get to know me

book, book quote, character, quote, writing

Alrighty, let’s get to know our comic relief in “Unit 17.” He goes by the name of Nikki.

Kay hauls out the man and lays him on one gurney with a small grunt. “If you don’t need anything else, I’ll be retiring to my barrack now?” She says. She is still angry about Nikki and won’t be letting it go for a long time.

“Dismissed.” I watch her turn on her heels and go. She walks with the force of a tornado and she pulls off her fingerless leather gloves and throws them onto the ground under a floodlight before she disappears into the darkness.

Nikki, who’s just finished loading the woman onto the second gurney regards me with an abashed look. “She hates me doesn’t she?”

My mouth twists, searching for the right words. “She hates almost everyone. Don’t take it personally. It’s just because you’re the rookie that she’s going extra hard on you. That, and because she takes missions seriously. She doesn’t think you do.”

“But I do!” he protests, shoving his hands into his pockets. “I just have to get used to my powers you know. I’ve been thinking about it the whole ride here. I’m pretty sure because the kids were so close together, I registered them as one person. I’ll work on that.”

I grin a little as his self-assessment. “See? You can learn from your mistakes. You’ll do just fine.”

Three of the scientists guide the gurneys back up the steps and through the large double doors. Off to do whatever they do with Rejecteds. Teddy stands awkwardly at the foot of the stairs.

“You are dismissed Go get some rest, okay?”

Nikki smiles, obviously realizing he’s been forgiven. Nodding animatedly he says, “Sure thing, thanks Theo. I mean, sir.” He gives his best solute and jogs away.

“He’s got quite a lot of energy, hasn’t he?” Teddy says in his soft British accent when Nikki’s gone.

“That’s an understatement,” I chuckle.


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