Drills. One of the most terrifying words ever made. I push a sweaty lock of hair out of my face, loosen my jaw, and force myself to focus. The room would look normal, besides its emptiness, if it wasn't splattered in blood. Not my blood, not yet anyways, but blood from the losers of the past. I don't want to be a loser. That's the goal of drills: don't lose.
This would be one of the times where you definitely say that it's easier said than done.
A high whine comes from behind me. I quickly spin around, on the balls of my feets with hands curled into fists. The room is still empty. My eyes narrow as the whine gets louder.
"Alright, you've got this," I whisper to myself as it turns into a creepy hum. I bring my fists up to defend myself from whatever is making this noise.
A single black object, a bug, I think, comes hurtling at me from air vent. I smack it away from my face, but not before it stings my hand. I crouch to observe the insect. A lump rises in my throat as I process the hard black shell, the stinger, the silvery eyes. I have drills for three hours. I don't have to deal with three hours of exercises, I have to deal with three hours worth of drillbees. The little demons prey on mammals, drilling holes through their victim's skin with their stingers, until the victim passes out, either from the pain and blood loss, or both. Then they start to feed. And they always attack in swarms.
I stand up, breath shaking. Everything has a weakness. What's theirs? What is it? Fire? No. Not fire. What is it? What is it? Smoke? Yes. Smoke. These were bees after all.
I don't waste any time. I rip off my sweat-soaked shirt and put my hoodie on instead. Where'd I put my lighter? I fumble around through my pockets, my boots, my belt. Finally, I see it. I yank it and it's carabiner off my belt and light the dry end of my shirt. It's cotton, and soon it flares up. I leap forward and hold the now smoking and flaming garment near the vent. Please work, please work, please work.
The hum dies down a little, but not enough. The drillbees are still coming. I set to work, securing the smoking shirt around the corners of the vent to create a sort of screen. When I am satisfied that my work will hold, I step back. A tear, brought on from the smoke and maybe fatigue slides down my face. The whine picks up, but the bees are still too drugged with smoke to drill through the shirt. That, and there's no blood incentive. My head spins with exhaustion and dehydration. How long have I been in here? I glance down at my watch. Thirty minutes. I still have two and a half hours until I get to leave this room. I sit down in the corner and close my eyes.
I can only assume that the bees got past the shirt barrier that I put up, but I do know for sure that the next thing I feel is pain. Pain everywhere. I scream as the drillbees begin to draw blood. I flail, swat at the swarm, let fear and instinct override any logical part of my brain. My vision is filled with red and black, blood and drillbees, and the air smells and tastes of copper. The whine is unbearable, and a constant, forever adding to my fear and panic. I don't know how long I've been down here, how long until these bees go away, because they have become my world. I still scream. My voice is ragged. Another smell wafts up. Vomit. This is too much. Too, too much. I fight to keep consciousness, even though I would rather lose it right now, lose consciousness and stop feeling. No! I scream at myself. It might have been in my head, it might have been out loud. I don't know. My vision goes black. I hit the ground hard.
"Stupid." Anica is shaking me awake. Glancing around, I see that I am in my dorm.
I take a mental scan of my body. I'm still a little sore, but it seems that someone fixed me up while I was unconscious. They must have given me that regeneration medicine that they developed last year for my skin, because otherwise I would still be covered in blood and scabs."Wha-what time is it?" I ask groggily.
"What?" I yelp. Panic pours through me once again. "But I have to - I have to be-"
"Stop." Anica's voice is firm, commanding. I fall quiet. "Before you go any further, let me tell you a story."
"Okay…" I don't know what to think of this.
"Great." she grins. "Once upon a time, there was a young girl who was training to be an assassin. One day, she realized that she didn't have to conform to the rules, and that she was above them. She just needed to get the job done without getting caught. She could do anything and everything she wanted. The end."
"Anything and everything, huh?"
"Anything and everything."
"So," I say, curiosity getting the best of me. "How exactly did I get to sleep till noon without getting caught?"
"Well… let's just say that all of the security feeds say that you are in the training ring beating the living daylights out of an imaginary assailant." She waves her hand dismissively, and smiles. I grin back at her and stand.
"Where are you going?"
"To go to the training ring and beat the living daylights out of a real assailant."
A clap. "That's the spirit."