"These are the new recruits?" Christal said, hearing the snap in her voice as she gazed at her brother from the corner of her eye. Now having meant to sound so harsh, she shifted the tension from her throat to the leather whip she held in both hands and forced her next sentence to be much softer, "They're another batch of rookies, sir. Must I train each and every group from scratch?"
"Yes. Remember, not everyone has the advantage of a military family. Be patent." his words were cold as always. What more did she expect? He was the captain of the Glace army. He had to be that way to keep everyone in line. Their parents were the exact same way. "Go, get them ready. I will wait to discuss matters with them."
"Yes, sir." she said, setting toward the the small mass of young men, and a few women, huddled together in the center of the field. The grass had frozen over, cracking under their feet. It gave a nice effect in the sunlight, and kept the air cool and comfortable. She noted how the recruits clung to each other, as if there were safety in numbers. As if they were already faced with a battle. Almost always, new trainees were like that. Especially considering that nearly all the men had been forced into it, due to the draft. The women couldn't complain about it, because for them going to the military was voluntary.
She stood on the small wooden stand and called out over the chaotic sound of their nervous words, "Attention!"
They paid her no mind, so she raised the whip and brought it down with a satisfying CRACK! The blow landed near the feet of the closest boy, and he turned with a frightened squeak. He was hybrid, she noticed, his cold eyes widened in shock as he gave her his complete attention. She met his gaze evenly, recognition flairing through her mind. Had she seen him somewhere before?
It didn't matter, she'd gotten the desired result. The people closest to the boy turned to look at her, as did the ones near them. Soon she had the attention of every single person there. She took a deep breath, and began to speak the words that had engraved into her mind from sheer repetition.
"My name is Christal Blackheart, the second in command to Cornal Blackheart. I will be training you, but it is he that will make the final decision of weather or not you're good enough to make it to battle. If you make it, you join our squad. If you don't, then you'll be sent to another captain to be retrained. Now, before you meet the captain, you will do some rounds for me. Do well, and you'll get a good report from me. Do poorly, and expect to be transferred by tomorrow. Remember that the Blackheart squad has the highest survivor rate, so don't think you can get back home by purposely failing. If anything, you're making sure you won't."
With that she pulled out a scroll of paper that had been tied to her waist. With one gloved hand, she brushed her bangs back from her face, frowning when they just fell back into place. Ignoring them, she set to reading the list of names. One by one, she called them forward and put them through rigorous exorcizes. Sit ups, push ups, jumping jacks. She made notes next to their names as she observed their movements, how their breath changed with the strain, if they started to tire.
Wait, Clearwell? The boy she'd struck at earlier stepped forward, looking nervous as ever. Ah, that's where she'd seen him before. She'd trained his brother during his first days. With an intimidating crack of the whip that made him flinch(though it hadn't come anywhere close to hitting him) she commanded him to run laps.
And do stretches.
And lift weights.
And various other exorcizes. By the time she was done, he was covered with a thin layer of sweat. But he didn't seem out of breath, and he'd successfully completed twice as much as the rest of the trainees. She made the mark on the paper stated in a cool voice, "I will take you to see the captain. The rest of you will wait for me to get back, understood?" without waiting for a response, she set off towards the room her brother waited in.
She opened the door and waited for the boy to walk in, before closing it behind them. "What's the meaning of this?" her brother said, not unkindly, but in a way that told her that he'd be displeased if she didn't have a good reason for bringing in one person, early.
She approached, motioning him to follow. Their footsteps echoed in the wooden room as they made their way past the benches to the stage in front. Captain Blackheart went through his papers, obviously making rechecking his information for the fifth time. Her gaze travailed over him, tracing the white and blue military uniform he wore, much like her own. How he always managed to keep it clean she'd never know, but then again he didn't train others into fighting shape as much as she did.
"This is Gavan Clearwell's brother, Blake Clearwell. He has done just as well as his brother, therefore I thought you should meet with him personally before you start."
"Very well." he replied, his voice going back to it's usual indifference. "You are dismissed, Blackheart."
She inclined her head to him, "Yes, sir. Thank you, sir."
As she left, the boy gave her a worried look, which she ignored. He wasn't in trouble, the captain would explain that soon enough. She stepped back out into the daylight, and went back to her name calling.