Chapter 1: New Team, New Trouble
I ran as fast as i could. Even though I had been running for so long, I still pushed my legs to go faster. I ignored the stinging sensation coming from my side and the sweat running into my eyes. I had to go faster!
I stopped my music and pulled my headphones out of my ears. Listening to the sound from the speakers in the training hall, still running around the track. I looked at the door listening intensely to the voice from the speakers.
“Aaron, Travis and Alice kindly report to my office immediately” With that the speakers shut off once again, leaving only the silence of the training Hall behind. Everyone turned to look at me, probably thinking, that I got to go on another amazing mission, again. I led out a huff of air, mumbling
“What now?” As I walked towards the exit.
I took a left down the long corridor, and continued further down until I stood in front of the big dark oak doors. Not bougerth with knocking, I threw the Doors open and walked in. The three men that stood in the room, turned at the sound of the doors closing behind me. I only recognised the eldest of the three, it was Charles, the man behind this whole place, and the man I owed my life to.
To his left stood a white haired man, wearing a green hoodie and a pair of gray sweet pans. He had a kind smile that reached his shining green eyes, and a little nose covered in freckles. He didn’t look that muscular, but more like the undercover type.
To Charles right stood a black haired boy, wearing black pants with a black shirt. He did not smile like the other, instead he wore a hard expression in his distinct features. His dark brown eyes burning holes into my when we made eye contact. I could clearly see his toned Body underneath his shirt, making him look like he was a brawler.
Charles cleared his throat, making me snap my eyes back to him.
“Alice, this is Travis and Aaron, please take a seat” He said pulling out the chair at the end of the table and sat down. The other two followed suit right after him sitting on either side of the table. I groaned and sat down next to the white haired boy, named Travis. He flashed me a quick smile before he turned back to look at Charles.
“As you may have heard-...” He started
“-...I have been forced to make safety precaution, and from now on, wil there be no more solo missions-...“
“What?!” I cut him off, not wanting to believe my own ears.
“I ONLY do solo missions” I said, stranding up. Travis looked at me surprised, while Aaron simply noder his head. Charles gave me a stern look before he continued his speech
“-...Therefore I am putting everyone into team by their ability and skill level…” He stopped to look at me, silently challenging me to interrupt him again, when i remained silent he continued.
“As you may have guessed by now, You three are the best team, both in skill level, and you are all the best in your different categories. I have decided to name the team bye color, and your team is black” He looked at us clearly expecting some kind of response. I opened my mouth to complain, but Aaron beat me to it
“No offence to you Charles or you two, but i work alone” He said crossing his arms over his chest standing. I nodded feeling the same way as he did. Travis just looked like he was in deep thought remaining silent.
“There is nothing to discuss, I am the one in charge her, so you listen!” He yelled now also standing up.
“Yes, Sir” I mumbled sitting back down, making sure not to make eye contact with him. I knew better then to test my luck with Charles at this point. After a stare down between Aaron and Charles, Aaron had led out a sight and a mumble like mine, before he had sat down as well. Charles now calmly continued.
“As of today, you will be living, training and eating together as well as go on missions together. So that you can get to know eachother better, both as persons and your skills” He said sitting back down. None of us made any more complaints, even though we wanted to.
“You are excused, and you will be moving in to room 28…....so good luck” He said nodding towards the doors. Aaron shoot up from his chair and marged out off the room, looking pissed. Travis stood up and smiled down at me
“Come on it will be fun” he said. I gave him a short nod, not wanting to talk to him. He led out a forced laugh before he made his way out the door. I looked up at Charles and he gave me a smile
“He is right, I believe that you three can learn so much from each other” He said, before he looked down at some papers he had in front of him on the table. I stood up walking out the doors without looking back at him. I was angry to say the least, but i knew that argueing or disobeying Charles would get me nowhere. So I made my way back down the corridor and opened the door labeled “Alice nr 8”
After I had packed all my things, I made my way towards room number 28. As I stood in front of the door i led out a sight, before grabbing the handle turning it slowly. There was no one in the room, much to my surprise and pleasure. I closed the door behind me looking around the decent sized room. There was a single bed with a big window next to it, a bunk bed, three dressers, a table with tree chairs, a cabinet and a bathroom. I smiled, now happy that i was the first one to come. I threw my bag onto the single bed, not wanting to sleep in the bunk bed with either of the men. I opened the dresser that was closest to my bed and started to put my clothes from the bag into different drawers. As I was putting my bow case on top of the drawer, I heard footsteps approaching the door. I turned to look at Travis as he walked in, with a big smile on his lips.
“Hello Alice!” He said as his eyes landed on me.
“hello” I said back not really in the mood to socialize. He didn’t seem to take my short response as a hint so he continued in his cheery voice
“ I see that you have claimed the single bed, good choice” He threw his back up on the top bunk and turned to look at me again.
“I think that a proper introduction is needed…..My name is Travis, I am 20, and my code name is Shadow” He said offering me his hand to shake. I gave him a little smile and shook his hand nodding as he talked.
“I am Alice, I am also 20 and my code name is Raven” I said letting go of his hand and sat down onto my bed.
“Nice to meet you, I am looking forward to a long partnership” He said.
“You make me want to puke” A deep voice came from the door.
“Well hello to you to, Aaron” Travis said, never letting the smile on his lips fade. He led out a grunt and walked past him giving a quick look around the room before he sat his back down next to the bunk bed.
I normally don’t mind the silence, but Aarons stare was driving me insane. I stood up from my bed and grabbed my case on my way out the door.
“Where are you going!?” I stopped in my tracks and turned to look at Travis.
“I am gonna blow off some steam” I said slamming the door shut behind me. I stumped of, down the hall an strait into the traninghall.
I blocked out the noise of all the other people in the room and walked into one of the separate training rooms. I threw the case on the table next to the door and opened it. I pulled out the bow and a quiver already filled with arrows. I strapped the quiver on to my back and pulled out an arrow. I pulled back the arrow and aimed at the first target in the middle of the room. I led out a deep breath and led the arrow fly.
Two hours and hundreds off arrows later
I walked back down the hall, listening to the quiet voices from all the closed doors. I stopped in front of my room and took in a deep breath before opening the door. Entering and closing the door behind me fast, I walked straight for my bed. Throwing the bag into the dresser, and sitting on the edge of the bed. Travis sat at the table with a a computer in front of him and I could hear that the shower was on, so that explained were Aaron was.
I laid down pulling out my ipod from my back pocket and put on my headphones, turning the music as loud as possible. I closed my eyes ledding my mind forget about Aaron and everything else and just relax.
I woke to the feeling that someone was poking my face. Out of reflex and annoyance, I grabbed the wrist and twisted it a little, making the person cry out in pain. I open my eyes to see Travis bend over me, a painful expression on his face. I quickly led go of him and sat up.
“Sorry” I said as i rubbed the sleppines out of my eyes. Travis laughed slightly still holding onto his wrist. I finally looked around the room, my eyes seeking Aaron, but he was nowhere to be seen. I didn’t ask about him, because i couldn’t care less about where he was.
“What time is it?” I asked pulling my headphones of, so i could hear him better.
“It is 6 o’clock, I thought we could eat breakfast together. “ He said walking over to his closet, pulling out a fresh set of clothes. He was strangely enough still wearing the same clothes from yesterday like I was. He walked into the bathroom to change, leaving me alone to change to. I put on a pair of gray shorts and a plain white shirt, knowing that we had to head straight to training after breakfast. I waited for Travis, and then we walked side by side in silence towards the dining hall, through the training halls.
The dinnighal was filled with people sitting at the tables eating. We grabbed a tray and sat at the only empty table. Everybody around us was sitting in their new teams. Charles did say that we were to do everything together, to get to know each other. I looked down at the plate, it was the same old breakfast, we always have everyday; Eggs, carrots, dark bread and some juice.
I was thankful that Travis did not talk, so I enjoyed my breakfast in silence.
After breakfast we walked straight to the training hall, to start our first training session as a team.
Charles greaded us in the middle of the third training hall.
“Where is Aaron?” he asked as I closed the door behind us. I shrug my shoulders, just wanting to get training started.
“You are suppose to be together” Charles said crossing his arms.
“He was gone when I woke up this morning” Travis said. I laughed, walking past them to the wall filled with melee weapons. I pulled down a wooden staff and swung it around.
“Why can’t we just start training without him?” I asked already knowing the answer. Charles gave me a look of decaprovol, before pulling out his phone.
He turned it on and spoke into it with a calm but stearn voice “Aaron , please report to the 3th traininghal immediately” His voice came out from the speakers in the building and rung in my ears.
It was only 2 minutes before he stood in the door panting, covered in sweat and in his training clothes.
“What were you doing?” Charles asked.
“I was training” he said not daring to make eye contact with the old man.
“You are to train only in groups from now on, and if you do not….you will not be going on any missions!” He yelled as he exited the room.
“Let’s start with a warm up, five rounds around the track outside, sounds good?” I asked Travis knowing that Aaron would not be able to run that long in his current condition. Travis mirrored my smile and nodded. Aaron led out a grunt but followed us outside anyway.
I was panting heavily as I reached the finish line of my last round. I bend over my knees and closed my eyes, trying to catch my breath. I looked op as I heard footsteps approaching. It was Travis who finished his last round, sitting down onto the damp ground panting. I started to massage my leg to get the feeling back in them as Aaron finished his last round a couple minutes after us.
As soon as Aaron had caught his breath, we made our way back into the school. The walk up the stairs, was killing my legs, but I was happy that we finally got to do some real training.
“So we have to learn about each others skills...So who wants to start?” Travis asked closing the doors to the training hall behind us. I looked the men up and down, silently took note of their stamina and how strong they looked.
“Why don’t you start, Travis?” I asked, just wanting to get this training started. He gave me a little smile, and nodded.
“Then we shall start with long range shooting.” he said already leading the way to the next room.
We entered the city simulator, one of my favorites rooms to train in.
It was a room build with concrete buildings and rooftops.
It looked like a miniature city.
Travis pulled out a big shoulder bag and placed it carefully on the ground. He opened it to reveal three big snipers, in different colors. He pulled out the black on, and handed me the blue one, leaving the red on for Aaron.
Each with a gun slung over our shoulders, we made our way to the back of the room. We climbed the stair to the tallest rooftop and walked to the edge. Travis placed his gun on the edge and laide down behind it. Me and Aaron looked at each other, before mimicking what Travis did.
“Now look through the scope and see if you can find the target, at the bottom of the third building to the left” Travis said, giving me and Aaron a side look. I looked through the sight closing my right eye, and moving the gun around slightly.
“I see it” I said getting excited that i found it before Aaron.
“Good, now see if you can hit it” Travis said, laughing under his breath. I put my pointy finger to the trigger and aimed for the head. I pulled the trigger, and the gun shoot back, making it hit my shoulder hard. I winced in pain rubbing my shoulder.
“Did I hit it?” I asked once again trying to find the target.
There was a moment of silence, before Aaron laughed.
“What is so funny?” I asked already tired of his laughter and stupid face.
“You missed it by miles” He said.
“Well you haven’t hit it either?!” I argued back, I looked up at Travis, who was now sitting on the edge looking at us, trying to hide his smile.
Aaron pulled the trigger, and the shoot echoed through the room. My heart stopped, thinking that he hat hit the target on his first try, but he cursed under his breath, letting me know he also missed.
“Oh game on Aaron” I mumbled under my breath, finding the target again. I found it and took a second to calm my breath to make the gun stop shaking. This time I was prepared for the knock back and held the gun with a more firm grip. I pulled the trigger as I led out a huff of air.
The shoot echoed, ringing in my ears. I looked at Travis, who now smiled down at me.
“Congrats you hit it!” He said holding out his hand for a high five. Normally I would never do that, but at the moment I was so happy that I won over Aaron, that I slapped my hand into his.
We did some more shoots and Travis shoved us how to find a target, and stuff like that for the next two hours.
“Well since we are here, let’s do some parkour, to warm up again!” I said. Putting down the gun, and retying my shoelaces. The men led out a sigh, but didn’t complain.
I went to the south wall and plugged my Ipod into the control panel and turned up my running playlist. Not bothered to wait for the others I took of running between the building, already knowing where to go next. I ran into an ally and jumped unto the first wall, and the to the next. Making my way up to the roof fast. I jumped from roof to roof, until I made it to the end. I turned around, looking for Travis and Aaron. They were making their way towards me quickly.
When they both met me at the rooftop, I looked across the building all the way to the other end of the room.
“Let’s see who can make it back quickest!” Before I got time to count down, Aaron ran past me and jumped off the edge of the roof. I looked at Travis and nodded at him to start.
I jumped onto the next rooftop, making a roll and landing on my feet again. I slided down the water drain and landed back on the ground. I ran between the buildings as fast as i could, jumping over trash cans and mailboxes. I could see Aaron and Travis was getting closer to the goal. I looked around for something that would get me back onto higher ground and spotted a car parked on the side of the street. I jumped onto the front and made a front flip over the back of the car. I grabbed a street sign that hung over a store and swung onto the low roof of the building. I climbed the fire ladder and reached the top of the highest rooftop.
I jumped down the roof, landgin right in front of Travis.
“I came first!” I cheered. Travis smiled knowing that he had at least beaten Aaron who came running a couple of seconds after him.
The walk back to the training hall was silent except the hollow sound of our quick breath.
I glanced at the clock over the door and led out a muffled breath
“We have 30 minutes left” I said, looking to Aaron, since it was his turn to decide what to do.
“Let’s practice hand to hand combat” He said smiling that stupid smile of his again. We followed him in silence into the tranningroom, with matts on the floores and the walls. I walked into the middle of the room and looked around, waiting for Aaron to start the exercise. He walked to the back wall, and picked up a small knife, giving it a good swing to test the weight in his hand. “Let’s play around a bit” he said walking closer to me still with the knife in hand. I led out a sight, knowing what where to come.
Travis stayed back watching us with his arms folded over his chest. “What happened to Fighting like a team?” I asked mimicking Travis´ happy voice. He shook his head, not daring to fight Aaron with a knife.
“Fine, then let’s make this quick” I growled out getting into a fighting position. Being the macho man he is, he attracted me first. He swung the knife right in front of my face, making me jump backwards quickly. He used my backwards momentum to attack again, knowing it would make me fall on my ass. But what he didn’t suspect was me jumping forward, almost into the knife. I was what we called a suicide attack, but I knew what I was doing. The knife barley missed my chest and I spun around, giving him a elbow in the nose, while grabbing the hand holding the knife. He swung at me with his free hand, not bothered with the blood now running down his nose. His fist made contact with my eye, making me stumble backwards from the blow.
I looked around the room, seeking something to protect myself with. My eyes landed on Aaron´s jacket, that laid on the floor. As he swung the knife at me again, I dodge and made a roll across the floor, quickly standing back up and running to grab the jacket. I grabbed the jacket by the sleeves and held it out in front of me. He laughed attacking again, but this time i was prepared. As he moved to stab me in the gut, a classic move from knifemen like him, I sidestepped away. Quickly twisting the jacket around the hand holding the knife. I thightent it making him unable to stab me.
As he was starting to pull the jacket off, I made one last pull, making the knife fly out of his hand. I led go of the jacket, as soon as the knife got airborne. I kicked him in the gut, making him fall backwards and then spun around catching the knife between my middle and pointing finger.
“I know you little tricks by now” I said, drying the blood that was running from my eyebrow away. He stood up shaking his head “Watch you back..I won’t let you win next time” he spat. His ego just as bruised as his bloody nose.
Travis gave me a highfive when Aaron wasn’t looking, as we made our way back to our room.
Aaron slammed the door to the bathroom after him, leaving me and Travis in chook.
“How did you beat him? His specialty is knifes, and yours is not” He asked as we both sat down at the table. I grabbed the little hand mirror and a peace of cloth that he handed me, and started to clean the blood from my face as i answered.
“If it weren’t for the fact that he was so cocky and a smart ass, he would have beat me easily. I always lose to him at the tournament, but he got to confident...And that is dangerous”
“You are bleeding!” He said sounding surprised. I looked down at my chest, where e little cirkel of blood had formed. I pulled my shirt off, looking down at the tiny little stab wound, I laughed. “When I did the suicide attack, he stabbed me, but only a little bit” I said, putting a bandaid on top of the little cut. Walking over to grab a new shirt, pulling it over my head I turned to Travis again.
“Don´t tell him, that he managed to cut me, it will just make his ego bigger” I whispered laughing.
After Aaron was done cleaning up he stormed out the room not saying where he was going.
I looked at Travis who shrug his shoulders, pulling out his laptop, placing it in front of him. I took that as a sign that he didn’t really wanna talk, and I was thankful for that. I sat down on my bed pulling out my ipod putting in my earbuds and putting my favorite playlist on shuffle. I adjusted my position so my back was against the wall, and my legs were pulled up under me. I closed my eyes emptong my mind and relaxed my body.
“Just shut up already! Why, don’t you cut the crab….You are just playing nice to impress her!” I heard yelling and opened my eyes looking at Aaron holding Travis by the collar, yelling in his face. I pulled my earbuds out and jumped up from the bed.
“Aaron what the hell, let go of him!” I yelled pushing him away from Travis. Aaron didn’t see me so he was caught off guard and stumbled into the wall.
“See your little I am so nice act worked, she likes you!” He said getting of the wall and standing right up in my face.
“Why are you such an asshole, Aaron. You can at least try to get along with us, since we will be working together!” I yelled back not moving away. I knew that he wanted me to back down, but that was not gonna happen. He stared me down, not wanting to look away or back up first. I stared back into his eyes, my eyebrows knitted together my arms crossed over my chest. “You should not be the one to talk, we all know that Charles favores you out of all of us...Just because your fucking parents told him to!” Aaron yelled into my face, making me step back. Before he could enjoy his little victory, I hit him strait in the eye, making him fall backwards. Tears of anger streamed down my cheeks as I ran past him slamming the door behind me. I walked down the corridor and out the fire exit.
Letting out a shaky breath, feeling the cold september air hitting my bare legs and arm. I kept running, between the trees, further and further away from my home.
I didn’t stop before my lungs were burning. I leaned against a tree trying to catch my breath. I led my body slide down the trunk until i sat on the forest floor.