(Gideon has asked to join Brand’s pack. Brand has been taking him somewhere…)
Fifty yards or more from the building and out of sight, hidden behind the hangar and away from the main parking lot, was what looked like a shantytown. Gideon glanced over at Brand, his gut twisting again.
Brand stopped next to the door. “This is where we practice our skills,” Brand said. “Your goal is to make it out the other side alive.”
Gideon wondered if this was a sick joke on him or if Brand did this with everybody who wanted to join his pack. He’d heard that some packs had weird initiation rituals.
“You won’t be timed,” Brand added.
Okay, that was a lie. Gideon would be timed. He wouldn’t be penalized if he went over a certain time limit, though it would affect his score. His time would be important, not life or death important. It wasn’t that type of test.
He looked up at the sky. “Enter in five minutes.”
“Oh, hundreds,” Gideon said. “They can wait.”
Brand grinned again. He turned around and walked back to the building and disappeared inside.
Gideon glanced at the opening of the shantytown. It looked like a maze. “Get in and out alive, right,” he muttered. “Maybe I was better off with the duck.”
Gideon clenched his fist again and felt the reassuring weight of the knife materialize in his hand, his grip automatically adjusting to fit. “Practice,” he muttered. “It’s a test.” He looked back at the other building and narrowed his eyes at it. “Weird test, but all right.” He looked back at the shantytown and smirked. It didn’t look too much different than the places he’d been in countries with names he couldn’t pronounce if he’d been told in the first place. “I’m game,” he said.
His five minutes were up. He crouched down and entered the building.
(Gideon, you should have asked more questions…)