OOOPS! Sorry, didn’t mean to take this down. I was writing the next post on my phone while lying in bed and I must have accidentally moved this one to the trash while I was ordering my drafts :/ It’s those tiny smartphone keyboards what does this sort of thing!
“I try,” you say with a sad little smile. “I hope Boris is okay.”
“We’ve got a crack surgical team here. He’s in good hands,” Grisham reassures you. “And I’ll make sure you see him before he leaves,” she adds. “I think he’ll be awake before they transport, they usually are.”
“Thank you,” you nod. There’s a brief moment of silence in which you think about maybe just letting what happened between Grisham and Terra go, but you can’t. “She’s not normally that bad,” you say. “Terra, I mean.”
“You don’t have to defend her,” Grisham says, stiffening slightly. “And you don’t have to apologize for her either. This isn’t your problem to worry about.”
“But I am going to worry about it,” you say, sitting gingerly on the soft bed. Your butt is still aching, but you almost forgot about that while you were watching Grisham and Terra snarl at one another. It was a very distracting scene, one you can’t quite get out of your head. “I like the idea of you being in the unit.”
“I’m not one to take orders from someone like Terra,” Grisham says flatly. “I’m sorry, I know this is rough on you. You shouldn’t have seen that.”
“No, I’m sorry,” you say. “I’ve got you all caught up in this and you didn’t even know me until a couple of days ago. I shouldn’t be asking you for anything.”
“I’ve been caught up in things this for a long time,” Grisham says. “Like I told you, I’ve seen this before. You’re not the first group of green recruits to be thrown at a problem command doesn’t want to waste trained soldiers on, and unless people start standing up to them, you won’t be the last. I’ll give Terra credit, at least she puts herself in the firing line too.”
KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK!
Three heavy bangs on the door interrupt your conversation. Grisham crosses to the door and opens it. The moment she does, a dark headed figure ducks under her arm and walks into the room without being invited in. It’s Sarah, wearing a broad smile.
“Hey,” she says as she looks at you. “They said I’d find you here.”
“Come in,” Grisham says with dry sarcasm, closing the door behind Sarah. Sarah ignores her.
“So that was amazing,” she says, beaming. “Totally worth breaking out of this place.”
“You should be in a cell now, shouldn’t you?” Grisham interjects. She’s standing in front of the door, blocking the exit, her strong arms crossed over her chest as she fixes Sarah with a look which makes you feel all quivery.
“As if you have a cell that can hold me,” Sarah quips over her shoulder. She turns her attention back to you. “You really missed out,” she says, her blue eyes gleaming. “I mean we saw some ACTION.”
“Yeah, and Boris got hurt,” you frown. “Though I guess I should thank you for saving him.”
“Saving him?” Sarah shakes her head. “Nah I didn’t save him. That was Terra. I was too busy “engaging the enemy.” She lifts her fingers in air quotes and grins. She’s in an incredibly good mood, a better mood than you’ve ever seen her in. “Though Terra did some damage herself. Lady can use a sword. A fucking, sword, cadet! She didn’t fire a single shot. God it was fucking amazing! You must be so jealous to have missed it.”
“I’m not jealous not to be wounded,” you say, frowning at her. You’re not sure why she’s come looking for you. Is it just to tell you the story? Maybe.
“You want to settle down, young lady,” Grisham intones, speaking to Sarah. “You almost lost one of your unit today.”
“I’ve lost more members of my unit than you’ve had super short haircuts,” Sarah parries. “At least this time it was a hell of a fight. The boy will be alright. It’s just a flesh wound. The academy girls are going to love him after this. They are going to be all over his di…”
“Watch your mouth,” Grisham says, her voice lowering to a serious intensity.
Sarah turns to Grisham with a smart ass smirk on her lips. “Lady, I don’t take orders from you. Why don’t you go do some grunt work and let me talk?”
“Girl, I will do some grunt work on your ass,” Grisham growls. “Don’t you act up with me, I will make you sorry you ever opened your mouth, you hear me?”
Sarah laughs at her. “Are you slow, lady? I’m not some soft little cadet you can push around. I’m literally made better than you. So sit down and shut the hell up already. I’m talking here.”
Grisham’s pupils narrow so intensely they may as well disappear. She reaches for Sarah, catches her by the arm and swings her close. Sarah wastes no time in trying to break Grisham’s grasp, twisting and bringing her hand down in a knife-like action against Grisham’s elbow. It’s perfectly executed technique and it has the capacity to cripple Grisham – except it doesn’t. Grisham’s grip remains intact, she barely flinches as the blow makes contact. You watch as all the color drains out of Sarah’s cheeks.
“Oh shit,” she says. “You’re…”
“First generation,” Grisham smiles. “Surprise.”
“Goddamn,” Sarah swears, squirming in Grisham’s grasp. It doesn’t do anything. The young woman who can chop trees with her bare hands is just as helpless as you are when Grisham gets a hold of you. It’s kind of satisfying seeing her wriggle like that.
“What do you say, cadet?” Grisham glances at you. “What should I do with this smart mouth?”