Chapter 10 "Day Off"

Chapter 10

After Skyr, Duncan, and a few Atlantean vanished yesterday for some sort of emergency, the cafeteria seemed empty - half empty. Rachel and I sat together on one table because Jack, Emily, and Watson were nowhere to be found. We could only assume that they were part of the people that were called for the situation. 

I was already dressed in my red newbie uniform and was headed for the cafeteria. I kept on rubbing on my arms to massage it and try to ease up the muscles. They were still sore, but it felt better than they did yesterday.

I guess I could thank my enhanced genes for that.

"Hey." I greeted Rachel the moment that I saw her. She was walking sluggishly, like all she wanted to do at that moment is to drop on the floor and sleep. She turned her head when she heard my voice. She nodded and gave me a weak wave of her hand. "Hey." She said and squinted her eyes as I approached her. "You monster. How can you look fine after yesterday's training?"

"I'm not. My arms do hurt. I don't even think I can lift anymore." I said.

"Your arms? My legs feels like lead!" She grunted. "I could barely jump down my pod without falling on my knees!" She gestured at the dirt on her suit just below her knee. "Trust me, I like the pods, but their designs are just...too troublesome! I mean, what is the point of elevating them from the ground? Does it have a purpose or is it just for aesthetics!?" She yelled out loud that some people who were passing by are giving us weird look.

At that moment I want to run and leave her. Pretend that I don't even know her.

"I am sure that it is a nice question to ask when Duncan and Skyr gets back. But for now, why don't we head inside?" I suggested. Luckily, she didn't argue as we both headed for the cafeteria.

I scanned my identification bracelet and the holographic menu pops up. But just before I could choose, Rachel picked my breakfast for me. The one with lots of those green goopy bubble popping plants. I glared at her the moment my tray popped up from the machine. 

"Remember what Jack said? It's good protein! And you should thank me." She says while getting her own tray of the disgusting sea plant. She gestured her head at the others who were order the same menu. "I guess these plants are good for you if most of them are eating it.

I gritted my teeth and starred at the orbs of the sea plant. It was shinning under the light and glinting at me like it was teasing. I feel like I am going to hurl.


The sea plant was disgusting to eat, but I have to admit that it didn't taste that bad. It was a bit salty and watery like sea grapes, but the texture feels like smoked caviar on your tongue. It was grainy and it felt weird - but I still ate most of it. Even Rachel couldn't finish hers.

After our breakfast, we headed for the training facility at 8:08 AM. There were only a few trainees for today and just by looking at all of them, I guess I understood the reason why they stayed behind. They were still newbies like us - in an advance sort of way. Compared to the others, they move a bit clumsily. Among them, there was an older Atlantean guy with a long white hair that was tied back into a ponytail. He barked orders at the trainees and gave comments about their performances.

"Didn't the general said that he'll assign a temporary instructor for us?" I leaned in to ask Rachel.

"I think so." She nodded and fixed her gaze at the long haired Atlantean who seems to be incharge. "Should we go and ask him?"

"Yeah I guess. I mean, Skyr didn't mention anything specific." When I looked down at Rachel, she had this sort of knowing grin on her face. 

"Skyr?" She said with a shake of her brow. "I didn't know you two were close."

"We're not." I denied. "It's too long if I keep on calling him general Skyr, right?"

"I guess. But the others call him that though."

"Then maybe we'll thread that path when we get there." We headed towards the older looking Atlantean. All the while making sure that we do not disturb the others on their task. But as we got near, a question began to emerge. "Who's going to ask him?" I whispered.

"You." Rachel says.

"Why not you?" 

" feet hurts!"

"Rachel, that is not a valid excuse." 

"Oh pish posh. Stop talking to me and go talk to that good looking guy instead." She waved her hand at me in dismissal before pushing me with enough force that I stumbled in the man's line of vision. I immediately straigthened up and vowed to choke the girl later and I marched towards the man. No point to turn back and run when I was already spotted. "Excuse me." I started.


"Um..." Great. I have not exactly formulated my question. I'll add this to the list of reason to strangle her later. "Sk - I mean - General Skyr told us that he would assign a person to help us with our training?"

"Hmm? Oh!" The man's eyes widened when he saw my uniform. "Ah yes. You are Nathalia Trayce and Rachel Howard, right? I'm Captain Marvin. I was left incharge of platoon C for the day and also for your training. But as you can see..." He gestured to the Atlantean trainies who kept falling while balancing on a very thin pole. He screamed and fell on the cushion a few feet in front of us. " hands are kind of tied. Sorry, but mind if we do a rain check for the day? I can tell that your friend over there badly needs it." He gestured towards Rachel who was yawning pretty badly. When she saw us looking at her, she simply smiled and waved. 

"Yeah...I guess we can do that. But are you sure general Skyr won't mind?" I asked. Just to be sure that we won't get punished for slacking off.

"He'll understand. Besides, the sooner these guys become a solid troupe, the more people we can send to help. After all, saving our fellow kin is our top pririoty." There was a grunt and a thud as another one guy fell from the balancing pole when a drone drove past him. Marvin let out a frustrated sigh and somehow my gut was telling me to walk away before the guy really gets pissed off. 

"I guess my friend and I will go and...get some rest?" I started backing away.

"Give me your identification cuff." He ordered. I showed him the bracelet - or cuff as he calls it. He grabbed my hand and placed his cuff over mine. "Access to sector 21-07 and 21-10. Granted." I saw a green light flashing from his cuff and into mine. When he saw the look on my face, he answered. "Since you both are registered as trainees, most access to the leisure grounds are restricted during training hours." He gestured for Rachel to move forward. She obediently complied and Marvin granted her the same access. "This restrictions are to prevent and discourage the trainees from skipping."

"What happens when they do?"

"The system would alert the us, the ones who are scheduled for training for the day. But other than that, they cannot enter the facility. Only General Skyr is the one who likes to discipline these rule breakers. I gave you both access to the indoor gardens and the oceanary. It would probably help you both to relax. Think of this as a bonus compensation and a sort of welcome gift from me. It is only valid for one day though."

"Thank you, captain." I said and slightly bowed. Rachel silently followed. "We will be sure to get some rest and make use of" And with that, we both headed for the exit. As soon as the door closed behind us, Rachel stretched her arms up and cheered. "Free time!"

"Yeah." I nodded. "So now what?"

"Well I would say go to sleep, but getting these access for the leisure facility? Sign me up. Do you know where they are?" She inquired.

I could vaguely remember Skyr and I walking along the garden, but as for the oceanary? Nope. We haven't gone that far. "I guess we could start with the garden." I said and couldn't help but notice the look of excitement in her eyes. I lead the way to the gardens. I remembered the path going there from the training facility. I saw the familar colored paths and glowing plants. Upon entering, a drone flew by and scanned our cuffs - now I know what to call them aside from bracelets. 

A light sound came from the drone before it wheezed past us. Now, Rachel and I were walking around in the garden. Rachel looked excited and kept on running here and there - completely different from me when I first came to this place. "Nat, come on!" She urged. I flinched from the nickname. It has been a while since someone called me that. I followed her as we both went through a set of vines to reveal a narrow pathway. On either side of us were man made ponds with lizard like fish with slimey scales. I grabbed the railing just so I can look at the weird creatures more clearly. Their scales were shinny with mucus. They remind me of tadpoles, but these were big. I saw some other fish with transparent bodies that glowed every 3 second or so.

"I do not know if I should feel amaze or disgusted to be honest." I said as I watched the other varieties of fishes in the pond. Some appear to be made out of goo, the same goo that we ate during breakfast. And that was all I needed as I moved away from the railing.

"I agree." Rachel said beside me. Her face looking as disturbed and fascinated as mine. "I wanna ask about the genetics of these creatures, but at the same time I don't. Can we just move along?"

"Please." I agreed as we both hurriedly made our way for the exit at the end of the path. We went through another set of vines and found ourselves outside of the indoor garden. The scene was new to me. I guess we just found a new exit from the garden, a different one from where Skyr and I went through the last time I was here, which was about two days ago.

"I am guessing that is the oceanary?" I pointed to the door in front of us that remind me of an entrance to an underground train station.

"No duh, Sherlock. It has a big ass sign that says 'Oceanary'." She pointed out. I wanna reach out and smack her for ruining my moment, but I stopped myself from doing so. A few people were walking past it and waved at us in greeting when they saw us walking. We greeted them back as we made our way to the entrance.

I paused when a thought suddenly occured to me. "Rachel? Are you sure that it is a good idea to go in?"

"Why not?"

"Are we even prepared to see another weird...sea creatures?" I gestured back at the indoor garden behind us. Rachel understood what I mean and bit her fist as if she was debating whether to go or not.

"You know, I am not sure about if we'll get another opportunity like this at all. So I guess even if we see another disturbing creature again, at least we were able to see it. If you know what I mean."

I know exactly what she means. It's not everyday that we get to see new species of plants and sea creatures - well I mean, we will get to see them every day if we were to live in this place. But I guess that what she meant was for us to be one of the lucky people to actually experience this.

We finally agreed to head inside after we scanned our cuffs. The door led to a set of stairs leading down. It was dimly lit. The only light came from a few dotted blue lights that lined the walls, ceilings, and the corner of the stairs. Our foootsteps echoed as it bounced off the walls on either side of us. Once we reached the end, we were now on a vacant circlular space with multiple doors - each with a sign to indicate where it leads to. I heard Rachel gasp. She was looking down at our feet, which was giving off a blue light. I followed her gaze as saw that we were standing on a glass floor and right below us was the ocean. There were thousands  if not a hundred - glowing jellyfish at the opposite side of the glass floor. It was mesmerizing and all I could do was stare. 

"Woah." Rachel whispered beside me and we both laughed in joy and delight as we followed their movement. How their body expands and deflates, the constant pattern of their glow, and their fixed movement as they float.

I feel like I could just sit here all day and stare at them.

"What are you guys doing here?" A familiar voice behind us asked. Rachel and I both jump and looked up to see the reincarnated demi god in front of us, walking out from one of the doors until his features were lit by the glow from the jellyfish.

Lord Byron.

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