You start shaking Stacy, but she still doesn’t wake up. Then you try poking her and prodding her a few times, and even tapping your foot against her ankle, but nothing seems to work.
So you shrug and just drag her along with you. You’re headed to the same place, after all, and maybe Sergeant Greenwoods has some idea of how to wake her up.
When you arrive at the training pond, Sergeant Greenwoods looks at you and laughs.
“She fell asleep in the hall again, I take it?”
You nod. You can’t say you’re surprised this has happened before.
“Well, I’ve got a little trick that usually wakes her up. Hang on.” Sergeant Greenwoods cups her hands and takes a bit of water from the pond, then tosses it in Stacy’s face.
“…you scurvy swamp dog!” Stacy mutters, as she starts blinking. Then she looks back and forth between you and the sergeant for a while.
“Oh. I dozed off again.”
“Yes, and you’d best get in uniform. I’ll do some simple exercises with Marshall while we wait.”
The “simple exercises” turn out to be learning to hold your breath, just in case the breather mask breaks. You manage nearly a minute, but you have trouble getting out afterwards.
When Stacy comes back, and you resume yesterday’s exercise, you’re still a little short of breath. You barely manage two minutes before Stacy has to help you, and after that you don’t have the energy for more than thirty seconds. Sergeant Greenwoods sees you struggling and calls time early.
“Looks like you overdid it on the breathing exercise,” she says. “Next time we try that, I’ll stop you at thirty seconds. When you feel ready to try for more, we can go from there.
“Thank you,” you say, gasping. “I had a bit of trouble sleeping last night, too, so I might be a bit tired still.”
“Should’ve said something! I would’ve spent some time on warmups. Though when training’s over, you’re going to be expected to do that on your own when you get up. Anyhow, take a breather for now, maybe do some stretches to get in shape. Go back in if you feel up for it, but don’t worry if you’re not.”
You thank her, and start stretching and yawning until you feel yourself getting less exhausted. You head back in, and manage a whole five minutes without Stacy’s help – your best attempt yet.
“Guess I just need to be a bit more relaxed,” you say as you climb out of the pool.
“That’s good for now, but try relaxing when there’s four Marshguards on your tail and a croc in front of you.” The sergeant smirks. “As we move on, you’re going to have to get quite good at swimming when you’re not in the mood for it. But for now, we’ll work with where you are. Now, get yourself cleaned up before the next session. You probably haven’t seen the room before, so I’ll meet you at the laundry room and show you the way once you’re done.”
“Yes, all right.” You head off to shower, wondering what the next lesson’s going to be, and who you’ll be partnered with.
It’s Tom Tenth!
How to pilot and maneuver watercraft like canoes and lifeboats