They were led to a room, another dome similar to the lab but instead had rock climbing walls and organic shaped pillars ranging in heights all around the room, the floor was covered by a huge blue mat, other than that the room was empty. This left group of launchers even more confused than before, not to mention their growing hunger. Shiva and Megan climbed up to the ceiling using metal rungs that were attached on the wall beside the door,
” Watch carefully and learn.” Shiva said, her tone sounding unexpectedly serious.
Suddenly, the two toon leaders pushed themselves off the wall. The launchers gasped in shock as they saw their toon leaders free falling from the 50 meter tall ceiling, but still kept their eyes fixed on them. Swiftly, the two women turned their bodies into a position to face a pillar. While doing so, they used their hands to press the metal buttons on their wrists, identical to those the launchers had on them. They moved towards a pillar and grabbed onto the sides, digging the metal claws that had appeared on the back of their hands into the hard material of the pillar. They came safely to a halt, hanging by the side of their respective pillars. The deep gash made by the claws slowly disappeared as the special material became a glue-like substance to fill up the cavities.
Megan and Shiva slowly made their way down, using the claws and small footholds that had extended from the wall. They walked towards the group of launchers, whose expressions were still frozen, mouths agape from the spectacular performance.
” Shut those traps you squirms!”
It was an order that was immediately obeyed.
” Did you see what we did Silvers?” Megan said with her usual, monotonous tone. The Silvers nodded. ” I ASKED, DID YOU SEE WHAT WE DID!” This time she was shouting.
Taken aback, the launchers paused for a moment before replying ” Positive, Ma’am!”
“THATS WHAT I’M TALKING ‘BOUT! SOME BlOODY RESPONSE!” Shiva commented loudly.
Megan pressed her lips and sighed at Shiva’s seemingly… Immature approach to things. ” Now just keep in mind that the buttons on your hands have been connected to your nerves and respond to your thoughts. Now climb on and let your mind do its wonders.”
The boys, excited, scaled the rungs quickly and jumped off haphazardly, launching themselves straight for specific pillars. Most of them landing with a loud thump on the blue mat, which was thinner than expected but still absorbed most of the impact. In less than 5 minutes, half of the toon was rolling on the floor, groaning. At this time, the Leo launched himself gracefully off the rungs and spun around before heading to the pillars with absolute precision. He had perfectly executed the set of movements, landing lightly on the pillar at the back of the room. Ru Hui and the other launchers started in amazement.
“Who’s that? I have seen him stay up in his bunk after curfew. He’s so strange.” Ru Hui asked Charmaine casually. Charmaine ignored her and kept her eyes on the boy, now making his way down the pillar. ” So much for being friends…” Ru Hui mumbled.
The girls had a try after that and as expected, failed.
“Dang it, what went wrong?!” Charmaine cursed under her breath. Their claws had not opened and there wasn’t anyway they could manually trigger it.
” You guys aren’t thinking of it hard enough. You must really really want it, to trigger it. Your thoughts must be emphasized, the mechanism is not REALLY part of you after all.” Megan said. ” Most of you aren’t even pressing the buttons to turn the mechanism on!” Shiva followed.
The launchers were frustrated by their inability to make it work, and even more unable to prove themselves to the toon leaders. The Leo, however, did the same maneuver 5 successful times in a row and even went on to jump from one pillar to another. He smirked to himself as he watched his toonmate’s unhappiness grew.
After a full day of trying out their new claws in vain, the launchers were led to a room to take their portraits, not sure for what though. Their first day of training flew past quickly and uneventfully. The launchers walked back to their bunks and showered, changing back into their cargo pant and a tutleneck before heading out to the messhall for their evening meal.