Evolved- Chapter 1


Haley Knacker worked her way through the crowd that enveloped the projection of the Nano-Medicine test scores for this years graduating class. Her gold hair was pulled into a tight bun and her slick cloths hugged her skin tightly. Anyone else may have struggled in the tall black boots she wore, but Haley pushed her way through the crowd effortlessly as she made her way up to the front. The students parted, sensing the authority radiating off of the girl, though Haley was in no real position of power.

Her green eyes were blank and bold, as if the ceiling could crash down and she wouldn’t even blink. Even Haley herself wasn’t completely aware of the breath she had been holding since she stepped through the front doors.

This was the test that would determine her fate. It would decide if she could pursue her dream job, or if she would be assigned a lower class job that the system chose for her. Even Haley, as sure of herself as anyone could be, feared the results. She couldn’t let herself be swept away by mediocrity, but there was no redo. No second chance. It was all or nothing.

The reactions of the people around her ranged from extreme joy to unreserved sobbing. Haley wrinkled her nose at the sound of a girl crying in hallway behind her. Showing that much weakness in public would mortify her, but she had to wonder, how would she react if she had failed?

Haley did her best to ignore the weeping girl as she began scanning the numbers: 5992…5993… until she found her  designation, 5994. She ran her long thin finger along the dotted line and let out an extended breath. A seventy-five. She could work with that.

The air seemed to lighten, and a fog disappeared from the world around her. Since she entered, Haley had been only vaguely aware of the low panicked whispers that had embodied the small room, but now a single conversation caught her attention.

 “That’s not possible…” it was a short brunette whom she didn’t recognize. A thin line of mascara had stained her cheek, marring her brilliant outfit. 

“Someone got a Ninety-nine?”  Her friend said in disbelief. “Maybe they made a mistake in the scoring?” She said almost hopefully.

“They never make a mistake…” The brunette responded quietly.

Haley’s eyes narrowed. The two girls must have misread the score, but as Haley scanned the projection, she saw the same thing they had, square in the middle of the screen. 9044…..99.

It was impossible, but there it wasin black and white. Rathom University had a new prodigy. Only one other person had ever come close to that score in the history of the school. Joseph Kenneth. He had been a graduate of the 2055 class, but had dropped off the map ten years ago. Even so, he had only scored a ninety-five.

Haley heard the chimes from the old bell tower in the distance and the sound shook away her thoughts. Her internship interview was in a half hour and she needed to run if she was going to make it on time.

She turned too quickly and slammed into a frowning brown haired boy. He wore faded blue jeans that matched his eyes and a loose t-shirt. The school had a strict dress code and this boy was violating it in all kinds of ways.

 He looked up at the projection and his frown deepened as he took in his evidently low score. What did he expect? Haley couldn’t help the thought. This was the hardest of all the graduate school entrance exams and by the look of this boy; he probably didn’t take it seriously.

“Sorry” he muttered, but he didn’t take his eyes from the screen, and he made no effort to move aside. Haley didn’t respond as she pushed her way through the doors.


Josh Peterson sighed as he stuffed his hands into the pockets of his blue jeans. He had been afraid this would happen. He checked and rechecked his score until he was sure it was his. He hadn’t thought he could have scored that high even without the questions he had purposefully answered incorrectly. But here he was, standing in the middle of a group of Nano-Medical School hopefuls and he was the subject of their gossip. Thankfully, no one knew that 9044 was his designation and he was able to slip out of the building unnoticed, save for the tall, stiff blonde who had run into him earlier.

Josh had only made it halfway down the courtyard sidewalk before another person slammed into him.

This time he recognized the tall boy in a suit and tie wearing a mischievous smile.

“Howdy Josh.” The boy said playfully in an overdone country drawl.

“Hey Pete.” Josh responded in his much milder natural accent.

Unlike Josh, Pete was pre-law and had already received his scores for the LSAT. Pete was the stereotypical pre-law student and now with his own high-ranking test scores he would be a stereotypical lawyer too. In fact, the only thing unconventional about Pete was his friendship with Josh. They were an unlikely duo, but somehow the match worked.

“So how’d you do?” Pete asked, reverting to his normal accent.

Josh sighed and met his friend’s eyes. For a moment he considered lying, but thought better of it. Pete had a knack for picking out lies from a conversation.

“That bad?” Pete asked, surprisingly misreading his friend’s troubled expression.

“No…that good.”

“What do you mean?” he asked cocking his head to the side.

“I scored a ninety-nine.” Josh said slowly. He had a bad taste in his mouth as if even mentioning his score was potent.

“You’re pulling my leg.”

“I’m dead serious.”

“That’s not normal, right? The NMT…scoring that high…well that’s impossible.”

“It’s supposed to be…”

“What are you, a guardian?” A huge smile lit up Pete’s face, but Josh cringed at the term the public used to refer to the genetically engineered super soldiers that the US government apparently had holed up in some secret military base. They were inhuman freaks. Oddities. Mutants. Pete knew that. Everyone knew that. What he didn’t know, however, was that Josh really was one of them.


Well, sort of.

 A couple decades back, a few people with paranormal abilities started popping up across the globe. Naturally, the scientific community was curious, and began trying to replicate the unusual genes in soldiers. They were successful, but soon, the natural born paranormals disappeared…until Josh was born, but no one knew about him and he wanted to keep it that way.

Josh looked down at his hands. It had been so long since he had used his abilities, and he missed the high it used to give him, but he had his own reasons for putting them aside.

“Earth to Josh…” Pete shook his shoulder, and Josh snapped out of his train of thought. “You know, you do that a lot.”

“Do what?” Josh asked.

“You zone out. It’s like your not really here sometimes. Ill try not to take it personally,” he said smiling. “So what’s on your mind?”

“I don’t know. I guess I don’t really know where to go from here.”

“Well we could go to lunch…” Pete mused, his own unique humor always lightening the conversation.

“You know what I mean.” Josh replied.

“You shouldn’t even be thinking about that. Your future is pretty much mapped out for you now.”

Josh sighed. That’s what he was afraid of.

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Short Story
Science Fiction
writing OstensiblyAwsome
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Rating: 10.0/10

Haley Knacker just aced the test she had been preparing for her entire life. Now that she has everything she has ever wanted, a single boy makes her question her future. Who is Josh Peterson, and why is he the only person not thrilled about passing the exam?
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