Chapter 15

I followed Aria to the large older looking doors that gave entrance into the arena. They all of a sudden burst open and Cooper came staggering out. He leaned on the door and was breathing heavily. I frowned and was about to dash over to him, when I felt someone grab my arm.

He's fine, Karla. I looked over my shoulder and glared at Aria.

"Let go of me," I growled.

You must not go and help him. I clenched my jaw.

"And why not?"

He must learn to deal with these things by himself. I wrenched my arm out of her grasp and looked at Cooper. After a moment he straightened up and ran a hand through his hair. The sweat all over his face made his cheeks and forehead shiny. He looked over and saw me. He gave me a crooked smile and a small wave. I smiled sympathetically and waved back.

Aria guided me into the arena. It was a huge transparent dome, there weren't any bleachers or anything, but there was workout equipment scattered everywhere. Half of the floor was sand and the other was what looked like asphalt. There was also a track going around the outer boundaries of the arena. There was a single Watray in the center of everything. They were holding the blue box that I knew held my chain whip. We walked up to them and I saw that it was a female Watray, though she looked much different then Aria or any other female I'd seen around the base.

She had hair that was braided and circled her head, her eyes were a bright green, and she looked like she'd been in a few fights herself. She wore a strange dark green vest type shirt and on her webbed hands were large gloves. She smiled at me and turned to Aria.

You can leave us now… the woman said and gave Aria an annoyed look. Aria curtly turned and floated out of the doors. I couldn't help but smirk. The woman turned to me.

You like that young girl? she asked me. I was a bit surprised.

"Young girl?"

Yep, she's not any older than you surface dwellers. I thought about this for a moment. Here she was, acting all high and mighty when she was a teenager like the rest of us… a bit of an evil smile spread across my face. The Watray woman laughed inside my head. I guess you don't like her that much. I slowly shook my head. Well, neither do I. She thinks she's a queen or something because she gets to be your ambassador. I was starting to really like this woman. I smiled up at her.

"I'm Karla." She laughed.

I know that, girl, but thanks for introducing yourself. I'm Sadie, combat training specialist. She reached out her hand and I shook it. I suppose we should get to work then, eh? I nodded.

Okay, first, you need to warm up, I've studied the human physical build for quite some time. How about a few laps around the track. I frowned and looked at the track that circled the arena. Running has never been my forte. I wasn't in the greatest of shape, and I always hated it. Sighing I started to jog.

It was hard, I'll admit. I was breathing heavily after the first lap. Sadie was encouraging, and on my second lap when my throat was dry and my legs were feeling a bit like jelly, she came and hovered beside me. Finally she put a hand on my shoulder.

Okay, Karla. You can stop now. I slowed and stopped, putting my hands behind my head. Good job, I just wanted to see where you were. Come sit down and I'll explain what our routine will be in here. I did and she gave me a glass of water.

We'll start out with a warm up, then you'll switch every other day from doing physical training and weapons training. I'll be your instructor. I nodded and gulped down some water. After taking a long while to explain the different work out equipment she turned and gave me a somewhat wicked smile.

Ready for the whip now? I gave her a small smile and nodded. She pulled out the box and took out the whip. She handed it to me as I stood up. Okay, just hold onto the handle and let the blade fall to the ground. I let the chain go and with a clank the blade fell to the floor. The leather grip felt nice in my right palm. Saddie threw up her arms. Oh, silly me, I forgot. She reached into her vest and pulled out a pair of red, finger cut off gloves. She handed them to me and I slipped them on, making a fist then relaxing it again. Then Sadie pulled out some strange plastic thing. She picked up the blade of my whip off the ground, and covered it. There, now you won't get hurt when we're practicing. I raised an eyebrow, but didn't say anything.

Okay, we'll start with the most basic steps. She quickly showed me exactly how to hold my whip in the ready position. I held the handle and the excess chain in my right hand, and held the chain up near the blade in my left. My left was held up near my left shoulder, and I held my right down by my right hip. This is how you'll always start out when battling and this is the position you return to after you strike. Now for the most basic strike… she showed me how to bring back my right arm while letting go of the blade. The chain swung back behind me and - clunk. The blade hit the back of my leg. Even with the cover, it had been going fast enough to hurt. I reddened and quickly swung my arm forward like Sadie had said. I stepped with my left leg and let go of the chain, just holding on to the handle of the whip. The blade and chain swung around and over my head. The covered blade hit the sandy ground a very long way in front of me. I stayed in that position and looked up at Sadie. She smiled.

Good. Now step two is the whip like feature of the weapon. When the blade reaches right above what you are striking, snap your wrist to bring the whip back. It actually does it's damage when you are pulling your arm back… try it. So I went through the process again, and snapped my wrist while starting to bring back my arm. There was a loud crack and I watched the chain come flying back toward me faster then I had threw it. I let out a yelp and batted the chain away with my arm, which happened to hurt quite a bit. The blade fell to the ground and I massaged the red welt on my arm. Sadie laughed.
"Ow…not funny. You could have told me it was going to come swinging back like that." Sadie nodded.

I'm sorry, Karla, I suppose I could and should have, but your reflexes were quick in diverting the blade. It didn't hit you. That was very good. I raised an eyebrow and picked up the chain.

"I'm going to have a huge bruise there tomorrow…" I muttered.

Obviously, you are going to have to practice catching the chain when it snaps back…

"Obviously…" I retorted. Sadie smiled at me.

Well, let's keep practicing then.