Clothes

Cara Riesling – 12 hours until impact

I’m the weak link? Who got you out of the sewers? Who brought this elevator down? Who opens every damn door we find?”

“Who took a ridiculous amount of time even to figure that out?” Valyria shot back, “Raygo and I have been fine with our powers the second we woke up!”

Cara gritted her teeth.

“Have you even considered how hard it is to be surrounded by metal, to be a human magnet? I can feel the metal in your bloodstream right now! Every. Single. Atom.”

“What, do you think you scare me?” Valyria accused, “You couldn’t touch me if you tried!”

“Oh yeah?”

“That’s enough!” Raygo insisted, stepping in between them.

Valyria didn’t even register him. A thick vine picked him up and flung him down the hall.

Cara’s temper instantly fizzled, and she ran to help him to his feet.

“Are you okay?”

“I’m good.” He muttered, looking up in dread as Valyria approached.

“Still think I’m the loose cannon?” Cara demanded, eyes flaring.

“He should have known better than to get in my way.” Valyria replied flatly, her face stony but her tone disturbed.

“Honestly?” Cara shot back, “You could have hurt him!”

“Well, I didn’t, did I?”

Raygo interrupted the storm threatening to erupt again.

“Can we all just get in the elevator, and go to the second floor? Without ripping each other’s throats out?”

There was silence for a few moments, and then they walked back into the elevator. Cara barely had to focus before the elevator flew upwards, almost going past the second floor before she brought it to a stop.

She quietly seethed as they walked out, into another residential wing identical to the one they had been through earlier.

“Wait!” Valyria said, moving towards one of the rooms.

“What is it?” Raygo asked anxiously.

“I have to pee.” She shrugged, “I’ll be a minute.”

Cara wandered into another room nearby, finding a closet and rummaging through its discarded contents.

Raygo followed, pacing the room.

“Well…that was weird.”

Cara opened a drawer and hunted for a clean shirt.

“If you want me to apologize to her, that’s not about to happen.” She replied without looking back, throwing ideal candidates to the floor.

“I wasn’t going to say that. I just…don’t be too mad at her.”

Cara glanced at him over her shoulder before moving to another drawer.

“Why?”

“Well…this…situation…it isn’t exactly easy.”

“I know. I’m in it.”

“The only memories we have are from today. All we know is that we have to keep moving, or die. At every turn there’s some kind of robot swarm or death trap.”

“So?”

“What I’m trying to say is that it takes its toll. We’re angry…and afraid…and some of that is bound to come out.”

Cara found herself a pair of pants and threw them into her pile.

“And that gives her permission to start criticizing me?”

“No. But we have to try and understand each other. We’re all we have.”

She sighed, finding two mismatched socks and shutting the closet.

“I don’t know. When this…started…it felt like we were all going to stick together. Watch each other’s backs.  Now…I’m not so sure anymore.”

“Don’t say that.”

She turned around, kicking off her shoes.

“You heard her. She thinks I’m a weak link.”

“She doesn’t mean it.”

Cara pulled off her socks.

“What if she did? What if I get kidnapped by another robot, but this time you both decide it’s not worth saving me?”

“Cara, that’s not about to happen.”

“How can you be so sure?”

“Because I’m not leaving without you.”

She looked up and was momentarily speechless.

“I’m…going to go change.” She offered, picking up her pile and heading to the room’s bathroom.

“I’ll be in the hall.” 

The End

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