AN: To those who read this chapter before my apologies, but I think this is a better start for how I want the mood and direction of this story to go. Enjoy!

Chapter One

I tensed, looking around the large gymnasium full of people, and wanted to do nothing but run. Today was the day everyone feared yet couldn't escape. I flinched as someone's shoulder brushed against mine and quickly looked around, trying to spot the soldiers. They were the ones who would choose. What people were being chosen for no one knew. All we knew is that no one who was chosen ever came back.

The government said it was an honor to be chosen and some were foolish enough to believe it was true. Some prayed to the gods hoping that the soldiers would come and take them away to a better life. I personally was content being a penniless college student. I didn't trust the government and I definitely didn't trust the soldiers. I wasn't sure what it was they were doing with the people they took, but I was sure it wasn't anything good.

I gripped my black messenger bag as I saw a flash of white out of the corner of my eye and couldn't help but take a few small steps away. Only soldiers were allowed to wear white anymore and I was trying my best not to be spotted.

I heard a strange noise behind me and before I could turn to see what it was I was laying on the ground with a heavy weight on my back. I felt a brief wetness on my neck before the weight left my back and I was yanked up. I came face-to-face with exactly what I didn't want to see; a seven foot soldier in his full white uniform staring at me with his unnatural orange eyes. I heard the strange noise again and spotted what must be the largest white dog I'd ever seen. He was beautiful.

"Name," commanded the soldier, his grip tightening on my arm as he began to walk towards the exit. I stumbled and said, "Aedan Carr."

The solider nodded, repeating my name to the soldier at the door, and we headed for a large white semi truck. I blinked, trying to understand what was happening. They couldn't really be choosing me, could they? I tried thinking of a reason the government would want me, but came up with a blank. My grades were average, I didn't play any sports, and I wasn't anything stunning to look at. What did they need me for? I stopped then and slowly backpedaled. The soldier looked back at me and I felt a sharp pain spike through my body before my body began convulsing. I watched helplessly as the soldier and the dog approached me. The dog gave a low whine, pacing around me while the solider removed the barbs from the taser and picked me up. My body continued with little uncontrollable twitches as the soldier walked up the ramp onto the back to the semi and handcuffed me to the side wall. I slid to the floor as the soldier released me and glanced around me. There was a young girl with pretty blue eyes and messy red hair, crying only a few feet away from me. On the opposite side of the semi there was a balding old man who looked about fifty. I expected the soldiers to bring in more people, but after waiting for another half hour a soldier came and shut the door.

The darkness was unnerving and I jumped every time I heard the girl sob. I wanted to comfort her, tell her it would be alright, but when I opened my mouth the words just wouldn't come. I didn't know where we were going or what they were going to do to us. I guess I just couldn't handle giving her a false sense of hope. All I could do was not make it worse. I had my own fears.

I wasn't sure how long we were in the back of the semi truck, but it seemed like hours. I took a slow, deep breath of air, trying to think of how to escape. Was it even possible to escape from soldiers? Since birth they were trained to handle people like me and I definitely wasn't a fighter. Maybe it was better to try and escape later? I wasn't sure, but the semi had stopped and soldiers rushed in.

I tensed, backing up against the wall. There were so many soldiers for just three of us that I wasn't sure what to do or where to look. I felt the handcuffs drop off my wrists and instantly two soldiers grabbed me. I was dragged out of the semi so quickly I couldn't even get my feet moving and watched as we approached a large, white three story building. I looked around the area quickly, but all I saw were trees, lots and lots of trees. Where were we?

As we neared the building I noticed other semi trucks and a long line of people being herded inside. That's when I realized that if I went in there I wasn't coming out. I dug my feet into the ground and started to back away. My strength was nothing against two soldiers and they simply picked me up high enough that my feet no longer touched the ground. Not one to give up I threw my weight forward, surprising one of the soldiers enough that he released my arm. I began running the moment my feet touched the ground, but was yanked back by the grip the second soldier had on my arm. I yelped as his grip tightened painful and watched as the first soldier approached me.

The soldier looked me over and backhanded me. "Bad."

I cringed at the pain and the soldier regained his grip on my arm. We continued our walk to the building and I was roughly pushed into the line. I went to run again, but others were quickly pushed in line behind me and before I knew it I was being pushed down the line. People were everywhere I turned and before I could figure out the best way to go I was at the entrance.

I cursed as a soldier grabbed a handful of my thick brown hair and pulled me down a small white hallway. I gripped the soldier's hand, attempting to pry his fingers away. The soldier simply gave my head a quick shake and pushed me into another room.

I was handcuffed to a chair with a needle in my arm before I even knew what was happening. I tried to jerk away as I saw my blood begin to fill the needle, but the cuffs were too tight.

"Name Aedan Carr. Brown hair, green eyes, about 5' 10. Now subject 17256," said another soldier, casually circling me. My head was jerked back and I saw a man in a navy blue uniform approach with me with a tattoo gun. The man pulled down my lower eyelid and brought the tattoo gun to my face. I hissed as the needle bit into my skin, but kept still. The last thing I wanted was the man to slip and gorge out my eye.

Thankfully the man didn't take long and after smearing some sort of gel on the tattoo he left. My head was released and the cuffs unlocked. I got up on my own this time before I was led out of the room and down the white hall. We went down a couple flights of stairs and I was taken to a small metal cell. I glanced around looking at the surprisingly plush bed in the corner along with a tiny stall that held a toilet and sink. To my left was a blonde girl who looked about my age and to my right was a brunette boy who couldn't be any older than seven. There was screaming and crying from other cells, but I just sat on my bed. What were they going to do with all of us?