Chapter Thirteen - Collusion

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Exhaling her breath, the glass walls in front of her shift, forming into waves. Waves of water. An endless view of ocean lies in each direction as she treads in the water. She always found these simulations to feel nervously real, as though she really was in the ocean, alone. Though some part of the simulation is real. Her clothing is wet, and she is really in water. Outside looking in, the others will see her treading in the water, but they won't see what she sees, at least not entirely. They cannot see that where she is, the simulation feels and looks real. She cannot see the bodies, faces, outside the simulation, only what the simulation wants her to see.

The current becomes extremely rough. She swims along the waves, but as they grew larger, she couldn't ride the ones that came crashing down, hard enough to knock her out. As the largest wave comes her way she takes in a deep breath, sheltering herself by diving into the water deep. The waves crash down upon each other, the power of this causing a force of water downward. Ava is already so deep into the water, the force of the current barely touches her.

Kicking to the surface, she prepares to take in another breath, repeating over what she has just did. The waves will keep growing, and she will have to dive deeper, and deeper. This is to test her skills with water, how well she could hold her breath, and work every muscle in her body over, and over, and over, to assess how long she can go before drowning.

When she reaches the surface, she takes in a breath. Before she can exhale she is falling, falling in mid air. The water vanishes, turning into clouds. She falls into the white softness of the clouds, and it isn't long until she can see the detailing of the land below. She estimates she has 600 feet to go before she hits the surface of the approaching planet. Her time is greatly limited. She feels her body for a parachute. She has none.

Her clothing consists of boats, jeans, and four layers of tops. She removes her first layer, a jacket. She's going to create her own parachute.

Removing the next, a thermal top, she takes one sleeve from the jacket, and one sleeve from the thermal top and ties them together. She places the newly tied shirts between her legs as she begins to remove the next top. Removing the final top, a cream long sleeve, she takes the other side of the jacket sleeve and ties the one side of the cream's top sleeve to it. The only layer she has left is another long sleeve top, walnut in color.

The base of her shirt parachute, the jacket, lies in the air wide and long, blowing in the wind. She uses the sleeves of the tops to clench on. Her shirt made parachute flows vigorously in the air, and she struggles to tame it, have it react as a parachute. She looks to the surface of the land, and she has 400 feet until impact. Swearing under her breath, she shakes the sleeves she is using to hold onto, trying to get the jacket to catch the right moment in the wind.

Now she is 300 feet.

She's falling into the mountains. Snow covers the ground.

200 feet.

She pushes her body to the side, spotting a broken tree, with it's bark sticking out. If she can wrap the shirt parachute around it, she could stop her impact. She tightens her hands, wrapping the shirt handles tight around her hand. She positions her body towards the bark. She waits for the bark to approach, to see if this newly thought plan would work, if she would succeed.

The bark approaches.

She yanks the shirt parachute in front of her, to catch it on the broken bark. She watches the flow of the shirts in the air, hoping, waiting for it to catch. Her adrenaline has been running on overload but now she feels nervous. She hasn't had a free fall simulation situation before. This nerves her.

The jacket caught the bark, but not entirely. When the jacket caught, it jerks the right side of the sleeve up, causing her to grab with both hands on the left sleeve. She dangles there in the air, watching as the shirt inches off the bark. It isn't going to hold her. She looks below her, at the snow bank. She decides to let go. The snow would help break her fall. She isn't going to wait for the shirt to completely tear off the bark. She's going to decide the cause of whatever injury is coming her way.

The icy snow feels bitter on her skin. It is freezing.

She got some whiplash from the thud she made on the snow, jerking her head back. Her footing feels bruised. She looked down, noticing the sudden cliff approaching. Great. She tries to grab the trees she passes while sliding down. Before the cliff there's one last tree. She reaches out, stretching her arms as long and far out she could. The tips of her fingers grab the bark, and she pulls her body forward to get a better grip. This part of the simulation tests her ability to think and react quickly.

With both hands wrapping around the bark she pulls herself up further.

Pulling herself up, the simulation changes again, her world adjusting to a hard rainfall, with her hands pulling her up a ladder. She climbs the ladder, blinking ceaseless, trying to see through the rain. She is in some type of city, skyscrapers hovering over her.

Making it to the top, the view displays an endless city ahead of her.

Abruptly, gunshots fire in her direction, and she ducks out of the way. Turning behind her a man approaches with a gun. She runs at him. He doesn't expect this, for when she is upon him, she took ahold of the weapon, casting it upward pushing his arm to the right. He shot it multiple times, his reaction too late. Bringing his arm up like this allows for most of his body to be exposed. She knees him in his gut. He bent over holding his stomach, and she grabs ahold of his pant belt flipping him over on the ground.

Another man wraps around the corner, shooting. She grabs ahold of her first attackers gun, aiming for the second attacker. She shot him first in the knee, then shoulder. He went down with a wet thud. Her first attacker tries to get up. He yells, half running towards her. Before she can shoot, or hit him back, a third attacker wraps his arms around her neck. With this, she rips her nails in their arm, lifting his body mass onto her back, flipping him over her, and onto the first attacker. They both crash to the cement. Next there are two last attackers. Women. One is much taller, and muscular than her, with the other some inches shorter than her. The taller one lunges ahead first.

These attackers have no weapons. Only their strength.

The tallest one hits her hard in the face, two times. The third time she grabs ahold of her fist and punches her, but the women moved, her fist slamming into the wall. It hurt severely, but she continues. She tries to get on the tallest women's back to choke her, but the women throws her off her back as soon as she jumps on it. Ava fell right into the smaller women, both of them crashing on the ground. Ava gets up, ignoring the smaller women. She rushes the tall women, jumping on her bent leg, kicking her in the jaw. Ava twirls around landing feet first on the floor. The smaller women yells as she shot the gun in her direction. She jumps aside, barely missing the bullets. Ava slid to the women kicking her legs to the ground. This is where she punches the women. So many times, she lost count.

The taller women grabs ahold of Ava, trying to get her off the smaller women. She grabs the back of her hair yanking Ava upward. This enrages Ava. She didn't like when women would tug her hair during a fight. It is especially careless, because this allows Ava to kick her body off the ground, swinging around the taller women. With the tall women's back to Ava, she wraps her arms around the women's neck, as she did to her moments ago. She tightened her hold, and jerked the tallest women off the skyscraper. The rain continues, and she let out an exhausted sigh.

The simulation ends, the world changing back into reality.

Sweat traces down her temple, heart racing from the match. There is an odd satisfaction that had come over her from taking down five attackers, from all different sizes in the matter of minutes. A hidden trace of enjoyment has inched it's way into her mind, but she shoves it away. She shouldn't find enjoyment of having the ability to severely injure others, but somewhere inside of her she did enjoy fighting. Not how she hurt people, but how much strength and will power that came from fighting. 'You were born to be a skilled fighter.' Eamon's words haunt her now, the image of his lifeless body resurfacing.

Maybe she was born to fight.

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