Oh my gosh guys I’m so sorry. I totally forgot about this… But, I will make sure I post the rest of this soon, anyway, enjoy!
My parents are rich, so rich that my father lives in another house where he takes care of business. Most children are taken when they are babies; we are being taken late only because my father supplied a tutor. So that we learned war but didn’t have to go to a base.
The three of us step into the plane and find three other children sitting there. But these children already look like soldiers; they are already stiff and uncaring. Solstice takes her seat and she becomes a soldier, becomes stone. I do not; I keep my normal posture. I roll the pencil over and over in my hand. I look at its color, a brilliant light blue. It’s my only connection to my home. I feel a tear drip onto my cheek and wipe it away quickly before anyone can see. Or at least I think no one sees.
“Stop embarrassing me.” Solstice hisses, I nod. I have to be strong, for her. So that she does not look weak.
It is now the third week of training. I am not doing well; my stomach is not upset at the idea of killing anymore. But my grades are slipping; a couple points here and there start to drop off. I start not understanding the strategies, and the weapons they have me using are foreign objects, only lumps of twisted metal that I don’t know how to use. I’m beaten by the better students when I fail and when I do well they leave me alone. Solstice does just fine; she is in the top three in the whole base. Everyone else treats her with respect. I do everything I can for her, looking for ways to make sure she’s taken care of. She doesn’t thank me and I understand. I’m her brother, her brother who’s failing and she doesn’t want to look pathetic. She’s playing the teacher’s game; she’s learning how to survive this slice of hell. You aren’t allowed to be human; you aren’t allowed to care. You have to be distant. I do not how to do this, therefore I’m slipping through the ranks and soon I will only be someone that everyone else spits upon. And this is only the third week.
My 10-year-old sister moves ahead of me. She moves into a higher class than I. At first I panic, how will I make sure she’s ok? How will I watch over her? But then I realize what I can do. During meals is the only time the students are allowed to talk to each other. I find a boy in Solstice’s class and I approach him. He has hair that is yellow like sunshine and blue eyes that look like little droplets of rain. He’s handsome, but he looks cocky and rude.
“Jethen, I’m Koda.” I say, holding out my hand. He doesn’t take it. His posture is sloppy and he looks carefree. I’m not sure how he’s in the higher class; someone like this would likely be in the lowest rank.
“Yes, you’re like the omega. Aren’t you?” He twirls his fork in his hand and then lets it clatter to the table.
“I guess you could say that. You could say that.” I bite my lip and reach into my uniform pocket. I find the dull blue pencil and squeeze it tightly. “You know of my sister right? Solstice? Her number is 203?”
War numbers are given to everyone. You aren’t supposed to use real names but most everyone still does. The numbers keep us organized. The names keep us human.
“Uh yes. She’s pretty, but I’m sure you know that already. Why do you ask?” He leans back on the table; I wish I could stay as relaxed as him.
“Do you think you could watch for her for me? Could you just tell me if she needs help or anything?” He squints at me. I pray for him to say yes.
“Yes. I could, but only if I’m paid.” I pause, thinking. How could I pay this boy? I have nothing to give. Nothing to offer.
“I could give you some of my food?” This is the only thing I can think of.
“Pssh. No, food’s overrated. You can help me with my gambling. I play card games, mostly poker. And while I’m extremely good at it. I could use some insurance. The insurance being you.” He smirks. I nod.
“Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it.”
“Ok. Meet me tonight, after curfew. This table, I’ll show you how it’s done.” Then he cocks his head, “Why are you doing this for her? All she ever does for you is talk trash about you.”
“Because she’s family. I can’t abandoned her, even if she doesn’t love me.” Then Jethen gets up and walks away, he looks slightly angry and I can’t imagine why.
So what do you think? A like gets you some training with Koda and a comment gives you a poker game with Jethen. 🙂 (No promises about cheating though.)