The first test is garbonic gas which freezes on contact with skin. Passing out is an automatic fail and so is screaming. Those are some of the many rules I have to uphold.
I am in a circular room surrounded by pipes and other wannabe Warriors. A force field separates us from each other and the exit. Stepping too close sends out an agonizing shot of electricity. I am standing in the middle of one of the pipes, furthest from the force field as I can get. shaking and trembling, not knowing what to expect. The pipes are huge, green, and seem to be surrounding us. They are over seven feet tall and four feet wide. More than wide enough for the gas to hit us. Slowly I pull my long blonde hair out of its ponytail and shake it loose., hoping that it will give my neck much-needed coverage. Hair grows back but unfortunately necks do not. I grip my jacket with both hands and wring it in nervous anticipation.
The gas slowly leaks out and leaps at my exposed arms. At first it feels like a small sting but when I look down my arms are filled with blue spots and they are so numb that I can barely move them much less feel them. My first reaction is to scream, but instead I bite my tongue and quickly switch around my leather jacket blocking me from the chilling sting. My vision is going hazy and I can barely gasp for air and to make matters worse all I can hear are screams. I try to look around but whenever I turn, I feel my exposed skin freezing.
During the first round, we lost eight contestants. That’s over half. I look around and see seven remaining, but only one of them is a girl. I give her a nod and a small smile hoping for a little camaraderie from a fellow female, but she just glares at me in return.
We gather back into our starting positions and wait for the second round to begin. The judges are playing with us and are enjoying it. With every blast of oxygen, I flinch, thinking that it’s time.
I’m getting antsy and just want this part over with. I do a few jumping jack’s trying to loosen my tight leather pants. Jumping is really hard considering that my boots are about six sizes too large. I am so busy jumping that I don’t notice the burn at first.
I just smell something like rotten eggs. I look down and my skin is turning purple. Before I can scream I clamp my mouth shut. I momentarily forget my plan and shield myself with my jacket while the pain takes over. I want to scream in agony but instead bite my lip as hard as I can without making myself bleed.