The screen goes black. The Childcare Department doesn't like it when we know too much. That's the government for you.

The officials line us up to get a late breakfast, soggy cereal with warm milk and a glass of murky water. Delicious.

I take a seat next to Kyle at one of the tables.

"I hate not knowing the whole story," I mumble.

"I know," he says.

"Why do they get this much control over us?" I groan.

"We only have a few months left," he smiles, shoving a spoonful of the so-called cereal into his mouth.

"Olivia only has about a week," I say, jealousy evident in my voice.

"Danny only has one more day," Kyle sighs.

"And then you'll be out a day before I will," I groan. "Why do I have to be the youngest?"

He laughs and reaches across the table to grab my hand.

"Mack," he smiles.

"Yeah?" I ask.

"I love you," he says.

"I love you, too," I smile, bringing the back of his hand to my lips.

"Mack!" Natalie yells, seating herself next to Kyle and gripping his arm.

"Can I help you?" I ask.

"I heard Olivia is leaving soon," she says.

"I heard Kyle has a girlfriend and you should probably stop climbing all over him before she loses it," I snarl.

"Guess what I managed to do!" She smiles.

There's no telling.

"What'd you do?" I ask.

"I convinced the officials to let me take her spot in your room," she beams. "We're gonna be roommates!"

Of course.

"Yippee," I groan.

"I gotta go break the news to Rebecca," she says. "Bye!"

She kisses Kyle's cheek before getting up and going over to invade Rebecca's space.

"I'm surprised she hasn't cloned you yet," I roll my eyes.

"Me, too," he laughs.

"I swear, she's the only person alive who could ever convince the officials to do anything, let alone bend a rule," I roll my eyes.

I finish my breakfast in silence, feeling Kyle's eyes on me the whole time.

"What?" I ask.

"You're thinking again," he laughs.

"Okay," I smile.

"About the warpods," he says.

"They're always on my mind," I shrug.

"Why are you so fascinated by them?" He asks.

"It's a talking robot that walks and swims and brings back pictures of the war," I say. "Who wouldn't want to know how they work?"

"You're gonna grow up to be a warpod programmer, I swear," he says.

"What's so bad about that?" I ask.

"Nothing," he sighs. "Forget I said anything."

"No, what's wrong?" I ask.

"Every time one of those things comes back, a new law is passed. It's not fair," he complains.

"The laws are passed for a good reason," I defend.

"Our parents were sent to fight for a good reason?" He challenges.

"The others were killed," I say. "Someone had to fight."

"Fight for what?" He groans. "Did it ever occur to you that maybe the reason we haven't learned the cause of the war is because there isn't one?"

"The government wouldn't let all of those citizens go fight a pointless war and die over nothing," I say.

"Why the hell do you believe that?" He asks.

"Because I have to!" I yell. "I won't accept that my parents died for nothing!"

He's silent.

I get up to discard of my garbage before retreating to my cell where Olivia is still stressing over the process of getting ready for Danny.

"Which top?" She asks.

"Not in the mood for date prep," I sigh, laying down on my bed.

"Who spit in your breakfast?" She mumbles, turning back to the clothes.

I pull the torn sheets over my body in a lame attempt to get warm. I let my eyes close and my muscles relax as I drift into the world of sleep.

Thank you all for reading, I will update as often as I can!

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