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“They’re a complete failure, ship them off!” Dr. Howard, the head doctor in the experimental facility yells to Dr. Watson.
“They just need a few more days, they’re just scared. Please, three more days.” Dr. Watson pleads.
“No, it’s been two weeks now, they should have started showing positive results on day three like the other kids. This is our second batch of failures, and they were both treated by you. This is your last chance Watson.” Dr. Howard says in a dismissive tone.
“The first group was too old, that was a miscalculation on your part I must remind you. Dr. Cho said that ages 16 and 17 were perfect. You and I both believed it would work this time. It’s probably just another miscalculation, and I have nothing to do with this one.”
“Then where’s your calculation? This was your choice in experimentation.”
“I do not want to do human experimentation; I have to do human experimentation. I did what I did, and now I must do this, as much as I love kids. These are the consequences for my actions.”
“Ship them off. Reject Island 6. Go now, or you’ll be on that ship with them.” Dr. Howard says angrily.
“Island 6? That’s a bit hard, don’t you think?” Dr. Watson questions.
“Go.Now.” Dr. Howard says through clenched teeth and Dr. Watson quickly leaves the room, grabbing my leash on his way out.
“I told you it won’t work kids. You’re on your own from here on out, but I’ll give you a hint on how to survive on Island 6.”
“What’s Island 6?” Kayla asks as she twists her hair, a thing she does when she gets nervous.
“You all need to stick together. Many Rejects have gone mad there, but you need to stick together, put your skills to the max. You need to fight for survival. If you know how to hunt, hunt. If you can cook, cook. If you can build, build. Don’t do something you’re not good at, or else you’ll put your lives at stake. Got it? I’ve seen it all before.” Watson says, ignoring Kayla.
“What do you mean you’ve seen it all before?” I ask, eyeing him.
“We’ll be watching you, there are cameras everywhere.” Watson says before he’s pulled away by Howard, and a swarm of guards surround us and shove us into tiny, practically airtight wooden crates like we’re animals.
It’s been at least an hour, but it feels like eight. My stomach grumbles loudly and the boat rocks lightly back and forth with the beat of the ocean. It feels like we’ve stopped moving, but I can barely focus on anything with my lack of air. The holes in the crates were about 1cm by 1cm, with only like four I can rely on since I’m pushed against other crates that are blocking the air flow.
I close my eyes, trying to get my thoughts straight, thinking about what will happen once we reach the island. I believe we left around 10am, and it’s only been about an hour, so let’s say we arrive at around 12. We would need shelters, a pit for a fire. We need weapons for gathering food and defending ourselves. Kayla’s quite the smarty pants; she can help us with researching stuff and telling us what to do. Hmm, what else? Oh, Kyle could-
I’m suddenly jolted from my pile of thoughts by a loud thump on the side of my crate, followed by a muffled, “Psssst!”
“What?” I whisper loudly, repositioning myself to look out of the hole on the side of my crate.
“Anthony? Is that you?” A girl asks quietly.
“Kayla?” I ask, trying to get a good look out of the hole.
“Oh thank God I found you, the other crate beside me was empty and I was scared we got separated. Did you see? They just took off four crates. We started moving again.”
“Let’s hope it wasn’t anyone we knew,” I say with concern. After sharing a cell with seven other people, we’ve grown quite a bond. Well, I knew four of them already, but the other three I’ve become good friends with.
“Quiet you two! No talking until the next stop!” A man yells from somewhere close, “you two will have all the time to talk once we throw you off this boat.” The man says, and I can practically hear the cruel smile in his voice.
“How far are we?” I ask.
“About five minutes, now shut up.”
“Uhh, I have to like, you know. Go.” Someone behind me says, not doubt that’s Nick. He may be a total klutz, but he does some great work in woodshop.
“I said shut up!” The guard yells and kicks my crate, the force it making my head jolt back and smash against the wood.
“That wasn’t me!” I yell back, but that only makes him madder.
Kicking my crate again he yells, “but that was!” And laughs as his footsteps fade away.
“Sorry,” Nick whispers from behind me.
“Save it Nick.” I whisper back, cupping my head where I hit the crate. Applying pressure stops the bleeding… Right?
“Alright, everyone!” A man says as he uncrates me, looking at my head and smirking at the blood that’s oozing between my fingers. No doubt he’s the one that one that kicked my crate.
“Come here boy. Hurry up now, I ain’t got all day.” A lady that I’m guessing is in her mid-forties says grumpily, beckoning me over with one finger.
I slowly make my way over, hand still gripping my head. Dizzy from the loss of blood I stumble around until I finally reach her. I stare her straight in the eyes and not showing any fear, just pure, cold hard fury until she looks away and handcuffs me of a cement pole and walks away.
“Hey, where are you going?” I yell after her, but she just continues to walk away.
“Anthony?” Alexandra yells from around the corner. Only she can have a sweet voice like that.
“Alexandra? Where are you?” I yell back.
“You kids be quiet over there!” Someone yells from the back.
“Or what?” I yell back, not bothering to hold back my anger.
“I’ll give you another head injury, and this time we won’t fix it all up!” He yells.
“Enough Kage, we were told to bring them to the island, not to hurt or communicate with them.” The lady says as she comes back from wherever the hell she went, carrying a first aid kit and a wrapped up sandwich.
“If I uncuff you, will you do anything unnecessary?” The lady asks.
“Will you give me that sandwich?” I ask and my stomach growls in question too.
“I suppose,” she says as she rips off the label with Kage’s name.
“It’s a deal.” I say and can’t help but smile at the thought of food.
“Great, now follow me. Quickly, because we’re almost there.” She says sharply.
“We have arrived and are docking as we speak, Ms. Kal,” Kage says as he enters the little room where I lay on cold metal bed, and who I’m guessing is Ms. Kal, is leaning over me, stitching the side of my head.
“Alright Kage, I’m just about done. Get out, you’re disturbing my concentration.”
“Yea, you’re disturbing her concentration.” I echo, smirking at him as he looks at me holding his sandwich.
“Quiet child.” She says, and pushes the needle in the wrong way, hitting a nerve that makes me grind my teeth in pain.
I lie there in silence as she finishes up and wipes the blood off my face. Without warning she puts her hand over my eyes and sprays disinfectant on my cut, making me squirm in discomfort and pain.
“Alright, all done. Now before you and your friends get off, you have some things to get.”
“Lead me the way Grandma,” I smile.
“Excuse me?” She asks sharply, but I can see a smile tugging at the corner of her lips.
We quietly walk back upstairs where we make our way to the front of the ship. There are ten crates lined up in a row, and everyone but me is standing in front of one.
“Choose a crate,” Ms. Kal says, and I walk over and stand in front of crate five. My lucky number.
“Great, now that everyone is here, we can continue with what’s going to happen. You are each open your crate, and in that crate are three things you need to survive. They could contain anything from medicines to matches. Best of luck you eight; you may leave the boat with your crates.” A younger man says, looking serious but pitiful.
We all pick up our crates and slowly make our off the boat. I put my sandwich my top of my crate and wink at Kage, before I step off the boat and onto the warm sandy beach. We all step back and watch in silence as the boat speeds away, leaving us alone to fight for our lives.
“So, this it huh? Day one of forever.” Mitchel says quietly as he drops his crate in the sand and sits on it, his head in his hands.
“Why don’t we open the crates, huh? We can go from there,” Alexandra says as she gently places hers in the sand and kneels down to open it.
“Yea, come on, it looks like it’s going to rain, we should build a shelter and stuff,” Kyle says as he looks at the sky.
“I’ll open mine first!” Alexandra says excitedly and rips off the top, quickly reaching in without looking. The first thing she pulls out is a flashlight, then four packs of 50 AA batteries taped together, and a shoebox filled to the brim of matches.
“Well, at least it’s a fair quantity.” I say as I pull the top off mine.
“No wonder mine was so heavy, it has 3 toolboxes!” Star laughs. Star has always loved building and tools, she probably feels like that crate contained a million bucks!
I reach in my crate and pull out massive first-aid kit, 8 massive Swiss Army Knives taped together, and a shoebox filled with a variety of natural healing and herb identification books and many more.
“Oh look, water purifiers and purifying water bottles, a bunch of medicines, and packs of soup!” Lydia says as she peeks into her crate.
“Hmm, some rope, a bunch of blankets, and lots of toilet paper,” Kayla says quietly from where she sits.
“I’ve got a bunch of girls’ clothing,” Kyle smirks as he lifts up a bra and flings it at Alexandra.
“I’ve got a bunch of cook books and canned and packaged food!” Mitchel smiles as he lifts up a box that says “Just Add Water!” on the side.
“M-mines filled with, uhh, guys clothes,” Nick says quietly, lifting up a huge sweater that could fit two of me.
“Well, it seems like we all got good things!” I say happily.
“We should assign jobs, like what Dr. Watson said,” Lydia suggests.
“Well, who’s good at what?” I ask, looking around at everyone, who just stay quiet
“How about this. There are four main jobs for survival. Research, Cooks, Builders, and Collectors. So, who’s good at cooking?” Alexandra asks.
“Me,” Mitchel and Lydia say in unison.
“Great, that means you’re our chefs!” Alexandra laughs. “Now who’s good at building?”
“Me, me!” Star raises her hand, jumping up and down.
“Alright, anyone else?” Alexandra asks.
“Uhh, I am,” Nick smiles.
“Any overachievers here?” She asks, looking around.
“I’m really good at science,” Kayla say as she twirls her hair around her finger.
“Anyone else?” Alexandra asks, then after a long pause, “alright, so Kayla and I will be researchers.”
“So now it’s just Kyle and Anthony. What are you guys good at?” Lydia asks.
“Well, I’ve been in Scouts, and the only job left is a collector, so I guess I’ll be that.” I shrug.
“I’m strong so I can help with collecting big things,” Kyle says, staring into his crate of girls clothes… Perv.
“Let’s find a place to build our shelter, and get started.” Star points to a path leading into the woods.
“There’s another path over there too though,” I say as I point to the left of her path.
“Oh, and one way down there too!” Alexandra says, confusion filling her eyes.
“How about we split up into our job groups and explore?” I suggest and go walk over to Kyle.
“That’s not a bad idea. There’s two other paths to the right of Stars, so that makes nine, so choose your path and let’s exploring!” Alexandra says excitedly.
“I have no idea how she could be so happy about this,” Kyle whispers as we walk toward our path.
“She may seem happy, but she’s probably just as confused and broken as we are. I mean, since we first met, we’ve all changed. Mentally and physically, and it’s all because of those stupid experiments! We’re so messed up now! I mean my arm shouldn’t bend like this, I’ve never felt so light in my life!” I yell in frustration. Sure, we’ve all brought this on ourselves, but I wish they would have told us what they’ve done.
“I know, I never feel hungry anymore, and I can see far away. These don’t seem like bad things, but they are. I don’t feel human anymore.” Kyle says as he takes a deep breath and starts picking up twigs.
“Yea, I know the feeling,” I mutter as I kick a rock.
“So, what are we doing again?”
“Looking for a good campsite. Why are you picking up twigs?”
“I really don’t know.” He says as he drops them, then, “oh look, an opening!”
“Kyle, there’s nothing there.” I say shaking my head as I look around for the clearing.
“Yea there is, follow me.” Kyle says as he walks forward.
We walk and walk for about 10 minutes until we finally reach the clearing. I guess he wasn’t kidding about seeing are away.
“I told you!” He says as we walk around the large open space.
“That’s because you have freak sight!” I yell in annoyance. I hate it when people tell me so; it gets me so irritated.
“You don’t need to get angry Beansprout, this place is perfect. Look, a little pond, some coconut trees, a large clearing. What more could we need?” Kyle says as he flicks me nose.
“Uhh, first of all, don’t call me Beansprout, and second of all, we need a place where light can shine through, I mean look at this, it’s so dark!” I say, stepping away from Kyle.
“Well we’ve done our job, let’s get back to the shore.” Kyle shrugs and starts walking down the path again. I guess he hasn’t realized it, but I think those experiments gave him multiple personalities.
“Hey, find anything?” I yell to Star and Nick as they walk out of their path.
“Nope, just a depressing dead end!” Star yells to me, sounding disappointed and angry.
“Hey guys, find anything good?” Alexandra smiles as she runs toward up, Kayla quietly walking behind her.
“Nope,” Star shakes her head and Alexandra looks at me.
“Yea but there’s no sunlight, you?” I shrug.
“A huge waterfall that we could probably take baths in. Oh, and get this. There was a crate by the edge with a bunch on towels and soap. Those things must be littered around the island.” Alexandra say excitedly.
“How do you know?” Kyle asks suspiciously.
“Because of this!” She smiles as she pulls you a small piece of paper from her pocket.
“What’s that?” I ask.
“It’s a riddle, and as the Researches, Kayla and I will get working on it ASAP!”
“Yea, ok you do that. Did you guys find anything?” Kyle asks, looking past Alexandra at Mitchel.
“Yea,” he shrugs
“It’s the most beautiful place possible, there’s even a mini farm. There are very little fruits and vegetables, but we can always plant more with seeds. There’s about ten chickens’ though, so that’s great. You know, at first I thought this island was just going to have cameras and we have to do everything ourselves, no now I’m actually kind of excited as to what’s really going to happen! I mean, why would they put all these resources here if they wanted to kill us, right? I mean, there has to be a reason why they’re helping us survive.” Lydia says as she looks around the island.
“You, my friend… Just gave me hope,” I smile at Lydia, suddenly feeling excited and happy. I guess we could have a little faith in this island.
“What paths haven’t we explored that we noticed today. It’s starting to get dark, we should find somewhere to settle in and maybe get a fire started.” Alexandra says.
“I’ll make a sundial once we find somewhere to stay.” Kayla suggests, biting her fingernails.
“Really that will be great! You’re amazing Kayla!” Alexandra smiles, but all Kayla does is shrug.
“There’re only five left, so let’s each to one more, and if we have time do the last one,” I say as I start to walk toward the path next to the one we explored.
“Ughh, not again,” Kyle says as he trails behind me.
About 15 minutes into the walk we reach a campsite. I mean a real campsite. There are tents and a fire pit, a few crates and weapons lined up against a giant desk.
“We just hit the jack pot,” I say as I walk over and look into the tents, smiling as I see everything make nice and neatly.
“Shh, do you hear that?” Kyle asks as he tip toes toward the giant desk.
“Oh, don’t tell me you have super hearing too,” I sigh.
“Holy crap!” Kyle yells at he jumps back from behind the desk.
“What?” I yell as I run toward him.
“Well, at least we know there were people living here.” Kyle says then bends over and throws up.
“You’re kidding right? So this is another reject group’s campsite?” I ask stunned, all hope and excitement exit me and a new feeling enters. Dread.
“Let’s just get back.” Kyle says and we both run back toward the shore, making a 15 minute trip into a 5.
When we arrive it’s only Lydia and Mitchel there, we ignore them and walk over to our crates where we just sit there quietly, nighttime only a few minutes away.
A few minutes pass, then an hour, and finally both groups come back, looking disappointed with their results.
“Let’s sleep here,” Alexandra yawns, coving her mouth.
“Way ahead of you there,” I whisper, sliding off my crate and curling down beside it.
Day 1 End.