Obstacle course training

Self-explanatory title, plot bunny satisfied. Safe for all ages, mild humor. So let's get to the story!!

"You sorry louts get yer butts over here on the double!" BeachHead growled as the small group of Joes trotted over. "I didn't say 'strooooll' over here! I meant for you to RUN! Now since you can't get that idea without some visual aides.. you can all run ten laps, and do it NOW!" He watched them take off running, circling around the training area in a loose pack. Narrowing his eyes, he watched to see who was lagging and who might be off their stride. He had a practiced eye for spotting those that didn't put out 100%, and also those that might be hiding a injury, no matter how mild.

"Snake Eyes!! I didn't say JOG!! I said RUN! Do you want another ten laps AFTER training?!" He saw the ninja step it up to move nearer the front of the pack of runners. He knew he was in superb conditioning, but if he let one slide, all of them would start to slack off. "That's better! Lady Jaye, move that rear!" By the eighth lap he singled out Flint for limping on his recently healed left leg and sat him out, after chewing him a new one for risking injuring it further. Instead of sending him inside, he made him sit on the sidelines and watch everyone else. "Are you girls all warmed up now!?!"

"Yes Drill Sergeant!" A chorus sounded out.

"Good!" His voice rasped out loudly as he berated Jinx roundly for lagging behind in the group. "Don't think I don't see you trying to hide behind everyone little girl! You can do a ten extra laps with your lazy sensei too." He saw her face color with anger, and walked away, turning his back contemptuously. He knew her anger would be more for him calling Snake Eyes lazy than for his insults to her. "Now.. I set up today's course for all you to run top speed ESPECIALLY because I just knew our ninjas would be coming out here." He grinned at the loud groans. A few people dared to glare at the two martial artists, which had no effect on the commando, but made Jinx even angrier. "You'll be going across in two's to begin with, and first up is Lady Jaye and Roadblock." He waved them forward.

Roadblock hesitated at the start line. "Is this live training?"

BeachHead rounded on him. "Of course it's live training! What? Do you think Cobra will use gentle safe methods to discourage you!? You guys better set a high standard!" He pulled out his tablet, and tapped their names into it and clicked the start button. "Go! GO GO GO!"

Lady Jaye leapt like a startled deer, taking off to the first obstacle, an A-frame she was to climb over. It took some scrambling but she made it over the peak, while Roadblock hit it hard and climbed up one side like a tank, sliding down the other on his feet upright. Then it was down onto their knees, crawling through drainage pipes.

Lady Jaye gritted her teeth as she scooted into the ridged metal piping. "Awww, he's got it wet in here!" Roadblock echoed her groan as he squeezed in. The woman's smaller size made it fast going for her. She felt her size was a true asset as she scampered out well ahead of her following team mate. Exiting the end, she plopped into waist deep muck and winced. "Geez!! It's soo cold!" She wrenched each leg free, laboring to make it across the thick quagmire. Once Roadblock popped out of the tunnel, he strode through the mud with more ease, being stronger and having longer legs. She tossed a handful of muck at his back as he began to climb the upright pole at the end of the swamp. Reaching the top, he swung hand-over-hand across a thick rope as Lady Jaye struggled gamely to catch up. He was slowed immediately after sliding down the end pole, as he needed to crawl on his belly under loops of razor wire. It hung up on his back a few times, and he yelped in pain when a particularly low hanging bit snagged on his shoulder.

Lady Jaye caught up with him and they were neck-and-neck through a field of tires, having to place each step precisely. A third of the way across, a barrage of paintballs began, and they were busy dodging while trying not to catch a foot and fall over. Once past the treacherous tires, they faced upright pillars, in an otherwise open field. Lady Jaye paused suspiciously eyeing the easy-looking obstacle. Roadblock had no such qualms and raced out into it, only to step on a hidden flour filled land mine. The loud bang and cloud of flour made Lady Jaye wince, but she took off across the ground herself, dodging around the pillars and trying to spot the hidden divots before she set off any herself. Two more bombs went off for the hapless Roadblock, but she made it through unfloured. Then it was the traditional upright flat wall, which she took a couple tries to gain the top of, tumbling off the far side and thumping onto the piled dirt. Roadblock was already at the last obstacle, clambering over a giant cargo net and dropping off the other side to run across the finish several seconds before her.

BeachHead glowered at them both, his scowl deepening when Roadblock grinned at his smaller teammate. "I beat you fair and square, Lady Jaye!"

The drill sergeant leaned over to yell at him. "You made it across the finish line, but you're already dead!! Or do you think you're immune to land mines?!" He turned on the snickering female. "And you seem to acquired a bulletproof nature, from all the paintballs that hit your pretty behind!" Both of them stood chagrined. "That was the sorriest excuse for a training run I've ever seen! Get back at the start, and keep your mouths shut!" He ran behind them the whole way, yelling for them to run faster. Once back to the beginning with the rest of the group, he sent out Low Light and Alpine, who did only slightly better. The sniper ran as he did everything else, silently. Alpine griped and yelped about every obstacle, getting hung up under the razor wire for nearly five minutes, but having an easy time with all the climbing walls, A-frames and pole climbing. He did set off one flour bomb, and gathered some paintball hits, while LowLight got through unscathed somehow.

The sniper stood panting at the finish line then stood and looked at BeachHead. "Good course." Alpine merely gasped for breath.

BeachHead put his hands on his hips and glared. "Alpine you got enough flour on you to bake cookies.. is that where you'd rather be? In the kitchen??! You'll have to do better than this! And you!" He rounded on LowLight. "You need to get motivated out there! This isn't no sunday stroll!"

They both nodded in reply. "Yes Sergeant!" He ran them back, and sent out Tunnel Rat and Heavy Duty. That seasoned pair made short work of the course, although Heavy Duty was slowed by his size in the pipes and under the razor wire, and Tunnel Rat struggled with the upright poles and climbing wall. He scrambled over everything that wasn't perfectly vertical however, even hand-over-handing across the ropes with ease. They got a minimum of verbal abuse, although both had gotten hit with paintballs and they somehow both managed to get floured by the same land mine.

Finally the group waited with some anticipation as BeachHead sent the pair of ninjas out. As he had blamed the extra hard course on them, everyone else was happily anticipating their struggles across it. Jinx and Snake Eyes set off quickly, flying over the A-frame with ease, and squirreling through the pipes like a pair of greased ferrets. The thick muck only slowed them slightly, as instead of wading through it, they both bellycrawled across the top, ignoring the massive amount of slimy mud that clung to their clothing. Upright poles and rope crossing took mere seconds, with Jinx beating her sensei up to the top, and he nearly catching up on the crossing. She slid down the pole at the end, while he elected to jump, disappearing under the mass of razor wire just seconds after she did. The tire field slowed her just enough for him to pass her, leaping long strides and placing each foot so precisely that it seemed as if they were a illusionary obstacle to him. He never paused at the pillar field, dodging a zig-zag path between mines, avoiding them as if they were flagged. Jinx sprinted across as well, and although she had to make a last minute jump over one, she was just behind the commando when he hit the upright wall. Instead of clambering up, both of them ran up the side, and grabbed the top edge with one hand, swinging themselves over it and landing in a roll on the far side, several feet from the wall itself. It was a mad scramble as they climbed the rope net, dropping off the far side and sprinting across the finish. By the time they exited, the cheering was so loud that BeachHead had to bellow to quiet them. Jinx grinned at her sensei, holding her hand out for him to slap it, and whacking his back in return.

She turned the cocky grin on the drill Sergeant and put her hands on her hips. "Is that all you got? I could do that course blindfolded."

Beachhead narrowed his eyes. He'd been about to congratulate the two for breezing through the course. "Oh really?"

Jinx ignored the dangerous tone and turned to grin insolently at the rest of the group. "Yeah... that was so easy, I bet sensei would do it with one hand tied behind his back!"

BeachHead acquired a evil grin, as Snake Eyes put his head in his hands. "Well.. I wouldn't want to deprive you of the opportunity to show off how easy it is.. so you can do just that."

Snake Eyes signed quickly. "I didn't say anything."

BeachHead waved a hand negligently to the start line. "Oh.. but I know how you always stand behind your apprentices.. you can hardly blame her, since you two are so far beyond all the rest of us lowly grunts.." The other Joes became gleeful as they realized what he was referring to.

Jinx now protested in vain. "It's just an expression! You can't expect us to.."

BeachHead nodded and pointed at her sash. "Oh yes, you can put your body where your mouth took you. Blindfold." She groaned as everyone else chattered. The PT instructor picked up a length of rope and waited for Snake Eyes to turn and place his left arm behind his back. A few loops and knots and it was secured. "And there will be no cheating, and no escaping the bonds either. I know you slippery ninjas can get out of ropes and blindfolds.. but then that wouldn't prove anything, now would it?" Snake Eyes shook his head and stretched himself around to be sure the ropes wouldn't prevent him from bending.

Jinx twisted her head around and then shook it. "This is insane.. I can't believe you're making us do this!" Snake Eyes glared at her and gestured briefly with his free hand.

Lady Jaye laughed. "Jinx can't see you berating her, Snakes... he just said he didn't know he'd picked an apprentice with such a big mouth." Jinx scowled.

BeachHead tapped their names back into the pad and grinned. "Get ready..." He waited while the two ninjas crouched waiting for the signal. "Turn Jinx around.. we can at least give her that much help.." General laughter broke out and Tunnel Rat grabbed her shoulders and twisted her to point the right direction. "On yer mark and... GO!" Jinx sprinted, and manged to go over the A-frame without issue, but ran into the front edge of the pipe hard. Snake Eyes outdistanced her, crawling through the pipe barely slower than his first run through the obstacle. Once he hit the mud, it took him nearly twice as long to cross it with only one arm to pull himself along. Jinx, having banged her head exiting the pipe and fallen headfirst into the muck, now headed slightly off course across the mud pit, only correcting after Snake Eyes slapped the surface a few times to get her attention.

She spit out mud and turned more towards the edge. "The only time I need you to yell 'over here' and I can't SEE you say it!" He snorted and began the laborious climb up the pole towards the rope. Only his own skills made it possible, as he wrapped ankles around it, and dragged himself up. Once Jinx found a pole, she shinnyed up it with ease, hand-over-handing easily, although she then misjudged how far across it was, and smacked face-first into the end pole. The group watching yelled approval when Snake Eyes swung one handed, letting go and grabbing the rope further along like a trapeze artist. He too smacked into the end pole, and barely prevented himself from tumbling to the ground by wrapping his free arm around it and sliding down. Razor wire was again no obstacle to him, although he needed to pound the ground to make noise to direct the disoriented Jinx.

The crowd grew, as nearby shooters from the rifle range came to see what was going on. A quick betting pool started up. They jeered when Jinx stumbled through the tire field, having shouted loudly when Snake Eyes navigated it fairly easily despite not being quite as balanced as normal. Both were hit multiple times by paintballs. Some of the guys began to yell false directions to her, and Snake Eyes gestured at them in ASL. He waited until she gained the leading edge of the minefield and grabbed her hand to place it on his shoulder. They ran side-by-side through it, and almost made it through unscathed. Jinx bumped the edge of one, which showered them both with flour.

When they reached the upright wall, Snake Eyes reached down and grabbed her by her lower leg and she bounced once and he boosted her up to the top. Once there, she straddled it and reached down for him to leap up and grab her hand. With a minimum of fuss, they both dropped to the ground and he grabbed to twist her towards the rope net. Climbing over it was not very hard, and they both crossed the finish together.

BeachHead looked at the fairly impressive time on his pad. "Not bad. For a mouthy apprentice and a lazy commando." Jinx had pulled her muddy blindfold off, while Snake Eyes twisted himself out of the tightly bound ropes with ease. The drill sergeant leaned in to speak a little quieter. "Maybe next time you'll think a little bit before you open your big mouth Apprentice Jinx." She glowered and Snake Eyes slapped the back of her head.

She gave a slight bow. "Yes Sergeant BeachHead." She wiped handfuls of muck out of her hair, while Snake Eyes scraped himself off as best he could. The only clean spot on the young woman was the patch across her eyes. Snake Eyes turned away to remove his visor to wipe it clear and replace it.

BeachHead seemed terribly pleased with himself, and went to begin bullying the rest of the group through the course again each. He did magnanimously dismiss the two ninjas from the obstacle course for the day. Smirking, he figured that Jinx had let herself in for a really hard rest of the week for putting her sensei on the spot publicly, and hoped it would teach her to curb her words and to think before she spoke up rashly.

"Get yer butt down before that razor wire rips it open!" He strode off to berate the currant victims in his devious course.

* * * *

Please review, and THANK YOU for reading! This plot bunny was suggested by my erstwhile beta, who wanted to know what the obstacle course would be like!