War Machine

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Why Must There Be Exams?

It was exams week, the dreaded week. It was a week chock full of exams over exams over exams, it took my favorite things and twisted them into growling beasts wanting to make me into breakfast. Anna and I were already exhausted by Wednesday, where we had curriculum exams, PT exams, marching exams, and uniform exam. We slumped home, throwing ourselves onto the couch as we entered our room. We sat there, wondering if all these exams were really necessary.

Our first exams a year after we came into the school we barely passed, we had done the minimal studying and preparation. The only reason why we were able to pass was because of how well we did on the target assessment portion, which got us into the assassin squad. After that we aced all the exams by actually putting in the work, so we would never have the worry of getting kicked out. I sat up and looked at her,"You want me to made dinner?" I asked, she nodded and I got up and walked into the kitchen.

I pulled out salad and some chicken and went about making a chicken salad. It was simple, but filling, we turned on the TV and wasted the night away just enjoying each other's company. We went to bed to actually get in some rest before tomorrow, which would be stupidly difficult.

When Friday came Anna was once again in my bed, the nightmares seemed to be getting worse, and more frequent. She was tossing and turning as I hugged her close, figuring out we had some time to kill before we actually had to wake up. She calmed, and snuggled closer into me, I smiled slightly, I would do anything for her. She was my number one, and always will be. She woke up a few minutes later and moaned as she stretched out.

I released her and she shook her head softly, "No, don't. I like that." I blushed and hugged her again, she snuggled herself as close to me as she could go. We laid like that until the alarm on my wrist pad rang, pulling us out of our dozing. She sat up quicker than me and leaned over me, kissing my cheek." You should do that more often, I feel safer." I blushed again as she got up, again revealing her mostly naked body.

She left to her room to change into uniform, while I sat in bed with my head in my hands. She confused me, does she want to be something more, or does she really want to be "just friends"? I always felt more wary of guys that she dated, and more irritable when she did date. I'm just really territorial, and she confused the fuck out of me, not exactly a good combination. I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

Every time I closed my eyes she's there, those icy blue eyes that were like thin strips of the Arctic. Her inky black hair that only reached to the bottom of her pointed chin, her face was a perfect picture of an angel, maybe a dark one, but an angel all the same. She came back into my room, and on seeing me with my face in my hands she rushed to sit next to me, "What's wrong, Nick?" I shook my head," Nothing, just thinking." She smiled slightly, "About what?" I shook my head again, "It's nothing Annabeth."

She rested her head on my shoulder, "You sure you don't wanna talk about it?" I nodded, and she wrapped her arm around me and squeezed. I smiled and hugged her back, I got on my uniform and strapped on my G19. We left, after eating some of the leftover chicken salad from Wednesday night. We went through the sort of obstacle course that led us to the Spec Ops building, we formed up and called the roll.

Then we left to the simulation building, instead of going to the arena, we went into the Virtual Reality room. The VR room was where with a weapon of our choice, we shot bullets through holographic assailants. If you get shot once in the chest or head, you're down, and twice if it's on the limbs or lower body. It was solo at first, then in the pairs, I went into the first room, shooting a reassuring smile at Anna, who went into the room next to me. I went to the weapons rack and chose the M4A5, a close cousin to the M4A1, which was a full auto shooting 5.56.

This one had a shorter barrel and had more rounds per minute, or RPM, it also shot a smaller version of a 5.56, allowing it to have a bigger ammo capacity. It was quieter and with the right type of suppressor, it was so silent you would barely hear anything, even if you put your ear right next to the barrel. It was literally the close quarters gun made specifically for the assassin squads. I walked to the center of the room, waiting for the simulation to start. I braced myself as the holograms shot up, taking form, it was a scene of an urban environment, with low houses, obstacles everywhere, and multiple shooters.

I aimed at the top of the building that I wanted to run to cover in, a shooter popped out, I put a bullet clean through the hologram's head. Another popped up, another down, I ran inside the building and cleared it before I turned my attention outside. I ducked below a window, popping out at random intervals, each time taking out two shooters. Soon it was over, and my score showed up on the board, I waited and watched for Anna's score. It showed on the board a minute after mine did, she got 100,038 to my 100,231. The minimum requirement was 80,000, while the maximum was 200,00, which was over two times the combat squad requirements. The scoring took into account the number of bullets used, the time, accuracy, and pretty much everything else, really.

I stepped out of the room, meeting Anna in the hallway, we hugged and jokes until the rest of the squad came out. Everyone had passed with outstanding marks, which was pretty standard for our squad. Then came the target part, the last solo part before the pairs, we stepped back in the rooms and readied up. The target part was where we had to get close to a target, take him out, and escape with minimal panic and deaths. The highest score was 200,000 and the lowest was 100,000, no one had ever reached 200,000, but it was a nice goal.

It was soon over, and I got 190,304, and Anna got 190,539, we joked around again, then the pair section finally came. It was the same situations as before, and like before we passed with outstanding marks. We all congratulated each other on a job well done and went back to the Spec Ops building. We formed up again and dismissed after a few words of praise from our instructors. The whole squad left together and we went to another burger joint (Yeah, I know, it's always burgers and steak with me. But who cares, its some good shit.) We celebrated the end of exams and the summer break, a month worth of freedom.

We went to the dorms tired and full, and fell quickly asleep, not even bothering to take off our clothes.

In the morning I awoke with a raging headache, I groaned and shifted. Again I was trapped by Anna, curled up with her head on my arm, I gently lifted her head and went to the bathroom for some pain medicine. I came back, trying to walk as silently as I could, Anna still woke up and said sleepily, "Why did you get up? It's summer, dummy." I laughed quietly, "I had a headache, but I'm coming back to bed".

I paused, "Nightmare again?" She shook her head, "I've decided, by a royal decree, that I will sleep with you from now on." I cocked my head to the side, "Why?" She smiled and reached out, taking my hand, pulling me toward her, "Come back into bed, and I'll tell you." I laid down, and she put her head on my arm, I pulled the sheet over me and she whispered before she fell back to sleep, "You're the only person in the world that makes me feel truly safe and content."

I smiled, "Yeah, well, I love you, so it's pretty much the same thing, even though you've never meant it like that." I promptly fell asleep as well, my dreams full of Anna.

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