Cassius couldn't help but feel a cringe of fear as he stood at the back of the rest of the Penal Company, watching as they went through the so-called "Confidence Course" one by one. It was a half mile long obstacle course filled with walls, razor wire, pits full of spikes or mud, and even electrical fencing. The worst part was far from the potentially lethal hazards that riddled the course however; it was from the "Valkyries" that were Jyarl's officers that would take potshots at anyone moving too slow through any of it. Sure, they never did more than graze a bullet, but the thought of them missing their mark was more than enough to drive most of the Legionnaires to make haste.
As this was Cassius' first time, the threat Jyarl had said about the Valkyries made him more than a little nervous. No fear. Cassius tells himself, running his hand over his smooth cranium. He could have looked like his "hero" self, all muscular, blond, handsome, and suave, but he didn't believe that he deserved that after what he did. No hero would murder four people like that.
Penance had to be done first.
Despite the fear, Cassius watched as the other convicts ran the course ahead of him, paying close attention to the more experienced ones and where they put their hands or feet when they climbed. One in particular seemed especially good at it, much to his distaste. Leah Loveman was yet another of the damnable Human Supremacists and had made her hate for him quite clear on their first night there. Cassius was thankful for Halifax's warning about her, especially after he saw the deadly glint in Leah's eyes.
He hadn't slept that night, choosing to keep up instead to watch his back. He'd have to be wary around her.
She was by far the quickest and most experienced, and proved it when she completed the course well under the standard time. With a glance up at the watchtower, Cassius could see Jyarl nod and write down the time. When he looked back, the son of Magtok could see Leah give him a proud sneer, daring him to beat her.
Setting his jaw, Cassius walked up to the line, knelt down slightly, and decided to do just that. As my father would likely say...Go Big or Go Home.
With the bark of Jyarl's pistol, Cassius darted forward at more than human speed as he headed towards the first eight foot timber wall. He thanked his mother for the enhancements she had built into his body, and with a bit more tweaking, he thanked his father as well for his gift of shapeshifting.
As he slammed into the wall, forcing the chitin wedge of sledgehammer into a seam in the boards, a quote popped up in his head, even though he couldn't remember what it was from.
The quickest way to get through an obstacle is to get through it. Never around or over.
The cracking of the boards as they busted apart, the wall collapsing behind him as he continued through the course at his high speed, couldn't keep his laughter from being heard. Looking ahead, he saw the ten meters of razorwire he was supposed to crawl under, and soon enough the hammer switched to a long razored blade.
I am Cassius Godlark and I will NOT be cowed into compliance!
Up in the watchtower, Jyarl allowed a small smirk to come to his lips, amused at the destruction of the course. Maybe Cassius would get through three inches of hardened steel that was the core of the last "wooden" wall.
Maybe, but he doubted it.