I tapped my ear-piece. “James? Yeah, are you there? Good, I need Harper and Charlie. Yes I know you’re doing what I just told you to do, but I need them. Now. Forget what I told you to do half an hour ago and do what I need done now! This is important! Thank you.” I tapped the piece again to turn it off. My door burst open. “Hey Evelyn. We’re here.” I looked at the two girls. “I can see that,” I responded. “I need you to go on a scouting mission. We’re low on trained scouters.”
“Yeah, because they’re all either dead or in the infirmary.” I gave Harper the death stare I’d perfected as soon as I became President of the North Conley. “Go out and see David. He’s in charge of the scouting missions. He’s in wing 1 room 2B.” They nodded and left my office. I ran my fingers through my long black hair, and turned my swivel chair to look at the world map. Or what’s left of it. The only part of the world that still exists is America, and not even half of that is left. The United States, part of Mexico and a sliver of Canada is all that’s left of our world. How did that happen? Well, teams of scientists were working on a vaccine in Europe. Their lab was way down in the earth; some people believe they could see the mantel from their windows. Anyway, so they were working on a vaccine that would cure any illness, cancer, leprosy, the cold, anything. But it exploded. They mixed two chemicals, and then they exploded, so more chemicals mixed and exploded. Soon all the chemicals in the lab were mixed and the whole thing exploded with such a force, that it shook the foundations of the earth. It cracked the tectonic plates so almost all of the continents broke apart and sank. For some reason, this is the only part the world that stayed up. It was known as Inhabitance. But in the explosion all the gasses mixed in the air and formed one deadly virus that only attacked the immune systems of adults twenty one years or older. No one knows why. So the children of the world banded together and formed three tribes. The large, barbaric southern colony that controlled from the middle/south of Inhabitance, the Western Colony, which controls the north/west of Inhabitance, and the smallest North tribe are the three tribes the worlds population separated into. The rest of Inhabitance not controlled by any of the Colonies is know as Free Land, with small nomadic tribes. My door opened, and I fell out of my thoughts. James walked in. “Oh, am I interrupting?”
“No, no you fine. Did you want me for something?” He hesitated at the doorway. “Um, to see you. I’ll go if you don’t want me to…”
“No! Don’t leave.” He smiled. “What’s wrong?” he asked.
He came to my side. “We’re a small tribe. Every scouting mission we send out, they don’t come back.”
“Not every one.”
“Okay, ninety –nine percent of them don’t come back.” I looked at him daring him to contradict me. He didn’t, because I was right. Almost all of them are taken by the southern tribe. And I was sending my best friend on a death mission.
“Why did I do that?”
“I sent my best friend on a death mission!”
“Evelyn, you had to. There was no choice.”
“But James, I-“
“Evelyn, Harper will be fine. She’s Harper for pete’s sake!”
He put his arm around my waist and rested his chin on my shoulder. “Where are they going?” I pointed to the western border. “There.”
“Oh. Well, they should be fine.”
“Should.” He laughed, and kissed my cheek. “I have to go. Come back later?”
“Oh, an Evelyn?” James turned, as he was about to leave. “Smile.”
“It’s been a long time sense I’ve done that.”
“I know. But break that streak.” Despite myself, I smiled a small, sad smile. “It’s a start,” James said. Then he left. But I kept looking at the doorway. I was seventeen. If we didn’t find a cure, I would die in three years. And some people would die in even less than that. I rubbed my face. What was I going to do? I couldn’t save anyone, and I was supposed to be the leader. But I was scared. I was scared, and worried and I had no one to look up to. I did at one time. But the more I thought about it, the deeper I sank into the past.
I was twelve, sitting at the bar in the kitchen, talking to my brother. This was six years after my parents had died. It was Mathew’s 20th birthday, but we were trying not to think about that. He was making breakfast, pancakes, while I mixed whipped cream. Then he started to cough, and fell to his knees. “Mathew,” I had cried out. I ran to his side.
“Evey, I don’t have much time.”
“Don’t say that!”
“Evey, listen to me-”
“No! you cant die! You cant leave me!”
“Evey-“ A cough shook his body.
“No! No, no, no! I wont let you-“
“Evelyn. Listen to me. You have to no matter what remember us, and, no listen, do something great.”
“For both of us?” I was sobbing silent sobs.
“No Evey. I got to raise you. And watching you grow had been the greatest gift ever allowed to anyone.”
“Shh,” He had put a finger on my lips. He had another coughing fit, then fell on his back, and was still. “No-o!” I howled, shaking him. In five minutes flat, we’d gone from being a happy family, to me being alone. I sat there and sobbed, holding his hand and sobbing into his chest. Then I heard voices outside of my door. I sniffed, and wiped my eyes, listening for more. “Do we know that there is anyone in here?”
“Yes, I’m almost positive.”
“If it’s a southerner I’m going to kill you Stephan.” I heard the door open. I reached under the sink and grabbed a hammer. I was scared, twelve, and had just lost my brother. I huge wave of sadness washed over me. I was my brother’s kid. For one thing, my parents died when I was really young, but not just that. As long as I could remember I’d never been close to my parents at all. My mom was a spiteful person, not necessarily to me, but just to people in general. She was quick to blame when something went wrong, and didn’t like to wait for an explanation. My dad was harsh, and wasn’t anywhere near patent. That may not seam so bad, but you couldn’t do anything with him. He would snap at you to move quicker or just pull you along. And if something was moving to slow but you couldn’t control it, he would get really mad. I still loved them of course, but I was never very close to them. My brother on the other hand, I’m not sure how he came out of them. He is, he was kind, patent, and always analyzed the situation before jumping to conclusions. I was his, and he was mine, and before I was anywhere close to ready, he was gone.
“What’s this?” said a voice. I looked up, and saw two people standing over me, a boy and a girl.
“St-stay b-back!” I held up the hammer.
“Staph, I think she just lost her brother. Look at her eyes. They’re shattered, like someone just lost her whole world.”
“She probably just did. Hi kiddo,” the boy said, speaking to me. “What happened kiddo?”
I hesitated, then told them what happened in my twisted life.
“Hey, its alright kiddo, its happened to all of us.”
“Good. I’ll explain more later, but now, lets just get you back to our base.” He held out his hand and smiled. I smiled back and took his hand. He helped me stand up and put an arm around me. “Where are we going?”
“A safe place. I’m the leader of the Northern colony.” He went on to explain all about the colonies and the virus. When we got back to the home base, Stephan gave me a tour, and explained to me what happened hear. He took me in and treated me like I was a little sister. I had a family again. Then three years later, it crumbled again. Stephan died, and I was chosen to be the new leader of the Colony. It was his last wish, and after loosing everyone I loved, I shut off. I built a brick wall around my heart. And only two people have punctured that wall.
Alarms. That’s what I heard two hours later, that’s what jerked my roughly out of my thoughts of my twisted past. I ran out of my office. People were flooding the corridors. The alarms only go off when something bad happens, like an attack. “What’s going on?” I demanded of my nearest comrade. “Scouting mission gone bad. They’re coming in now.”
My heart plummeted to my feet and I felt like someone injected me with ice. Then I saw the gurney beds being wheeled past, and I saw the people on them. And they were all hurt. Bad.