Category Linkin Park

Life as we know It by MissDomho


AN Hey everyone! How are we all today? So while I have only a few chapters to go with my Priest story, I have had this one bestowed on my hard drive. It's over a year ago and just recently I thought I would start to write it again. It's my first attempt on Sci fi, so please be kind :) This is loosely based off After life- but no means has no relations to the movie whatsoever, just only the concept of creating a new planet and human races.

So please give it a go! It's a lot slower to start with- but I can assure you, you will find very familiar band members through out the story, Bennoda [of course!] and of course...more importantly, slash XD plus lots of Sci fi terms and plotline. Would love to know if I should continue or not? Please let me know xxx

On with the story xxx I will alternate updating this story as well as Finding the Truth as my next update will be my priest one :) Thank you for your time!



Chester looked across the forest that was laid out before him as he took a deep breath, inhaling the earthy aroma of spruce and pine. The young man sighed in content as he took a seat on the small hill that he was standing on. Sunlight streaking across the treetops, rays of light catching on the slight mist that was blanketing the green forest, mingling between the leaves. Besides the slight rustling of the green leaves caused by the artificial breeze, all was quiet.

Some might find the stillness of the forest a little unsettling- but Chester relished in it. After all, the only thing bad that could happen in this forest was tripping and getting a sprain or cut. It was probably the safest forest you could have ever been in.

Chester loved coming to the forest, a change of scenery from the futuristic and metallic environment that was his city, Catadal. State of the art and almost completely automated, nature just didn't fit in amidst the electrical gadgetry.

Chester gazed across the treetops, the greenery continuing a couple of kilometres before coming to an abrupt end, a thick wall of glass preventing any further advancements of the plant life. The thick glass of the dome, almost completely flawless except for a few scratches, stretched over the entirety of the forest, encasing it in a controlled environment for optimum growth and health. Chester stared out at the darkness of space just beyond the glass, seeing Earth just looming in the background. This Earth however, didn't have the beautiful blue seas or lush green lands that Chester learnt of in his studies, instead replaced by a planet with grey washed land masses and frozen, dark oceans, a mass graveyard for the billions of people not fortunate enough to be chosen for Catadal.

The year was 91 P.M. or post migration. 91 years after the mass migration of human civilisation to Catadal, the city on the moon. A colony that spread across the entire surface of the moon with its sole purpose of preserving human existence. To prevent the extinction of the human race.

It was the year 2056 when the migration took place- but preparations started four years prior. Rising global temperatures were what prompted the development, although it was a massive volcanic eruption that set it all into overdrive. Operations and developments were spearheaded by the Highland corporation, a company that specialised in research and development of all types of fields, from medical advancements to mechanical engineering.

Their main focus however was gene therapy or genetic modification. For four years, infrastructures were set up on the moon, mass transport crafts built to ferry the people to their new home. The greatest minds in the world pooled all their assets and worked for the highland corporation, for the greater good of the human race.

Three months before the migration, that was when mount Luresia erupted. Nobody could have anticipated it. Mount Luresia appeared overnight, somewhere along the pacific and although little was known about the new volcano, it was active. It was no later than a week after its formation that the eruption occurred, the biggest in recorded history. The ash plume was so big, that the sunlight was blocked out in most parts of the world, causing temperatures to drop due to the decreased sunlight. Ironic how all this was in preparation of rising temperatures- but dropping temperatures was what it was for in the end.

Of course, not everyone on Earth could be brought to Catadal due to limited resources. It was decided that only the genetically superior, people possessing genes with favourable characteristics that were to be chosen. Genes that would benefit the human race should the need for repopulation of the Earth come around. Genes coding for increased immunity, physical endurance and mental capacity to name a few. Controversial as it may be, people with any medical condition, past or present, were excluded immediately while family trees that possessed none were required to undergo genetic testing. There were, of course, the rich who thought that they could buy their way onto Catadal- but with the Highland corporation solely in charge of determining a person's eligibility and money not being high on their list, these bribes were denied.

A total of 600 million people made the journey to the moon, while the rest of the world were left to die on the freezing planet. There were some backlash on Highland's methods- but after all that the company had done, these were few and far between. Most understood and accepted their fate as it would come. The lucky people who got chosen settled into their new life on Catadal, with the Highland corporation as a sort of government.

Life on Catadal could be called a Utopia so to speak. Crime is non-existent, everyone is afforded whatever is necessary for a comfortable lifestyle and, although laws and rules are abundant, are all mostly for the good of the entire colony. Some might say such a life is ideal- but others want more than that. Chester Bennington was one of those people.

A third generation Catadalism, all he knew was life on Catadal. Sure, he was comfortable with his life- but he never felt connected to the place. He always felt that the more automated Catadal became, the more unfeeling Catadalism became, more like machines than humans. That was why he liked coming to the quiet sanctuary of the forest. It was a place he could escape the machines and see how nature was, to make himself feel human again.

Chester closed his eyes, enjoying the time he could do this, for it wasn't long before he knew he would no longer be able to do this. Chester's 21st birthday was coming in a couple days and it was time for him to become a contributing member of the colony. It was mandatory for everyone on Catadal to get a proper education, a good thirteen years of his time to get a fair amount of knowledge, starting when the child reaches the age of eight.

The first eight years of education are spent with theory of everything and anything. Everything you needed to know about every job and facet of life on Catadal was taught through a system called the cognitive knowledge transfer or WKT. It was a very efficient method, basically turning humans into computers. Electrodes transfer huge amounts of information through nerves, which are then converted to images within the student's brain.

During this process, drugs are pumped into the bodies, improving cognitive functions, which helps the brain cope with the huge amounts of information.

The next eight years are hands on. With the theory and knowledge, students are tasked to put their knowledge to use in a practical environment. Under the guidance of teachers in various vocations, students are taught the ins and outs of every job on Catadal. From musicians to healthcare workers, jobs are classified as either sustaining or preserving. Sustaining jobs helped the colony function while preserving jobs are there to preserve human culture and history. After thirteen years, before you're 21st birthday, a test was taken assessing a students affinity for any specific job, skills and talents all contributing to the final decision of integration on Catadal.

A test that Chester had just completed this morning, so a trip to the quiet forest seemed just about right for him. Chester needed to get his mind off the prospect that this was the time for him to become an adult. The time that he needed to start thinking about the good for the colony rather than goofing off every now and then. To get over the fear and the anxiety of not knowing what job he would be stuck with for the rest of his life.

Chester was never one to follow the path laid out in front of him, always wanting to find out more, learn different things, change things up every now and then. A personality trait that didn't fit in the order and conformity that was Catadal. However, no matter how much Chester wanted life to be more carefree and unscripted, he knew that things always worked as they were and thinking that it was going to change was foolish. Yeah, he may not have liked the idea that he would soon fall into the monotony of work- but he needed to do what he needed to do.

As he would lay alongside the hill with his eyes closed, it somehow didn't feel like he was on a moon. Everything from the smell to the sounds, nothing seemed to fit the silence and emptiness that was space.


A voice reverberated within the dome, echoing and disrupting the peace that Chester was enjoying for himself. A frown graced his young features, annoyed that someone had to spoil his alone time.

"Seriously?" Chester whispered, popping an eye open, scanning for the source of the voice. Sure the person had every right to be there- but no one ever came to the forest. Everyone was simply too busy with anything else to bother about something as insignificant as visiting the dome's forest. Chester felt conflicted, however, half wanting the person to leave and yet the other half, was curious as to why there was someone else there besides him, because countless times Chester had visited the place, and not once had he encountered anyone.

"Hello!" The voice echoed once more again, the tone of glee in his voice was unmistakable. Curiosity bubbled within Chester, wondering if he had finally found someone who shared his love for the forest. He sat up straight, scanning the area around him for the unknown source. It didn't sound too far away- but the echoing didn't help Chester pinpoint the direction the shout came from. What Chester did have however, was a good vantage point. He scanned down the hill, finally seeing the figure standing a few hundred feet away looking out to the forest.

Chester observed the being, taking in the person that was in front of him. The guy was tall, approximately 6'1". Oriental decent, with broad shoulders that narrowed down to his waist. His short dark hair was neatly combed back in a nice quiff and his clothes hugged his figure in a way that was only possible if it was fitted for him.

As the guy looked at the world before him, Chester caught a glimpse of his face. Even from that distance, Chester knew the guy was handsome, unusually more than what should be normal. A thought ran through his mind as to the reason- but dismissed it from how absurd it sounded to him. Still, his curiosity was peaked, and he couldn't help himself pushing off the ground and heading in the direction of the beautiful stranger.

"Hey!?" Chester shouted, attracting the attention of the tanned, handsome stud that stood before him. The guy turned in surprised, not expecting for anyone else to be there. He had a watchful eye as Chester made his way down the hill, taking in the appearance of the man walking towards him. With a somewhat slim build, Chester was just another Catadalism who most people wouldn't have noticed. At roughly 6' tall, his spiked, black hair and pale complexion was common and uninteresting on Catadal- but still, Chester caught the stranger's eye. With his deep, brown eyes and narrow nose, his build was a lot slender then most of the men the stranger has met in his lifetime. Chester certainly had a cute look about his young features which intrigued him, alot.

"Hi." The stranger replied, giving a small wave to Chester. "I didn't know anyone ever came here?"

"Well that was what I was thinking. I've been here many times and this is the first time I've ever seen anyone?" Chester said, staring intently into the stranger's dark eyes. Chester examined the perfect curves and angles of his face. His dark, black eyes were strikingly haunting, coupled with plump lips and a soft jawline that looked so perfect in every way.

"So...You uh...Come here often?"

"Actually it's my first time here." The perfect stranger said, feeling somewhat uncomfortable under Chester's watchful gaze. He had inkling as to why Chester was staring though, it was basically written on his face.

"Hmm, so you're a normale?" Chester asked. The curiosity getting the better of him.

"Um yeah, why would you think otherwise?" He replied, nodding, trying to keep as calm as possible. Surely this person wouldn't guess that he was an elite right? He couldn't figure out why he was so scared that this person knew he was elite. What did it matter anyway?

"Hmm, maybe because you don't look like a normale. I could've sworn you're an elite?" Chester said, raising an eyebrow. "But then again? Why would an elite come down to the forest? Surely they have much more important things to attend to. Plus, why would an elite degrade himself by identifying as a normale?" Chester probed, watching for any reaction from the young man in front of him.

Catadal basically had two separate classes, namely elites and normales. Normales were like Chester, normal, working class citizens of Catadal. Normales were born as per how normal humans reproduce. A natural conception if you would call it that. Normales were brought up as normal children would be, and educated through the WKT system, who eventually worked on Catadal. Normale spouses however, were still paired based on genetic compatibility, having parents from very similar gene pools. A method to increase genetic variation and decrease the risk of inbreeding and mutations. That reason was why many pairings were between beings of the same race and the colour of their skin, and hence why Chester's pale look was common on Catadal.

Elites however, weren't as simple. They were the cream of the crop. Originally, elites comprised of the best of the best in all fields known to man, most of whom were already working for the Highland corporation prior to the migration. It wasn't debated upon, knowing who better to lead Catadal's than the brightest and greatest of the human species. As the years passed and the elites got older, new generations of elites had to be made, and that's what they did.

With the greatest minds working together, advancements in genetic modification grew at an exponential rate. Elites started making babies, combining all the best genes from the human species and basically producing the perfect human. Elite children still required genes from two parents, although their genes were altered to include the best alleles. Unlike test tube babies of the past however, the embryos were grown in a growth chamber rather than surrogate mother's.

Elite children however, were not educated the same way normales were. The same WKT system was used, although their learning was more focused. Learning was directed towards the same field that their parents had specialised in, learning every aspect of both their parent's trades. Their fields were decided from the beginning, and everything was done to make them the best at that specific field. All in all, creating a perfect successor.

"Oh, I look like an elite? That's quite the compliment." The stranger replied, growing nervous at Chester's probing.

"Just drop the act? There is no way you're a normale. An elite is unmistakable, even though I have never met one, until now I guess." Chester said, looking away from the handsome stranger in front of him.

Knowing the facade was over, he didn't bother trying to convince Chester. "Sorry, I didn't mean to lie...Elites are sometimes not well received by normales."

"Well... It's kind of an inferior complex kind of thing I guess. We want to believe that we're all the same- but we know otherwise." Chester said.

"Please don't think that we are better than you. We are all humans after all? I know that's what a lot of normale's think of elites."

"Yeah we do- but only because it's true. I mean that's kinda what elites are supposed to be right. If you guys were the same as us then what's the whole point of having a class system. It's not even you're fault. You didn't ask to be made perfect." Chester bitterly said, as he was looking out at the forest again.

"We're not perfect, you know?"

"Yeah right? You guys are as perfect as humanly possible. Insanely intelligent, impossibly athletic and look like you guys were carved from pure marble. I mean have you seen yourself in the mirror?" Chester said. He didn't know why he was talking the way he was. A normale didn't talk to an elite like that. Elites were to be respected, and arguing with one wasn't considered respectful.

"You think I'm good looking?" The elite asked, disrupting Chester's train of thought. Realising that he may have crossed a line he wasn't supposed to, Chester quickly apologised.

"Sorry, didn't mean to talk like that? It was out of context."

"No, don't apologise. It's actually quite refreshing having someone who just treats me like a person. You have no idea the expectations that are put upon me. It's exhausting most of the times. That's why I came here in the first place, to forget all the shit that is expected of me. I just want to live a simple life." The elite said, dropping his knees down onto the ground

"Hmm? Can't say I understand what you're going through- but I can imagine. As a normale you don't really have much expectations. You just do as you are told. I guess elites have a lot more pressure, what with needing to lead Catadal and all." Chester said, taking a seat beside him.

The elite chuckled, shaking his head. "Okay well, I came here to forget my worries. I'm Mike, Mike Shinoda, by the way." He said lightly, stretching out his hand. Chester returned the handshake, introducing himself.

"So Chester, based on you're looks I'm guessing you're at least 21? I'm assuming you haven't taken the test yet, or you wouldn't have time to be here now would you?"

"Actually...I just took the test this morning. I needed to clear my head after that."

"Really, why?"

"I just don't like the idea of being stuck with what the test says for the rest of my life. I don't like the idea of monotony, never have, never will."

"Well what I wouldn't give for some monotony. Seems like I'm more a normale and you're more of an elite." Mike laughed, looking out across the treetops. "So, have you ever been to the other forest domes?"

"Nah. I know there are- but I think I would prefer this to the wet rainforest. Besides, those are across the moon."

"Well I can't argue with that. You know? these forest domes provide most of the oxygen for Catadal. The domes are spread across the moon to maximise the available sunlight that shines on the moon at any one time. A technological marvel combining technology and botany." Mike said, knowingly, while smiling.

"Yeah I know. When they teach us everything about Catadal, they really mean everything." Chester laughed.

"Oh right." Mike said, blushing a deep shade of red.

"What do you specialise in anyway? If you don't mind me asking." Chester asked, looking up at the hunk beside him. The young, pale man knew he found Mike quite attractive- but kept it in check. Homosexuality wasn't definitely frowned upon from a morality standpoint- but unacceptable in the grand scheme of things. The main reason anyone was on Catadal, was to one day repopulate the earth. That couldn't happen between two males or two females. So Chester knew it was best if he kept his preference on the down low.

"Electrical engineering and psychology." Mike replied.

"Wow talk about different ends of the spectrum?"

"Yeah well, my dad, he's an electrical genius and my mum's a world class shrink. It kinda comes with the whole package."

"I see, so I guess you're an expert on the human psyche then?"

"Well I wouldn't say expert- but I can definitely read some people."

"What about me? Can you read me?"

"You're a little hard to read?- but I'm seeing a lot of a suppressed rebellious side to you. I also sense that you're the quiet sufferer. That you like to keep your problems to yourself and brave them on your own rather than seeking the help from others. Independent in a way." Mike said, knowingly.

"Okay, you're good." Chester said, chuckling a little.

"Like how you're kicking yourself over your attraction you have for me." Mike smirked, aiming a wink towards the pale man.

Chester's laughter ceased immediately and turned his wide-eyed stare to Mike. "You're angry that you're feeling attraction to another guy and yet scared that someone would find out? Scared that an elite...Would find out." Chester visibly swallowed the lump in his throat. He didn't know what to feel. How to feel now.

"Umm, I don't find you attractive?" He choked out. To which Mike chuckled lightly at Chester's comment.

"It's okay Chester, I'm not one of those anti homo types. In fact, the feeling is mutual." If Chester's eyes weren't already bulging now, they would have doubled in their size. "I did say that not all elites were perfect." Mike said with a smirk. 

"Whoa, wait-" Chester started- but was cut off by an annoying beeping. 

It was Mike's BIC. A biologically integrated communicator or BIC was a watch-like device that was imbedded into the wrist of every Catadalism. The BIC connected to the blood vessels within the wrist, able to monitor the wearers vitals. Apart from its medical uses, the BIC was also a communicator, much like a mobile phone.

"Looks like duty calls."

Mike said, shaking his beeping wrist. "It was nice meeting you Chester. Maybe I'll see you again some day?" He said, getting up and shooting one last smirk towards Chester.

"Uh, yeah sure." Chester replied stupidly, watching as Mike ran off to the exit. He wasn't sure what to make of what just happened. He thought it was surreal that an elite had just said he felt an a attraction with Chester, a normale of all people, and more shocking than that, was that the elite was a guy. The thought that maybe it was a joke crossed his mind, that maybe it was a common thing for elites to play pranks on unsuspecting normales. Chester did know one thing though, and that was that he would probably never see Mike again. 

Elites and normales just didn't coexist in the way you think they would. 21 years on Catadal and it was the first time Chester had ever encountered an elite. The boundaries were clear and somehow everyone was alright with that. Elites could sometimes come across as intimidating to many normales, and elites on the other hand, didn't feel like they could connect with normales on a personal level. It was neither of their faults, just that both sects didn't understand each other.

After trying to wrap his mind around his encounter with Mike, Chester tried to put it all behind him, trying to forget whatever had transpired between them both. A part of him was scared that he had been exposed, and it was just a matter of time before elites came after him to eliminate the gays from the colony- but he rationalised that he never actually said anything that incriminated him in anyway. He didn't say that he was actually gay. Still though, the fear was still there- but he knew only time would tell if anything would come out from it.

Chester took a look at his BIC and read the time, noticing that it was now getting later in the evening and his parents should be wondering about his whereabouts now. He exited the dome and immediately the sounds of the city returned to his ears. Goodbye to the peacefulness of the green forest, and hello to the bustle of city life. Chester stuck each of his hands into his pockets, making his way to the tram that was the primary means of transport around Catadal. 

Looking at the world around him, he noticed the different groups of people going about their own business. He looked at the normales who walked by, some carrying crates of paint, others working away at woodcarvings. The area surrounding the forest was predominantly where the preserving jobs were located, especially those that required wood from the natural forest. Naturally, carpenters and painters set up their businesses near the area.

Chester wondered if this was where he would be placed, whether he would be posted to a sustaining or preserving job. He didn't even know which he would prefer. He liked the idea of a preserving job, to tie him to human history and heritage- but he was never really good at those kinds of stuff. A sustaining job made him feel like he could contribute more but still it didn't seem right to him. He felt like he didn't fit in anywhere at all.

As he stepped onto the tram, once he looked out the window, watching as the tram scream along tracks towards his house. His dark eyes watched the screens atop the glass buildings, some showing news of events happening around Catadal while others showing ads and trivial about the city. Chester rolled his eyes at the obvious propaganda tactic- but couldn't do anything other than ignore it. 

Once or twice, President Hahn's face would appear on a screen before fading out to the Catadal's logo. President Joseph Hahn was the top gun so to speak, the overall in charge of all the workings of Catadal. It was a rumour that he used to be the CEO of Highland Corporation- but most people dismissed it as that would make him almost three centuries old. Still, most wondered why President Hahn didn't look like he ever aged. He, of course was an elite- but he didn't have the perfect look that most elites had. He still looked human, flaws and all- but it's just another conspiracy theory.

When the tram came to a standstill at Chester's stop, he stepped off. He looked off in the distance and could see the city centre looming in the background. Large buildings painted the skyline, with one in particular, The Spirel as it was called, towering over the rest. The structure was so tall it pierced the ceiling of the dome, leading to a small glass orb that hovered over the entire city. The residence of President Hahn. The city centre was where most of the elites lived, a place where most normale's never stepped foot into.

Chester journeyed his way down the path, seeing identical houses to his left and to his right. Most normale's lived in the same type of accommodations, basically a moderately sized two-story apartment, comfortable for an occupancy of four. These houses were concentrated in residential areas, the idea being to foster a feeling of community- but with most normale's busy working a lot of times, the idea was just that, an idea. Chester for one, hardly saw any of his neighbours, let alone spoke to them.

He arrived at his front door, which was a slab of reinforced glass, the usual doorknob and lock nowhere to be seen. Chester waved his BIC in front of the door, which beeped once before sliding open, closing once he stepped through it.

"Mum, Dad, I'm home!" Chester called out, his voice carrying through the house.

"We're in the Kitchen dear. Dinner's almost ready." Came his mother's reply shortly afterwards. Chester made the familiar way towards the kitchen, seeing his father at the table with eyes focused on the table top, a news article displayed across the interactive glass interface. His father shot him a quick smile before returning to his news while Chester's mum prepared dinner.

Lee Bennington, was a man in his late forties. Despite his young age though, grey streaks painted the sides of his otherwise brown hair, making him look much older than he actually was. Susan Bennington was different though, although the same age as Lee, looked a lot younger for her age. With her pale complexion and strikingly black hair, which her looks were all passed down onto Chester.

"So what's for dinner?" Chester asked, walking up behind his mother, looking over her shoulders to the pot of mash potatoes on the conduction stove. "Hmm, smells so good." 

"There is chicken too if you're wondering?" His mother said as Chester took a seat beside his father.

"Oh really? Real chicken or synthetic." Chester asked, raising an eyebrow at his mother. All food on Catadal was synthetic, manufactured in a factory somewhere from basic components like protein, carbohydrates and such. In the beginning, food was grown as it would have been on earth- but after awhile, they realised that the yield from growing crops and farming animals weren't high enough to sustain Catadal, hence the current method of synthetic food.

"Don't ask silly questions, Chester." Susan scolded him for it, which Chester simply chuckled at his mother's reply.

"So how was the test today?" Lee asked his son.

"You know. Same as any other WKT session. Didn't really remember what happened in the test though?" Chester replied, recalling the test that morning.

"Yeah well it's like that. No one ever remembers what happens in the test. Most people think we are all made to forget what happens so we can't tell anyone who hasn't already taken the test, anything about it." 

"Hmm, guess that makes sense? I mean if it's supposed to be unbiased and everything."

"Yeah well, what do you hope to get though?" His father pressed on.

"Honestly Dad, I really don't know? I mean, I don't think I fit in anywhere to be truthful."

"Oh honey? don't worry. I felt that way when I was younger too- but when I became a nurse, I realised that it just fit me." Susan said, bringing a few plates to the table, laying one in front of Will. "Ok Lee, time for dinner." She said, swiping the articles across the table, which disappeared at the edge of the glass.

"Hey I was still reading that?" Lee whined, before Susan placed a plate down in front of him. 

"Eat now, you can read again later." Chester chuckled at his parent's antics. He knew that normale spouses were paired based on genetic compatibility, and many of them never really did fall in love with each other. He was lucky that his parents actually did though, he could see how much his parents were in love. 

"So anyway? I'm assuming you went to the forest again after the test just now?" Lee asked, taking a spoonful of creamy, mashed potatoes. Chester nodded in response.

"Chester, honey, I don't like you going there. You might get hurt in there." Susan said, worry etching into her features. She had never liked the fact that Chester frequented the forest, although she knew that she couldn't do much about it to prevent it from happening. 

"Come on Susan? You and I both know that there is nothing dangerous in that forest. Besides, he has Bennington blood in him, I think my son can handle himself if push comes to shove." Lee said.

"Yeah Mum, it's fine. Anyway, I won't have time to go there much after my posting anyway." Chester defended himself.

"And for that I'm glad. And you!-" She said, pointing an a accusingly finger at her husband. "You need to stop encouraging him. You are the tough animal handler, not Chester."

Lee worked as an animal handler on Catadal, one of the more physical jobs you could find. Not too long ago, the environment domes were filled with wildlife from earth, to keep their species viable as well. Lee was an specialised animal handler whose job was to ensure the upkeep of these animals, as well as to keep any visitors, mostly the occasional scientist, safe while they were inside. They were something akin to a park ranger.

However, a couple of incidents involving cruel animal attacks made it clear that free roaming animals in these domes were not safe. Hence, the decision was made to house all animals in a sort of stasis. Animal handlers, just like Lee no longer needed to patrol the areas in the domes and take care of animals in the wild. They were however converted into a somewhat veterinary kind of job, instead looking after the well being of these creatures that were stuck in suspended animation. 

"He may be, you never know. For all we know he may become an animal handler too?" Lee said.

"Yeah...no. Sorry Dad- but animals just aren't my thing. The time I interned for that job was a disaster." Chester said, shaking his head at the memory of it.

"Well your old man can only hope can't he?"

"Well whatever you get, I'm sure you'll do fine." Susan said, patting Chester on the shoulder as she offered him a warm smile.

"I hope so Mum." Even with all the assurance from his parents however, Chester just didn't feel comfortable with the whole situation. He felt that something was off with him, and he couldn't tell what it was yet. He chalked it up to him just being nervous about getting a final job and left it at that.

"So anyway, anything interesting happened at the forest today?" Lee asked, looking expectantly at his son.

"Actually yeah!"

Lee looked a little shocked for a moment, not expecting that for an answer. So many times he had asked the same questions, more a formality than anything, and always had he heard the same answer. 'Same old, different day.'

"Care to elaborate?"

"Well, I met an elite." Chester excitedly said.

"An elite, really? A scientist? They don't usually go in there anymore." Lee asked, his interest peaked. Even Susan seemed a little more curious too.

"No actually. He was kind of my age, I think? Said he was there to clear his head or something. Funny thing was, he actually thought he could fool me into thinking he was a normale."

"Wait, he tried to pass off as a normale?" Susan asked, to which Chester nodded in return.

"That's strange? I've never met an elite who said anything close to that."

"Do you meet a lot of them?" Chester asked.

"Quite a few, actually. A lot of them come to the hospital to help treat some of the more serious patients. You know, all the smart medical types." Susan replied. Rolling her eyes up at her own comment.

"So what are they like in general?" Susan shot a curious look at him, wondering why her son was so interested in the topic all of the sudden.

"They come with all sorts of personalities, much like normales. Why are you so interested anyway?" She probed. Chester blushed a deep red when he had realised he may have come off a little too enthusiastic.

"Oh no reason? It was just the first time I had ever met an elite and, I don't know, he was kind of weird?" Chester said, leaving out any other details that he felt shouldn't be said.

"Well you may just find them weird because you don't interact with many of them. They behave a little differently from most of us. Maybe it has something to do with the authority that they have to carry." Susan said, returning to her meal.

"Hmm, maybe?" Chester agreed. That was what was bothering Chester though. Mike was different. Chester was surprised at how easy it was to talk to Mike, even if they were supposed to be really different, and authority wasn't something he felt when he spoke with Mike. One thing was for sure though, meeting Mike had stirred something deep inside of Chester. Something that set off his intrigue and curiosity. Chester's desire to learn more about elites had been kindled.



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