I hope you enjoy this week’s scene from Boot Camp and Aeron is having trouble complying with Frei’s orders in class…
As always, please excuse the typos,
Act 2 Scene 4
Like I said, I weren’t interested in firing at other folks.
I didn’t much mind the classes and the courses and even dealing with Hankings, or Chump as I called him, but I weren’t good with guns and I weren’t interested in touching them.
It didn’t help that they were the guns that were used on the ranges for all the trainee officers ‘cause Frei said that the C.I.G versions were different but to me they looked mean and whether they were meant to be plastic in parts or not, they still looked like they had metal and metal was like jewelry… and I didn’t want to get no flashes from Chump nor anybody else.
“Lorelei, pick up the firearm and load it,” Frei said in her usual happy tone.
“I ain’t picking it up,” I mumbled and shook my head.
“How do you think you can be an operational officer if you don’t know how to defend someone you’re protecting?” Frei stood there rod-straight back and white blonde hair even straighter.
“I got buddies who can do the shootin’,” I said and nodded to Sissy who raised her eyebrows.
“I can just about hit the target,” Sissy said and smiled up at me. “But I’ll practice.”
Frei rolled her eyes.
“Hey, you don’t have to hit folks anyhow,” I said folding my arms. I’d meant Renee would do the shooting while Sissy and I hid behind her. “Mrs. Stein used to shoot them guns that just sounded real and it sure scared the sneaky creatures trying to nibble her Welsh Cakes.”
Sissy snorted; the rest of the class just glared, and Frei didn’t so much as move her lips.
“Mrs. Stein’s way worked.” I shrugged sure that she would have just used a real gun with me if she’d seen me nibbling her Welsh Cakes.
“Pick up the gun and load it, Lorelei,” Frei said without changing her tone or moving her muscles at all.
“I… er…” I stared at the gun. I didn’t want to pass out again like I had at the memorial wall. “I should go to the ladies.”
“Lorelei,” Frei said like she might through the gun at me. “Load your pistol.”
I shook my head.
“Don’t know how you’re still in boot camp,” Chump said and sniggered with his buddies. “How did you make the entrance exam without using a gun?”
His buddies laughed with him. They kinda were starting to look like each other and had the same haircut, they same way they rolled their sleeves up to fasten them with a button and even placed the same color pens in the fold.
“I didn’t need to take an exam,” I shot back at him. “I got invited to be here.” Or made to be there by my mom. Couldn’t see her using a gun, she was freaky like me.
Chump narrowed his eyes. “Only place you or Marney would be invited is an asylum.”
He laughed and his buddies laughed and the only two other girls in class apart from me and Sissy sighed and looked to Frei to hurry me up.
“I used to live in one… Funny, they could remember stuff in class better than you,” I shot back and Sissy laughed then tried to keep her face straight.
“Lorelei, load the gun.” Frei narrowed her eyes at Chump. “Keep exercising your mouth, Hankings, and you’ll find yourself exercising on the assault course.”
Chump saluted. “Ma’am.”
“I ain’t loading the gun,” I said and folded my arms.
One of the other girls marched over, picked up the gun and shoved it at me. “Just try acting like you’re a professional, Lorelei.”
I moved away from the gun. “I don’t need to do nothin’.”
She shoved it at me again. “Just load it so we can eat. We’ve been here hours.”
“I ain’t touching it,” I muttered and folded my arms. “You go eat. I ain’t stopping you eating.”
“But I am,” Frei said as though she was enjoying the class getting mad at me. “They don’t leave until you pick up the gun.”
I glanced at Sissy who smiled up at me.
“I had extra for breakfast. I’m good.” She glared at the girl with the gun. “Aeron has her reasons and she’s been top at everything else we’ve done.”
“You’re only sucking up because she helps you,” the girl shot back. “We all know you’re only here because they felt sorry for you.”
I puffed myself up. “Sissy scores way better than most of you so quit heckling her.” I leaned down to focus on the girl. “Being mean to her will make me mad.”
The girl flinched.
“You want to take us all on?” Chump shot at me and went to the girl’s side. “Fine.”
I shook my head at him. “What you gonna do, set off the alarm again?”
He puffed himself up.
I puffed myself up bigger.
“You can all get outside and do press-ups until Lorelei decides to be cooperative.” Frei waved her hand and the class trudged out but Sissy stayed next to me. “I said outside, Marney.”
“Yes, Ma’am,” Sissy mumbled and saluted but she didn’t much look like she wanted to go.
“I get hollered at a lot,” I said to her trying to smile. “You remember to breathe through your pushes.”
Sissy nodded and marched out.
“Lorelei, why won’t you load the gun?” Frei asked it without emotion or any movement in her body language or energy.
“’Cause it’s metal. Folks leave their memories and energy,” I muttered at her then frowned. “Besides, I ain’t shootin’ nobody. I don’t care if they are shootin’ at me. It’s bad enough I hurt Sam.”
Frei studied me. “And the memorial wall… and everything else you refuse to do?”
I shuddered. I weren’t telling her about the memorial wall.
“You think Renee would be impressed that you ignore orders?” Frei asked and picked up the gun. “You think she won’t be in danger if you don’t learn to protect your POI and your teammates?”
“That ain’t my duty.” I backed up. “I’m only here so my mom can play nice at home.” I waved at the gun. “I’m here ‘cause she made me and Sissy needs me.” I glared her right in the eyes. “An’ Renee ignores your orders when they’re dumb too.”
Frei’s eyes glinted. She was kinda scary when she glared. “Load the gun.”
She grabbed my hand and slapped it into my palm.
“You think I won’t use it on you,” Chump said as he sneered at Sissy.
“I know you won’t,” Sissy muttered and focused on her own firearm. “I don’t get what your problem is.”
“Don’t you?” he waved the gun at her. “You shouldn’t be here, Marney.”
She scowled at him. “I have every right to be here. I didn’t have to cheat to get in either.”
He shoved her shoulder. “You tell Lorelei that?”
“Don’t need to.” Sissy shook off her shoulder. It hurt less than it used to. Aeron was helping with the training. “She can see you’re an idiot.”
He shoved her again and laughed. “You think you’re brave now?” He laughed. “You think you’re good enough to be in C.I.G?”
“I know I am,” she shoved him back and he stumbled into the side and his gun clattered onto the table.
The bullet hit the ceiling and some kind of dust or insulation spewed out.
“You didn’t have the safety on?” Sissy snapped. “You waved a loaded gun at me?” She marched up to him ready to hit him with her own firearm. “What is the matter with you?”
He glanced around. “You made me do that.” He shook his head. “You assaulted me.”
“I’ll do more than that if you try waving a firearm at me again.” She unloaded her gun and holstered it as the firing range staff hurried in. “I don’t have to be scared of you anymore.”
He blinked at her then stared at the staff charging over. “Marney dropped her pistol.”
“No, Hankings did.” She showed them her pistol and glared up at him. “I’m done being bullied by you.”
She turned and marched out as the staff started yelling. Yes, Aeron had helped her believe she could stand up to Hankings. He might have got every promotion over her and blocked her from getting the good cases, the bonuses, and even made everyone think she was no good but, she’d got into C.I.G and Aeron believed she could be a good officer. For the first time since Hankings showed up on her FBI team, she believed she could do a great job.
I blinked open my eyes as Frei stared down at me. The pistol was in her hand and my butt was stinging.
“Lorelei, can you move?” Frei had forgotten her meanness but she was too busy to help me ‘cause she was gripping her hand like it stung.
“Ugh.” I rolled onto my side and clambered to my feet. “Why you holding your paw, you didn’t get shocked.”
“I did,” Frei mumbled and frowned then stared at the gun. “I was not informed that Hankings had discharged his firearm.”
“You saw her memory?” I tried to roll out my shoulders but they felt like I’d been on the assault course trying to chase Mrs. Squirrel… or climb like her.
Frei nodded. “Lorelei, you have to learn to safely unload a gun.”
I glanced at the door. “Then show me without me touching it.”
She flicked the side and the clip shot out then she turned to show me the handle and flicked a switch. “This is the safety.”
“Shame Chump couldn’t figure that out,” I muttered not interested in the gun or Frei. “You spend enough time heckling me and Sissy. Why don’t you try fixing on him?”
“You do not give me orders.” She narrowed her eyes. “You use a new gun and you load it.”
“I ain’t touching no gun.” I glared at her. “I ain’t.”
“Then you do press-ups until you learn to follow orders,” Frei shot at me, glint in her eyes again.
“Fine.” I turned and marched to the door.
“Lorelei,” Frei shot at me.
“Yes, freaking Ma’am,” I threw over my shoulder and stomped out into the pouring rain. Again, my mood seemed fueled by hers and the fact that she was ready to send Sissy back to the FBI when she was way better than Chump. I didn’t get her. It was like she wanted to be nice but then she was more mean than a fury fiend. She was scary and well… Frankenfrei.
I chuckled to myself then smiled as I spotted Sissy away from the rest of the class breathing through her press-ups. Think even ol’ Frankenfrei had been impressed with Sissy sticking up for herself.
I dropped down next to Sissy and grinned at her. “Glad you’re still talking to me.”
“I like talking to you,” she whispered back as Frei strode out. “Besides, my arms will be much stronger.”
“Yep, enough to shove Chumps,” I said then winked when she stared at me mid-press-up.
“You heard about that?” She whispered then blushed as she pushed her arms to lift her body.
I smiled and lifted my body as the others in the class struggled. I’d spent years in Serenity working out. It helped work off the frustration, the energy folks gave off, and helped me focus on how to help. I glanced at Sissy who looked like she was enjoying the exercise too. I was helping her, somehow, even if I weren’t really. In my heart, I knew I needed to show her she could be a great officer. C.I.G… Renee needed folks like her on their side.
Hmm. Sounded like I was on an assignment the same as Renee and Sissy was my POI.