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       Eldnium, p.4

           Enoch Pyle, Jr
 
The following day began like every other day for Landon. He’d been on this planet, known as The Sanctuary, for five days so far, and each day was filled with orientation…the leaders’ way of getting new heroes accustomed to their new lives. This, however, was set to be the final day of orientation, and nothing pleased Landon more than that single fact. He was anxious to start training.

  Landon hadn’t been sleeping well. The nightmares of the events leading up to his presence on this planet haunted him every night. But as the sun rose on the sixth day, Landon found himself finally able to rest until—

  “Rise and shine,” Li’an said as she shook Landon awake.

  Landon rubbed his groggy eyes and let out a short moan as Li’an continued jostling his shoulders. “I’m up! I’m up…you can stop shaking me.”

  “Come on, aren’t you excited? This isn’t just your last day of orientation, Landon. It’s the most important day of your life. This is when your abilities are tested and defined.”

  “Really?!” Landon sat upright with a flash, rubbing the last bit of sleepy from his eyes.

  “Easy, pal,” Li’an continued. “Before we get to the juicy stuff, we have one more area to tour…The Fountains.”

  “What are The Fountains?” Landon asked, now standing and pulling on his standard hero’s uniform, which was less than impressive. Rough, brown leather pants, white cotton t-shirt, and brown leather shoes. It was comfortable enough, but Landon figured he wouldn’t be winning any fashion awards.

  “You’ll see,” Li’an said, and she started out the door. “We’ll head out after breakfast.”

  She disappeared out the cabin’s front door, and Landon headed to the wash basin in the corner to wet and straighten his hair, which was black as night and always started each morning stuck up in all the wrong ways. Light from the sun shot through the window and lit the side of his face, delivering a warm sensation. He felt refreshingly awake and took a final glance in the mirror.

  What grabbed his attention, however, was not his still messy head, with one clump standing upright in defiance of the others. It was his eyes that caught him by surprise. Normally a steely gray, they appeared green in the sunlight. He blinked and leaned closer to his reflection, his face slipping into the shade, and the green seemed to fade away, returning his eyes to their normal color.

  He made a short, curious grunting sound, gave the mirror a wink, and darted out the cabin door.

 
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