Bradley's mind went mad when he saw Lucy exit the elevator. Before, he had only gotten a quick glance, but now he could look at her straight on. And she was amazing. Nothing had changed about her since earlier that morning. Before he knew it, Lucy was already talking to him. "Oh, you again. Your Mr. X's son, aren't you?" Bradley realized she said all of this without breaking eye contact. Bradley stuttered immensely when he spoke, "Um...uh...hi! Yeah, call me Bradley! So, you're here to give me uh...the...um...tour!" He felt so foolish. What kind of guy is he if can't even talk straight. Lucy looked at him with her head tilted to the side. "Right. Follow me!" That was certainly faster than Bradley had expected. Lucy was already ahead of him, so he sprinted to catch up. As the two of them walked along the corridors, Lucy pointed certain things out and explained them to Bradley. He tried his best to stay focused on what she was saying and not her. "Right through that door is the maze. All recruits have to complete the maze to move up." She let out a heavy sigh. "Unfortunately, I have not been able to pass the maze yet."
Bradley was shocked. "You mean, you're still a recruit? How long have you been here?" Lucy looked down and Bradley thought he caught a glint in her eye. "Over a year. It is unusual for the process to take this long, but..." She trailed off for a moment. "I guess I'm not good enough." Bradley immediately refused. "Don't say that! Maybe you're just...you know...different." It wasn't the most comforting thing he could have said, but it felt like he had leaped a huge obstacle in gaining Lucy's trust. "Oh well, let's move on."
Bradley later found himself in his dad's office. The whole tour Lucy had given him was still on his mind. He wanted to help her so that they could both pass and become scavengers. But for now, he pushed those feelings aside and entered the large iron doors of Xzavier's office. "Bradley! Come in, there is someone you have to meet." Bradley strode into the room and saw a man that was no shorter than him. By the looks of it, he must have been suffering from ADHD. He kept running his hands through his hair and playing with things on the desk like he couldn't keep still. Xzavier continued, "This is Mr. T, he is my best Alpha and second in command." Just watching this man made Bradley want to sit down and do nothing. "Hello, I'm Bradley." He wasn't quite sure how to address Mr. T, so he left it at that. Besides, the man didn't seem to care very much. After an awkward silence, Xzavier cleared his throat. "Well, enough introductions! Come with me Bradley, I'll show you where you will stay." He made large strides as he exited the room, and Bradley followed. All of this still seemed strange and out of order somehow, but he couldn't figure out why. He decided he had better forget about it.
When they got to Bradley's room, he was disappointed. It was small and unclean. Dust bunnies roamed the space under the tiny metal framed bed. It smelled like ash, which Bradley was very unhappy about. "Um, don't I get something a little more, luxurious?" He questioned with a look of disgust on his face. "Bradley! This is multimillion dollar facility! We can't be spending extra money on luxurious rooms!"
"Well, you could start by cleaning the ones you already have..." Bradley thought he saw a small mouse dart into a hole in the wall. "I think I would much rather sleep in the interrogation room." Xzavier laughed. "Don't be silly! You'll be fine. You can stay the night here, then it's back to training tomorrow!" He was being a bit too cheerful about all of this for Bradley's taste. "Right. Goodnight." Xzavier walked out of the room leaving him alone. "Don't let the rats and insects bite." He muttered under his breath.
Lucy paced around her room. She was feeling utterly hopeless. She had tried the maze more than enough times and repeated the training over and over and over! She had memorized every single battle strategy and tactic right down to who invented them. She excelled at the combat courses, mastered the mental interrogation, and beat her record in the obstacle course twice. But it was the maze itself that frightened her. Honestly, she didn't know why. Why couldn't she bring herself to put all of those things together and just finish the damn thing? She collapsed on her stiff bed, too exhausted to undress. Surely, Bradley should have no problem completing the entire thing in less than a week, being Mr. X's son. What was the difference between Bradley and her? When they spoke, there was something about him that gave him an aura of authority.
The word came to Lucy: confidence.
She had detected it earlier that day when she told him about her dilemma. Suddenly, he was right there at her side giving her comforting advice. Even if he didn't think he was confident, it was definitely there. Every time in the maze, Lucy had a moment where she didn't know what to do. After that, she panicked and couldn't make it. But if she learned to trust herself, maybe, just maybe, she would make it.
Perhaps Bradley wasn't so bad after all. She could learn a thing or two from him.