Olympus - Prologue

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Supernaturally talented children are always feared and dispised in society. Some people don't believe they exist. But there is a school out there, by the name of Olympus, which accepts these gifted youths as students and trains them to be undercover agents or the like. This is a story of a class in Olympus, with ten students, all interesting, witty, and humourous.

This novel is my first try at science-fic/action, but I will only upload the prologue. It'll be great if you guys could leave your comments...so that I know if it is worth continuing. If possible, I will try to publish it.

Chapter 1 (v.1) - Olympus - Prologue

Submitted: October 31, 2007

Reads: 578

Comments: 1

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Submitted: October 31, 2007

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 Under an expense of deep blue skies, two figures, seeming dark violet against the twilight were hunched surreptitiously over the piles, rummaging urgently. Far from the arms of human civilization, not the single breath was to be heard. Even the tiniest sound, like a subtle cold clank of metal on mud would echo endlessly through the sinisterly dense air…
 “Why are we digging through rubbish?” Sky whined, stomping his foot like a little kid. A banana peel mashed beneath one of his boots with a revolting squelch. Sky slid and fell comically, flat on his butt.
 Yuriki chuckled. He offered a hand to Sky, wincing from the stab of pain from the swollen shoulder caused by being flung quite a distance away from a motorcycle. He had landed spread-eagle atop a reeking heap of waste.
 “I just wanted to try, “Thanks to you, my glasses are in these piles. I saw them fly into the dump,” he told Sky wryly, brushing something from his hair. It looked suspiciously like a dead cockroach. Yuriki jabbed a finger into his friend’s chest. “You are not driving anymore motorbikes.”
” Sky complained, sounding guilty. “It wasn’t my fault you kept telling me which way to go. Obviously, I’d lose control.”
 “And you had to let it overturn,” Yuriki demanded. “Since you’re the one who threw me and my glasses into rubbish, you find them for me.” As he said that, he forced himself to lean closer to the stinking masses of decomposing waste and hives of scavenges.
 Sky rubbed his knee and continued muttering listlessly to himself, while picking out object by object, wishing that he had rubber gloves. 
 Man, what a stinking situation.
* * *
 
 The students were surprised. You could hardly find a pair of twins in China, thanks to the one-child scheme. Yet there they were, sitting right in front of them and demurely doing their homework. A boy and a girl, but they couldn’t tell which was which, because they were exactly alike. The twins were new students who joined the class just two days ago. They were angelic in class, never speaking, listening most attentively throughout every single lesson. The teachers loved them.
 Xue chewed on the end of her pencil. The tiny Chinese characters in her homework book were making her head spin. It was the beginning of autumn, when much of the summer heat had already abated, but she still found the classroom stiflingly hot. God, they give the most ridiculous questions, she mused. 
 Of course. I mean, what do you expect of a school? Her twin brother, Rui thought.
 A normal school, answered Xue, glancing around at the other eleven-year-olds around her. Not Olympus.
 They would freak if they went to Olympus, Rui grinned. How do they survive?
 Xue smiled grimly. She could not imagine the lives of the children around her. They got up early each morning, and their lessons ended at six in the evening. After that, they had Night Study until nine at night. She thought their childhood was wasted on studying and studying endlessly when they should have been at home, playing with their siblings or having dinner with their families. Instead, they hardly ever see their parents, being cooped up in school for the entire day.
 No idea. She went back to pretending to read the rows and rows of words.
 To the rest of the class, the twins had not exchanged a single word. They were obedient and diligent, never even thinking idly of going home to their parents.
 They were wrong about three things. Firstly, Xue and Rui did not have parents. Secondly, a conversation did take place – communicating telepathically would seem totally silent to an outsider.
 And lastly, the twins did not speak a word of Chinese to each other. They were bilingual, and they spoke English, a language completely alien to the other Chinese children.
 
* * *
 
 Freya felt the gazes of the people around her, like she always did when she was in Daowai. Well, save for when she was inside Olympus, of course.
 The Chinese people would give her a second glance when they saw that she was a redhead, unlike all the other yellow-skinned people they were used to. She was a Caucasian, someone unique in the sea of Asians. She moved a few steps forward in the queue as a yet another person left with his order.
 MacDonald’s was the last place she would want to eat at, but she was so hungry that she dropped in for a snack.
 The guy at the counter might as well be speaking Greek to her. Well actually, Freya was from Greece, and she could not speak Chinese for nuts. She pointed to the Sundae on the laminated menu.
 The cashier nodded and went to take her order. As she lifted the cupful of chocolate and vanilla ice-cream, her elbow jabbed the person behind. Hard.
 “Oops…sorry,” she began, forgetting that the Chinese wouldn’t have understood her. At the exact same moment, she felt a gush of cold liquid hit her back and slowly trickle down.
 “My coke!” the person behind her shouted in English.
 She turned in alarm to meet the eyes of Vivian, a classmate from Olympus. Freya frowned. Vivian was supposed to be in the library, not here. The African-American girl was holding an empty cup of coke and gaping at her. A few ice cubes were dancing on the floor in a puddle of brown water.
 “My shirt,” Freya hissed, starting to get annoyed.
 Vivian crossed her arms over her chest. “Well, you jabbed me,” she retorted.
 Freya narrowed her eyes threateningly, a sign of growing irritation for anybody who knew her well. She silently cursed Vivian for not telling her that she was behind and tugged at her wet clothes. “This a new shirt. It is very expensive.”
“So?” Vivian rolled her eyes. “Is that my problem?” All around them, people’s heads turned toward the pair of unusual English-speaking girls. What was going on?
 “It certainly is,” Freya declared, trying her best to control her breathing. Her hand was squeezing the Sundae cup forcefully, and its contents were on the verge of splattering out. She pointed an accusing finger at Vivian. “I demand payment for the shirt.”
 “I’m not paying. It’s none of my business.” With that, Vivian turned and started walking off. Freya lifted the cup of Sundae.
 “You bitch!” Freya threw the entire cup of Sundae at Vivian’s back, splaying all its brown and white contents on Vivian’s blouse. Vivian spun around, fire in her eyes, her dark face turning a shade of vicious red. People were staring open-mouthed at them now, but neither seemed to notice.
 She picked up the cup and hurled it straight at Freya’s face. As the redhead dodged, the cup went for the counter guy and caught him.
 Right smack in the nose.
 There was a chorus of gasps and exclamations from the on-watching diners. Half melted ice-cream now dribbled off both the guy’s chin and Vivian’s back.
 In the far corner of the restaurant, two young boys stood on their chairs and started whooping and clapping, like audience at the end of a fantastic play.
 
* * *
 
 The convict had never felt like this in his life. He was a German assassin with at least thirty two successful kills on his guilt so far. It always amused him how much people would pay just to get rid of a person whom they couldn’t stand the guts of.
 He drew his jacket tighter as he walked down the one of the deserted alleys of Daowai, unable to drop the sense of foreboding. He had suspected twice that someone was following him, but every time he turned, not even a shadow was to be seen.
 Before he became an assassin, he knew that one day his life might end just like his victims. He would be murdered too. But he was prepared for this inevitable death. According to his calculations, he might still have at least ten more years of his career before he was murdered a rich man.  
 The sense of unrest tugged again at his heart. Everything was fine. The body was safely disposed off in an abandoned shop house along with his gun where nobody would ever come across it. There was no one trailing him either, and it was just his conscience and childish imagination causing the discomfort.
 Meanwhile, Rush was flitting from shadow to shadow more silently than an alley cat. His footsteps made no noise on the ground, and he was a professional at dodging pebbles, crunching gravel and twigs which might break with a loud crack and raise the alarm of his prey.
 He could not count the mission any success so far. He was able to keep out of sight, but he was well aware that the assassin could feel his presence. Rush did not blame himself. When one was followed, they were informed so by a gut feeling, no matter how furtive the follower is. He would have to work harder to conceal his presence and not frighten his victim into breaking into a run. That would complicate things.
 Rush ran his fingers over the cool blade of the knife in a pocket of his trousers. In the other pocket was a gun which Olympus had given him. He did not intend to use that.
 Rush, although only twelve – much younger than the assassin he was tracking, was already a professional hired killer. Yes, Rush was a child assassin, tracking another assassin thrice his age. Unlike the German, he had never made a kill with the gun. It was knives of all forms, sizes and originalities which did the job. Back at Olympus, he had an impressive collection of these lethal babes, acquired through plenty of different means, some morally positive, others not so. He trusted his knifes with his life, and went nowhere without them.
 Rush’s keen eyes registered and processed every diminutive movement made by the man. His guard was off if he sniffed, coughed or scratched his head. When he clenched his fists, he was ready for any surprises—not a good time to launch the attack. His footsteps were in line as he walked, a sign that he was still alert. The fact that he did not stumble over any ditches and uneven parts of the road proved that he was familiar with his surroundings. He was not going to be an easy case.
 Rush gripped the leather handle of the five inch knife and stole behind the next bend. He was going to pounce in about a minute.
* * *
 The other members of Mercury called her Ms Baxter, but Cyborg had always known her as Nancy.
 “No…that’s not it,” Nancy challenged, swiveling a complete round on her chair. Cyborg raised his brows.
 “No?” he muttered. His fingers flew over the keyboard as he punched in the next complicated command into his laptop. The lines of codes on his black screen shifted up a few more spaces as he pressed enter with his little finger.
 Nancy and Cyborg were doing what they liked best in their free time, hacking into each other’s computers as a challenge.
 “Ah, I detect it,” Cyborg declared, perhaps referring to another firewall or god-knows-what to a common onlooker. This spectator would promptly decide that he wouldn’t mix with forty-three year old Nancy Baxter and thirteen year old Cyborg Sanchez. They were way too smart.
 “Interesting,” the skinny boy continued, looking straight at Nancy with his electric blue eyes. “I didn’t expect this new defense.”
 “You won’t get pass it,” Nancy said confidently. After all, she used to be a world-renown hacker. Well, she still was, but her duties with Axle took up much of her time to infiltrate other people’s computers. “Not this time.”
 Cyborg was just about to retort when the door opened and a woman strode in. She was already fifty years old, but she looked as if she had just entered her forties. That was what came of being an ex-leader of a mafia gang. Her olive green eyes flashed dangerously as she swept them across the room. Her name was Vicky McCullough. She was the Vice President of Axle, but today she looked ridiculous. Neither Nancy nor Cyborg looked up as she entered. Nancy glanced at her absently, absorbed in her battle with Cyborg.
 “Vicky…Weren’t you in a meeting with Dr. Lewis? Uh…” Nancy trailed off as she ogled at the thick purple paint dripping from Vicky’s fringe. “What happened to your hair?”
 Victoria McCullough did not seem to register what her college said. Her lips were pursed in a thin line, and she seemed on the verge of exploding into a million little pieces.
 “Good evening, Ms Baxter, Cyborg,” she said, nodding at each of them in turn. “I would like to see Cyborg in twenty minutes,” she turned to the wheel-chair ridden boy, gazing at him from above her glasses threateningly, like she always did when she was suspicious. “Meet me in my office.”
 She spun around, intending to leave. As her fringe swung in momentum with her body, splats of purple paint struck her eyes. Spots of the paint were left on the white marble floor, forming a trail behind her wherever she went. She clutched her eyes and bent over ungracefully with an agonized exclamation.
 As she left, Nancy shook her head with a grin and turned back to her computer screen. Her mouth opened.
She threw her hands up in defeat. Cyborg had broken in.
 
 * * *
 
 The food here is good, thought Yin-Sun as he twirled his fork, making his spaghetti wind around it like a ball of thread. He and Marcus were the only ones from Mercury having dinner at the canteen of Olympus tonight.
 Marcus looked sullen. Not that it was something unusual, because Marcus always looked as if someone owed him a thousand bucks. When he stared right at into one’s eyes, he looked menacing. Marcus was bald, and he had eyes so dark that they seemed to sink right into his pale face. Yin-Sun initially thought that Marcus might be able to do so much more with his hands as he had six fingers on each palm, but it turned out that the sixth finger was just a limp projectile of extra flesh and bone.
 “You might be promoted to level A,” Yin-Sun commented. “You’ve got perfect scores for Undercover the last assignment…”
 Marcus’ jaw tightened as he stopped chewing. “I failed it,” he said shortly.
“Oh…” Yin-Sun ploughed through his brains for something to say. At that moment, he saw Mrs. McCullough striding toward them.
 God, what a weird hairstyle. What’s with the purple?
 As the Vice President came closer he saw that the purple tints on her hair did not seem to have been dyed on purpose, but rather, like as if someone had overturned a bucket of paint over her head. The front of her black suit was already half washed with the dripping colour.
 Mrs. McCullough approached. “See me in my office in fifteen minutes,” she snapped at Yin-Sun.
 Marcus turned around. “It’s better to be bald like me,” he suggested, making a face. Yin-Sun was surprised. He never thought a guy like Marcus would have a sense of humor.
 Vicky looked as if she might eat them alive. “Very funny,” she scorned, stomping off, leaving with a clatter as the canteen doors swung shut.
 Marcus faced Yin-Sun, now grinning widely.
 “Xue and Rui,” he whispered into Yin-Sun’s ears. “I know it’s them.”
 
* * *
 
 Yuriki checked his watch. Fifteen precious minutes have passed and they had yet to find his glasses.
 “We’ve got to hurry up,” he said to Sky. “Axle’ll kill us if they knew we wasted time here.”
 Sky stretched and hammered his back with his fist. “Oh crap off,” he muttered unenthusiastically. “You can see perfectly well without them anyway.”
 “But I need them. You know they prevent me from—”
 Something beside his ear cackled. Sky looked up, his eyes suddenly alert.
 “Mercury. Return right now.” the voice transmitted from the Bluetooth ordered. All students from Olympus had to wear the device behind their ear when they went on a mission. The Bluetooths provided by Olympus was ultra slim and compact, such that it was nearly invisible at the side of one’s face. Yuriki’s could not be seen at all, obscured by his shoulder length hair.
 “Damn it,” swore Sky, even though he knew that everyone in Mercury, including the one who had started the communication, would be able to hear him. Yuriki could hear moans and sighs coming from his classmates, transmitted to his ear via the Bluetooth.
 “You are expected in fifteen minutes,” the voice continued. It was now clearly recognizable as Mrs. McCullough’s. “Abandon your missions.”
 Yuriki was astonished. What could Mrs. McCullough want that was so important that they even had to leave their assignments? He looked at the rubbish stretching acres all around him.
 “We’re digging in the Daowai Dump,” he reported, bracing himself. “We might be late.” Sky winced as bursts of laughter erupted from the communication.
 “God, why’d you tell them that?” Sky demanded as the call ended. “We’ll be laughing stock.”
 Yuriki shrugged. “Guess I’ll need a new pair of glasses,” he muttered. He hopped onto the motorcycle, sitting at the front.
 He was never, ever going to let Sky drive again, if he wanted to avoid being thrown a few metres into the air like a human jet missile.
 
* * *
 
 Vivian was just going to grab another nearby cup of coke and fling it at Freya when the call from Mrs. McCullough ordering them to return to Olympus came.
 “We’re digging in the Daowai Dump,” Yuriki’s voice was not clear but she and Freya could still make out what he said. They dropped whatever they were going to throw at each other and started giggling. The diners were now so astonished that some of them whipped out their cell phones and began dialing the police. These girls were seriously mad. One minute they were fighting like anything, and the next they were laughing. And in front of a whole restaurant of people.
 “Guess we’d better get going,” Freya announced. The girls walked out of the fast-food restaurant looking like glazed chocolate cakes, leaving the other customers frozen in their positions. Freya giggled again.
 Only after a very long time later would they melt and discuss our bizarre behaviour.
 
* * *
 Rush nearly toppled on top of his startled victim. His knife was barely inches away from the German’s neck.
 “Whadaya mean, abandon your missions!” he screamed into the Bluetooth. There was a shocked silence on the other end. Then, Mrs. McCullough recovered.
 “Let him go, Rush. I need you back now,” she told him, sounding pissed.
 Rush leaned backwards, turned and sped off. He was going to run all the way back to Olympus within fifteen minutes.
 The German looked back shakily. Somehow, a strange boy had crept up to him, had almost did him in, then had suddenly decided to run away at top speed after screaming at an invisible person. As he watched Rush sprint away in the orange lamplight, his heart caught in his throat as he noticed something unusual.
 The boy had no shadow.
 
* * *
 Xue and Rui grinned at each other evilly. In their minds, they were roaring with laughter.
 Which one do you think she got? Xue sent. Everywhere, the students were still quietly scribbling away on their homework.
 The spaghetti ball, Rui guessed.
 Did you put paint on it?
 You bet. Wonder what Yuriki’s doing in the dump.
  They had to return to Olympus now. Vicky wasn’t going to let them off so easily this time, but they still did it for fun.
 The other students barely looked up when they saw the twins leaving the classroom. They were probably going to the restrooms. The students were going to be surprised when Xue and Rui never came back.
 
 * * *
 
 “God, Yuriki, you smell like shi—”
 “Rui,” Vicky McCullough warned.
 “You smell like cow dung,” Rui mouthed to Yuriki, undeterred. Yuriki rolled his eyes and walked after Sky into Mrs. McCullough’s office.
 Everyone was there; Vivian and Freya with blotches on their shirts that looked like ice-cream and chocolate, Rush standing sulkily with his hands over his chest, Xue pretending to look innocent, Yin-Sun and Marcus bored out of their wits, Cyborg in his wheelchair and last of all, Mrs. McCullough with wet, thick purple paint still dripping off her hair. The twins made strangled sounds, suspiciously like suppressed laughter, when they saw her. Everyone screwed up their noses when Yuriki and Sky entered. Other than his own stench, Yuriki could also detect another foul odour, obviously from a stink bomb.
 Mrs. McCullough held up a grapefruit-sized violet mass, with thousands of tiny tentacles protruding from it. Yuriki knew at once that it was a spaghetti ball, sold in the streets and toy stores of Daowai. It was a clump of rubbery substance that could stick onto walls and slowly crawl down, or attach itself to ceilings and drop after a few minutes.
 Somebody had dipped the spaghetti ball in purple paint, stuck it on the ceiling so that it dropped in the unsuspecting Mrs. McCullough, and planted a stink bomb in her office. Yuriki had never seen the Vice President so mad. Her green eyes were glinting precariously, and spots of furious crimson had appeared on her cheeks. Her ears had gone completely red too, and with her purple hair, she looked rather hilarious.
 So this was why she called us back, he grinned.
 “Own up now,” she demanded, looking like a starved tiger. “I know it’s one of you. Only Mercury does this type of things.”
 She stared hard at everyone in turn. Yuriki’s eyes drifted to Xue and Rui. He, along with everyone else, knew it had to be them.
 “Well, we’re going to wait all day if no one owns up,” Mrs. McCullough stalked over to her chair. As she sat down heavily, an inelegant buzzing filled the air.
 “Ooh,” said Yin-Sun as he turned his head and pinched his nose. Mrs. McCullough held up a blue plastic package.
 “A fartback?” Freya widened her eyes in amusement.
 “XUE AND RUI! I know it’s you! You’re going to…you’re…” the Vice President looked like a little girl throwing a tantrum as she rummaged her brain for a suitable punishment. Yuriki knew why the twins played tricks on Vicky McCullough. She was adorable when she was mad.
 “You’re going to weed the entire eco-garden!” Mrs. McCullough decided.  “The whole lot of you! From three to five every afternoon, for this whole week. That’ll teach you,” she clasped her hands contentedly. The students of class Mercury looked at each other in dismay. Nobody protested, though.
 “I’m not going to report it to the President, count yourselves lucky. If this happens one more time, you’re going to get it,” she looked directly at the twins. “Am I clear?”
 Once outside Vicky’s office, the ten students of Mercury erupted into chuckles and cheering. Xue and Rui started to sing at the top of their voices. In all the sixteen years of his life, the tricks Yuriki had seen played by the Chinese twins were uncountable.
 
 “Hurrah…we’re weeding,” Rui chanted in a monotone. “What an interesting job.”
 “God, that was so funny,” Rush sat on the ledge of the flowerbed, hardly even working. “Do it again next week.”
 Rui had to regulate his breathing. Anyone listening to Rush talk was likely to hyperventilate, because he spoke very fast without any breaks in between. The two kids began discussing their next antic.
 In the far corner, a shower of water, seemingly to fall from the sky, hit Marcus. He gave a yelp and started cursing to the heavens.
 Yuriki looked up at an open window, just in time to see Vicky McCullough with an empty bucket, laughing her head off.
 What the…
 


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