I get thrown back, and I hit the training mat hard on my back with pain screaming throughout my body as I let out a groan in frustration, then I got up. I probably have more bruises than I ever had in my entire life just by going through all these brutal training sessions, and I mean brutal. These training sessions have been the hardest thing in my life, and I thought parkour would’ve been more difficult? I was wrong until I came here.
The Fordham Manor. A place so full of wonder after setting foot through that front door, or at least it was to me. However, it seems like this place hides a lot of secrets underneath that warm, comfy atmosphere. Secrets I have yet to uncover, but I only know so few. The only thing I know about this place is that it’s the home to Fighters, but I don’t exactly know what it means to be a Fighter...
“I can’t seem to get it, Storm. Maybe I’m not cut out to be a Fighter,” I said with a frustrated tone since I’ve been pretty stressed and frustrated with all this training.
“Bullshit. Anyone can be a Fighter. Clearly, you didn’t come here with fighting skills,” Storm said as she twirled around a bo staff.
“No, I never had a reason to fight. I can’t even throw a proper punch,” I said, then I let out a heavy sigh.
“Here. Twirl it,” Storm said as she throws the bo staff to me. Luckily I caught it and it’s kind of heavy.
I try twirling the staff, but I end up hitting myself in the face with it rather hard that it made me lose my balance. I fall onto the mat, hitting the left side of my face. Geez, I have never been in so much pain in my life. Let’s hope I didn’t break my jaw or whatever else in my face after that.
“That’s sad,” I heard Icarus say.
“That hurt,” I said as I rub my cheek as I sit up.
“We’re done for today,” Storm said with a sigh as she walks off the mat.
I get up and put the staff back with all the others on a wooden rack that was close by the mat. I let out a sigh in frustration. I have only been here for a week and I’ve made no progress at all. This is getting frustrating and I can’t seem to figure out what I’m doing wrong. I just can’t fight because I never had to since someone else fought off the KrugerSec that was always around Glass. However, I haven’t even been out in the field yet and I already have all these bruises just from training with Storm and Icarus.
“What am I going to do? Maybe I should go back to Glass,” I said to Icarus as we went into the locker room.
“Obviously Storm doesn’t want you to. She clearly sees something in you,” Icarus said with assurance, but it doesn’t seem to be clear to me. I wonder what Storm sees in me.
“Yeah, probably because I can do some parkour and know how to hack. She’s making me do stuff that I can’t do,” I said as I put my regular clothes on. “Besides, how are you better than me?”
“Because I knew how to fight before coming here. Storm said I was good on hand to hand combat, she wants to train me on knives.”
“There’s no way she’s going to let me even touch a weapon at this rate.”
“You’ll get the hang out it.”
“It needs to come fast since I’m really behind compared to these other guys,” I said as I glance at him.
“Nomad, these guys been here for years, so of course we’re not going to catch up to them,” Icarus said as he comes closer to me. He was already dressed.
“This is just getting frustrating,” I said.
“Oh chill. Stressing out isn’t going to help.”
“I’m pretty sure I’m making Storm stress.”
“I wouldn’t be surprised if she is all the time. Probably doesn’t matter on the person,” Icarus said as we walk out of the training room and met up with Storm in the hall.
“Took you guys long enough,” Storm said.
“Sorry, we were talking,” Icarus said.
“Let’s head back to our hall,” Storm said as we start walking back to the first floor.
“Storm, we should train more later,” I said to her.
“Because I don’t want you to get severely hurt from training. You’re pushing yourself too hard,” Storm answered.
“I gotta get better,” I said.
“And you will eventually.”
“Yeah, eventually, but I want to get better now.”
“Nomad, you don’t want to push yourself or you’re going to hurt yourself,” Storm said as she stops in front of me.
“There’s gotta be a way...”
“I’ll figure something out, but in the meantime, stay out of the training room, you already have a lot of bruises,” Storm said as she walks away.
I stand there as I let out another heavy sigh. I have never been so stressed and frustrated in my life until I came here. This week has made me wish I stayed in Glass and should have never gone over to Noah’s cabal when Storm came. I thought this would be better for me, but I was so wrong and now I’m stuck here fighting in some war that I never even heard about. I mean, I never heard of these Fighters and Hells back in Glass, and it makes me wonder if there are any in Glass, but I doubt it since Glass is corrupted enough and probably wouldn’t let any of them set foot in the city.
“Come on. You should probably do something about those bruises or you’ll definitely be hurting tomorrow,” Icarus said as he grabs my arm and drags me with him.
“Like anything is going to work,” I said as I roll my eyes, and jerk my arm away from him.
“Oh, quit being negative. That’s probably why you’re not getting anything is because you’re being too negative,” Icarus said as he elbows me in the arm.
“That hurt, you jerk!” I said as I punch him the arm.
“Seriously! You seriously want to fight right now!” Icarus yells as he rubs his arm where I punched him.
“You started it!” I yelled.
“All right, break it up!” Storm yells as she came in between us. “What the hell has gotten into you two?”
“He’s being a brat like always,” Icarus said as he starts walking away.
“Take it back!” I said angrily as I was about to go after him, but Storm went in front of me and stops me.
“Come on, Nomad, fighting with one of your teammates isn’t going to solve anything,” Storm said.
“Teammates with him! I rather not be.”
“Well too bad, you both are teammates, and one of these days you both could end up saving each other’s lives. You both need to learn how to get along,” Storm said and I let out a sigh.
“This is bullshit,” I mumbled.
“I know it hasn’t been easy for you lately, and believe me, there were some here who had the same problems, but whatever is getting at you, you need to let it go for now. For right now, go take a bath or something to help calm you down. We will resume training tomorrow morning. Okay?”
“Okay,” I said in a low tone.
“Just don’t do anything stupid,” Storm said, then she walks away.
I went back to the Unit’s area, and went into my bathroom, at least we don’t have to share bathrooms with anyone. I turn the faucet on and made sure the temperature was good before filling up the tub which does take a little bit of time. I start to take my clothes off as I was looking at myself in the mirror just to see all the bruises and red marks I got throughout the week. I’m surprised my body just isn’t completely covered in bruises.
I slip on the black shorts that we are required to wear in the shower for purposes I’m not quite sure of since I didn’t ask, but who cares. I grab my phone out of my pants pocket and got into the tub. I turn the facet off after the water got to a certain point, then I lean back and slouch down with my body almost completely submerged in water. I start to relax, releasing all this tension.
I look at my new phone since I guess they give Fighters new ones whenever they join a Unit or something. I’ve been trying to figure it out since we surely don’t have phones like these in Glass, but then again, everything here is modern and everything at Glass is futuristic. It was a huge culture shock for me when I came here. It was like I stepped into a whole another world.
As I was messing around on my phone, there was a knock on the door. Ugh, do I really want to be bothered right now?
“Doors unlock,” I said and the door opens and there was Storm. Again...
“I’m surprised you would be on your phone while in the tub,” Storm said as she closes the door.
“Am I not supposed to be?”
“Phone’s waterproof so it doesn’t matter. It’s not often that I see someone on their phone while in the tub,” Storm said with a small chuckle.
“I’m still trying to figure everything out with it,” I said. “Anyway, what’s up?”
“I figured out what weapon I want to train you on.”
“Are you sure that’s wise since I can’t seem to do anything?”
“I know you can do this. I have faith in you.”
“What is it then?”
“I don’t know about that...” I said.
“I only have one person that knows how to use spears, it would be nice to have another.”
“I’m sure you need training in hand to hand combat first before I can wield a weapon.”
“Don’t worry, I’m coming up with a training plan with one of my others and he might help out too,” Storm said.
“Is everyone in the Unit guys?” I asked as I sat up.
“Geez, how can you handle all that?”
“Easy,” Storm said with a grin. “Well, I’ll leave you be and we’ll talk more about it tomorrow.”
“Okay,” I said and Storm leaves.
I let out a small sigh and I look through the contacts on my phone. There were a lot of contacts, a lot I don’t even know, but it looks like it’s everyone from the Unit. I toss my phone over to my clothes and I get out of the tub. I drain it out after I dried off, and I take the shorts off and slip my boxers on.
I grab my clothes and phone and went out of my bathroom. I walk into the bedroom only to find it empty and threw my clothes on my bed. I grab a plain black shirt from my drawers and put it on. I leave the bedroom and I walk down the hall, walking by many doors leading to more rooms, and I walk into the kitchen. Only Merc was in there, sitting at the table reading the newspaper.
I decided to sit by him. I had my head down, resting it on my arms, and I was reading the front page of the paper. It didn’t seem like a regular newspaper.
“Is this a newspaper for Fighters?” I asked Merc.
“Yup,” he answered in his deep voice that seemed unamused.
“Anything interesting going on?” I asked since I was curious.
“Just the same old bullshit,” Merc said as he folds the newspaper up and places it on the table.
“I don’t know what really goes on,” I said as I grab the paper.
“That’s right you’re new to the whole Fighter business,” Merc said as he stands up and went over to the coffeemaker that was on the counter behind him.
“Seems like a lot does go on,” I said as I skim through the paper, reading all the bolded headlines.
“You can take it if ya want. I already finished reading it. Just need to read the Manor’s paper,” Merc said as he sits back down with a cup of coffee and throws another paper on the table.
“Even the Manor has a newspaper?” I asked.
“Yup. A lot goes on around here, but let’s see what other bullshit they said about Storm,” Merc said as he starts reading the other paper.
“They talk bad about her even though she’s the headmaster?”
“Sometimes, but it’s also the fact that she’s a leader of a Unit.”
“Aren’t all headmasters have a Unit also?”
“No, they’re not supposed to. Storm’s the only exception because she has to fight in this war.”
“Then who takes care of all the headmaster stuff?”
“She has a desk guy in her office who takes care of everything for her. You haven’t been in her office yet, have ya?”
“Nope,” I answered. “I have mostly been in the training room getting the life beaten out of me.”
“Storm told me you’ve been struggling in training.”
“That’s embarrassing,” I said.
“Storm tells me everything. She pretty much has to.”
“How the hell can you handle everything?”
“It’s called sleepless nights and lots of caffeine,” Merc said sarcastically.
“Right...” I said in a really low tone.
“Anyone talking shit about me?” Storm asked Merc as she sits down in her spot.
“Not yet. Haven’t gotten that far,” Merc answered.
“That’s surprising. Usually, they have a whole bunch of bullshit about me in there.”
“I know and I have to go fucking yell at the reporter that writes the bullshit. I wish they would stay out of our business.”
“Oh well. Anyway, what are we having for dinner?” Storm asked as she stands up.
“Don’t know,” Merc answered.
“It’s too hot to eat anything,” I said.
“It is July,” Storm said as she looks in the fridge.
“How can you stand it?” I asked.
“I’ve lived here most of my life. You get used to it after a while.”
“I need a couple of you to head out tomorrow,” Merc said.
“Us two can go,” Storm said as she glances at me.
“Umm, what about training?” I asked.
“Whatever Merc has us do will be your training.”
“Are you sure that’s a good idea?”
“Usually the best training comes from experience,” Storm said.
“All it is is a survey job. There’s some suspicious stuff goin’ on at this one place with this new threat and I need a couple of ya to go check it out,” Merc said.
“See, no fighting involved. Nothing to sweat over,” Storm said as she looks over at me.
“Hopefully there wouldn’t be any or I’ll surely die.”
“No, you won’t. I’ll make sure you won’t,” Storm said as she grabs my arm.