In the morning, my nose was still tender. I sat up, wishing very much to pass out again. I didn't get much sleep. My newfound ability kept me up as I kept feeling all the motion in the area.
I didn't get to sleep in, though. We were being brought out for some new thing that day. I found myself not really caring what it was anymore.
We were brought to the same room we received the injections in. All of the previous equipment had been removed. In its place was what appeared to be workout equipment. Or, something similar, at least.
We were split into two groups and started to go through a rigorous physical routine. This went on for weeks. They'd change the exact routine every so often, but it was always some kind of physical training. They never told us why we were doing this. Or for how long. We were just told to shut up and do it.
After one week of this, they started having us train with weapons. Just melee weapons. Guess they didn't trust us to not shoot them if given guns. I had trouble with most of them. Sure, I knew how to hold and swing a sword. But when I was up against a trainer, I got beat every time. Got a lot of bruises that way. I found I was more comfortable with a knife. But, even then, I wasn't great.
For some reason, I was starting to get worried by that. I mean, what would they do if I didn't learn how to use a weapon right? I didn't want to think about that.
In the second week, they started having us train our abilities as well. I had never felt my abilities to be so strong before. I could easily move objects with a flick of the wrist that used to take both arms. I could move things further and faster than ever before.
It felt wonderful.
In the third week, they started having us use our abilities in combat training. This is where I started to excel. Maybe it was due to my abilities being good compliments to fighting. Maybe it was because I finally had an outlet for every feeling I'd had since this whole fiasco began. Either way...it felt great to throw my opponents around. I realized quickly that there was no way I could escape from these sessions. They had armed guards at the door, and probably more in the hall. And I'm sure the guards were well trained with their own abilities.
The ability combat training also revealed that I had a knack for using weapons with my abilities. I'm not sure why, but it felt more natural for me to hold a sword with my abilities than with my hands.
Finally, after weeks of this, we were told why we were in this training routine. We had been gathered in the main room again. Instead of our usual training equipment, there were ten storage lockers. Each one had one of our ID numbers on it. There was also a table on the side the had a figure of a human head with some kind of collar around its neck.
"Subjects, today you will be performing the first of many missions. This is what we have gathered you and enhanced you for. This is what we trained you for. This is what we made you for."
The doctor walked near the figure on the table. "Now, each of you will put on one of these collars. These collars are to remain on your neck until we say otherwise. If you try to escape during this mission, well, this is what will happen." He pulled a little device out of his pocket and pushed a button. The collar exploded, sending pieces of plastic flying through the air. "If you do anything against the mission, we will detonate the explosive. If you try to remove it in any way, it will automatically detonate. Yes, 5641, that includes removing it with shadows."
After that eye-opening display, we were told to open our lockers and put on the gear. I opened mine to find a black, skin-tight outfit on top. There was no way it would fit over my clothes. Which meant they expected us to strip right here. I sighed to myself and removed my shirt. By now, the branding mark on my shoulder had healed physically. But, the emotional pain from it was still there. I could feel it rubbing against the fabric of the outfit. It didn't hurt, but I still didn't like it.
After the outfit, I found a belt with several throwing knives. They were brand new and hardly weighed anything. I put the belt around my waist, then lifted up the next item. It was a two-foot diameter bladed ring. The inner and outer edges were bladed, with three spots around it without any edge. They lined up with the three straps on the back of my outfit. With my abilities, I floated the ring in place and secured it. Then I finished dressing, donning the combat boots and gloves. I looked around at the others through this, taking not of what they had.
Everybody had pretty much the same outfit as me, with some minor variations. Selvik had four swords as his weapons. I recognized the pair of hook swords he always used during training. He also had a pair of swords with custom hilts, so he could wield them like tonfas.
Trace, the Life girl, had a simple handgun with many clips, as well as a couple grenades. She was meant as the team healer. Part of our job would be to make sure she never had need to use her weapons.
My eyes found one of the Wind Bases next. His name was Vishta. He had longer, dark hair, and his face made him look brooding. He had a pair of single-edged blades in a custom sheath. One hilt was at his right shoulder, while the other was at his left hip.
The Earth Base, Malox, was leaning against his closed case, waiting to continue. I swear, the guy would've been smoking if they let him. He has a simple wooden staff.
Terrik, the male Fire Base, seemed a little on edge. He was a big guy, and seemed to prefer fist fights during combat training. He donned a pair of bracers that'd help give some strength to his punches. And probably keep his wrists from giving out, too.
The Water woman, Elisia, still seemed out of it. I found myself wondering how she made it to this point. Why would they keep her? It obviously wasn't for amusement. Maybe the pair of steel claws she held was the answer.
The other Wind, Wolver, seemed to almost enjoy this. He was holding his scythe like a walking stick. When I had been getting dressed, he was messing with the side handle on it. There was a loud click, followed by the top bar holding the blade swinging up, and the blade dropping straight down to the floor with a loud clatter. The blade had a chain running from the back of it to the pole of the scythe. He grinned at that. Which made me nervous.
The Fire woman, Ivie, kept nervously fiddling with he weapons. She had retractable blades on her forearms and calves. She did a lot of acrobatic maneuvers during her training. She was crazy flexible, too.
Lastly, my eyes found the male Water Base. Ozkar. He didn't have any actual weapons. He preferred using his abilities. And he leaned more towards the ice side of his abilities than the water side. He'd freeze parts of his opponents and strike them there.
Once we were geared up and had the exploding collars in place, they led us to another tram. It had no windows, so we couldn't see anything that was going by. We didn't talk to each other as we traveled. Not just because of the many guards with us. Because of the fact that we were pretty much all nervous and a little afraid of whatever was coming. They still hadn't told us exactly what we would be doing. Which, at least for me, was a sign that it probably wasn't good.