Author : Dan Simon

He didn’t remember signing the death waiver. He didn’t remember enrolling in University at all. But he was at University, so he must have signed a death waiver at some point. He was beginning to crack under the pressure. That was all.

He had gotten an A- on his last several physiology exams. Much too close. He needed to focus on his school work. Trying to find a way out of University wasn’t a productive area of thinking. He didn’t know why he wasted his time.

He couldn’t particularly complain much. He was a sharp guy. He was also destitute. And there is only one way for a guy like himself to get a higher education. University was free as long as he made the grades. But if he didn’t…

He checked to make sure he was wearing his RF ID. It was like a student ID at some of the other colleges he had heard about. But it wasn’t just for using the computer lab, or getting meals. His RF was his proof that he had the clearance to be at University. Not that people just wandered in. The machine gun towers at all entrances were a bit disconcerting at first. They tended to keep away the average hoodlum. But the nests were a threat that one soon learned to live with. They were staffed by guys who had families to feed. For many it was a second or third job. There was no danger. Just power.

No. The real reason he always made certain that his RF was on him was the sniper teams. They were much worse than the nests. One always knew when he was near a nest. But with a sniper team… He had heard that there were only three or four teams on all of campus. But you never knew when you would see a window that, normally closed, had been opened outward and draped with cloth. Or worse, when you wouldn’t see any sign of them at all.

He had heard of other schools that gave warnings the first time grades fell below satisfactory level. The primary difference being that at those schools a D was unsatisfactory. They say only the smartest survive University. Your first warning that your grades had fallen below an A was… well there was no warning. The snipers didn’t use subsonic rounds.

He’d had to name the Cadaver in his anatomy class. He didn’t need to use any imagination. He would have recognized his old roommate Brandon anywhere. Even with a concavity for a face.

All he had to do was focus. If he studied hard, and kept his grades up, eventually he would be a doctor. And not just any doctor. An MD from University was accepted globally. He could work anywhere he liked, and be guaranteed a starting salary 40% higher than doctors from any other school. Because he knew how to handle pressure. Because he had survived.

If he could just keep his grades up.

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