Jarem tried opening his eyes at the sound of the sergeant’s voice.


He shook his head in a vain attempt to clear away the sleep he’d been enjoying just moments before.


What was it he was supposed to be doing? Jarem knew that sitting in bed was not the answer, but he was having trouble coming up with a better one at the moment.


The sound of dozens of feet striking bare stone brought him to his senses. Role call, you idiot!


Jarem launched out of bed – and into thin air. Too late he realized his error, forgetting his was the top bunk, and not the bottom.


Landing on the floor, Jarem’s ankle screamed in protest as it buckled under his weight.


Two steps brought Jarem to the end of his bunk, the pain in his leg clearing the last of the cobwebs from his mind.


Jarem found his place in line, sandwiched between a pair of fellow recruits.


He stood straight, feet together, shoulders squared, hands at his side, chin up, and eyes forward.


Jarem took a deep breath, trying his best to remain steady and still.


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