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A Beginning...
Topic Started: Nov 22 2017, 08:20 PM (1,963 Views)
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Alright, who the hell plugged in the Overlord?
[ *  *  *  * ]
Friday, December 12, 2025
Denver, Colorado
0900 Hours

The day on which the students of National Summit Academy were ushered into the auditorium was a nice one, relatively speaking. It was warm for Colorado in December, which means that the snow was melting instead of accumulating or remaining at a constant level—of course, this meant that it would likely freeze into black ice on the roads overnight. Finals were next week, and in truth that was more pressing for most of the student body than Announcement Day. After all, Announcement Day came four times a year, and the result was always the same: an assembly, a bunch of hubbub, and some far-away students being marched away—most recently, a class of Juniors from Milwaukee, and before that, some sophomores from Pittsburgh.

They still took the affair seriously, of course. Missing Announcement Day was a great way to end up in dire trouble indeed. A freshman named Spencer had missed it two years ago, after telling some of his friends that he was sure they'd be selected. They hadn't, but nobody had ever seen Spencer again. His family had left town without a word, and rumors about his personal fate still circulated to the present day.

The auditorium was old and slightly too small to comfortably accommodate everyone, so the students were packed tightly, organized by class. They murmured to each other quietly. There were a few soldiers around, but there were always a few soldiers around on Announcement Day; it was all part of how everyone was kept on their toes. A large screen at the end of the room opposite the class was showing nothing, but just when it seemed like boredom might overcome mandated decorum for the more antsy in the class, it snapped to life.

The General's face was familiar to all, grey hair and blue eyes and vaguely-timeless features. He somehow looked even more severe than usual today, however.

"Good morning, America," he began. "This is your General. You have all been through at least one Announcement Day before, so I trust that extended preamble is unnecessary. Today, a class will be chosen to participate in The Program, and one brave citizen will triumph. Our winners have come from many backgrounds and have followed many routes in their service, but one thing is true of each: they are all true American citizens, who passed the greatest test of patriotism ever devised.

"It is fitting that in these trying times, such a test must be greater than ever. This Program will be larger than many of you are likely used to. Do not be discouraged, however. The higher the hurdle, the stronger the opportunity to excel.

"I'll be turning the broadcast over to the officials responsible for officiating this cycle of The Program presently. But first, I will name the school and class selected:

"This Program will be fought by the students of National Summit Academy in Denver, Colorado. The senior grade has been chosen."

As the broadcast cycled to a new figure, a man with jet black hair in a military cut and intense eyes who was so well-built he was like power lifter in a uniform, a further murmuring bubbled up from the students, though this was soon hushed as more soldiers poured into the auditorium from every entrance and exit. Some of the seniors shifted nervously, some teared up, some stood stoically. The underclassmen milled anxiously, casting glances at their less-fortunate elders.

"Good morning, Denver," the new officer onscreen said. "I hope you're all ready. I know I am.

"We'll just go over the basics here, shall we? You're to participate in The Program. A number of you—a number larger than in the past, as our dear General insinuated—will be conveyed to an arena to battle until only one remains. You will be equipped randomly, and will be left to rely on your own wits and talents to see yourselves through. This time, you're bound for a little fishing village in the Southern Territory of Mexico. Isn't that exciting?

"You'll hear from us periodically, with reports on the killers and the deceased. Any insubordination or rebellion will be dealt with harshly. But let's try not to make that necessary, okay?

"As soon as you're called, you are to progress out of the room to the waiting transport. Any resistance will see you eliminated from contention. That means shot where you stand, capiche?

"You'll know I'm done calling when I stop saying names. So, with no further ado, let's get this show on the road.

"Our first contestant this year is..."
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I can trick them into thinking anything
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"...Mina Mashall."

It took about two seconds for Mina to realize that she'd actually been called and hadn't just imagined it. Really, everything thus far had born the character of a fantasy—she'd been through more than a dozen Announcement Days by now and every time there'd been that little wiggle of nervous excitement followed by the tedium of fifty-some names from some far-away place. Mina had of course realized first her school and then her grade had been called, but in a distant sort of way she'd still figured herself immune. The Program happened to other people.

And yet, she was now the very first picked. She glanced side to side, frantic, thinking maybe someone would say there'd been a mistake, but most of the eyes hers met were staring back in such a way that they offered her no shield from the truth. Forget an extra half decade of service. All that putting off of her inevitable fate couldn't matter less now. She'd been picked to die.

She moved forward, one uncertain step following the next, trying all the while to make sense of it or come to some understanding. Had it been her father? Had he arranged this somehow? She'd pushed it too far, reflected poorly on him with one too many court hearings, one too many arrests or detentions or letters from the principal.

It was absurd, of course—she knew that. The Program was by and large random. She was nothing, a petty criminal daughter of an officer just powerful enough to pretend he was somebody. The nation didn't change course for people like her. But all the same, her father was all she could think of as she paused for a moment, turning to regard her classmates and the cameras that she hadn't really noticed before.

This was goodbye. One of her last moments of somewhat reasonable life, one last gasp of comparative freedom. She tried to figure out what she wanted more than anything else and it came to her all too easily: she wanted to hurt and embarrass and do just what she had been since that day in middle school.

Her fingers had slid under the hem of her shirt. She didn't know exactly where the line was, but if she died now instead of a day or two or three later, would it matter? Not really, but all the same she preferred putting things off, and so she picked the provocation that came most easily to mind yet seemed unlikely to be fatal: she jerked her shirt up, catching her bra along the way, and flashed the cameras and her classmates.

Something impacted her in the back instantly, and Mina stumbled, shirt falling back down, a large hand roughly clasping her shoulder the only thing keeping her upright. For just a second she thought she was going to take a bullet to the back of the head, a summary execution to keep the others in line, and she realized that she wasn't ready for that at all and she hoped that her father would never in his life be promoted again, that he'd be dragged out of his bed and shot in the street just like her, and then the hand and the soldier it was connected to gave her a rough shove and she stumbled her way along the path, straightening her clothes as she ducked outside into the cold.

"Next is..."
Current characters:

The Program: V3 Prologue:
Mina Mashall - Digital Voice Recorder - Making a good impression - "I didn't know you felt so strongly about me."
Erik Bell - Jericho .941 - Having lunch - "May I?"

Assorted flora and fauna

EW4: Jewel Evans - Chatterbox Communicator Headsets (0/5) - Online - ELIMINATED - "Scars are just reminders to be better next time."

Past characters:

If you want an honest assessment of your character's storyline, feel free to PM me and I'll whip one up as soon as I am able.

Thanks to Bear/Frogue/Kotorikun/Ryuki for the avatar art.
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A Degenerate
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Charity almost wanted to laugh. Almost. It was a thing she did sometimes, laughing when it was inappropriate. She laughed at bad jokes and ugly insults and her friends making fools of themselves.

Mina flashing the entire goddamn nation definitely fell into at least one of those categories.

Mostly Charity probably wanted to laugh so that she wouldn't feel so terrified, watching one of her friends marched out to her death.

"...Charity Gardner."

She certainly wasn't in a laughing mood a second later, anyway.

Charity didn't resist. It wasn't like she could outdo Mina's display anyway. She couldn't think of anything to do to display even petty resistance besides just laying down right there and letting them shoot her, and you know what? It was just too damn early in the morning to get shot today.

She hoped that she might be able to catch up to Mina, to offer some kind of words of comfort or reassurance, but there was nothing to be said but the things that she herself wanted to hear anyway.
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Paint me like one of your Sith girls
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Andrés Ladd."


Of course it was.

They'd already conscripted the rest of Drew's family to die, they were just getting it out of the way early for him. Why waste the effort?

Drew tilted his head back and walked. The idea crossed his mind to make some kind of show of defiance—maybe not quite Mina's since he didn't think it'd get much of a reaction—but something at the very least to show his disdain, his disgust, his anger.

The sudden thought amidst the million startled birds flitting around his head though, was that if he made something of this, if he said the wrong thing or attacked a soldier or whatever and got himself killed, then it wasn't going to be him that suffered for it. Drew would be dead and that would be the end of it for him. Drew was already dead, but that didn't mean that what he did here wouldn't have consequences.

His aunt and uncle and his cousins. If Drew stood up and defied the soldiers, if he started screaming about how America was bullshit, about how their wars had killed his parents, killed Joseph, about how all they did was feed people into an endless meat grinder.

Well, wouldn't be too much of a stretch to go pay the rest of the family a visit, see where he'd got those subversive ideas, would it?

Drew kept walking, but as he passed the camera right by the exit door, the one that would be giving American citizens across the land their first close up looks of the new 'contestants', he turned to it.

"Sorry, tío," he murmured, and then he was outside.

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Previously on Namiravision
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honey nut feelios
[ *  *  *  * ]
Danielle rushed down the stairs, quietly muttering curses to herself. She entered the kitchen, grabbed a slice of bread, and popped it in the toaster, heading to the fridge to grab butter and a spreading knife as she waited.

Her step-father was sitting at the table, sipping from a mug. “Woah, Dani,” he said, in mock surprise. “What’s the rush? Excited for Announcement Day?”

Her classmates were muttering amongst themselves. The two boys behind her were whispering prayers. The girl in the row in front of her was sobbing. Danielle kept calm, her back straightened and eyes trained on the officer. Her mind was swirling with doubts and fears, but her patriotism was ironclad. She’d been through this eleven times before, and surely, the twelfth would be no different. She’d hold her head high, even when under fire.

Just like a good patriot.

She snorted in reply as she placed her utensils on the counter. “About as excited as I always am.”

Buddy let out a quiet chuckle, eyes flickering over her outfit. “..are you sure you want to wear that?”

“Hm? Wear what?” Danielle looked down at her outfit before shooting her step-father a puzzled look. “I mean, shouldn’t I be dressing up for Announcement Day?”

He scratched his chin. “...True,” he admitted, smirking. “But would you really want to wear that if you were picked?”

As awful as the Program was, it was a necessary evil - a lesson to the public, encouraging them to weed out spies. Danielle had to keep reminding herself that as she thought of her classmates. She knew this was another test of patriotism, but National Summit had to be one of the most patriotic schools in the nation. She furrowed her brow as she thought of herself, Jacqueline, Erik, Birdie. None of them deserved this.

“Buddy! Don’t scare her!” Her mother said as she strode into the kitchen, the lilt of her voice wavering with worry. Her step-father let out a booming laugh as he stood up, walking over and wrapping an arm around his wife. “I’m just joking, Sofie,” he said softening his voice.

“Yeah, mom,” Danielle said, stifling a laugh, “It’s fine, honest.”

Her mother shot a look at her step-father, who merely chuckled. “C’mon, hon,” he said, squeezing her shoulder. “Even in a skirt, our daughter would put up a hell of a fight.” He laughed, turning to her. “Right, Dani?”

She caught the toast as it popped out, grinning. “Sure, dad.”

“Danielle Baumgartner.”

Her heart jumped into her throat. The muttering around her grew louder, and a few faces turned in her direction. She gulped and forced herself to step forward, meeting the soldiers rushing towards her. Danielle was compliant, and even tried to walk herself to the bus, though they dragged her anyway. People gawked as she passed, but she stared straight ahead, ignoring their looks of fear, pity, or relief.

It was only when she was hidden behind the blacked windows of the bus that she allowed herself to cry.

Her parents poked their heads out of the kitchen and into the foyer. “Have a good day, sweetie!”

Danielle turned and smiled. “Bye! You too!” Danielle she called back, stepping into the crisp December chill and shutting the door behind her.


Open to constructive criticism!
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this avatar satisfies me so well
[ *  *  *  * ]
"...Ingrid White."

And the world fell around her, and Ingrid was left standing in the void for a few seconds longer.

And then she blinked, and she was standing back in the tightly packed auditorium, and several tens or even hundreds of eyes were staring back at her.

She gulped. And she began to walk, her mind in a daze. This wasn't happening. Couldn't be happening. This wasn't how her life was supposed to go. She was supposed to pursue her studies, move on to be a respected figure in academia. She was supposed to be something.

Now that was all cut off from her.

As she walked, she looked around at her classmates. She saw their faces, their gazes. Some were looks of pity. Some were ones of relief. At least it was her, and not me. Mostly from the younger kids. Her classmates weren't off the hook yet.

She wanted to do something. Make a commotion of some kind. But that was a good way to get shot. Ingrid didn't want to get shot.

So she simply walked, not even really registering her movement through the hall, just barely aware enough to stay in the line.

Then she was outside, and then...

Second Chances V2:
Clair Belvedere - Box of Condoms - Hanging back in Earth Sky From Venus
Christopher Schwartz - Macuahuitl - Catching his breath in I Jumped Out and I Pranked Him to Death with a Tire Iron

The afterlife
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honey nut feelios
[ *  *  *  * ]
Announcement Day was one of the harder events for Matt to sit through. When he was younger, the prospect of being chosen terrified him. But after sitting through the same thing eleven times, Matt was accustomed to the terror. He learned to accept that the chances of him being chosen were astronomically small, in a nation with thousands of schools and millions of students inside. Even then, there was always a nagging voice in the back of his head that kept him from being truly relaxed.

Matt had a routine on Announcement Day - he woke up, dressed to the nines, and stood quietly with his classmates as some kids from Pittsburgh or Milwaukee were slated to die. He spent most of that time zoning out, trying to keep his anxieties carefully contained.

But then his school was named, his grade was chosen, and the little voice in the back of his head started screaming.

Besides a hard gulp, Matt tried not to show outward signs he was panicking. He looked down at his loafers, trying to hide the fear in his eyes. There was still a slim chance that he’d survive this. If anything, this was a blessing - The Program was like lightning, never hitting the same school twice. His anxieties would be quelled for the last couple of Announcement Days before graduation, and that was one less thing for him to worry about-

“Matthew Davis.”

His head snapped upwards, and all he could do was frown.


He didn’t resist. Things would end badly for him, although in hindsight, he thought it was better to die a quick death at the hands of soldiers than be messily killed by a classmate. However, he was still in shock to pursue suicide by soldier, and before he knew it, he’d been hauled onto the bus.


Open to constructive criticism!
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Paint me like one of your Sith girls
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Charles Cade Junior."

It was academic. Charlie didn't believe in luck. The moment her General had announced National Summit, she'd known.

Her name was going to be read out. It wasn't pessimism, just numbers and probabilities. There was a better chance of her being chosen than her not being chosen. It was just that simple.

That's what she was telling herself, once the officer onstage said her name. That's what kept running through her head as she tried to push down that she'd been hoping, praying with everything she had that it wouldn't be. More likely than not, but there was a chance, still a chance that it wouldn't be Charlie.

It was Charlie, though.

The first thing she thought was that she hadn't even seen her mom that morning.

The second was that she was going to die, closely followed by the third that she was almost certainly going to die.

The fourth was that she still had homework due, and who was going to host hockey practice this Friday now?

The fifth was that Mashall was still an idiot.

The sixth was the fleetingly amusing thought that even now her name was causing confusion, with how some of the soldiers looked confused when Charlie stepped forward and out of the regimented files of students.

Charlie turned to the officer who had called her name, stood up straight, and saluted.

Someone was going to make it out of the Program alive.

There was a chance it would be Charlie.

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The Fool
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
"... Juan Garza."

Time seemed to stop for the ballplayer. His immediate reaction was to subtle shake his head, a small, desperate gesture to communicate his wishes for all of this to be a dream. A horrible, horrible dream that would come to an end as soon as he stepped through the auditorium doors.

He stood up slowly and carefully, terrified to make any sudden moves. Mina had just gotten away with flashing the camera, but he was pretty sure that just made the soldiers matter, and anything else that even approached disorderly conduct would probably be dealt with much more strictly, or at least he thought it would.

Juan looked out into the sea of his fellow students, trying to find his sister. She had been crying her eyes out that morning, terrified of being called for the Program. He had done his best to console her, telling her how many schools there were in the country, and how many students were in class. He wanted to convince her that she had a very, very small chance of being chosen. He didn't believe it himself, but he wanted to try to assure her, even if he thought that it would be fruitless to do so.

But now here he was, slowly trudging across the auditorium in response to his own name being called. He wanted to send a message, or even a gesture out to his sister, but feared the possibility of retribution from the soldiers. So instead he just kept staring at the messes, soldiering onward to almost certain doom.

"... Juan?"

There it was. It was muted, but there was no mistaking his sister's voice. She was sitting at the corner of the front row, and he made direct eye contact with her as he passed. Her eyes were wet, and her cheeks were still stained from her earlier crying session. If there was one thing that he wanted to do in that moment, it was to hug her, or assure her that everything would be all right. That she didn't have to worry about him, and she could go back to mom and dad and graduate. That she could go on with her life and be happy.

... But he didn't have time for that. He could already see soldiers looking at him impatiently, so he could only leave her behind without a word.

Elisa... I'm sorry.

Juan was silent until he was placed on the bus, where he too began to cry.

SP1: Lukas Graves- Forming a team in United
VW2: Angie Hart- Having a bad time of it in Balls Deep

Past Minis
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The Fool
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
"Scott Whitman."

There it was. Four years of high school and fourteen announcement days, but his name was finally called. General Adams had decided that he needed to be tested.

The Program had been made to test true patriots, and only those who were willing to fully give into themselves and do what is best for their country could survive. Scott knew this well. After all, he had read General Adams' writings innumerable times. For an expert of military history such as himself, it was simply a must-read.

Scott rose from his seat and saluted the General before marching to the bus in an orderly fashion. He didn't want to waste the soldiers' valuable time like some of his less patriotically-inclined classmates had. Announcement Day was not a day for their foolishness and insubordination. It was a solemn, serious affair, and it needed to be treated as such.

He was incensed by their shenanigans, but there was no reason for him to act now. After all, he was sure that those who chose to make a mockery of the proceedings would be punished accordingly in the Program, either by himself or other like-minded peers. All those who were not devoted to the ideals of a patriot would be wiped away, and only one who was truly dedicated to the General's vision would be able to last to the end.

And Scott was not afraid, for he knew that he surpassed all of his peers in that department.

SP1: Lukas Graves- Forming a team in United
VW2: Angie Hart- Having a bad time of it in Balls Deep

Past Minis
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honey nut feelios
[ *  *  *  * ]
Frankie scowled at the officer as he sentenced innocent youths to their deaths as casually as reading a phone book. She watched as her classmates were dragged from the lines and hauled off to their doom, wailing or cursing or saying nothing at all.

A part of her wondered why they never listed the names off alphabetically, citing them randomly with no apparent pattern to it. The more logical side of her thought they were reading from a randomized list of names, but the more cynical side of her couldn’t help but think it was intentional. Leave each kid terrified they’d be called next until the very end, just to show more fear and despair amongst them. Their cruelty knows no bounds.

“Frankie Matsui.”

Her name pierced her mind like a bullet through glass, shattering her thoughts and leaving an empty void in its place. Her jaw dropped, but she let out neither a scream nor a cry. Soldiers began making their way towards her, the crowd parting as if the soldiers themselves were covered in brambles and thorns. Her mind was telling her to scream, to yell, to make a scene. But she knew Rosemary was in the crowd, and she wasn’t going to make her sister watch her die.

At least, while she was physically present.

The only sense of rebellion she could muster was passive resistance, forcing the soldiers to drag her the whole way to the bus. They were too good at roughing up teenagers, however, so Frankie was left with sore ankles instead of the smallest bit of satisfaction.


Open to constructive criticism!
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[ *  *  *  * ]
"Santiago Ibarra."

The Cuban boy felt the eyes of confusion hit the back of his head, because that was his surname but what the hell was that first name? Wasn't he Sandy? But it didn't matter because Santiago was already on his feet. Everyone else was a bit player for the next few moments.

Every Announcement Day, Santiago assumed he would be taken. He had to. From the moment he turned thirteen he had to assume the worst would happen every goddamn day because he knew that either way, he'd be so much more relieved to be alive, or he'd be able to deal with it in the most healthy way he could. And lo and behold, it eventually happened.

He could think about how pointless everything had been. How he'd turned race traitor to survive in the world only for him to end up in a place where it was all so fucking useless anyway and none of that would ever matter.

He could think about the family he was leaving behind. The crowded house of eleven would be down to ten, and while that was one less mouth to feed for the actual adults it would have been of no less comfort to him that he had six siblings, two parents, an uncles and a really caring aunt who wasn't blood but she might as well have been, all of whom he would never see again, or at least this lack of comfort would be recognized if that was what he was thinking about.

He could even think about the lack of soccer career in his future. All he wanted to do after he left this sinkhole was put on a show and show up some skinny actual white boys.

But Santiago Ibarra didn't want to mull in his inevitability, instead choosing make it outside the auditorium without even so much as a pause.

He walked at a brisk pace, which brought him 90% of the way. As the last few steps were due to happen, his knees buckled and Santiago almost sprawled to the floor. He caught himself on his hands, keeping one leg straight. As quickly as he fell, he rose again, glancing at the nearest officer, then back to the crowd behind him.

Santiago took two fingers, brought them to his lips, then lifted his fingers to the air in a peace sign. This wasn't how he normally imagined leaving this place, but at least he'd never have to be back here again.

Peace out, Denver.
The Program 2.5 - Traitors

Santiago Ibarra - Butterfly Knife

Nani Clover - Plastic Scythe

It is Known
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*Katya wheeze*
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Rodney was frozen in place. Ever since the General said National Summit Academy's senior class was chosen, he could barely find the energy to blink. They couldn't be serious, could they? His school? The one with all his classmates? Maybe the General meant another school.

This wasn't supposed to happen. Rodney was just supposed to go to school in a nicer shirt than he normally wear and stand in an auditorium until they said he could go back to class. He didn't like to watch The Program, and he certainly wanted to do anything than acknowledge it on Announcement Day, but now he had no choice. His class was picked, and students were starting to be escorted out.

First Mina Mashall, then Charity Gardner, and more and more people. Rodney wasn't particularly close to anyone in the class, but even he had to feel nothing but sadness to see them picked. They were familiar faces, and now they were being forced to die. All because the government said they had to.

"Rodney Vasicek."

And now he blinked.

Rodney slowly started to walk. He didn't even mean to walk, but something in him made him move. He knew they would kill him if he didn't move. Was it better to die here, or in Mexico, where they were sending him and everyone else to die? Would his father be proud he was chosen? Would his brothers proclaim how great it was their little brother was chosen to die in The Program? Would they be glad he was gone?

Rodney didn't let any of these thoughts show on his face. He merely quietly moved to the exit, his face frozen in a neutral expression and his head slightly down. As he thought about his family, another thought came to him:

Was everything in hopes that he'd be chosen?

All the early morning marathons? All the weight training? All the dieting and carbo-loading? All the jeers and names and mockeries of his manhood? Was it really just to make Rodney a man? To make him prepared for the military? Or was it just in case he or any of his brothers were picked for The Program? Was his father hoping they'd be selected? If they died, they'd die doing a duty for their country. If he won, he could brag that his son managed to survive. Even though the Vasiceks would never see Rodney again no matter what, would they be glad he died or disappeared? Would they still love The General then?

Once Rodney was out of the gym and into a van, he lowered his head completely. As he did, he could feel a few tears falling down his cheeks. The gravity of the situation was too much to bare. Even with his physique, Rodney couldn't possibly imagine winning. All he could think about was death; the death that awaited him, and the death that would come to all his peers.

For the first time in a while, it made him think about his mother.

"Hmm. Of course," Ambrose muttered to himself.

His school was chosen. Ambrose shouldn't have been so surprised. NSA was one of the best schools in a major US city. Of course it would get chosen at some point in the country's history. Even more fascinating, it was his class that was chosen. Ambrose had to wonder how Betsy felt right now. Betsy was a sophomore here, and she must have felt so relieved to not be chosen. She could graduate knowing she wouldn't be picked. Even Martha could enter NSA next year and know she'd be safe no matter what.

As the names started to be called, Ambrose had to start wondering why each kid was chosen. Mina Mashall's display was crass enough to explain why. He saw some minority kids chosen as well, which seemed a typical response. A big guy like Vasicek was probably chosen cause they expected him to kill easily with a body like that. One by one they all left the room.

"Ambrose Lexington."

Ambrose scoffed.

"Of course," he said.

Ambrose was probably chosen for a variety of reasons. Good family background, excellent health and grades, camera appeal, noted patriotism, and probably just to add another blond kid to the mix. Ambrose merely shrugged and began to walk out of the auditorium. The General had chosen him personally, after all, so why make a fuss?

As he walked out, he tried to look around. He wanted to look proud. He wanted to show them all he expected to survive this. After all, he was expected to, so why not believe he would survive?

As he left, he noticed the sophomores, and noticed Betsy amongst them. It wasn't hard to spot her; she was the spitting image of their mom, Elizabeth, when she was teen. He could see the long blonde hair, the large black hair bow she chose, and her eyes. She was staring at her brother marching out of the auditorium to participate in The Program, and he could see she had tears in her eyes. She must have been so proud of her brother.

At least, he thought she was.

As he walked past, he noticed Betsy cover her mouth and start to bawl. Suddenly, something in Ambrose stirred. This was completely unlike her. She was always reserved and polite, a perfect lady. If she cried, it wasn't out of joy. The last few times she cried, it was from learning a friend of hers nearly died in a car crash, or from watching a sappy romance film where the heroine died at the end. Betsy only cried because she was sad for someone else-


Ambrose stared at her as he continued to walk, paying no attention to where he was going. As he did, he noticed Betsy dip down, with the girls around her kneeling beside her.

"AMBROSE!" he heard her cry out.

Ambrose slowly turned away as he neared the exit. His mouth fell agape as he was loaded into the van. Betsy wasn't proud of him. She wasn't pleased to see him go off and do his civic duty. She was scared for him. She was scared to see one of her brothers go off for The Program. She was scared to know he might die.

She probably thought he would die.

That's when he remembered he might die. If Ambrose didn't have some sense of self control, he probably would admit (to only himself) that he very well could pee his pants at any second.

"Helena Christensen."


Helena gritted her teeth and quickly walked towards the exit of the auditorium. She couldn't care about what anyone else thought. She was selected to die, and she probably was. She pushed her glasses up on her face, feeling her braids bounce on her shoulders as she walked.

A soldier smacked her on the back of the head. They probably didn't like that she cursed on national TV. She didn't care. She was going to die. She knew she didn't have it in her to survive something like this. A loner nerd like her who cared more about art projects than cardio wouldn't last in a game like this.

She was done with the pomp and circumstance. She stepped into the van ready for this whole shitshow to start.
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A Degenerate
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"Leo Menendez."

It was a nice day for the end of the world.

Chilly, wet, and Leo had almost been late for school, as was routine. His heart rate hadn't even settled before the bomb dropped, and now his stomach was full of rocks and his head full of buzzing.

It was merciful, in a way.

Leo was too lightheaded to do anything more than mechanically step forward. He didn't have the faculties to think about what lay ahead or wonder about what he was leaving behind.

Who was going to step between his parents when they fought now? Who was going to get Dylan ready for school and surprise him with a trip to the park afterwards? Who was going to take the damn trash out? Leo was the only one in the house who took the trash out with any regularity. Their home was going to get overrun with empty cigarette cartons and food packaging.

If he had been able to think about any of that, he wouldn't have made it two steps from where he first stood. He thought that the dam might break once he finally got outside into the chill air again, but it didn't. Everything remained far away and out of focus, like an old television stuck between channels.

Leo loved the mountain air and the biting chill of winter. It wasn't such a bad place to die.

He wouldn't have the privilege of dying here, though.

Leo stepped onto the bus and sat quietly, staring straight ahead while the world ended around him.
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Rena Ryuugu
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"...Rozenne Evans."

Roz tuned out when her school's name and it was her grade that would participate were announced. She fell deeply into her mind, almost in trance as names were called out. It was people she knew, people that she grew up with, people she saw laugh and cry and scream. As names went by, even though it was a few students here and there, she felt the crowd getting smaller and smaller.

She shallowed painfully. Why them and why her? There were thousands of school and it fell on them. There were many grades and it was hers. There many kids and her name was said. Her heart was beating loudly and her eyes were watering as she stood up. Her legs felt weak but steady as she stepped forward.

She wondered if she was on live television. Her sister wouldn't be watching it, she stopped watching it after she graduated. She didn't feel the need to and when her sister would cry, Jobenna would comfort her by telling her how it didn't matter. Whether or not she meant it didn't matter, she would only know of her sister's legal abduction tonight at 8PM when she came back from work or if a client told her.

Her parents were probably watching it right now. They were maybe in the cafeteria, watching it as they are their meal, chatting about their job, their kids, their lives. They would be in-denial: they were good Americans who worked tirelessly to make their country better and stronger. They often used that excuse when they were scared but fate didn't care about that.

For Roz, there was nothing to shield her from the truth. She couldn't close her eyes like her sister or dismiss it like her parents, she was forced to participate in her state-sanctioned murder.

She saw the faces of military men.

She wondered if her parents knew them, if they knew her. She wondered what did get think as they grabbed her by the arm and lead her to the bus. She wondered why she was suddenly crying when she wasn't on live television anymore. She wondered why that all of her life she hid her emotions and the moment where it was the most necessary to camouflage them, she showed the only people that mattered what she felt.

But she didn't wonder about her fate.
Edited by Rena Ryuugu, Nov 22 2017, 09:36 PM.
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