When WW3 breaks out scientists from across the world come together. They select a handful of children to be sent to an island created to protect them and with only six adults they soon find that maybe this curse is a blessing in disguise
"I can't believe you're doing this." Max muttered angrily picking up the backpack.
"It's for your own safety." Her father preached as he had since the moment he'd told her of his plan.
"How is this for my own safety? I could just as well die here as I could in my own bedroom at home!"
Jeb Batchelder didn't try to appease his daughter any longer. He knew it was a lost cause; she was too stubborn to see that this really was the only way. Just like her mother. Max marched angrily off the plane, not turning to look back at her father who stood in the doorway, not leaving the small aircraft.
"When this is over I will take you home." He called after her in a last attempt but she didn't appear to hear him or at least she chose not to. He was going with the latter.
He sighed and raked a hand through his greying hair, the last few months had really taken their toll on him. There was the sound of another engine to his left and I peered out the door to see another plane landing right beside him. He watched as the door was thrown open and two children climbed out, their blond hair catching the light. Jeb smiled to himself. She's needed here, this was the right decision. He assured himself ducking back into the plane just as a third landed. He dropped down into the plush chair of his private jet and shut his eyes. It was hard having to let her go but he knew this really was her only chance. It wasn't easy for him but it was better and that was all that counted.
Fuelled by her anger Max didn't turn to look back as the plane took off again or to find out who the others were, she just followed the boarded walkway all the way up the hill to the house. It sat on the edge of the mountain looking out over the north beach. If you walked down a flight of winding stairs it led you right down onto the beach. The house itself was massive and made mostly out of glass and the little bit of panelling visible was wood. A wide deck surrounded the expanse of glass and several staircases led down to the garden. Max snorted at the sight, she would have admired the beauty of it had she not just been dumped on an island in the middle of nowhere with no way to contact the outside world. She gripped her backpack tighter and glared murderously at the house. This was her new home where she would stay until her father saw it fit for her to return home once the war was over. Like that's ever going to happen. She sneered to herself trudging up the stairs to the deck. She could hear movement from her left but she barely paid it any attention, she just wanted to find her room and lock herself in it for the next however-long she was going to be there.
"Upstairs second door to the right." Max heard a woman call from behind her.
She bristled but otherwise didn't give any indication that she'd heard the woman speak. She was very good at ignoring people she'd had lots of practice the last few weeks.
Max followed the woman's directions and marched into a spacious bedroom painted in a warm cream with a four-poster bed made of dark wood in the centre. There was a walk in closet along one wall and an en suit along another. The front wall however was made entirely of glass with long light brown curtains pulled to the sides.
She threw her backpack into a corner and dropped onto the bed. It was annoyingly comfy.
A few minutes later there was banging outside and then another door slammed shut followed promptly by another three.
Max climbed off the bed to dig in her backpack for her I-pod and plopped back on the bed turning up the volume as loud as it could go.
She must have fallen asleep because when she came round everything was dark. She sat up with a start, her earphones falling out in the process. Her eyes darted around the room and she took a deep breath when the memories came flooding back. She got up to pull the curtains open realising then that someone must have come in to close them at some point. Too sleepy to be irritated about the intrusion she opened the sliding doors to let in the cool ocean breeze. She took a deep breath and stepped out onto the balcony, just listening to the waves crashing against the shore.
She heard a board creak and her head snapped over to a silhouetted figure leaning against the railing.
Must be one of the other unfortunate saps stuck out here. She thought before retreating back into her room. She was in no mood to talk to anyone let alone one of the nine other kids that had been chosen.
It was almost midday. Max supposed she should leave the room to locate some food but she knew without a doubt that that meant she would run in to at least a few of the other kids, something she was hoping to avoid for as long as possible. She paced around her room trying hard to ignore the gnawing and growling of her empty stomach.
"Shut up!" She hissed when her stomach gave a very loud growl.
"Uhm, sorry?" Someone squeaked with an accent Max had never heard before.
Max spun around taking in the girl standing with a tray by the open door. She was about a head short than Max with cocoa skin and her frizzy brown hair tied back in a pony which didn't seem to be doing much.
Taking in Max's intense glare the girl stuttered out quickly, "I thought you would...uh…be hungry?" She ended it like a question but Max didn't say anything in return.
Shifting uncomfortably the girl placed the tray piled with bacon, eggs and toast on top of the desk and offered a smile, "I'm Nudge." She said with a little more confidence.
"Nice to meet you, Max." Nudge chimed very pleased with getting a name. "Everyone's downstairs, do you want to come? This place is pretty amazing. They have everything!"
Nudge's cheerfulness confused Max, how could someone be so happy after being taken away from their friends and family to be shoved onto an island no one's ever heard about? She didn't however want to upset Nudge who was now looking hopefully at her and grudgingly agreed. "Yeah, sure."
Nudge grinned and nodded excitement coming off of her in waves. "Brilliant!"
"I'll be down in a minute." Max told her and Nudge nodded and left the room.
Shaking her head Max decided it would be best to have a shower and change into some different clothes. Her suitcases were still packed and shoved under her bed so she pulled the biggest one out and dug through her things until she found a pair of comfortable jeans and an old dark blue shirt.
She took a deep breath and opened the bathroom door muttering to herself as she took in the wide expanse of white tiles. A slipper bath was on one corner and a large walk in shower across from that. There was a cupboard filled with fluffy white towels and robes and all sorts of scented soaps and bubbles.
Picking the plainest of the lot she ran the bath and sunk into the scorching water. She let the bath ease out all the aches from the flight yesterday and all the tension remaining.
Once she was good and pruned she wrapped herself in one of the soft white towels quickly getting changed into her clothes. She'd possibly taken about half an hour and if she wasn't quick Nudge would no doubt come up to see if everything was alright. Max pulled her dirty blond hair into a messy bun as she walked out her room and to the winding staircase in the centre. Noise drifted up from the first floor which sounded oddly like a T.V. and laughing.
Now she was curious. When she reached the bottom of the staircase she stood there looking around, trying to decide which way to go. her dilemma was solved however when a woman walked out of what she guessed was the kitchen with two bowls of popcorn.
"Hello Max, I was wondering how long it would take for you to get curious." She laughed walking up to Max, "Would you be a dear and take these into the game room? It's right down there." The woman pointed towards the room behind Max to the right and Max wordlessly took the popcorn, still a little shocked. The woman turned back towards the kitchen leaving Max by the stairs.
With a sigh Max made her way to the game room as instructed and stopped in the doorway. The room was filled with all sorts of game from table tennis to a corner devoted to video games. The rest of the kids were dotted around the room, a strawberry blond boy was furiously pulling the trigger of a gun for a video game with another blond boy who was about half his age.
Across the room seated in a bean bag was a fiery redhead bobbing her head to the music playing from the stereo and flipping through a style magazine. Nudge was playing dolls with a little blond girl who looked like the blond boy playing video games and was sitting in the lap of a dark haired girl and another boy was sitting by one of the glass walls tapping away at a laptop.
Nudge noticed Max and jumped up, "Hey Max! Oooh! Popcorn!" She gasped skipping over to grab one of the bowls.
"Someone say popcorn?" The strawberry blond spun around, eyes locked on the bowl Max was holding.
The little blond boy jumped up and ran over to take it, his blue eyes sparkling. "Thank you!" He gasped with a thick German accent. He went back to his seat and the Strawberry blond instantly dove for the bowl.
Nudge rolled her eyes at them and smiled at Max, "Since they're all so rude I'll do the introductions." She placed the bowl on the table tennis and put her hands on her hips, "those two are Iggy and Gazzy, Iggy's from America like you and Gazzy's from Germany if you didn't notice the accent. That's his sister, Angel." Nudge pointed to the blond girl playing with the dolls, "And Ella's playing with Ange, she's Spanish and over there's Lisa, she's from Ireland. That's Dylan, he's from England" She gestured to the boy on the laptop and then another brunette Max hadn't noticed standing outside, "and that's Sam, he's Irish like Lisa." Nudge finally stopped and grinned proudly not even noticing Max's agape mouth.
How did she do that without breathing? Max wondered.
There was a laugh from the video games and Iggy put down his gun to lean on the back of the chair, "Been here all of a day and I still don't know the answer to that." He said to Max making her realise she'd said her thoughts out loud.
"Isn't there supposed to be another one?" Max enquired, "My dad said there were ten of us and there's only nine here."
Nudge pouted and looked a little upset.
Iggy again spoke, "Fang's upstairs but he isn't the most social of people."
"He'll come around, just like Max did." The woman from the kitchen came in then holding another two bowls of popcorn, "I'm sorry I didn't introduce myself earlier, Max." She apologised handing the bowls to Nudge, "I'm Dr Valencia Martinez,"
The name rang a bell, Max thought she'd heard her dad tell her something about the woman but she couldn't remember what, she'd been busy ignoring him at the time.
"I'll be looking after you all while we're here."
It was much more relaxed after that, Iggy invited Max to join the game he and Gazzy were playing and Max proudly beat them both.
Iggy threw his gun down dramatically and flopped down on the couch, "how did you do that! No one kills me!" He whined childishly.
Max chuckled and pointed the gun at him "Bang."
He gasped and clutched his chest, rolling around on the couch until he rolled a little too far and ended up on the floor. That only made Gazzy and Max laugh harder and it even made Lisa and Dylan look up from what they were doing.
It was at about five that Dr M as Max had decided to call her came back into the game room, "Dinner's ready." She announced and she'd barely gotten the words out before all the boys including Same who'd drifted back into the room and was playing table tennis with Nudge shot out as if their lives depended on it.
The girls followed at a slower pace until the room was empty except for Max and Dr M.
"Would you mind bringing Fang down to dinner?" Dr M asked as they walked to the kitchen, "The boy needs to eat some time."
"Sure, I'll bring him down."
Dr M gave Max another smile before hurrying to the dining room, "Boys! Don't you touch that roast!" She yelled ahead of her and Max heard a collective groan from the table.
Max only realised when she was upstairs looking from door to door that she didn't actually know which room was Fang's or if he was even in his room. For all she knew he'd run away already.
She finally decided to just choose a door and hope it was his. She picked the door beside hers and cautiously opened it. To her surprise she didn't walk into a room but rather a large library, the walls lined with books from floor to ceiling in every direction.
The lights were on and Max realised there was someone sitting on one of the plush chairs dotted around the room.
He didn't look up when she entered the room and cleared her throat but just kept reading.
"As much as I see you're enjoying your time being a mole dinners ready so if I were you I'd get downstairs and eat something." She snapped when a further five minutes later he hadn't move an inch. Her patience gone she didn't wait for him to reply and left him upstairs. She'd just sat down at the dining room table when he appeared at the bottom of the stairs.
"Un-frickin-believable." Iggy chuckled stuffing another forkful of pork in his mouth.
"What?" Max asked as Fang came over to the table.
"You go up once and bring him down, Nudge has been trying since seven this morning."
Dr M gave Max an approving look, "It's nice of you to join us, Fang." She said kindly.
He nodded to show he'd heard her and sat in the only available chair between Max and Dylan.
Dinner was much more eventful than it was at home, Max noted when Iggy flung a spoonful of mashed potatoes at Sam who in return smacking him in the face with a piece of pork. Of course this turned into a full out food fight which by the end everyone except Fang was laughing so hard their sides hurt. Even Dr M was amused by their antics but Fang just quietly finished his food and left effectively ending everyone's laughter.
"Remind me again why they chose him?" Lisa muttered smoothing out her shirt.
"He has every right to be here, Lisa. This is a big change, give him some time." Ella lectured, her Spanish accent standing out because she was upset.
Lisa rolled her eyes at Ella, "Whatever." And then she left.
The table was covered by a silence until Max felt a tug on her sleeve. She looked down to find Angel smiling shyly up at her.
"Wanna see my bear?" She enquired innocently.
"Yes." Max smiled back at the little girl who brought a bear dressed in an Angel outfit from under the table.
"This is Celeste." She giggled and Max took the bear's paw, "Nice to meet you Celeste."
Pleased with Max's reaction Angel jumped off her chair and grabbed Max's hand. "Come?"
Max didn't bother denying her and let her lead her up the stairs. Angel tugged open a door to what Max guessed was her room but she stopped when she noticed none other than Fang sitting on the bed reading.
This should be interesting…
Hiiii! Well, this is my new story (Duh!) so tell me what you thought! It'll be up on a trial basis so if I get a good response in the form of reviews (Hint hint) and alerts then I'll continue but if not…i think you get the drift ;-)
can we try for 10 reviews?
The sequel to Without my soldier will be up within the next two weeks hopefully but no promises.
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