Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Nexus

So in class we are reading the book Divergent written by Veronica Roth. For our assignment we had to create our own faction ( in Divergent, when you turn 16 you pick a faction to live in and you never see your family again if you pick a different faction than the one you grew up in. Faction before blood). Anyway my faction was called Nexus. Nexus is Latin for connection and is what I was basing my faction on. Here is a poem I wrote about my faction.


What is to come of us when we are dead and gone?
We go our life divided by these chains we call our home
they separate us by choices we make
and those by we did not
If you were faced with a decision how will you decide?
with bravery or honesty
with peacefulness or selflessness
with intelligence or none?
These chains start to tighten
pulling you into binds you cannot escape
Thoughts and speculations explode in your mind
how will you be free?
Separate our people and this is what you get
the world collapsing in on itself
from rumours and suspicion
factions divided us
now we must connect again
all you need is the chance to choose
for you a different life
for when you are connected anything can happen

Sunday, 1 December 2013

The Game

For Health in school this term we covered the Circle of Courage and for our final project I wrote a short stories for each of  the four quadrants. This is my story on mastery, and if you also notice is a prequel to Sin.


The Game

Waking up in a red room with no way out is not how I usually like to start my day. This however is Dominatus and you have a one in ten chance of being chosen for The Game. I guess I was that one.
The Game is a series of challenges set to find the perfect human. Once you have completed The Game Dominatus will take your blood and make clones exactly like you. So far everyone who has woken up in this room has died. I stand up and look at my surroundings. Wow they really do like the colour red, there are red walls, read floors, red ceiling, red table, red chairs...wait chairs? As in plural, there are two chairs, there is only meant to be one. What is going on? As soon as I asked myself that question a hatch opened in the ceiling and two men, who are also wearing red, lower a girl into the room. Well this is different. As soon as the men dropped the girl on the ground they left and the hatch shut. I walk over to her and see if she is alright. I bend down and look her over. She is beautiful, I mean there is good looking girls and then there is her. Her hair is long, blonde and braided over one shoulder with a flower holding the braid in place. Her face is sharp and prominent, yet is probably as smooth as silk. She is wearing a grey t-shirt with a peace sign on it, a pair of shorts that go down to her knees, and a pair of shoes that look like they have been worn every single day for the past year. That may turn a few guys away but that is exactly what I want in a girl. A girl who doesn’t care about what she looks like or if she is following all the latest fashion trends, a girl who is different. Ha that’s going to be hard to find in a world full of clones once they find the right person.
“Excuse me but can you please stop staring at me?” While I was daydreaming about her she must have woke up.
“ Oh yeah sorry, just checking if you were all right.” I tried to act cool but I could clearly see that was not working.
“Well as you can see I am perfectly fine. Now can you move so I can stand up please?” I move away from her but I still make sure I am close to her. Okay time to begin the small talk.
“ My name is Adam Aetas by the way.”
“I’m Eve Winters, so we’re in The Game huh?”
“Yes, but I don’t know why we’re both in the same game though.”
“ It’s the 100th episode of The Game so this must be their way of celebrating, ‘lets kill two teenagers instead of one’  they are some messed up bunch of freaks.”
“Hey but with both of us here we might win” I say optimistically. As soon as I said that a countdown started to begin indicating that we only have ten seconds to compose ourselves until The Game will broadcast live in over sixty countries. Three,two,one.
“Welcome to The Game. You have been selected by the citizens of Dominatus to participate in the largest broadcasted game show in the Bodes Galaxy. You will compete in a number of challenges to win your freedom. If you do not succeed you will die. Good Luck and lets hope you become the masters of The Game.“
The first challenge is always riddles, my strong point. I don’t know how well Eve is at riddles though, I hope she is because what happens if there is a riddle I don’t understand?As Eve and I sit down at the table a red box drops down from a hatch on the ceiling. We open it up and inside is a piece of paper with three different riddles. I read the first riddle out loud.
“I cannot be seen; I cannot be felt. I cannot be heard; I cannot be smelt. I lie behind stars and under hills, empty holes I fill. I come first and follow after, I end life and kill laughter. What am I?” Oh crap, this is going to be harder than I initially thought.

“What?! How hard is this challenge meant to be? No one can guess that!”
“Okay lets just think of this logically” I say trying to reassure her. “There must be an answer otherwise they won’t have included it in The Game.”
“Okay, hmm, I lie behind stars…” We both think quietly for a second but I realise the countdown for the first riddle is almost up. We have to think of something otherwise all I’ll be seeing for the rest of my life is complete Darkness. Wait that’s it!
“ It’s darkness! You can’t see, feel, touch, hear or smell darkness, it lies behind the stars and under hills, empty holes it fills. It has to be darkness there is nothing else that would fit.
“Well write it down then!” I quickly grab the piece of paper and write darkness on the piece of paper. all of a sudden the room turns green telling us we got the answer right.
After that we flew through the riddle section, the mathematics one too. Then the science, art, history, general knowledge when we finally came to the last section of The Game. This section is so hard they don’t even have a name for it. Only one other person has reached this far in The Game and they failed. What if we fail too?
“What do you think it is going to be?” In all my worries I totally forgot Eve was here.
“I don’t know, it could be anything.”
“Lets hope we can do it then.”
“Remind me to ask you out on a date if we survive this” I say all to confidently
“Remind me to reject your offer and put you down with some really awesome one liner if we live through this.” Wow was not expecting that.
The next box lowered down from the hatch and inside was...absolutely nothing. What are we meant to do? there is a five minute timer about to start and we can do absolutely nothing to save ourselves from being killed. I want to destroy The Game and I want to destroy whoever’s sick mind came up with this stupid idea of entertainment. I turn to Eve, she has tears running down her face. I have to do something about this. I cannot just stand by and watch as Eve cries. Then it hits me, we have already got everything we need to master the game. The boxes. You see usually they get rid of the boxes after each round but this time they didn’t, I didn’t that much about it before but now I understand their purpose. I tell Eve that everything is going to be okay and that we will live through this but I need her help with the boxes. We begin piling the boxes up on top of the table once we have place them all and made sure they are stable we start to climb them. Once we reached the top I quickly looked at the time. Only two minutes left. I looked up to the ceiling and saw the faint outline of the hatch. I push my hand on the hatch and voilĂ ! The hatch opens, we beat The Game! I let Eve climb out first then I quickly scramble out. We are the masters of The Game!
The next few months seemed to fly by, Eve and I became CEO and Chairman of the Eden Project, everywhere around us was clones of ourselves and Eve actually agreed to go out on a date with me. Eve and I mastered The Game, what will you master?

Written By Grace Franks






The Officer With The Bread

For Health in school this term we covered the Circle of Courage and for our final project I wrote a short stories for each of  the four quadrants. This is my story on generosity.


The Officer With The Bread

Sacrifice. What did you think of when you heard that word? Did you think of giving up something you just can’t live without, or losing someone you love for the sake of something else? Maybe sacrifice doesn’t need to mean that. What if it can be just giving something up you can live without and getting something better in return. My name is Alex and this is the story of my savior.
The year was 1943 and I was living in Auschwitz-Birkenau Extermination Camp. I was Jewish and you know what that meant. I wasn’t an officer or guard. I was a prisoner.The Gestapo had taken us from our homes threw us into a truck and then we ended up here. Everyday was the same, We were woken at 5:00am and then an SS Officer did a head count. We then went and dug graves. Graves for our bodies to be put in when we eventually die. Lunch was broth or even just warm water in a small metal tin. After lunch we went to work making ammunition for the Nazi’s. Dinner was a slice of bread. Sundays were the best because on your slice of bread for dinner you got a thin slice of margarine on it. The officers were so cruel to us. I first came in here with my mother and father, and my little sister. My father and I got separated from my mother and sister when we first arrived, My father then got sent to the showers one afternoon and never came back. They say that was where the gas chambers were. I never got to say goodbye.
Three months past and I was a scraggly boy who was just all skin and bones. My once shiny hair was dirty, shaved, and full of lice. I was so sick I could barely eat my soup  at lunch. That was when the SS Officers loaded us all onto trucks like cattle then sent us to another camp. Sachsenhausen. After four months of torturous labour at Sachsenhausen they decided to move us again.By this time I was used to being thrown into trucks. We were sent to Dachau a concentration camp closer to the border of Austria. I spent only two months at this camp before the camp officials decided it was time to pack up and leave. They told us to march, so that is what we did.
This is when my savior comes in. It was an unlikely sort of savior, not the one that will stand out in history books, just a man who quietly saved my life. As I said before sacrifice doesn’t need to mean giving up something you can’t live without, but offering something  of little value to you but of great to another and in the end receiving a substantial gift in return. Around one thousand men and women were walking the death march with me, and about two hundred of them died from starvation or illness. Another fifty were killed by officers for not being able to keep up with the group. Once we were finally able to stop for rest officers came round with water. After they gave us a miniscule amount of water the officers got out some food for themselves and mocked us as they ate, all but one. As we were packing up, getting ready to start marching again I felt something being pressed into my hand, it was a slice of bread. I  looked up and saw an officer staring down at me. Why would he do this? While everyone was busy I quickly ran round the corner of a truck and stuffed the peice of bread into my mouth, it was delicious.
That peice of bread gave me the energy to finish the march, and gave me the energy to think of a plan when it comes to the time of killing us all. I decided to fake my death. When we finally reached our destination we were flocked into a group and the officers started shooting. In all the commotion  I managed to slither my way into the middle of the group hidden from the bullets by hundreds of other people. Then when the group started getting smaller I purposely got myself shot in the arm so it looked like I had been killed by a bullet. Then I just fell to the ground, just like what I planned. Just when I thought the shooting will never stop I took a risky look and realised that everyone who was once standing beside me was fallen on the ground whimpering their final words. I saw the guards come over and check if everyone was dead. I held my breath for as long as I could but i finally had to breath. What a mistake that was, someone noticed and came over. I am going to die, I thought to myself. I didn’t though, because the same man that gave me the bread was the man who came over to check if I was still alive. He lifted his index finger to his lip then just walked away. He saved my life. Again.
So there it is, my story of sacrifice and generosity. Well not really my story. Yes, I told the story but it is really the officer with the bread who made this story possible. Without him I wouldn’t be alive. I would be in a mass grave surrounded by fellow Jews. I thank that man for sacrificing his bread for me and I thank him for the generosity he had to even give me that bread in the first place. In return that man was saved as well. When the Nazi’s were finally defeated and Hitler surrendered he was taken into custody for the crimes he had committed. The only reason he had lived was because all of the people he had secretly saved had come and stood up for him, telling people of all the things he has done to save us. I was there of course pleading my case to the court making sure that the man who saved my life did not die wrongly. We won the case and he was a free man. I speak to him often, learning about his brother that fell in love with a jewish girl and in return was shot in the skull by the gestapo. I also found out that my mother and sister both died in the concentration camps. They were transferred from Auschwitz all the way to Bergen-Belsen where they died of typhus two days before the camp was liberated. Life may have many obstacles but sometimes you find someone to help you climb over them.  The officer with the bread was my savior who is yours?



Written By Grace Franks

Finding Alice

For Health in school this term we covered the Circle of Courage and for our final project I wrote a short stories for each of  the four quadrants. This is my story on belonging.

Finding Alice

I wake up to the sound of my alarm clock. The sound drills through my skull until I can take it no longer. I slam my fist down and then sigh at the peaceful sound of quiet. Another day of school, another day of the popular girls making my day a living hell, another day of therapy, but also a day where he will come and save me.
Life at Hillsdale High School for mentally unstable teenagers is anything but normal. There are thirteen year olds that throw fits, sixteen year olds that cry uncontrollably, everyone here has a different problem, and then there is me. I am normal, I must be. There is no way I should be in a place for crazy people. What I saw was real, yet no one believes me.  When I was thirteen I fell down a hole in the ground. I was playing hide and seek with my friends in the park when it all happened. At first the hole was only big enough to fit a rabbit, but then it grew. It grew so large that it sucked me up and I fell into another world.(This is usually the time when people start to understand why I am in a place for unstable teens.) Along my journey I met a little white rabbit. this rabbit didn’t talk, but used hand gestures to talk, and for some reason had a fob watch attached to his fur, and was always indicating that I was late.  I followed this rabbit to a man’s house. This man lived in a hat (yeah an actual hat) and drank tea all day long. He was as mad as some of the people at my school and forgot what he was saying every ten minutes. The Mad Hatter I called him. Along the way I met a grinning cat, a caterpillar that smokes, a queen with a real addiction to the colour red, a pair of twins with serious issues,  and came close to losing my life every single day. It may sound like a nightmare, but it was the one place I really felt like I belong.
“good morning Alice” Mr. Grover says to me as I walk into my first class of the day.
“Hello Mr. Grover, how are you today” I saw politely just like my teachers tell me to do.
“I am well, how has your therapy been going?”
“Very well, they say I may be able to leave soon once I forget Wonderland.”
“Well I hope you do. Maybe you will be able to carry on with your life once you forget.”
“ I hope so too.” I give a quick smile then run off into my classroom. There is no way I am going to forget. I just have to do what I have been doing since I first came here, lie. I sit down in my desk and take out my pencil and notebook and start to draw. They say drawing is a good way to get out what you are feeling. I don’t draw what I am feeling though because I know my therapists look at this, and if they see anything related to wonderland I will be denied my right to leave. I don’t belong here, I belong in wonderland. Wonderland is where my friends are, where the adventure is, where my life is.
The bell rings signaling class is over and I start to head outside, when I see a white blur outside. He’s here, right on time. I quickly run outside, my eyes darting around the school grounds trying to pinpoint his location. I scan the area near the side of the school that backs into a forest and I catch a glimpse of him jumping down a hole. I start into a sprint and race for the trees. I cannot be late because  he hates it when I am late. I finally reach the hole and look down into it. The hole was only big enough to fit a rabbit, well that was until it began to grow. Once the hole was finally big enough for me to fit through I jump. Everything goes black and I cannot see a thing. Suddenly I could see again. I was lying on a black and white tile floor, and was surrounded by doors. Standing right by the smallest door was the rabbit.
You’re late, yet again. Great Rabbit is making hand gestures again.
“ It’s nice to know you haven’t changed a bit Rabbit.” I saw a bit too sarcastically.
Here is where you make your decision, you can either go back to your normal world or you can stay in Wonderland forever. You will be saying goodbye to everyone you love if you decide to come with me. Choose your door Alice.
The rabbit points at two doors. One has overgrown vines tangled all over it and the other is...wait, its exactly the same. How does he want me to make my decision if both doors are the same?! “Rabbit stop messing with me give me the real doors to pick from!”
I am not messing with you Alice, these are the real doors. They may look the same but the door to the world you truly belong in will show itself to you in one way or another. Look harder Alice.
I study the first door noticing nothing unusual about it, I turn to the second door and examine it as well. I can’t find anything. I am starting to get frustrated when right in the left hand corner is a tiny blue caterpillar making smoke rings with his pipe! The red Queen is there, looking as red as ever, and whats that beside her? For some reason I want to call it a Jabberwocky.
“Rabbit I pick this door.” With that I reach out my hand grab the door knob and twist it. I push the door open and I walk into Wonderland. I know now that not only do I belong in Wonderland, but Wonderland belongs with me. While I was away Wonderland was in turmoil, everything was dying and the red queen had so much power. Now that I am here though things will change. As soon as I stepped through that door things began to grow again, and I knew how to defeat the queen for good this time. I belong in wonderland, where do you belong?

From the Original Ideas of Lewis Carroll
Written by Grace Franks




Download

For Health in school this term we covered the Circle of Courage and for our final project I wrote a short stories for each of  the four quadrants. This is my story on Independence.


Download

The year is 2187, the government rules and we follow the them like sheep. I am Rebelletrix Dux and I am sixteen years old. I live in Imperium, a city run by the government and we have no independence. In fairytales I have read about times where people had the right to vote and to decide what to do with their lives, the government doesn’t determine everyone’s every move. That is what I want, but instead we have Imperium. When you come of age the army comes to your home and shoves you into a white truck. From there they take you to some secret location no one is meant to know about and...well I don’t know what happens next, but I will soon. My coming of age celebration is tomorrow and the truck will come for the day after next. Most people are scared, anxious, worried etc. I however, am excited. This is where my plan finally comes into action. I have no mother or father like people do in the fairytales, I live with a Robot controlled to look after me. Everyone in Imperium does, because the oldest anyone ever gets in Imperium is sixteen then they are taken away. I don’t know where all the adults are, maybe they are still alive, living in a different city, maybe they don’t even know about us. Maybe they already have kids and we are just the rejects. Wherever they are, I am going to find them.
I just finished my shift at Impers fish shop when a white truck pulls up in front of me. This can’t be right they are meant to come for me in two days, not now! Two Robots open the door and try to grab me. No way are they going to take me away, not without a fight. just as they are about to grab me I shove out my foot and kick them down. I then jump on top of the first one and smash his face in. sparks fly out from broken wires and the robot starts to malfunction. I only have a few seconds before it blows up. I quickly dive towards the truck and hide behind it. BOOM! The robot explodes destroying the other Robot with it. This is my chance I only have a five minute gap before reinforcements come. I run over to the Robot that has taken less damage and insert a flash drive I stole from the school library that has been hidden in my shoe, into a slot in his head. Immediately the flash drive starts downloading all the information from the robots brain. If you think that I didn’t just suddenly decided to attack, but  have been practicing for this moment for years, well then you’re right. Ever since I was old enough to walk Genitrix, my Robot, has taught me all I needed to know about Imperium. Genitrix malfunctioned when I was just born. She started to develop emotions and with all of the information in her head about what Imperium was doing and how wrong it was she decided to fight back. Of course one Robot can’t go up against a city by itself, but Genitrix knew  that a human could. Genitrix has trained me in all areas, whether it is hacking a computer or killing a human, I am ready.
Download complete please remove flash drive. As soon as I removed it I saw another truck turn round the corner. This time I wont fight, I got what I came for so now I just need to pretend to be a good little citizen like everyone else in this godforsaken city. Genitrix would have been proud of me. The laws of Imperium say that if your Robot malfunctions they are to be disabled and incinerated. Genetrix was good at hiding her glitches but one day while she was out buying groceries for my fifteenth birthday party she glitched. It was so sudden that she could not hide it. One of the Robots walking past saw her and reported it to the authorities. She was disabled the very next day. The night of my fifteenth birthday Genitrix was meant to tell me everything she knew about Imperium, even where the adults are and what they are doing. I guess now the only way I will know where the adults are is by finding them myself.
I get into the truck willfully this time and the Robot driving me kept on talking about how bad it was of me to disable those other Robots. Blah Blah Blah, does it look like I care? We pull up to a grey building and I am forced out of the truck and shoved through the doors of the building. You know I think these Robots forgot to download their manners today. I am given an  ID tag, a new set of clothes, and an ankle tracker that tracks your every movement and will send out electric shocks that will kill you if you step one foot outside. Well that is until I disable just like Imperium disabled Genitrix. While I am standing there getting my ankle tracker set up five other kids come through the door. One boy is clearly not happy and starts attacking the Robots. This is my opportunity to get away without anyone noticing. With all the commotion I easily slipped around the corner without catching anyones attention. I look down at my tracker and realise that it wasn’t fastened on properly. Thank the gods that I didn’t have to disable it, because although I could easily do it, it would waste precious time and I don’t know how long this fight will last.
I race down hallways turning left and right where I need to, if you’re wondering how I know where I am going it’s not some fancy thing like I hijacked a Robot and downloaded the map of the building into my phone. I just stole a plain old paper map from an office. When I finally reach the main computer room I quietly sneak into it just incase there is a Robot in here. Oh great, there is. It turns round and  stares at me. I run towards it and take the Robot out with one punch to the head. This Robot is only  technician and is not downloaded with combat skills. I push it out of the seat and install the flash drive into the computer. Once everything from the flash drive is on the computer I send everything to every electrical device in the city. Since this is 2187 and everyone has at least fifty electrical devices in their home everyone will see these. As the information goes on it gets to the part about the adults. It turns out they don’t live in a different city, they don’t have different kids and don’t know a thing about us, we aren’t the rejects, and they aren’t alive. Well not in the way people should live. When you become of age, you become a Robot. I should have known. there is no way a robot should be able to work as well as they do without a very large storage system. Do you know what they use for the storage system? They use the human brain.
Once I sent out the information everyone who saw it went crazy. Everyone rebelled setting fire to the buildings and destroying every single Robot they see. After a few months of this Imperium crumbled and the whole Robot system collapsed. We were free. We found the independence we were looking for. Instead of being run by the government and being controlled by wires and downloads we became independent and lived as our human selves. I found independence from the Robots where will you find yours?

Written By Grace Franks