Chapter XXIII – New Faces

A grown man in an Arkiman suit was running through the field fast with a training dog. He had been running for a quite some time, but his speed never changed. He can still cope up with the canine. When he reached the shelter, he removed his facemask… It was Rem.

Rem, already 19, reached his adolescent stage. His muscles were bulking up on his suit obviously showing that he was pounded to training. He also had grown into a very good-looking man. His curly blonde hair and thick eyebrows added manliness and swag. His blue iris became noticeable.

“Good job, Tobie,” said Rem while rubbing the dog’s head. He then entered the shelter and just released the dog inside.

At the gate, he saw a woman running fast along with a yellow Labrador retriever. As they reached his spot, the lady removed her facemask… it was Marybeth.

Marybeth, also 19, bloomed into a beautiful lady. Her blonde bouncy hair, almond eyes with long eyelashes, rosy cheeks, small lips and slender body will align her to one of those high school prom queens.

“Hey,” said a smiling Rem to Marybeth. “How many d’you have?”

Marybeth, who was panting, looked at her wrist to see how many miles per hour she had.

“14,” said Marybeth. “You?”

“20,” Rem replied. “You did great! You too Sumi. Good girl!” Rem added while crumpling the ear of the dog.

“I need water,” said Marybeth. “I’ll go ahead.”

Marybeth walked inside the shelter.

Rem looked at her smiling. What she doesn’t know he was actually having some feelings for her. But, since he doesn’t have any guarantee of what will happen, he only kept it inside.

Marybeth showed a fake smile as she walked away. She actually can’t look at Rem, who, for her, was more attractive when soaking wet with sweat. His short side bob hairdo was too good to handle. She also had fallen in love with him. Likewise, she just wanted to keep it because of no assurance outside.

*****

Minutes later, Vincent appeared riding a motorcycle. He asked Rem to ride and he will bring him back to the dome so he can take a long rest.

Then, lunch time.

While having a chit chat in the living room after their meals, Rem and Marybeth were informed that the forest and beach training were canceled, because of a surprise that will wait for them tomorrow.

Rem and Marybeth just decided to spend the rest of the day practicing inside the defense shooting area. It was actually their first time to do the defense shooting together and because of their training, they both wiped the machines out in a couple of minutes. They repeated it four times, but the results were just the same.

Draining all their energies, the two decided to just take a rest in the living room before taking a bath for dinner.

While eating, Rem can’t help but ask Marybeth about the cancellations of their training. Both of them knew that they will soon go up against the experienced Arkimans.

Their conversation about what will happen continued while they were eating and taking time resting in the living room. They got more puzzled when one of the escorts ordered them not to go out until they were asked to do so.

Hours after, they were finally asked to go to the dormitory to take a rest. Rem noticed that the room beside his was lighted. He knew the new recruits came. He was not interested in taking a peek.

*****

The next day, while showering, Dricks appeared along with a young guy who was about 11 years of age.

“Burrows, this Benedict,” said Dricks. “Guide him. Also, wear the Arkiman suit; you will go directly to the forest.”

Rem confirmed that he will have to go up against experienced fighters. His heart was pounding. He was anxious enough not noticing that Benedict entered the next cubicle. He was only distracted when he heard the shower.

“I’m Rem, Rem Burrows,” Rem said while scrubbing himself. “And you are?”

“Benedict McKnight,” said Benedict, who was quite tall for his age, curly hair, brown eyes and tamed features.

Then silence.

“You’ll soon cope up in here,” said Rem. “After a few days, you will somehow enjoy especially when you are about to level up. Just make sure you will listen to the teachers.”

“Yeah, I know and I am looking forward.”

“If you have questions here you can just ask me. You can treat me as your older brother.”

Benedict nodded along with a thrift smile.

Even while they were changing clothes, Benedict will only give him one answer and obviously, he was shy. During their early meal, Marybeth introduced a young lady named Anikka.