Crucifix

Chapter One: A New Semester, A New Family

Story By: Ann Lowe Chapter Created: 12/12/02 Chapter Completed: 1/20/03

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January 10, 2036 - The Students Move Into The Complexes

Mickeleon Lowe. Fourteen-years-old, Freshman at St. Prairie's High School. Complex Eight. Complex partners: Alicia Bauer, Stacey Brimmer, Elijah Collins, Elizabeth Collins, Kayleigh Fringlut, Corin Heybik, Ananda Leon, Macey Lightheart, Cora Lillith, Orion Macbeth, Taylor O'Conner, Keila Savage, Jason Stewart, Krystopher Stewart. 8:00 a.m.

Upon waking up, a young man with ruffled blonde hair springs out of bed with a vengeance.

"Yahoo! It's moving day! We get to move into the complexes!" His shouting wakes everyone on the floor. Needless to say, they aren't exactly pleased, as it's a Saturday Morning. The last one of Christmas Break.

"Shut up, Mick!" A shout comes from next door, Krystopher Stewart, Mick's best friend, pounds on the wall.

"But we get to move!" He was still shrieking.

"." Comes the reply from the wall. "Fine! I'm up!" Mick hears Krystopher fall out of bed and struggle to his feet, then the sound of a shower running filters though the wall. Numerous other showers are being turned on now, since people know that the soccer star isn't going back to sleep, nor will he let them return to their peaceful slumbers.

Half an hour later, bags packed and ready, the two friends head over to complex number eight. The complexes are large buildings, most sixteen stories, designed for fifteen students to stay in. One floor for each student, and one group floor. When they reach the complex, everyone else is already there.

"See! Everyone's excited to get out of those stuffy apartments!" Mick was practically bouncing along next to Krystopher.

"No, I just bet they heard you screaming and decided to get as far away from you as possible, then realized that they were stuck with you. The poor, poor people." Krystopher was mock shaking his head in sorrow.

"Hey! That's not very nice!" Mick shouted at him. "Take it back, Krys!"

"No, thanks, I'd rather not." Krys grinned and dodged the fist for the back of his head and stuck out his tongue, the most mature thing he could have done at that moment.

"If you boys are done messing around, we have to arrange floors." Jason, Krystopher's identical twin brother, had his eyebrows raised and an amused look played across his face. The twins looked at each other and laughed. The laughs were even identical. Both boys had shaggy dark brown hair and the same color eyes, both were quite tall for Freshman, and both had an athletic build. Their voices were deep and romantic, and their laughs quite nice to listen to.

"Yes, we're done!" Mick joined in the laughing. He himself looked nothing like the twins, having sandy blonde hair most of the way to his chin and deep green eyes. His eyes were probably the most enchanting thing about him, and they were truly quite so. His voice was a gentle tenor and his laugh pleasant to listen to.

"Fine, let's pick floors." The gruff female voice belonged to Kayleigh Fringlut. Her eyes were cold as she said it, and you could tell that they weren't a normal shade. They were a crystalline gray and shone brightly, though her character reflected otherwise. Her brown hair was cut to her chin and went straight. Almost too straight. Her voice was rough and scratchy, but forced to be so. They could pick up the flowing alto, though one had to listen hard to catch it.

"Okay! How about we put them on this chart I made!" A girl bounced, literally, into view. Her dusty red hair was wavy and hung about an inch below her shoulders, her light brown eyes were practically always happy and shining. Her voice was that of a cute little child, but at the same time beautiful and mature. It held hints of seriousness, but they were barely detectable. She was Macey Lightheart. Lighthearted and light spoken.

"Whatever." Resident fashion queen Taylor O'Conner rolled her eyes. Her dark brown hair was thick and up in a pony tail. Down, it hung to the middle of her back. Her dark brown eyes were thin and mysterious, yet somehow cold and devious. Her voice was loud and low, as though she were used to getting her nails polished professionally every day by twenty people. It was dry and bored, in that rich-girl way that everyone has to hear at least once in their life.

"Okay, how are we going to decide?" Inquisitive, yet happy eyes flickered from one person to the next. They belonged to Alicia Bauer. Her hair had once been a golden brown, but due to losing a bet, it was currently dyed the same blue color as her eyes. It was in a double French braid that hung about six inches past her shoulders. Her voice was light and happy, just like her eyes.

"How about we draw for it? I have pieces of paper with numbers 2 through 16 on them!" A girl in glasses spoke up, shoving a glass in the air. She was Cora Lillith. Her light brown hair and matching eyes gleamed slightly, as though she were about to burst because of something. Her hair was in a single braid and trailed to her waist. Her voice was slightly high-pitched and childish, even though her knowledge was far beyond that of a child.

"Sounds good to me! Very fair!" Elizabeth Collins grinned and stepped forward, leaning over the back of her twin brother, Elijah. Both had light brown hair and eyes, Elizabeth's hanging just past her chin, Elijah's cut short and neat. Elizabeth's voice was a, if slightly dull, loud alto, while her brother's, though he had not yet spoken, was a friendly tenor.

"Yeah, okay, I'll go last, so I don't have to shift through anything." Stacey Brimmer smiled lightly and let her strawberry blonde hair fall over her shoulders. Her light green eyes shone with mischief, like they always did. Her hair went to her waist, but a portion of it on either side of her face only went about two inches below her chin.

"I'll go first!" Ananda Leon skirted forward happily. Her bleach blonde hair went to the middle of her back, and she was wearing it with a headband, and her sky blue eyes were clear and clueless. She giggled slightly as she reached the glass and papers. Her voice was light and a little too cute. Her clueless nature shone through no matter what she did.

"Okay, if you want to." Orion Macbeth said lightly and looked up for a brief second from his position leaning against the fall on the side of the room closest to the group. His light blonde hair fell over his face, as it reached almost to his chin, and his light hazel eyes shone sadly beneath that hair as they traced silent paths on the floor. His voice was soft and hollow, empty of emotion or feeling.

"Okay, Cora, you had a great idea!" Corin Heybik smiled cheerfully and stepped forward to squeeze his girlfriend's shoulder lightly and give her a pleasantly reassuring smile. His bright red hair was cut neatly and his greenish-hazel eyes, covered by the thickest glasses you may ever see, shone with hope and spirit. His voice was a pleasant bass, unbefitting someone of his nature, but definitely a voice one likes to hear, no matter what or who the source is.

"Fine, I just want to put my things away." A monotone voice came from the back of the group. The young women of whom was its source stood with her arms crossed and her deep blue eyes staring the world down and pushing potential kindness away. Her black hair fell far past her waist if she wore it down, but it was in a bun in the back of her head, the bun slightly hastily put up and falling out. Her voice was deep, dry, and single-toned. More emotionless then Orion's, yet somehow had more feeling than Macey's. It was as though her voice were playing with them. Someway or another. As though what she said was all part of a play, or an act, or a game.

"Okay! Draw!" Cora smiled as she held the glass up and everyone drew a number, Stacey going last, as she had requested, and Ananda leading the pack.

"Okay!" Macey shouted happily! "Everyone read off their numbers! I'm gonna write your names down on this sheet of paper, then put them on this poster for decoration in the entry hall!"

"Seven!" Ananda shouted.

"Ten." Taylor yawned for effect.

"Five." Stacey smiled and cocked her head to the side, looking younger than she was.

"Fourteen." Alicia smiled happily and showed them her number.

"Fifteen." Mick grinned, he was still bouncy.

"Two." Krystopher shrugged as Ananda clamped on to his waist.

"Twelve." Kayleigh answered shortly.

"Thirteen." Cora said herself.

"Four." Elizabeth looked impassive.

"Eight." Elijah followed up.

"Three." Jason grinned and he and Krys high-fived.

"Eleven." Orion muttered, barely audible.

"Nine." Corin smiled lightly.

"Sixteen." Keila said dryly.

"And I have Six." Macey smiled happily and stood up, she had been laying down while writing the names. "Well, let's unpack!" She gathered up her things and headed for the only way up, the stairs. They were in their own corridor, so you had to open a door to get into someone else's flat. Each flat had its own bathroom and shower, its own living room, computer room (or study, depending on whether or not the particular student had a computer or not), and bedroom. The kitchen was in the group level. There was also a TV (large screen, very nice, with a DVD player, VHS player, and all forms of game players), pool table, large oak table (meant for eating and homework), laundry room, hot tub room, small (15 by 20 foot) pool in an adjoined room to the level, miniature library (meant for the students to all put their books together in, there were four empty sets of shelves) with all the texts they would need for all six years (all the ones they could even possibly need), a largely overdone version of the encyclopedia, and all the reference books they would need. In the group level, there was also a main hall to go out to the enormous coat-closet and main door, a closet with cleaning supplies, a pop machine (which took money, of course), three telephones (all with their own lines), a computer (for general use), a printer, copier, scanner, fax machine, and a letter desk. It was meant to be as 'homey' as possible, as the students boarded there all year round, and were only supposed to go home for one month of the summer vacation's three. The other two were supposed to just be time to goof off and be teenagers, in a safely guarded area.

The students who had made it into St. Prairie were the most elite of the elite. Students tried for that High School from all over the country of the United States, but only two hundred made it in each year. The Academy (as most called it, rather than High School, or St. Prairie) was free for the students, and funded by the government. It was the size of a semi- large city and completely self-sufficient. There were soldiers and other high-ranking officers guarding it. This was all for one reason: these kids were the hope of the world. All of the students who made it in had been hand-picked, not only for their test scores. Each student possessed an ability high above average that was needed. All of the students were expected to join the military or government in some way, shape, or form, and most intended to. Those who didn't were monitored for the rest of their lives. In the special school records, each student's special 'talent' was written down, and watched for progress. These fifteen were no different, but, unlike the other groups in complexes, their talents were all different. They had fifteen unique talents. The advisors had had no idea where to put them, so they were shoved together. All of the other groups had common talents. Or talent categories. But every one of the students in Complex Eight were different, unique.

The talents weren't really. talents, just more like abilities that the students had. They were things that each child could do well, and if anything, the talent was something that the advisors didn't understand, and wanted to explore. That was the case with practically all of the Complex Eight students. Except for two: Mickeleon Lowe and Keila Savage. Somehow, all testing and figuring and studying had no effect. They still could not figure out just exactly what these two could do that others couldn't. Somehow, throughout both of their lives (or known lives), anything they willed to happen, happened. Mick's was 'luck', they said, and Keila's 'knowledge' of. well, everything and anything. They didn't understand. Even though they may not have been the two safest powers to invite into the Academy, they were too afraid that these two would wind up with the enemy. Unbeknownst to most, WWIII had not yet ended. They were still fighting. The nations were still divided into four groups. But now, twenty years after the start of the war, the groups were even starting to break apart. If something did not happen soon to combine them again, the world would be thrown into chaos. That would, obviously, not have good results.

So, students were pulled in from everywhere just for their talents, and those talents were what everyone was relying on to keep on living life the way that they always had.

These children, these primary beings. They were the hope of the world, but also, they were the deciding element to which the fate of life would be concluded. Whatever their hearts dreamt of would become the reality of mankind. They were the deciding factor. They were the fates, so to speak, weaving their golden threads, measuring, cutting, laying out. Their duty was to become humanity's stronghold. The Citadel.

As each human has their own role to play, these enigmas had each their own role in the future. Their roles the magnificent play of life, death, and eternity. Each took credit for their own abilities, and these abilities were the trump card. Humanity's trump. In children. Were the situation not so desperate and serious, it would be almost laughable. One could almost imagine the damage if these children were to find out their own roles. Find out too soon. Irreparable damage.