Training [Zack]
229 Days Until Departure

I woke up early and saw Christina was still asleep, her dark hair splayed out over her pillow. I started a bit, but then relaxed as Diamond's voice filled the room softly, so as not to wake Christina.

"Good morning, Zack. Your training clothes for the day are in the compartment, along with two pills. You will need to take the pills daily to help with your training. The blue is for water training, and the green is for land training. Your instructors will explain their effects more thoroughly later today."

"Thank you, Diamond." I said, getting up and taking the clothes and pills from the compartment. I walked into my bathroom to change, and unfolded the clothes to see what our uniforms were. There was a pair of black athletic shorts and a black skin tight t-shirt. There was also a small packet with the two pills in it. I swallowed the pills with water from the sink and changed into the training clothes. The shirt clung to my skin and outlined the muscles of my upper body. Being a seventeen year old boy, I grinned a little, thinking I could get used to wearing this everyday. I heard movement from the main room, and walked out.

"Rise and shine!" I said brightly. Christina rolled her eyes at me and stretched, yawning.

"What are you wearing?" She asked, walking over to her compartment.

"My training gear. What else? I think it really works with my body." I grinned.

She laughed. "Sure." Christina said sarcastically, pulling her uniform out of the compartment. She unfolded the items to find black shorts and a short black tank top, both made out of stretchy elastic. She walked into her bathroom to change, shutting the door behind her.

"Hey, wait." I said through the door. "You have some pills to take I think. At least I did. Something about water and land training." I heard a muffled groan from the other side of the door, and something about "turning us into crack heads", then my sister walked out and stomped over to the compartment.

Out of the tiny container, she dumped three pills.

"Good morning, Christina. Please take the blue pill for water training, green for land training, and purple for your special training." Diamond's voice said smoothly.

Christina turned to me. "Special training?" she asked, confused.

"I don't know." I replied. "I only had the blue and green pills."

She shrugged and took all the pills anyway. Then an alarm buzzed, waking everyone else up for the day.

"How about an early breakfast?" I asked her. She nodded and we walked out of our room, looking for the dining hall or something.

We turned a corner to find a large room with tables and a breakfast buffet laid out. Other members of our team arrived behind us, and they all had on the same uniforms, just with different colored shirts.

Levi and Lexy were in blue, Ryan and Mai in green, and Lucas, Dallas, and Rae were in orange.

"What's with the different colors?" Lexy asked.

"Maybe they'll have different teams do different things each day. Like stations?" Mai offered.

"Maybe. Or maybe they'll have us all try to kill each other to see who's the best at fighting and the colors are to help identify the bodies afterwards." Lexy said brightly and skipped over to the buffet, grabbing a plate.

Christina laughed and followed her, and slowly the rest of us did as well. Most of the girls ate lightly, and healthily, grabbing fruit and toast, some milk and water, and just a little meat for protein. Us men, on the other hand, stuffed our faces with hash browns, sausage, bacon, eggs, toast, orange juice, and anything else we could get our hands on.

Lucas had four plates, the rest of us only had two. The girls finished their small breakfasts and started giggling at us. I looked up questioningly.

"You guys have fun puking all that up when we start training." Rae laughed.

"Especially when we start running." Mai grinned.

That stopped me from eating any more. I knew they were right. All this food would come right back up if we did intense workouts today. I hadn't even thought of it.

"Did you all have to take pills this morning?" Christina asked, suddenly serious.

"Yeah. A green and a blue." Ryan said, the others all nodded. "Why?"

"Oh, just wondering. I didn't know if they were giving us different meds to like test us or something. But I guess not. I had a green and a blue too." She lied easily, not mentioning the purple pill. She glanced at me and I nodded slightly, telling her I understood that she didn't want the others to know.

Our conversation was interrupted by Eric striding into the room with four other young adults. Now that I was focused and rested, I realized how out of place he looked here. He had dark brown hair and a fit body, but looked cold and indifferent to the gorgeous wildlife around him on this island.

He turned his gaze over all of us, taking in our appearances, appraising us. I flinched whenever he narrowed his gaze at someone. He finally turned to me and Christina. He looked me over and nodded approvingly, then turned to Christina, his eyes flickering a bit, and I clenched my fists.

Christina grabbed my arm quickly. Eric narrowed his eyes at the movement and Christina smiled at him shyly. He looked at us for a moment longer, his cold stare boring into me. Then he turned to the others behind him. Christina's grip loosened on my arm, and then she let go.

Eric didn't look much older than us, and neither did his companions. They looked 19 at the most. So they had two or three years on us and also had control over us. Fun.

"This is Elena Kovar, your Fire trainer, although she's skilled in Water as well." Eric said, gesturing at a tan-skinned blonde girl with gold eyes that were speckled with bits of blue. "She's from Xanthos, and she'll be working closely with Christina Noble, Zack Ashmore, Lizzy Pyre, Lexy Malone, Tris Arelus, and Levi Urban. Although Lexy, Tris, and Levi will also be working closely with Blake Harwell, who will arrive at a later time.

"Jake Steinfeld is the Air instructor, and will be working with Lucas Lancaster, Rae Palma, and Dallas Lahnay." Eric explained, pointing out a tall boy with short brown hair, brown eyes and pale skin. "He's from Yalissia, you picked him up at the same port where you stopped for hover beams."

Now Eric brought a pale-skinned girl with green eyes and dark straight hair forward. "This is Jade Komenos, and she is the Earth instructor. Mai McCombs and Ryan Harlow will be working closely with her, as well as with me.

"I know these trainer terms don't make much sense now; Fire, Water, Air, and Earth; but you'll understand eventually. Now, Lucas, Rae, and Dallas will be going with Jake. Mai and Ryan will be going with Jade. Lexy and Levi, you'll be working with Elena until Blake arrives. Christina and Zack, you're with me."