Yes, the book is long. I know. It's not even close to being done. At least ten more chapters, if not more.
...And finally, another really long one! :)
Dedrick looks at me. "Well, I won't waste times
with ers, uhs, or ahems," he said. "It was that
old witch lady."
"Mother Hathol," I say.
"At any rate," he continues, "It was right
before the bombing. I was in the market square
when Mother Hathol grabbed my arm and told me to
run as fast as I could into the forest. When I
stared at her, she stared at me, and" -he took a
shaky breath- "For some reason, it was like she
could slip a piece of information into my mind.
It was like she told my mind to go into the
forest, no asking questions. So I dropped
everything and ran." He exhaled. "It took me
about half and hour to get here. I didn't stop.
When I reached the lake, I saw movement on the
other side. Rebel guards grabbed me and lugged
me down here. They brought me before Buarka for
trespassing. When I told her what happened, she
believed me, I guess. She put me in that
ridiculous suit." he glances at me. "You didn't
think I looked good in it, did you?"
Dedrick gives me a small grin. "Now tell me how
you got here."
So I tell him. When I finish, I cry, "Oh no! I
hope Arrow's alright! she was in the forest with
Samson when the bombing began!"
"It's okay," Dedrick says. "Samson was with her.
He'll protect her, not that she doesn't already
I gave a weak smile. "I guess."
Dedrick stands up. "Now let me show you around
The rebel who had brought us our drinks*, Kadag,
leads us around. I don't really pay attention
that much. All I really took in was: This is is
BIG. But when Kadag mentions the word "bow", I
"Sorry, what?" I ask.
Kadag raises her eyebrows. "This is the weapon
room, or the Arsenal." She gestures to a doorway
on our right. "It contains weapons from machine
guns to spears. THere are even bows and arrows,
but the arrows were modified, with explosive or
poisoned tips. The same for crossbows, and there
are even spears."
I stopped listening after the words 'poisoned
"Can I have one of the bows and some arrows? Can
we go in there? Can we practice? Is there an
Kadag sighs. "No, no, yes, and yes. The Arsenal
Room is for authorized personel only, or you
must have a signed permission slip from Buarka.
You may practice on the weapons practice room,
right there." She pointed at the door to the
"Um okay, the tour can end now, goodbye," I say,
breaking away and hurrying into the training
room. Kadag and Dedrick have no choice but to
When I step inside, I can only stop and stare.
It is a huge room - almost larger than the
Control Room. The Training Room was full of
people, punching bags, fencing with fake swords,
lifting weights, running down a large red track,
and - to my pleasure - shooting down a hundred-
foot archery range.
"Ah, the Training Room," Kadag sighs. "New
recruits train here for twelve months, training
in all catagories. Every January, a group of ten
comes in this room, one day per ten, and
performs for five certain judges. The ten are
rated in a ten scale, and if the total of the
ten's rankings are above seventy, then they pass
and form a squad. If they don't, its another
"Huh." Dedrick says. "Can we train?"
Kedrig eyes us. "There is no age limit, but we
can't let an eighty year old or a three year old
train for the army. Well, I suppose they could,
but I doubt either of them would pass."
"So we can?"
"Fine. I'll give you each a list of the things
you must be able to do adequately to pass.
Sadly, you are several months behind in
training." She hands us each a paper. "I will
find a group of eight and an instructor you can
work with, unless yuo would like to wait nine
months?" She raises an eyebrow.
"Nah, I'll do it," I say quickly. Dedrick agrees.
"All right. I'll be back in a few minutes.
Explore a bit."
I made a beeline for the archery range, but
Dedrick stopped me. "Look at the chart," he
said. We have to be able to shoot an arrow at a
target fifty feet away and hit within twenty
inches of the bull's eye."
"Shoudln't you work on something else? You've
already mastered shooting."
"Fine," I snarl. I scan the paper, looking for
the most interesting. "Fencing." I head for the
rack of fake swords.
"No," Dedrick says, stopping me again.
"What?!" I snap.
"That's rally hard. We can't start that by
ourselves. Let's work on running."
He grabs my wrist and leads me to the large red
track by the far wall.
I estimate that it is about quarter of a mile
long. (Yes, the room is that big)
Dedrick consults the chart. "We've got to run to
the end and back in twenty minutes."
"Twenty?!" I cry, looking with distaste at the
White lines about three feet apart
seperated the large track into sections so
several people could run at once, each with
numbers spray-painted onto them.
"I'll go first." Dedrick puts down his sheet of
paper on a bench and takes running shoes and
socks from a large rack next to the track.
I look around and see a large bin that happens
to have stop watches in it.
"Ready?" I ask Dedrick as he finishes tying the
laces of his last shoe.
"Okay," he replies and crouches at the front of
the track by an empty section marked as Section
"Go!" I yell, and Dedrick races away as I press
the START button.
What I don't know is that Gilan is yelling that
same exact thing, far away, in the City.
*See Chapter Thirty Three
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