Unsatisfactory Results

2nd Cycle/5th Hour/111 Hybrid-Era

I rounded the corner, floor buffer and mop bucket trailing behind me and singing against the empty walls mingling with the cacophony of distant weapon fire and barked orders from the conjoining training rooms.

“Two two seven four!” Preceptor Vekayln’s voice resonated through the halls, erupting though the thin walls of one of the training rooms. I turned up my ear and moved further down the hall, excited – possibly too excited – to hear someone else on the butt end of the Preceptor’s scrutiny.

 “I hope you enjoy failing because you seem to have a knack for it! You hit that goddamn target sequence or you’re going to be spending the day with the rejects!”

A moment passed before a series of shots followed. Scolding bolts sailing through the air, followed up by the dissatisfying thud and crumble of dense gravel. After that I couldn’t hear much more than murmurings coming from within the training room even as I pressed my ear against the door. Some shuffling feet. The lights surrounding the door blinked to life and I quickly jumped back, grabbing unto my buffing unit and feigning continued work. When the door snapped open, preceded by a hiss, I could hear the foot steps of tens of cadets marching through, all silent. Save for the Preceptor whom had been mouthing lessons and scoldings.

“Two two seven four,” he pointed out the cadet slacking behind the others before taking a step toward me, “this shall be your new second. Eclipse him or become him.” And with that the Preceptor turned his back and strode off following the cadets who were considered hopefuls. And the cadet bore down on me, his dark amber eyes filled with hate. Not aimed at me but upon the possibility. Untamed.

“So, what is it you do?” The cadet stood before me, arms crossed, a scowl on his face, and disinterest screaming around him.

“Clean up duty. The floors, the walls, the tables…rejects that think themself too good for leadership.”

He huffed.

“I can’t see what the Preceptor thinks I could possibly learn from you. Yer nothin’ but’a janitor put ‘ere ’cause you’d be a failure on the front.”

“More so than you, eh?” I glared. He returned the expression and fidgeted, hands by his sides, muscles tensing. It was easy to see his flaw and why he would be discarded like I and many others before him. But not all flaws were grounds for waiver. He wasn’t like me but he faced the same fate.

“Ya heard the Preceptor: eclipse me or become me. I’d bet even my skills could surpass you, hotshot.”

At that he scoffed, “you’ve no training ta stand up against me, bleacher.”

“Try me.”

We stood only a few feet apart. He was right. I didn’t have proper training like he did – I was never given the chance – but for what I lacked in that training I made up for in my raw instinct and intuition. CyGen considered me a flaw in their Hybrid Soldier Initiative but after years of being trod upon I was determined to show them that flaw or not I was anything but a failure.

~~~~~

Daily Prompt: Echo

Word of the Day: simonize

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