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When we reach the Data Retrieval Center, I push open the door and enter. A few other teenagers are waiting, talking and laughing. They are ignorant of the woman before them. A few people follow us in. The door closes with a soft click.
"I am Mrs. Omlo. This is the Data Retrieval Center. At each computer," she gestures to the computers lining the far wall, on a long table "you will answer all the questions truthfully. You will be hooked to a lie-detector, so if you try lying, you will be punished." Mrs. Omlo's skin looks much too tight, as if it were meant for someone smaller then her. Her hair is in a neat bun, and she glares over reflective glasses at us.
"Uh, Mrs. Omelette," A boy raises his hand. His red hair is dark and shining, and his green eyes are keen.
"Mrs. Omlo, boy." She snaps.
Almost everyone but the woman bursts out laughing. The boy smirks. "What if we don't know the answer?"
Mrs. Omlo chuckles, but the sound is harsh, not joyous or happy like the earlier laughter. "Oh, you will. What's your name, boy?"
"Hm." She sniffs, turning away. "Begin."
We grab computers, and everyone falls into a hush. There is no sound except breathing and typing.
I find a seat between Finnick and a dark-skinned girl with her black hair in cornrows. The test begins.
The first question is a toughy. My name.
I type it in.
Next. "Date of birth."
My fingers fly over the keyboard, spelling out "November twenty-fourth."
"Siblings." Why do these questions have to be so hard?
Ryde and Skylark Rinzer.
Ven and Elera Rinzer.
"Favorite color." Huh?
Swimming, hiking. I try to think of more, but typing in "stealing from government officials at night" doesn't seem too smart. I don't type "singing" either. It's not really a hobby anymore, though. Just a talent. Besides, only a few friends have ever heard me sing. Not my mother. Not even Mayson.
"That is all for today. Please wait for further direction."
I sit back, shooting a look at Finnick. He catches my eye and smiles slightly. He winks. I turn away, trying to decide whether to blush or throw up.
"Finished yet?" Mrs. Omlo asks.
I realize she's talking to me and turn. "No. My computer's lying." I say sarcastically. Finnick snorts, and a few others laugh.
"Alright, missy." She glowers at me. "You're leaving last today."
"Do I get a time-out, too?" I ask.
She fumes. "Class. Dismissed."
I'm first out the door. I swear I see smoke pouring from her ears.
"Lunch!" Someone yells.
"Already?" I wonder.
The girl I'd been sitting beside calls me. I look back. "Ranelle!" I cry, hugging her and laughing. "I couldn't recognize you!" I say, smiling.
Li ncoln joins us, and we walk to the dining hall. I forget Mayson for the time being. All I can think about is who's in front of me.