[23] Sage

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This is the first chapter I am writing from my PERSONAL LAPTOP!!! I have MY OWN LAPTOP!!! Either I'm going to be updating way more or letting my life fall further into disrepair as I surf YouTube...

*

This Trial is both more difficult and simpler. On one hand, I could just kill everyone in this park. They're not real. It wouldn't truly affect anything.

On the other hand, the Albinos might deduct points for doing something like that. Killing everyone wouldn't give the aliens any new information about myself or the human race - it would just be further confirmation of my insanity.

Sighing, I walk up to the picnicking family. "Hello," I say cheerily. "How are you this fine day?"

The man and woman look a little startled at my forwardness, but they both smile, friendly enough. "We're fine, thank you," the woman said, glancing at her husband.

"Just decided to get out and into the fresh air," he adds, hugging his little boy close. The child's face twists in anger as the sudden show of affection makes him release the false grass he had been pulling back.

"Why isn't there grass?" he asks, seeming very upset about this mystery. "Why is there only fake grass?"

"Hush, honey," his mother hisses, throwing me a "he's just a child, I'm sorry" look. On Earth, it isn't socially acceptable to point out the obvious lack of "true" nature. Socially, it's right up there with insulting lifestyle aspects, like wearing different clothes for one's religion or not eating certain foods. Of course, children don't know any better - they never have.

I take a closer look at the little boy. His sandy blond hair falls in a mop, the fringe almost completely covering his eyes. He keeps pushing it back and out of his face impatiently. His blue eyes are filled with anger and his small, chubby face is contorted with fury, an odd expression on such a small child.

"It's wrong," he snaps, refusing to follow his mother's orders of silence.

"It's just how things are. Hush, now," his father says, his voice growing colder.

"We should have real grass!"

His face...why is his face so familiar?

"Sweetie, there is real grass. It's just bad for us," his mother tries, a common lie told to children. I myself believed it until I was about ten.

All of a sudden, I can place who the child is. The little boy... "I know you," I blurt before I can stop myself.

The family looks up at me, the little boy squinting. "I'm sorry?" his mother asks politely, confused.

Without answering, I raise my gun, taking careful aim. Quickly, I pull the trigger.

BAM!

The woman shrieks, short and piercing. The little boy screams as well, promptly bursting into tears.

His father lies dead before me, the astroturf beneath him quickly turning scarlet red, his handsome face imploded.

The park illusion disappears and I am in an empty room, exactly like the one in the first Trial - although clean of blood.

A door opens and Maggie enters. She is smiling genuinely and widely, not her usual placid look. "Well done, Sage. How did you figure it out?"

"A decade ago, a revolutionist rose to power, though nobody knew he was a revolutionist, of course. He got the presidency for eight years and set to work starting several organizations that actively vandalized any fake nature. They were against anything artificial. When word got out of the things he was doing, somebody shot him. That little boy looked just like him, and his father looked exactly like his son as an adult."

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