Convergent (Full)

Lilith was never meant for Candor. The faction of truth has no place for a girl like her. So when she transfers to Erudite - the intelligence faction - at the choosing ceremony, the lack of surprise is evident. But when a mysterious cat leads her out into the city, will she discover that she made the wrong choice? And who is the strange boy in black?

Had to cut it down to 5000 words for a contest, but I enjoyed it so much I didn't wanna stop.


6. The Test

"Wake up, Initiates! First test today!" A loud, male voice calls. What? A test? Already? I jump from my bed and land heavily, waking Caleb. Damn my lack of grace.  I quickly slip on a pair of black skinny jeans, a blue fitted tank top and my new glasses. It feels strange wearing glasses I don't need.
By the time I have my shoes on; Caleb is stood beside me fully dressed. We leave Jake and Craig battling with their clothes in the room and walk to the main hall. There are numerous small desks placed at about one meter intervals across the huge room. We are told to take a seat and obey quickly. Over half of the initiates are already seated, so it doesn't take long until we are called to silence by our guide from yesterday. He looks about five years older than us with short, light brown hair and chestnut eyes. 
"My name is Kai. I am your mentor for the next two weeks. It is my job to make sure as many of you make it into our faction as possible." He begins to pace in front of the desks. "Today, you will be taking four tests. Firstly, a simple IQ, this is the white sheet of paper on your desk. Next, a Math test, the blue paper. Then, an English test, the pink. And finally, a Science test, the green." He holds up each paper in turn to reinforce his statements. "You will have fifteen minutes to complete each test and the papers will be collected individually at the end of each fifteen minutes. The marks will be given to you later today. Don't screw this up." 
We are told to begin. The IQ test is relatively simple, although it requires fast thinking to finish within the time limit. I come across a question about a cat and thoughts of Nixon arise, which I quickly push from my mind. The buzzer sounds indicating the end of the first test as I tick the final box and our papers are collected.
Now, Math. I like Math. It's easy, understandable. Unlike boys, my head chips in. Jeez, what am I, twelve? Soon, I'm finished, and wait patiently for the buzzer to sound.
I finish both of the other tests just in time then leave the hall to head back to my room. We are told to return in an hour for the results.
"How did you do, Lielith?" Jake calls mockingly.
"I don't think that concerns you." I hiss.
We enter our room, and me and Caleb sit on his bed.
"You okay?" I ask, nudging him with my elbow.
"Yeah," he sighs "I'm just worried I won't do well enough."
"Don't be stupid!" I say, smiling. "Of course you will. There must be a reason the aptitude test placed you here."
"I guess. It's just-" he stops "Thanks, Lilith. This is the kind of thing I'd usually talk to my sister about, you know?" I know, I think, I was the same with my sister.
"Yeah, I understand." I say gently, placing a hand on his shoulder.
We talk for the rest of the hour, just silly things about who we are, where we come from. It feels nice to have a friend.
"Results!" Kai's voice echoes outside our room as he marches past. We stand and follow him back to the main hall. I can hear Caleb struggle to control his breathing. Why am I not worried about this? I should be. If I haven't done well enough I'll be factionless. But I'm not. I'm completely emotionless.
When we enter the main hall I feel a sense of dejavu. On each table lie four piece of paper; white, blue, pink and green, but instead of A4 sheets, they are small slips.
"Initiates," Kai yells "Return to the tables you occupied during the exam. Your results are on the slips placed on them. The slips are colour coded the same as the tests were."
Of course, we must remember our tables and the colour coding or we'll fail immediately. Memory is a key element in intelligence.
I walk over to my table and temporarily stare down at the slip. My future. There. On a scrap of colored paper. I lift the first sheet. White.
IQ: 120. Okay, not great, but not terrible. 
I take up the next slip. Blue.
Math: 100% correct. I stare at the numbers. Wow. That can't be right. I stare again, expecting the figures to change. They don't.
I shake my head and pick up the pink slip.
English: 74% correct. Meh. Not too good.
I take the final, green sheet.
Science: 79% correct. Damn. I bet most of the other initiates have done better than that. I frown to myself before exiting the hall and heading back to my room.
I lie on my bed for a while in silence, gently weaving the coloured slips between my fingers. I'm just starting to relax when Jake and Craig storm in.
"What did you get, Lielith?" Craig calls laughing, while Jake steals the slips from my hand. He reads each in turn. White first.
"Average," he mumbles, flicking the slip back onto the bed.
"Average," he repeats both the word and the action.
"Average," another repetition.
He stops, and stares for a moment.
"Well, well, well! Somebody's been hiding things now, haven't they?" Jake sneers, stepping closer to my bunk. I drop to the floor in front of him.
"Give that back, now!" I growl. 
"But, princess, you should be proud!" His arrogant tone makes me want to vomit. "Maybe we'll get some eye candy in Erudite after all..."
He holds the slip out between us. I reach my hand out quickly to grab it, but he retracts his arm.
"By the way," he whispers "glasses really suit you." I roll my eyes and grab the green sheet, quickly shoving it under my pillow with the rest. We were told we didn't have to share our results if we didn't want to, but it seems I didn't have a choice.
Later, in bed I wait for Tilly to appear at my window again. She doesn't. After a while of watching and waiting, I give up and try to sleep. It's useless. There's no way I'm going to sleep tonight. If Tilly won't find me, I'll have to find Tilly. 

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