Part V: Fitness
The gym building was huge; three separate gymnasium connected with smaller, but still large buildings that I knew acted as Dojo. In the middle of it all there was the largest building on the island; the large windowless gray box didn’t look like much on the outside but inside it housed the holographic training center; capable of replicating just about any scenario, simulated physics environment and it had complex a AI suite to create smart and dynamic foes. The only more expensive piece of technology on the island was the teleporter room hidden somewhere beneath the academy.
We came in through the main hall that connected all the branches and found our way to the massive locker rooms. Like all the facilities at Ravenhold, the gym locker room was unisex, with private stalls for those who wanted privacy while changing or showering. I wasn’t really prudish or shy so I didn’t bother taking a stall, plus the others had enough class not to stare, even Mace who seemed like a massive horndog trying to get into the pants of anyone he met. Although it wasn’t like that I had much to show with my not so feminine body covered in boy’s boxers and sport bra.
Although I couldn’t help but take a few peek at Ahti, who looked absolutely adorable; rather than the orange and dark spot that covered the rest of their skin, their belly was a smooth, white, shinny and chubby; lacking nipples or a belly button. I really just wanted to go out there and rub it. I didn’t feel too guilty about checking them out, after all Itharii didn’t really have a nudity taboo and typically didn’t wear underwear.
Ahti struggled for a minute to figure out how to put on a shirt before Annabelle showed them to just put their head in and which side was the front; Since adolescent Itharii grew a bony plate at the chest, all Itharii clothes were the kind you slipped on like a jacket.
Once everyone was ready, dressed in the black shorts and blue shirt that made up the gym uniform, we went out into our assigned gymnasium. A towering white woman with hulkish proportions waited for us, dressed in a black wrestling singlet and her hair shaved to only an inch in length.
“Students, line up by alphabetical order..”
She called us out one by one and we did as she instructed. Caroline and I ended up next to one another, her last name being Campbell and mine being Coleman.
“Yougen, can you do physical exercise?” The teacher asked, stopping in front of her.
“Yes, ma’am.” She transformed into her other form, which was rather terrifying to watch as her bones and flesh swelled and twisted into new shapes, although she didn’t seem bothered or pained by it in the slightest. She got up from her chair and rolled it back to the wall by the entrance so it wouldn’t be in the way.
“Good let’s see what you can do like this and then I’ll have to assess your regular form for fitness. Is that alright?” She asked and Yougen nodded. “All of you; Push ups. As many as you can right now.”
Nobody questioned it. We dropped down and started working out. I’d been training for years so the workout wasn’t that tough for me. Mace, Sanjay, Amber, Yougen and Yikaru did really well. Next to me, Caroline seemed to do decently, so did Tyler, Rowan and Jaime. Out of everyone, Annabelle and Allison seemed to be the ones struggling the most. Ahti did surprisingly well, although it was kind of hard to judge Itharii fitness.
“One minute rest. Then sit ups.” Our instructor declared one we were done. She noted our scores on a tablet.
She didn’t give us a second more than she’d promised before making us go on.
After the sit ups, there was another minute of break and then came jumping jacks, then squats. We did about a dozen exercise before she made us run laps around the gym.
Midway through my second lap I saw Allison had stopped and was leaning to the wall. That day they had went with a more feminine look, although they wore the same shorts and shirt as the rest of us, they had pink lips, some eye shadow and eyeliner. Their amazing hair had been let loose, the hundreds of brains falling down onto their shoulder.
“Hey, are you alright?” I asked, stopping next to them.
“No, I feel like I’m dying…” They spoke, trying to hold back pained moaning.
I could see the tears flowing down their face, which was stuck in a grimacing wince. Their breathing was hard and ragged.
“Let me get the teacher.”
“Alright…” They answered breathlessly.
I ran over to the instructor who stood by the entrance with a chronometer, watching the others run past.
“Why aren’t you running?”
“Allison really isn’t feeling well, and not in a tired by the exercise kind of way. They look like they’re about to pass out.”
She looked around and spotted Allison before jogging their way and I followed her.
“What’s wrong?” She asked, her voice surprisingly nice.
“It just hurt so fucking much…” Allison whined. “I just can’t handle it anymore…”
“Where does it hurt?”
“Can you walk?”
“I think so…” Allison answered.
“Alright, follow the wall for support and get to the benches.”
Allison began walking painfully slowly and the coach turned my way.
“You’re getting behind. Get moving.”
I started running again, my muscles had began feeling sore from the pause, but I finished the laps. As I ran, I kept an eye on Allison, they’d reached the bench and the teacher had sat down with them, giving them a water bottle. The two of them were talking.
“Alright, gather around everyone.” The instructor spoke, her voice booming. “Now that I’ve what you lots are capable of, I think it’s time for an introduction; I’m Ms. Rachael Carver, better known as Juggernaut and I’ll be your physical fitness teacher for this year.”
She picked her tablet up from the bench she’d place it on and raised it in the air.
“I’ve been taking notes of your capabilities; some of you performed perfect quite well, others acceptably well and some were rather far below par. On October third, that is twenty-six days from now, you’ll receive your first evaluation, I expect all of you to have had a measure of improvement before then. If you pass our minimum standards and I deem your dedication sufficient, you’ll have the first of many requirements to advance to security clearance red. Those of you that don’t will have to take the test again in November. Is that understood?”
“I’m feeling generous, I’m giving you the rest of the period as free exercise. There’s everything you could use in the storeroom.” She took her keys from her neck and tossed them at Sanjay. “Get moving.”
Ms. Carver turned away and focused on Allison before escorting them out of the Gym.
“Hey, are you alright?” Caroline asked walking up to me, her shirt stuck to her really closely highlighting her shape, which I tried not to think of…
“Yeah, just worried for Allison, they looked like they were in agony.”
“Me too… But worrying isn’t going to help them, I’m sure the coach is going to get help.”
“I hope so.”
“Do you want to play badminton? I saw they had equipment and I play with my mom all the time.”
“Sure, that sounds fun.”
“Let’s go then.”
She spontaneously took my hand and dragged me to the storeroom. I didn’t resist, I liked her when she was bossy.