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Time: 6:20 AM/Month: REDACTED/Location: Camp Currahee, The Playground/

Mason remained quiet, listening to Mendez once more speak on their objective. Some people didn't quite understand what he meant. "To reiterate," he began, "every team must find the bell on one of the raised platforms within the Playground. When your team rings the bell, you'll come back here. Last to finish doesn't get breakfast." A brief silence fell before Mendez spoke once more, this time louder, "What are you all waiting for, a countdown? There isn't any countdown here. GET MOVING, GO!"

The first ten seconds of this Playground was hell, at least that was what Mason thought initially. The moment everyone was told to go, kids were rushing and pushing each other around. As they made their way to the platforms, which required them to climb ropes, pushing and shoving had already started. Some kids screamed as they were pulled down or kicked off by those higher than them.

He also lost track of his 'team'; the sea of children was not easy to see through as he made his way to the rope.

By the time Mason had grabbed onto the rope and began to make his way up, a majority of the kids below him had started to grab at his legs. Some even scratched him before successfully pulling him off, causing him to land on the ground with a harsh thud, before getting back up and gritting his teeth.

Mason gritted his teeth before getting back up. He would not let that happen again. As he charged back into the crowd, he quickly moved out of the way as another kid came falling past him. But instead of falling from the rope, he fell from the platform itself. Mason looked up and saw his sister smiling and laughing in delight as she pushed another kid down.

"Take that!" she yelled, as yet another kid fell from the top. Mason had to admit that his sister had adapted pretty well. At first, he thought she would fall behind, get scared, and shut down. After all, the loss of her home and him being knocked down had left her somewhat frightened and confused. When he had awoken afterward, she'd jumped him and bawled into his chest.

Now, she seemed back to normal, maybe even better than before. But, it felt forced in his eyes.

Though it was strange and odd, Mason didn't see a reason to bring it up yet. Not with everything else that was going on, especially with this whole team scenario.

Having made his way to the rope and ruthlessly climbing his way up, Mason thought more about the situation he and his sister were now in. He had to admit he found it rather dumb. At least in his mind, it was clear that he could never work together with the others, except Lisa and potentially Cameron. They were just incompatible. James was too rude, obnoxious, and reminiscent of bullies from back home, Winter was a mess of a person and seemed a little too righteous in his mind, and Ruby... Well, Ruby didn't look like she fit in; she was too happy, too peppy, and ducked out from confrontation. Too naive.

Mason tightened his grip on the rope before kicking his right leg at the faintest touch. He heard someone cry out in pain, but he didn't look down to check. He just continued to climb up, focused only on his thoughts.

She just didn't fit in.

He looked up to the top and saw List smiling slightly as she reached over the edge to grab his hand.

It was why he threw his food at James the other day. No one like Ruby should have to be harassed by morons like him and be here in the first place.

People like Ruby were just too weak. They just weren't meant to be here.

Mason took his sister's hand, using it to pull himself up the rest of the way. "Looked like you were having fun there," he quickly asked Lisa. "Where's everyone else?"

"I dunno. That Winter kid and a few others made their way up and then across the bridge," she stated simply before grabbing the fingers of a kid who had latched onto the edge of the platform. "Sorry, down you go!" Lisa announced before sending the kid off the platform down into the crowd below.

Mason's eyes looked briefly down to the mass of children, and he spotted Ruby within the group trying to make her way to the rope. It wasn't hard to find her; her unnatural eye color and hair color of black with red made it incredibly easy.

It briefly made Mason wonder if the girl had some strange genetic condition, like-

He didn't need to be thinking about it. He needed to focus. "I found Ruby. Wanna stay here and help her out while I run ahead?" He stomped on a set of fingers that had latched on to the platform, and with a loud yelp, he heard the kid fall.

"Sure!" Lisa said in a chipper tone, and at that, Mason took his leave, swiftly heading down the walkway behind him. He couldn't waste any more time if other kids were ahead. Winter was also ahead, but he doubted her physical abilities. The food fight from the other day, along with her sudden little attack on James, wasn't exactly good evidence. Being fast didn't mean being strong, and tackling James, a slightly overweight kid, to the ground and wailing on him wasn't impressive either.

After making it to the next platform, Mason noticed an upcoming gap, and such he put his effort into jumping across. His heart skipped a beat as he briefly saw the ground below him, adrenaline pumping as for a second he thought he'd fall on to the ground face first. But metal was soon quick to replace the meters down, and with a loud thud, he landed on the platform feet first.

Mason's ankles lit up in pain from such a landing, but he gritted his teeth and ignored it. A little throbbing pain was nothing compared to not eating and losing, and he wouldn't fail. As he made his way around the platform to its other end, he heard footsteps come up from behind. For a second, he wondered if his sister had failed at keeping kids from climbing up, but then remembered that the platforms were still interconnected, allowing any other kid to make their way across those bridges.

Mason didn't hesitate to make his way across the next obstacle, a rope bridge. The uneasy pathway was initially scary, but as soon as he made his first few steps, it became less so. That is until the other children made their way onto the rope structure. Then the design's sudden tightness came undone; the extra weight caused the rope to begin to dip towards the ground. The added movement made the structure begin to sway and caused Mason to latch onto one of the rope railings. Mason cursed loudly as he realized that he was being slowed down. He looked over his shoulder, seeing at least three other kids trying to make their way across, gaining on him.

He quickly looked around, trying to find something or some way to slow the other kids down. Mason was sure there was something that could do it but, he just-

Wait! The rope!

The solution was right in front of him. Tightening his grip on the rope railing, he started shaking back and forth.

The rope bridges swayed wildly, and the kids that were gaining on him slowed down, grabbing onto the railing as well. But Mason didn't stop there. He kept going until one of them stumbled. The kid in front slipped from his position, falling from the rope and down towards the ground.

"AH!"

Mason almost felt terrible for his actions, but he could stomach it since the height wasn't anything dangerous. It would be painful and probably leave some bruises, but at least nothing should get broken. Mason began moving forward again, jumping when he got close to the other platform.

Without looking back, Mason continued, legs burning as he just kept going. Jumping, running, using the pully system, and quickly getting out of the basket attached. There was a lot more to the 'Playground' than it appeared at first. He encountered steel slide poles, knotted ropes to climb, and changes in the platforms' elevation.

Sweat ran down the side of Mason's face. His eyes darted around, trying to find the bell, but he only saw more pathways, bridges, cargo nets, slide poles, and knotted ropes. That was all there was to see and-

"Ow!" a girly voice cried out.

Mason fell back onto his ass, chest hurting from the sudden run-in. He looked up quickly to see who he ran into, a girl. It was Winter.

She was on her ass as well, dazed and confused.

Pulling himself up, Mason spoke with panting breath, "What? Winter? What, watch where you're going!" He didn't even think of offering his hand to help her up. Mason was more focused on getting back to finding that damn bell.

"Same to you, but, ow. Aren't you going to help me up?" she replied.

Mason gritted his teeth and sighed before he looked back to Winter, and then he offered his hand out.

Winter then grabbed his hand, using it to pull herself off before letting go of his hand and dusting off the back of her pants. "Thanks, um, did you see the bell?"

Mason shook his head, "No, I didn't. I also don't have time to waste; I haven't even heard it ring yet. So, might make it to it first." He turned around, looking over one of the pathways available from this platform. His eyes trailed along, following it to see where it all went. "I'm assuming you haven't seen everyone else on our... team?" The word felt uneasy to say; it felt wrong, which was the point. After all, this entire thing was a punishment.

Mason continued to look between the pathways, mind drifting in an attempt to focus entirely on finding the correct route.

A tap on his shoulder broke him from his thoughts, causing him to look back at Winter. He raised a brow, wondering what she wanted. "Yes?" Mason said. He hoped it was something important, not anything useless. But as he looked at Winter, he immediately noticed that she was pointing deliberately in the direction opposite of him.

"Is that the bell?" she said.

Mason's head immediately snapped to where she was pointing. He looked around at the platforms above, looking for a sign of the bell. But he still saw nothing, so he looked lower and lower, and lower.

Until he gazed below the platforms, they were on, to the lowest level possible without touching the ground. "It is, but he said it was above, unless-"

"He was lying?" Winter interrupted.

Mason shrugged his shoulders. "That, or telling us a half-truth." Biting his lip, Mason looked at the bell, noting that there was one pathway to it, "Either way, that platform is closer to the ground, and the way this place is designed as a maze well, it works well to hide it."

Mason looked on, studying the intertwining platforms and bridges. The more he stared, the closer her came to figuring out a pathway to the bell. Winter continued to talk, "Well if the bell is there, wanna jump down and then try jumping up to it?"

Mason noted that a pole dropped down to the bell's platform before he answered Winter's question, "No, I'm not going to risk that idea. He may never say anything about it, but I got a feeling he might be looking out for things like that." It was a gut feeling that could be wrong, but well, risking it wasn't worth it, "Also, we need to go up, look for a pole, we slide down it."

"Right, but where on the upper levels is it?" Winter asked curiously.

Mason smiled; the solution was simple. "Well, we just have to find it. It can't be too hard to miss. It's a metal pole. Plus, I was already working on a path. Just follow me." Turning around, Mason headed to the west side of the platform. He crossed the simple bridge before briefly looking over his shoulder to see if Winter had followed him.

Mason moved across cargo nets to small jumps, rope bridges, and so on. He moved and kept moving, taking turns and twists as his eyes darted around, watching for a sign of that metal pole. He thought perhaps he'd exaggerated when he said it was easy to find. Maybe he was a bit in over his head. But they still had time, at least as far he could tell.

None of the bells had been rung yet, and lots of children were still running around. Even if a few had already rung a bell, it would be fine. They wouldn't be last, and that was good. At least, that was what he hoped.

Mason continued on, eyes scanning for that simple metal pole as he passed by some more children-

His ears perked up at the sound of Winter's voice, "Mason, stop! I see it!" He immediately came to a halt. His head swiftly turned, looking back at Winter, who was a platform away. Mason would've been happy that Winter had found it, but the fact that the four children he had just passed stopped in their tracks and looked to Winter... Well, he was anything but happy about that.

Mason's eyes followed where Winter was pointing, noting in his mind that it was two platforms to the left and one to the right, not including the platform Winter was standing on. "Go!" he shouted back to her before looking back to the other children.

Three of the four children in front of him began to move, while the fourth stood at the beginning of the rope bridge. Mason wondered if it was worth charging at the fourth. Ge could just let them ring the bell, with Winter and himself coming in to ring it after. But he didn't know if anyone had rung the bell yet, and he wasn't going to take any chance that would leave him and his team in last. "Damn," Mason cussed as his body moved, sweat beading on his forehead.

He watched the kid turn around, balling his hands into fists and raising them, ready to swing at him. The kid in question didn't look like anything too special. He was a boy like Mason, had brown hair, hazel brown eyes. Nothing special at all, except for the look on his face. It was one of pure determination.

Mason bit his lip sharply as he charged at the boy. Everything blurred as he collided with him, and they both fell on the rope. Mason felt his left hand and right foot slipping through the structure, but his right hand grasped onto the rope railing.

"AH," the boy cried out loudly.

He was safe.

Mason could feel the muscles stretch within his right arm. Painful, but he could ignore it. It was nothing compared to the fights he had gotten into back home.

He noticed, or rather, he felt the boy beneath him beginning to squirm. Mason heard the snap of his jaw, teeth clicking together. It appeared the boy was trying to do anything in his power to get Mason off of him, including biting. But the weight difference between them kept him from doing much.

Quickly, Mason pulled himself out of the holes, taking a second to readjust before looking down at the boy. A small smile crossed his face as he noticed how the boy's arms were looped into the rope and were the only thing holding him up. Then Mason looked to the platform, seeing that the other three had crossed stopped, and looked back in his direction.

Mason saw the look on their faces: concern, confusion, and indecisiveness. They were choosing whether or not to come back and help their teammate. Mason's smile turned into a smirk as he started to make his way quickly across the rope structure. Had this been a different time and place, he'd have helped the boy up. But this little exercise was too crucial for him and his team to lose; they needed to succeed.

Not just because breakfast was on the line, but because if one of them failed, they all failed. He wasn't going to risk losing his chance at revenge against those alien bastards. His shoulder brushed against one of the children as they passed each other and then two more times.

Good, they all went back for their teammate. Mason felt a throughout his body, mostly his legs and sides. His breathing was a bit heavier too, but it wasn't bad or anything-

RING!

As he jumped across the gap, Mason heard the sound of the bell. His smile returned to his lips while his legs lit up in pain. They made it. They won. His heart pounded with joy as he made his way across the next two platforms and then finally down the pole to the platform below with the bell.

Mason smiled as he saw Winter sitting on the edge of the platform, clearly waiting for him. "Hey! You did good!" Winter looked exhausted and worn out, though there was a bit of shock and surprise in her eyes. Mason wondered why the shock was there but had his answer rather quickly, both verbal and physical.

"Mason, y-your face! You're bleeding?" She sounded worried.

Raising a hand to his face, he felt around before pulling it back with a hiss once he touched his chin. He saw blood on his fingertips, though it wasn't much. "Ah, yeah, I feel that-" Mason hissed once more as his sides burned up. "I-I think that kid got a few good hits on me. I didn't even notice... Fuck, my legs hurt." It didn't bother him that much, though, "Don't worry about it." His lively tone began to die down, becoming much calmer and collected.

"But, your bleeding, shouldn't we go see about getting that patched up?" Winter asked.

"I've been in a lot of fights before back at home, so it's nothing new," he calmly reassured her. Mason hopped down onto the ground below, quietly hissing as his legs tingled from the impact. "Come on; we should head back to Mendez."

Time: 7:00 AM/Month: REDACTED/Location Camp Currahee, The Playground/

Lisa scrambled to think of a single thing as she and Ruby raced across platform after platform. Both were confused about where they were in the middle of this ever-loving shit-storm of place, which was why Lisa was thinking so damn hard.

"Why can't this place be like a gravball or king of the hill courts?" Lisa groaned to herself, clearly not caring if it bothered Ruby. Speaking of Ruby, though… God, did Lisa find her annoying? The girl was useless at nearly everything. She was slow, cowardly, didn't know how to push people off her, and was way too nice and friendly to everything. She was just... Well, no word in Lisa's mind could describe the headache that was Ruby Rose.

Of course, there was something about Ruby that bothered her. She just couldn't put her finger on it.

But either way, she was far better than James, the indigent asshole, the fat dickhead that didn't know when to shut up. She was sure she'd beaten senseless the boy had they been together at the moment.

A smile crept across Lisa's face only to turn into a frown once she heard Ruby's cries."Oh, no, help me!" Turning around, Lisa saw Ruby trying to get her foot out of the hole it had fallen into. "Why does this bridge have holes?"

Lisa rolled her eyes and made her way slowly across the rope bridge. She helped out the poor, helpless Ruby but utterly soured her mood in the process. God, why couldn't she have been stuck with her brother, or better yet that Cameron kid, the friendly silent type? Or fuck it, she'd take that Winter kid too, anything but Ruby or James.

"Thanks, teammate!" Ruby beamed in her oh-so-chipper tone.

A tone that Lisa couldn't help but roll her eyes at. "Yeah, no problem." She wondered how Ruby could remain so cheery, so bright and optimistic. She had to have lost her home, right? After all, why else would she be here in the first place? How could anyone stay so happy after losing everything to a bunch of genocidal aliens hell-bent on, well, the genocide of the human race?

Plus, Ruby wasn't Gina. Gina was the type of strong kid that could bounce back from everything! God, she wished Gina was here.

Lisa's frown continued to grow as she stared at Ruby. More and more thoughts filled her mind about the girl. Like, how come she had silver fucking eyes, and why were the tips of her hair red? This then made her think about Winter and her white hair. How did either of them have such odd traits? Were the two from some affluent asshole families that could pay money to alter hair color and eye color permanently? Ugh, she hated it. She hated it. She fucking hated it with all her damn heart. It was just so fucking dumb, dumb, dumb!

Lisa hated her mind, too many things going around in it. But she could handle it! She had to. Regardless of what that scraggly bearded fucker said all that time ago, back when she and Mason were given a choice to join this stupid program.

She could adapt! She could handle all the thoughts running in her head. She could handle the kids around here and, well, everything! Gina would've done it. Mason could do it. So she could do it, too. She wasn't some scared kid.

But deep down, she knew she couldn't handle it. Her thoughts were all over the place, and there was just so much to think about. Losing her family and friends, except for Mason, didn't help. It didn't help that Ruby reminded her of Gina. For the most part, Ruby was pretty close to her friend personality-wise: happy, peppy, cheery, never seemed to get too down on things. Otherwise, Ruby was the complete opposite of Gina: timid, confused, and scared. No sense of determination or anything. She was just a weak and cowardly thing that kept acting like she was everyone's friend.

All it did was make Lisa wish her friend to be there at the camp with her and her brother. The three of them would've been a great team.

She missed Gina with all her heart, her friend ever since fuck if she knew. Gina was practically in her life since forever! Just like her brother, just like her Uncle and Aunt, just like her friends.

"Hey, uh, are you there, Lisa?" Lisa had become so entrenched in her thoughts that Ruby had grown worried and began waving her hand in her face. It took a moment or two for Lisa to notice, but she lightly pushed the hand away and grumbled.

"Stop doing that; stop acting weird. Ugh, look, let's just find that bell and head back to Mendez." Turning around, she walked along the platform, eyes looking out for the above platforms above the others.

"Uh, okay, sorry," Ruby meekly responded. "What did I even do?"

Lisa looked around, stopping in her tracks as she came up to a large gap between platforms. Turning around, she looked at Ruby and rubbed her temples. She didn't need to be such an ass to the girl; she didn't deserve it. She wasn't that dickwad James.

"Nothing Ruby. Listen, I-" Lisa paused for a second thinking on the next few words carefully, "I have a lot on my mind: this team thing, and some personal things, and I just... I'm freaking out? It's not helping that you keep getting caught up in everything and can barely help yourself." Damn, she sounded like a fucking ass. Ruby didn't deserve the shit she was saying; it wasn't her fault. "I mean, look what happened in the cafeteria, for Christ's sake. You hid under the table. Kurt called you a coward when you weren't paying attention."

A silence fell between the two.

Ruby looked away from Lisa, her eyes avoiding any confrontation. But a second later, Ruby looked into her eyes and spoke, "Well, I mean, yeah, but... I'm trying?" Ruby awkwardly tapped her fingers together and continue to talk, "Well, I mean, it's something right? I'm not good at any of this, but I'm trying. And hopefully, that can mean something. We're a team now, and I'm not going to let anyone on this team down. So, I'm going to continue to try, and I'm going to get better." There was a look of determination in Ruby's eyes, "I won't fall behind, and I'm not going to let this team down."

Lisa didn't know what to say; she was speechless, bewildered, and remembering. It made her blood rush. Heart beat faster. It made her feel anger for a moment but quickly faded into quiet remembrance. There was no doubt in Lisa's mind at that moment that she saw Gina standing right before her. Then the blistering anger came back. How dare she! How dare Ruby acts like she was tough and determined!

Her face turned red. "Shut up! You're nothing. You're not her. You're not my friend. Stop acting like it. You are not Gina!" Lisa yelled with tears streaming down her face. She saw Ruby's look of determination fade into confusion, bewilderment. It was clear she had no idea who Lisa was referring to. "I-I... just, shut up! Stop talking, and let's just get this over with so we can eat."

Turning around, Lisa wiped the tears from her eyes and balled her hands into fists. She was clearly distressed and emotionally... not okay.

Yet Ruby didn't listen. "Lisa, do you-"

"No! We're not talking about it anymore!" Lisa snapped back sharply. She didn't want to talk about it anymore, especially when she was crying. She bit her lip, trying to stop the tears from falling.

"I, okay. Well, um, we should focus on finding the bell again." Ruby's tone shifted back to something more hopeful.

Wiping her eyes a bit, Lisa sniffled and cleared her throat, "Fine, whatever." Lisa remained quiet after that.

She and Ruby continued on their merry way, creeping instead of rushing towards any given direction. It was better to scan the environment and take their time, even if it did raise the chance of their team failing.

Speaking of teams and bells, were they supposed to ring a bell together, or was only one of them needed to ring the bell? Lisa hoped it was the latter because if it wasn't, that meant they'd just lost. None of them were together. They were all separated in this fucking maze.

Utterly delightful.

Lisa wiped her nose, feeling a bit of snot rolling out of it. A disgusted snort came as she sucked what remained back into her nose. She hated it when her nose got all runny from crying.

Lisa stopped in her tracks as she heard a bell ring. Looking around, she tried to find the source but to no avail. Then she listened to another ring that followed soon after, then another, and another...

"Oh no, people are getting the bell before us," Ruby said, panic in her voice. "We're not going to get breakfast. I don't want to be hungry for so long!"

Looking back at Ruby, Lisa snapped, "Shut up! We don't know if it was our team or not! We might've been one of those rings!" Lisa then returned her attention to their surroundings, looking up and down, left and right. She looked for anything as her eyes fell back to the ground. She spotted her brother and Winter there, heading back towards the start.

Her lips split into a small smile as she shouted down to her brother, "MASON!" Mason stopped in his tracks, Winter following behind soon after. Both were looking around. "Hey, up here!" She waved her arms about as well, hoping it would help her brother and Winter see her. It took a minute, but Mason then spotted her and returned with a small wave.

Her smile grew bigger, more prominent. "Did you guys get the bell?" Lisa shouted down, eager to hear or see any confirmation from her brother. She saw Mason give a quick thumbs-up before walking off with Winter.

"Yes!" Lisa was ecstatic, thrilled to learn that they got the bell!

Lisa turned back to Ruby, who had remained quiet the entire time. But she was excited to hear such news. "Alright, we can head on back to the start. No need to worry about a stupid bell anymore!"

She noticed Ruby's excited expression begin to crumble, turning into worry and confusion once more. "Huh? what is wrong? Aren't you happy we got the bell?" Lisa asked curiously.

"Y-yeah! I am, but what I just got an uh, bad feeling?" Ruby's voice squeaked ever so slightly as she averted her gaze from Lisa.

Scowling slightly at the response, Lisa asked, "What, how? How are you getting a bad feeling?"

"Well, didn't Mendez say the team needs to ring the bell to win?"

"Yeah, and that happened." What was Ruby's point?

"Okay, b-but, what if he meant we all need to ring it?" Ruby bit into her lip lightly.

Lisa raised a brow slightly, curious at Ruby's suggestion. "Huh, what do you mean? If one of us rings it, our team has rung the bell. I think you might be overthinking this."

"I guess you're right. It just doesn't feel right, is all. I mean, I didn't ring it, you didn't ring it, and well, who knows if Cameron and James did. What if we did it wrong?" Ruby fiddled with her hands.

Lisa rolled her eyes and crossed her arms, "You're overthinking this; come on." She strode past Ruby, heading back the way she came. There were a few twists and turns, and she got a little lost, but eventually, she and Ruby arrived back at Mendez.

Mason and Winter were there, James and Cameron too. All lined up. All looked pretty tired, sweaty, hot. James, in particular, was the most worn-out looking. He was barely standing up, breathing was heavy, and his shirt utterly soaked in sweat. He even had cuts and bruises, and his clothing was slightly torn. Lisa thought to say something about his appearance, perhaps another snide remark but the quick reminder that Mendez was before them made Lisa hesitant to comment.

Quickly, she and Ruby got into line, remaining quiet. No one spoke; not a peep, not a word, nothing. Mendez broke the silence, sending shivers down Lisa's spine, "Candidates, you've not completed your objective. Do you mind telling me why you are all here?"

Lisa watched as Mason took a step forward, arms by his side, body stiff and gaze firm, "Sir, we rang the bell. Winter was the one to do so-"

He was interrupted mid-sentence by Mendez, "Candidate Winter rang the bell. You didn't, and neither did the rest of your team." His eyes scanned across them all, watching for their reactions. It terrified Lisa.

"But, you said a team needs to ring the bell, and our team did? How did we fail, how do you know-."

Mendez once again interrupted Mason, his tone harsher, "I said the team needed to ring the bell candidate. Just because one person rang, the bell doesn't mean the team did. Along with that, you all split up. You did not act as a team; you did not help each other to reach your team's goal." He began to pace back and forth in front of them, "Candidate Cameron and Candidate James here came back after only a few minutes, with James looking beat up. Ruby and Lisa took a while to get going after Winter, and you left the two behind."

Lisa felt her heart skip a beat as Mendez went on, "You focused on getting to the bell first. You did not focus on helping your team, even if the intention was to get your team to victory." He paused for a second before sighing, "But I will give some credit where credit is due, Cameron. You helped James immensely, getting him up and moving after being knocked around by the other kids, even helping him get back here once you realized that your team had lost. Lisa, good work helping up Ruby." Mendez fell silent once more, only for that silence to be broken by Ruby.

"D-do-can we go back? Do it again? I am sure there is enough time to head back in-"

Mendez cut her off, "No, there is no such thing as do-overs on the battlefield. You and your team are going to have to deal with the punishment and hopefully learn from this. After all, you are all responsible for each other." Mendez paused, staring down at them all, "I am sure I don't need to remind you of what happens when one of you fails?"

Silence.

"Good. Now, get going to the mess hall. Instructors will be showing you what you'll be doing during breakfast." No one moved. Everyone was still shocked, processing, scared. "Need I repeat myself? GET MOVING!" Lisa flinched as Mendez shouted, only moving once everyone else had started.

Fuck.

Fuck.

Lisa was thinking of so much now, stuff that she hadn't thought about before. Were there going to be more exercises that focused on them working as a team? How much were they allowed to mess up before they failed, thus dooming them all to fail? Mason to fail, her to fail...

Fuck her life! She was screwed. She didn't know what to do or what to say. Should she talk to her brother, should she just remain quiet? What should she do? What could she do? Lisa quietly followed behind her brother, behind everyone in this team she found herself in.

Ruby broke the silence. "Hey, I know we all messed up, but that doesn't mean we can't improve." Ruby's voice was chipper, excited. She sounded like she could take on anything. "We're here to be heroes, learning to kill the bad guys. We might make a few mistakes, and that is okay. If we just improve, I'm sure we can do better next time!"

Lisa looked at Ruby, bewildered by the happy, bright face she saw. How was she able to be so cheerful about this? What the hell was wrong with her? What was going through that girl's mind? Lisa could only stare at Ruby as she walked on.

"Shut up, you stupid moron!"

"Nope! Sorry, James!"

/

Author's Note:

I'm done with this story. I am joking. Now being serious, I am having fun writing this if only to get a bit frustrated when things don't go my way, so hopefully, that won't be too much. Either way, the chapter is done. I hope you guys enjoy it.