Chapter 29

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"I will go over the results right now."

I chewed on the inside of my cheek as I waited impatiently for the first name to be called out. I could feel a sweat start to break out along my skin and my hands were balled up into two tight firsts, my nails creating crescent shaped indents in my palms. Ace was being so dramatic as well, it was like he was feeding off of our anxious energy.

He looked at all of our figures and slowly opened up the notepad, flipping each page slowly until coming to the page where the results must have been. Ace looked once more at each of us before looking down at the first name in the book.

"Okay... can we get a drum roll please?" He rested his free hand on the gun at his hip as he waited for the drum roll that wasn't going to come. After realizing this, he sighed and looked back down at the paper. "Coming in fifth place with seventeen points is... Lily."

Ace's loud claps echoed around the room as we all stared at the relieved looking Lily. Her green eyes were wide with surprise and her mouth fell open slightly, creating a small 'o'.

Ace gestured off to the side. "Go stand over there so we know the difference between the two groups." He watched her walk over to where he had gestured to and then looked back down at the paper for the second time. "Coming in fourth place with nineteen points is... Logan."

A small bit of relief went through my body as I watched Logan make his way to join Lily by the wall to our right. At least if I don't make it, I'll die knowing that Logan and hopefully Matteo and Willow will make it out of here alive.

"Coming in third place with also nineteen points is..." Ace took an even longer pause for effect before saying, "Willow."

A small smile formed on my lips as I looked at her and gave her a congratulatory expression. She looked back at me with a relieved look, but I detected a little bit of hesitancy in the way she didn't make a move towards the other winners.

"What are you doing?" I whispered to her, raising one of my eyebrows.

"We made a promise..." she replied. "Remember?"

I glanced at Ace who looked a bit impatient as he checked his watch before looking back at her. "There's still two more spots, so you don't need to worry."

She chewed on her lip before nodding her head and heading over to the winners wall. Matteo now took her spot next to me. I could feel the anxiousness coming off of him and wished he had just stayed where he was. I didn't need that sort of energy right now. Especially since the inside of my cheek had started to bleed and I could taste the metallic inside my mouth. Even with the pain my teeth had caused, I continued to chew restlessly on the bloody flesh as Ace looked down at the notepad again.

"Alright coming in second place with twenty points is..." He took a longer pause than the one before finishing the sentence. "Matteo."

Matteo let out his held breath and gave me a quick glance before going over to join Willow, Logan, and Lily by the wall. I could feel my heart race even faster and my balled up hands start to shake. This was it. There was only one spot left.

Ace took a moment before glancing down at the notepad and placing it back in his pocket. "Our first place winner, coming in with twenty-two points is..."

I looked down at the floor and then squeezed my eyes tight, hoping that he was going to say my name and I could join all of my friends.

Time seemed to slow down. Or maybe Ace just wanted to take his sweet time. Either way, I was a worry-filled mess as time ticked by at an impossible slowness.

Then out of nowhere, Ace finally completed his sentence. "... Zoe."

Relief filled me along with shock. I was number one. I was saved. I was alive.

I walked over to join the rest of the winners, completing the five, and then as I got to a very relieved looking Willow's side, I turned around and watched the other five teens all showing off many different emotions; fear, sadness, shock. Tears ran down many of their faces while others just stood there, open mouthed.

A twig of guilt suddenly rippled through me as I watched a few of them run straight at the door to try and open it, only to find it locked. Ace then swiftly took his guns out of the holster and raised them, firing at all of them.

I immediately closed my eyes and covered my ears with my hands. I could feel next to me Willow doing the same thing, along with Lily. When the shooting had finally ceased, I dropped my hands away and opened my eyes, regretting it right away.

The teens' bodies were all sprawled out, with many bullet holes in them creating large puddles of crimson underneath them. Red against white.

Ace put the guns back into the holsters and looked at all of our wide eyed expressions. "Congratulations!"

A groan then came from one of the boys and I watched in horror as I realized one of them wasn't even fully dead. My eyes found the boy's body and I could see that there was a hole in his shoulder and one in his stomach. His light eyes were staring up at the ceiling and his mouth was slightly open letting out the strangled sounds.

"Ignore him," Ace said, the smile still on his face.

I forced my eyes away from the carnage and looked at Ace who took a step closer to us and then glanced down at his watch. After seeing the time, he took a glimpse at the door to our right before looking back at us.

"Like I said before," he said over the boy's continued noises. "Congratulations. And this will probably be the last time we'll ever see each other."

The door then opened, before I could think too much on what Ace had just said, and five people in while lab coats walked in. In each of their hands were a syringe with a strange looking liquid in them. My eyes widened as Ace took a step away from us and the people in white came closer to us with the needles. We had no time to react as they grabbed onto our arms and stuck the needles into the side of our necks. With their thumbs they plunged the liquid into us, and almost as soon as the plunger went down I could feel the liquid doing its magic.

My muscles felt heavy and my eyelids drooped. I leaned into the person in white who had taken the syringe away from me and put it into their pocket. They wrapped their arms around me as my legs gave out and gently placed me onto the floor. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see everyone else around me falling to the floor going unconscious.

I then made eye contact with Ace who looked down at me, almost sadly.

"Where are we going?" I asked him, just audible enough that he could make out what I had said.

He crouched down in front of me and smiled his crooked smile. My eyelids felt extremely heavy and it took all of my strength to keep them open. Although before I had finally succumbed to the darkness that wanted to pull me down into unconsciousness, I was just able to make out Ace's two last words,

"Her compound."

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