Bradley was amazed to have the offer brought up to him. This suit that once belonged to his father being passed down to him. Honestly, he was there for a day and now he's some sort of king in everyone's eyes. Bradley took the suit and walked to the door, "That's my Alpha suit. Wear it with pride Bradley. No one just earns an Alpha suit on day one. I'm sure it'll impress that Lucy you like."
Bradley froze with guilt. He slowly looked back at Xzavier, "I..I mean...I don't-" Xzavier laughed, "Son, I can read you like a book. Plus you make it obvious. I honestly don't know what you see in her, she is brutal. But then again, everyone has their own interests. Good luck with her." Xzavier said with his arms now crossed. Bradley let out a deep breath and exited the room. He put on the suit and looked in the mirror. He didn't look that bad, the suit looked good on him. The one shoulder cape made the suit seem even better. It made him feel important; important and powerful. He walked out of his room and to the main corridor.
As he passed people, he saw wide eyes with jaws dropping following him. The corridor that was filled with conversing elite members a few seconds ago was now a silent row of eyes following Bradley. He could hear the sharp click clack his boots made against the floor while he walked. As a kid, he had never liked it when people stared at him, but now it felt like he was actually being respected. He strolled into the combat training room. He scanned the room for Lucy, and there she was beating up a foam dummy in the middle of the room. The dummies were on motorized wheels so that they kept coming toward her. After a few quick slashes, she had ten of them down for the count. The last one was behind her, and Bradley was about to yell out to her to watch out, but there was no need. She back flipped over the dummy and sliced its head off with one quick blow. Bradley couldn't keep himself from clapping.
"Bravo! You've just won yourself ten thousand dollars! What do you have to say to the audience?" He held an imaginary microphone up to her. She responded with a short laugh. "What are you doing here, and wha-?" She lowered her gaze to the suit Bradley now wore. "Are you an Alpha ALREADY?" She looked like she might turn Bradley into a new dummy for her to trash. "Oh, this old thing? No! My da- I mean Mr. X thought I should have it." Lucy calmed down a little at this.
"So are you here to train or what?"
"Yeah, but could you give me the basics? I don't think I'm ready for all of that fancy stuff."
Lucy gave a short laugh. "Sure, but you should change into better fighting clothes."
In a few minutes, Bradley had changed into combat attire and stood on a large blue boxing mat with Lucy on the other side. She taught him some basic stances and punches that he didn't feel very safe trying. He was never one to fight in school (or ever, for that matter) and tried his best to remain peaceful. But he knew now that he had to step it up if he wanted to stay alive. Lucy barked orders at him, "Keep your hands up at all times! Don't let your opponent get out of your sight! Pay attention to their eyes, their pupils will shrink or dilate when they are about to make a move!" Bradley found that looking at Lucy's eyes was not going to be a problem.
WHACK! Bradley flew back an entire yard and tried to catch himself. He landed on his shoulder and heard a popping sound. Lucy came over and stared down at him.
"And most importantly, don't let your emotions get the best of you." She said this with a completely calm expression, but Bradley guessed there was more to that sentence than she spoke aloud.
Suddenly, the ground shook. Was it more dummies coming for them to fight? Bradley's stomach rumbling? Definitely not. A massive explosion shook the entire base. Bits of rock and cement rained down from the ceiling. Alarms started blazing and red lights started flashing. "PLEASE tell me this is a drill!" Bradley complained. A voice came on the intercom, "Red alert! All personnel report to your battle stations immediately! We are under attack! This is not a drill!"
The few people remaining in the combat room rushed around gathering weapons and dashing into the corridors. Lucy yanked Bradley off of the ground. "Come on! We're just recruits, we can't do anything! We have to get to the safety bunker!" Since he was in a daze, Bradley followed her blindly. It was only until they were halfway there when he came to his senses. "NO! We have to go back!"
"Are you mental?! You didn't even get through basic combat! What are you gonna do up against ACTUAL bloodthirsty maniacs with assault rifles?"
Bradley set his jaw and replied sternly. "Whatever it takes." He bolted in the opposite direction and hoped he could come up with a plan in the next thirty seconds.
Nope, he was still racing through the corridors at full speed a minute later, and still no plan. It was getting to be crunch time. Or rather, we-all-get-crushed-under-fifty-tons-of-rock time. The whole scene was a blur to him. People were either running away, or towards the disaster zone, which was apparently at the very top of the base. Bradley breathed heavily as he climbed the flights of stairs one step at a time. And finally, the worst scene he could ever imagine came into view.
Three men in black combat gear with printed flames on the arms of their jackets stood on the topmost ring of the base. Some hunters and scouts were having a shoot out with the men, but they obviously had more firepower. One of the men pulled out a grenade and began to release the pin. BAM BAM! Two shots were fired from the platform above them and two men went down in succession. Like a hero in an action movie, Mr. X swooped down from the ledge and kicked over the last guy still standing. Bradley was in awe! Maybe he didn't have to help after all! But the man recovered very quickly and threw Xzavier to the ground. But he rolled onto his side and pulled out a 9 millimeter. The man was too fast for him to react, and the gun got kicked out of his hands. Another explosion went off and a metal beam came crashing down, aimed right for Xzavier! He rolled to the left, but not soon enough. The beam smashed down onto his right leg and he let out a horrifying scream.
The man with the flames just grinned and was about to leave the scene. Bradley was scared out of his mind, but he knew this was his last chance to prove himself.
"HEY! Where do you think you're going?" It sounded a lot braver in his head. But it worked. The man turned around and gave a sly grin again. "You should be easy to dispose of." He unsheathed a knife, and launched it at Bradley with precision accuracy. Bradley ducked,
the knife only shaving off a few hairs. "Hey! I just got my hair cut! Do you know how expensive it is to get one like this?" Bradley was just stalling for something to do. He couldn't beat this guy head to head. But Bradley had some tricks up his sleeve. He noticed a small crack in the metal underneath the man. Maybe he could use it to his advantage. "Have you ever heard of ring around the Rosie? Well I have a new one for you!" Bradley began to sing the song in a very loud voice. "Ring around the bad guy!" Bradley twirled around the man. He looked utterly confused. "Pocket full of grenades!" Bradley came behind the man and tore his jacket off revealing a few of the grenades he had left. "Ashes, ashes!" Bradley picked up some fallen dirt and threw it in the man's face. "Fall to your doom!"
For his finishing touch, Bradley released the pin in one of the grenades and threw the entire jacket at the crack in the floor. The man
didn't know what to do, so he stood there looking clueless. CRA-BANG! A section of the floor crashed underneath the man and he fell twenty feet to the next platform. Bradley calmly walked down the stairs next to the man. "Did you like it?" The man, still being partially alive, laughed evilly. "Yes, you will do perfectly for our operation."
Bradley squinted his eyes. "What operation?" The man stared at Bradley with unseeing eyes.
"They have not told you yet, have they? Ha! Just know that you have a special purpose. We will find you when the time is right. After that, we will have all the time in the world!" Bradley thought he was delusional, but maybe there was some truth to what he was saying. Before he could ask any more questions, the man collapsed dead.
Taking a closer look at the logo on the man's shirt, Bradley read a single word: WILDFIRE.