Author's Note and Rating
I am so pleased to say that the first chapter got a good receiving! 3+ up votes and a comment isn't that bad for a beginning story. Thanks guys! Also, I hope you enjoy this story for as long as it runs. I may be able to do it often, along with Silens cuz Silens is sorta flexible in my schedule. Thanks for reading the first chapter (if you haven't, you should), and thanks for supporting my stories through all of my 2 year stay here on KS. Enjoy, and vote-up/comment if you'd like me to cont. or if you like it. Thanks!
RATING: This chapter contains violence.
F.F.F.A Journal Notes: Cheryl Rannai
The kid is like a suppressed firecracker, bursting with untamed energy, even in sleep mode. I study her: there's something odd about the way her body functions. Her heart rate is faster than anyone I've ever seen, and for an odd reason she seems to be different from anyone else I had assessed. I think we've found the best solider, if not the perfect one.
The thing is, when you're knocked senseless, everything goes in fast motion. One minute you're getting injected with a substance that will give you "special" powers, the next, it's next Sunday and you're lying in bed, and nothing's changed.
What a bunch of liars.
I don't feel any different at all! Where's this special power I was promised? I wanna be Superman, at least for a minute. You promised this little girl something you couldn't give her, and now her spirits are crushed.
I expected to grow taller or have my body developed or something.
"Great, you're awake." Cheryl says, coming into the room. She changes her hair streaks every morning. Today she streaked her hair with purple. It looks okay, but too neat to me, since her hair is up in a bun today, with chopsticks stuck through them. Listen, Cheryl, your hair ain't noodles.
"Yeah, and nothing's different," I say tersely.
She smiles. "We have to test you first, then you'll discover what's different. Get dressed."
I do. It's the same clothes all over again, a grey shirt and spandex leggings. And it still shows my undeveloped body. Theory proved, I didn't grow at all. Just great.
Cheryl tosses a pin to me. It's needle is sharp and almost cuts my finger. "Watch out," I hiss. "I'm not wearing it."
"Some people here like to have their individual look." she laughs. "And that pin isn't meant to be worn, though you can, if you want... some here use them as fashion. But its's actually our way of currency here, besides actual money. We use the pins as rewards given out to our trainees. You can trade one pin in for one item at cheaper stores here. If you haven't noticed, the F.F.F.A is a compound, with the Arena in the middle." she starts to explain a little more. "Anyway, bronze pins can be used at bronze stores, silver pins at silver stores, and gold ones at gold stores. The price of the pin and the store goes up as you improve, as it allows you to get more."
I look down at my pin. It's bronze and has the Arena logo on it.
"You can collect, save, or spend your pins. You can trade them, but no one is allowed to steal. If you do, you surrender your pin-earnings for the day." she opens the door, and we walk out onto the plain white hallway. On the walls are various posters.
"You earn pins by doing well. For good performance, you get 1 pin a exercise, for great performance you get 2, and for perfect you get 3. At the end of the day you can choose o go to the daily assessment, where you can earn up to 10 pins on top of your current earnings. There are 5 exercises a day, so you can get 15 pins at most, plus 10 pins for the assessment. It's easy if you think it over." she hands me a piece of paper.
Bronze pins: Beginning trainees.
Silver pins: Intermediate trainees.
Gold pins: Advanced trainees.
NOTE: Once you get past the Arena, you can spend Platinum Pins if you became a trainer. The rules for trainers are different for trainees. If you survive the Arena, you live on F.F.F.A grounds and receive a weekly salary of your choice. Pins are not used, though you can still spend money in pin shops.
Great: 7 pins
IN TOTAL, YOU CAN GET A MAXIMUM OF 35 PINS. YOU CAN SPEND PINS AT PIN SHOPS THAT MATCH TO YOUR PIN COLOR. PRICES MAY VARY FOR SELECT ITEMS.
"I suggest you keep it," says Cheryl. "It helped me out a ton."
We walk along, me looking intently at the paper. I have never been able to buy anything before. Though I know about money and stuff, I have never used it. This is so new to me. Turning my head to Cheryl, I say, "What kinda stuff can I buy?"
"I have another paper with that, I think," she says, rustling around in her bag. Her glasses almost fall off as she whips out the paper. "Here!" she says. She hands it to me. "A list of shops, their pin color, and what they sell.. You may notice the shops are the same, cuz they are, they just have different color sections of a store, if that makes sense." She points to a shop we pass. "It's split into 3 sections, according to pins, and each section has ut's own cashier. Each section is referred to as a different store when they aren't, which is a bit hard to explain." I notice that the shop, which is three doors in the hallway, has it's outside walls painted bronze around one door, and silver, and gold, around the other two.
-Weapons Shop (Guns Galore)
Bronze pins: Sells training weapons such as paintguns, air rifles, and bb guns and ammo.
Silver pins: Sells small hand guns and ammo.
Gold pins: Sells everything in shop.
-Clothes, Hair, and Tattoo Shop (Bee's Beauty for Boys and Belles)
Bronze pins: Offers casual clothes and hair styles.
Silver pins: Offers hair streaks, tattoos, and nail painting.
Gold pins: Offers everything in store.
-Entertainment Shop (Entertainment Centre)
Bronze pins: Access to books, games, and movies (rent)
Silver pins: Access to books, games, movies (buy), and arcade
Gold pins: Access to night club/parties and everything in store
"T-that's a lot," I say. So much stuff I didn't even know existed. I peer into the next store we pass, which is the Weapons Shop. Mounted on the top of the bronze door, a plaque says, "Bronze Only". I look inside the door to see the store inside, painted vividly, and another door was visible on the right wall, with the words "Silver Only".
"So, where are we going now?" I ask. Cheryl is rubbing her glasses on her shirt, so I ask again.
"Oh! The training room," she says. I shake my head.
"I think I need a map," I say. I don't know where I am, where I'm going, and all that stuff.
"You'll get one when we get to the training room," Cheryl says, and we keep walking. She smiles a me a little sadly, like she is worried about me. "I hope you make some friends, you really need them here and everything." She waves me along to a big room, and comes in with me.
A few young boys are sitting along the wall, backs to the big Arena logo. Two girls sit between them, and I go over to join them. I shake my head when a boy gets up and offers his spot to me. "It's okay," I say, feeling a little odd with this show of manners. I sit a little farther away from them then I'm comfortable with, but it's too late by the time the instructor comes in.
"Welcome to the Arena, kiddies," he says. "Let's find out what you got from your solutions."
I take a deep breath, standing in front of a thick punching bag. Everyone is lined up, all with their own. The instructor walks up and down between us. "Okay," he says. "Try punching your bag. This is the first test."
I try. I am thrown back very quickly, head over heels, but I catch myself, leaning on my knees, before I hit the wall. One of the boys isn't so lucky. He crashes. Another boy catches himself just like I did, but a pair of bat wings shoot out of his back to steady him.
"Huh?" he says, a little surprised, but the instructor grins.
"Congrats," he says. "Your power is flying. Go sit over there," he points to the wall. "That was the first test to see if your power is flying. I'm glad you two caught yourselves," the instructor says, brushing his black hair out of his face. He has a young face. "Now, you two girls, hurry up and punch it. You'll never know if you can't try."
The two girls look nervously at the bags, and one punches it. She flies back, but she crosses her arms to block the wall because she flew face-forward to the wall though the bag throws you back. A huge force-field bursts from her, and she falls about 5 feet from the wall.
The instructor claps again. "Force-field protection," he nods, and motions her off. He looks at the last girl. "Your turn." He pushes her. She grins a little nervously, and kicks it hard. She also flies back, like everyone else, and hits the padded floors. She also sprouted wings, but they were large and more like a Pegasus's. "Good," he says. She goes to sit wit the other two.
I sigh. So, two flying freaks and someone who can protect herself with force fields. Great.
"You two, come with me," says the instructor to me and the other boy. "Cheryl, you take these three off to the "further assess" room. You know the drill."
The boy and I walk off behind the teacher. He brings us into the room. "Because you didn't have a protective, or defensive, ability, we know you must have an attack ability. So," he points to a big boxing ring with several buttons on the side. "Who wants to go first?" he grins a bit evilly.
"Er, I'll go," I say, and the boy looks at me in relief. Smiling encouragingly, I climb inside the ring, nervous. I'm being so stupid. You don't go into a ring with buttons, and odd symbols on the floor, and-
An ax flies at me from the ceiling, barely clipping my arm. Blood spurts from my arm, and I screech. Then a sword swings, and I dodge. I dodge as various sharp-bladed weapons come at me, though a few clip me, and not in a minor sense. They are covered with blood when they swing back into the roof.
"Quit dodging!" says the instructor. "Attack!" he presses a button, and a dummy leaps out of the ring, on wheels, swinging an ax. "Attack it!"
I leap, hitting the dummy in the head. For a moment, my arms and legs are covered with an odd substance. I try again, and I realize my agility has increased. I leap and dodge another attack. Then I punch the dummy in the head, and the head drops off, showing a metal skeleton.
"Agility isn't a power," says the instructor: "It must be a side effect, keep on fighting."
I jump, and something stirs behind me. I glance. A wind gust bursts from my hands, and I look at the dummy, which is blown off. I gasp, and drop down.
"You're a nature user," says the teacher. "Cheryl!" he yells. She comes, from where, I don't know. "Kiseki is a nature user; you know where she goes." Cheryl nods, and pulls me away.
"Hey!" I say. "What's wrong?"
She pulls me to a corner, biting her lip. "You need to go come with me. I need to explain something."