CH 3 (E)
The calling of names and handing out of ids continued for the next half an hour as Lucas recognized a few friends from those summoned to the stage.
He hadn found it easy to make friends, because of how everybody saw him as a ”cripple who shouldn be attending a military school. ” Although, he had gotten lucky with one or two people that showed sympathy.
Most share similar situations and are outcasts by the rest of the schools standards.
The assembly ended with the general talking about how everybody was supposed to pack up and board their respective subframe tram system below the school.
The subframe was implemented after the beginning of the war to add a new and efficient way of transportation from district to district. being hundreds of meters underground it served as a secret transport system and a viable shelter.
”I wish you all well in your future endeavors, dismissed! ” Announced the general.
I have never seen a tram with zero on it before Lucas thought as he wheeled his way out of the auditorium and into the bright sun. He decided to go straight to the room number shown on his digital id. Lucas knew he would be given the answers there.
The buildings of the school were somewhat connected by underground hallways and elevators. Lucas opened the external auditorium door as he was the first to leave. Being on the bottom row did have its benefits.
When he noticed that nobody else was headed in the same direction as him, he worried that he had done something wrong and gotten in trouble. The possibility of not being able to go to any academy also circled his mind.
Lucas could hear fast footsteps behind him, they were catching up.
”Academy zero… must be new, or highly secretive. ” Said a voice behind him.
Lucas immediately knew whose voice it was because of her soft tone, he thought about the repercussions of talking to her. The last time he had he had gotten ”corrected ”. Although it didn matter much anymore since it was their last day.
”Hey Allice, what do you mean by secretive? ” He tried to seem friendly, but it came off as monotone. His emotional outreach was terrible, and it showed.
”What, not excited to see me? Umm… don know, Ive just never heard of academy zero before ” Responded Allice as she smiled at him. Lucas felt butterflies in his stomach as she smiled at him. He cursed his teenage mind as he focused on the important point she made.
She was right of course, no one had ever discussed an academy with the number zero. It was universally known that there were only eight academies in the United States. Even during their history lessons, nothing was ever disclosed about their being more than eight.
Allison held open the door to a side building while Lucas rolled through the entrance.
”You also have academy number zero? ” it was a rhetorical question that Lucas asked Allison.
She half nodded to the observation. Letting the door close she continued down the hall side by side with Lucas.
The silence between them seemed like it lasted ages as they were focused on the digital screens on the wall displaying room numbers.
20…21…22…23…24. Here we are Lucas considered what they might find in the room. Well at least I know in not in trouble, thats a relief Allison was the brightest student and had a perfect future, there was no way she was also getting punished.
”lets go in I guess. ” Allison said as she twisted the metallic doorknob.
She held the door open for Lucas as he rolled inside of the dark room.
”Why are the lights off… ” Lucas proclaimed.
He reached to the side as he flipped the barely illuminated light switch. The lights flipped on as they saw a figure emerge from the darkness.
There was a man with shaggy blonde hair barely reaching his nose sitting on the teachers front desk in the uninhabited classroom. His defined features suggested his lengthy life in the military as his black eyes fell on the kids.
He was wearing various straps and holsters around his camo uniform coupled with a plate carrier, not much unlike the standard-issue military uniforms. The difference between Allison and Lucass uniforms compared to his was a difference in color and the absence of equipment.
The students were clearly urban-based while he had a digital forest camo. He looked to be around 25 years old with a distinctly clean-shaven face.
”Finally… I was wondering how long it would take cobalt to wrap it up ” the stranger sighed as he stood up, adjusting his straps.
”If I may ask…, why were you sitting here in the dark. ” Lucas had to ask the question even if he got a stupid response.
”It helps me with my powers… I won go to in-depth when we barely know each other ” the man walked over to Lucas and Allison as he stared them down. Shrugging off the question Lucas shot him.
”At least that pile of bones brought me some interesting recruits this time. ” he was mainly focused on Lucas and only looked at Allison after. Presumably, the attention was on Lucas because of his wheelchair.
The look of confusion on both the students faces was apparent.
”Alright… let me explain ” The man only said this after waiting a few extra seconds. Taking a deep breath as if he was burdened by this task.
”I am your guide. I will be your supervisor for the next two years during your attendance at military academy 0, no other academies do this. ” He exhaled as the look of curiosity on his face faded after the inspection of the candidates.
”You can call me Agent 42 or… ” he trailed off as if thinking of a name to use this time. ”Sam ”
Lucas knew it was a fake name purely off the attitude given towards the fabrication. He would need to be an idiot to believe that.
Agent 42 or Sam leaned on a desk as he lowered himself between the two recruits eye levels. Sam also checked his watch reassuring himself that he was on schedule.
”In exactly five minutes we will board the helicopter on the roof, Then I will transport us to the Academy. You
e probably wondering why you have never heard of Academy 0. Simple really, its both relatively new and extremely secretive. We keep the brightest and best there for training. You two should feel lucky that you were picked, I personally only take one student at a time but with the current situation and each of your prospects. We had to bend the rules a bit ” he chuckled at his last remark.
”We would rather not have the enemy find out where we keep our most promising students. Hence the secrecy, its rather simple ” Sam talked as if revealing this information to students was a daily occurrence.
”So. any questions? ” Sam asked them out of kindness as Lucas and Allison thought about his words.
”Why was I chosen? ” Lucas asked the only question on his mind.
”…I didn make the major decision. So, I don know. But I can agree with her reasoning for the choice ” Sam answered the question truthfully and without hesitation.
”Who Is ”her ”, and I can walk, what do you expect me to do? ” Lucas asked pointing at his legs. His mind was working in overtime to figure out what he had unwillingly gotten himself into.
”Now that… is classified. ” Sam laughed at the conversation while Lucas just stared at him with a blank face of disappointment.
”Also, we have some things to fix that. Its mainly mental isn it. ” he already knew the answer. Studying everything about his new recruits was necessary in helping them grow during their time at the academy.
Sam checked his watch one last time as he stood up from his crouched position
”Alright. We are going to have to cut the questions short, Lets head to the Heli pad ”
They left the room with Sam leading the way, neither of the students had been to the roof before because it was off limits for regular students. Suicides are still a real thing and some of what the kids had to go through was too much for most.
Lucas thought about how Sam could help him walk but kept coming up with illogical answers.
The serious complexion caused Allison to reassure him of their future safety.
”Theres no need to worry ill protect you once we get to the academy, I think we are being set up as a team from this point on ” Allison said while the group walked and rolled down the hall at a fast speed. She Almost giggled as she said this.
Lucas scoffed at the remark ”I can fend for myself thank you very much ” he knew that he actually couldn but hanging out with Allison would just bring more problems.
”Im sure you can, but help doesn hurt ” Allison wasn trying to be condescending, but the first remark didn help.
Ill have to keep my eye on him, hes the only person ill know at the academy, and we are going to be in the same squad. Allison was lost in thought as they walked through the winding corridors.
They had finally reached an elevator as Sam pressed the up button the door slides open revealing a sizable elevator meant for people and supplies.
Filing in as Sam pressed a button labeled Roof and then waved his id card in the air in front of the digital tablet integrated with the wall, it flashed green then the elevator doors closed.
The ride to the roof was deadly quiet as each person thought about their future, Sam not so much.
Lucas and Allisons new lives started now.
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