Chapter 3: Monkey Wrench

"ADVANCED COMBAT TRAINING!"

The four girls stood in front of a large marble white building. The sun glared off the far west side as they watched students flood into the building. Nita was the first to break from the group rushing headfirst into the building. Jessie following along as her doggy-faced backpack bounced with her step. Penny and Emz took a deep breath before they joined the mass of bodies moving into the building.

As they entered, they took in the shining wood flooring. There were lights on every wall illuminating the hallways and shining off the metal railing lining the stairway. The older duo watched as Nita hopped into a nearby elevator, Jessie holding the door as they quickly joined them.

"I wanna push it. Let me push it," Nita begged as the door closed around them. The girls nodded as she rushed to the buttons. The elevator's buttons were listed from the ground floor to all six floors in the building. Each floor had two exits one on the right called exit A and one on the left called exit B. Nita traced her fingers from the bottom floor exit A down to the fire rescue button. She then slowly moved her finger to the left until she felt an indent in the panel. As she depressed the hidden button the elevator's internal lights switched from a bright yellow beam to a dim blue glow.

A female robotic voice filled the small six by six box. "Four occupants detected…" Four chairs appeared against the left and right walls. They resembled the restraints found on a rollercoaster or a two-hundred-foot drop tower within an amusement park. The girls strapped in, Nita bouncing up and down in her seat while Jessie started to take deep breaths. Penny looked to Emz as she started wrapping her purse around the seat. "Please hold on as we prepare for your departure."

Penny could feel the car slowly begin to rise a few feet. When the car stopped its slow rise, they could feel the car drop as their speed began to rapidly accelerate. Jessie's pigtails rising into the air with their continued descent. Emz's hair stood on end resembling a mohawk while Nita momentarily lost her bear pelt mask before she snatched it from the sky.

Their car started to slow down as they came to a brief stop. "Moving forward," the woman's voice came back through the intercom. The three older girls took a few quick breaths while Nita just giggled with joy. Emz quickly threw her hair over her right side while Jessie patted down her hat. The car shot onward now moving horizontally towards their final location. The feeling of the shifting G-forces seeming to rearrange their organs as they held on for their ride. Nita screeched at the top of her lungs as their car hit max speed before finally slowing down.

When the car stopped moving their restraints unlocked allowing them to move again, "Thank you. Have a nice day." Nita and Jessie jumped out of their seats patting their clothes down. Penny hopped up quickly fixing her skull cap before pressing the open-door button.

"Wait, I'm not ready!" Emz cried as she tried to fix her clothes and hair. She pulled out a spray can and started treating her hair. The three girls screamed as they smashed the door button barely getting the door open before their lungs were filled with her toxic fumes.

As the door slowly cracked open the three girls fell out in a heap into their final room. The cold metal flooring chilling their skin as they looked onward. The room around them was a barebones metal box with a few training dummies, a climbing wall, and a small circular pit being the only outliers. There were a few doors in the far back of the room that led to their lockers and restrooms, but the room was mostly barren.

Penny scanned the current bodies within the room. She saw the same small robot with his yellow hard hat still riding inside his modified minecart. Beside him was the blue-haired girl laughing as she listened to the robot. Beside them were her friends Shelly and Brock as they conversed with the duo.

She looked away from their group and noticed a one-eyed robot wearing a navy-blue bubble vest talking with a blond girl in a baby-blue dress. The blond girl seemed to be leading the discussion with the robot just nodding his head as he let her speak. Beside them following along was Poco. Penny's eyes lit up as she saw the yellow skeleton. She looked to his right and finally found her point of interest.

His lime green hoodie glowing like a ray of sunshine inside the colorless room. His neutral mouth chewing on his signature lollipop. Penny jumped up from the pile of her friends as she rushed for Leon. The only thing stopping her was the feeling of someone grabbing her shirttail.

Emz pulled Penny back, wrapping her up in a bear hug. "Down girl. You'll get your chance later." Penny squirmed in her grip. She eventually gave up accepting her dilemma. Nita however was happy to greet her brother.

"LEON!" she screamed as she rushed to her brother's side. Leon dropped low to catch his little sister. The two embraced for a while as Nita told him about her day. Leon started to understand the gravity of her presence. He looked up to where she ran from, he could see Jessie waving in his direction as she walked off to the side. In front of her was Emz as she gripped a squirming Penny. Penny met Leon's eyes and threw a wink in his direction. A chill running through his spine from her gesture.

Nita broke from his hug and made her way back to her friends. In their group, Emz placed Penny down allowing her to stretch before their class began. Penny was still grumpy, "I just wanted to say hello."

"You'll have time to do a lot more than just say hello," Emz started stretching her legs. She pulled out some extra spray cans and shook them up.

Jessie pulled out her shock rifle, opening a panel and sparking it to life. "You two came up with another plan?"

Penny pulled out her Plunderbuss and took some coins out of her mini treasure chest. "Not only do we have a plan, it's foolproof." Jessie chuckled at Penny's confidence. Their plans never worked, but she was excited to see this one succeed.

Nita jumped up from her pushups and started to do aggressive sit-ups. "Where is he?! I wanna start!" Nita started switching to explosive squats as they awaited their instructor.

"Knowing him he's, like, probably going to do some grand entrance." As if on queue the lights within the room went dark. "Speak of the devil." Emz looked around trying to adjust to the darkness. Just as her eyes started to adjust a bright floodlight focused on the middle of the room. The students all looked towards the illuminated spot as a body jumped into the center. The large figure was wrapped in a blue cloak and wore a red mask with blue fins around his ears. The students cheered as the figure bowed to them. He quickly threw off his cape revealing his massive muscles and blue tights. He ripped off his red mask showing the true simplistic blue mask he wore underneath.

He opened his mouth to speak, his voice sounding off like thunder in the metal room. It sounded like a ring announcer in a boxing match had a Hispanic accent, "I am El Primo!" The students clapped and cheered as he continued his greeting, "And welcome to another wonderful day of…" He pointed to the students as they screamed with him, "ADVANCED COMBAT TRAINING!"

"That's gonna get old," Jessie deadpanned as Nita screeched with the wrestler.

El Primo continued his speech, "Now who's excited for another wonderful week of brawling?" The students lost their minds at the mention of brawling. The lights came back to life as the students continued their cheering. "Wonderful. I remember when I was first told I had to teach ACT I thought this would be pointless. But when I saw this class's scores last year, I knew you were something special." Primo took a second to look over his students. Noticing some people were high-fiving while others just sheepishly grinned at the compliments.

Emz looked towards Poco as Bibi took him and Leon in a dual headlock. Emz couldn't help quietly laugh as she watched the three friends interacting. She refocused on Primo as he continued his lecture, "Now this class will be a little different than the last. Previously I wanted to see all the star powers you learned last year. The goal for this semester is simple, perfect your combat skills with your current star powers and learn a new star power."

"A new star power?!" Penny's eyes lit up at the idea of having two powerful abilities under her belt. The rest of the students started murmuring as they imagined what they could come up with for their new abilities.

Primo saw the students getting wild, "Calm down. That is not what you should be focusing on. Today we have a special assignment. I need everyone to get together in pairs of two," Primo looked out into the crowd. They were confused with the request.

Bea stepped up, "But sir, there are fifteen of us. Sandy missed class today. How will we split into teams of two?"

Primo pondered the predicament before smiling like a mad man, "Then I will allow one of you to be on my team." Primo stood with his arms out and eyes closed awaiting their rush, "Who wants to be on team Primo?!" Primo stood still as he listened for the sound of thirty rushing footsteps. Instead, the room fell silent. Primo opened his eyes to see all the students staring at him. "No one wants to be on Primo's team?"

All the students pointed directly at El Primo. He was stunned by their reaction. He expected that they would jump at the chance to team with the legendary El Primo. He felt something tug on his tights. When he looked down, he could see the top of Nita's bear pelt. Under her red mask was the bright white dots that represented her eyes. She was visibly vibrating while she stood under him. "HAHAHA! Yes! Of course!" he picked Nita up letting her sit on his bicep while he flexed to the students. "Our team shall be called, Masked Menaces." Nita screeched her approval as she repeated the name to her classmates. "Now, find your partners!"

The students began to scramble as they looked for a partner. Some found their alleys with ease. Others were still weighing their options. Penny and Emz were discussing their plan. "So, Leon and Poco are defiantly on a team together." Emz nodded her head. "Then the plans simple. I sneak up on Leon and snatch him away from Poco. Poco won't have a partner so you can swoop in and take Leon's place on his team."

"And you'll be all alone with Leon." Penny snickered at the thought of having Leon all to herself. Emz stilled her nerves as she prepared for her one on one time with Poco.

"Ready?" Penny's earring seemed to shine a little brighter as she prepared to make her move.

Emz's patted down some of her bandages and checked her hair with her phone, "Ready."

Penny turned around and made her way towards the duo. She saw Leon's green hoodie in the middle of a sea of students. Slipping between the cracks in the mob she could hear Leon talking. "You sure you don't mind if I don't team with you?"

Penny froze at the statement. She paused behind the bubble vest robot using him as cover to eavesdrop. "Honestly I'm happy you're teaming with someone else." Penny heard Poco's higher voice break the murmurs of the crowd. "It's good for us to try fighting with other teammates. We can see what we are capable of, test our limits ya know."

Penny's eyes lit up at the development. She saw Emz shifting through the crowd behind her signaling for her to catch up. "They aren't teaming."

"What?"

"Leon and Poco. They aren't teaming up. They need partners."

"Like, like they would be happy to work with us?"

"Someone's looking out for us girl." The two girls squealed silently as they steeled their nerves. This was their chance to finally make a move.

"Penny. He needs a teammate right, maybe try to be a little less aggressive?" Emz advised.

Penny blew a frustrated breath, "I'll try. But he's just so cute when he fidgets."

Emz knew her friend well enough to know she wouldn't be able to hold back. Now she couldn't worry about her, she needed to focus on her target. The two took another step forward as they were about to break through the crowd.

Leon spoke up again, "Cool… then I'll team up with Jessie and you can work with Bibi today." Jessie snatched Leon's hand up in her grasp as she thanked him graciously. Bibi took Poco in a big headlock as she teased the smaller skeleton.

Bibi turned around to Bea, "You don't mind do ya?"

"Not at all. In fact, I am interested in what Max and I could do together."

Max slid beside her speaking a million words a minute, "With your range and my speed we'll be unstoppable. Come on let's get some warmup laps in before we start." She tossed a drink to Bea who chugged it without a second thought. As she felt the atoms in her body begin to vibrate, she saluted her friends before dashing off with Max.

"Well looks like I got a medic. Now I can be as reckless as I want," Bibi noogied the top of his yellow skull as she teased the minute musician.

"Please don't be too reckless," Poco pleaded.

"And I'll have some range to cover my rushes," Leon reached a fist out to Jessie who excitedly bumped it.

"Yeah now if I'm in trouble up close you can handle it for me."

The four students giggled as they congregated together approaching the other teams surrounding Primo. On the side, Penny and Emz stared slack jaw in awe at the events that just transpired. Penny shook from her stupor first, "The hell does she think she's doing?!"


"Glorious. It seems we have some very interesting teams today." Primo stood at the center of the circle with all the students around him. He was surprised by some of the teams that were formed. A very interesting duo was the combo of Poco and Bibi as the latter seemed to be using her size advantage to toy with the former. He knew the strategies used by members of the brawling field to push aggression with a healer pocketing a beefy brawler. Their team had his eye the most.

Though most of his attention was drawn to the teams of Penny/Emz and Jessie/Poco. More specifically the way Penny was shooting daggers from her eyes as she watched the duo. The two members of her query were cowering behind the other students as they watched her carefully.

When Nita saw the interactions, she started rolling on the floor laughing only increasing Primo's suspicions. This was some inside joke or personal affair. One he would not trouble himself with, "Now that we have our teams, I would like all of you to look at the floor behind you." The students turned as Primo pulled a remote out from his tights. He pressed a few buttons causing eight blue panels to light up below them. "Each team please pick a platform to stand on then await your next instructions."

Most of the students rushed forwards toward a panel leaving three open in the middle. The only teams left without a panel were Primo/Nita, Penny/Emz, and Jessie/Leon. Nita pulled on Primo's arm, "Follow me." She led Primo to the panel furthest to the left beside Shelly and Brock. The only panels left open were two directly beside each other.

Penny dragged a distracted Emz towards one of the panels. The two stood there with drastically different moods. Emz's eyes were lingering on Bibi and Poco. She watched in envy while Bibi hummed along with Poco as he played a tune. She imagined herself in Bibi's place singing a song to match his music.

Penny however showed rage in her eyes. She was staring a hole through Jessie as she tried to comprehend what she was thinking. It wasn't a secret to anyone that Penny liked Leon. It also was a well-known fact that she wasn't the kind of girl to share her loot. Was Jessie just desperate for a teammate or was she challenging Penny's authority?

Jessie and Leon meekly made their way beside the duo, Leon fiddling with the tongue on his hoodie while Jessie held onto his sleeve.

As they took their spot beside Penny and Emz, Jessie could feel the fire coming from Penny's breath. Primo started his explanation but he was overwhelmed by Penny's rage. "The hell are you doing Jessie."

"I'm sorry okay… I just needed a partner. Nita abandoned me." Penny's head snapped to Nita who quit snickering when she felt Penny's rage. "He was the first person I thought about. Besides your teaming with Emz."

"The plan was to snatch up Leon so that Emz could be alone with Poco."

Leon heard the conversation but chose to stay quiet. He didn't want to evoke Penny's wrath. Jessie countered her argument, "Why didn't you tell me your plan before we got into teams?"

"I didn't think you would get in the way."

Primo's voice cut through their conversation, "Now is everybody ready?"

"Ready for what?" Penny asked Emz. Emz just shrugged showing she wasn't listening.

"Good luck." Primo pressed a button on his remote causing the panels beneath their feet to disappear. The teams screamed as they fell into the dark shoots. Penny grabbed Emz's hand as they continued their descent. Fluorescent lights started to flash past them as their backs slid against a smooth metal ramp. The girls started to calm down as they felt their free fall transition into a super slide.

Penny and Emz started to forget their predicament choosing to enjoy the ride. The lights began to spread out further as they saw the slide begin to brighten. The bright light's source coming into view as the dark tunnel gave way to a barren expanse of clay ground. The girls dropped from the bottom of the chute falling through the air. They tried to observe the land while they screamed at the top of their lungs.

Penny taking note of the large arrangements of walls scattered around the field. She tried to notice some pattern to the mounds across the ground, but they seemed sporadic and non-seneschal. Emz looked down and noticed two things; a large metal box in the middle of a small clearing and a large blue pad beside it.

Emz gripped onto Penny as they crashed into the blue drop pad. The pad deflated with their contract allowing them to escape to step onto the dirty red ground. As they observed their new location, the blue pad turned into water evaporating into the ground. Emz asked the first question, "Where are we?"

"Students!" The girls heard El Primo's voice sound off around them. They looked up to the sky for a sign of his location but found an expanse of fluffy white clouds. "Now this is the only time I'm saying this so listen close. You have been placed in one of two battlefields. If you did your research, you should know where you are by the name on that safe."

Emz walked towards the giant silver safe. She looked around the outside, finding a small plaque on the back. "Vault Defenders? That make any sense to you?" Penny was stumped as well.

"Now that you know where you are, remember, don't let them get to the safe. Defend the safe and you will be rewarded."

"Them?" Penny asked as the sound of a bell rang through the arena. Emz walked around looking through the paths visible from the safe. "Who is 'them'?" Emz looked back shrugging until she pointed in Penny's direction.

"Get down!" she shot a blast of her heinous hair spray in her direction. Penny rolled out the way as she turned on Emz.

"Trying to run a rig on me?" She looked towards Emz's spray as a robot walked through the cloud. The robot looked worst for wear after making its way through Emz's attack, allowing Penny to finish it off with a single shot. The robot crumbled into separate parts before evaporating in a puff of smoke. Penny turned to Emz for an answer, but she was just as confused. The sound of a gun firing nearby followed by Emz clutching at her arm alerted them to the sniper within range. Penny quickly fired off a few rounds of her coin pouch projectiles into the bot dropping it with ease. "You okay?"

Emz shook the attacked arm as she tried to heal up. A thumbs-up was enough to signify that she would be okay with a short break. "Hahaha! Well done Nita! You and that bear are outstanding!" Primo's voice ran through the arena again. "Now to all the students that just made it through the first wave. Remember they shoot to kill. Good luck."

"Did he, like, say kill?" Emz looked down the small passages that led away from the safe. She could see the glowing red eyes of their approaching enemies.

Penny groaned at the incoming swarm, "Sink me…"


Their prime objective is simple. Destroy the safe. They did not know why they must do this; they only knew that it was their one goal in life. As the robot rushed forward into the open field it noticed an outlier in its path. Beside it was a green figure with most of its face concealed. The figure seemed to be consuming something as it stood against the wall.

"What's up," the boy greeted.

The robot's protocol told it to rush towards the safe, but this boy was in its way. The robot swiftly turned in the boy's direction throwing some wild fists at his chest. The robot swore it punched him square in his heart, but the boy seemed to disappear before his eyes.

"I'm over here."

The robot turned around to find the boy's new location but was quickly ripped to shreds by eight razor-sharp blades flying from the boy's sleeves. As the robot's body fell apart its head was the only thing still functional. He looked towards the assassin. To think this small child was able to destroy it, a robot born to succeed. It looked to the boy for some form of an answer to who he was.

"Huh… wonder how many more grunts we're gonna have to kill before we're done?"

'I'm… a grunt?'

The robot's body disappeared into smoke just like all the other's Leon had busted. He used his superior speed to rush back to Jessie at the center. She was sitting beside the safe as she watched her turret destroy any bots that got close. The beefier bots falling after a single shot of her shock rifle. Her eyes lit up at the sight of the bright clothing Leon sported everywhere he traveled, "How things looking out there?"

"Same as when we started, just a bunch of random grunts throwing their bodies at the safe. Thought Primo said this would be a challenge?" The sound of a bear roaring and a girl screeching filled the arena. "Nita?"

"Sorry, turned my mic on early." Primo's voice spoke to them from the skies. "Now I'm guessing that most of you have come to a pretty smooth system for dealing with the bots. I don't see any of you have failed yet so I'm guessing it's time I introduced the real challenge. I would like to introduce all of you to the boss round."

Jessie looked up at Leon, "Did he say, boss?"

A fanfare played around them. The two looked to one another trying to understand what was going on. Leon looked around noticing a lack of incoming robots. "Jessie?" Leon looked towards the brains of their combo as she stared at the ground. Jessie put her ear to the floor without saying a word. "Jessie?"

Jessie watched as the tiny pebbles around them began to bounce up periodically. Leon noticed the ground beneath them shake as they continued to talk. He looked to her for some form of an answer but was frightened by the look on her face. Jessie pointed a shaky finger behind Leon.

He nervously turned around as he prepared for what he was going to see. Behind him was a giant robot the size of a small building. It had one giant red glowing eye with an angry eyebrow across the top. The boxing gloves that the other robots had were replaced with spiked balls sporting bright red tips.

Leon gulped as he realized the two of them would have to fight this off by themselves. Leon was going to talk to Jessie about a game plan, but she rushed past him dashing towards the giant robot. Leon wondered if Nita was rubbing off on her before running past her.

As Leon got closer, he was astonished by the robot's size. The fist alone could crush Leon with a single swing. He didn't know how they were going to fight a bot this large by themselves. He decided the first step would be leading the destructive force away from the safe. "Hey!" the robot looked down towards the lime green boy. "Catch me if you can."

Leon ran directly beside the bot dodging a few stray swings as the bot chased him down. He was much faster than the boss, easily running circles around it while Jessie laid shot after shot of her shock rifle into its back. Leon kept up his offensive with volley after volley of razor blades but noticed the boss' advanced refused to falter. "Jessie, how much longer on S.C.R.A.P.P.Y?"

"Just keep him distracted, I've almost got him charged up." Leon continued to distract the boss while Jessie kept her distance. A stray punch tripping him up for a second. The ground beneath him cracking from the giant metal balls it called fists. Leon was starting to get the hang of dodging when Jessie called out something strange.

The boss robot had stopped moving. Its body flashing red as it looked directly at Leon. He put more space between the robot and himself as he prepared for the next attack. The giant bot's chest sunk inward, opening to reveal a giant sentry gun. Leon watched as the robot started shooting giant lasers in his direction. The beams cracking the ground around him as the explosions rocked the arena they were dropped into. He quickly ducked behind a nearby wall for cover, "Jessie! How much longer?!"

"Just a few more shots!"

The sound of the walls crumbling frightened him as a few shots blew up beneath his feet. They felt like fire against his skin as he was sent flying through the sky into another clay wall. He laid in the small crater he left in the plateau as he watched the robot stop its attack. "Damn. Primo was serious about 'shooting to kill'."

He hopped out of the crater. His back felt especially sore from the blast. He could feel the bruises starting to form across his spine. He tried to take a deep breath but felt a sharp pain run through his lungs. Inspecting the boss once again he noticed a few wires starting to show from under its panels. Sparks jumping from its head as it twitched violently. They almost had it beat, he just needed to distract it for a little longer.

Just as he was about to approach the boss he felt his legs give out beneath him. He felt his lungs filling with water as he started hacking up streams of his blood. He watched in horror as the robot turned away from him, locking onto Jessie.

"RUN!"

Jessie backpedaled the best she could as she tried to stop the boss. She deployed S.C.R.A.P.P.Y just a few feet behind her. The turret tried everything in its power to stop the bot's advance, but it was like an unstoppable freight train.

Jessie retreated behind her turret hoping that the damage S.C.R.A.P.P.Y could do would finish their target. She was heartbroken to see her pet fall in just three swift hits. She didn't even have the chance to save him with her energizing shots before the boss destroyed her friend. Jessie instinctually ran away back to the center of the map.

Her back meeting against the cold steel as she tried to make a final stand. The robot absorbing each of her electric projectiles as if they were just fuel for a fire. At the last possible moment, Jessie jumped out the way allowing the bot to connect with their safe. Jessie tried to stop the monstrous attacks with her gun, but the bot had locked in on its final objective.

She was prepared to accept defeat. They were so close, but the bot was too strong. Its giant spiked fists ripping their safe to smithereens. Just as she was going to place her rifle down, she saw the bot's knees start to buckle. Its fist swinging at the air as it tried to find an equilibrium. A few sparks and four shining red razor blades shooting from its knees. From behind the boss, she saw Leon running around trying to stop the robot's assault. A line of blood trickling from his mouth.

Jessie was amazed as she saw the shy boy in a new light. He was fighting through the immense pain of the boss' punch. He didn't let his fears hold him back. He had an objective and he was going to complete it. Even if it was the last thing he did.

"Jessie! Don't quit! We can finish it!" He disappeared in a puff of smoke before reappearing on top of the safe. The boss's eye now staring directly at him, "Can't hit what you can't see!" He threw four blades directly into the red lens of the boss. The giant bot taking a step back before continuing to punch anything ahead of it.

Jessie joined in Leon's last stand with a few more shots from her rifle, feeling S.C.R.A.P.P.Y charge up for another defense. She tossed S.C.R.A.P.P.Y into the bottom left corner of the clearing near the safe. The two students screamed at the top of their lungs as they emptied all the ammo they had into the boss.

With a magnificent explosion, the boss finally fell apart with its massive spiked fists crashing to the floor in a pile of smoke. Leon laid down against the safe as he gathered his thoughts. The feeling in his chest still aching as he tried to breathe. Jessie took a seat beside him as S.C.R.A.P.P.Y cooled down, resting her head on Leon's shoulder.

Leon wrapped an arm around Jessie as the two tried to relax their nerves. "That was… close." Leon crunched down on his lollipop before throwing the plastic stick onto the ground. Jessie reached into her bag pulling out two bottles of water. She handed one to Leon who graciously partook in the refreshment.

Jessie sipped on her drink lightly while she thought about her words, "Hey… don't get embarrassed but… you were really cool out there." Leon choked on his drink at the sudden compliment. He looked down at Jessie as she defensively threw up her hands, "Not to be weird. It's just… you are always so quiet and reserved. Watching you take control, fighting off a boss so much stronger than you… it was… attractive." Leon flinched at the word choice. "INSPIRING! It was inspiring! You inspired me to keep fighting. That's what I meant."

Jessie tried to laugh off her mistake. Leon choosing to accept it as a simple mistake continued to drink the last drops of his water. Blowing out a cool breath as he felt the cold liquid chill his burning body. Jessie couldn't help but stare at Leon as he relaxed against the safe. His mouth seemed to glisten in the sun as he pulled another lollipop from his hoodie pocket. Unwrapping it before popping it into his mouth. Jessie could swear she saw his pink tongue wrapping itself around the sucker before his lips encompassed it.

The two relaxed against the safe. Jessie nuzzling into his side as she tried to calm her rapidly beating heart. "Well done students!" The two jolted up as they heard Primo's voice. "Well, the ones that beat the boss. For every one that lost, I'm sorry to tell you but you have failed the first test." Leon and Jessie looked at each other with a smile as they finally registered their victory. "To the students that succeeded… you're almost done."

Leon and Jessie were heartbroken.

"Yes, that's right I know beating the boss with only two people was nearly impossible, but the worst has yet to come. You have one final wave of bots to deal with. And these are even stronger." In the background, they heard Nita cheering at the news of more robots. "Now survive this final wave and you have passed the test and earned your rewards."

The sound of Primo's voice disappearing gave way to the thundering footsteps approaching the two students. Leon slowly got up, clutching at his aching stomach as he prepared for the final wave. He reached a handout to Jessie, "One final fight?"

From the corner of his hood, Jessie could see Leon's dazzling green eyes and a tuff of brown hair covering his head. His smile was warm and comforting, drawing her deeper into his gaze. She reached a hand out to meet his, he pulled her up without a warning causing her to fall into his chest. The two pulled away from each other as they tried to dust themselves off, the approaching swarm getting louder. They nodded their heads to one another before Leon disappeared before her eyes. She looked around to find him until she turned around to meet his face. A wispy shadowy form of himself that could be seen through his invisibility, "I've got your back." He backed away from her, she assumed he was rushing headfirst into the bots to soften them up before they could get to her. Jessie charged up her rifle and shot a few bolts into S.C.R.A.P.P.Y as they prepared for the final wave.