36 – Evil Trees

‘If I keep getting you as a partner, I’m going to have to give you my phone number,’ Curt muttered.

This time, the training simulation was an ugly patch of scrub – the smell of stagnant water filled Stef’s nostrils and made her want to gag. The water was coming from what had been a gully, but was now just a blocked-off unintended catchment area for rainwater. The gully of eternal stench.

‘We live in the same building, do you really think I want or need your number?’

‘Seriously, newbie, what’s your issue?’ Continue reading “36 – Evil Trees”

29 – Mission

Stef quick-stepped through the tech department, and hit the button for the elevator – which again, took exactly eight seconds before appearing. Requiring, she was used to, shifting, she was getting used to, the elevator on the other hand remained just as disconcerting as when she’d figured out that it was magic.

She took the elevator down, back to the field department’s floor, and immediately missed the tech floor – the walls here were too Spartan, not that she expected the latest update of xkcd to be regularly flashing across the walls, as it was upstairs, but something other than neat little number plates on the doors and the occasional noticeboard or emergency evacuation plan would be nice. Continue reading “29 – Mission”

27 – Doublespeak

‘Nurg,’ Stef muttered as she knuckled the sleep from her eyes. The urge to go back to sleep was strong, but the strange urge to get up and do something was stronger.

Damnit, knew they’d be programming me in my sleep.

You’re paranoid, you know that, right?

She pushed the blanket back, not bothering to be surprised that she was no longer on the roof’s edge – knowing that if she’d slept there, then she would have woken up in a morgue. Except that she wouldn’t have. Continue reading “27 – Doublespeak”

17 – Objectivity

Stef found the gym easily, aside from the fact that the doors were labelled, it was the biggest room she’d seen yet – even bigger than the warehouse testing room. Typical gym equipment occupied the middle of the room, to the left there was a shooting range set into the wall, and to the right was other equipment – sparring mats, balancing beams and the like. At the back were a set of bleachers, bookended by vending machines.

And I’m supposed to do what exactly?

An arm wrapped around her shoulder, and for one moment, she considered flipping whoever it was and stomping on their face. ‘Don’t be scared, newbie,’ one of the boy recruits – the one who had tried to defend her n00b status – said. ‘None of this equipment has eaten anybody for ages, and Taylor’s not here, so you’re not gonna get thrown out a window.’ She shook his arm off, and stepped back, out of arm’s reach. ‘And if you’re going to train change out of the suit.’ Continue reading “17 – Objectivity”

16 – Of Zeppelins and Chaos

Stef stared at her newly narc-ed self in the bathroom mirror, and made rough calculations as to how long she could hide in a bathroom without someone inquiring as to her medical condition. It’d been fifteen minutes already, she wasn’t sure that Ryan was enough of a gentleman to keep out of the ladies’ room.

For the thirty-eighth time she looked to the window, and sadly wasn’t able to convince herself that plummeting six stories and having to deal with grievous bodily harm was better than interacting with humans. Continue reading “16 – Of Zeppelins and Chaos”