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Keen and I walked together to the lab, talking about his latest project, other soldiers and new technologies. Keen was always easy to talk to. He was light hearted and curious and could keep a conversation going for hours. One amusing evening, Keen came over to my parent's house and talked for three hours about the importance of flossing. My parents were very confused at first but caught on to his joking nature as the night grew on, although they still think he is odd.

We walked down the road through white buildings that were used for the making and storage of weapons. I smiled as we passed the distribution center. Keen saw it and immediately guessed my train of thought.

"Did they approve your requisition of paint supplies?"

I beamed; "Yes I'm so excited, I haven't been able to paint for weeks." My creative outlet was painting. I loved it since I was able to create something colorful that would brighten my room and attitude. My inspiration came from my grandmother's stories. When I was younger she would tell me things that she said her grandmother used to tell. Stories of giant pools of water in the ground that were salty and blue. A sky that was blue instead of gray and at night there would be dots of light that would float in the sky. Keen really liked that story, so one day I came home to find small dots of light floating on the ceiling of my bedroom.

A feeling of wistfulness sweeps over me when I looked over at him as he chats away about art and color. He is a good friend, always loyal and compassionate. He had the required close cropped hair, though his actually looks good on him unlike other soldiers. He has a masculine face with a straight nose and square jaw. His eyes are a faded green that are oddly warm. He's much taller than me, and that's impressive considering I'm 5'9". I feel no romantic affection towards him, but lately I have found myself drawn to him. He has a certain sunny personality that makes people want to be around him.

"I get that I'm amazingly gorgeous and all, but your staring is creeping me out" His words snapped me out of my thoughts and I blushed.

"Don't flatter yourself. I zoned out." He smirked with doubt.

"Mmm, hmm." He grinned and looked straight ahead, turning his walk into a strut. I laughed as we turned onto the walkway that led up to our discreet square lab. Keen held the door open for me and we walked into a mess of ash, metal objects and our tinkering tools. Our station always looked like this since accidents do happen. We stepped carefully over a hot looking tube and towards the center table were our friend, Mary, was working.

She was deep into her work, carefully dripping a vibrant violet liquid into a beaker.

"Hey Mary." Keen called out in greeting as he maneuvered his way towards his station near the back of the lab.

"Hello Keen, hello Erin." She responded, not looking up from her work. This was probably bests since Mary loved creating chemical bombs. She had to always work on the small scale in the lab though incase she messes up and it explodes in her face. She is mainly responsible for the ash and broken metal strewn across the lab. I smiled at her as I walked over to my station to call up a cleaning crew.

"What did we explode today?" I asked; a grin on my face. She smiled.

"Why don't you ask Jol? He's dying to tell you." By the look of embarrassment on Jol's face, he most certainly was not. Jol is quietist of us all but he makes up for his silence in big explosions. He feels that since he's the youngest, he needs to prove his talent and skill to the rest of us. His hair was blonde when he first arrived but has now become gray with the amount of ash floating around him.

"I'm surprised, usually Mary's the only who could make a mess this big." Mary pretended to scowl and turned back to her project.

"I was working on a gas that would be toxic only to humans, something that we would be ablt to disperse or clear away easily though."

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