Between the Witching Hours P. 1

Calvary academy allotted nine days of recovery time for the cadets after the entrance exam. Those who were injured during the battle sequence were required to remain in the infirmary, while the rest of the cadets prepared for their individual assessments and class placements. Cadets Farouk and Savoi suffered minor injuries and were discharged within the first four days. They rejoined the Alpha squad with much praise and fanfare from the entire installation.
The two cadets received recognition for breaking the cryptic poem, which placed them as the highest esteemed cadets for the new cycle. None of the other cadets knew what to do until they watched cadet Roudan lead his squad in action. It did not take long for those who were unfazed by the incoming attacks to follow suit. Everyone also marveled at cadet Yoshida’s keen tactical precision and aim with the lazar pistols while sniping the drones down. Unfortunately, not much mention was made over cadet Shevchenko for being the first cadet to retrieve a flag.
It was customary at the academy to hold an induction ball after the entrance exam had completed. The cadets who achieved a notable mention from the instruction Generals were given a coin to salute their efforts. After the award ceremony, the cadets could mingle, eat, drink, and dance. The male cadets each wore military style tuxedos, with the academy’s colors of hunter green and maroon. The female cadets wore glamorous ball gowns.
Shevchenko sullenly walked down the grand marble spiral staircase that lead into the giant ballroom. Though she had taken part in scores of debutante balls as a girl, she had never seen such a fine venue. The yellow marble pillars were draped with grape vines and there were lush botanical flowers spread throughout the room. The dancefloor was surrounded by two separate fountains of pearly water. An encased waterfall was in the background. A spectrum of changeable lights dazzled through the room, which gave an almost psychedelic ambiance.
A bluesy orchestra played catchy tunes, while a team of waitstaff members carried trays of succulent meats and tea cakes. Roudan, Yoshida, and Farouk waited at the bottom of the staircase for their remaining squad members to enter the room.
“Geez, I hate these types of events. I always feel like a monkey in these suits,” Roudan said as he slouched on the rail. He perked up once he saw Shevchenko and extended his arm out to her. Initially, she welcomed the gesture and felt seen by her comrades. Then she noticed Yoshida and Farouk were not as attentive, as they compared their shiny merit coins instead. With that, she dismissed Roudan’s greeting and shoved his hand to the side.

~The Waring Robins~

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