I wake up to whispers and a dull throbbing. The bright tile floor is cold as ice, pressed against my back.
"How long has she been out?" Sam's voice.
"I don't know... Maybe ten... Maybe fifteen..."
Minutes? Hours? Days?
"She looks really bad."
I manage to open my eyes. People stand over me; some of them look concerned while others barely hold back laughs. I try to sit up but I fall to the floor, whimpering in pain.
"Yep. Someone, take her to the clinic," Sam orders. Leah steps forward from the crowd and helps me up. She supports my weight as we make our way out of the Training Facility. I hobble past the tunnel-in-progress and, with a pang, recognize the three diggers as the boys who'd originally led Leah and I to the Warehouse. Luke--the one who called me weak--pretends to swoon as Matthew and Alex look on silently. Leah calls him a name she wouldn't dare let slip in front of her grandmother. He smiles. Darkness engulfs us as we enter the hallway leading to the main tunnels of the Depot.
"You took some hard hits," Leah comments.
"Oh really?" I mumble. "What even happened?" She laughs.
"Well, I'd just knocked out my own droid then you started screaming and screaming. I turned around and saw it right on top of you, wailing its fists. I attacked it from behind and it stopped. Everyone was really worried. You look terrible."
"It's alright: you don't look that bad. Dudes love dangerous, bruised-looking--"
"That's not the problem." I stop her before she goes on any longer. I don't want to admit the real problem to her: the problem of looking wimpy in front of everyone, especially Sam. How am I going to be trusted on real missions now? Was Luke right? Am I weak?
We reach the Training Facility's large metal door and I lean on the rough wall as Leah pulls it open. It slams loudly behind us. Leah leads me to the left.
"How do you know where you're going? Have you been to the clinic before?" I ask her.
"My grandma showed me the way after we ate. I told her I thought I was going to explode."
I laugh but it turns into a moan when pain shoots through my ribs. Leah tightens her grip on my shoulders and walks faster. Soon we reach a doorway veiled by white curtain. Leah leads me through it and into a large room filled with low beds. A red-headed young woman dressed in blue--the only person here--rushes towards us. She stops and observes me.
"Fight training?" She asks Leah with a knowing look. Leah nods and the woman supports me, guiding me over to the nearest bed. "Don't you worry. I've done this many times before." My heavy spirit lifts a little as I take a seat on the edge of the bed. At least I haven't been the only one to ever have trouble with training.
Leah starts to exit the clinic, exclaiming, "I hope you recover soon, Enna!"
"Thanks," I shout as loud as I can without hurting myself. The woman sets up a pillow behind me and I lie back, resting my legs on top of another fluffy pillow.
"Hi, Enna. I'm Hope. I'm just going to put a little pressure on some areas and you tell me if it hurts," she says. I nod. After a few minutes and many groans, she informs me that my ribs, thighs, jaw, and nose are heavily bruised.
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Unplugged: The New World (#1, Unplugged Trilogy)Science Fiction
Choose to Rebel. RScreens (Reality Screens) are all the rage in America's future, just a few years after the climax of World War III. They were invented for sport, convenience, and -- most importantly -- surveillance. Enna Price, an 18-year...