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Kylie had spent a lot of time picking out her outfit. The clothes she finally decided on weren't for that day, but a day that would arrive in three weeks. And that day finally came.
She had to be careful that she didn't stand out - she needed clothes that would blend in utterly, until she was as invisible as a houseplant. Luckily, Kylie looked ordinary. Her shoulder-length, straight brown hair matched her dull eyes, and though she was a little on the short side for the role she was playing, being 5Ƌ" for a fourteen year old, she was the best choice to further the Exodus. Even if someone Kylie were seen, with her bland features, it would be difficult to re-identify her. After all, there were thousands of girls that looked like her. Framing would not be difficult at all - not that she had ever had to do that. Kylie was the best, and she wasn't about to let that change.
The plain white t-shirt she slipped on and the light blue jean capris had been carefully worn out, so that they looked like she wore them often. If she had put them on shining and new, then she might as well just leave the tags on - which reminded her of how she loathed giving money to this country, but how else would she be able to complete the mission? It would all be worth it when she lifted the cover off the jar.
And it was such a shame that Kylie wouldn't be able to watch them all die. There would be no time to do that, though. Very quickly, she would have to shove the goggles on, snap on the face mask, and run.
Bending down, Kylie pulled on her white socks with the gray heel and toe, and then laced on her Nike sneakers. Just a regular girl in a small town. Oh, if only they knew. She picked up her beige purse with the silver clasp and slung it casually over her shoulder, before quietly opening the pinewood door and walking out. On her previous missing, she had blown up a bank. It was a small bomb that she had planted, designed only to kill a handful of people and functioned as a warning. Though Chase had been quite displeased later on, it was worth it to be among the witnesses and listen to the screams and smell the fear. Everyone had mistooken her laughter for tears of terror, which had only made her laugh harder. When Chase heard that, he had even threatened to suspend her from further missions, but Kylie could see in his eyes that he would have done the same thing.
It was already warm outside, and only 10:00 too. Perhaps she should have worn shorts instead, but it was much too late now. The sun was blazing in the cloudless blue skies, giving the perfect light to see the tortured faces as she released the virus. Perhaps someone would get video footage of this - a true Kodak moment, she thought to herself sarcastically.
As she turned the corner, she noticed a pair of girls behind her. Suspicions raised, Kylie discreetly slowed her pace until they weren't far behind her, and then stumbled onto the grass. She managed to get a good look at the girls. One was a little taller than her with frizzy blond hair, baby blue eyes, and a smattering of freckles on her face. She wore a hot pink tank top and tiny, cut off jean shorts, along with large black flip flops. Next to Frizzy was a short, slender girl with chestnut brown curls and flat green eyes, underneath slanting, olive colored eyebrows, wearing a light blue t-shirt and dark green capris, accompanied by red sneakers.
"Oh, are you all right?" Red Sneakers reached down and helped Kylie up.
She managed a smile. "Yeah, I'm okay. Thanks." Brushing the dirt off her clothes, she wondered if she should kill them. "Just as clumsy as always."
Frizzy grinned. "I haven't seen you around town, like, ever. Did you just move here or something?"
Picking up her purse, Kylie replied, "Nah, I'm just spending the summer with my grandmother. I'm Kate, by the way. Kate Brown."
"I'm Evangeline Richards," Frizzy said, "but you can just call me Evie." She pointed to Red Sneakers and added, "That's Candace Tanner - she goes by Candy, though."
Kylie smiled. "That's cool. Where are you guys headed?" If they were going to town, then there was no need to finish them off.
"Oh, we figured we just go downtown, hang, you know?" Candy answered, her tiny pearly whites flashing in the sun. A heavy, gaudy gold bracelet swung around her painfully skinny wrist.
"Really? I'm headed that way too! I just came yesterday and thought I'd check this place out."
The girls exchanged an excited glance, and the three began to walk that way together. "How long are you staying?" Evie asked, flipping her wild hair over her shoulder, grimacing.
"Three weeks, so until August." Taking the hint, Kylie added, "I love your hair, Evie. What did you do to it?"
She smiled smugly. "Oh, it's natural. I don't use any, like, dye or anything - I heard that stuff completely ruins your hair."
"I thought it looked natural. You're so lucky; I totally wish my hair looked like that," she praised. Turning to Candy, she said, "And those are really neat sneakers. You have to tell me where you got them so I can get them too and impress all my girlfriends back home."
Candy flushed happily. "Well, see, my aunt brought them back all the way from the city. It was made by a really famous fashion designer, but I forgot her name."
"That's so neat! I'll check them out when I go home. You mean NY, right?"
"Yeah, New York City. Where else?" Candy giggled. "So wait, you live in the city?"
She nodded. Evie butted in, "Tell us everything. The city life must be so glamorous, right?"
Kylie shrugged modestly. "Well, it's not as you know, sophisticated, as you hear sometimes. I mean, it's like, smoggy, y'know?"
Just then, they arrived downtown. "That's a lot of stores," Kylie commented, as they made their way through the small clusters of teenagers and adults.
Evie sniffed. "It's probably not as big as anything you're used to, in the city. We're just a little town of nobodies, right?"
She glanced sharply at her. "Pride is a double-edged sword," she whispered, and then grabbed the small jar out of her purse. Ignoring their stunned faces, she threw it as far and hard as she could.
The glass smashed against the concrete at the same moment she tugged the face mask on and snapped on the goggles. Around her, people started the shriek as the virus took effect, falling to the ground and twitching. Blood dribbled from the corners of their mouths, but she couldn't watch. There wasn't time.
Just as Kylie started to sprint away, she made the mistake of turning her head. She saw Candy's face pale, and though she relished the image of Evie squealing like a pig, something writhed in her stomach. No, she thought in horror. I can't be feeling pity, not now, not me, the best! I am the best!
Gritting her teeth, she darted back and snagged Candy's arm. "Come with me," she snarled, her voice muffled. "And don't slow me down."
Dragging the panting girl behind her, Kylie ran away from the town, and had made it to the warehouse, where she saw Chase waiting for her. As he spoke, she suddenly realized, her heart sinking, that it had been a test. And the unvanquishable Kylie had failed.
"I can't have you hindering the Exodus," he said, his eyes self-righteous, knowing that the power of the mission was behind him. "This is all for the best."
Then it was Kylie who fell to the ground, Kylie who felt the last moment of pain, the last words she heard, and for a brief moment, she wondered whether it really was for the best. Was it really worth dying for an Exodus she would never see? The moral worries that had bothered her for a while were now filling her exhausted mind, and for once, she didn't care if she was turning traitor, for it was her last moments. And they were the only things in her short life that would be entitled not to a mission to destroy the country, but to herself.