We hurry back to the bunks, speechless.
In the chaos of the mid-day, we are lost.
No one asks us why we are so pale and quiet. No one bothers to wonder why I have dirt on my knees and sweat on my neck, why there's imprints of my fingernails on my palms, why Lexi has bitten her lip into a bloody mess.
Neither one of us can talk about it, either.
Lexi and I lay on my bunk together, staring up at the metal spirals of springs. I listen to the world around us, the sounds of someone singing the National Anthem, someone losing a game of Red Hands, two men wrestling and thumping against the concrete floor.
What did we just hear?
What's in the Repor?
What hurt that truck driver? That question alone opens up so many more. What is starving? What are they carrying?
I close my eyes, the pounding behind my eyes starting to get worse.
"I can't sit here," Lexi says, jumping up. Her cheeks are the color of her hair. "I need to get some fresh air."
With that, she runs out, shoving past the wrestlers. Her shoulder rams into Naomi who stands in the door. I watch her approach, worry on the lines of her forehead.
"I don't have time to ask," she mutters as I open my mouth to explain, "I've got to report to the hospital."
"It's your day off," I say, sitting up, "Why?"
"They called all of the trainees in for an emergency. I just got the notification."
On her hip is a black metal device that's blinking red. I've never seen anything like it before, but I'm not surprised that the medical staff are on call at all times. I just wonder if it has anything to do with the driver.
"Any idea why?" I ask.
"Something about a guard getting attacked by an alligator," she mumbles, pulling on her uniform shirt over her other clothes, "I'm not sure, Quinn. I'm in a hurry."
It's the first time she's ever been so mean to me; yet, it makes sense, considering what happened this morning. I just don't have the patience right now, with my headache and everything I've got to think about.
"Okay, whatever," I say, laying back down.
She gives me an angry glance before hurrying out of the bunks, swinging her stethoscope behind her.
Then, I'm alone, my head swarming with questions like bees.
I pull my tablet out, searching through the restricted archives for anything about the Decontamination or phases or anything. Nothing.
In a last stitch effort, I type in "Repo----r-".
The buffering circle turns, black and white in succession. I hold my breath, watching as the search engine loads the results.
Repository, noun: a place, building, or receptacle where things are or may be stored.
I've just saved the results when my tablet blacks out, the battery symbol in the corner flashing. It seems like a pointless success. I knew it was a storage building of some sort; that's not new. For once, finding out the definition of a word doesn't help me at all.
I pass the rest of the afternoon reading, waiting for light's out. Lexi doesn't come back for a few hours, and when she does, she's sweaty and flushed. It's safe to say she went for a long run.
We go to bed without talking, but I stay awake, listening for Naomi to return.
When the alarm sounds the next morning, it takes a few moments for me to realize what day it is.
YOU ARE READING
Selected (Book 2 of the Immune Series)Science Fiction
"As far back as I can remember, I've been surrounded by water. The salt in the air even now makes it hard to breath, forcing me to squint. Sand clings to every inch of me, caking my pants and shoes. The wind from the ocean picks my hair up, sending...