- PART TWO: 15 YEARS LATER
It’s almost time, my testing begins soon.
I’m so beyond nervous right now, I’m glad I’ll be with Skyler. Her dad is a major creep, but she turned out okay. I can’t wait to see Bass, I think he might finally ask me out. My father actually approves of him, which should turn me off, but Bass is so damn hot.
He’s got dark brown hair, short and curly. His eyes are so blue, my heart flutters around the room. Don’t get me started on how toned he is. I accidentally walked in on him in the bathroom after a shower, he has a very cute butt. Sorry for getting of topic, can’t help myself.
Also David will be there, he’s like the brother I always wanted. Everyone thinks he is in love with me, especially Skyler. The truth is, he’s in love with her. I’m the only one he told, and it’s killing me not to tell her. She’s my best friend, and he’s like my brother. It would be very weird. Last but not least, Bass has a younger brother that somehow managed to test two years early.
His name is Charles Saint Vincent, say the whole name or risk getting attacked by his snooty attitude. He’s got good looks like Bass, but he’s a complete ass. Cecile Warren has him wrapped around her finger. She’s Skyler’s foster sister. Mr. Igor, sorry, Ilgor adopted her after her parents were left back on the old world. I’d like to say that we’re friends, but to be honest she is a major B to the I to the t-c-h.
Today is my twentieth birthday, which means I am an adult and must be tested. A test that will determine my fate on SegaVex. Every man and woman age 20 and older must take a test designed by my father. It searches your mind for any abnormalities, anything that would predict either you or your descendants turning SegaVex into a wasteland like Earth.
If you pass the test, you are assigned to a job most fitted to you. If you fail, you are shunned to the recesses of the Fatum. It’s basically our badlands, it is Latin for death. We all live in the Lux, it’s Latin for city. I don’t know why my father named everything after a dead language, maybe because we escaped a dead planet. I think it sounds cool really.
The test is hours away, and I’m still waiting on Skyler to come fix my hair. Suddenly there is a knock on the door. Shave and a haircut, Skyler always waited for me to do the two bits. I opened the door to find Skyler and Cecile both standing there.
Skyler smiled and asked, “Ready to get gussied up?”
After an hour and a half of bleach wash and blow-dry, we were ready to go. We all wore the traditional Patrian gowns, black and gold was a popular color. We had black stockings, and covered up any hint of cleavage. We had to be presentable, elegant and traditional. Our lives were beginning anew, and I was more nervous than I’ve ever been. Our soarer arrived at the front gate, a new model by the look of it. I remember my father talking about things called cars, apparently they were forms of transport before soarers were invented.
There are many different kinds of soarers, ours is a chariot model. Most soarers are meant for single drivers, those are my favorite. I’ve always wanted to soar through the air on one. To feel the metallic structure underneath me, and hear the wind whistle off the shiny wings. Think of it like riding on the back of a metallic dragon. Only protectors and scavengers get to ride those.
We get into our shiny new chariot and headed for the Patria. My nerves are completely shot, luckily it seems that I’m not the only one. Skyler has her head hanging down, and her hands tightly held together. Cecile looks scary pale, and kept biting her lip. I hold onto Skyler’s hand and try to comfort her.
“Everything will be fine, I promise. Oh and Cecile, I’d stop biting that lip before it bleeds darling.”
She shot me an evil glare. Skyler just laughed. I looked out the window to see the beautiful buildings and villas that took up most of the Patria. Right in the middle of them all was the most beautiful palace, the citadel. That’s where my father spent day and night making sure this world would never be like Earth. For fifteen years, he has succeeded at keeping us all safe. Everyone loves him, all except the inhabitants of the Fatum.
All of sudden three protectors on their hot rods shot past us, I was so jealous. Being that close to protectors meant that we would soon land. I became even more nervous. My stomach began caving in on itself, and I really wanted to pass out. I had to be strong for Skyler, even for Cecile. The chariot touched the ground and shook a little bit. Skyler giggled at our scared I got. The glass lid opened up and our seats extended us into the air. We swung our feet over the side of the chariot, gracefully of course. Bass was standing there waiting for us.
“Hello gorgeous, are you ready for the rest of our lives?” He asked while he took my hand, then slowly kissed it. I swear my eyes left my head because for a solid ten seconds everything went blank.
“I’m ready when you are handsome.” I don’t know how I managed to utter any words at all, but I was impressed I did. We held hands and walked in a single file line. We all stared in amazement at the sight of the beautiful golden archway of the citadel. The sun beamed off it gloriously. The glistening gates opened, and we entered knowing that our lives would never be the same.
As we entered the main chambers, my eyes went straight to my dad. He was sitting high upon his throne, with all his councilmen beside him, including Igor. Dad’s face lit up when he saw me. My own smile was stretching pretty thin. He was the man I trusted and loved more than anyone, but I barely get to see him. When I do, I like to enjoy it. We all walked up towards the throne, and kneeled before our leader. My father despised that, but it is tradition.
“Rise children, for now you are full born. As such you must be tested, a test to make sure you are loyal to your planet and your leader. For the past fifteen years we have kept this world safe, and we have done so by making sure our planet stays alive. We will never cause the devastation that we did on Earth again, not while I live.”
The crowd erupted in cheers. He held his hand up demanding silence.
“Now this test will decide whether you honor this planet, or fail it. It will also decide what career you will uphold if you are chosen to stay in the citadel. The newest addition to the test, is that your spouse will also be chosen for you.”
I looked at Bass and my heart skipped a beat.
“As most of you know, if you fail the test, we cannot allow you to fail this planet. You will be banished to the Fatum, leaving everything you know beyond. You may survive, or you might not. I will not let any heathens destroy my planet. Alas there is another addition. If you feel that you could not live in the Fatum, we offer an honorable execution.”
Several citizens stood up and yelled in protest. I couldn’t believe what my father was saying. I knew that Ilgor must have put this in his head.
“Silence! I am your leader and you will obey me! Not all executions have to be honorable today, so I insist you stay quiet.”
I have never seen my father like this.
“Now our first test taker is none other than Charles Saint Vincent, make your way towards the test chambers.”
Charles bowed to my father and walked with his chest puffed out towards the test chamber. That guy is such a tool. It took about twenty minutes, and Charles came back out and stood in front of my father. “I have the results, I’m sorry son. I give you the choice of being banished to the Fatum or honorable execution.”
Charles face froze in horror, and Bass squeezed my hand so tight I could feel the circulation cutting off.
“But I would never dream of failing this planet!” He whimpered.
“Choose now or I shall choose for you!” My father bellowed.
Charles looked down at his feet and whispered. “Fatum.”
Two protectors grabbed him by the arms and dragged him out of the chambers. I could hear his parents yelling and crying. I couldn’t believe what was happening. Cecile just looked ahead like it didn’t faze her. That bitch didn’t care about anything but herself, and that’s how I knew she was going to Fatum.
“Next Up is David Allen Rhodes, I have faith in you son.”
Dad always thought as David as the son he always wanted. David bowed and headed toward the testing chambers. I was shaking, I didn’t want to lose my best friend. He came back out ten minutes later and stood in front of my dad.
“I am proud to welcome you into The Protectors Guild! You’re new life begins now!”
My father smiled so wide, but not as wide as me. I couldn’t believe it, not only was I not losing my brother, but he was becoming a protector. I was jealous, but happier for him. He turned around and shot me the “this is gonna be amazing” look.
“Next up is my own pride and joy, my lovely daughter Sara Vaine. I believe in you my baby girl.”
The doors opened up, and what was inside blew me away. It was a giant room with a stone in the middle. It was bigger than the main chambers.
“Come little miss, it’s time to touch the obsidian.”
I knew that voice, I hated that nickname.
“The obsidian is that great big stone there, the machine uses its power to see inside your mind.”
I walked over and touched the stone. My hand exploded in pain, and my head felt like it was expanding. In an instant my whole life flashed before my eyes. I could see all my memories, but then I saw things that I’ve never witnessed. I saw myself walking on a pile on broken concrete and rubble. When I looked up, I saw something so horrible it still haunts me.
I saw my father impaled on a spike, in front of all the world to see. On his chest someone carved “False God”. Then someone in a black robe walked in front on my father and bowed, dropped a bloody knife and turned around to look at me. I could see a face under the hood, it was me!
With that I snapped awake, Ilgor helped me to my feet. I don’t remember falling down, all I remember is my father’s bloody corpse. I walked back out into the chamber, and stood in front of my father. His face was emotionless, cold and calculated. I almost didn’t recognize him. Suddenly my stomach turned into a knot because I knew why he looked at me like that.
“Sara Jean Vaine, I give you the choice of exile to the Fatum, or honorable execution.”
© 2017, Zachary Rhoads. All rights reserved.
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