Ha! See you wey dey fear just yesterday, you don dey run mouth about something wey we never even start. Wetin this girl just dey do for phone, self?” Segun turned around to see that he was referrring to Belinda who was deeply engrossed in something on her phone. Again. “Shey person need to remind am everytime sey network no dey this place?”
“Just because social media is the only thing you do with your phone doesn’t mean others don’t have better things to do with theirs, Chuks.”
Chuks hissed. “Tell me wetin person wan use phone take do if no be social media. Anyway, I get better thing to do with my time pass— Ah, we don reach.”
The forest had ended. It was just sandy ground as far as the eye could see.
They had arrived.
They began walking to the place where they knew that the training course was located. When they were yet far away, they could see those ten tall steel poles that served as their targets from afar. And there was something there as well. Someone,it seemed, standing between the lanes of the training course, though they were too far away to see who it was.
Paul doubled his footsteps, trying to catch up with Instructor Maxwell. Funnily enough, the man also increased his walking speed as though he had eyes in the back of his head. Paul, after already doubling his walking speed, tried increasing it again, but their field instructor kept it up for so long that he soon had to start running to keep the man from lengthening the gap between them further. Giggles began breaking out here and there as he started shouting.
“Instructor! Please hold on, sir!”
Chuks shook his head, watching Paul. Day before last, this guy had tried, and his rocket launcher’s backblast had saved him, and now he was trying again? This guy seemed to have a wish to die at the hand of Instructor Max.
The instructor stopped dead at the sound of his name, and Paul, still running, came a hair short of crashing into his back. Instructor Max turned around, and when he did, both of them were standing so close together that Paul had to take a step back.
“Paul Paul,” he said, his voice dangerously calm. “What is it this time?”
Something about the look in his eyes made the guy suddenly forget whatever he had wanted to say. E even make me wan fear, and see how far away I dey.
“Sorry sir, I em. . . I just wanted to— ” He turned and made a show of clearing his throat, gathering the last of his courage. “I was just em, wondering, I didn’t see any fence between the forest and this place. Does it mean that just anybody can just walk through like we did? What if maybe a wild animal enters, what will happen?”
No one dared even smile with their field instructor facing them, but perhaps Shine just had to shine. The guy just started laughing uncontrollably. Chuks flashed the guy a look out of the corner of his eye. Yes, the thing was funny, but did that guy want to die as well?
Instructor Max took care of that easily enough, flashing him a long, long look that lasted long after Shine closed his mouth. The guy stopped laughing, then looked at the ground.
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“Someone just asked a question I’ve been waiting to hear since the last time we came here, and you’re behaving like ewu nama. Yes, Paul, no one else can trace the way from the road into this place. We walked through an electromagnetic shield when we were coming in, and since you were busy with something else, you didn’t notice me notify security to turn it off. The shield was made to be like the one surrounding the earth, and I don’t need to remind you what happens to meteoroids that try to get into the earth, so yes, even if someone manages to trace his way in, let’s just say we will have some free fireworks, around there.”
He pointed straight ahead, back to the forest, above the tops of the trees. He then turned around and resumed walking while Paul waited for everyone else to get to where he was.
“Honestly, this man abi this place, I no know which one craze pass.”
They reached the training course, and when they did, they met a surprise. The person they had seen as they were still far away turned out to be Anne, their class instructor. And she wasn’t in her uniform. She was dressed in a billowing, white Arab outfit like the one people usually wore when they visited Dubai, complete with woolen turban and sunglasses, except these were dark shades, not her usual recommended ones.
Chuks smiled. The look was a dope one, no lie. And with their surroundings, it seemed she was actually in a UAE desert. She stood there solemnly, wind rippling her outfit, with her white iPad in hand to match. Paul whistled, albeit low, and Segun threw her a salute, though he made sure to do it out of Instructor Max’s line of sight.
“Hey, guys. Are you surprised to see me? I’ll be sitting in on your training session today.”
Their field instructor’s face grew even harder, if that was possible. Maryanne looked at him.