I felt my heart beating hard against my chest as I watched the doctors shuffling through my paperwork, examining my x-rays. My eyes darted to the bloodwork bracelet on my wrist, then back to the rustling papers. My throat tightened with painful anticipation. Would I live long enough to see my family one more time?
After a moment, Dr. Klein looked at me and smiled. “Well, buddy, looks like you’ll pull through good and healthy! Your results came in and they’re perfect. Your heart’s working beautifully. Just what we’ve been hoping for.”
Nausea gripped me, but I choked it down. Ever since I was a small one, Rij had shielded me and Six. Being inconspicuous was our best defense against Sentence. Mediocrity kept you safe. Too sickly and you’re Useless. Bad enough.
But there was also a such thing as too healthy.
I curled into a ball in the corner of the cell. It was small, but there was a lot more room than there had been the night before. Six was gone. He had been Useless, his organs unable to be used.
But I was Next.
…And mine were.