I gape in astonishment. While most of the citizens in our sectors are very thin and fit, the man standing before us is incredibly fat. His cheeks sag almost to his shoulders and his triple chin ruins what could have been a well shaped feature. His nose is much to far up his forehead and is very straight and pointed and his eyes are very close together with heavy eyelids that gave the impression of a sloth. His stomach protrudes out almost two feet and his arms are very short and fat. His fingers have many ugly rings on them, which make his already chubby fingers look even worse. You can barely see his legs and his feet are huge. While his face shines with youth and glamour, the wrinkles on his forehead say otherwise and the huge bald spot on his head make him look rather like a bowling ball. On the back of his head, there is hair the color of straw. I suppose he must have been quite handsome, once, but living in Apollo City must have changed him beyond recognition.
“Well, well, well!” The fat man rubs his chubby fingers together. “Let me welcome you to Apollo City! I am the mayor of this fine place, Reginald Glennings. Now your time will be spent mostly in this fine facility. I would assume you all know what you are here for?” The audience nodded and a few managed a small “yes”.
“Good,” the man grins. “Now, you will be subjected to testing and training over the next year. You will be tested on agility, creativity, looks, sociality, and intelligence. After the testing has been completed, anyone who has not achieved high scores on any of the tests will be sent away-permanently. As for what happens after training… that comes later.” His chubby face spreads into an evil leer. “Now, these wonderful young men, will escort you to your rooms.” The man left and the men stormed down the aisles.
“Two to a room!” they yell to us. Thalia and I clutch each other tightly.
“You two!” a man calls to us. We come forward and he forcibly pushes us towards the exit doors. He ushers us to one of the several metallic doors. However, instead of pushing them open, he presses a button with an upward arrow. The doors part smoothly to reveal a small room with many buttons along the wall. Again the man presses a button, this one marked 103. The room jerks upward so fast, an average person would have been thrown to the floor. But with all of our training, we manage to stay upright. The man looks vaguely surprised and made a note.
“What are your names?” he barks at us.
“I’m Thalia,” Thalia says confidently in her light, silvery voice.
“A.J.,” I say, just as boldly, only my voice is a few tones deeper, thus having a more impressive effect on the man. He looked rather taken aback, but wrote our names on the pad.
The silver doors open once more and he ushers us out quickly. We come out into a long corridor full of light and many doors. After walking for awhile, he stops us at a door. The purple and yellow plaque reads “Room 3167”. I commit the number to memory. The man takes out a short, thin, purple card and runs it over a small black device under the door handle. A little light turns green and the door clicks and the man pushes it open.
Inside is a room, the size of my old hut. It has a large couch the color of cream and a glass table with white legs that have long black rectangular things on it. There is a large black panel in front of the couch. The two armchairs match the couch which have fluffy white pillows. The floor is polished wood with a pretty white rug underneath the table. There is a long window behind the couch. The man leads us into another room, this one holding two beds larger than that of my old bedroom with white sheets and cream colored pillows that look as though they had real feathers in them. The headboard is a light, stained wood with little shelves. Inside yet another room is a double sink (which are unheard of where I live) a pure white toilet with a tall thing with a white curtain and a bathtub that is attached to the floor. On a shelf above the toilet are two sets of towels, washcloths, and smaller towels and on the sink, there are toothbrushes that look as though they were attached to something and white bars of soap. In another room off the bathroom are two closets, which hold about four of the same outfits; purple with small green stripes, skin-tight water proof outfit and a jacket of the same material, color, and style with tall boots the same colors and style. Along with those are skinny jeans, jeans whose ends flared at the bottom; shirts tight, shirts loose, shirts long sleeved and not. And we each have pretty accessories which included purple and green headbands. The man leaves us in the first room, leaving the card he had used to enter on the table.
“A.J.,” Thalia says to me. “Do you think… that we might get to live here?”
“I think we do,” I say slowly, setting down my suitcase. Something crackled over our heads.
“Please dress in the standard Apollo Training Facility uniform and come downstairs in 60 minutes to the dining room on the fourth floor where dinner will be served,” a pretty female voice instructed.
“I suppose we should do what she said,” I say. After bathing (it took a little before we figured out the tall glass thing) Thalia and I head into the closets and close the doors. I pull out the short sleeved water suit. When I had put it on, it was much too big for me. What? I thought. I feel all over the waterproof fabric, and as I do, my hand brushes on the strange symbol on the center of the top part of my outfit. It instantly shrinks to fit me perfectly. I suppose the boots do the same thing, as they are also far too big for me. I was right. I pull on the jacket which also shrinks, but without help from me. I put on the headband and zip up my jacket. I turn and look at my reflection. I do believe I look quite dashing. I step out at the same time as Thalia. She looks very pretty in the outfit, I must say. She has pulled her hair up into a high ponytail along with the headband. I take out my precious locket before going into the couch room.
“I think these cards let us into our rooms,” Thalia told me.
“I think so too,” I respond. I pick it up and slide it deftly into my pocket.