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I knelt on the bed, positioning myself correctly. Levelling everything up with the intruders outside my window. It was time, soon enough, to start fighting. Destroying. I stare through the scope with a steady eye, finding my first target. Ready. Aim. A silent bullet flies through the air and implants itself into its unsuspecting victim, exploding him outwards, showering his buddies with a sticky red liquid. He didn’t even have time to scream. I smile. Perfect shot, like always. That’s why I’m a sniper. I’ve got the hands of an artist, steady and deadly. Deadly being the key word. I was born for this.
I target my next victim, watching as two other bodies fall from my other partners’ shots. Two more go down as I search for my target, the one I was told to keep alive until the end. The leader of Sector Two. I finally find him, cowering behind his two last remaining soldiers. I take aim for his head, then I think again. I pull my gun level down and aim straight for his heart. As his last soldiers fall, it’s my time to shine. I steady my gun and wait. The leader stares right at me, trying to look brave. Ready. Aim. Up he goes, his chest cavity exploding. I can smell the blood from here. The smile turns to a grin.
The siren blares, signalling that the round of intruders are finished. I sit up and my eyes meet with my partner. I giggle as he tackles me with a hug and a shower of kisses. Jamal has been with me since the start of this craziness. He’s my partner in war and life: he’s my boyfriend. We’ve been together a year and I can’t even begin to tell you how much I care for him. We’ve been sniping buddies since then as well. We love each other way more than any young couple I’ve ever met. I think that’s mostly because we’re so mature for our age, considering we’re, including our other partners, the youngest fighters in this war, sitting at age sixteen.
“That was an amazing round, baby! That kill was perfect!” he grins, pulling me off of the bed.
“Why thank you, kind sir,” I say as I do a clumsy curtsy.
We both laugh and stumble into the hallway, leaving our guns on the bed. Cannon, our humongous golden lab, bounds up to us and almost knocks us over. I smile, ruffling his fur while he pants happily. The dogs here in our sector are so well trained, better than any other dogs ever. Each time they hear the warning siren, telling us to get into position, they take two leaders who are not fighting and five kids under the age of sixteen to one of the destined hiding spots. Each of them only allow a dog to open and close the doors. Once they hear that siren signalling that everything is over, they bound out and happily dance around. They’re so happy even in the time of War Day.
“Why hello, hero,” Cuju says as he walks up to us. “That was quite an excellent kill, modom.”
“Agreed,” Mara grins as she hugs both Jamal and I.
Mara and Cuju are the other two snipers at Target. This is how it goes once that siren goes off. Mara and Cuju get into place on the roof while Jamal and I ready ourselves inside. The first shot goes to me. I find the person who looks the most vulnerable and kill him instantly. Then Mara, Cuju and Jamal get to work on the rest of the soldiers while I find my main target, the leader of that monthly attack. You can tell him apart from the rest because instead of wearing red like the rest of the soldiers, he wears black. The black that’s so black it looks like death. Then I wait for every other soldier to drop. Once they’re all gone, I kill the leader with a deathly blow, either by shooting him in the head, heart or stomach.
See, this isn’t really a “war”, per say. It’s more of a time that each sector gets out their anger on the sector of their choice. Now with us, Sector Eight, there is one sector that always, always targets us. That is Sector Two. Since they’ve been doing this ever since this whole thing started, the rules say that we are now allowed to completely kill each run of intruders, instead of just fatally injuring them. That is because they’re being unfair. Unfairness leads to more unfairness in the rule books that Sector One, the head sector, created. They’re the ones who make the rules and everything else. They’re the main leaders of our world.
Each sector has a certain thing that they are known for. That is just how the creators created this world. There are eight sectors. Sector One, or the main sector where it snows all the time, is known as Albus. Sector Two, the beaches, is known as Estus. Sector Three, the farmlands, is known as Agri. Sector Four, the desert, is known Inculta. Sector Five, the sweets and pastries factories, is known as Dulcis. Sector Six, the water sector with lakes and rivers galore, is known as Aqua. Sector seven, the greenery with the gardens and forests, is known as Crudus. Last but definitely not least, is our sector. Sector Eight. We are known for our machinery.
When it comes time for the War Day, everyone asks us for help with their weapons. All except for Estus, of course. We create them and use them or sell them. We’re just like inventors. We also build things like the castles for Albus, the factories for Dulcis, the tractors and such for Agri and the malls and buildings and houses for the Neutral Island, where everyone can go to relax and hang out with people from other sectors. That’s why they call us Novo. We’re probably the most helpful sector, next two Agri and Aqua. Our sector has won so many awards that we had to build another Awards building just to hold them all.
Oh, and that’s another thing that needs some explaining. The buildings in Novo are all dedicated to different things. Like our Target building, for example. This is our sniper building. It’s the one we use in the time of War Day to fight against Estus. We use silencers and kill them from a distance, so we don’t endanger the many children we have in Novo. It’s definitely a pressuring, but exciting job to be a sniper. Especially the best snipers in all of Primoris, our world. Even more since we’re all only sixteen years old. For our parents and family, it’s all pretty terrifying. For us? It’s an adrenaline high.
“Hey you, Miss I-Like-To-Zone-Out, did you hear anything that we said so far?” Mara waves her hand in front of my face. I look around and we’re already outside, walking towards the main hall for a dinner get-together. “You’ve been out for like ten minutes! Gees.”
“Sorry,” I replied. “I was just .. thinking. What have you been talking about?”
“Oh nothing, really. Just the fact that Albus has invited us four to a huge dinner party in their main castle!” She explains with a bored tone.
“Holy Mules, are you serious?! That’s some honour. Why in the world do they want to meet with us?”
“Well, considering the fact that we’re the four who always fight against Estus and always win, it probably has something to do with that.”
We all laugh as we head into the main hall, greeted by smiles, handshakes, claps on the backs, and whistles. There was whoops and cheers for joy as we tried to get through the mob of people. When the group gets to their parents, they all hug and laugh as I just stand and smile bravely. I know I’ll see my mum soon enough. Leading the way, I head to the main table where our leaders are seated and rest on one knee, awaiting the words of the wise.
“Hello, dears,” chirps the tiny form of Lille, the leaders’ advisor. She quiets down the crowd and smiles at us at eye level. She’s as tall as we are while we kneel. “If I told you once, I’ll tell you again. These four are the best assets of Novo. Leaders, as I saw in my vision, they are fine and whole. As you never doubt my visions, I never doubt these kind souls. Estus is a sector of many people, it seems, seeing as we always win. Now, the leaders shall speak.”
Everyone went silent after the thunderous applaud for Lille. You could hear a piece of paper hit the floor, it was so quiet. Everyone was admiring our leaders. Indah the queen, who was the most beautiful women I had ever seen, stood up from her thrown. Her long, black hair clung to her bosom. Her beautiful purple-grey gown reached the floor and whisked around as she stood. And her silver eyes! They dance and they sing and they look at you and you have to breathe in deep and think real hard cause all of a sudden, you can’t think of anything at all. She’s truly a goddess.
“Welcome, my people, to this once a month ceremony,” she says with a smile in her eyes. “These amazing young people are just the highlight of this sector, you know. They created that wonderful plan with the dogs, trained all of those dogs, and did drills on how to do this ever since that poor child died, trying to retrieve her doll from the battlefield.” Sadness reached her eyes, as well as my own, as I thought about the girl I tried to save. “She had just escaped our special bubble that surrounds the Target building and bullets were showered upon her.” I flinched. “None the less, we still have an incredible way of life now, ever since that tragic experience.” The smile reaches her eyes again. As she looks down at us, the smile just barely touches her lips. “Now for your gift! The one I shall grant for your victory today. I grant you four one wish each. Now what will it be?”
I smile and look down to the floor in harmony with three other heads beside me, searching for the perfect wish. The first wish I ever had was to grant us four the privilege of protecting this sector. Ever since then, I had asked for little things. Except, of course, for King Besi to place the protective bubble around the Target building so that oncoming attacks could not see what was hitting them. Now, a year later, I felt as though I should ask for something else big. I thought and thought. Then it hit me. The perfect wish! One that would benefit us all greatly.
“I wish for a building to be created in town square. One that vendors from other sectors can sell their things .. you know, by themselves. Instead of you buying them from the other leaders and putting them on auction. I know this is really big but I don’t know, I feel as though the other sectors earned. Well, all but Estus, of course.” I said this all really fast, trying not to meet eyes with the king as I know he’d disapprove.
“Hm,” the queen said, tapping her finger on her chin. “That might just be do-able. I’d have to talk to the other leaders and Sector One, of course. I’ll consider it, my dear. Now, you three?”
“A new scope for my gun,” piped up Cuju.
“A new set of drums!” Jamal grinned.
“A new kitten,” Mara said with a shy smile. “Preferably an orange tabby.”
Queen Indah laughed aloud and plucked her necklace from her neck. She held out the purple, glowing amethyst and winked at us. An orange tabby appeared at Mara’s knee, a scope appeared at Cuju’s feet, but nothing at Jamal’s. He smiled knowingly at the queen as he knew it was sitting in his home, ready to be set up and played. I smiled at my friends and up at the queen. She smiled lovingly down at me and returned to her thrown. The king now stood.
“Even though I don’t necessarily agree with the first wish,” he said eyeing me. “But I will assist the queen through it as I know she will probably need me to help convince them. Well, I guess now we shall eat. Take your seats, heroes, and we shall begin.”
He waved his necklace around the room and a feast appeared on long, rectangular tables lining the hall. We took our seats at our own table, beside the main table, and dug in, starved. I piled steak, potatoes, vegetables, rice, and gravy onto my plate, all in a big much of food. My friends followed suit. I inhaled my food, practically slurping it off of my plate, and took another one of seconds. Then thirds. Then finally I dug into my dessert of delicious carrot cake and a bowl of chocolate chip ice cream.
Once finished, I sat back and sighed, rubbing my still-flat stomach. My friends soon followed suit. Soon enough, everyone was finished and everyone left the hall except for Jamal and I, along with the two amazing people at the head table. I went up and sat on my father, King Besi’s, lap. He smiled and ruffled my hair and kissed my forehead. Jamal went over and hugged my mother, Queen Indah, then took the empty seat that used to be Lille’s. We all got comfortable while Jamal and I retold our story of today.
“When Katie got her target, it was amazing! The shot was perfectly aimed,” Jamal grinned.
“Oh yes, I know,” smiled King Besi. “I watched from my castle. My little girl has got some kind of talent, don’t you think?”
“Yes she does,” Queen Indah laughed. “Definitely from her father, that’s for sure.”
“Oh, pft. I definitely acquired this of my own accord,” I said with a mocking grin.
“Definitely,” laughed King Besi.
The four of us just sat and joked for what seemed like hours until it was finally dark and ready to head back home. Jamal and I slowed down behind my parents as they whispered sweet nothings to each other as we approached the castle. I clung to Jamal with a smile. They ran Novo and still have time to love each other to death in between all the meetings and get-togethers. It was amazing. As they headed towards their room, they smiled back at us and wished us goodnight, while we headed down the hall to our own room. We got ready for bed and climbed into our separate beds after saying goodnight.
“You know what, boo?” I said into the darkness.
“What?” Jamal replied.
“I love you.”
“I love you too.”