Chapter 5: Recruitment
I sat in the computer lab, scribbling the answers to my A.P. Calculus homework. I was once again in the computer lab with Kai. I decided to stay after school a bit so we could plan out our strategy. While I worked on my homework, the blonde-haired teen sat in front of the computer, typing furiously. I looked up from my homework and saw his usually jaunty face in deep concentration. His layered blonde hair was tied back in a short ponytail.
I was really surprised that the principle and none of the teachers gave us detention for making that announcement on the intercom; in fact, the teachers ignored everything as if it never happened. Can you say weird? The students, however, were a different story… or rather, the same story. It seemed as if the brothers' already told every person from their side to ignore everything Kai and I had said. Isn't it great? Oh, and don't forget to insert sarcasm, though you probably already picked that up by now… knowing me. Anyway, I wondered how we were going to recruit more members like this. Then again, that's one of the reasons why I'm staying after school.
"I still can't believe the teachers don't care about all this. I thought we were going to get in so much trouble," I commented.
"Katie," Kai began, "it seems you've forgotten the fact that this is a private school; a rich one at that. Because of that, the teachers get paid a reasonably high salary compared to that of other school, especially public ones. After a while, teachers realized it was pointless to try and stop the two groups, and they just wanted to get paid. Sure, some teachers intervened, but they ended up leaving."
I sighed by Kai's explanation. If I were one of those juvenile delinquents, then I would be jumping with joy, and I would probably start setting the bathroom stalls on fire or doing something stupid like that; but since I'm not, what Kai said only angered me. I should mention that someone in my old school did do that once… set the bathroom stall on fire, I mean. We had to stand outside in the freezing November rain and wait for the fire engines to come. Goodness, some people are so freaking STUPID.
"What about the principle? He commands the school, doesn't he? Why doesn't he do anything?"
"Him?" the blonde-haired boy answered incredulously. "He's not even here half the time. Let's just say the twins have something that he would rather not let them reveal."
Disbelief took hold of me again.
"You mean he's being blackmailed by those two?!"
Kai faced me and smiled, "Welcome to Lawrence High School, where everything can happen."
"You got that right," I muttered.
I gave another exasperated sigh and slammed my Calculus textbook closed. I walked over to where Kai sat, pulled a chair, and sat down.
I stared at the computer screen and saw a list of the students' names, every single one of them in the school. My eyes widened when I saw the curser moved to one of the names and double-clicked it. A new page popped up with all the information about the student: age, gender, grade, family, school grades, personal records, everything. Now, I may be retarded when it came to computers, but I could tell certain things apart from others, and I knew this wasn't simply the school's roster list.
"That's not the school database is it?" I asked dubiously.
"You could say that," Kai answered in one of his mysterious tones.
Suddenly, something struck me… like lightning.
"You hacked into the school's database!?"
"Shhh! Be quiet! You don't have to announce it to the whole school, you know."
"B-but! If you can hack into the school's data… then you can change your grades and… everything!"
Kai suddenly stopped what he was doing.
"Is that how you think of me, Katie," he questioned quietly, bowing his head which caused his blonde bangs to shadow his eyes.
I couldn't help but feel guilty. I hadn't exactly meant it to come out like that. You can't really blame me either since the guy does always act suspicious and…
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean it like that. It's just—"
"What's the fun if I cheated my way into this school," Kai suddenly interrupted in his usual manner. "I have better uses for it anyway. You see, over the past few years I've been at this school, I began gathering information about it. Information such as the teachers, students, school history, stuff like that…"
Slowly, as Kai told me this, a thought dawned upon me. If he were telling the truth and really only used the school database for information, that would mean he—
"You played me! You knew I would declare that bet against those two! You're just using me! I can't believe you!"
I had never felt so furious in my entire life. I was being played by his hands! The bastard planned this all along!
Kai faced me. He was no longer smiling; in fact, he looked completely serious, almost cold.
"You misjudge me again, Katie. While it is true I predicted something like this to happen, it's still you that decided upon this. I didn't do anything except tell you everything you needed to know about this school. It was you who made the decision to become a Color, and it was you who decided about this whole… war. I even told you in the beginning that being a Color will be hard but you never backed down." Kai paused, as if waiting for me to comment. Soon, he continued, "Back during the end of freshman year, I realized if someone wanted to stop this, they couldn't do it alone. Over that summer, I formulated a plan and figured out how to hack into the school's database. At the start of sophomore year, I began putting together all this information. So all I've really done was give you info on this school. You made all your own decisions."
Okay, so I was being judgmental and unfair. I'll admit that it was Iwho came up with this plan, but that also didn't mean that Kai never thought of its happening before this. He did mention to me the other day that he had an idea of what I was going to announce on the intercom even before I told him.
My anger ebbed, and I sighed again, "Geez, you really are some kind of genius.First participating and winning in all those competitions and then hacking into the school's database. What else can you do?"
Kai gave me a sly smile and replied, "That's for you to find out. Don't worry; I think you'll be rather glad that I'm on your side and not the other two. There're other reasons as to why I don't get harassed by the other two groups besides my grades and academicals achievements."
"Yeah, yeah. So what's your plan, Mr. Genius?"
Kai turned his attention back to the computer, typed a few more things, and faced me again.
"Okay, so there's a total of about, more or less, five hundred students in this school. That means we have to get at least three hundred of them before or by spring. Before I continue, have you tried joining any after school clubs and stuff?"
"Yeah, and it's really irritating too since I can't join track or cross country. They're all arrogant Black members too."
Kai nodded and continued, "Clubs and other activities are also divided. Basically, the Whites tend to lead and join clubs more in the academic area, while the Blacks are mostly into sports. This makes it easier for us since we balance each other out."
"So… you basically want me to convince the Blacks to join our side, while you'll cover the Whites?"
Uh-huh. That seems interesting and well enough. The only problem is how I'll be able to convince those Blacks to join. They're rather cocky, and I highly doubt they'll just join me, especially when they have a leader like Andrew. Damn, I have to deal with that hot-headed idiot too.
"How am I supposed to convince them though?" I asked.
"You can use whatever method you choose. You can challenge them into some sort of bet or game. It's actually easier to get them to join us than keeping them on our side, but we'll worry about that when it comes up," Kai answered, seemingly saying the last part more to himself than to me.
I could do that. I'm sure those guys' pride and dignity meant more to them than anything else so I can use that against them. That's right! I'll use their weaknesses and flaws to beat them! I could feel all the adrenaline and anticipation bursting into me already.
"All right, I'll do it tomorrow! I'll try out for the track team!" I uttered heatedly.
"But before you do, come here after you get your stuff."
"Because by this time tomorrow, I guarantee that the computer club will be on our side," the blonde-haired teen replied, smirking.
He was actually quite cute when he's not grinning like an idiot. Wait… what? Oh dear God, hell no, I did not just think that! Okay, I really need to get out of here. There's just so long I could stay in this school without its making me mentally insane.
"Fine, I'll see you tomorrow morning. Bye," I said rather quickly before stepping outside of the room.
I walked through the hallways until I reached the school's main entrance. As I did, I noticed a white-uniformed girl walking towards me from the other direction. I recognized her right away as Cassandra, the girl I had met on the first day in the office. Her curly reddish orange hair was tied back in a bun, making her seem imposing and professional. Then again, she was secretary of the student council.
"Hey, Katelyn, wait," she called out.
I was rather surprised that a White had addressed me by my name and not something rude. The girl stopped in front of me, giving me a smile.
"I just came to tell you that I'm really glad with everyone you're doing. I really hope all this could end."
Bam! Another surprise for me. I guess not everyone liked this whole Black and White system.
"Well, I hope everything will work out. Good luck."
She was about to leave the building when I asked, rather excitedly, "Are you going to become a Color? I bet if someone like you joined, then a lot would follow."
The girl didn't answer for a long time, and for a moment, I though she was going to leave, but then she answered quietly, "I'll see what I can do."
Then, without another word, she left. Seeing that I had no reason to stay any longer, I also left.
The next morning when my brother dropped me off at the school, I noticed that everyone was standing on two sides. You could call it the parting off the Red Sea, except it wasn't red or blue; instead, it was black and white. Big surprise there, eh? Anyway, I headed towards the main entrance of the school, ignoring the stares I received from the two sides, still wondering what the hell was going on. I stopped and turned around when I heard loud whispers among the group. I looked ahead and saw Saya shuffling timidly towards the school entrance. Much to my surprise, she wasn't wearing her usual white uniform; instead, she wore a pair of dark blue jeans and a red sweatshirt. Her dark hair was tied back in a high ponytail. Slowly, her lips curled into a smile as she saw me.
"I-I decided to become a Color and help you guys."
"That's great!" I answered ecstatically.
I grasped the door handle and was about to pull it open when it headed towards me. I let go just in time before it hit me in the face.
"Watch it! You could've hit my face," I shouted but then I saw it was Kai. "Oh, it's you."
"That's how you greet me?" the blonde-haired teen asked in feigned disappointment. "And I wouldn't go through this door if I were you. It's set with balloons again. Let's go from the back."
I didn't have any objections towards that. After all, I did experience that ordeal already, and I didn't need to again, thank you very much. It seemed as if Saya didn't want to either, so the two of us followed Kai towards the back entrance of the school.
"So what were you doing at school so early?" I asked.
"You'll see after school. Remember I told you to meet me in the computer lab."
"Yeah, I remember. And Saya decided to become a Color," I informed.
Kai's face brightened as he saw her, "That's great! Oh, and I made contracts."
Kai handed me a stack of papers about half an inch thick.
"What's it for? Do the people we recruit actually have to sign these or something?"
"Yeah, so we can keep track of everyone who's a Color, and they can't switch back."
"It's a good plan, but… not everyone here's gonna follow a piece of paper," I answered skeptically.
"Actually, Katelyn, you'd be surprised how many people there are in this school that actually don't like this whole black and white thing, so I'm sure most of the students will keep their word," Saya interrupted.
"She's right; the major problem is the twins. They're going to find ways to get everyone back on their side," Kai explained.
Just then, the bell sounded throughout the school. I hastily said bye to the two of them and dashed towards my locker. I got everything I needed and ran into my homeroom just seconds before the late bell rang.
Safe, I thought as I took my seat in the back. I glanced through the contracts that Kai had made. They actually looked like a real contract, and it was written, or rather typed, in a bold script, it read:
I, (Print full name), hereby declare myself as a Color, and will not perform any treasonous actions such as giving information to the enemy sides (a.k.a the Blacks and the Whites), switching sides, trying to sabotage the leader of the Colors, and a list of other misdeeds listed below:
1) All those mentioned above
2) Tossing paint or water filled balloons at anyone who is a Color, especially the Leader
3) Attacking anyone who is a Color (Attacking your own people is wrong!)
4) Killing another member (This one is serious. You could go to jail for it!)
5) Starting another war
6) Starting another side (Three is already enough. Do you want to create a Pink and Yellow group too?)
All these listed above are considered treasonous. Treason is a horrible act, and the punishment for treason is usually death (at least on a national scale). But do not worry, you will not face death since that would include killing another member (refer back to number four if needed).
Note that everything on here is one-hundred percent serious, and if you think of this as a joke, you shall suffer consequences.
Therefore, I have read all the terms and conditions of becoming a Color, and I shall abide by these rules. Below is my signature to prove so
(Insert signature here)
Wow, it sounded like… some sort of oath of loyalty used by the president or a ruler. I couldn't help my chuckle at some of the "misdeeds" and at the only part that didn't match everything else. I guessed it was the so-called "seal of agreement"; it was a giant grinning smiley face. Kai always had to add his eccentric "touch" to everything. Adjacent to it was a line for the person's signature.
As the morning announcements proceeded, I crammed the contracts into my folder and decided to plan my "attack" on the track team. I could challenge him to the five-hundred meter dash or any other type of sprint. I also have to make sure I convince him to let me join the track team since that's what I wanted since the beginning.
Ultimately, I decided I would bet him that I could run faster than him, and if I beat him, not only will he have to join the Colors, but he'll also let me join the team. At least, he better. I have to make sure I do my best and run like I did when I beat my last school's record.
All the students ignored me the whole day, as if I were a ghost or I never existed. I could say that I felt lonely and sad, but that would be a lie, because, truthfully, I could care less. Maybe if some of the students actually became my friends and then started ignoring me, I'd be really upset, but since Kai and Saya hung out with me during lunch and in periods I had with them, I didn't have a problem. Okay, so I did have one tiny problem. If everyone kept ignoring me, that meant I would have a harder time in recruiting more people to become Colors. Besides that, everything was relatively "normal" for this school's standards.
At the end of the day, to my surprise, Saya came to my locker. At first, I thought something went wrong, but it turned out Kai told her about meeting in the computer lab after school, and she wanted to come.
"He said I could come with you so I hope you don't mind if I do," the Asian girl said diffidently.
"That's no problem at all. Actually, it'll be really nice if you do."
With that said, and after I retrieved everything I needed, the two of us walked towards the computer lab. Kai was waiting by the door.
"Why are you waiting outside?" I inquired.
"Waiting for you two," he replied simply.
I peered through the glass window of the door and saw that a white-uniformed student occupied each computer station. Everyone was staring intently at the computer screen as if it were a bomb or something. A tall, auburn-haired student strode frantically through the aisles, his eyes filled with a look of horror. I assumed he was the president of the club.
"So, uh, what's the point of coming here? They look like a bunch of deer staring at a moving headlight." I asked.
"There's roughly thirty members in this club, and they're all Whites. If we were to… somehow convince… them to join our side, then that'll already give us thirty-three Colors, including ourselves."
"That's great! What are we waiting for then?"
"Your approval. You are the leader, you know," Kai answered.
"Why not? Let's get them!"
I suddenly felt an urge to open the door and march in front of all those computer geeks, and that's exactly what I did. I knocked loudly before I slammed open the door and walked in front of the class, with Kai and Saya following closely behind me. As soon as we did, the commotion inside the classroom halted and everyone stared at us. The flustered president came up to us and barked,
"Get outta here! We can't be bothered by the likes of you."
You know, what he said really pissed me off. I hated it when people think they are better than everyone else and tell people what to do, especially if that person was me!
"Look here you!" I shouted, "I—"
"We don't give a damn what you want. We want you and your friends to leave! Our current problem would be easier to solve if we didn't have a know-it-all girl who's naïve enough to think she can make a difference in this school!"
For some reason, I couldn't help but feel hurt by the comment. Why? Was it because I was called a know-it-all… or was it because I was being naïve for actually believing I could make a difference? I couldn't understand why what he'd said affected me so much, especially compared to the worse things people here have said to me. But I couldn't show that to these computer-absorbed nerds! Brushing the thought aside, I was about to retort something back when---
"Y-you guys! Why are you so into this whole Black and White thing? I though you always disagreed with… with the way everything went!" Saya suddenly shouted vehemently.
"You!" a red-haired male student, sitting in the back row, hissed. "You're worse than both of them for betraying the Whites!"
I was furious and ready to let hell break lose in the lab when Kai suddenly stood in front of Saya and me. His lips curled into a half smirk, half smile. I know, it sounds weird, but that's what it looked like to me. It was the same one he gave me in the computer lab yesterday.
"It appears you guys are having some… problems with the computers in this room," he stated rather softly.
The president sighed, clearly irritated, "Yes, apparently, some sort of virus got into one of the computers, and some idiot must've spread it to the others as well. All these problems, like pop-ups and spyware, have infected them. Goddammit, now would you people leave!"
I was getting really sick and tired of these rude students and was about to leave when Kai stopped me.
"So let's say if I were to… say, get rid of it, then what would you guys do?"
"What the hell are you talking about?!" another student suddenly interjected heatedly.
"I'll make this simple, if I were to get rid of this virus, then you guys have to become Colors," the blonde-haired boy declared as he held up the contracts. "However, if you guys choose not to, then we'll just be on our way. I'm sure one of you will eventually figure out how to get rid of it before it eats up all the computers' memory and data."
Okay, it's become pretty obvious to me now why Kai had been at school after it ended and in the morning. It's become obvious to me what he'd meant by "preparations", and God forbid, I hope I never get on this guy's bad side.
It took the computer nerds a minute to comprehend what Kai had said. And I thought these people were smart; I guess not all of them. Suddenly the same red-haired male sitting in the back row stood up in fury, "I'll report you to the principle!"
"If you think that's going to get me kicked out of the school, then think again. What I've done is nothing compared to everything else that happens here. And it's not as if he'll do anything. What has he done for the past four years about this whole thing? Absolutely nothing," Kai answered nonchalantly.
The redhead's face burned red with fury, but he didn't answer. Instead, he retrieved his belongings, got up and left. I glanced at Kai and saw that he wasn't a bit affected by it.
"Well, if you guys want to keep that bug in there, then I guess we have no business here. Let's go," he said shortly.
Saya and I stared at Kai in disbelief as he turned and was about to leave when, "Wait! We promise we'll become Colors if you get rid of the virus."
As Kai turned towards the class and took out the stack of contracts, I saw him give us a wink.
I have to admit, I didn't expect this guy to actually get the computer club to become Colors. So what if we missed one person (not to mention he was an ass), I was extremely satisfied with the results.
"Wow, that was amazing," Saya said softly to Kai.
"Why, thank you."
"I gotta agree. I can't believe that you actually did everything on purpose," I whispered.
Kai grinned, and I was expecting him to brag about it when he said, "Shouldn't you be getting to track? The meeting starts in five minutes. I have to stay behind and get the contracts. Oh, and deal with the virus."
With a quick nod and wave, I dashed out of the room, down the hallways, and outside towards the track field. The track field lay adjacent to the football and baseball field. All of the sports fields were located at the back end of the school. The brick-red track was shaped in a large oval where a green field grew in the center. Five white lines divided the width of the track into five equal sections. A number marked every few yards. Thirty-five students congregated in the far end of the track. I assumed that they were all Blacks, since they wore black t-shirts and shorts. The group consisted of mostly tall, lanky males, and two females, and the tallest one of them stood in the side. His light brown hair was cut really short, like military style short, and he had fair skin.
After comparing him to the rest of the group, I became convinced that he was the team captain, since everyone addressed him as such. I straightened myself up before marching up to the cluster of students. Ignoring all the bewildered looks, I faced the captain.
"You are the captain, right?" I asked.
"Yes, what do you want?" he asked in a civilized manner; at least it sounded like that to me.
"I would like to be part of the track team."
It was dead silent before the captain burst out laughing. He laughed so hard that he clutched his stomach. A few of the other students also followed his lead.
"You? Hahaha, you… want to be… part of the track team? Hahaha… and you… actually expect me to… hahaha… let you join! That is just hilarious," the track captain snickered, pointing at me in a derogatory way.
In any normal circumstance, or if it were one of those days (you know, that time of the month) I would burst a fuse. Instead, a smirk slowly crept onto my face.
"Then I challenge you and your top three runners to a one-lap race. If you refuse to accept, then I'll just assume you're afraid of losing to a girl!"
By this time, the captain laughed even harder, and more of students burst out laughing. I stood there and waited patiently for them to get all the laughter out of their system. When they did, the captain stood up and announced, "Fine, new girl! I'll accept your challenge, and then we'll all laugh at you when you lose! If you're ready, then let's go."
"Not yet, I have one more condition," I said as I reached into my bag and pulled out the stack of contracts. "If I win, not only will you have to allow me to join the team, but also, the team has to become Colors."
The entire team fell silent as they stared at the contracts. The captain frowned at my remark, and looked as if he was going to retort something, but I quickly interjected,
"You already accepted my challenge, and this is included in it. You just never heard everything before you and your team burst out laughing."
"Fine, as Captain of Lawrence High School's track team, I accept this challenge and all the conditions that follow. But don't get cocky, new girl! Our team is one of the top five in the state."
We both shook hands, and the captain selected three students from the group of thirty-five, one of which was a girl and two other guys. I'd already been wearing loose clothing so I walked up to the white start line as the other four did so as well. I bent down and got into running position.
I had to win. As the leader of the Colors, I cannot fail! I had to run my best!
I dashed off as soon as I heard the signal. Before long I passed the one-hundred yard line; the two-hundred, and I was still in the lead. I glanced at the right lane and saw that the captain was just a few feet behind. Ignoring the burning sensation that had arisen in my chest, I picked up my pace, and crossed the finish line. I leapt with joy as soon as I did so.
"What do you think, captain?" I asked rather smugly.
With a slightly irritated look on his face, he strode up to me after he passed the finish line. For a moment, I thought he was going to tell me to leave. Then without warning, he held out his hand.
"Welcome to the team, Katelyn," the captain declared, breaking a smile. "Name's Alan, now a Color."
I was in a state of utter ecstasy as I shook Alan's hand. Now I was part of the track team and got more people to become Colors! I guess people didn't all agree with the whole Black and White thing, though, I think I thought too fast.
"What are you talking about, Alan?! You know Andrew's gonna blow a fuse when he hears this!"
One of the top three runners had finally come up behind Alan and heard everything.
Okay, so I guess not everyone agreed with becoming a Color.
Alan spun around and faced the team, and declared clearly, "If any of you have a problem of becoming a Color, then feel free to leave, but I agreed with these terms, and I keep my word. Katelyn, give me a contract."
I handed him a contract and a pen, since he didn't have one. He gave it a cursory glance, frowning slightly at, what I presume to be, the list of misdeeds that couldn't be conducted. He took the pen, printed his name of the top line, and scribbled his signature at the bottom next to the smiley-face seal.
"Only one guy could've come up with this ridiculous list and that… smiley-face," he whispered to me in an amused tone, and handed it to me. "And I'd rather not have to deal with him."
Not wanting to upset their captain, the rest of the team each took a contract, read it, and signed it. By four o'clock, I had thirty-five contracts in my hand. Alan told me the team had practice every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and I was only allowed to miss one each week. Any more, and I'll get kicked off the team. Can you say strict? Practice was from three to whenever it gets dark, and school competitions were usually on Saturdays. Even though I was in for a busy schedule, I'm sure I could handle it.
As I walked home, I was glad that over sixty students agreed to become Colors without much opposition. It's just too bad it never crossed my mind how hard it would be to keep those thirty students from switching back to Blacks. Damn that Andrew.