Initiation Ultimate - The Novel

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 2 (v.1) - INITIATION ULTIMATE, Chapter 1.2: Narrated by Saphara

Submitted: March 13, 2014

Reads: 29

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Submitted: March 13, 2014

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A singsong voice snaps me from my sleep.  "684!  684, it's time to get up!  C'mon, wake up!  You're going to court!  You're going to have a name and then I can brag!"  My sleepy hand flops over toward the voice, bopping its owner squarely on the top of her head.  "Oww," she complains, momentarily stunned, yet still bouncing with happiness.  "I have feelings too, you know!"

"Look who's a morning person," I mutter, and then slide out of bed.  

It's my nine year old little sister, 382, who waits excitedly besides me.  She clutches a scrappy old teddy bear in her hands, which she tosses at me once I've pulled myself into a sitting position.  "C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, you're going to be late!"

"Yeah, I'm up!  I'm up!"  I force myself to say.  "What time is it?"

382 switches my wall screen on, and a bright, colorful display of the time, date, and weather projects in front of me, momentarily blinding my eyes, which have not yet adjusted to the light.  With a screech, I pull my blankets over my eyes.  "4:50 in the morning," I hear her chirp, and the colorful display of lights disappears.  Just when I think it's safe to uncover my head, all the lights in my room turn on, and I hear my door slam shut behind the little human alarm clock.  

Slowly adjusting my eyes to the light, I let out a tired sigh.  I will most likely remember this moment forever, because it could be the last time I have time for little sisters, the comfort of waking up in a nice warm bed, and childish pranks.  Later today, I'll have to get down to it and live life seriously, and more importantly, leave my childhood behind.  Grow up and survive, I guess.  Or as our government puts it in in that sorrowful way of theirs, "Prove who you are or die trying."

 

***

Last night, I could hear my mom stifling her cries from her room across from mine.  She was crying in  in fear of my denial, and moaning over the "Scars of Honor" that I will receive upon my acceptance.  Today, as she cooks my breakfast, brushes my hair, and smooths the wrinkles out of my ceremonial garbs, she projects a stone-like, yet transparent, demeanor instead. Although her expression is as blank as the charcoal slate she is trying to conceal her emotions with, she lacks the necessary hardness to support her forced fearlessness, and her stern stone mask is broken by something as dull as our doorbell's ring.  I really don't think I'll ever forget that sound, or the expression of fear that flits across her face as she goes to get the door.

"Hello, ma'am," a soft male voice greets my mother as I wait at the kitchen table.  "I am Private Cruinneas Bradshaw of the Judiciary Board, and I have come to give 6840302 Neowarren her court assignment.  Do you happen to be her parent or guardian?"

"I do," my mom answers weakly.  "I'm her mother, Mikomi Neowarren."

"May I see proof of identity for both you and 684?"

"Yes, sir.  Give me one moment please.  It's in the kitchen."

My mom comes back into the kitchen, gesturing for me to go to the door as she walks past.  Nervously, I slide out of my chair and go to greet the Private.

When I first see the soldier, the first thing I think of is how young he is.  He's nineteen at the most.  The earliest age allowed for joining the military is seventeen, so he mustn't be that experienced.  The second thing I notice is the frost lining his camouflaged cover, and the way that his breath crystallizes midair.  It can't be too easy, going around houses in December 30th weather.  "Good morning, sir," I say unsurely.

"Good morning, young lady.  My name is Private Cruinneas Bradshaw.  Are you 6840302 Neowarren?"  His icy blue eyes survey mine.

"Yes," I tell him quietly.  "I'm going to be named Saphara today, I hope."

"That's a pretty name," the Private whispers.  "I'm sure that your brother would like it."

I immediately tense up.  "What did you say?" I gasp.

Private Bradshaw looks like he wishes to say more, but then my mother arrives with the forms and hands them to him.  I'm grateful when she notices how cold he is out there in the snow, and asks him to step inside. "Thank you, ma'am," is what he says instead.  Getting down to business, he tells me that I will be doing my Initiations in the 4th of the 5 Honor Courts located the county of Tokashiina, which is conveniently located the closest to my home.  He also checks that I have a speech paper to present myself with, and an acceptable weapon for my Scar of Honor.  Only when he's assured that I am prepared for the Naming Ceremony, he explains himself.

"Before I go, Mrs. Neowarren, I would like to tell you that you have an," he looks at my mother, "outstanding son.  And you," he says, looking at me, "an amazing brother."

Tears well up inside my mother's eyes, and one of her hands finds its way up to her chest.  "Talaimai?  Do you speak of Talaimai Neowarren?"

"A brave soul he is," Private Bradshaw confirms.  "A leader of the "soldier" force in the Initiations, and a young man who was revered by all.  Saved countless lives, including mine.  Yes, I'm speaking of Talaimai Neowarren."

My mind flashes to Talaimai Neowarren.  Last time I had seen him, I was nine years old.  That was four years ago, and being the fast paced, goal oriented person that we remember him as, it was hard to believe that he hadn't come home by now.  Talaimai always prided himself on his exceptional leadership abilities, and told us that he wanted to come back soon, so he could find himself a place in life.  When he didn't come back after two, three, four years, we thought that it was the end of him, but wouldn't speak of this in hope that our assumptions were wrong.  But finding a place inside the Initiations, and staying?  I can see him doing such, too.

Private Cruinneas continues.  "It was because of him that I personally requested to give your family an assignment, and I'm quite relieved that it was allowed.  He'd always said that he had a little sister four years younger than him back at home.  I must assure you, your son is prospering in the Initiations, or he was two years ago, which is the time I returned to the homeland.  This girl named Rede and I were his advisors, which meant that together we were practically a family group in the Initiations.  Tal would tell us that he wanted to stay so that he can help others survive through it all.  I just want you all to know that you both should be very proud."

The well in my mother's eyes overflow as she first reaches out to hug the Private, but then resorts to placing a hand on his shoulder.  "Thank you.  Thank you so much.  Tell me more..."

The Private takes her hand off of his shoulder and holds it gently in his own hands.  "I would like to, but unfortunately I have other Initiates to give assignments to.  Back out into the wintery morning for me."

The reality of the situation seems to snap my mother back into the present, and she nods, looking down at me solemnly.  "Yes, of course."  With a handshake and goodbye, the private leaves to continue his duties.

"I miss Talaimai so," my mother sighs, wiping away tears, as I walk back into the kitchen to finish my breakfast.  I don't want to see her cry because, for all I know, I'm the one that will be causing her grief next.  It must be hard being a parent.

 

382 sits in the chair besides me, looking much more serious than she did this morning.  "Why didn't you come see?" I ask.  "He was so nice."

382 shakes her head.  "No, because soldiers scare me a little, and I don't really remember Tal too much.  Also his words made people sad.  I heard Mom trying not to cry."

"Those tears were not sad.  Happy," I remind her.  "Happy that our brother is still alive.  When I'm gone, wouldn't you be happy if a soldier came and told you I was alive?"

"I'd cry happy tears for you, 684," she whispers.  "But only for you."


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