Training At Its Finest

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BANG BANG BANG

My eyes snapped open as groans echoed around us. "Five more minutes...I don't want training." I heard Mai whine, her voice bouncing off the hollow walls. I sat up and dusted my jeans off. I was still in the same clothes as yesterday, the fabric now becoming creased and irritating. I couldn't believe I slept in the same room as Rogues. "Okay! Everyone up!" Bullet called, his voice slightly raspy. Everyone moved and Sophie opened the stiff door with one strong pull, a horrible scraping noise erupting out of the rusty metal.

As we were walking down the endless labyrinth of tunnels, my eye could make out distant shapes moving away from us, wearing heavy layers of clothing. "Do you know them?" I whispered to Lily, Mai clinging on to her side like a koala. "Yeah, they live in Room 4. Biggest group. They're needed for scavenging on the surface." I looked back at them, thinking about what they had to do in order to 'scavenge'. "Maybe killing is an option. That's what what Rogues do to get what they want."

The smell of rust and damp walls lingered within my nose for the entire journey but the cage room hit me like a truck. I could hear Mai complain from beside, holding her nose.

"Okay. Do your normal activities! I'll coach Aurora here!"
"But I thought we would kick her out after a night!" Sophie cried out in anger. I stood awkwardly between them. "Listen, Sophie. She's really—"
"I don't care what she is! Get her out! If she's so special then let us test her!"
I froze as my windpipe closed up. "Um...I d-don't think that's—"
"Come on then!" She shouted, directing it at me as light crackled by her fingertips. "Not again please... I don't want to do that anymore..."

"Stop it Sophie! Why do want her out so badly?"
"Let me do this, Lily! Out of my way!" She yelled, running towards at lightning speed with fire in her eyes.
"ENOUGH!"
Marcus stood between us in an instant, fangs bared. "Stop. I'll just train Aurora for today and then we don't have to worry, okay?"
"Fine. Do what you want."

As we spread out within the enormous room, I could see the shadows race behind me. I saw Lily and Mai in Demon form, Lily waving with her darkened skin and Mai smiling with her fangs. Their horns were small, only a few centimetres above their heads. They looked terrifying for a human but beautiful for people like me. I waved back, almost proud that they are not afraid of themselves. "I should start doing that."

"Try and form a weapon."
"A weapon?"
"Yeah. Like a dagger or a sword."
"Um...okay..." I mumbled, hesitating as I looked at my hands. My colourful aura danced around my fingers as I rose my head, looking straight at the mannequin ahead of me. Its white plastic had massive holes in it, one side discoloured form the other side. I let out a defeated sigh, too tired to move.

My eyes met the crooked mannequin and I raised my hand in front of me. "Ha... it's just like shadow combat and the tree. I guess there are some differences." I thought as I felt my lungs fill, my heart slowing down and my muscles relaxing. I wondered how long I had used my powers properly. I focused on my target in my mind and felt the shadows gather around me. I opened my scarlet eyes.

Orpheus laid face down, his eye still connected as it finished rolling on the concrete. The side of his face was ripped off, pink chunks of his insides spilling out of his head. On top of him was Luna, splayed on her twisted back as her dead eyes looked straight at me. Golden hair was entangled around Orpheus in a matted mess, bullets riddled across the floor. Blood was splattered on the pale concrete like foul-smelling paint, my body stained with the same crimson mess—

I blinked.

No blood. No bodies. No Luna.

I looked down at my shaking hands, feeling one solitary tear slide down my cheek. "My powers have caused so much death..." I heard Lily call behind me. "Are you alright?"
"Yeah, yeah... I'm fine."
A pause. Then a sigh of pity.
"I think Marcus should train now. He's good at non-power training."
"Okay..." I thought, feeling defeated.

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