Chapter 17

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"Now... Sit. Down."

At Ace's words, I could feel a force pulling my body into command. I walked forward and sat down in one of the chairs in the middle of the room. Willow sat to my right, and Matteo sat to my left. Everyone else sat around us.

"Alright, good." Ace made his way slowly up and down one of the walkways as he explained what was about to happen. "When I say so, you are all going to flip over the piece of paper and then answer each of the questions in full, detailed answers. When you are finished, you will flip the paper over again and then wait for everyone else to finish or for the time to be up."

"You have..." Ace stopped at the front of the classroom and looked down at his watch. After looking at the time, he looked back up. "... thirty minutes to complete the ten questions."

I glanced at Willow and then looked back at Ace, about to raise my hand to ask a question, but Ace beat me to it. Almost like he had just read my mind.

"The questions are scenarios that you are going to have to answer as truthfully as you can." Ace took a pause and studied each of our confused expressions before talking again. "For those of you who are still very much confused, I'll dumb it down for you a little bit. The questions are 'what would you do in this situation' type of questions, and I want you to give an answer -so... what you would do?- in paragraph answers."

Mutated confusion filled me. What was even the point of this test?

"Okay, finally, no talking. If I catch you talking..." Ace rested his hands on the two weapons at his hips. "Well... y'know what I'll do to you."

I nodded slightly. I knew exactly what he would do.

Ace smiled widely. "Alright, get started. Your time starts now."

I looked away from Ace and picked up the pencil and then turned my attention to the paper. I flipped it over, revealing the ten questions. All around me I could hear the other teens flipping their own papers over and the sound of their pencils scratching ruffly against the page. I ignored the noises the best I could and looked at the first question.

1. You are lost in the forest. What is the first thing that you're going to do?

I tapped the eraser side of my pencil lightly against the wood of my desk as I read the question over and over inside my head.

This question had many answers and many variables that have to be thought of. For example, am I completely alone in the woods? Was I with a group and got separated? Or had I gone out by myself? If I happened to be separated by my group, the obvious answer would be to stay where I was and my group would retrace their steps once they realized that I was no longer with them. But if I was completely alone in the woods, my first step would be to find a source of food, water, and a shelter.

I chewed on the inside of my cheek as I cast my eyes on Ace who was still at the front of the classroom, watching us. My eyes then wandered around the room at everyone else, who all seemed to be doing fine. I forced my eyes away and back down at my paper, a worrying feeling slowly creeping up my body.

I'm lost in a forest... What is the first thing I'm doing?

I squeezed my eyes shut and took in a couple deep breaths before finally scribbling down a somewhat decent answer.

ᴍʏ ғɪʀsᴛ sᴛᴇᴘ ᴡᴏᴜʟᴅ ʙᴇ ᴛᴏ ʟᴏᴄᴀᴛᴇ ᴀ sᴏᴜʀᴄᴇ ᴏғ ᴡᴀᴛᴇʀ ᴀɴᴅ ғᴏᴏᴅ, ᴀɴᴅ ᴛʜᴇɴ ᴄʀᴇᴀᴛᴇ ᴏʀ ғɪɴᴅ sᴏᴍᴇᴛʜɪɴɢ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ɪ ᴄᴏᴜʟᴅ ᴜsᴇ ᴀs ᴀ sʜᴇʟᴛᴇʀ. ɪ ᴡᴏᴜʟᴅ ᴛʜᴇɴ ᴛʀʏ ᴍʏ ʙᴇsᴛ ᴛᴏ sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴇ ᴀɴᴅ ᴡᴀɪᴛ ғᴏʀ sᴏᴍᴇᴏɴᴇ ᴛᴏ ᴄᴏᴍᴇ ᴀɴᴅ ғɪɴᴅ ᴍᴇ.

"It's been five minutes," Ace spoke up from where he was, breaking the silence that had settled throughout the room. "You got twenty-five left."

I stared down at what I had written and reread it once more before shaking my head and looking at the next question. I didn't have time to be focused fully on the first question and the first question alone. I needed to get all of the other questions done as well.

2. Someone is coming at you with a knife. What are you doing?

I raised my eyebrow and read the question again.

And then again.

Like with the first question that I had to answer, there were many things that have to be accounted for. Do I have a weapon of my own? Was there something I had done to make this person come after me?

I took a quick glance at Willow, -who seemed to not be struggling with the questions- and then at Matteo, -who was nearing the bottom of his page- before looking back at my paper with slight annoyance.

Did we get different pages? Or am I just dumb?

I hastily scrawled down a couple sentences before going onto the next question.

3. You are alone in the woods and are in search of food. You then find a bush with berries, and it seems like the only food for miles around. You run up to the plant and pluck one of the circular berries from it and play with it between your fingers, examining it. You are unsure if it is an edible berry or if it is poisonous, but you have not eaten for the past twenty-four hours. Will you consume the berries?

Easy, I thought. Maybe the questions are just getting easier from here.

ɪ ᴡᴏᴜʟᴅ ᴅʀᴏᴘ ᴛʜᴇ ʙᴇʀʀʏ ᴀɴᴅ ᴄᴏɴᴛɪɴᴜᴇ ᴍʏ sᴇᴀʀᴄʜ ғᴏʀ ғᴏᴏᴅ. ɪ ᴡᴏᴜʟᴅɴ'ᴛ ᴡᴀɴᴛ ᴛᴏ ʀɪsᴋ ɢᴇᴛᴛɪɴɢ ᴘᴏɪsᴏɴᴇᴅ.

Next question.

4. A winged beast has its claws in your friend's back and is pulling them further down the hall. The smell of blood burns your nostrils and your friends' shrill screams echo down the hall, begging you to help them. Would you help them? Or would you continue down the hall and save yourself?

Okay... What the-

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