After World War III, our planet lost most of its livability. Which meant we would either slowly starve, or somehow our government and its sole leader, the president of the United World, would have to figure out how to get most of us that were still alive off the planet. Everybody knew it. What I didn’t know was how that fact was going to change my future forever.
I was an ordinary nineteen-year-old boy. Sure, I had no parents ever since my mom had lost her battle with cancer five years ago. Before that, my dad had gotten killed in the war. But a lot of people had that happen to them. However, not everyone had to be sent to a Teen Center because they had no other relations who were willing to take them in.
Honestly though, life at the TC wasn’t that bad. I made friends, and I liked the people in charge. In fact, I was mostly content with my lot in life. Yeah, I missed my parents, but after five years the wound had pretty much completely disappeared. It was still there, and it hurt every once-in-awhile when I saw other kids that still had their parents, but I was usually numb to it.
All that changed within a day.
We were all sitting down for breakfast at our usual hour on a beautiful, sunny morning. I was looking forward to playing some chess with one or two of my buddies. Nothing had happened so far that would have made us think that today was going to be different than any other day that week, that month, or even that entire year.
That was when an official looking car drove into the Teen Center’s driveway and a guy in a suit stepped out.
Immediately, any thought of eating my breakfast vanished. I mechanically shoveled food down my throat, but I was all ears the minute the guy walked into our dining hall.
“This is Mr. Long,” our Teen Center’s director announced. “He wants to speak to you in person.”
We all rose to our feet automatically, as we did for every visitor, but I suddenly had a feeling that this was different than the others who had come off and on.
The man’s cool, calculating gaze shifted from one teenager’s face to another. Eventually his eyes met mine and stopped there for an extra moment. My heartbeat quickened in sudden excitement.
“I have a test for you all to take,” he began. “But it may mean that you will never see your home here again. Which of you are willing to come with me?”
For a few minutes there was absolute silence. A frightened silence. For some of the teens, this was the only home they had ever had. For me? Well, I had made a few friends, but what else was there to keep me here?
I stepped forward. A decision that changed my future dramatically.
What is your name?
The test had begun. I tried to ignore my nervousness and answered the first question.
Hello Kyrin. How old are you?
That question was easy. Maybe this test thing wasn’t going to be quite as bad as I had thought.
19, I typed out.
Using as few words as possible, explain your family situation.
Never mind, maybe this was going to be hard. I clenched my teeth, feeling them grit together. The wound was still there, and it still hurt to remember what my life had been. I shut my eyes and willed the tears not to fall.
My parents are dead. I don’t have any aunts or uncles that I know of. My grandparents are also dead. I have no siblings.
Those were the cold, hard facts. Undoubtedly, that was what they wanted. Evidently it was, because the next question blinked onto the screen:
What do you think your talents are?
I hate questions like that. I never know what to answer. Of course, I knew what other people said I was good at, so I typed out what I knew their answers would have been:
Leadership and being mature for my age.
Certainly not very exciting, but they accepted that answer too.
What are your weaknesses?
Oh, good. I knew this one.
I tend to be hesitant and often take too long on a decision that needed to be made quickly in order for it to have been effective. Sometimes get upset over details that really don’t matter in the long run.
The next question came:
Is there anything on earth that you would miss if you left it forever?
Ok… that was a weird question. Where, exactly, were they going with this? Still, to be honest, I answered:
I really don’t like explaining things.
My parents are gone. What is there to stay for?
They ignored my question, but accepted my answer. The next paragraph made me gasp.
Congratulations Kyrin, you have been selected as one of The Chosen! You should be so proud to become a part of one of the biggest colonization movements in the history of the world. Click “continue” to learn more.
This was it? A colonization movement? My curiosity grew. I clicked the blinking green button that had the word “continue” on it in bold lettering.
Next you will be brought to a space ship by one of the test administrators. There, you and twelve other teenagers will be sent to a specially selected planet where you will train for one of the three positions in the civilization system there. Click “continue” to learn more.
This time, without any hesitation, I clicked the suggested button.
The three positions are Builder, Warrior, or Medic. You will be chosen for one of these positions based on your strengths and weaknesses which you submitted to us through the test. Click the green “I am willing” button if you wish to proceed. Otherwise, chose the red “I refuse” button and you will be immediately escorted back to where you came from.
My eyes went from one button to the other. I shrugged. What was there to lose? I chose the green button. The screen went black. I felt myself beginning to panic. Had I done something wrong?
A hand was laid on my shoulder, and I spun around to find myself face to face with the man who had taken me and five others from the Teen Center. His cool eyes had melted a little and he was smiling.
“You were the only one who passed the test completely,” he stated matter-of-factly. “Are you sure you want to do this?”
His eyes narrowed. “Are you absolutely certain?” He asked more sternly.
“Then come with me.”
With that, I was on my way to the unknown, and suddenly, I wasn’t quite so certain.