Chapter 6: Attack and Consequences

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Hailie sat on the rocks facing the ship. Next to her was a pile of food she had gathered. It had taken her all night. She had taken a nap just before dawn so she wasn't feeling as tired as before. Hailie waited to see how long it would take for someone to come out. She needed the boat to take everything back. She had been in such a haste to leave the night before that she hadn't even bothered to lower the rope ladder. The tide was still low and the hull was showing. It would take two more hours at least until the tide was high enough for them to try to move the ship.

Hailie peeled another orange. She had probably eaten a dozen of them in the past three hours as she couldn't stomach anything else. Glancing at the pile again, she realised that she shouldn't have done that. There was no need as they had enough food to last them until they reached the town, but she had to do something. She was worried about Benji, more than she ever expected to be. She hadn't even known him that long.

She kicked at one of the rocks in front of her and sent it flying into the water. A waste of time for these people. It was embarrassing. Only Eli had thanked her, and yet she'd gone out and got more for them. Then she remembered their faces the night before when they saw what she and Gordon had laid out on the table. Was it that she was hoping to see those expressions again?

She kicked another stone into the water. The humans were the worse animals on the planet. She felt like throwing everything into the water, including the eggs she'd managed to gather. She had found the nests of a few of the chickens and had taken some of the eggs, not all, from each nest. She had about a dozen carefully laid in an empty nest she'd found and brought with her. They would taste nice in an omelette with plenty tomatoes and cheese. She hadn't had one of those in years. Maybe she could get some cheese in the town. Cheese tasted nice with croissants which went well with chocolate cake, no matter what Mother had said. She sighed. Food like that was a thing of the past. She hadn't even tasted a drop of milk since she had left the farm. She didn't even know how long ago that had been.

Hailie heard her name being called. She looked towards the ship. The Captain was standing there. He looked angry. She made a rude noise in her throat. As if he had the right to be angry. No one was planning to abandon him. She may know people there but he didn't know that. As far as he knew she and Faith would be alone in a strange town.

She clenched her fist and juice spilled onto her hand. She didn't want to go back there. She hated that town. They could leave her in any other town, she just didn't want to go back there. She got aches all over her body just thinking about that place.

Hailie continued eating her orange, throwing the trash behind her, and ignored all the shouts that came from the ship. It wasn't like she was needed on board until the tide rose, then they would need help rowing the ship out of the cove.

She turned back when she heard Faith's voice. She could see her sad expression and the sparkle of the sun when it hit the tears rolling down her face. She sighed again. Children were so troublesome. She should have known Faith would be worried when she woke up. She must have had nightmares last night. She shouldn't have left her alone, but that room had been so small.

Hailie stood up and tried to hear what they were saying. They were calling her back. She glanced back at the pile, such a waste, then dove into the water and swam back to the ship. The rope ladder had already been lowered. She hauled herself up over the rail and shook the water from her hair, spraying everyone around her. Hopefully that would make them keep their distance. She hated hugs.

A towel was thrown over her head and she felt someone rubbing it vigorously against her hair.

"Half the time I see you you're either soaking wet or smelling like smoke." It was Kendra's voice. She pulled the towel away and took a few steps towards the mast in the centre trying to distance herself from them. The Captain, Kendra, Roberto and Faith were on the deck. The rest were probably inside. She caught herself looking for Eli and nearly bit her tongue.

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