A/N- Remember! The Roleplaying forum is listed uner the M.G. Haddix section in "Forums" and "Books." It's the one labeled "Shadow children Chatroom." We are welcoming new members! Come join the hidden!

She didn't want to cry in front of Buck, but she did anyways. She bit her sleeve to keep her sobs muffled. What seemed like an hour later, Buck had driven the cruiser into what seemed to be a headquarters for the population police. A large chain-wire fence enclosed a large, scary looking building with cement walls and almost no windows. Becky looked out the window onto the desolate landscape of dead grass that surrounded the gray building.

"We're here." She mumbled under her breath. Buck turned around to see face to face with Becky. She noticed that Buck was an old man. He had gray hair curled around his face. His eyes were a cold blue and his nose was scrawny. The look on his face frightened Becky. Would this be the last face she would see? She didn't want to think about that. She felt emotionally drained. All she wanted to do was run up to her mother and hug her tightly, never letting go. But this was reality. She was a third child and she had been caught. She felt like a small child, being disciplined for something she was blamed for, but didn't commit.

The squad car dove just outside a pair of glass double doors emblazoned with the population police logo. A logo that sent chills down Becky's spine. In a few seconds, two men came out in the navy blue police officer uniforms that most of the police that she had seen wear. Becky bit her lip. One man was young, about in his twenties; the other was pretty young and had black wavy hair and a black mustache. Both officers had on thick black sunglasses that hid most of there face. Becky was thrust out of the cruiser and into handcuffs. She hated the way they rubbed her wrists. The clinging metal objects that hung on her wrists were the least of her problems. All she could focus on was where she was being led. The two officers were behind her, shoving her into one confusing hallway after another. The hallways were lined with white steel doors with a small wired in window at the top. She noticed that some doors had different colored door hangers on them. Most were red. The walls were of a white brick that hurt Becky's eyes when she stared at them. The top and bottom of the walls were lined with metal. Finally, the officers stopped in front of a white door. For the first time, Becky realized that each door had a tiny number on the top. The door they had stopped in front of was marked, 'B624.' This door had a red door hanger on the handle. Becky had many questions, considering that no one had even bothered to talk to her, she was very confused. She was shoved into the room behind door B624, and thrust into darkness.

"You stay here until we confirm your sentence, you may stay here for days, and the length of time is still unconfirmed. Any questions?" One of the officers said. He spoke to her with aggression. Becky had many questions, but the only thing that she could think of was, "Well, aren't you gonna take of the handcuffs?" The man grunted and slammed the door shut. Becky felt tears start to form in her eyes. She refused to cry. She wiped her tears away and started to push herself into the far corner of the dark room, feeling her way through the darkness. As she scooted toward the corner, she heard movement in the other corner of the room. Suddenly, she heard someone speak.

"I wouldn't go there if I was you." The voice sounded of a boy. She was startled by this ominous voice. She realized that she could faintly see a shadow of what looked to be a thirteen-year-old boy huddled into the opposite corner. Becky's voice quavered.

"Wh-who's there?" The shadow crawled over to Becky. She could see the boy clearly now. He had a thin, hungry looking face and shaggy blond hair. His clothes were just tattered rags. The boy looked at her with deep blue eyes. Becky looked away. "So are you another third child to?" She asked quietly.

"Yes," the boy answered, "Yes I am."

The door swung open and a man tossed a bag into the dark room. Becky's eyes looked up wearily. She had been asleep for what seemed like days. She suddenly forgot where she was. Then, it all came back to her. The population police had caught her. She had been confined in this dark cellar. Groggily, she crawled toward the bag that the man had tossed to them. The man had just left.

"Oh, great! Food!" The boy she had met said. Becky suddenly realized how hungry she was. As the boy spilled the contents of the bag, Becky's appetite left her. A few measly pieces of bread and some moldy looking butter were all that the bag contained. The boy looked down, disappointedly at the food.

"We may as well eat it, you never know when they might feed us." He said. The boy started dividing the meal while Becky watched him carefully, making sure that she didn't get less than he did.

"So, what's your name?" Becky asked. The boy looked up. "Well, I guess you could call me Roy." He answered uncomfortably. "What do you mean that I 'could call you'?" Becky asked. Roy looked at Becky, his deep blue eyes searing into her like a knife. "Can I trust you?" He asked. Becky nodded. Roy lowered his voice to a whisper.

"You see my real name is Quincy. When I was eleven, my cousin died. He looked almost exactly like me. So my parents, I guess talked about the idea of me taking on my cousins' name, so I could come out of hiding." His voice cracked. "My aunt and uncle agreed to my parents idea, my uncle, not so much. A few days later, I was turned in. betrayed by my own uncle." Roy handed Becky two slices of bread. Becky gratefully chewed on the stale bread. Roy leaned against the wall.

"So, what's your story?" He asked. Becky told him the whole story. After she had told him what had happened to her, they ate there meal in silence. Once Becky was done, she glared at Roy.

"So what do you think there gonna do to us?" Becky asked, even though she already knew the answer. Roy sat up.

"Well, they might kill us. Either that or recruit us to work with them." Becky would rather die than work for her enemies. A few years ago, her sisters had been told that policemen were good people. She got pretty confused when her mom pulled her to the side and told her that policemen were bad and that she should stay away from them. Becky never understood why her mother had told her this. But now, none of that mattered.

"So, how long have you been here?" Becky asked Roy, trying to make conversation. Roy twiddled his thumbs.

"Well, its kind of become hard to keep track. I mean, it feels like a week, but it could easily be two weeks. There are no windows. The only events I can tell from are when they feed us."

Becky began to grow worried. She really didn't know Roy, but he was all she had to keep her company. Just then, the door slammed open. A gruff man huffed into the room and yanked Roy up from where he was sitting.

"Ouch!" Roy moaned, as the man took a tight hold of his arm. Before Becky could do so much as blink, he quickly dragged Roy out of the room, slamming the door behind him. Becky whimpered in fear. She knew for a fact that Roy's time was up. It had happened so fast.

Becky realized for the first time that she was alone. This was a battle she had to fight on her own. She made a pact with herself that day that she would not back down to the population police easily. She would fight for her dignity, for Roy, for all the third children's freedom.

--

Later, maybe a few hours after Roy had been yanked out of the room, Becky was given a sack of stale bread. She nibbled half-heartedly on the food. As the days went by, (or at least it felt like days) Becky just sat and stared lifelessly at the door. Leaning against the wall, she waited. Her plan was that if one of the men came to bring her food, she would dash out the door before the man could blink. So the first time a man came to bring her food, she kneeled into a racing position. As the door opened, she froze as she noticed a gun on the man's belt. After that, her plan was never put into action.

As she sat in that dark cell, just waiting, she thought. She thought about Roy, the boy who had been unexpectedly whisked away. Becky prayed that he wasn't dead. She thought about her mother and sisters. What were they thinking of her? Did they think she was dead? Do they know that she's still alive? Why couldn't she be with them one last time? To hug them, to smell her mother's perfume once again. To wave goodbye. Becky had missed all these valuable moments in the time she had been caught.

Thanks to the population police, Becky was whisked away before she even got to speak to her family one last time. As Becky thought about this, she didn't get sad she got mad. All of her fear, sadness, hunger, and loss of love was all bottled up inside her. She wanted to let it all out. She screamed, she kicked, she cried. She kicked the door that engulfed her in darkness; she tore at her already ragged clothing. She pulled her messed up hair. Her face turned red from anger. Her temper tantrums started becoming a habit. She vented her anger this way.

Almost every 12 hours, she would randomly kick up a fit. Sometimes it was for no good reason, other times, she had a reason. One day, when a guard came in to give her food, Becky, out of anger, clamped her hands around his leg and bit her teeth into his leg. The guard screeched in pain as he shook off Becky. She made a promise to herself that next time he came, she would bite harder.