Independent Study: The Testing, Book 2

By Joelle Charbonneau

In the sequence debut The Testing, sixteen-year-old Cia Vale was once selected by way of the United Commonwealth executive as the most effective and brightest graduates of the entire colonies . . . a promising chief within the attempt to revitalize postwar civilization. In Independent Study, Cia is a freshman on the collage in Tosu urban together with her place of origin sweetheart, Tomas—and although the govt has attempted to erase her reminiscence of the brutal horrors of The trying out, Cia recalls. Her makes an attempt to reveal the grotesque fact in the back of the government’s murderous courses positioned her—and her enjoyed ones—in a global of probability. however the way forward for the Commonwealth will depend on her.

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She screamed while she noticed me and ran from me. I must have allow her cross. She may have lived if I hadn’t given chase. ” ache shadows Tomas’s face. Guilt weaves via his halting phrases. “But I needed to see if she used to be very well. I knew you’d wish me to. ” The phrases slap my center. “She wasn’t regular on her ft, so it wasn’t tough to trap up. whilst I did, she knotted up and bit until eventually i eventually made her comprehend who i used to be and i wasn’t going to harm her. I by no means intended to harm her. ” Tomas’s face is faded. His eyes jam-packed with grief. “She was once so relieved eventually to discover anyone she might belief. Then Will seemed, and Zandri went loopy. She lunged at Will, and he driven her again and yelled at her to forestall. yet she didn’t. She accused him of sabotaging their crew within the 3rd try out after which begun shouting at me. Seeing me with Will should have scared her. She acknowledged that I couldn’t be trusted—that nobody could—and attacked. She had a stick that was once sharpened to some extent. “She stuck Will within the part, and he punched her challenging around the mouth. all at once, I had my knife in my hand. She should have idea i used to be going to take advantage of it on her. or perhaps she wasn’t considering in any respect. I don’t be aware of, simply because I didn’t concentrate on her. i used to be too busy yelling at Will. looking at him pull out his gun. I threatened him with my knife. He laughed, which made me even angrier. i used to be happy I had an excuse to harm him. I didn’t be aware of i'll be at liberty on the considered inflicting a person discomfort. I don’t be aware of why I listened to him whilst he yelled for me to observe out. yet I did, and that i grew to become. ” Tomas seems down at his arms. “The knife punched via her belly. i will nonetheless consider her blood because it tired her existence throughout my palms. the subsequent factor I knew, Will was once assisting me lay her at the flooring and he or she was once long gone. ” There are tears on Tomas’s cheeks. My palms soreness to arrive for him, to assuage the soreness and grieve with him for the lack of our good friend. yet I don’t know the way to go the divide our secrets and techniques have outfitted among us. “Will grabbed Zandri’s canteen. I took the bracelet off her bag. We buried her in a dry riverbed. ” He wipes the tears from his face and shakes his head. “I’ve replayed it 100 instances in my brain. If just one factor had long gone another way. If I hadn’t taken out my knife. If Will hadn’t seemed whilst he did or yelled for me to show. in the event you hadn’t left Will and me alone—” Disbelief steals my breath. “This is my fault? ” “I don’t comprehend. ” Anger and guilt simmer in each observe. Tomas may possibly say he doesn’t recognize, yet I do. i will be able to see the accusation. The bitterness. The harm. Tomas is indignant. indignant he took a lifestyles. indignant he was once installed the placement to take action. as a result of me. yet whereas my option to belief Will was once unsuitable, i used to be to not blame. Dr. Barnes and The checking out officers positioned us on that patch of cracked earth. Tomas allowed his frustration with Will to boil over. He allow his feelings get the simplest of him and drew his weapon. he'll need to dwell with that. a few of what I’m considering needs to exhibit on my face simply because Tomas reaches out his hand and steps towards me.

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