Everyone else seemed to be packing up to leave when Keelan hopped on the stage and marched to the director.
Keelan yells out, "You have got to be fucking kidding me! This has to be a mistake of some kind."
The director was still smiling and utterly unphased. "Whatever do you mean? I don't believe I have ever made a mistake in placing one of my cubs in a perfect home."
Keelan's face turned a bright red, and he was obviously fuming. Thalia wondered what his assignment possibly could have been. She spots a green slip of paper crumbled up in a ball and tossed under the seat next to where Keelan was sitting.
The assignment read, "I am pleased to inform you that you have been selected for the sanitation and campus restoration project. We believe that your overall performance reflects a personality that takes great pride in their work. We would love that same amount of energy poured into the restoration of buildings within the institute. I know that we can count on you to make our home as clean as possible."
Thalia bursts out laughing and quickly covers her mouth. The thought of Keelan spending his next few years a part of the revitalization effort in the city brought her to tears. She can see it already. In a bright green jumpsuit, Keelan gets all dirty as he sifts through trash and debris. Keelan, infuriated, overheard Thalia's initial burst of laughter. His face is now as red as a freshly picked tomato.
He turns, hops off the stage, and yells, "My father will be having words with you, Diez's, and we will see whether or not this is still funny."
Keelan marches out of the assembly hall angrier than Thalia has ever seen him. Thalia won't lie. It did make her mighty happy to see the guy who tormented her baby brother so thoroughly humiliated. She is sure that was probably her Tia's intention when she selected his assignment. A man behind the director goes to hand the director a clipboard.
"Our students get more and more disrespectful with every growing year." The director turns and grabs the clipboard.
"Yes, Vincent, it is almost to be expected for a direct son of a knight of the round to be so arrogant." The director sounded amused by the notion.
Almost everyone in the assembly hall had left to celebrate or sulk after receiving their new assignment. Only Thalia was standing patiently waiting for her Tia to be done speaking with the vice Director. Obviously disappointed about his assignment, Theo sat quietly, looking at the floor. He was no longer rubbing his hands on the top of his head through his hair. So at least that was a good sign, Thalia thought to herself.
"Okay, Vincent, I will personally inform the predators of our decision. You do not need to worry." The director handed the clipboard back to the vice director.
"If you say so, mam. I will take my leave," Vincent waved at the siblings and walked away. Thalia taps Theo and yanks him up by his arm. "Tia, can we talk for a second?"
The sibling's auntie shakes her head and gestures for them to follow her. They exit the assembly hall backstage and start walking toward the union building in the center of campus. There is a long moment of silence as Thalia and Theo follow closely behind the director. The director breaks the silence.
"Go ahead; Theo asks me what is on your mind." Theo gulps.
He is not scared of their Tia. It is more that he is scared to know the reason for his assignment. He weighs the pros and cons of asking the question. He already knows it's not as if he can plead with her to change her mind. So he starts second guessing whether or not there is even a reason to ask or know her reasoning behind her decision. Thalia starts to get impatient and just impulsively blurts out.
"How could you place Theo in the Retrieval Corp, knowing he wanted desperately to be in the Expedition Corp? It's cruel to take the one thing you know he has wanted since we came to this dumb institute." Thalia covers her mouth, instantly regretting opening it.
Her Tia stops causing the two siblings to freeze in place. She turns around slowly to face her niece and nephew, who are now frozen like statues. The air began to heat up, just like when Thalia was going to unleash a severe beating on Keelan. Only the heat and tense atmosphere could not begin to compare to the amount of pressure their Tia was emitting. Thalia felt sweat drip down the small of her back. It was like nothing she had ever felt before, especially from her Tia. Thalia instinctively knew that they were experiencing their aunty's killing force. It was honestly enough to make her want to claw at her head until she ripped out her brain.
"I am cruel now, am I?" The director's voice was soft and firm.
"I expect disrespect from that dynasty, Bratt. However, I will not tolerate my own kin behaving in such a manner."
Thalia, paralyzed, begins to feel her knees weaken at every syllable that comes out of her Tia's mouth. Her aunty's eyes glow, and a faint white aura lines her body.
"I appreciate your fire and tenacity in standing up for your brother. Although I raised you better than to sling insults when you do not get your way."
Thalia looks down, embarrassed, barely able to stand. "I understand and apologize. I know better than to disrespect you, Tia."
"Good, I am relieved to hear you say that." The director's white aura dissipates, and the air around them returns to normal.
Thalia collapses, her body feeling fatigued and her mind still racing from the strain of her Tia's killing force.
"Help your sister off the ground, Theo. She is getting her skirt dirty." The director wakes him up from the trance of fear she placed him in.
Theo helps Thalia off the ground, asking her if she is okay. Thalia nodded her head silently as if she was afraid to speak.
"Now, Theo, I know you must think my decision was cruel without considering your feelings. However, I can assure you that it was not. I need you to trust that I always have your best interest at heart." The director was attempting to reassure him.
"Now, if that will be all. I will see you kids at home later. I have another unpleasant bit of news to deliver to someone a lot more disrespectful and defiant." The director's voice begins to fade as she begins to float in the air with a bright white flash.
The siblings briefly closed and shielded their eyes from the light, and just like that, the director was gone.