Manamancers

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Chapter 12

Matt’s Vault Room

Training Camp

Little Cottonwood Cyn

June 2005

Matt stood in his 5′x15′ vault room. It was a rather pretentious name for a rather snug and empty storage room. But, it was his and if he needed any privacy, he could always come in here. The door was opened, showing that he wasn’t being anti-social or anything. He’d been given fifteen pairs of underclothing. He wasn’t too sure why they gave him so many pairs. But it was what it was. So, he put them all in the credenza at the end of the vault, under the fifteen white shirts and eight pairs of baggy trousers, each with a pair of suspenders, hanging from the storage rod along the wall at the end. Three pairs of boots now sat on top of said credenza. And at least twenty-five pairs of light stockings.

Next to the credenza was a clothing cleaning device. It looked like a handle in a shower for old people. You slide the item of clothing between the handle and the wall and push a crystal. The clothing became clean and smelling nice.

The thing Matt liked the best was all the glittering crystal buttons on his uniform that held warding over-rides, and this one was the best, he touched the top button of his duster; it was an air conditioner. The walk on temple square was hot, even on such a beautiful June morning. All that wool held in the heat, but this button was set to keep everything inside of the duster at 76°F. He’d be comfortable no matter where he was.

Matt placed two envelopes next to his scriptures. There was a small bookshelf near the door. One envelope held a letter to his ward bishop and the other was a copy of the blessing he’d just gotten. It was the more precious of the two as the prophet himself had laid his hands on Matt’s head and spoken a blessing. Matt considered it to be a personal revelation given just to him. He placed his temple recommend, a pass to let him into any temple owned by the church, next to the letters. Smith’s was the second signature.

His first temple experience had been a tad overwhelming, but they’d assured him that it was only because it was so long and he had so much to memorize.

“Gentlemen, if you will,” came the voice of Agent Andersen. “Please come out to the dorm room.” Matt looked out and saw each of his squad members was standing in the doorways of their vaults as well.

“It’s time to start our physical training, PT for short. I want you to go back in your vaults and take out a towel. They should be in the drawer to the right. Come out here with the towel.” The boys complied and assembled before their teacher.

“We have to discuss a few things. One, we have a pool.” The boys began to chatter about the fun they’d have swimming any time they wanted.

But Anderson called for their attention and said: “It’s first for Physical Training, then amusement. Right now it’s PT. Two, dress rules. When we leave the camp, you need to be dressed in your uniform, duster, hat and all. When we’re in the hall or the kitchen, you need to be in the full uniform, but the duster is not mandatory. That hall leads to DAHQ and the kitchen is used by the HQ staff as well as the Camp. So, appropriate dress applies. The dorm and the PT areas are off limits to them, so you don’t need to be in full uniform except when we’re holding classes in the dorm room. When we’re not holding classes, you need to wear at least those underclothing we gave you, both tops and bottoms, no exceptions. --No more sleeping in the raw, Matt.-- But for all our swimming and other exercise will wear these.”

He tapped his palm and six round balls, the size of the end of his thumb appeared; each was one of the primary or secondary colors. He tossed one to each of the boys.

Matt’s was orange. He opened it up and unfolded it. It pulled out to reveal a wrestling singlet that looked like it would fit a seven-year-old.

“It stretches; don’t worry.” At about this point, Owain began to flip Joel on the backside with his towel. “Stop,” called Andersen. “Go change into the singlets and come back here.”

Matt ran to his vault, and changed. The singlet was so tight and skimpy that it really wasn’t a whole lot better than paint on his bare skin. So he wrapped his towel around his waist.

When they had all assembled, Anderson said: “All of you, come with me.” He walked to the chamber beyond the restroom. It looked like an over wide hallway with a door on either end. He pushed two different glowing hand-prints on the wall. A door on the wall opposite the restroom, twelve feet high and at least thirty wide, began to slide open. The lights came on.

“The pool’s in there,” said Owain.

“I don’t smell any chlorine,” said Joel.

“It’s a natural pool,” said Andersen as they stood at the opening looking into an enormous cavern. Natural looking light dappled the walls and ceiling after it reflected. “Or rather the water’s natural. We just diverted it. It’s purified by the mountain itself.” He then went on a long-winded history of how Orrin Porter Rockwell had built the place and Matt figured that every lesson must begin or end with Rockwell’s name.

The whole squad walked in the pool room and smiled. Even Justin. It looked like a half sized Olympic pool.

Before a towel flipping war could break out, Andersen yelled “Stop! I want you all to swim the length of the pool and back. We’re going to chart your progress, but we need to establish a base. Matt, you first. There and back. Go.”

Matt realized that as squad leader he was going to have to do everything first. He walked to the bench by the wall and threw down his modesty with his towel. He dove into the pool as quickly as possible to get out of sight. He was a fairly decent swimmer, so he dolphin kicked underwater the entire length of the pool, surfaced, and, after kicking off the far wall, swam a rather sloppy butterfly stroke back.

The other boys swam one after another. Justin came in last. Matt came in third, Luc and Nehto had each beaten him.

After Andersen had left them to their recreational swimming, Matt gathered his squad, sitting on the edge of the pool, their legs hanging in the water, and said, “Let’s turn this into a competition of who can improve the most. I’m going to have to work hard to improve enough to compete in that one.”

“I like that,” said the Brazilian. “This means I only have to swim as fast as Luc and maybe not even that. But,” his face turned pale, “that means Justin is going to beat us all.”

Justin perked up at that. Then Joel pulled Owain under the water and the first war started.

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