~The APC reached the bottom of ‘the decent’ and Kai immediately ordered Nester to pull over, Nester needed little argument when he realised his pride and joy had been soiled. Everyone exited the vehicle for need of fresh puke-free air. And the Humvee was radioed ahead, and it slowed down to wait for the APC to get on the move again.
Maybe this wasn’t such a bad start to the day, seems my enemies be smited... smout... what’s the derivative form of smite? Anyway it happens right in front of me in the best manner possible, she looked totally mortified it was perfect. I couldn’t wipe the smile of my face, which probably didn’t help much. Kai walked up to Harper and forcefully took her water canteen off her. Harper was doing nothing but apologising which I thought was gratuitous; the bitch got what she deserved. Kai washed her face off with Harpers water as Maes and Nester were cleaning out the APC with CA (compressed air) guns.
“You disgusting stupid rat, you don’t even belong here!” Kai shot at Harper with as much venom as she tried to sting me with earlier. Harper began apologising over and over, it was getting pathetic. Big dusty had disappeared somewhere and Dirt was trying to make himself invisible so Kai didn’t start up on him.
The remaining marine exited the APC, it was the man I hadn’t met yet, Jon. He was average height, buzz cut head with matching length beard and slightly longer goatee. A solid man with a ruggedly handsome face, but probably what stood out most was the fact that he wasn’t wearing any pants.
“What the crap? Why’d we stop” Jon said inappropriately scratching himself over his tighty whities. “Kai what are you doing? You can’t waste water when we are in the wasteland” Jon said noticing Kai pouring the remained of Harpers canteen over her shirt.
“It’s ok Jon, new girl gave it to me, so I could wash off her vial disgusting bacteria!” Kai said eyeing Harper with a vicious scowl, Jon sighed and turned to Harper.
“Is that true?” Jon asks and Harper was too embarrassed and intimidated to argue, she slowly nodded her head, I could see a tear forming in her eye “Ugh whatever, everyone back in the APC”
“Hang on a sec Jon, this will take a few” Nester said from inside the APC.
Jon sighed “Alright, everyone take five” Jon said in defeat whilst pulling out a cigar from his top pocket, seems he didn’t need much convincing. Cigars were rare in the shelters. Usually only civics could afford them, looked like another perk from the sweeps, I couldn’t wait to get to work.
Harper slipped off over the other side of the APC for a cry. I felt bad the poor girl must have had a bad taste in her mouth, my stupid conscience wouldn’t let it go and I walked around and seen her crouched down near the tyre sobbing. How the hell do some of these people make it in the damn marines anyway? Then again I guess the standard is low considering the gene pool is kinda depleted these days.
Crumpets! What the hell am I gunna do? I’m not the shoulder to cry on type of girl, I sighed and unstrapped my canteen from my chest pocket and walked up to her
“Here” I said holding it out to her. I told you I wasn’t good at the comforting thing, she turned around wiping her eyes, trying to pretend I just didn’t see her crying.
“It’s ok, I shouldn’t be so pathetic” She said with a sob. I agreed in my head but thought that would probably sound mean if I actually said it.
“What are you shitting me? Come on, Kai’s a bitch. It only took one sentence for me to figure that out. But you can’t let them see you crying kid, that way they’ve already won” Yeah I’m not starting any self help classes or anything, but I think that’s top shit advice if I don’t say so myself. Unfortunately this girls confidence was so shot not even my inspiring motivational speech could snap her out of her deep self loathing funk.
“She’s right, I don’t belong here”
“Look would you just take the damn water!” I shot and Harper reached out and took the canteen with a hesitant unsure shaking hand, I noticed a black band on her arm with a red eye printed on it. It got me curious.
“What’s that?” I pointed to the band, she took a drink of water then looked at her black armband.
“It’s the reason I’m here, I’m Ocular sensitive. Corps thought I would be an asset to a sweep team, I was drafted because the Wardens didn’t want me” Shit, I couldn’t feel any worse for this poor girl, plucked from her life because she has skills the alliance thinks they can use for their benefit. Seems as soon as you become of some use you no longer have freewill in the Order controlled shelters.
“I thought the Wardens ate up anyone who was sense enhanced?” I asked probing the girl for information.
“No not if it’s just one, well depends how enhanced it is, I hear there’s a Warden in the order that has all five sense enhancements” She said with a little more enthusiasm, seems she had her heart set on being a Warden until they told her she wasn’t good enough. I couldn’t think of anything worse than working for the order.
She handed me back the canteen, I shook my head and pushed it back towards her “Nah you keep it, just do me a favour” I said and she looked at me with a fearful expression like I was going to ask her to pledge her soul to the devil.
“What’s that?” Harper asked looking at me sceptically, I respected her hesitation of trust, seeing as though it would be the same thing I would do if someone asked for a favour.
“Just walk back in there without a care in the world sipping your fresh canteen and make sure you rub it in Kai’s face as much as you can” She gave me a smile and awkwardly shuffled about on the balls of her feet.
“I can do that” Harper said, then her smile quickly faded after she thought about it for a second “What if she gets angry” Harper asked with a worried frown.
“Relax kid, just come sit next to me, I won’t let that bitch do anything to ya” She smiled again and jumped towards me wrapping her arms around me giving me a hug, it was the single most awkward moment of my life. I didn’t know what to do, should I pretend to like it or show her how this was a total invasion of Myra space. I awkwardly patted her on the head twice and then kind of leant back out of the hug. Harper smiled and walked to the back of the APC where everyone was re-boarding.
“Nice one Myra” I said to myself “find the dependable stray puppy!”