Chapter 3:

Chapter 3: Piano Music


The hallway was cool and uninviting. Everything was made of steel. In fact, one would be shocked to see the decrepit, rundown room he was just in, existed on the other side of a hallway like this one. The door closed down and he heard a lock click. The doors were automatic. Things were starting to make sense.

“This way please,” Kensia said. Michael found her to be rather cute in her mannerisms and way of speaking. Then he remembered why he was there.

“Focus Focus,” he said to himself. Kensia led Michael down a curved hallway for what seemed like forever. The same shining metal hallway was just continuing on and on. He did take note to count the number of doors that he passed. “13…14…15…16…,” he internally noted. Then, when his number counting had reached twenty three, Kensia stopped.

“Thank you for following all the instructions properly. This is where you will now eat breakfast. Someone will arrive to pick you up at 8:00 sharp, so please, do be ready. A feast has been laid out for you. Don’t hold back in eating to your heart’s content.”

Michael had one question, “This morning I was given a pill, and I was told by Lark that it will nourish my body for three days. I’m not particularly hungry. Is that normal?”

Kensia seemed to be processing what he had just asked. She blinked twice and then responded, “Yes. Don’t worry about a thing. You will still be able to eat. Now, please enter. This is where you will now eat breakfast. Someone will arrive to pick you up at 8:00 sharp, so please, do be ready. A feast has been laid out for you. Don’t hold back in eating to your heart’s content.”

“Huh?” Michael reacted. “Didn’t you just say that?” However, Michael was already in the room and the door was closing behind him.

“Please enjoy your meal,” Kensia chirped. The door closed and as it was, Michael caught a gleam of something white on the wall behind Kensia. He made a mental note to check it out when he left the room. He turned around and, truly, there was a feast laid out for him. His mouth was now watering. He almost could not believe how much food there was considering he had been on such a meager diet for the past few days. Breads, fruits, salads, meats, casseroles, soufflés, and desserts lined the table in front of him. A single plate was provided, so he set to gorging himself on all of the food.

“It would be a shame not to enjoy this feast that has been set out before me,” Michael said. It was all so delicious and he was having a great time savoring every single bite. After he had eaten his fill, Michael glanced up at a clock on the wall, and it indicated that it was already 7:47am. Michael was quite full but he decided to let himself enjoy one final thing. He was sure that he could find it here among the array of the dishes. He searched and searched until he found them; cream puffs.

They were such a light, yet satisfying, finale to a meal that he was sure was going to not be able to enjoy for a long time. He sat back in his chair and not a minute too soon. It was now 7:59am. He breathed a sigh of content and then suddenly there was another knock at the door. He stood up and gathered his things, being sure to grab a few cream puffs, and slid them into his backpack for a snack when everything was finished later today.

Kensia stepped into the room, curtsied again, and blinking twice, she said, “How was your meal? Fulfilling I hope. Are you ready?”

“Yes I am,” Michael responded.

“Then please follow me,” Kensia said. Michael stepped out of the room and into the hallway again. He remembered that he had seen something behind Kensia when he stepped into this room originally. He searched for it.

“Where is it? Where is it… Hmm…,” he thought. Then he spotted it. He didn’t even realize how he could have missed it. It was a beautiful alabaster statue of what looked like a deity from the planet of the ancient Greeks. Their planet had been dead for a long time.

“Dead planet number five. Who was this? Hermes? Hera? Apollo? An angel? Better yet, why…, why was this statue in this hallway of metal?” It stood out like a sore thumb, and even if this hallway had been darkly lit, it still would have been easily seen.

Kensia turned to him, “I’m sure you’re aware of the rules yes?” “That I am,” he responded. She curtsied again and started to lead the way.

Michael had considered trying to count the doors again, but then again, “I probably won’t be coming back,” he thought.

Moving forward down the dimly lit hall, a faint piano tune reached his ears. It was extremely ominous and with each step he took forward, the notes would climb up and down. It was as if he could see the player’s hands gently sliding over the keys. As he moved forward, the tune began to crescendo. They walked by countless doors and Michael had given up. The piano music was now thundering down the halls, almost deafening. Just when he was beginning to wonder if there was a plot to make him deaf before the big event, Kensia stopped in front of him. She turned around and said, “Thank you for following all the rules and not requiring me to restrain you.

“Huh? Was restraint needed on a frequent basis? What is going on?” Michael thought.

She continued, “Through this door you will meet your teammates. You have one hour to talk amongst yourselves and get to know each other. When that hour has expired, we will be coming along to guide you to the next part. When that does happen, you will go to the preparation area. There, you will prepare to proceed to the stage for the sphere selection process. During this next hour, you may do whatever you would like within this room. You will find forms on the table within the room that every member needs to sign. On those forms, you can indicate how you wish to govern within your group as well. That is the only requirement. However, there is one warning. While any action is permissible, should a teammate die in this room, all of the planets of this team’s members will instantly be disqualified from this race of regeneration. These losing planets will then contribute along with the losing planets of the race, to the regeneration of the winning teams.

“Yeouch. They are not messing with this race. Wait no- forget that, she just said all of this in one breath! Is this girl for real? “ he asked himself.

"Now then, I hope that you will enjoy your stay within this room,” Kensia said. She blinked twice, waved her hand in front of the door, and it opened. Michael noted another alabaster statue across from the door. A flash of white wings was all that he caught as he turned to face the doorway. Michael stepped in the room hoping that his teammates were not just friendly, but that the room was also somewhat comfortable. Past experiences indicated that this would be the case, so he naturally assumed this room would follow suit. It did not.