Year 2013 | Teen Ink

Year 2013

April 18, 2012
By Neonpanda17 SILVER, Digby, Other
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Neonpanda17 SILVER, Digby, Other
9 articles 2 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I haven't seen anything that ridiculous since ridiculous day at the Deli, when prices were so low, it was ridiculous." -Cleveland Brown-

The ground shakes and everyone screams and cries as they know this is their last moment on earth, the last to see their friends and families smiling faces, the last to see anything in fact.

“Over here! Quickly! Don’t let them touch you!” Mark yells as he crawls out from under his desk, kicking and dodging the outreached hands of our fellow classmates.

“Pipe down, I’m coming!” Sarah yells back.

“There! The emergency exit, let’s go!” Kate points as she steps on my hand on her way toward the exit.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” I whisper as she advances away from me, not wanting her to hear my warning.

“You and Mark go on ahead, I need to grab my bag from my desk,” Sarah says and she bends over and winks at me from the other side of the classroom.

“What? Do you want to die? We don’t have time for that!” Mark yells, screaming curses at her as she walks back to her desk, stepping on everyone that gets in her way.

Oh how I love Sarah, she really knows how to get him mad.

“Just go on, I’ll be there in a sec. See, I’m already half way to my desk in less than 10 seconds.”

“Whatever, just make it quick,” Kate says as she quickly reaches for the emergency door handle.

Good, now don’t open it until Mark gets there! I smile to myself. Sarah and I had planted a trigger bomb a few minutes before the explosion of the nuclear plant next door. Stupid place to put a school, right?

“Duck, Sarah!” I whisper as she digs through her desk beside me.

“Let me get the masks, Ne, calm down.” She says as she drops two masks beside me.

“Oh, right thanks,” I smile at her as she ducks down beside me.

“Whatever, just sit back and enjoy the show. It’s not like anything can hurt us.”

“Heh, that’s true,” I laugh as Mark finally reaches Kate.

“Where the hell did she go?” Kate yells as she looks back.

“It doesn’t matter; let’s just get out of here!” Mark yells back as another explosion rocks the school.

Kate quickly reaches for the handle as huge chunks of cement fly through the windows. She turns the handle and swings the door open, Mark running out first, leaving her standing in the doorway, trying to regain her balance.

The force of the explosion blows Sarah and I away with the desks, dead bodies cushion our fall, but I’d rather hit the floor. We both quickly look back toward the door to catch a glimpse of a mangled body –missing a few parts- knock Kate over. I give Sarah a high-five as Kate goes down with a yelp.

“Well, I guess we have to finish her off,” Sarah smiles as she closes her eyes, concealing her bright purple ones, reopening them to reveal a deep red colour that could put the Devil to shame.

“Oh yea, this will be fun,” I smile back as I put my arm out, palm up, and summon my sword.

Sarah and I close in on her, killing everyone that tries to touch us. Never let anyone touch you, my good friend Cliff died when an old lady passed us in the supermarket. One touch and his life source was drained out of him.

“Please, don’t kill me!” Kate cries as I step on her chest and Sarah scans over Kate’s helpless body.

“Sorry, but we want to live,” Sarah shrugs, then points to Kate’s left eye, “there, that’s where all her energy is hiding.”

“How can you even use your powers here? That’s so unfair,” Kate cries.

“Because, we aren’t like you, we’re better.” Sarah laughs.

“If she’s about to die, don’t you think she deserves the truth?” I ask. I can be such softie a sometimes.

“Ughh, fine. When Mark set off our bomb it disabled the schools anti-magic shield, or whatever the hell it’s called. Either you kill her or I do. Don’t you remember how much shit she put us through all these years? Now we can get her back.” Sarah says impatiently.

I hand her my sword, “Here, you do it. I’m going to find the guys; they said they were going to find food or something.”

“Alright, make it quick, we need to leave soon,” Sarah says as I walk down the hall and into the lobby, where the double doors to the cafeteria await.

“Nico! Storm! Xavier! Where are you guys?” I call as I enter the cafeteria.

“In the storage, come help us. Did you guys get the other clan?” Strom says as he walks out of the storage room, his messenger bag bulging out with food.

“I think you have enough in there to feed us all for a week,” I smile as he hands me his bag.

“Here, take this one to Sarah, we’re almost done, just need to fill up yours and Nico’s.” Xavier says as he hands me his bag too.

“Did you guys find any bags? The ones I saw all got destroyed in the explosion.” I say as I swing the Anti-Gravity Weightless bags over each shoulder.

“Nope, I guess this is all we have, but Nico found a Shrink bag which might come in handy somehow.” Storm says as he heads back into the storage room.

“I’ll just bring these to the car, I’ll drive around back,” I say as I make my way down the hall to meet up with Sarah.

“Alright, be careful though, I don’t know who set the other explosive at the Plant, but they might have set one here too!” Xavier yells after me.

“Yep!” I yell back.

I cautiously make my way back to the classroom, looking back every few seconds. I spot Mark’s crisp body leaning against a locker like someone put it there. I slow to a stop and stand in front of him, wow, we got him good.

“Catch!” Sarah yells from the doorway of the classroom as she throws a red and yellow object toward me. My arms automatically stretch out and grab it, not really paying attention to what she has.

“Did you sit Mark up like that?” I point as I turn to object around in my hands.

“Uh, no,” she says, smiling at me as she see my face as I realize what I’m holding.

“Ew! Oh my God, Sarah!” I scream in horror as I stare Kate in the face, her left eye missing and her mouth open, dripping blood. I throw the head up and quickly jog backwards, wiping my hands on my jeans, staining them with blood.

“I think she looks better as a red head, what do you think?” Sarah laughs as she walks toward me, stepping on Kate’s eyeball along the way, making a crunchy splat as it gets flattened.
Sarah has a thing for violence that makes her kind of sick and twisted, but that’s about the one and only thing I hate about her, and she knows I hate it so she does this kind of stuff to scare me.
“Haha, funny,” I roll my eyes, “we need to get out of here quick. God knows who set the other explosion at the Plant, and if you didn’t set Marks body against the locker and I sure as hell didn’t, means someone else is in here,” I say as I walk over and grab my sword that’s propped against the wall, dripping with blood.
“Ok, give me those; I’ll bring them out to the car. Oh! Guess what I found!” Sarah says full of excitement.
“What?” I ask as I dismiss my sword, and she pulls out a pink wallet swollen with cash.

“Is that what I think it is?” I ask my eyes going wide.

“Oh yea, baby, Reproductive Wallet!” Sarah laughs as she shoves it deep into her jacket pocket.

“We need to meet the guys around back, at the delivery garage.” I say as I rip off the emergency exit door that’s hanging on by one hinge.

“So, where’d we park?” Sarah asks as she looks out into the empty parking lot.

“Shit!” I shout, clenching my fists.

“What? Don’t scare me like that!” Sarah jumps.

“We parked behind the Plant.” I sigh and cover my face.

We walk back into the building, heads hung low as we make our way to the cafeteria.

“Whoa, what’s up with you two?” Nico asks as he swings a messenger bag over his shoulder.

“I hope you guys like walking,” I start.

“Because we’re on foot for now,” Sarah finishes.

“What? What do you mean ‘on foot for now’?”

“Storm, do you remember where you parked the car?” Sarah says through clenched teeth.

“Behind the Plant, why, what’s the big- Oh my God, we blew that shit up didn’t we?” Storm says as he rakes his hand through his hair.

“You’re kidding? Why would you park there?” Nico laughs and smacks one across Storms head.

“I told you where I was going to park the car once I dropped you off, why didn’t you tell me?”

“Uhh, because we thought you were smarter than that, I mean, come on, why would you park behind the building we were planning to blow up?” Sarah answers.

“Shh! Do you hear that?” Xavier whispers as he runs out of the storage room, closing his messenger bag.

“Hear wha-” I cut off as the whole wall begins to crumble and fall, just missing a group of kids standing outside on the other side of the wall.

“Found the Broken clan!” The kid in the front yells.

“Stop, don’t move!” Another kid yells as Nico raises his hand outward.

“Where is your leader?” A girl says as she comes out from the middle of the crowd.

“Here,” I say, keeping my voice strong as I walk forward.

“We want to a deal with you. I’m Alex, and we are the Dino clan. Would you like to hear?” Alex asks as she walks toward me, pulling something out from her pocket.

“What’s that?” I point to the object in her hand.

“This? Oh, we’re looking for this, and word on the street is that you have it.” Alex laughs as she hands me the paper with a picture of a crystal on it.

“I gave that to the Mobile clan, I hear they’re heading west if you want to try to catch them.” I shrug.

“Don’t bullshit me! I know you have it!” Alex yells as she grabs me by the throat.

“Stop!” Nico yells and his hand shoots up, freezing Alex in place.

“Lizzy! Attack!” I yell as I break free of Alex’s grasp and catch a glimpse of Lizzy bursting out of the crowd with about four people behind her.

“You ok?” Storm asks as he runs to my aid.

“Yep, just fine!” I say, rubbing my throat.

“Unfreeze her!” A guy says as he runs toward Nico so fast he doesn’t have time to move and gets tackled to the ground.

“Can I borrow a sword?” Sarah asks, her eyes red and a devilish grin forms across her face.

“Anytime,” I smile as I summon my demon sword and hand it to her, “just don’t break it, she’s my favorite!” I smile and summon a regular sword for myself.

“No, no way! This is my favorite one too!” Sarah laughs and runs to Nico’s aid.

“Ready?” I ask Storm, who’s patiently waiting at my side.

“I’m born ready,” he smirks.

I run toward the crowd that still remains at the crumbled wall, knowing that Storm was behind me shutting down everyone’s nervous system as I attack.
Life now, is sort of like a shooter game, gaining more or less points depending on where you shoot someone, and then the points are evenly divided among teammates –in most cases- for Exp. Everyone goes for anything to do with the head, that way you have more points, and that way you get to live (longer). I haven’t really explained our situation yet, but I will soon, I promise. Just right now I’m trying to live.
Someone grabs me by my hair and throws me on the ground so hard I’m paralyzed in place as my back snaps and the room goes silent as the crunch of bone echoes through the room. There are laughs from the clan as I lie there with tears stinging my eyes.
“Continue fighting guys, Lizzy, is there a healer in that crowd you can manipulate?” I say through clenched teeth. Nothing can kill me, I’m ranked number one on the Clan Leader charts, so the Gods have made me almost invincible, only decapitation can kill me, like it would anyone else.
“Got one!” Lizzy yells as she runs towards me, a tall kid not much older than us hot on her heals.

“Thanks,” I whisper, turning on my side to cough.

Sounds of fighting start again and I slowly roll on my stomach as the guy goes on his knees, and lightly leans on my back. At first his touch was cool, now it’s gradually getting hotter and hotter as the pain subsides.

“I see you blew up the plant nicely, good job! However I see you have managed to ruin another perfectly good car,” Lizzy laughs and pats my hand. She may be 13, but she treats me like I’m the younger one.

“That-” I cut of as the guy patted my back got up, and walked away. “That was so not my fault!” I laugh as I think of all the other cars we- well I managed to accidently blow up. This is the first car that I managed not to destroy.

“Are you lying? That should be your eighth car this month,” she says as she helps me up, “can you stand?”

“Yea, thanks,” I smile, “now go find somewhere to hide, I don’t want you to get hurt. How many people did you recruit on your mission?” I ask as I point to a big chunk of fallen wall

“About 12, they’re all fighting with us. Do you still want me to fight? Chad could come in handy, shall you keep him or I?” Lizzy says, sounding more professional than I ever have.

“You keep him, okay? I think we can manage without. Was he the one that healed my back?”

“Yes, he sure was!” Lizzy salutes, her western accent making her seem less tough, which I would consider a good thing so people that single her out can get manipulated easier.

“Good girl!” I smile at her and she beams.
Always encourage your teammates, don’t give them a reason to hate you or to seem useless, they seriously come in handy in times like these.

“Thank you! It doesn’t seem like many enemies are left, should we back out?” Lizzy asks as she crouches behind the chunk of wall.

“I guess, I think we can handle this,” I say as I count how many people are left. Sarah is taking on 3, Nico has 1, Storm is against 4, though 2 seem half dead, so I wouldn’t count them, and Xavier has 1.

“You sure?”

“Positive. There’s only seven left, I think we can manage.”

“Alright, if you’re sure,” she eyes me in an unconfident way that makes me squirm.

“Yes! I am, now don’t look at me like that, it’s very unnerving!” I laugh.

“Sorry, just making sure. Should we go back to the Capitol and form a new group, or split up and infiltrate new ones?”

“It’s up to you sweetheart, you’re the new leader now. Oh, and congrats of getting fifth on the leader boards, very proud! You’re the youngest leader out there, and a really good one at that!” I clap in excitement. I’ve trained my team well, they deserve the best treatment out there for the things they do.

“Did I really? Oh.My.God, thanks!” She smiles wider than I thought possible.

Lizzy and I get pulled out of our own little world as sound and possibly time stops. I know this trick. The Gods are angry, and when they get angry, let’s just say they do our job for us.

“The Gods are using Universe Rip! Get down! Hide!” Storm yells in panic as he looks around the room at all the dead bodies, making sure none are his teammates.

“What’s happening?” Lizzy yells over the high pitch screeching sound coming from just outside the school.

“Shhh, just be quite, ok? Everything will be ok if we’re quiet.” I say as I cover her mouth.

By now everyone has cleared the battle ground and a slim black horizontal line formed the length of the fallen wall. The line widened a tiny fraction and the suction began. All the dead bodies were pulled into the growing black hole and everything unstable as well.

“Oh no,” I whisper under my breath as the suction gets stronger.

“What? What?” Lizzy whispers, fear clouding her little 13 year old eyes and the piece of wall we were hiding behind began to slowly drag forward toward the gaping black hole.

“Grab my hand!” I yell as we’re pulled toward our death. I plant my feet firmly on the ground as the suction pulls us forward. A hand shoots out of the hole and grabs Lizzy. I reach out for her grasping hand, but she’s gone. I tried to save her. Honest! I loved her like a little sister! But the Gods rule this game.

“You need to get over it Nekola, you can’t fight the Gods, don’t think you can win. This is just their crewel game and we’re the pieces. They do what they do to make us suffer, to torture us; this is all an act of revenge. Remember the presentation a few months back? They showed us what they can do, and they will do it, they’re not afraid like we are, they have the upper hand!” Storm says as he tries to pull me off the ground.

After the black hole disappeared I vowed my revenge on the Gods but all they did was laugh.

“You’re lucky we like you!” They laughed. “You’re on the top, don’t make us hate you!” They warned. But I don’t care; I don’t need them to like me to survive.

“Please don’t do anything too rash,” Sarah grins, and I smile up at her. Sometimes I think she’s the only one that understands me.

“We need you to lead us,” Nico whispers and I look around to see the other clan staring at me, the only leader in the room.

“You’re right. Now’s not the time for grieving. We’ve got teach these guys the rules of the Broken. Shall we head back to the Capitol?”

“Don’t ask us, you’re the boss,” Nico smiles and grabs my hand.

“I think you should let them in on the rules to actually see if they want to join our team.” Sarah suggests as she hands me my sword. “I made sure to keep this one extra safe.”

“Thanks,” I say as I inspect my sword, the familiar weight in my hand soothing my nerves, then I continue, “alright everyone! You are now leaderless, and probably have nowhere to go. If you’re loyal and promising, we will accept you into our clan. Do you all agree with the easy terms?”

They all nod their approval and I continue, “You won’t stay with us, but you will stick together. Is that alright?”

“What do you mean by us not staying with you?” A tall kid from the back asks, judging by his height, I’m guessing he’s Chad.

“The five of us stick together,” I motion to my friends behind me, “you guys, on the other hand, will have to infiltrate other teams, no more than two of the Broken in another clan, got it?” I ask.

“Oh, I see. Lizzy was explaining this to me earlier.” Chad stated, and a tear sprung to my eye at the thought of Lizzy. I quickly blink them back and clap my hands, “once you infiltrate another clan, try to become good friends with everyone, gain their trust, and convince them to join our clan. You all must stick together until you find a clan; I don’t want to cross paths with a lone wolf. Is everything clear?” I smile and heads bob in approval.

“Alright! Move out!” Sarah yells, and the small group of seven make their way outside into the never ending battlefield.

“I’m so tired, why didn’t we just hotwire a car?” Storm whines, slouching in the mid-summer heat.

“You should have thought of that before blowing up the car!” Sarah yells, not taking any more of his whining.

“It was technically our fault too; if he told us where he was parking, one of us should’ve spoken up.” I yawn, mostly tired of Storm’s whining, and Sarah’s constant mumbles of how everything is Storm’s fault.

“How far from the Capitol, we left the GPS in the car,” Nico asks as he shades his eyes and looks off into the distance.

I catch Sarah slowly turning her head toward Storm and say, “Don’t even look at him Sarah; it was your fault too. If you’re going to call him stupid, which he is, for parking behind the Plant, then you’re calling us all stupid.” I smile at her and she smiles back.

“Hey!” Storm laughs and playfully punches me in the arm.

“What? She didn’t do anything,” Xavier pipes in.

“She was hinting!” Storm points out. My gosh is he easy to tease.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Nico says, a smile tugging at his lips.

“Yea, I don’t get what she’s hinting at,” Sarah shrugs.

Storm was about to protest when a blood curdling scream -that sounded oddly familiar- echoed throughout the empty space.

“Where the hell did that come from?” I ask, looking behind us down the long dirt road.

“No idea, but that really shook me,” Storm says as he looks left and right at the empty fields of grass.

“Ya, that scared me too. I mean, it sounded so close, but there’s nothing here but miles upon miles of dead grass.” I say, rubbing my arms as a cold chill makes its way through my body.

“That scream sounded really familiar. Where have we heard that scream before?” Sarah asks as she looks behind us.

“There!” Nico points northeast as a limply running figure makes its way toward us.

“What the f-” Sarah begins, but I cut her off as small scream escapes my lips.

“I- is that Kate?” I stutter bewildered as the long flowing blonde and blood stained hair comes into view, a dark gaping hole where a left eye should be.

“B-but we- I killed her. I decapitated her and removed her life source. This shouldn’t be happening!” Sarah screams in terror.

“Calm down! We just need to kill her again, right?” Xavier asks, terror flashing in his eyes.

“Heh, yea, we need to kill her again, and again, and again.” Storm smiles like he knows something we don’t.

“Come on, we need to run. The next town should be only about 15 minutes away.” Nico says as he starts a slow jog, glancing at Storm like they share a secret.

We all run as fast as we can, passing Kate who is still running toward the road, nearly there. We run and run until finally, we approach a town, but what we find isn’t what we expected.

I think now’s about the time to explain what’s happening.

No one really knows what happened that day, just that the world died for a short while, and once we came back, everything was well… different.
People started to get sick easier and everyone was weak. Murders and serial killers and rapists, anyone who liked to shed blood were in control, and everyone was too scared or too weak to do anything about it.
The police force and military were weakened, however, wars still continued and terrorists still terrorized. We all started to believe that hell took over, until one fateful day, when scientists, mediums and spiritualists all came together and answered our questions.
I remember the day when they came to our school and talked to us about, what they call “The Rules of Living”.

Health class was dropped, and in its place a new course called Summoning was taught. We got textbooks, and Anti-Gravity products that did really cool things. Things that weren’t possible in 2012 were possible now, and they made life so much easier, but what the scientists didn’t teach us about was that the Gods were in control.

The Gods didn’t like the power and knowledge they had, so they killed everyone age 22 and up, and left us teens to fend for ourselves.

The whole Province of Quebec was destroyed and rebuilt as the Capitol, and teens around the world were teleported there and we all had a huge presentation. We relearnt the rules of living and bowed down to the Gods. They explained to us why they were doing this and what we must do to survive.

After the four hour long presentation we were all taken into a gigantic building where some of us were named Leaders and some of us were named Service Providers.

The Service Providers were then taken out of the room, where they were told their jobs. All the leaders were called to the front of the room where we formed a line facing the people that weren’t named anything. Since I was number 1 on the leader board I got to choose my team first. Naturally I chose my 4 best friends out of the maximum requirements of 10 people. Everyone said I was crazy to have only 5 members in a team, but the Gods smiled at me proudly.

After all the teams were picked we were taken into the gigantic room again where we were reminded of the rules and got to pick out 10 survival tools.

Our team took; a car, the heaviest surprise box –which contained the most guns and ammo I’ve ever seen-, a crate of food, and one of each Anti-Gravity product we could find, but those were only to be stolen soon after.

Once again, we were assembled in the gigantic room; -now with all of the service providers- where we were told that any service building was off limits to our powers. But Sarah figured out how to disarm to the anti-magic shield over any service building.

After a long lecture about how powerful the Gods were, and a few demonstrations, we were told that only the top 10 leaders and their teams were allowed in the Capitol, which is amazing because the Gods live there and the Capitol is an anti-kill zone. 100% safe.

So, that’s pretty much it. Oh, and just if you’re wondering, we had our powers before the scientists and people explained everything, we just didn’t know how to use them.

We continue toward the town, brightly lit by fire, and pass a sign that says “Welcome to Iron City!”

“Well, the name says it all about the place,” Sarah says as she glances back, looking for Kate.

We push the warm iron gates open and step inside. The place is deadly quiet except for the roar of the nearby fires.

“While we’re here we should go to the Town Hall and check our status, restock on supplies, perhaps,” Storm says as he checks his half empty –or half full- messenger bag.

“Good idea, but I think we,” I point to myself and everyone but Storm, “should go check our status, and you restock on supplies, a car, perhaps.” I smile.

“No way, this place is creepy!” Storm protests.

“You should have thought about that before you blew up the car,” Nico shrugs as he points down a road leading us to the Town Hall.

“Yea, listen to Mr. Second in Command,” Sarah laughs, “and be careful, judging by this fire it looks like there’s a fire user here.”

“Then shouldn’t we all stick together? What ever happened to the, and I quote ‘Storm is never to be left alone,’ rule?” Xavier smiles, but concern fills his eyes.

“I thought about that, but Storm is sorta smart, he could just disable them.” I smile and Xavier relaxes a little.

“Hey, enough with the insults!” Storm laughs and walks toward an open garage door, peeking inside then quickly coming back.

I don’t get why the gods rebuilt the world with houses, I mean, it’s the stupidest thing you could do. It makes a nice shelter from the rain, we use houses from time to time, but that’s just an easy kill right there! That’s probably how we get most of our kills. Good thing for us, bad for them.

“Just let Storm come with us, we can all go looking for a car, if not, a GPS. Let’s just hurry and get out of here, Kate could be anywhere by now.” Nico says as he opens the door to the Town Hall.

There’s broken glass and fallen pictures everywhere. I look around for anything out of the ordinary, cringing at the bloody handprints along the wall.

“I wonder what happened in here, there’s blood everywhere!” Sarah laughs.

“That’s gross; I don’t get how this stuff excites you.” Nico sighs as he avoids looking at the walls.

Sarah ignores his comment, smiling at every gory sight.

“I hope Mayor Kei is ok, someone used their powers in here. It’s obvious someone put up a fight.” Xavier says.

“It looks like the same person that lit the city on fire was in here, I can tell just by looking.” Sarah says.

“But isn’t this a service building? No one can use their powers in here, it’s protected by the gods.” Storm pipes in.

“True, unless another Mayor came in here. Don’t forget about the territorial wars. There’re are only six 21 year olds on earth, who uses fire?” I ask.

“Uhh, I can’t remember, it’s either Jessica or Faith or Eve, one of the girls I believe.” Xavier says, pushing open a door marked Boards.

“It’s Jessica.” Nico says, frowning at the name.

“Ugh, I hope she died. Kei is one of my brother’s friends, so I hope he’s ok,” Xavier says as he flicks on the light switch, and walks over to the giant glass table keyboard to sign us in. Xavier’s brother works as a chef in the Capitol so we don’t really worry about him. Since gods favour us, most of our family live in the Capitol, well any family under 21.

“Yea, he’s a good friend to all of us. He’s a mind reader so he must’ve heard Jessica’s plans from when she first entered the building.” I say, looking us as the whole length of a wall is lit up with names and numbers.

“Go to recent deaths, I bet whoever won the battle already left with whoever was staying in this town to the Capitol.” Sarah says, watching Xavier with impatient eyes.

A long list of recent deaths comes to screen and we spot only 4 familiar names, one of them making my eyes sting and heart beat painfully with grief.

“Well I only see Mark, Kate, Alex, and uhh, Lizzy.” Nico says, looking everywhere but where I’m standing.

“Well either they haven’t killed each other yet, or the boards don’t show Mayor or Service Provider deaths since Ms. Lil’s death isn’t up here.” Xavier says as he navigates back to the main page and clicks leader boards.

“Look Nekola! Our clan is in 1st and so are you!” Sarah smiles and everyone claps.

“Let’s see our team and individual kills,” I suggest as I take a step back from the wall so I can see better.

The page load and I see Sarah on the top for kills.

“First place is Sarah, with 2384 kills. Second place is Nekola, with 2380 kills. Third place is Xavier, with 1275 kills. Fourth place is me, with 1274 kills, and fifth place is Storm, with 1050 kills. Team kill score is 1894. Total kill score is 10257.” Nico reads aloud.

“Of course Sarah is first. You and Nekola are like, beating us by over 1000!” Storm laughs, then looks at me seriously saying, “you won’t kick me you because of my low score, right?”

“No, of course not! You’re only a little ways behind, you’ll catch up. You killed 150 people in the last 2 days!” I smile at him.

“Yea, your right!” He smiles back, “let’s check out our life span.”

“On it!” Xavier smiles proudly.

The screen loads and I find my name toward the bottom. I look at my life span and my jaw drops from shock. I hear Xavier gasp and I glance over to see his face pale. I look at everyone else’s life span and nearly faint.

“How’d this happen?” I ask and my voice wavers.

“W-we need to get to the Capitol,” Nico stutters.

“Why?” Sarah asks.

“Because…” he trails off as he points toward the door, face white.

We all turn around slowly and hesitantly, not sure whether to look or not. I take a step back right before my eyes meet with Marks. I let out a shriek and jump back, my back against a wall.

“G-get her!” I scream and Nico’s the first to jump into action.

“Storm, disable her!” Nico yells over Kate’s screaming, but Storm just stands there shocked.

“I-I can’t.” he whispers.

“Storm, you know what to do, so do it!” Nico yells harshly and I summon my Angel Blade sword.

“No, don’t do anything. This is a test for Storm and I.” Nico says as he takes a step toward the now grinning Kate.

“Storm, please do this, you know that if you don’t the gods will pluck you off this planet like they did to Lizzy, right?” Nico says gently, aiming for a new understanding.

“Ya, ya I know, but-” he begins.

“No buts, Storm!” Nico says sharply, then sadly, “I don’t want to lose one of my best friends.”

I glance at Sarah but she just shrugs and looks at the guys.

“Hit me.” Storm says, looking at me.

“What?” I ask in puzzlement.

“Hit. Me.” He says through clenched teeth.

“Um, ok,” I say as I walk toward him and stop a few inches from him. I stare him in the eyes and he nods. I lift my hand and strike him across the face so hard he’s forced back a few feet.

“Thanks,” he smiles cupping his cheek, and runs toward Kate.

Nico stretches his arm out as soon as Kate starts running toward Storm and shouts, “freeze!”

At first Kate keeps running, but then she slowly starts to slow down. Storm stops in place and yells “stop!”

“Great!” Nico smiles as Kate stops completely and then starts to shake. Storm walks over to her and as soon as his fist comes into contact with her face, she shatters into a million tiny frozen particles. We all stand in silence, too shocked to do anything. Nico walks over to the door and closes it, turning to face us he says, “we need to have a talk.”

“Yea, your right, we do,” I say, hands on my hips.

“What happened to her?” Sarah asks, still shaky from Kate’s grand entrance.

“She’s a zombie, reanimated by the gods just for us!” Nico says sarcastically.

“Nico and I received a message for the gods, we’re to undergo some ‘tests’ so they say.” Storm says.

“What do you mean-” I begin, but was cut off by three soft taps at the door. Nico holds up one finger and turns to open door.

“On my count.” He says as he puts up two more fingers, slowly counting down. When his index finger goes down, I get into running stance sword firmly in my grip.

Nico whips the door open and we all charge forward, only stopping a few feet away from the door when a familiar smiling face steps back.

“Kei!” Xavier yells. “You’re ok? Did you kill Jessica?”

“Kill Jessica? “ Kei asks, looking confused.

“Didn’t she set the town on fire?” I ask.

“Oh, yes, she’s long gone.” Kei smiles a boyish smile and Sarah is the only one to smile back.

“Glad you’re ok, bud. Say, do you have a car or GPS, preferably both, by any chance?” Storm asks.

“Yes, why? Do you need a ride to the Capitol by any chance?” Kei asks, looking at me.

“Get out of my head.” I say frowning.

“Yes Ms. Leader, Sir!” Kei says, standing at attention, fighting back a smile.

“We need to get to the Capitol quick, if you two don’t mind,” Nico says impatiently.

“Ya Kei, can you take us there?” Xavier asks sounding hopeful.

“Sure, follow…” he replies trailing off as he looks at our life span chart on the wall.

“Why do you guys only have a week to live?” Kei says full of alarm.

“That’s why we need to get to the Capitol!” Sarah yells, shifting from foot to foot.

“Ok, follow me to the car.” Kei says running out of the room. We all look at each other and follow.

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