Chapter 3
Fugitives and Spies

"Why have you asked us here?" Father asked the man. His eyebrows were set in a straight line.

"I suppose you are wondering," the man said, and acted obnoxiously comfortable in his swiveling leather chair. He turned around sideways and pulled down a map of the country, the ocean, and the enemy's country. "You see, our army has been doing a very good job with the war lately. But that has presented us with a whole new additional problem- people are sneaking into our country. But they are still against us, and will work havoc from inside. They come to our country when their army bases have been destroyed, or they have escaped our prisons. But they come as fugitives and spies, and they mean nothing but trouble. Do you understand how one person can do more damage a millon depending on where they are?"

They nodded.

"Well, in the event of an internal attack, or perhaps bombs from across the ocean, even, we all need to be prepared and able to live in the wild without a home, oven, or a modern convienience. If your city is destroyed, you have to be able to survive in the wild,"

"What does any of this have to with us?" Robyn said through gritted teeth as her patience abruptly ran out with the chubby man. He was merely rambling. Was this just some rant everyone had to go to so as no one could blame them if the cities were destroyed and no one knew what to do?

"Because we want to prepare everyone now. The government has kept a very large secret. Over the years, we have been building a planet. Yes, building a planet which replicates Earth. And it is here, on this man-made planet, where you will be trained for such disasters," the man said merrily.

"Me? No way, I don't think so," Robyn said. This man was insane. The idea was cockamamie.

"Yes, you will, Robyn. You don't have a choice,"

"This is so stupid. What about the people who will die on that planet?" Robyn stood up. She was defiant.

"We know best. Anyway, the three of you will be sent to a strength-building camp for a week. Then, you will fly to the planet for your testing. Ms. Struebel, please escort them to their facilities,"

"Oh sure, I'm sure you think you know best! What sort of idiots are you all?" Robyn said as she walked out of the office (once reclaiming her knife) behind Ms. Struebel. She knew what was going on now, but it didn't make sense.

Before they knew what was happening, Ms.Struebel had them in her car and was driving them someplace. The car stopped by some cabins, some very large. Ms. Struebel said nothing, but they got of the car as soon as she got out.

They walked to a small cabin filled with books and clothes. "Put these on," Ms. Struebel said.They were long legged, long sleeved, one-piece navy blue somethings. There was a belt attached.

She led them to another small cabin, where someone was in charge. Nothing was asked of them, though they kept waiting for the man behind the desk to ask them something. Ms. Struebel filled out papers and finally led them to a cabin full of beds

.and other kids.

+^+^+^+^+^

"So none of you know more than we do?" Kim was asking the other kids.

"No. I don't know what this is, really,"

"What if that wasn't really the army and this is like a.. a.. a concentration camp! Set up by the enemy!"

"Naw,"

And then everyone started babbling amongst themselves.

"And what are we going to do for the week we're here?" Robyn asked.

"They'll torture us!"

"Maybe they want to train us to fight in the war, not go to the other planet,"

"Naw, people'd sue,"

And so it went.

+^+^+^+^+^

Later that day an instructor walked into the mega-long cabin, greeted by abrupt silence. Some had actually begun to enjoy themselves. But now it looks like it was time for "serious stuff" again.

"Follow me," the man said, and everyone scurried after him. He was already heading for the door.

They went in a line to another, very large, echoey cabin. It was filled with gym equipment. It was absolutely enormous. The last part of it had punching bags and thick blue mats over the floor (a karate arena, presumably)but the rest was littered with machines. Treadmills, weights. Every excersise machine you've ever seen on infomercials and more (excluding aerobics things, which were probably considered sissy).

"Get to work," said the man. But he lingered by the exit, though, making sure everyone followed his word.

Well, this wasn't so bad. Robynd to use excersise equpment, ad trampolines and all. The trampoline was in a corner of the mat area, big enough for more than one. It was filled with rubber balls.

Atcually, this was becoming more and more fun.

There was one person there, somewhat older, who had been here a day or two already.

"Put these on," he said to Robyn, giving her punching gloves, head padding, etc.

"You're supposed to fight in there?" she asked, confused.

"Oh yeah," he said. He walked off to a Bowflex, but soon another girl came by. They were the same size, so Robyn asked if she wanted to. Robyn wasn't sure whether or not to say play or fight, but the girl got the message anyway and agreed.

They climbed in, and started bouncing as best they could through the balls. Things near immeadiately degenerated to chaos, as the balls bounced over their heads when the jumped. And then they fell back on you, and some balls even went flying out. But it was the fun sort of chaos, andsoon Robyn and the other girl were wrestling and bouncing at the same time, the raining balls making a repitetive rhythm on the trampoline.

The girl got tough, and shoved Robyn off of her. She landed a few feet back, bouncing. The balls went higher than ever, and hit harder than ever.

It was so much fun, Robyn forgot all about the troubles that lay ahead.

+^+^+^+^+^

Authoress' Notes: Well! I finally got a review on this. one. but by now even that's something to rejoice over.

Elinore: Thanks for the review. I didn't realize it sounded weird. Did I ever actually say the parents thought it was a joke? I can't remember. I guess I figured they knew better than to argue with the army. Maybe I'll the beginning once the story is finished. Hey, do you like fantasy, too? Because I have one up there, too! :::vanishes:::