Chapter One

State of Denial

It was a hot afternoon and Private Jessica Raze was waiting in line to start beginning conditioning for new applicants into Project Freelancer. The test was seemed so simple to her,

"paintball?" she asked herself. "Why would they have us do something so juvenile?"

She got into the camo training armor and went out onto the field. The other applicants were all starting in different areas. The mission: be the last alive.

The buzzer went off and she ran into the woods, hiding and taking cover..trying not to be seen. She spotted the shine of a helmet not too far away. Slowly creeping up behind her target, she pulled out her paint pistol and fired. A large purple rock seemed to harden around the person's helmet and she heard a scream from inside it.

"Wow," She thought to herself, "I guess this is a bit harder then paintball."

Continuing to move through the trees, Jessica took out several more targets. Suddenly, she heard a branch snap behind her. She turned around to see a tall soldier pointing their gun at her. She tried quickly to fire her pistol first but it was too late. The soldier fired and a stinging sensation hit Jess in the shoulder. When she tried to move she was frozen in place. She had lost.

Jess went out to the evaluation board and it seemed she placed second. The report she got said that her performance was good enough to join Project Freelancer but not enough to join the higher ranks. She got on the transport pelican and sat down. She looked at the people and thought only one thing..

"Someone in here beat me, they won't do it again."