Home > Novel (Fiction) > Action-Adventure > Psychic Volume 1: Chapters 1-8 (Exam Part 1) > Chapter 6
Psychic Volume 1: Chapters 1-8 (Exam Part 1)
Author's note: My first volume of Psychic. I plan on making it an ongoing series, and I thought that putting... Show full author's note »
Exam Part 1Everything was over now. Mayor Vauhan had exited the stage and the guards escorted the citizens out of the crowded mob, leaving only hundreds of psychics standing curiously parallel to the Mercury Pillar. There were so many options for the first phase that it was unthinkable. Knox figured that the MCG were very simple people and wouldn’t add many twists to the exam, except for that each phase is going to be harder than the last. He felt confident in his prediction, but in the back of his mind he thought about the possibility of surprise. If they could capture his sister, they could definitely pull off something like that.
The soldiers, dressed in their usual button down black uniforms, stood in line with a perfectly straight posture. They practically surrounded every psychic competing, but they weren’t too threatening. Mia walked off of the stage and stood directly in front of the pillar. She coughed twice and cleared her throat before continuing.
“Well, welcome,” said Mia. She took a first good look at the examinees, and she liked what she was seeing. At least a fourth of them were very well built and looked tough, and usually that meant a lot to her. Those people alone gave her hope. Along the way, she noticed Knox, who stood close to the front. She couldn’t help but tell that he was giving her an angry glare. “We have a couple of rules to explain before we start the exam. Rule 1. There will be 4 phases in this exam. During the 4 phases, including the intermissions between each phase, you are not to harm any other soldiers or examinees unless I give you permission. Violating this rule will result in elimination or other consequences.”
A couple of examinees chuckled at the rule. They hardly saw it as a threat. “Rule 2. You are to follow every command that I give you. If I tell you to get on your knees, you get on your knees. If I tell you to eat the dirt right below your feet, you eat the dirt. Understand?” A deep synchronized ‘Yes’ came from the crowd, even though most people didn’t care. “Rule 3. This one isn’t really a rule, but more so a warning. I’m going to give all of you one last chance to leave, because the second this exam starts, you are putting your life in danger.” Rather than the normal response of a couple of random laughs mocking her, the entire crowd was silent, excluding the slimy noise of people gulping in newly founded fear. Knox looked to his left at the woman, who just a few minutes ago was acting all tough, and saw her face turn a white pale. He couldn’t blame her, because now the risks were much higher.
Mia smiled effortlessly. “Have fun,” she said as she signaled the psychics to follow her. She brought them to one of five make shift elevators that, while they were huge, looked sketchy. The bottom of each elevator composed of roughly chopped wood which was held together by four ropes that connected to each corner. From there, the ropes were tied to a much bigger, and certainly longer,rope, as it stretched to the top of the pillar. “We’ll begin at the top of the pillar,” stated Mia. “There’s about 300 of you, and five elevators, so do the math and get on.” Of course, as she expected, tons of people tried to squeeze onto the first elevator. In the end, at least 100 of the contestants stood on the large wooden floor of the elevator.
Knox, in a hurry, ran over to the next closest elevator, where only 7 examinees were on board. He got onto the elevator and waited patiently, counting one by one as another psychic would get on his elevator. After 10 minutes, after everyone decided, Knox counted 54 people on his elevator, which was still ridiculously crowded, but that was the least of his worries. The floor below him started to creak under the heavy weight, and those sounds alone gave Knox a shiver down his spine.
Soon afterwards, a cranking sound started screeching from the top of the pillar. Even from such a far distance, the psychics and soldiers on the ground could hear the painful sound. Knox felt the tallest rope above him start to rise, and with it, so did the elevator. The elevator moved slowly, but surely, and before he knew it, they were at least 20 feet off the ground. Knox stood close to the side and peered down in amazement. He was getting a little queasy as the elevator rose in altitude.
“What the hell are they doing?” asked a psychic wearing a blue baseball hat backwards. “Look!” He pointed down at the guards walking into higher quality elevators that were installed into the pillar. “How come they get to take normal elevators and were taking this crusty piece of garbage?”
A dark skinned man next to him answered, “It’s probably cause of Vauhan. I heard the man was raised to hate us.”
“So then why the hell does he want to hire us so badly? Who cares is his precious daughter died, I mean, s*** happens!”
“Maybe,” replied the dark skinned man. “I can’t blame his reasons for retaliation, though. I mean, wouldn’t you react the same way if someone you loved died?” Knox nodded at the man’s words. In a way, even though he didn’t know Vauhan, he felt the same as him. Without his dad and the possibility of never seeing Celia again, it was unthinkable. A lot of people saw Vauhan as a cruel, greedy man, but Knox had a different impression of him.
In the back of his head, Knox felt the rounded edge of someone’s elbow bump into him. He turned around, spotting a very tall man. He had a childish face, including his large, rounded eyes, so he couldn’t have been more than 16 or 17, but the rest of his body looked nothing like him. He had silky blonde hair that stuck out in all different directions. He stood at 6’2”, and his muscles on all 4 of his limbs popped out of the black cargo pants and an open tan overcoat that matched his skin, which he braggingly kept open to show off his abs.
“Sorry, man. I was just checking out this treasure right over here.” He started highlighting a girl’s ass that stood in front of him. Knox knew right away that this guy was going to be the immature type, but Knox selfishly ignored it.
“It doesn’t matter.” replied Knox.
“Heh, yeah.” A second passed before he spoke again. “So, uh, you got any dope on you? S***, I’ll pay double for a gram or two.”
“What?” asked Knox shockingly. “No, of course not! Do I look like a drug addict to you?”
“No, I was just wondering. You know, just for the hell of it” What a weird guy, thought Knox. Maybe he’s into steroids and that kind of stuff. That would explain the muscles.
“So, why are you here?” asked Knox. “Why are you taking the exam?”
“Well, I guess because I’m kinda bored with my life. I mean, damn, as much as I love bitties and dope, and of course there’s nothing better than beating the crap out of thugs on the street, but it’s the same crap over and over. I swear, I feel like I’m living the same day over and over again, and it’s really pissing me off.” The teen grinned lightly and looked up to the sky. “This’ll open up some real opportunities for me. You know, change things up?” Knox nodded. “The names Blake Rivers.” Knox thought to himself, He has pretty deep thoughts for a pot-head.
“Knox Blood.” Blake put his hand out and formed a fist. Knox stared at it confusingly. After living isolated from anyone but his family for almost his entire life, he knew nothing about how other boys worked.
“Dude, are you serious?” asked Blake. Knox shook his head back and forth. “Man, where the hell have you been living, under a rock? You gotta bump fists. It’s kind of like a way to represent, uh, friendship or teamwork in a way. At least, that’s how most guys do it.” Knox started to come to realize that the only other men he met was his father and uncle. His dad home schooled him and his sister up until he disappeared, and very few kids his age would ever go by his house.
“Right,” mumbled Knox. He bumped fists with Blake and smiled. He just met the guy, but he felt like he finally made a good friend. After being taught his whole life to protect instead of befriend, he felt oddly relieved and good. For now, thought Knox, he’s just an ally, nothing more. He won’t be bad to keep close. He looks pretty tough.
Knox glanced back down at the ground. Even at this point, the buildings looked like ants, let alone the people. They were close to the top now, and soon, the exam would begin. "Wow, it's amazing how high we've gotten so far."
“Ma----n, who give a crap?” said Blake, tiredly. “ I just wanna know how much longer are we going to be stuck on this crappy elevator.”
“It can’t be much longer,” said Knox. “Look up, we’re getting pretty close.” The top was visible, but it was obvious that it would be at least another 20 minutes. The crank at the top was so slow that it was painful to even think about it.
“Whatever, I would di-” Suddenly, a loud snapping sound came from behind Knox. The platform shifted slightly down, and Knox fell to his knees. He felt himself slipping as his knees and palms were being slowly dragged across the wooden floor. He quickly popped up and moved to the side with the rest of the psychics, who were shocked and in terror. They finally realized that one of the ropes have snapped, and the other ropes were following the same path.
“Holy s***!” yelled out the man with the baseball cap. “Those freaking soldiers, they set this s*** up!”
Knox looked back at the tilted side of the elevator and gasped. A chubby man who was standing near Knox was barely hanging his upper body over the side. No, he’s not dying! thought Knox. He leaped over to the man and caught his arm.
“Hang on!” yelled out Knox.
“I-I can’t! I’m not strong enough,” said the chubby man. Knox used his brute strength to keep the man in strength, but he was struggling, and even after a minute, his arms started to sore out. Soon enough, the man leaned over the edge and was held up Knox’s arm. Knox started to slip down the elevator and was closing into his demise. The splinters that were sticking into his skin and the hard wood ripping open the first layer of flesh was nothing compared to falling off. Knox looked over the man's soldiers and stared down at the ground in fear. The longer he looked down, the more his stomach started to twist.
“Just let go!” yelled the chubby man. “It’s not worth killing yourself over me.”
“Shut up!” yelled Knox. “I’m not letting you die.” Knox wasn’t thinking the same way as his waist started to slip over the edge. Is this really it, thought Knox. He gulped, knowing that he was going to fall, but he didn’t let go. He would never betray his father’s rule, the rule of going to any extent to keep people safe.
With his eyes shut, Knox waited to fall. A few seconds past before Knox realized that he wasn’t slipping anymore. He looked behind him and saw Blake holding down his legs. “C’mon, man.” said Knox. “Save that fat ass already.”
“Alright, I’ve got you,” Knox started to pull the man up, despite the feeling that his arm was about to be ripped off.
“No, these people are nuts…” The fat man had a petrified expression. “I should’ve known this was a deathtrap. They even said so in the rules.” Tears started to drip out and fall the thousands of feet below them.
“What are you talking about?” asked Knox. “If you’re so damn scared, just quit when we get to the top!”
“No, my life is over. I might as well face it.” The fat man began to punch Knox’s arm. Each punch was hell for Knox, and letting go sounded so good to him, but he wouldn’t allow it.
“Cut it out!” Knox, in anger, summoned his red aura and pulled the fat man up with ease. He slammed the man’s body to the ground and ignored his groan of pain. The man started to cry again, but it was fine with Knox. Regardless of what the man thought, he saved his life, and he could go on without feeling guilty. In a way, it was kind of selfish. Knox looked at the other ropes, and they were close to snapping as well. Looks like this exam is starting earlier than I expected.