TrainingMorning comes as the sun rises, shining light on my face. Its warmth brings me comfort as I come to my senses. Of course, the real thing that wakes me up is the alarming voice of someone familiar.
“Up and at ‘em, loser! Get your butt out of bed!”
I open my eyes to see no one other than Katherine Hawkins.
“Aah!” I yell. Katherine laughs, but in a different way. It doesn’t sound like a cat being strangled to death. Which is unusual for a person like Katherine.
“Katherine?” I ask, still a bit startled. She smiles.
“Yep, it’s me, dumbface. I’m your mentor for combat skills.”
“Wh-What?” I ask.
“Yeah,” Katherine says. “I’m your trainer. Today we’ll be working in the shooting range. You’re not afraid of guns, are you?”
“Not until last night,” I reply.
Katherine chuckles for a bit. “Yeah, I’ve always had my suspicions on Ms. Madden. She always seemed like the acting type.”
I grin. “True. So all that bullying is behind us?”
“Yeah,” she says, “but I’ve got to tell you something. That necklace…”
Xavier interrupts us. “Ah, Shay, so I see you’ve met your mentor. Good to take the initiative on things.”
“It isn’t the first time we’ve met,” I reply.
“True,” X says, “but this is the first time you truly know who she is. Shay, meet Kit.”
“Kit?” I ask.
Katherine nods. “It’s my nickname here at X-Axis. Everyone calls me by that name.”
“Well,” I say, “nice to meet you, Kit.”
Katherine smiles. “Pleasure.”
I turn for a moment to look, but Lucas isn’t around. Too bad. I wish he could come with me.
“Alright, it’s time for you girls to get going. You have a lot of work to do in order to whip this girl in shape,” X says.
“No kidding,” Kit replies. “She’s almost as strong as a bendy straw.”
“Hey!” I yell. “I’m stronger than you two would think!”
“Hmm,” Kit says. “We’ll see about that. Come on, Shay.”
I get out of bed and get dressed. The two of us enter a black van that is supposed to take us to the firing range.
“So, what were you saying earlier?” I ask her.
“Huh?” Kit replies. “What are you talking about? I wasn’t going to say anything.”
“Oh,” I reply.
“Got your head stuck up in the clouds or something?” Kit asks. I shake my head.
“Don’t think so,” I reply.
“You seem to be stuck somewhere. I think I know your little secret,” she says playfully.
“What secret are you talking about? I’m an open book,” I reply.
“Don’t toy with me, Shay,” Kit whispers. “I know you like Lucas.”
“What?! We’re just friends! There’s nothing going on between us!” I yell. “Besides, even if I did like him, I’m dating another guy.”
“Oh? Who is it?”
“Daniel Miller,” I answer.
Kit’s eyebrows wrinkle. “Daniel Miller… I think I’ve heard that name somewhere else before.”
“Yeah, he’s in my class. Tall guy, black hair, grey eyes…”
“Ohh, that Daniel. He’s cute,” Kit says.
“Hey, watch it! That’s my boyfriend!” I exclaim.
“Ladies,” the chauffer says, “I’m sorry to intrude on your… delightful conversation, but we’ve arrived at the firing range.”
“Thank you,” I say. We get out of the van.
It’s a large grey building with only two windows and an iron door. The red paint on the outside has nearly worn out, tearing itself off of the walls. Above the door are two words written in a menacing font, “SHOOTING RANGE”. I shiver.
We enter through the iron door and come into a very large room. Several guns decorate the back wall, and there are targets all around.
“Wow,” I say. I’m taken aback. “This place is incredible.”
“Yeah, well, I’ll admit that the outside of the range looks bad, but you can’t judge a book by its cover, can you?” Katherine waves a finger at me. “I’ve taken care of this place since I found it. It was abandoned.”
“Wow, you take care of it all by yourself?” I ask. Kit nods.
Kit grabs a rifle from the wall and tosses it at me. “Here, catch!” she yells.
I grab the gun and walk to one of the targets. Kit follows me and taps my shoulder.
“Now, here’s how you do it,” she says. “Just relax and look at where you want the bullet to hit. Then angle the gun just barely above that.”
I do as she says, and the bullet hits an inch below the bulls-eye. “Nicely done,” Kit remarks. “Just angle it a bit higher than last time.”
I get a second chance. I pull the trigger again, and it hits the center, but just barely.
“Wow,” Kit says. “I didn’t expect that. Nice job for someone who’s never held a gun before.”
“Thanks,” I reply. And I mean it.
For the next few hours, we do nothing but shoot at targets. Eventually, Kit pushes a button that moves, and once I’ve mastered that, she gets the targets to hit you with a laser gun. It’s rather interesting. She hands me a suit that’s black with a flashing light.
“If you get shot with the laser, the button will stay on and you’ll hear a loud beeping sound,” she says.
I only get shot once, and it’s in the shoulder… the same place that Beatrice shot me.