I was sore.
Despite my recently acquired wounds, my malnourished bodily state, the searing pain from the stitches in my shoulder, and my general discomfort with the situation at hand, Colonel Wilde had immediately passed me on to training.
Training was grueling. I had spent the entire afternoon at a station learning the function of assorted weapons and gadgets, and how to perfectly prime, construct, care for, and occasionally defuse each. But this was not even the worst of it. During the monotony of training on several occasions, I was subjected to spontaneous masquerades of emergency situations, along with my fellow trainees. The most recent drill was the most terrible for certain, I had somehow ended up underneath the feet of several other initiates. I was abandoned, left dazed and bruised, but I was not alone for long. As the training area filled with a stinging poison gas, a hulking gas-masked “attacker” appeared without warning, ripped me up to my feet, and a struggle ensued. If it hadn’t been for the initiate that had scrambled directly into our conflict and bewildered the monster of a man assaulting me, I may not have slipped away.
My knowledge of the weapons seemed to please the drill sergeant enough to allow me to pass on to the next station: target practice. I was excited by the possibility of something I might enjoy, and had just reached the armoury when it happened. Nearby, an explosion rang out, nearly tearing me from my feet. The concussive force of the blast rattled me to the very core, sending vibrations echoing down my limbs.
This was no drill.