Chapter Seven

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Working in the kitchen meant she had to be the one to deliver lunch to the training soldiers. Which was fine, just as long as she didn't have to speak to Hector while she was there. She'd gotten really good at compartmentalizing her emotions lately so that she hadn't allowed herself to feel the hurt he had caused. But then again, she hadn't seen him in a week so maybe that had helped and once she really saw him it would crumble her resolve.

Petra finished loading up the brown paper bags onto a round metal tray and shot her a smile that drew her out of her thoughts.

"You sure you've got all of this?" She asked in a thick, throaty accent.

"I think I'll manage. It smells really good, what's in here?"

"Cucumber sandwiches with potato wedges and some fruit from that indoor garden of ours."

"Sounds delicious." Rachel picked up the tray and balanced it against her hip. "I'll be back soon." She used her foot to swing the kitchen door open and made her way up a set of stairs and into the mid-afternoon breeze.

The chill of the day paled in comparison to the chill of the night but the cold still nipped at her exposed skin. She'd heard the ship's people often groan and whine about how brutal winter could be over the Atlantic and she was beginning to see just how true that was.

She was halfway across one of the ramps when an alarm began to blare, drifting down to her from the speakers rising from the ground every few yards.

She heard a voice come over the intercom, going on about something that she couldn't quite hear over the roar of the wind in her ears.

But she wasn't worried. The alarms went off often, this time probably announcing the arrival of a storm within the next couple of days. Plus, glancing around her, she noticed that no one was running frantically which was a good enough sign that there wasn't an actual emergency going on.

The people milling about the ship continued on with their day just as her boots hit the solid deck beneath her and the voice on the speakers faded out of existence.

"Afternoon, Rachel." Michael said to her as she passed. He was sitting on a circular piece of metal, his airmen's jacket flapping in the wind. A few others lounged around as well, their training session having come to an end.

They trained in groups of eight and sometimes went below to train some more, though Rachel couldn't imagine how it could possibly be beneficial to them if their training involved flying and there were certainly no aircrafts down there. Anyway, it wasn't her job to know what they did, only to deliver sandwiches to them apparently.

"Have some food," she said to him as she handed him a brown paper sack and then did the same for the rest of his companions.

"Sweet," He replied. "Smells like cucumber."

She left him just as he tore through a plastic bag to get to his sandwich. The ship stretched on before her, a flat expanse of runway interrupted by several clusters of gray aircrafts lingering under the weak winter light. The warm weather had scurried away as if someone had flipped off a switch and now all that was left was a terrible cold that numbed her fingertips and reddened her cheeks with frost.

It didn't help that there was nothing out here to shield them from the icy wind except their jackets which were flimsy at best and a few aircrafts that deflected little to no wind.

For a rigorous day of practice that she'd so often heard the guys complaining about, the runway seemed unusually empty. Rachel shrugged and turned away, ready to leave the sandwiches with Michael when the sound of aircrafts filled the air. She looked up to find a cluster of black aircrafts zooming at blinding speeds towards the ships.

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