I hope you enjoy this week’s scene from Boot Camp and Aeron can’t quite figure Frei out.
As always, please excuse the typos,
Act 3 – Scene 2
I wasn’t sure why Frei was less cold than usual but she seemed to show up to classes and focus a lot on Sissy and me. She had even shown me how to unload and make a gun safe using a wooden version she’d had made so I didn’t get flashes.
Sissy was learning pretty fast and her confidence ‘cause of Frei’s help was starting to show. She wasn’t as fast as the other recruits when they were firing and she weren’t able to climb as well but she was fitter than the rest of them. Her strength, which I guess Frei had noticed was in planning and guiding assignments. I weren’t allowed near the screens with all the maps on but she had out maneuvered one of the tutors in a opposing team exercise. I’d got to the flag on the assault course a whole hour before our other classmates and even Frei looked impressed… well… less Frankenfrei than usual anyhow.
Frei then focused a lot on showing me how to use and understand manual guides like compasses and that not to trust them completely but to understand how nature worked around me to find the way.
“The wind can be a helpful guide,” Frei told me and closed her eyes. “Knowing how it moves in your location will give you confirmation if your instrument is correct.”
I smiled. Nan was a breeze around me a whole lot. “What direction is it here?”
“South,” Frei said and breathed out a slow breath. “It is warmer by a few degrees when it’s southerly; it carries more moisture when it is from the East; we rarely get any from the West because of the way the land dips, when we do, it is colder.” She pointed behind her. “The Northerly wind always brings storms with it.”
I kinda liked hearing her talk when she was in the quiet mood. I could almost imagine liking her.
“That kinda takes intelligence from folks who live in a location to get that detail, huh?” I asked and tried to feel the difference in the wind. I could back home but on the CIG base, it felt too different to work out.
“We have that intelligence,” Frei said in a blunt tone then straightened up as our class marched our way.
I sighed. Guess she wasn’t gonna be nice in front of the class. “Yes, Ma’am,” I muttered and lumbered over to Sissy.
Yeah, Frei had little energy to read and then I’d think I could feel a person, a real kind one, underneath but I guess the wind was blowing me the wrong breeze ‘cause she was more stoic than the concrete slab of a residential block.
For months, she confused me, going back and forth from snippets of a person right back to Frankenfrei who didn’t seem to care a whole lot at all. I did my best to listen to what she shared though and passed it on to Sissy. I weren’t real interested but I wanted Sissy to do so well that Renee could see how good she was… and Hankings would look like the dumb jerk he was next to her.
But as Sissy got fitter and more clever, I got more detached because I couldn’t stop thinking about the memorial wall or visiting it. I missed a whole lot of classes, which I guess was why Frei kept meeting me on the assault course and teaching me stuff but the more I was there, the more I could feel Renee’s energy and the more I felt that, the more I was drawn to the wall.
Frei was getting impatient ‘bout it to, especially ‘cause the other recruits were protesting ‘bout me and I couldn’t really blame them. I weren’t paying much attention whatever we were doing but I could figure out why.
We were meant to be practicing for when we passed the course. She’d already told us that less than thirty percent of us would be accepted into CIG but we had to learn to parade anyhow. I was on my way to the hall but I wound up by the memorial wall again instead.
“You’re looking a little lost there, kid,” a gentle voice behind me said. I turned and squinted then squinted some more as a brawny, blonde guy strolled over to me. “Your aunt know you’re out?”
“I don’t have one… er… sir?” I told him, confused ‘cause he looked familiar… real familiar.
“You’re a Lorelei, aren’t you?” He laughed and his eyes twinkled. In fact, he twinkled. Huh?
“Yes, sir… oh, I guess you mean my mom?” I tried to salute but I weren’t good at it.
“So, she did get a girl?” He let out a delighted chuckle. “Kid, explains why you are snooping around.” He nodded to the memorial wall. “I left it there for her. I guess you’ll see it gets to her.”
“Sure… but… what is it?” I tried not to sound dumb.
“A breadcrumb,” he said with a cheeky smile. “Tell her it’s from Charlie.”
I reached out and touched it—
“Lorelei, why are you late… again?” Frei’s exasperated tone echoed through the drill hall.
All the recruits were lined up and smart looking as I hurried in trying to fuss over my uniform. I looked like I’d just been electrocuted, dragged through the assault course twice, and someone had smacked me in the face with a fully loaded pack.
“I… don’t know.” I rubbed at my stinging forehead. I was just at the memorial wall… I had a breadcrumb… someone called Charlie… had I?
All the recruits apart from Sissy glared over.
“You don’t know?” the tutor muttered then she looked at Frei as though she wanted her to send me home. “I know you missed logistics training…”
The recruits apart from Sissy laughed. She studied me with a worried look in her eyes. She kept asking me where I was going but I couldn’t tell her. It sounded too Serenity.
Frei studied me like there was a kind person inside then she closed herself off like the Frankenfrei I knew, pointed to the door, and I sighed.
Assault course it was.