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Date Posted: Thursday, March 30, 12:11:04am
Author: sk
Subject: Re: Friday Challenge: March 17, 2006 (369 words)
In reply to: JayBee and Nell 's message, "Friday Challenge: March 17, 2006" on Friday, March 17, 08:48:55pm

I'm behind again, so I'm combining challenges. This is a little bit of green and a little bit about recuperation.

The light is so bright, but it's the wrong color. The last thing I remember it was red, blinking too slowly while I waited for the sequence to complete and the vault to open. Red, red, red -- like a clock ticking the seconds away, my heart starting to race as I hear Birkhoff track the pattern of incoming hostiles. I can't do anything while I'm waiting for a green light -- can't stop, can run, can't even move away from the front of the vault, right in line with the door to the lab so I'm the first thing they see when they burst through into the room, the first thing they shoot at, the first thing they hit.

The light is so bright, so I keep my eyes shut. I can't see where I am, but I know that it's Med Lab, know from the smell of blood and ammonia, know from the feel of the too-cold sheets, know from the squeak of the gurney as someone rolls me along the hallway. I keep my eyes shut, but I keep my ears open, and hear more than I want to, two other operatives lost and incomplete data from the vault I was supposed to sweep. The mission was a bust, they need someone to blame.

The light is so bright, but when Madeline speaks I look anyway. You don't want to seem like you're not paying attention, but being a good student isn't enough in Section. She and the doctor flip through the chart, talking about limited mobility and extended recuperation. I am not going to run again, not going to charge into a room following my team leader and my gun. I am not going to be retrained -- I am not worth the trouble.

The light is so bright, it hurts to keep looking, but I can't turn my head away from the side of my bed, watching the tech adjusting the intravenous bag hanging over my head. Watching the green liquid swirl through the fluid as it sinks to the bottom and the tube into my hand.

The light is so bright that I close my eyes, waiting for red to turn green.

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