FILE ENTRY 26.0

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With the infected steward's milky gaze following her every move, Bella snooped around the storage room for something to use as a weapon. She could throw toilet paper at the sick people as they shrieked toward Halo, Astra, and herself, or something harder that might make a dent or leave a mark, like a can of air freshener. If the can of rosy bloom scent was flammable she could use a lighter to make a blowtorch, but she doubted that would work. First, she didn't have a lighter and even if she had one, the lady at the security checkpoint at Neptune Shores would've confiscated it. She never would've gotten it to the space station in the first place. And after a quick scan of the air freshener's contents, she discovered it wasn't flammable anyway. Like they would make something for a spaceship that could start a fire? No, a fire in space was about the worst thing imaginable, apart from a zombie apocalypse.

Bella wagged her head and sighed. The sick people weren't zombies. Caprica was not a zombie. She couldn't be dead. Cap was her friend. She felt a warm wave of blood rising in her cheeks. Swelling heat and moisture behind her eyes. Truth was, she wanted to cry. She wanted to let a river of tears break the dam wide open and flood down her face. But Astra didn't need to see her weak, and Halo didn't need to see it either. If she cried in front of him, he'd doubt her mental toughness. She nearly burst into laughter. She didn't feel tough. One look over at the infected person made her cower in fear, and the smell made her want to wrap her head with paper towels.

She glanced behind her; Halo was searching through a side closet, looking for a weapon. And Astra stood behind him, craning her neck over his shoulder, peeking, occasionally darting her eyes to the side, peering over at the infected person.

Speaking of the sick steward. Again—for lack of a better term—the creature or zombie observed Bella curiously. It seemed to have accepted the fact that it couldn't reach them. But Bella had learned that while the infected was in the state of indifference or tolerance to their presence in the room, to avoid quick movements. If she moved too fast, the steward would whip her head toward her and emit a low pitched growl that faded if Bella stood still for a while. With the growling came the smell. It came from the woman's breath and made Bella wish her tank top was a loose fitting tee-shirt so she could use it to cover her nose.

"I found us some weapons." Halo appeared from the closet, wielding a broom, a rather hefty wrench, and a very long screwdriver.

The steward jerked her head toward Halo, who stood in front of Astra.

The woman hissed and rattled the cage.

That was a first. Bella had never saw one of the infected's hiss like a mountain lion in heat. She'd seen plenty of mountain lions in California, in the desert mountains. They hunted deer. Most of the sick people reminded her of a pack of wild dogs. Guess they were animals plain and simple. The woman didn't exhibit any signs of the human she once was...which made Bella think about sticking the long screwdriver in the steward's eye. Putting an end to her existence. Putting her out of her misery. Besides, she could go for a bottle of water about now, and that thing was blocking her path.

But then she thought about Caprica. Could she put an end to her friend's life? Did she have the right too?

"I think we should only kill them if our life is in danger," Bella said, "in self defense."

"Are you kidding me?" Astra glared, her eyes widening and zeroing in on Bella. "Enlighten me on what type of situation you wouldn't find life threatening."

Halo pointed the end of the broom stick at the steward. "You think that thing has any desire other than to eat us like raw steak, or hamburger meat?"

Bella swallowed the queasiness rising in her throat. "No. But we don't know if they're dead yet, or beyond the point of no return. What if they're still alive in there somewhere? Think about Cap? Would you hit her with the wrench?"

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