A Pre-Test

Kile Dredford

I woke up and looked around dumbly. When I realized that I was no longer in the alleyway I jumped to my feet and raised my fists in front of me. I began to remember the fight with the mysterious man, being grabbed, and then spinning and fading. I looked around and my mouth dropped open. The walls were full of weapons. Every weapon you could imagine and then some. Knives, bows, guns, from both the past and present. I sensed no danger for the time being and began to look around in awe.

I lowered my guard, and that was when trouble struck.

Three...things... fell from the ceiling and as soon as they landed, they began to attack. I couldn't let the three of them surround me. If they did I'd have no chance. I took the initiative and ran at the first one. I dropped and slid past him, catching its legs as I did. The thing dropped but got right up and came at me again. If I could get one of the weapons on the wall I could end this fight and maybe even live. There was one problem though.

All the weapons were 10 feet above me.

I could jump 5 feet if I tried but I wouldn't be able to get anywhere near grabbing one. The monsters chasing me were about my height... maybe I could...

I waited until the things were about 3 feet away and then I leapt forward, pushing off the wall as I did so. I landed on the beast's shoulder and held on as he crashed into the wall. I jumped off my perch and grabbed for the first thing I saw. My fingers closed around the handle of some bizarre crossbow. As I began to fall I held onto my new-found salvation and hit the ground with a thump. I quickly checked the weapon to see if it would fire, how I might reload it, and how many shots I had.

Hopefully it had three.

I raised the crossbow and fired a bolt into the closest monster's face that I could. It dropped with a growl. A second bolt found the next monster in the chest. The third creature was chargin me and I raised the crossbow for one last shot.



I rolled to the side, letting the thing pass me, and I considered my options. I didn't think I had it in me to go for another weapon. I could try beating the thing with the crossbow, but I wasn't sure that would hurt it. Then I was struck with the most obvious idea: Grab a bolt from one of the downed creatures. Except it wasn't going to be that easy… because the bolts had disappeared.

I looked around for something to use becoming more frantic with each second. I looked down at one of the dead monster's hans and got an idea. Bending down, I broke one of its fingers off. Each finger had a nice claw on the end… maybe that could do the trick. I jammed the finger into the crossbow pulled back, and fired.

It did the trick.

I slumped to the ground only to sit bolt upright when a familiar booming voice said,

"Well done Kile."

It was the man I had lost to earlier. he saw the recognition in my eyes and began to talk.

"Welcome Kile. This is your new home for the time being. I'm sorry for the… impromptu test… everyone goes through it when they become my apprentice. I would have warned you but… you kinda passed out."

I glared at him because of the last remark… he said it almost mockingly.

"A-aprentice?" I said weakly. "What are you talking about?"

He smiled, "You and a band of others have been chosen to be apprenticed to myself and other masters of magic in this world."

My eyes widened. "We're on a different world?" I was answered with a head shake.

"Not quite. It's a bit of a virtual reality. But still. You are here. And You will learn fast. Your unique skills are more… hazardous to your health than the skills of the others. While they can operate from far away, you must be next to your target to use your power."


"Yes. You have magic in you. That is why I have chosen you next."

"Next? Have you trained others?"

"Yes. I have. I hope you learn quicker than they. After each lesson in your power youwill go through a challenge similar to this one. Each day it will be harder, and you will be forced to call on the skills you have learned if you are to succeed."

"What happened to the ones who came before me? Did they get sent back to earth because they failed?"

"No." The man said gravely. "They died." He continued on ignoring my open mouthed stare.

"You must hurry and prepare yourself. We are going to meet the others shortly. I will take you to your room. Come."

My feet came. My thoughts were left behind.

The End

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