Chapter Forty-Eight

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"I'd like you all to stay together as a group, we're moving closer to gang territory meaning it's possible gang members might try attacking careful." Agent Mika was walking at the head of our group, his gun in his hands as he made his way across the dark earth.

No matter how much we walked, I couldn't get used to the feeling of earth beneath my boots. The way my boots seemed to suction to the ground before I was able to pull them out of the mud. It was all so new yet familiar to me.

"Maybe you should actually watch where you're going instead of staring at the ground," Asten suggested to the right of me. I sighed, knowing he was right. I didn't want another situation where Agent Mika made fun of me for not being on guard. I glanced up and looked around at the landscape. There were tall skyscrapers in the distance and smaller worn down buildings on either side of us. The air smelled like garbage and I was tempted to put my sleeve over my mouth.

"Everyone, stop," Mika called out from the front of the group. I froze where I was. Now that our feet were no longer making noise, I could hear what had lead to our halt.

The sound of an engine coming towards us.

"I didn't think we'd be presented with an actual event today...but I was wrong...prepare to fight if necessary. Our goal is to scare them off," Agent Mika shouted. I looked over and locked eye contact with Asten. I'd been right. They were planning on just throwing us into this thing. I could see a couple of people from our group beginning to back up in fear.

Everyone else besides our group seemed to know what they were doing. This was obviously not anyone else's first time doing this. So maybe it wasn't too surprising that they pushed us into a situation we were unused to. The majority of people here were used to it already.

I began walking forward as the rest of the crowd surged on in the direction of the noise. The gang was getting closer, and it would be no time before we'd be face to face with them. I could feel adrenaline rushing through my veins as my body prepared myself to fight. The feeling was exhilarating, even though I also felt intimidated by the idea of having a shoot off with someone. At least Kyan was with us in case anyone got injured. He was only a couple people away in the crowd, holding the gun confidently. I'd always thought of him as just a healer, but looking at him now made me reconsider that.

Our crowd wasn't too big, so when the vehicles finally reached our group, I was able to see them over everyone else's heads. Two gray automobiles came into view, and immediately, five people jumped out of each of them. This fight was over before it even started. I looked behind them for backup, but there was no one.

"Don't worry about strategy! Just fire," Mika yelled as the entire front line of people in our group began shooting as one. They all seemed to be more experienced members. I didn't even have to touch my gun. I didn't have to do anything. Because it took less than a minute for our crowd to shoot all ten gang members who'd come out of the truck.

Blood spattered the dark earth, to the point where it was hard to tell. I watched Agent Mika give a waving hand motion and our group surged back the other direction, towards the door. I jogged along with everyone else, following the curve that passed by Agent Mika and the ten bodies lying on the ground. As I neared him, he looked up at me with a grim expression. I stared down at the body closest to me, blood staining her back. Her face was barely visible with the mud covering it, but I was able to see some of her eyes and mouth.

And judging by just that, she looked like a kid. Like someone much younger than me.

I was pulled away from her body and moved along with the rest of the crowd, seeing the gaping black hole that everyone was returning into to finish the rest of their day. But I couldn't help, but wonder about the girl. Why would a girl be fighting for a gang? I never thought gangs accepted people who were that young.

We all made it through the door and into the hallway, where everyone began to drop their guns back where they found them. I threw mine onto the closest table before catching up with Mace who was a couple steps ahead of me.

"Mace-," I said, grabbing his upper arm. He turned quickly, a natural reflex from living in the Wild for so long.

"Yea?" There was mud on his face and specks of blood on his clothing. He had to have been in the front line to look like that. I must not have seen him. Momentarily distracted, I regained my train of thought.

"Did you see the bodies?"

He stared back at me with narrowed eyes. "What do you mean?"

"There was a girl...she was so young..I swear...," I rambled, just before being cut off by Agent Mika, who was now standing on a table. Everyone turned to look at him as he banged a gun against the metal wall to draw our attention.

"Units. Attention please. For anyone new here, this isn't usually how these missions go. Usually, units are assigned specific goals that they must follow using stealth and strategy. What just happened was surprising for us. First response was to shoot and thankfully, it worked. Now, please return to you dorms before classes which start in two hours. Training will be this afternoon directly after class for another six hours."

The people around us began to disperse and I sighed. No matter how many questions I had, I likely wouldn't have them answered. I had to accept that.

 And I had to get ready to go to class.

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