Chapter 5- Before the second trial

As it turned out, my time stood at 10 minutes 23 seconds, only 4 seconds behind Emma and just one behind Robin. When looking at the leaderboard, I realise that my time stands at eighth highest- just above the average time. Decent I suppose. On my way out, after seeing these results displayed on a monitor beside my test chamber, I notice a girl sat on her own on the floor, back to the wall. She sits with her knees up, balancing one triangular sandwich slice across the gap as if a bridge, while nibbling on another, spilling brown crumbs onto her armour. She wears a much different style of armour to the other, much more robotic while the others' were much more organic. It looks to be some sort of suit made of a silvery set of metals that reflect the blue lighting from above unitedly. Over this are a few Emerald streaks for pattern I'd imagine, which twist and turn down to her clawed metal gloves and boots. Next to her is a sort of pole propped which must be her weapon. In fact, when taking her whole outfit into account, it looks more as if she's trying to cosplay as some robotic panda rather than compete for a good team in the school. After snapping back to reality, I realise our eyes have been locked for several minutes and try to stifle a 'h-hii.' I need to stop doing that- day dreaming into people's faces. Luckily she shyly smiles back with a quite hello. Her eyes are a beautiful shade of green, like a perfect leaf from a full grown plant.

Without asking I walk over and sit next to her, as my head starts to sway from the aftermath of the intensity of the trial. No idea how I'm gonna cope with the next ones. I hold out my hand and offer my name as I have previously, yet this girl only acknowledges it with a shy nod and whisper of the word 'Jade'. I never thought I'd meet a girl more shy than myself but I suppose that I was told by my parents. Truthfully, I've never really been with anyone more quiet than myself, I just let the others do the talking while I smile and nod. It's ok most of the time. Having said that, I've never really been put in the position where I have to be outgoing. I'm not sure how I feel about it.

The girl turns back to me and offers some of her sandwich. I take some and immediately spit it out again, which earns a half-offended half-shocked look from Jade. 'Sorry,' I sputter, 'But... What is this?'

'A wholemeal lettuce and tomato sandwich,' She replies louder this time, 'My Mum made it especially for me for my first day so I wouldn't feel too homesick.' I feel a slight tinge of guilt and try to divert the subject. 'Really? Why is it a specialty from where you come from?'

'In a way,' She picks up the other half and displays it, 'I used to live in the Amalga rainforest while my parents worked to preserve it, you know, because of deforestation and stuff.'

I nod and add, 'So you're from the city region, then.' I shouldn't pry, after all, I wouldn't like it if she asked me in return. However I've always had a ridiculous thirst for knowledge that at times I've been ashamed of. She smiles and says, 'Yes' almost proudly. But then if she can speak proudly about her own region then why can't I about mine? What's wrong with my old region and why must it be kept a secret?

For a minute I expect her to ask about my past in return, as if to form a fair exchange of information. Thankfully though, the others come up to us and greet me with warm smiles and congratulations, and Jade with slight hostility and confusion. I need to introduce her. 'Everyone, this is Jade, she's a friend,' I announce. At the word 'friend' she blushes but smiles like a small child with a good grade. Yet I notice a fair amount of reluctancy for acquaintancy from Emma as the others greet her, to which I direct her a look for. She looks back and I see a new emotion- hate. I wonder if Emma knew her before I did, yet I realise that their outfits are extremely different, meaning that the pair must be from different regions. Therefore, with region transferals being extremely rare, this becomes highly unlikely. But wait, could it be something to do with a distancing factor between their old regions?

In the corner of my eye I see Robin help her up off the ground and guide her into a prep room. 'Sorry Em, got a new and better partner,' He calls back over his shoulder. To this her face relaxes again and then comically flares up again as it did before, while she shouts outrages towards Robin, as they walk away. At this point I think it's safe to say there must be a lot more to Emma than meets the eye. I just hope that I can be the friend she needs to console in when she decides the time is right. All that is dismissed thought, such is her demeanour, as she turns back to me and sends a hearty smile. 'Alright,' She says, 'Ready to woop some ass in round 2?'

The End

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