Chapter XXXVI – Back Train (Day 1)

Marybeth was already on the table when Rem arrived. He just sat beside her and ate. Both of them spent the rest of the party sitting and had some chitchats with the mentors. They arrived home late. The very moment he got in his room, he immediately went the bathroom to take a bath. The day was long and tiring. He easily fell asleep.

The next day, Carklein woke Rem up asking him to get ready. He was given with sports attire. He looked at the clock and it is only 5:00 a.m. Despite he still wanted to sleep, he obliged.

Outside his room were Vincent and the escorts waiting for him and Marybeth.

When Marybeth appeared Rem again drooled. She was wearing a black yoga pants and body hugging tank top. Her hair was braided that revealed her flawless neck, nape, and shoulders. He was excited.

The group was brought to a gym and went straight to a small room… a clinic. Inside was Jacklyn, wearing a medical gown. Right after she saw them, she smiled and walked to meet them.

“Hi guys,” said Jacklyn. “Rem, Marybeth, did you sleep well?”

Marybeth nodded. Rem smiled.

“Alright, let’s get going,” said Jacklyn. “I will have my nurses to take your vital signs and will ask you to perform several activities.”

A young female nurse asked Rem to remove his shirt. He also performed several processes while taking notes. She also put some medical suction cups on his chest that were attached to an apparatus where she also took some numbers. She also took some samples of his blood, urine, and even saliva.

After spending at least two hours of doing nothing while waiting for the results, Jacklyn appeared from the laboratory. She told the group that everything was perfectly fine and the two were healthy and ready for the game.

Vincent led the group to gym telling Rem and Marybeth that their physical capacities will be tested. This time, two male attendants assisted Rem. They asked him to perform several gym workout like running on the treadmill, push-ups, squat thrust, pull ups and much more. One used to count and remind him if he’s doing the exercises wrong way, while the other one took notes.

The two were asked to take some rest. Then, they took shower. Before going home, the group grabbed some coffee. The rest of the day was spent with some chitchats and food trips inside the unit. Vincent and the escorts gave some lights on what are the things that usually happen during the game.

“So, it’s almost a decade now since the Arkimans got a win?” Rem asked.

“Yeah, it was Anya and her partner, Carlos,” said Vincent.

“Carlos?” Marybeth asked. “We never heard anything from him.”

“Yeah, you will never hear something about him,” Vincent said. “Days after the victory, he was found lifeless. Many concluded it was Heitzberg who killed him.”

“Why?” Asked Rem.

“Because during the interview after their win, he said he wanted to become the next Heitzberg,” said Vincent. “That’s how protective he is of his power. He destroys everyone who comes along the way.”

Rem nodded, but behind his head, he fears Heitzberg already.

“Four years ago, we almost won,” Dricks said. “Tatiana was this close in giving the antidote…”

Dricks was elbowed by Vincent stopping him from speaking. He realized that Tatiana were Rem and Marybeth’s co-trainees.

“Tatiana?” asked Rem. “She’s dead now; she’s one of the wildcats four years ago? Who is her partner?” Rem added emphasizing all his words with tears brewing on his eyes.

None of the three answered. Marybeth was also waiting.

“I want the answer, please. I’m ready,” Rem asked and he’s already up on his feet. Tears also flowed from his eyes.

“Dreyford…” said Vincent, who can’t give Rem a look.

Rem fell to his seat and tears continued to flow. Marybeth also cried. Seconds after, she hid her face on Rem’s shoulder with the man wrapping his left arm around her.

“That’s what it is,” Vincent said to the two. “Now that you knew where’d they go, use that as your motivation. Stay strong and alive.”

“Randolph?” Rem asked staring blankly at the wall.

“None of us have the idea,” Vincent said. “He was given a task that only Heitzberg knows. We don’t know if he’s alive or not.”

“He’s alive I can feel it,” said Rem.

“Me too,” Marybeth whispered. She was still sobbing. “He’s strong; he can withstand whatever task it is.”

“We need some space, please,” Rem said. “We’ll do our best in the arena, we promise you. You’ll have our 100% will to win. But, for today, let me and Marybeth mourn… Please.”

Vincent nodded at Dricks, and Jimmy. He stood, and walked away. The two immediately followed. Right after the three left the living room, Marybeth suddenly burst into tears. Rem also cried, but he knew, he must be stronger than her. So, he just lifted her head to let him see her. He then touched her face and gave her a kiss.

“I can’t find any words to describe our pain, Marybeth,” said Rem while looking at her eyes. “Let us be each other’s crying shoulders. None can describe what we are going through. So stay strong my love. I’m here.”

Marybeth nodded. But she continued to cry prompting Rem to hug her tight.

They hugged for a couple of minutes and little by little he lay on the couch. Marybeth lying on his side with her face on his chest. He rubbed her back to make her more relaxed. Eventually, both of them fell asleep.