this, and we never got any sort of explanation. Even the teachers seemed confused. On the first day of summer vacation, I got my answer.

Cover by @Infinite_Exho

This is the first three chapters of a story I've been working on. I won't update it on Movellas past these chapters, but if it ever gets published or something (yeah, right) then I'll put a link to the full version. It's dystopian, by the way, but Movellas hasn't made that a category yet.

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2. Chapter Two

I’ve never quite understood why Columbus is the capital of Ohio. Sure, it’s big, I guess, but it seems like Cleveland and Cincinnati have a whole lot more going on. I mean, Columbus doesn’t even have a sports team, for God’s sake. I think. Maybe they have a hockey team or something? Who knows? It’s Columbus.

I wasn’t surprised that this was where this whole thing was taking place though. I would assume every other state is doing it as well, and it would be easier just to have everything go down in the capitol. Even if I can count all the skyscrapers in the city on both hands.

We drove into a, I assume on purpose, discreet-looking parking garage. Once we got through several security scans of the car and the driver’s badge, we were in. The garage was entirely full of similar cars to the one I was in. Black and nondescript, but all still looking like they were bought that day.

I was taken into an elevator and through hallways until I ended up in a small doctor’s office-like room. I was left alone without my bags.

***

“Neema Vickery?” A woman in a white coat scrutinized me.

“Yes.” She typed something into her tablet.

“Good. We will just be doing a regular check-up. Don’t worry.”

We went through the basics; eyesight, hearing, etc. After every test, she typed more into her tablet. When it was over, or at least, when I thought it was over, she pressed her thumb against a scanner on one of the drawers and it slid open, revealing a machine that looked somewhat like my dad’s electric shaver.

She came over with it, and before I could ask any questions, shoved it against my arm and pressed a button. I yelped and bit my lip to hold back tears.

“What the hell was that?”

“You will be briefed later.” She locked the machine back up and left the room.

“Ow!” I rubbed my arm where she had pressed the machine against it. I wasn’t bleeding, but I could see a small object just below the skin. Was that..a tracking device? What else could it be? Dad would be pissed if he knew they put one of those in me.

“Ms. Vickery.” A man in a suit stood in the doorway. He led me down so many hallways I started to get dizzy from all the turning around.

“Are you trying to throw me off track?” I asked him, “Because I wasn’t keeping track anyways.”

He raised an eyebrow at me in amusement, but didn’t respond.

“Fine, then.”

He finally let me into a large room where I saw maybe ten other kids my age. They all looked up when I arrived, and I let my hair fall forward in front of my face. I’m not a huge fan of attention, unless it was from my staff at the school newspaper. Or maybe I’m just not used to it.

“What should I-” I turned to ask him, but he had already left. I was talking to myself in front of a bunch of people. Great.

At least I had my backpack. I sat down alone at a table by the wall and pulled out a book.

I felt the table shift before I actually saw the boy sit down. I looked up, but he already had his own book out.

I started to introduce myself, but chickened out and went back to reading. Maybe skipping out on college was a good idea after all. I could never have actually spoken to new people. Throughout my years in high school, I had learned that I wasn’t great at social situations. If I had a recording device and this was an interview, I’d be fine. But most people don’t react well when you speak like you’re interrogating them.

After a couple chapters, some whispers throughout the room caused us to both look up. An absolutely stunning girl had just entered the room. I could see even from where I was sitting that she had red hair. She glanced around nervously, but threw her shoulders back and strutted confidently over to the tables. She almost went to the most populated one, but swerved out of the way at the last second and came to join us. She slumped down next to the boy and smiled widely at me. She was even prettier up close. She had extremely green eyes and porcelain skin dotted with freckles across her nose and cheeks.

“I’m Elenir.” She set down her purse.

“Neema.” I smiled back.

The boy went back to reading.

“How long have you been waiting here?”

“20 minutes, maybe? Most of them were already here when I arrived.” I gestured at the other tables.

“Oh. How many of us do you think there are in total?”

“I have no idea.” I shrugged.

“Okay. Nice to meet you!” She took out her phone and frowned.

“There’s no cell service in here.” She whacked her phone against her hand a few times. I winced. She had one of the newest models available, and they were basically paper thin. My old-school Dad hadn’t bought me a new phone in three years, but at least mine couldn’t be carried away by a light breeze.

“That’s weird. We’re in the middle of Columbus.” I checked my phone, and sure enough, zero bars.

The room filled up slowly, and by the time an already-tall woman wearing sky-high heels klick-klacked into the room, I counted 24 of us. That’s an odd number.

“Now that everyone is here, we can begin,” The woman stepped onto a podium, “You were all chosen as part of the US government’s Alfávito Initiative, because you have achieved great success in one or more fields. Not because you’re special. You worked to be here, even if you didn’t realize what you working for. In a few moments, you will be escorted to your rooms of three or four. Your bags will already be there. You’ll have some time to get unpacked and cleaned up. Dinner is at 6.” Alfávito? What does that mean? She stepped down and until she was out of the door, the noise of her heels on the floor was the only sound anyone dared make. The second the door closed behind her, however, everyone started talking at once.

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