Theodore Space (or Ted) was the son of Winona and Marcus and the older brother of the late Emily Space. His mother died and his father went mad after an event nicknamed the Cull happened which meant Ted and his sister had to live with the dictator family, The Grunts. He left and found his long lost family.
Theodore was born when his mother was only 16 and his father was 21 which was not seen as normal in the uptight town of Strangetown. His sister was born two years later and everything should have been great for the small yet happy family but a few months after his sister was born it just happened to coincide with an event called the Cull. It was started thirty years before by The General to ensure that Strangetown only had the strongest people living there. Every 4 years, anybody aged 15-21 was taken to a remote forest in an undisclosed location where they had to survive for a month. It sounded simple but it wasn't. Although everyone could survive here was a winner who was immediately made wealthy after they left. To be the winner you had to stay alive and kill off anybody who got in your path to prove that nothing would distract you from being the strongest not even other people's lives. The Cull was bloodthirsty but in the Grunt family's eyes, it was necessary. As Ted's mother had been 14 in the last Cull she was now eligible as she was 18. Winona was taken along with her 20 year brother Clark and put into the Cull. Marcus has been in the Cull before and survived but had not killed anybody therefore not winning. Marcus gave Winona and Clark lots of advice hoping to ensure their survival but it was in vain. Winona was killed by Selena Loste on the 2nd week and Clark was killed on the the 3rd by a pack of wolves. Marcus seemed to be coping but he eventually went insane after losing his wife and was sent to Belladonna Cove to the Mental hospital to recover. Ted and Emily were fostered by the richest family in town. The Dictators, the Grunt family.
Life with the Grunts
Life with the Grunts was hard. You had to prove your worth with every single action you did. His Surrogate parents, Byron and Milah Grunt trained them for the Cull telling them that killing was OK if you were a winner. Ted didn't get on with his siblings, Axel, Rusa and Ibis. Axel was 4 years older, Rusa was 2 years older and Ibis was the same age. They bullied him constantly and were all psyched for the Cull and when Axel and Rusa 4 years before Ted went into a Cull and Axel returned victorious having killed 10 people brutally, the pressure was even higher. It didn't help that Rusa, Ibis and also Emily who would be 16 when Ted was 18 were all going to be there. Ted counted down the years which went too fast in his opinion until the Cull and finally, the day of the Cull arrived. Ibis was thrilled at the thought of the first and only Cull for him and wanted to follow in Axel's footsteps. Rusa had been 16 in her first Cull and now she was 20 and she knew this was her last was determined to win. Emily was scared and so was Ted. As the Byron and Milah said goodbye, their only advice was 'Win or Die trying'. Ted hated them and hated their ancestor, Tank for starting the Cull.
On the train to the Helicopter station, Ted sat with Emily and nobody spoke. He didn't dare go near Ibis or Rusa, while they were boarding, both had mouthed 'You will die' at him and he knew they were both mentally and physically stronger than him. Around half way there, a girl asked if she could join their carriage as the people in her other carriage were 'mental'. They agreed and found out her name was Delaine Forthwhile. She had only been in Strangetown a month or so and didn't understand why they were going to some event called the Cull. Ted explained and Delaine simply said 'Oh well, guess I'll die'. Ted felt a need to make her happy so he told her she could work with them, just surviving no killing. Delaine agreed. A few hours later they were on the helicopter with literally nothing to help survive. When the cull finally started, Delaine, Ted and Emily just ran away as fast as they could and got as far from the rest as they could. They quickly made a plan, Ted carve a spear of some sort, Delaine and Emily collect food and wood for a fire. This worked well for the first week, they managed to avoid any human contact until they ran into the worst people possible, Ibis and Rusa. Delaine and Ted ran to defend themselves and Emily but they got distracted by Ibis and when they turned round to see Emily, she was gone, taken by Rusa. Ibis tried to run but tripped and cut his knee badly. Ted and Delaine went over to him, holding their weapons over Ibis but he just moaned and asked them to help him. Ted was determined not to kill and so was Delaine, so they helped him up and helped him. They decided to find Emily as Rusa would probably have killed her but Ibis overheard and shook his head, he told them Rusa only took Emily so Emily could kill for them and Rusa wouldn't have to do any of the dirty work. After all, there were no cameras to see who, they calculated the winner using eyewitness accounts and lie detectors to get a vague picture of who. Ibis agreed to help them get Emily back and the trio set off.
Getting Emily back
Ted found the Cull much harder than he imagined. They weren't kidding when they said you had nothing but your wits to help you survive. Luckily, they had Ibis and he had been trained for ages to help him survive when his time came. They didn't encounter anybody at all but they occasionally heard screams from for off. It was horrible and Ted was happy he wasn't alone. Ted and Delaine grew close over the next few weeks and it became clear to them that if they both survived, they would stay together forever. Ibis knew where Rusa was, she would only stay in the best place and as people were put in the same place each year, Byron and Milah had told them all to travel west and get to the waterfall where you would find fresh water, food and caves for shelter. The three of them headed off but on the way there, they were ambushed by Lois Specter, Jaden Loner and his sister, Helena. Although they tried to reason, they were forced to fight, killing Lois and Jaden in the process. Helena ran away and they weren't badly injured except for Delaine who had a gash on her leg from Lois. At first she was fine but it soon became clear, the wound was infected. In the end, Delaine was too weak to walk, Ibis and Ted would take it in turns to carry her on their backs. Finally, the worst happened and they were attacked again by a boy called Nicholas Hyde. In the struggle, Delaine was injured again, not fatal on it's own but combined with her other injuries it was lethal and she died. Ted and Ibis had to leave her and they carried on looking for Emily. The month was nearly up and Ted was convinced Rusa had killed her until they found something they didn't expect. Rusa's body. Ted was now even more worried about Emily, if Rusa was dead what hope did Emily have. Finally they arrived at the falls and there was Emily but she was different. She had no fear in her eyes and in her hand was a sharpened rock. She muttered something about winning and proving herself when they heard a familiar sound. The Helicopters had returned. They had survived the Cull.