“You think she’s my sister?” Corey pointed roughly at Finley, who stood her ground admirably. “You think she and I are twins? And not only that, but we were stolen away from some poor outsider who doesn’t have a clue where we are.”
Oliver was really glad that Mr. Grains was there because Oliver himself wasn’t able to stay a word. Corey really had that threatening look thing down. “Yes, that is exactly what we believe, Mr. Corey.”
Alexa stood up too, and Oliver began to wonder if all his friends were braver than he was. He wouldn’t be at all surprised to find out it was true. “Come on, Corey. We’ve teased Finely about her resemblance to you since we were like—thirteen. The way that when you both get mad you get that little crinkle near your eyes and a sort of ‘Don’t mess with me’ stance. I know you two have had your standoffs. You can’t tell me you didn’t notice the similarities—or at the very least that your friends didn’t.”
Corey’s tight-lipped stare told them all Alexa was spot on. “Okay. So, we are brother and sister—which doesn’t change a thing—“ He said glaring down at Finley, who nodded in agreement with an equally fierce look on her face. “What makes you think we’re outsiders? I certainly don’t remember anything other than the station. We’re just unwanted, parents never wanted to claim us.”
“You wouldn’t remember,” Mr. Grains added quickly, “You would have been brought here before your second birthday, so you could enter the group raising with all the other children at age two. It’s the only way they could bring in outsiders without too much attention. That’s too young to have any properly formed memories. Here.” Mr. Grains handed Corey the paper, the official sealed and signed page that Finley had read only days before, the one that declared two children from the outsider world known as Terra had been taken in a raiding party. Anna and Paul Baldwin were to be entered into Class hall #19 under the station names of Finley and Corey when the classes start. Come the fifteen choosing, they were to be ranked as unselected and come the twenty choosing they were to be eased into the general population as unchosen general population. Anna turned Finley was already graded with high IQ and intellectual potential and was to be directed for the science programs and to be an engineer for the station. Paul turned Corey was to be trained for law enforcement.
Oliver watched Corey’s eyes go back to the top of the page three or four times before he looked back to Finley. “Paul? I was supposed to be a Paul?”
“We aren’t unwanted, Corey,” Finley finally spoke, “We’re stolen. Somewhere out there, our parents are looking for us. I say we go find them.”
Slowly, Corey—Paul—whatever his name was—nodded.