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Finn tensed, having made it to the pivotal point in his ascent. His left hand tucked in the crevice of the wall as he eyed the ledge so tantalizingly close to him. Fingers raw and blistering, even with the chalk used to assist in the climb, he knew he was reaching his limit.
If he could make this short jump, he’d have reached the top, and could finally rest. Finn could feel his arms shaking from the strain of supporting him for so long. If he hesitated now, he would fall and it would be over.
Steeling himself, Finn loosened his hold and launched himself towards the ledge. His right hand outstretched in a desperate grab.
And falling short.
There was no time for a shout as Finn fell, ground racing up to meet him as he fell.... Face first into the padded cushioning on the floor of the training room.
He lay there, soaking in his failure and shame as his instructor loomed over him.
“Again.” The man intoned. The authority in his voice brooked no room for argument.
Finn slowly sat upright, looking at his shaking hands. One of his blisters had burst, somehow.
Still, he knew better than to utter a word of complaint to this instructor. Nodding to the nondescript man and moving to chalk up his hands again, wincing at the pain of his open blister.
The figure at the end of the long hallway stood resolute, eyes closed and arms crossed behind her. Finn’s gaze flit from her visage to the floor before him as he inched forward, ever so slowly.
Said floor was made of a dizzying number of different materials. For each he had to adjust his footing and weight distribution to avoid making a sound, lest he fail again.
Concrete. Heel first, round the step out along the edge of your foot, putting weight on the ball before the other shoe. Be careful not to scuff your feet.
Marble. Walk only on the balls of your feet if your soft shoes allow for it. Step light, and slow.
Wood. Move close to the walls to avoid creaking floorboards, be careful to-
The telltale whine of a loose board that had been overlooked. Just like that, it was over. Finn looked up at his instructor, whose eyes were now open and fixed on him. Her gaze devoid of any discernible emotion, which somehow made the failure sting all the more.
Finn moved away, walking to the other end of the hall where he had started. Turning towards her once more, she gave a curt nod, closing her eyes once more.
The message was clear. Again.
Hunched over a desk, Finn felt out the inner mechanism of the lock in his hands.
Tension wrench set in the bottom of the keyframe, Finn adjusted the four pins that made up the interior of the lock. Pick in hand, he gently applied tension as he pushed in the first pin, then the second. Two clicks. The third he believed had gone into a false set, but the fourth-
The lock turned and Finn smiled in satisfaction, setting it aside among a growing pile of picked locks. Reaching into an open chest beside him, Finn took up a new lock. Turning it over to get a feel for its size and make, setting down his tools for a pair more fitting this lock.
He smirked to himself.