I got tired of listening to the song of the girl asking someone to abuse her (I’ll hit you one more time baby!) And went back over to check on Wupo, his pulse was still strong but he remained unconscious. Then I noticed something peculiar under the man’s waster clothes, I pulled back his shirt and he was wearing some kind of skin tight black spandex type suit, it looked new. Far beyond the findings of a random waster, intrigued I decided to dig a little deeper.
I rolled Wupo over onto his injured but freshly bandaged back and lifted up his waster shirt, there was the spandex. Obviously it was torn and burnt on the back but it looked brand new from here. He also had a utility belt of sorts hidden under his waster attire. There are a couple of small pouches to the left and a wider one on the front with a zip keeping it shut. Probably private, I really shouldn’t look.
Inside the private zipped pouch were a bunch of medical supplies, which I could have used instead of exhausting all my supplies. There was also a small glossy photo, I pulled it out and looked at the picture. It was Wupo, with a gorgeous blonde girl and little blonde toddler. I flipped it over ‘Jane, Terry and me December 77’ It was ten years old. Wupo looked at least early twenties here, he must be around thirty years old, wow Wupo don’t look thirty.
I put the picture back in the pouch and pulled out a little plastic type cylinder labelled ‘Ammonium carbonate’ I unscrewed the lid and the smell instantly made my eyes water, and I found myself involuntarily taking a huge breath in, like I couldn’t control my muscles. I freaked dropping the cylinder and amazingly Wupo shot straight up with the same reaction as me, inhaling deeply as he scampered around in the darkness then ended up sitting against the wall wincing in pain as his back touched the cold concrete wall.
“Who... wha, agh” Wupo uttered, I couldn’t answer any of those questions, due to the fact that it was totally random and vague.
“Relax Wupo, we’re trapped in your miracle safety hole. There were lights before the explosion but they all got knocked out” I tried to calm down the poor guy who was staring blankly across the room trying to figure out where my voice was coming from.
“Uh my head is killing me, what is that smell?”
“Umm Ammonium carbonate” I answered feeling a little guilty, now he probably knew I was going through his stuff.
“Ugh, you better close it up, it’s not a good idea to be subject to smelling salts for too long” Wupo said rubbing his temples.
That doesn’t sound good, the stupid little cylinder should have had some kind of warning, I picked up the plastic bottle and looked at it again ‘extended exposure to ammonia gas can be hazardous to your health’ crumpets how did I miss that “Hmm, it’s kind of spilt, you must have fell on it when we entered the den of death”
Wupo shook his head “Who the hell is Wupo”
“Oh that’s you”
“I had to call you something”
“Yeah, well call me Cameron!” Wupo... I mean Cameron said “So you’re a Warden aren’t you!” wow Mr Cameron doesn’t waste any time, but I was far from a Warden, in fact that was the last thing I wanted to be compared to.
“Umm no actually I’m a sweeper” I replied and Cameron screwed up his face.
“Sweeper!” He repeated like he didn’t believe me.
“You’re a little slow aren’t you?”
Cameron’s expression changed, he smiled to himself and shot a snort as he pulled a small metallic flask from his belt, opening it up and taking a sip. He grimaced as he swallowed whatever was in the flask, which made me wonder why anyone would drink something that made you grimace as you swallowed, but hey this guy certainly didn’t seem too normal. He pulled a small little metallic torch from the other side of his belt (I missed that too, it looked like a cool little torch. Then again I’m not a thief) he turned it on and flicked it around the room until he landed upon my face. I squinted then blocked my eyes with my hand.
“Do you mind” I shot at him, a little angered and embarrassed, don’t know why, I just was.
“Here I am, blown the hell up, getting crap from a scavie order sensic who claims she’s not a Warden, my day just keeps getting better and better” Cameron said turning the torch off, I never really liked the term scavie and neither did anyone who worked in sweep teams. But being as kind natured as I am, I would let that slide... yeah right.
“Oh I have an Idea, how about I dig out the tunnel and throw your ugly waster ass back in there, so then I won’t have to hear you talk to yourself like a crazy person about me when I’m sitting like five feet away”
“Hey, I’m not the idiot who threw a grenade at the Barrens with the pin still in it!” His sentence got louder as he finished almost shouting the last four words, I felt my face heat up, luckily he couldn’t see me right now otherwise he would have known I was angry and flustered
“Maybe if I had a bit of warning that you were passing me a deadly weapon I could have prepared a little better” I did my own imitation of raising my voice emphasising the last four words.
“Well how about shooting a grenade in a cramped corridor underground, I bet that was on your list of smartest things you’ve ever done” I hated this guy, he was as sarcastic as me. And that pissed me off.
“It saved our lives didn’t it? If I didn’t shoot it, the waster would have thrown it at us. Besides I’m not the idiot that lead us to a dead end!” Cameron sighed as he rested his head against the wall looking at the ceiling, I felt like I won and the heat escaped my face. I smiled as I started playing around with some dirt between my legs. A few awkward moments passed before Cameron got to his feet and started stomping on the concrete.
“What are you doing?” I asked a little afraid of the crazy man in front of me.
“There’s a manhole around here somewhere, that’s where I was leading us, it’s a direct link across the street to a building we could use to get topside again”
Well now I felt like an ass “I can’t see it” I said getting up looking around.
“Yeah well that’s what happens when its pitch black” he retorted like I was an idiot, only this time I really didn’t want to argue, I knew what I should do.
“Oh yeah, right” I said doing my best impersonation to project sheepishness. Seems it wasn’t lost on Cameron as he stopped and turned towards where my voice was coming from.
“You can see cant you?” Cameron said and I paused searching my mind for an excuse “I knew it, you are a Warden!” he said again.
“I’m not a freaking warden!” I said a little too flustered.
“But you’re a sensic?”
Crap, I couldn’t find the right words to bail myself out of this one. I really didn’t want anyone knowing my secrets. Especially some weird waster hybrid type guy. I sighed and eventually shook my shoulders, then remembered he couldn’t see that.
“Listen, please don’t tell anyone, I really don’t want to be recruited into the stupid Order Academy!” I pleaded and Cameron smiled.
“We gotta get out of here, quick help me find the sewer entrance” Cameron said all excitedly with a smile on his face. This was the reaction I didn’t want, it was the same reaction I had seem on people’s faces whenever they met a sensic. The same way someone would have reacted when they found out Harper was an ocular sensitive. And the one underlying thought in all their brains was ‘How can I use this person?’ My whole life I was able to hide the fact I was a sensic, place me in a high stress environment and my stupid senses ruin everything.