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Angel Misery 2: Chapter 7

Weapons, Targets, and Range

In the month of December, The students of the International Innovators and Developers High School for Global Leaders undergo their Finals. For the Freshmen, the first week is for the range qualification, the second week is for physical performance examinations, the third week is for STEM courses, and the fourth week is for the Arts.

Maria walked with Aiden into the dorms. 

“Range Week is going to be a breeze!” Maria said aloud, holding an imaginary M4 and simulating firing it at a target.

“If there is one thing I can say you are good at, shooting would probably be it.” Aiden responded to Maria.

Maria and Aiden looked over at one of the seats in the lobby. Tammy Crabtree was rocking back and forth with a book opened in front of her. She was muttering words to herself. Maria walked over to see what was up.

“Finger off the trigger until you intend to fire, finger off the trigger until finger… wait no…trigger, fire?” Tammy was saying and became frustrated that she could not keep her thoughts straight.

“You’re trying to remember Weapons Handling Rule number 3?” Maria asked Tammy.

Tammy looked over at Maria. “I know them, but I’m getting worried that I can’t apply them when it comes time for the test.” Tammy nervously responded.

“Oh, what were your scores like until now?” Maria asked.

“I hit the target every once in a while. My last test I got a 14%, which is the highest I’ve gotten yet. So I am getting better.” Tammy told Maria with a shaky smile on her face.

“14%!? Yikes, you’re going to fail if you don’t get more practice!” Maria said completely shocked that someone could score so low with weapons.

“May we have a look at your target sheets?” Aiden asked Tammy.

Tammy looked up at Aiden. “No problem, Angeal.” Tammy got up from her seat and went to her dorm room to get the graded target sheets.

“You hear that Aiden!? 14%, that is incredible!” Maria said to Aiden still in disbelief.

“This area is likely just one she doesn’t know how to approach. Tammy is known for being able to memorize law documents, constitutions, and historical records. So it’s understandable that a hands on activity such as shooting would not be her strong suit.” Aiden informed Maria.

“Anyone can learn anything. I mean, look at me.” Maria pointed at herself with a cocky expression on her face.

Aiden looked over to the side, seeing that Maria completely downplayed his role of at least assisting her in making it here.

Tammy returned with the sheets of paper. She laid them on the table in the lobby. “Here they are.” Tammy said.

Maria and Aiden looked at the papers. The impact holes were scattered around the page. Some pages even had only one bullet entry, when the page stated that it was supposed to be a 10 shot cluster.

Maria looked closely at the pages.

“What I can see from these pages, is that you don’t have Accuracy or Precision. You see how your shots don’t form a tightly packed cluster, and they also don’t hit where you are aiming… if you are even aiming.” Maria said, trying to find a pattern in the shots.

“I do aim correctly, it’s just that when I shoot it just doesn’t go where I am aiming.” Tammy responded.

“And are you sure your weapon is zero’d out?” Maria asked.

“I can’t really get a proper zeroing, but Joanne, she’s from Texas, said that she zero’d it out for me.” Tammy responded.

“Well I don’t doubt that Joanne knows what she is doing, but if you really wanted some assistance, you should have gone directly to the general.” Maria smiled.

“You know what is wrong?” Tammy asked Maria.

“I can spot it from hundreds of kilometers away. Meet us at the range early tomorrow morning. Like at 8am, and we will get you completely straightened out.” Maria told Tammy.

Tammy nodded her head quickly and gathered the sheets of paper on the table. “I’m willing to try anything to make sure I don’t fail that final.” Tammy said to Maria before going back towards her own dorm room.

Aiden and Maria watched Tammy turn the corner.

“I am curious to know what problems you identified with her shooting?” Aiden asked Maria.

“It’s simply the fundamentals. She probably isn’t controlling her breathing which would make the shots gather around the target like that. Actually, it’s so bad I wouldn’t be surprised if she closed her eyes right before shooting.” Maria informed Aiden.

“Also something you should pay attention to, all of her shots are high on the page.” Aiden brought that detail to Maria’s attention. Maria pondered the cause for that.

“I will say that when she pulls the trigger, she is pulling the rest of the weapon upward. She is probably bracing herself for the noise of the shoot.” Maria concluded.

Maria then went to the desk that Tammy was sitting at earlier.

“First, we have to cure her fear of the sound. Second we have to make sure she gets her breathing under control. And third we have to make sure she is looking at her sights correctly when shooting.” Maria wrote down on a scrap piece of paper that was off to the side of the desk.

“Seems like you have a plan. There isn’t much I can contribute to that.” Aiden responded to Maria.

“Hold it, now, I may be beyond perfect when it comes to all things about being a General, but I wouldn’t relax too early Corporal. If I somehow fail at teaching Tammy how to shoot properly, then you will have to make sure she doesn’t fail that final.” Maria told Aiden.

“So cheating?” Aiden asked Maria.

“Don’t say it like that! You wouldn’t want the name of the General to be tarnished by failing to teach someone how to shoot, would you?” Maria asked Aiden.

Aiden shrugged his shoulders.

“Good enough. I know you’ll help anyways.” Maria said to Aiden as she got up from the seat and headed to room 808.

They both entered and didn’t see Silvia.

“She is out again? And here I thought she would always be an annoying presence in the room.” Maria said to herself.

“Silvia is walking around Campus with Ventus. I suppose they have their own activities they’ve found during the weekends.” Aiden told Maria.

There was a hint of jealousy on Maria’s face as she crossed her arms.

“Now I’m feeling left out.” Maria said to Aiden.

“Do you want me to find them and bring you there?” Aiden asked Maria.

“Nope, they can have their fun. It’s not like it bothers me any more.” Maria said to Aiden.

Maria pulled out the Eternal Flame necklace that was given to her by Hestia. “I definitely have to make sure I wear this in the morning. I don’t want my tiredness to make me frustrated… just in case Tammy just isn’t getting it.” Maria told Aiden.

“Do you plan on teaching her without me around?” Aiden asked Maria.

“I mean, if you want to come, you can always just ask.” Maria looked over at Aiden with the necklace dangling from her fingers.

“I’m just surprised.” Aiden responded to Maria.

“Yeah, it’s not like I want to use any of your heavenly arts to influence how well Tammy does yet. I want to see what ability she has, with no outside interference. So I will let you have the day off.” Maria gave Aiden a wide grin.

“There has to be a catch to that.” Aiden was suspicious of Maria’s statement.

“Well, I’m not going to say what I think you should do. But hanging with Ventus and Silvia, while invisible, sounds like a good plan to me.” Maria suggested to Aiden.

“So, spying on them.” Aiden responded.

“Not spying, it’s data collection. I can’t let Silvia come back with some sort of advantage over me. I have to know these things as the General.” Maria pointed at Aiden.

“Well, it wouldn’t work anyways. Ventus can tell when I am around, even if I was invisible. He could see a future where I responded to an event, showing that I was around in the first place.” Aiden clarified to Maria.

“Ventus’ ability is incredible. I wonder where it came from.” Maria thought to herself. “So tailing them would be out of the question.” Maria said, trying to figure out something else to have Aiden do. “You think anyone else in the school has some sort of weird ability too?” Maria asked Aiden.

“I wouldn’t doubt that at all. Especially since I now know that the Almighty is part of a Society of other beings of similar capabilities. And they each could have aspects that may be able to evade my detection.” Aiden said to Maria.

“I want a special ability!” Maria said to Aiden.

“You already have one. I practically listen to everything you ask. Basically a genie for you.” Aiden smirked at Maria.

“That hardly counts, and it’s not as cool as seeing the future, or teleporting everywhere, or telekinesis.” Maria exclaimed to Aiden.

“What ability would you like? I could see if I can grant you something for 24 hours.” Aiden suggested to Maria.

“Really? I didn’t expect that.” Maria lowered her voice.

“Well, since I can’t spy on Ventus and Silvia, I may as well do something of equal value.” Aiden said to Maria.

“You would think that I have thought about this a lot. But I have no idea what ability I would actually want.” Maria said to herself. She took her time trying to figure out what she wanted to be able to do for 24 hours. “And it has to be for tomorrow? Like I can’t save this ability for sometime next week?” Maria asked Aiden.

“I would prefer you not to, since you are giving me a break tomorrow, so I have ample time to design something for you.” Aiden said to Maria.

Maria paused. She wanted to make sure what she got would be cool.

“Oh! I want to be able to read minds!” Maria said to Aiden.

“Reading minds? That sounds like it would get annoying fast.” Aiden responded to Maria.

“Can you read minds, Aiden?” Maria asked.

“If I wanted to I could, but humans don’t think of anything interesting enough for me to even consider it.” Aiden responded.

“Well, that’s what I want. I want to be able to read minds.” Maria nodded her head, satisfied with her choice.

“Any specifications? Do you want to hear all thoughts in a 100 kilometer radius? Do you want to select which thoughts you want to hear? How loud do you want those thoughts to be?” Aiden asked Maria.

“So many options.” Maria said to Aiden. “I want to be able to hear all thoughts within listening distance, as if they were speaking out loud. And I also want to be able to concentrate on someone who is further away than that and hear what they are thinking. And I want the thoughts to sound like they are speaking through a paper bag, just so I won’t confuse it with real speech.” Maria said to Aiden.

“That actually isn’t hard to give you at all. I could likely have that ready for you by 8am.” Aiden said to Maria.

“No, I don’t want you to have to work through the night, that is an Order from the General. Ventus might be able to piece together that you were gone and realize that I might be up to something.” Maria said to Aiden.

“I don’t think he would even give it a passing thought.” Aiden responded to Maria.

Then Maria and Aiden heard the door to the dorm room opening up. It was Silvia and Ventus.

“Speak and thee shall appear.” Maria said as they walked in.

Silvia had a smile on her face as if she just got done laughing. She quickly got rid of it when she saw Maria.

“Having fun?” Maria asked.

“Why? Feeling left out?” Silvia asked Maria.

“No. I’m actually glad you aren’t in the room so much.” Maria responded to Silvia.

“Well, I think I am going to give the building one more check before going to sleep. I will talk to you tomorrow.” Ventus said to Silvia.

Silvia nodded her head.

“Bye Maria.” Ventus said to Maria.

“See you later.” Maria responded. Ventus nodded to Aiden since he knows that he would see Aiden in the room later.

The door shut and Maria looked over at Silvia. She had an expression on her face as if she knew something that Silvia did not want her to know.

“Why are you looking so creepy?” Silvia asked Maria.

“Oh it’s nothing.” Maria responded.

“Well then turn around and stop looking at me.” Silvia said to Maria. “Hello Angeal, are you enjoying yourself?” Silvia asked Aiden.

“As much as I normally do.” Aiden responded.

“See, you are boring Angeal to death. Why don’t you guys do something he wants to do?” Silvia asked Maria.

“I think I know what he wants to do, thank you very much.” Maria responded.

“Sure…” Silvia said before going into her closet. “Ah, Angeal. Could you leave, I would like to clean myself and go to bed.” Silvia asked Aiden.

“Sure thing.” Aiden responded.

Maria gave Aiden a wink as if they had a plan at that moment.

Aiden simply shut the door and left.

Maria then turned her attention to Silvia. “You think I don’t notice.” Maria said to Silvia.

“I doubt you could notice anything with that brain of yours.” Silvia responded to Maria. Silvia pulled out her Friday Sleeping outfit, and grabbed her towel.

“You can try all you like, but I know.” Maria raised her eyebrows repeatedly.

“So annoying.” Silvia said before leaving for the bathroom.

The night continued on, until it was 7:30am the next morning.

Maria got up immediately, she felt initially groggy, but quickly put on the Eternal Flame necklace. She felt full of energy and threw on her outfit of the day.

Aiden was waiting outside the door for Maria to come out of Room 808.

As soon as Maria was ready she opened the door. “You have your mission for today Corporal, I expect you to have it complete by 8am.” Maria said to Aiden.

“8am, you aren’t giving me much of any time to complete this task, are you.” Aiden responded to Maria.

Maria looked down at her watch. “It is 7:45 right now. So that’s a full 15 minutes. You can basically conquer the entire world in 15 minutes!” Maria reiterated to Aiden.

“I won’t deny that that is likely true.” Aiden said to Maria.

“Then I am glad we understand each other.” Maria gave Aiden a grin. “I am going to quickly get over to the range while you do what you need to do.” Maria said to Aiden as she made her way down the hall and into the elevator.

“I thought she said today was going to be my day off.” Aiden thought to himself. “No matter, there should be a few beings in the Heavenly realm who have given humans the ability to read minds.” Aiden then opened up a route into the Heavenly Realm and entered it.

Juniper saw Aiden enter.

“You never seem to spend too long outside of the Heavenly Realm, do you?” Juniper jokes.

“The ample amount of experience located here is eons above what is found on Earth. And on that point, I am going into the Greek Realm, looking for a being by the name of Hypnos.” Aiden said to Juniper.

“The Greek Realm? What do you need from there?” Juniper asked.

“Maria, my Best Friend on Earth, requested the ability to read minds. I figured it would be better to get knowledge from someone who had already done it than for me to figure it out from scratch.” Aiden told Juniper.

“I can think of a few ways to achieve that goal, but those beings in the Greek Realm are closer to humans than we are, so I agree, that should be your first action.” Juniper said to Aiden. Juniper then vanished.

Aiden soon vanished as well. When he reappeared he was in a dark cave. Within the cave was a pitched black bed. Hypnos sat in the corner of the room gazing at Poppies of all sorts of colours.

“Hypnos.” Aiden called out.

Hypnos looked over and was amazed by the appearance of Aiden in front of him.

“Sight of Divine, Sublime, Sublime. How might I assist thee?” Hypnos asked Aiden.

“Seems you already have the assumption that I am here to request something of you.” Aiden responded.

“Of course, I have no remorse. I am only sought for duty and not for pleasure.” Hypnos said to Aiden. Hypnos lowered his head. The darkness of the room became clear.

“Are you not married to Pasithea? Does she also not seek you out for pleasure?” Aiden asked Hypnos.

“Pasithea, oh my Queen. Her face, for a while, I have not seen. She has been with Hera for eons, so my time is spent observing these plants grow.” Hypnos told Aiden.

“This is not a way to enjoy yourself. I will speak with Hera and see to it that you enjoy yourself at least a little.” Aiden told Hypnos.

“Please, I want for nought. The time of the Divine is much too grand for a low status man.” Hypnos said to Aiden quickly.

“Certainly, if that is how you feel, then I will not argue. But I do have a task I want you to do for me. Do you have an accessory that would grant a Human the ability to read minds?” Aiden asked Hypnos. Hypnos immediately went into his case of jewels.

Hypnos pulled out a Dark Black Stone that was surrounded with a Dark Wood of Ebony. “This is a Stone from the home of Hephaestus. It is able to pick up and amplify even the smallest influence on the air by Human’s Thought. I wear this to locate Humans who have trouble sleeping and grant them peace for the night.” Hypnos said, handing it to Aiden.

Aiden held the item. He scanned through it. “So it is imbued with Heavenly Energy, that’s good to know something like this can’t be made naturally yet.” Aiden thought to himself. “Are there any considerations I need to know for this item before I give it to someone?” Aiden asked Hypnos.

“They, who wear it, will not be able to sleep while it is on their person. But unlike the other items that would grant such ability, this one does not rid exhaustion.” Hypnos told Aiden.

“Well that’s not much of a problem.” Aiden thought. “Thank you, Hypnos. I will return this to you when I am done with it.” Aiden responded to Hypnos. Aiden opened a path back to Earth.

“Please. I don’t need the item anymore. It is better that it is being used than collecting dust here. When its usage is no longer needed then it will simply become a thought and reemerge in my realm.” Hyponos informed Aiden.

Aiden nodded to Hypnos and returned to Earth.

Maria met Tammy at the Shooting Range. Maria had her M4 ready, and her notes to the side of her.

“I hope I didn’t make you wait long!” Tammy said to Maria as she walked more quickly to Maria.

Maria looked at the time. “It’s 7:55am, you know if you aren’t 15 minutes early, then you are late.” Maria said to Tammy.

“Please, I am sorry. I didn’t mean to make you wait that long.” Tammy said to Maria apologetically.

“I’m kidding, I’ve only been here maybe for 5 minutes.” Maria said to Tammy.

Tammy quickly set up her area. She placed her M4 to the side, and removed the record keeping sheets from her back pack. They both then pressed the buttons in their stations and the targets for zero-ing popped up.

The Targets were 35 meters out. And were in the shape of a typically circular target.

“Watch me as I shoot.” Maria told Tammy. Tammy looked over at Maria. Maria slowed down her breath.

She pulled the buttstock of the weapon into the pocket of her shoulder. She maintained a relaxed grip. Then Maria began firing.

Tammy covered her ears as Maria shot. Soon Maria sent 8 rounds down range. Then she placed her weapon on safe, and sat it down. The readings for Maria’s shot popped up on the screen.

Maria’s shots were densely packed. Her 8 shots could all fit in an area of 12cm squared. However, they were slightly to the left of the bull’s eye.

“Aww, it looked like you missed.” Tammy said, looking at Maria’s shots.

“I didn’t miss. My Weapon is just not zero’d today. Once I adjust it, then I will only be hitting Bull’s eye. At this stage it is only important that you aim at the same spot, and try to maximize your precision. Accuracy will come later.” Maria informed Tammy.

“Oh, I get it. So I should not be adjusting while I am shooting?” Tammy asked.

“I didn’t say all of that. I am saying that at this stage, you shouldn’t adjust. When you are shooting at targets further out, then you can adjust based on where your shot landed. Because of the wind and all of that.” Maria said, nodding to Tammy as if she was the Greatest Teacher on the planet.

Tammy then took her position and placed her weapon against her shoulder. Tammy pulled against it so that it was snug. She aimed at the target and when the first shot went out Tammy blinked from the noise. She then had to adjust the weapon against her shoulder.

The shot landed high, about 10cm from the bullseye. 

Tammy fired again, and the shot this time landed 8cm up from the bullseye and to the left about 4cm. Tammy fired another and it landed high once again, but this time to the right.

Maria let Tammy finish shooting, and the results were brought up on Tammy’s screen. The Shots seemed to not have much rhyme or reason.

“Ah… did you aim at the same spot?” Maria asked.

“Yes, I made sure my radical was on the black part of the target.” Tammy told Maria.

“Take the ammunition out of your weapon and do some mock shots, I want to see when you pull the trigger.” Maria said to Tammy.

Tammy then went to set up.

Aiden walked up behind Maria. “I have something for you.” Aiden said to Maria. Aiden handed Maria the Black Stone given to him by Hypnos.

Aiden made the Stone into a necklace so Maria could wear it easily. “So this will let me read minds?” Maria asked.

“In theory it should.” Aiden said to Maria. Maria put the necklace on. 

“I should be able to do this. It’s not going to make a sound when I shoot, except for the sound of the charging handle moving forward. That’s annoying too.” Maria heard Tammy thinking.

Maria looked over at Aiden and didn’t get anything. “Do you not think?” Maria asked Aiden.

“I do think, but it doesn’t affect the environment. So you won’t get any information from me with that.” Aiden said to Maria.

“Well that took half the fun out of it.” Maria pointed at Aiden. “Well at least it does work.” Maria said as she focused her attention on Tammy.

Aiden stood behind Maria.

“You can go now and do whatever.” Maria said to Aiden.

“What would I even do if you aren’t around?” Aiden asked Maria.

“I don’t know, whatever you used to do.” Maria laughed.

“Those were missions given to me by the almighty. But I suppose I could walk around the school.” Aiden said to Maria.

“You have the ability to travel across the entire universe and you choose to walk around the school, so boring.” Maria said to Aiden.

“I don’t mind boredom as much as you do.” Aiden said to Maria as he walked off.

“That’s enough mock shots, Tammy. I know what your problem is.” Maria said to Tammy.

Tammy’s face lit up. “Oh what is it?” Tammy asked.

“You are scared of your weapon. You grip it too tightly because you are worried that when you shoot it will pop out of your hands. The sound of the shot startles you, and you are focusing too hard to the point where you go crossed eyes a bit.” Maria said to Tammy.

“Wow! You got all of that just from watching me do some mock shots?” Tammy asked, impressed by Maria’s assessment.

“Of course, I am the General afterall.” Maria responded to Tammy.

“I thought she was all talk, but I guess she’s the real deal. She read me like a book.” Tammy thought.

“Now load up the next target. We will get you properly zeroed and hitting bullseye in no time.” Maria said with a cocky smirk on her face.

Aiden walked around the campus of the High School. The Athletic Society of Geniuses were returning from their morning 5k jog. The Students of Astronomy were returning to their respective dorms after a night of sky watching. And the sounds of alarms from the buildings could be heard.

Some of the Freshmen got up early so they could begin studying for their martial arts exams. Luetta Todd and Antonio Moore were training with each other. Luetta was relentless with Antonio. She tossed him with plenty of her Martial Art Techniques.

As Antonio laid on the ground, Luetta noticed Aiden.

“A lone Angeal? Now that is a sight never seen.” Luetta said watching Aiden walk.

“Looks like you will have no trouble passing the Martial Arts’ Final.” Aiden said to Luetta.

“Yeah, but that was never in question. The issue is with this weak nerd.” Luetta said, looking down at Antonio who was still on the ground. “Aren’t you supposed to be a guy, why are you acting so weak?” Luetta asked Antonio.

“It’s not my fault that my partner ended up being an Amazonian Warrior.” Antonio said finally getting up.

Luetta looked over at Aiden. “Hey, Angeal, do you mind if I showed Antonio some moves by using you as the test dummy?” Luetta asked.

“Typically I would leave that decision to Maria… but as she isn’t here, I guess I will have to decline.” Aiden said to Luetta.

“Come on Angeal, it will be really quick. You can handle it for sure, right?” Luetta asked.

“The problem isn’t if I can handle it.” Angeal responded.

Antonio got up from the ground. “I don’t understand how you people are able to take so much pain. I’m already worn out.” Antonio said to the both of them.

“You are going to fail if you can’t even fall without hurting yourself.” Luetta said to Antonio. She imitated his erratic falling movement.

“It’s not that bad.” Antonio said, he looked over at Aiden.

“It’s pretty bad.” Aiden said to Antonio who was looking for support against Luetta.

“Then Angeal, could you at least demonstrate that to me? Luetta is just not built in a way that I could follow.” Antonio asked Aiden.

Aiden shrugged. He then went into a more open patch.

“Basically, when you fall you want to slap the ground first with your least vital parts, like your arms. You are landing directly on your back which will knock the air out of you.” Aiden informed Antonio.

Aiden then fell back and slapped the ground with his arms.

Antonio then tried to mimic, but he landed on his back again and then slapped the ground.

“Come on! How can someone so smart be so dumb?” Luetta said to Antonio.

“If you are having a hard time with it, focus on hitting the ground with your side. Then try it with your arms out. At least until you gain enough muscle memory to where you would stop falling directly on your back.” Aiden said to Antonio.

Antonio fell again, and made the exact same mistake he did before.

Aiden shook his head. “I’ll try something.” Aiden said as he went to grab Antonio. When Aiden grabbed Antonio to toss him, Aiden sent information into Antonio’s muscles that would make him fall properly.

Antonio tried to land on his back, but his body immediately forced him to break his fall.

Luetta was shocked to see Antonio fall properly. Antonio got up from the ground.

“That was the most gentle the ground ever felt.” Antonio said. “If I could fall like that every time, then I wouldn’t mind hitting the ground.” Antonio remarked.

“Then you are finally ready to actually start learning these throws?” Luetta said pumped up to get back to training.

“Well don’t throw me too hard, throw me like Angeal did.” Antonio requested of Luetta.

“No, I am going to throw you normally.” Luetta said, grabbing Antonio. She then swept his feet and tossed him onto the ground. Antonio’s body immediately braced the impact, and he got up quickly.

“Oh, looks like I finally got it.” Antonio said.

“Finally I got an actual toss in without you spinning in weird positions.” Luetta said. “Guess Angeal has that magic touch.” Luetta jokes.

“He had it in him all along.” Aiden said before leaving the two to continue practicing.

Tammy and Maria had finally zeroed out Tammy’s M4. Now they were on the 100 meter targets.

“We got a tight grouping, now here even tiny mistakes could become big ones. I want you to shoot when your lungs are at their most empty before you breathe back in.” Maria instructed Tammy.

“I can do that.” Tammy said. She then lined herself up on the range. “Slow calm breathing, slow, calm, breathing.” Tammy was thinking to herself. The amount of focus then started to speed up Tammy’s breathing.

“Calm down.” Maria said.

Tammy then placed the weapon down and let out the extra air in her body.

“Now try again. Don’t focus on your breathing so much though. Just fire at the pause.” Maria said to Tammy.

Tammy lined herself up again. She then fired. Tammy’s first shot hit 3cm outside of the bullseye. Maria nodded after seeing that.

Tammy relaxed again and fired. The next one hit about 2cm away from the first shot.

“Pretty good. Seems like you got the hang of it.” Maria cheered on Tammy.

Tammy then shot a third time and it hit the outside edge of the bullseye. “I did it!” Tammy exclaimed.

Maria cheered. “Looks like the General has succeeded in Mission 2. Now keep it up for the next 7 shots.” Maria said to Tammy.

Tammy continued to shoot. In the end, Tammy landed 4 shots in the bullseye and 6 shots in the area outside of the center.

“That’s 76%.” Maria said to Tammy. 

“That is by far the highest score I have gotten on the 100 meters.” Tammy said looking at her record.

“All I can recommend you doing now is to make sure you pull the trigger with the same amount of force each time. So that your zero doesn’t become wrong.” Maria instructed Tammy.

“I’m ready for the 200 meters now.” Tammy said excited to keep moving forward.

Aiden walked into the Freshmen dorms. A few more of the students were walking around.

“Father! I’ve been sleeping on those plebeian beds for half a year now! Can you not ship my mattress here?” Richard Garrison said on the phone.

Richard walked back and forth in the lobby.

“Yes, I know I said I could stand it for a year. But it’s starting to become unbearable.” Richard replied on the phone.

Aiden continued to walk through the droms.

“No! I can’t just ignore it!” Richard’s voice carried down the hall.

Aiden then ran into Ventus who was leaving the elevator.

“Aiden!” Ventus said with a bright smile on his face.

“Don’t act so surprised. You knew I was here.” Aiden said to Ventus.

“It’s not like I am constantly observing the future, sometimes I just ignore it, especially when things are so low stakes.” Ventus said to Aiden. Ventus looked around looking for Maria. “Where’s Maria? Wait, I know the answer.” Ventus said, holding up two fingers gesturing for Aiden not to tell him.

Aiden waited.

“She is teaching Tammy how to shoot. Good for her.” Ventus said to Aiden.

“I’m surprised that you haven’t taken over the world with that ability yet.” Aiden said to Ventus.

“Well, I only know what I will know in the future. So I can’t know information about confidential things.” Ventus informed Aiden.

“What are you doing today?” Aiden asked Ventus.

“Are you curious on how I spent my free time? Looking for ideas while Maria is away?” Ventus responded to Aiden.

“Well you are the closest to a being like myself here.” Aiden said.

“Hmm, well, if I were in your position I would probably try and figure out what that guy hidden outside our room wants. No matter what I do, or would do, I can’t get any information out of him. But through you, I know he is something interesting.” Ventus said to Aiden. Silvia then came down from the elevator.

“Good morning, Angeal.” Silvia said, seeing Aiden standing in the hallway.

“Morning.” Aiden responded.

“Are you ready, Ventus?” Silvia asked.

“Yeah, I was about to wait in the Lobby for you.” Ventus said. Ventus then looked at Aiden. “We agreed to go out for Breakfast. You can join us if you’d like.” Ventus invited Aiden.

“You already know I would decline.” Aiden responded.

“Maria would never let you go out for breakfast without her anyway, right?” Silvia asked.

“She would definitely have something to say about it.” Aiden said. Maria sneezed at the range.

“Are you okay?” Tammy asked.

“Yeah, I’m good.” Maria responded, still guiding Tammy.

“See you later, Aid, I mean Angeal.” Ventus said as they left the building.

Aiden then looked up through the floor of the building. “A guy hidden outside our door.” Aiden thought. Aiden then went invisible and traveled up to room 888.

Aiden changed his vision through the various spectrums of light. But nothing showed up. He then switched his vision to detect Heavenly Items. He found someone sitting outside of Room 888, looking as though they were bored.

Aiden sent a wave. The being fell over, and looked at Aiden. It was confused, wondering if Aiden could see it.

“I can see you.” Aiden said.

The being then sent out a realm at Aiden to trap Aiden inside. Aiden immediately dispelled it.

“You don’t seem like the being I am supposed to watch over. Who are you supposed to be?” The being asked Aiden.

“First, you answer me. Who are you, and why are you outside my room?” Aiden asked.

“I am Vanoe, an aspect of the Winds.” The being introduced itself.

“Vanoe? Wait, do you not recognize me?” Aiden asked.

“Am I supposed to?” Vanoe asked.

“Interesting, this must be the first time we met. And the one I saw a little over a year ago must be one that traveled to the past.” Aiden thought to himself.

“You haven’t introduced yourself yet.” Vanoe asked.

“You will know in due time. But I did hear that we would be considered something like Brothers.” Aiden informed Vanoe.

“That is cryptic.” Vanoe said to Aiden. “Well seeing that you aren’t hostile to me, I guess I can tell you what I am doing here. I am maintaining events, so that this one here doesn’t parish.” Vanoe informed Aiden.

“You are protecting Ventus? Why?” Aiden asked.

“He is an important object for the Aspect of the winds. I must maintain this object until the Aspect of the Winds arrive here.” Vanoe said to Aiden.

“And you say that I was Cryptic.” Aiden said to Vanoe. “How much do you know about the Almighty and the Winds?” Aiden asked.

“I just follow the orders that are given to me, I don’t know anything about them.” Vanoe said to Aiden.

“Wow, this is an extremely young version of Vanoe then.” Aiden thought to himself. “What should I tell Ventus?” Aiden asked Vanoe.

“What do you mean?” Vanoe asked.

“Ventus knows that you are watching him, so what should I tell him to appease his caution.” Aiden asked.

Vanoe paused. “How does he know?” Vanoe asked.

“He can see the future.” Aiden informed Vanoe.

“Oh, then I will need to find a way to manipulate through time to make sure I remain unseen from here on out.” Vanoe said to himself. Vanoe then looked at Aiden. “Tell Ventus that I was just guarding him. I won’t bother him anymore.” Vanoe said to Aiden.

“Sure, I can tell him that.” Aiden responded. Vanoe then opened a route to their Heavenly Realm and vanished.

Aiden stood alone.

“That is very interesting. I wonder how much reality I do not know.” Aiden thought to himself.

Aiden then looked at the time. “Well it’s been about 2 hours. I’m sure Maria is done teaching Tammy by now.” Aiden then made his way back to the range.

Tammy now reached the 400 meter target. She had gotten 80% on the 200 meter. And now she was learning how to correct for wind and drop.

“Now this is the true test to see if you can put together everything that you learned this morning.” Maria said to Tammy.

Tammy looked down range. She had a fire in her eyes.

“I got this.” Tammy said to Maria. “I just need to focus on the fundamentals and the rest will drop in place.” Tammy thought to herself. Maria nodded after hearing the confidence in Tammy’s mind.

The first target appeared.

Tammy aimed against the wind and fired.

The shot showed up, and Tammy hit the body shaped target.

“Good shot, it’s a bit to the left, so you didn’t correct enough for the wind.” Maria informed Tammy.

Tammy then took another shot. It hit bullseye.

“Perfect! Now keep that up.” Maria said to Tammy.

Aiden then appeared on the range. “How are things going here?” Aiden asked Maria.

“Why don’t you look for yourself.” Maria showed Aiden the results Tammy had at the earlier portions of the course.

“These are indeed pretty good considering that her highest score prior to this was 17%.” Aiden said to Maria, he was impressed by her efforts.

“It was no big deal, I just had to get rid of her unnecessary movements, then the rest pretty much fell into place.” Maria responded to Aiden.

Tammy continued shooting and her shots were hitting the bullseye pretty much constantly now.

When Tammy finished she showed Maria the final sheet. 

“So let’s see. Out of 10 shots, you got 2 in the 3 point range, and…” Maria began reading out, pausing for effect.

Tammy looked over at Maria, eager for the results.

“And 8 shots in the bullseye! That is a score of 92!” Maria said to Tammy.

“That’s an A, right!? I would have gotten an A!” Tammy celebrated.

“You sure would have, looks like the course with the General paid off.” Maria said to Tammy.

“I can’t believe it. Now I’m not going to have a giant failure on my Finals. I need to repay you somehow!” Tammy said to Maria..

“You can repay me after the Finals.” Maria said to Tammy.

“Since Angeal is already a part of your Military, can I be a part of it too. I don’t need any rank higher than Private.” Tammy asked Maria.

“Wow, you know being my subordinate isn’t all fun and games. It’s grueling work.” Maria said, trying to sell the prestige of her Imaginary Military.

“Really? Well I can work hard and handle whatever is given to me.” Tammy said to Maria.

Maria rubbed her nose. “We will look over your qualifications and see if we have room for you.” Maria said to Tammy.

Tammy saluted Maria. “I hope I pass your examination, General!” Tammy said to Maria.

“You are dismissed for today.” Maria said to Tammy.

Tammy grabbed her stuff, and slung her M4 over her shoulder. She quickly left the range with a smile on her face.

“This was a rather selfless act.” Aiden said to Maria.

Maria then snickered. “Selfless, oh no, I knew all along that if I helped her out, she would join my legion.” Maria said to Aiden, acting as though she had an elaborate plan.

“Luckily I don’t have any interest to see whether that is true or not.” Aiden said to Maria.

“I used this Mind Gem constantly this morning, it definitely made figuring out her issues easier.” Maria said, showing Aiden the stone from Hypnos.

“What do you want to do with it now?” Aiden asked Maria.

“Hmm, I kinda wish I could keep it for a few more days to get extra use out of it.” Maria responded. She held it in her hand. “But I guess our agreement was for 24 hours.” Maria seemed disappointed.

Aiden then looked over to the side.

“I guess you would eventually get bored of it, and it is just a gem. Plus you helped Tammy out, so I suppose you deserve an extension on the agreement.” Aiden said to Maria.

“Awesome! Don’t worry Aiden, I’m not going to use it during the Finals. I would probably get wrong answers listening to everyone’s brain anyways.” Maria said, holding the Gem up.

“Oh actually. How about this for an agreement? I will let you keep the stone indefinitely if you can wait to use it again till after the Finals.” Aiden said to Maria.

“Hmm, that is a good deal. Do I want to use it now for a set amount of time, or wait a month to use it forever…” Maria said to herself. She thought hard about it.

Aiden simply waited for her answer.

Maria handed Aiden the Gem. “I will see that next month. For now, I will handle the Finals on my own.” Maria said to Aiden.

Aiden hides the Gem. “Having that as a distraction would probably hurt your performance anyways.” Aiden said to Maria.

“Nothing can hurt my Performance, Corporal. Afterall I am the General!” Maria said feeling more confident than ever.

“I suppose after Tammy joins, that status would actually have a bit of meaning.” Aiden jokes.

“You can laugh now, but eventually, I will have the world serve under me. Especially with that Mind Gem.” Maria laughed with a maniacal laughter.

“Maybe letting you keep it indefinitely is a bad idea.” Aiden said, as Maria continued to laugh.


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