Ask Where’s It At
Drew and Sam sat inside a contraption that was best described as a wall-less elevator. The large platform holding the two boys and their drill sergeant shook ever so slightly as they were gently drawn toward the mountains.
The boys were curious about where they were headed, but they remained silent due to the couple days of training they had received at the reception battalion. They learned of the correct name for the miniature base they had arrived at as their uniforms were issued. Now as they left their place of processing for their true basic training the two boys looked like brothers. Both with hair barely visible above the scalp, dressed in fatigues, their body shapes and Drew’s glasses were about the only things making them distinctive.
The similarity in their looks was apparent to the young men, but they had taken the loss of their identity as a given, being a part of the military. The idea that they were supposed to trust each other with their lives seemed a little more plausible when they were hard to distinguish from one another.
The trip was slow and boring, but if Drew had learned anything his short time in the army, it was to not ask unnecessary questions unless he wanted some immediate exercise. They sat upon their old vinyl covered plush benches as the flat platform grazed over the dirt inching closer and closer to the mountains.
The sun was high and the temperature was seasonably hot leaving the boys in some discomfort since they were entirely covered by camo, which worked as a sauna on their bodies. As the heat became more intense, Drew began to feel faint. He thought he might not stay conscious all the way to their destination. His vision began to go darker. Sparkly purple static began to invade his sight. He shook his head to regain focus risking a few push-ups in the process, but he figured a little punishment was better than his drill sergeant thinking he was not fit enough for basic and ending up in fat camp.
Drew’s sight returned to normal except for a noticeable clump of the purple-y static, but the static did not follow his gaze. It stayed on a single point upon the mountain as if to point out some aspect of that area. The idea that the small indention in the mountain where the static hung in his vision was of any importance did not hit him. Instead, Drew tried to focus on staying awake through the torturous heat.
The odd vibrational sound of the floating platform forced Drew and Sam into a sort of hypnotic state. They stared off into the surrounding area in a near daydream as the platform made contact with the mountain. There was no crash or abrupt stop. Instead the platform sank into the mountain as if it were a hologram, and they descended into a dark pit, still spellbound by the humming of the machine.
Their foggy state kept them from gasping with surprise and instead just incorporated their current reality with a normalcy that they had never known. The dark tunnel they seemed to be lowering into caused the sounds to echo and reverberate against the cavernous walls that were not visible in such blackness.
As the temperature dropped significantly, as they continued down, Drew began to see the purple static pop back into his vision. It formed a sort of conveyer belt in the darkness as if he could hop off the platform he was on and ride the static formed escalator back out of the hole.
The appearance of the static held Drew’s attention only for a moment as the darkness subsided to a glorious view of a small military camp obviously far below the surface of the Earth. The boys slowly fell out of their stupor as they laid eyes on the small encampment.
It was a shimmer of hope in the vast darkness of the hole. There were no discernable cave walls surrounding the camp, it just looked like a little base in the midst of nothing. It was a simple makeshift town with a few barracks, a mess hall, a couple of housing units for the drill sergeants, a watch tower, and a few temporary buildings scattered about. But it wasn’t the architecture that was inducing awe in the boys, it was the liveliness of the light that danced from buildings off into the depressing darkness.
A speaker in the floor of their elevator spoke at them. “Welcome to Fort Inspire. This will be your location for the next several weeks. We are a state-of-the-art training facility where you will learn all that is necessary to begin your duty as a psi ops enlistee. Everything that is required for your health and wellbeing will be afforded to you. For those who are well versed in the psychic disciplines, please be aware that there is a protection over this base. Anyone who is opposed to our mission will not be able to enter without an escort.” The speaker let off a small humming buzz as it switched off.
Drew smirked at the idea that the military was still using an old fashioned speaker for their “state-of-the-art facility”, but decided against calling attention to it. The platform stopped just feet away from the fort with a sudden jolt.
The boys followed their drill sergeant off the platform and into the base where they would finally receive their training.