I whip my pistol out of it's holster and quickly fire 3 shots into the enemy before rolling sideways into the cover of a concrete barrier. Simulation Complete a monotone computer voice says and I stand up and walk over to the stairs leading to the observation booth, I climb up and come face to face with my commander.
He looks at me unimpressed as I get control of my breathing. "5 minutes and 24 seconds again, 5 laps." He says.
"But I scored first in the class! Why am I getting punished?" I retort.
"I don't care what your class ranking is I want to see improvement in your sim time, and you have been stuck on 5 minutes and 20 some seconds for the past 3 sims. Now go run your laps. Oh and for the back talk you can do a lap around the punishment track tomorrow morning" He commands. I grumble and get up and go out of the observation room to the gym. We have an indoor track, 1 lap around is 0.2 miles, so 5 laps is 1 mile. I stretch quickly then start off at a jog to warm up then quickly advance to a run knowing otherwise the commander will have me running more laps.
Once I finish I look to the observation window and see the commander give me a thumbs up. I walk to the locker room then shower and change from my PT clothes into my regular clothes. I walk to the elevator and step in pressing the button for the 6th floor, for the class 3 dorms, even though I am now a class 4 I just classed up so today is moving day. Floor one is athletics, floor two is classrooms, floor 3 is for the kids under 4, floor four is for kids in class 1, ages 4-6, floor 5 is for kids in second class, ages 7-10, floor 6 is for class 3 kids, ages 11-13, floor 7 is for kids in class 4, for ages 14-16, floor 8 is for kids in class 5, 17-18, floor 9 is for class black, the adults that aren't commanders or anything. Floor 10 is for the commanders, and all the other high ranking people, floor 11 is for mission briefings and graduations, and floor 12 is restricted.
The elevator dings and the doors slide open to reveal the floor I have lived in for the past 3 years. I walk to my dorm, it is a couple doors down from the elevator and I see a flatbed cart outside. It looks to be about 3 feet wide and 4 feet long. I walk by it and swipe my keycard, attached to a lanyard around my neck, in the slot. I hear a click as the door unlocks and opens to reveal my dorm. My roommate's stuff is all gone so I assume she must have had her sim in the morning so she had time to pack and get out by now. I glance at my watch, 14:23, I have around an hour before I have to be out of this dorm.
I look at my side of the room, most of my stuff is already packed up in boxes from last night with only what I needed for today and last night left out. Basically only my phone charger, bedding, hygiene stuff, and my dirty clothes. I unfold a big box from the stack of folded cardboard boxes the middle of the dorm and stuff all my bedding in it. I take a garbage bag and throw my dirty clothes in it then put all my personal hygiene stuff into plastic ziplock bags then into a small cardboard box. I label the boxes with the fat sharpie next to the pile of folded boxes. I put my phone charger in my backpack then start carrying the boxes out and loading them onto the cart outside the dorm. Once I am finished I go back into the dorm and look at the room to make sure I didn't leave anything behind. I make sure to look under the beds, in the bathroom drawers, and in the desk drawers. After I am satisfied that I got it all I go out into the hall and grab the handle to the cart.
I roll the cart to the elevator and press the button. The doors slide open and I see an 11 year old with their cart standing inside. I move out of the way and let them go out then push my own cart in. I see the girl looking around confused then she turns back to me and holds a hand to stop the doors as they start shutting.
"Hi, um, I was wondering if you knew where dorm 612 is?" She asks shyly.
"Hey that was my old dorm! Yeah just go that way and pass 4 doors then it will be on your left." I say pointing.
"Ok, thank you."
"No problem!" I say and she moves her arm letting the doors slide shut. I press the floor 7 button and bounce on the balls of my feet excitedly. I have never been to floor 7 before, the only thing I know is that the hallway walls will be painted blue, the color of class 4. Kids under four are red, class 1 is orange, class 2 is yellow, class 3 is dark green, class 4 is dark blue, class 5 is purple, class black is, you guessed it black, and ranked are white. Whatever class you are in you wear a shirt of that color. The only other colors are aqua, for the caretakers of the babies, lime green for the helpers of class one, pink are for the helpers of class 2, and other staff, like custodians, cafeteria workers, and people like that wear grey.
The doors slide open revealing a big open room with the walls lined with doors, in the middle of the room there is a pool table, a big flat screen T.V. with couches and chairs around it, a couple arcade games, a foosball table, a air-hockey table, and some tables and chairs.
"Woah…" I say aloud, in all the other floors I lived on the recreation area was a room next to the laundry room and the middle had more dorms. I walk out of the elevator and a girl with brown hair looks at me and jogs over.
"Hi! Pretty different from all the other floors huh? Well what room you looking for? We can go drop off your cart there then I can show you the laundry room if you want. By the way my names Amy, what's yours?" She says so quickly I can barely understand her.
"Um, hi. My name is Alexandra, but I go by Alex. I am room 714." I tell her.
"Nice to meet you, Alex, ok 714 is this way." She says leading me to the left.
"Are you like a greeter or something? Just wondering because I never had a greeter on any other floor." I ask her.
"Naw, but my first time on this floor it was so different it took me forever before I found my dorm and the laundry room and everything so my friends and I decided we would help new class 4's find their way around. Well, I guess in some way that makes us greeters but like the coms never told us to or anything." She explains.
"Oh, well thanks." I say.
"No problem," She says stopping in front of a door, "this is your room, the laundry room is just 3 doors down that way in the corner, the class kitchen is right next to it. I can walk you there though is you want me to." She says.
"I think I'm good, thank you!" I say gratefully, honestly I probably would have gone in the wrong direction because of how floor 6 is for a while so I am really glad she helped me out. I slide my keycard in and open the door, I notice that there is only one bed in here and instead of being on the ground it is lofted with a desk underneath. The desk is a white piece of wood attached to the stainless steel frame of the bed. It is against the wall where I chose for it to be. I realize that this room is longer than my old dorm and about half as wide. All my furniture other than my bed isn't here though. I guess that means I get my own dorm unlike before. There is a glass sliding door that leads to a balcony with steel railings. I open the sliding door leaving the screen door shut and let the warm spring breeze flor through the room.
I bring all the boxes into my dorm and start unpacking them all. I start unpacking my 4th box when the dinner bell rings. I set down my lamp on my desk and continue unpacking, dinner is served for an hour for kids class 3-5. I usually wait half an hour after dinner bell until I go down so I miss the rushes at the beginning and end of dinner period. Then I usually eat in my dorm with my friends, in one of my friends dorms, or in the rec area at the tables because the mess hall is always crazy loud. My phone buzzes in my back pocket, I take it out and answer putting it on speaker phone and setting it on my desk.
"Hey." I say grabbing out my pen and pencil holders and filling them with the pens and pencils packed in pencil boxes.
"Hey." My best friend Ally says, I can hear loud talking and clattering in the background.
"What's up?" I ask.
"Ok so I had just gotten out of sims so I was already at the cafeteria, so I am at the front of the line, what you want?" She asks.
"Erm, just some chicken and a salad. We eatin' in your dorm or mine?" I ask her.
"I dunno, um barley any of my stuff is unpacked between morning chores, then having to move it all then having my sim I barely had any time to unpack, so probably yours because you are probably farther than me, unless you have stuff everywhere we could eat at mine." She explains.
"Mine then I guess."
"Mmk, what's your dorm number."
"Uh… 7..14? I think, I'll prop my door open." I tell her.
"Really! Mines 715. Well I'm pretty sure it's 715 anyways. Also what about the balconies, those are awesome… thank you…" She says and I assume she is saying thank you to a lunch person.
"Mmmk, Ima hang up, I'm getting in the elevator, see you soon." She replies.
"Ok, bye!" I say and my phone beeps when she hangs up. I finish hanging up a picture collage of my friends and I. I walk over to my door and open it sliding off one of my slides and using it to prop open the door. I take off the other one and leave it next to the door. I go over to the pile of remaining boxes, I find the one labeled shoes. I carry it over to the door and unpack the medium sized shoe mat and lay it on my floor putting my slide on top. I unpack the rest of my shoes, a pair of running shoes, a pair of sandals, a pair of flip-flops, and a pair of rainboots. I put my formal flats, snow boots, water shoes, and climbing shoes in my closet.
"Knock knock!" Ally says and walks in carrying a tray with a burger and fries, grilled chicken, and a caesar salad. "Wow your pretty far, I only have like 1 box unpacked and here you are with like 5 unpacked." She says looking at my room.
"Yeah but all I really unpacked was my desk stuff, my bathroom stuff, my shoes, some room decor, and my bedding. So that was all really easy. It's going to take a while to unpack all my clothes, books, plants, food, and all that junk." I explain.
"Yeah I guess, wanna eat out on the balcony then?" She asks.
"Sure." I reply, we walk out onto the balcony and she sets down the tray. "So which dorm is yours?" I say in between bites of salad and motioning the the two balconies beside mine, I notice the privacy dividers leaning against the wall that you can put up if you want.
"That one." She says pointing to the one behind her. I swallow a bite of salad then stand up.
"How far apart do you think these balconies are?" I ask her walking over to the railing looking across to her balcony.
"Alex don't you think about jumping it!" She scolds.
"Aw come on! We could go to each others rooms after in rooms without having to request sleepover permission, after all that is the stupidest rule in this place." I say.
"Didn't you read the new class 4 permissions?" She asks me.
"Not yet, I was too busy unpacking to look at it yet." I say.
"Class 4's don't have to ask for sleepovers." She tells me.
"Still we could go to each other's dorms dark time." I say hoisting myself up onto the steel railing and balancing myself. I gauge the distance and crouch ready to jump. I jump but run into a clear plastic barrier in between the two ledges. I panic as I feel myself start to fall and start to flip around so I can roll before my body bounces into a safety net secured underneath the balconies. I sit there for a moment catching my breath.
"Alex!" Ally screams and runs to the rail looking down at me. I give her a wary smile and crawl across the safety net to the edge of my balcony, I hoist myself up and over the rail. Alex punches me in the arm hard, not bone crushing like we are taught in hand to hand combat, but hard enough that it is going to leave a ugly bruise.
"Ow! Hey!" I say jokingly.
"Don't be making a joke, I thought you went splat!" She says but a smile starts creeping onto her face.
"Alright I'm sorry, but also hungry, so can we get back to eating?" I say.
"You're always hungry." She jokes a smile breaking out on her face and we sit back down at the table. We finish our food quickly then go back inside.
"Ok, I gotta finish unpacking, I'll drop this off at the class kitchen, see you tomorrow morning? Wait do you have Spanish tomorrow?" She asks me.
"No, tomorrow we don't have classes, remember that they gave us an extra day off because half of the program had to move and situate to their new floor and figure out the new layout and everything." I say.
"Oh yeah, I'm an idiot." She says facepalming.
"Nah, I forgot too until you just asked me." I say.
"Then… come to my room when you finish unpacking?" She asks me.
"Sure, but come to my room if I don't come to yours because I have to do a punishment lap tomorrow so I might be a little behind."
"What! Why?" She asks.
"Too slow on my sim." I explain.
"But you scored first in class, I checked after I finished my sim and I am the last one to do the sim!" She objects.
"Yeah that's what I said when he told me to do 5 laps, then he gave me a punishment lap for tomorrow for talking back." I explain.
"That's stupid, well good luck I guess." She says.
"Adios." I say as she walks out of the room.
"Byeeee!" She says shutting the door behind her. I sigh and turn on my music playlist and start unpacking some of my books arranging them into piles on the floor for when I get my bookcase in here. I glance at my watch, 21:09, I decide I should go to bed if I want to have enough energy to power through the punishment lap tomorrow. I set my alarm for 5:00 the next morning then close the curtains to the balcony. I dig in my clothes box and change into a pair of old sweatpants and a blue sleeping shirt. I turn off my light then climb into bed and fall asleep.
I wake up as I get dragged out of bed. I start fighting against whoever has me but they are bigger and are obviously either upper class 4's or class 5's. I go limp against their grasp deciding to save my energy and waste theirs. One person grabs me under the armpits and the other grabs my ankles and they carry me down the stairs and out into the cold night air. They throw me in a bag then into the back of a golf cart or off roader of some kind. At this point I know they are taking me to the punishment track. I know commander must have been in a bad mood if he decided to do a night punishment. I look at my watch, 00:34.
We stop and they get me out of the bag. My eyes adjust to the dark, luckily it is a full moon so I have some light. I look at the punishment track, one mile loop filled with muddy pits, climbing obstacles, pits filled with muddy water, unexpected drops, and hills. At least it isn't winter but it still is probably only around 40 degrees out so the water will be freezing and the mud will be extra thick.
"Go on!" One of the people that dragged me out here says. I trudge over to the start and jump in the freezing water, I regain my breath after it is momentarily taken by shock and paddle the eighth of a mile to the other side. I get out and catch my breath a moment before stepping into the mud, I sink in up to my stomach and start the painfully slow and difficult fourth of a mile stretch of mud. When I finally get to the other side I immediately run into a steep plastic slide sort of thing. I start climbing up then slip down due to all the mud on me.
"COME ON HURRY UP!" I hear someone blare into a megaphone beside me. I start up the slide and manage to get to the top. I climb up the rope hanging down and after 4 tries of slipping back down I make it to the platform at the top. I start to work my way down the gravel slope down but lose my footing and slide down getting plenty of cuts and scrapes on the way. I tumble into the tall grass and bushes and push through until I reach the other side getting even more scratches. I run the last half mile of hilly track until I finally reach the end. I collapse onto the ground then stand up and start to get up onto the back of the golf cart and they drive it away from underneath me and speed away towards the main building. I groan and trudge the two mile walk back to the main building.
I stumble into the doors of main building and go to the elevator, I swipe my card and the light flashes red. Great, they've disabled my elevator access for tonight. I groan yet again and go to the stairs. I painstakingly climb up the 7 flights of stairs until finally opening the door to my floor. I trudge to my dorm and swipe my keycard. I go inside and go straight to the bathroom. I take off my muddy and torn pajamas and throw them in the trash can. I turn on warm water and look at my watch while the tub starts to fill, I have to wipe the mud off the surface before I can look at the time. It's 02:04, I groan and take off my watch and put it on the bathroom counter then sink into the bathtub. I sit in the warm water for a little bit then scrub the mud and dirt off of me. I drain the water then take a hot shower to be able to wash myself better. I turn off the shower and wrap up in a towel then go out to my room, I find a new pair of sweatpants and a sleep shirt then look at the time on my alarm clock. It's 03:01, that means I only have 2 hours before I have to be up again. I climb into bed and fall asleep almost instantly.