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Kyle and Preston are ready for the Final Test while I lag behind still putting on my shoes. I'm always last but not today, of all days. We have the Final Test today and my stomach feels like it's plummeting from all this stress. One of the Elders will finally give me and the guys the last portion of knowledge to reach the status of Mark Bearer. The ceremony starts at our houses by getting dressed. All our outfits are the deepest richest color of that color. My outfit is blue, Kyle's is green, and Preston's is purple.
The second part of the ceremony starts once we reach the first Elder, Elder Markum. The third and final part of the ceremony happens at the Tri-Table Temple. Our ancestors, the last Mark Bearers, left specific journals just for us to read and use after the Final Test. The lives that we live have been preparing us for this, so why is the pressure of having everything right making my heart race and hands shake? I cannot mess this up or no I just cannot even think about that.
There are five Elders: Madellaneen (Ma-del-la-neen), Markum, Myelatin (My-la-tin), Mula, and Mukara (Muh-kara). They formed the council 3 decades ago after strict orders from the last Mark Bearers. The Elders knew we were the next Mark Bearers because of our eye color, it matches perfectly with our outfits, an important detail from the journals that they have been looking out for.
Racing for the door I check myself in the mirror one last time to make sure my flowy pants and shirt are perfect. My eyes dart at the time on the right corner, 1:34pm. With one last fix, I head out racing down my street with fast footsteps. I can see my best friends waiting for me at the gravity tracks. Kyle is leaning on the wall reading over our guidelines and Preston is looking at his watch. Slowing down I relax my breathing and fix my long wavy auburn hair before walking to where my friends are.
"Hey, guys!" I say with a toothy smile showing my gap.
Kyle doesn't even glance up from his guideline book, he just fixes his glasses before saying in a singsongy tone. "You're late, again."
"Hi to you too, Kyle." I say rolling my eyes.
Preston fixes his dark brown hair then turns to me. "Hey, Layla." He gives me a hug and hands me my guideline book that I definitely did not study, oops. Thanking him I glance over the very important stuff, sticking it to memory.
The track still hasn't lit up to indicate an approaching G-Train. I tap my foot nervously on the concrete station floor. Preston glances at his watch, someone waves at us on the street. It appears to be an Elder with a G-Car.
As we approach the person my sight proves me right, the person is an Elder.
"Sorry for the last-minute adjustment, we will be going to the ceremony in the council G-Car." We all nod before entering. Elder Markum goes in the other section then pushes a silence button so we can't hear them. The ride is not far but the time seems to pass terribly slow, as we arrive the people that usually roam the streets are all in lines waiting to be seated to view the ceremony.
Preston exits then me then Kyle. We walk up the long staircase as rehearsed, one behind the other. The doors are opened and the Elder puts in a code to open the hidden wall entrance. We are seated at a triangular table with our seats marked by color. The Elder leaves us to start the ceremony as it gets broadcasted to the public. This is it, we are going to become Mark Bearers and there is no going back.
All three of us get our items left for us by the last Mark Bearers. Preston brings out a Forest pen, it can open portals and create objects from food to beds to trees. Kyle brings out Retina implants, these enhance what the person is seeing and can change the way the person is viewing things such as seeing through things, locating specific details, or reading through information faster. I hesitate to bring out mine for a second, Preston and Kyle look at me to bring out my item. I bring out a Locator locket, it can find anything that is put into the locket and even show answers once spoken into.
The table has slots that fit all of the items perfectly, one by one we place them down. A metallic clink sounds and our chairs move closer to the table. Two slots sink in for hands with a hot metal branding pad. My hands hurt just from looking at it so I look up at the guys to see if they are nervous too. Preston and Kyle have focused faces to anyone who doesn’t know them but I can see that they’re a little nervous. I go first to stop the anticipation. A horrific wave of pain runs from my hand to my back to my legs. I wince from the hot contact with the metal but I have to wait until Preston and Kyle place their hands down.
Kyle is next then Preston, both of them share a silent wince. All of us remove our hands looking at the swollen red marks, the size of a doorknob, on our palms. Now it is time to start the energy transfer. Grabbing hands, we put our fresh marks together and talk in unison.
“Fresh wounds, fresh marks, and a fresh start
We have but one soul and one heart
As one we ask for you to let your energy flow through
Your spirits, your knowledge, your power