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 3
I weren’t all that happy about live training. My class had been sent to a remote location which was way colder than Blackbear in the winter. The idea was that we work together as a class to learn how to work in the cold weather and we just had to navigate from one part of the frozen valley to the other.
Frei wasn’t with us but a guy I recognized as being part of the team who’d been back home trying to rescue my butt from Sam. He kinda seemed like most of the other chumps with blond hair and more muscles than heart but I kinda got that Ewan Fitzpatrick was softer than he acted.
“You,” Fitzpatrick said to Hankings. “Head out with Lorelei and Marney and secure the location.”
Hankings shook his head. “I can’t work with them, sir. They don’t know what they are doing.”
Fitzpatrick looked him up and down. “Let me try that again.” He glared Hankings in the eyes. “You, the dumb recruit will follow my orders and go with Lorelei and Marney where I order you to.” He turned to the class. “Let’s get this straight, unless you do as ordered and you complete this course to my satisfaction, you can take the chopper home.”
Hankings fixed his jaw. “This isn’t the military.”
Fitzpatrick marched up to him. “No, this is harder, this is CIG.” He nodded to me and Marney. “Why you still standing there?”
I tapped Marney on the arm and we turned and headed out toward the location Fitzpatrick had pointed to.
“It’s a forty degree slope,” Sissy said in a tense voice. “It looks icy.”
I nodded then shivered. “They got lots of trees though, we could use them to head downward?” I weren’t sure. Frei had taken that class and I had been out cold on the floor in the memorial wall room again.
“You want to slid into a tree?” Hankings muttered as he stomped past us. “No, we’re going down the slope and using ropes.”
“Who made you in charge?” Sissy said and turned back to me. “I think we need to head around the top to the other side where the slope is less steep. It has more cover so we might not be seen.”
I pointed to myself. “You might not be.”
Hankings ignored us. “You, get the ropes.”
I turned from him. “We’ll head around.” I followed Sissy as she strode on the flat ground lifting her chin up.
“She’s too wrapped up in her dumb boyfriend to look at you,” Hankings hissed at me as he lingered behind. “And he got himself hurt listening to her.”
I didn’t bother glaring over my shoulder and trudged on as two groups of our class mates decided to go for Hankings and my options of ropes and tree sliding.
“You deaf as well as overgrown?” Hankings shoved me in the back.
I ignored him again. I swore the guy just wanted to fight like those mean kids in schools. Pick on someone and try and get them in trouble kind of kids.
“Oi, I’m talking to you,” Hankings snapped and shoved me again but I moved my shoulder as he made contact and he fell in to the snow.
“I won’t mind if you shove him down the slope,” Sissy said and squeezed my arm.
“What bee buzzed his butt with you?” I asked as I left Hankings face first in the snow.
“He’s my brother-in-law to be,” Sissy said with a roll of her eyes. “The family don’t think I’m good enough to marry James because they went to private schools.”
“Ah, ivy league, huh?” I asked and kept her walking away from him as he thumped the snow and got up.
“Yes, the Dwyer-Grangeton-Jones family are as ivy league as you can get,” she mumbled as she led us into heavy cover of frozen shrubs with prickles. “James went to military college, the same one as Renee, and he’s still serving as an officer.” She thumbed over her shoulder. “His brother and family told him he couldn’t be with me or he wasn’t a member of his family anymore.”
“I don’t get why,” I muttered then glared back at Hankings who was yelping as he reached the prickly shrubs.
“Because I grew up in a trailer,” Sissy said with a shrug.
“Well, I grew up in a cabin next to the river,” I said with a smile as we headed around the perimeter of the dip. “An’ I say that it don’t matter where you sprouted up but what goodness you were fed which decides how good your leaves look.”
Sissy chuckled. “James would say something like that but in a lower voice.” She led us up an incline to avoid a rock that glinted in the snowy light.
“Catch him!” one of our classmates yelled out. I turned. The group with ropes were skidding down the ice trying to grip on.
Fitzpatrick didn’t so much as move from where we headed out and had set up a seat.
Hankings caught up to us. “We’re meant to be going down to the hut.”
“You managed to get that when you weren’t puffing, huh?” I shot at him and then pointed to the group now in a heap at the bottom. “Glad you ain’t in charge.”
He shoved me again. “You want to argue, Lorelei. Come on.”
I yawned into his face ‘cause the guy could barely move my shoulder. “Where we heading, Sissy?”
“That rock has a device on it which, if I remember from class… means that it will set off the alarm in the hut if we go near it.” She tapped her lip with her glove. “We have to go up to avoid its area of detection.”
Hankings eyed the stone.
“If I’m lumbering around then I make enough noise without alarms helping folks.” I smiled at her. “I’m following you.”
“I don’t know why. You are better at tactics.” She tugged on my arm and I lifted her up onto a ledge and clambered up it myself.
“Watch the branches!” one of the other group called. And, yup, like Sissy said, tree sliding weren’t the best route neither.
Hankings laughed at them then at me. “You are dumb.”
I yawned at him again and turned back to Sissy who was glaring up at him.
“I met kids in kindergarten better at insults.” I winked at her and followed her over crevices as Hankings, even though he was muttering, followed.
“Now we just have to get down this smaller slope but there’s a clear line of sight that way from the hut.” Sissy crouched down. “We’ll need to climb down the rocks.”
“I say that’s safer, I got a weird feeling about that ledge.” It looked like you should be able to climb down it but my freaky side was shuddering.
A breeze hit me just to make sure.
“I just want to get to the hut. You’re too slow and dumb to get we don’t want to enjoy the scenery, Lorelei.” Hankings shook his head, strode ahead then his foot hit the edge—
I scrambled forward and dived for his foot as he toppled head first. His weight dragged me forward and I slid over the edge with him… and managed to stop dangling head first by my curled toes in my boots.
Hankings looked dangled around in mid air. “Don’t drop me.”
“Swing him toward the tree on the right,” Sissy called down. “I’m putting a rope around your waist.”
“Just use my ankle,” I called back. “Ledge is too weak.”
“How is she going to help?” he shot up at me. “Just pull me up.”
“I’m strong but you weigh a whole lot in that stuff, I way more, an’ my toes didn’t do push-ups.” Although they were strong enough for toes.
“Ropes attaching,” Sissy called and I felt a rope on each ankle. “I have tied it around a rock.”
“Great job,” I called back and looked down at Hankings as my head fuzzed with hanging upside down. “I’m gonna swing you to the tree.”
“I’ll fall.” He wiggled about. “Pull me up.”
“I can’t pull you up.” I swung him at the trees.
He grunted and yelped and waved his hands about. “Stop!”
“Grab the tree.” I swung him again. “You need to grab the tree.”
He waved his hands then flailed out toward the branches.
I sighed feeling my toes slipping. I weren’t sure how much the ropes would help as Sissy was holding them one side.
“Try again.” I swung him again and he grasped a large branch and dropped onto it.
I felt the ropes pull and then I got hoisted up. My butt slid onto solid ground and I looked around expecting Fitzpatrick but Sissy was there puffing.
“You been on the assault course way too much,” I said and grinned at her.
She let go of the rope and hugged me then yanked me up.
I took the rope and dangled it over the edge. “Put this around your waist.”
Hankings glared up but did so.
“Use the knot Frei showed us,” Sissy said, then sighed and got the second rope, made a loop big enough for Hankings waist and knotted it. She fed that down. “Try that.”
He slid that one on too.
“You take my rope and I’ll take yours and do the pulling. You make sure to keep his direction straight.” I nodded to her. “He might wiggle.”
She nodded and we heaved together. Hankings grabbed the top of the ledge and Sissy hauled him onto it.
I let him pant there and picked up the ropes. “So, we head around like you said.” I smiled at Sissy and motioned to the direction she’d wanted to head in.
“Yes,” she said glancing at Hankings. “The rocks are a safer route and block the sight to the hut.”
I nodded as Hankings got to his feet and shuddered at the ledge.
“Guess Ivy League needed the kid from the trailer to rescue him, huh?” I said and patted her on the shoulder. “That was kinda a Renee move.”
She smiled up at me. “I got it from one of the reports on her rescues.” She held her hands up. “It helps to be a fan.”
I chuckled as we headed to the rocks. Renee would roll her eyes at us, I was sure but… well… it felt like she was there helping somehow.