Part 49: Interview 24 BonusBarracks 24 - The Right Friends
Andromeda enters the break room to make herself a cup of tea, but stops when she sees people. Iago is in there, preparing his coffee, and Rose, Dymek and Vanessa are sat around the table, enjoying the quiet of the room.
Iago gives Andromeda a curt nod and then goes back to his drink.
“I… hell… hello… Iago...” Andromeda murmurs as she walks up to the worktop. “I am… Andromeda… we have… us, fought together.”
“Yes. I am aware.” Iago says. He falls silent again.
Andromeda, looking for a mug to use, feels the room grow colder, but she knows that she must try her hardest to make friends, and tries again.
“What are… I, how do you… like your coffee?”
“Andromeda. I am in the same army as you, but I want nothing to do with people like you. Leave me to my drink.” Iago says.
“People like…?” Andromeda asks faintly, and Dymek immediately stands up. Rose almost does the same, her eyes burning with fury, but she stays in her seat; Vanessa watches her carefully.
“Say that again.” Dymek says. “Say it again, Iago!”
“I- I merely said what was on everybody’s lips!” Iago hisses. “She’s incapable of normal conversation.”
At this, Andromeda puts her mug down and goes for the door, trying to keep her emotions together for just long enough to get out of the room. Dymek, meanwhile, stomps towards Iago; Dymek is a hair taller than Iago and much more physically powerful, and Iago shrinks away. Dymek grabs his shirt furiously, shoving him against the worktop.
“Do you think you can just do whatever you want? Get away with saying things like that? I’ve had enough of your attitude!”
“That’s enough!” Rose says, standing. “Dymek, stand down.”
There’s silence for a moment.
At this, Dymek lets Iago go, and returns to his seat. Rose turns to Iago with a look of utter disgust on her features.
“I do not expect everyone in this army to get along, Iago. But I do expect a certain level of respect shown to all troops, and if it is not met, I will deliver punishments. You’re on scouting duties for a week; I have let you off lightly. Now get out of my sight.”
Iago gives a sigh of dissent, but argues no further. He takes his coffee and walks out. Rose also exits, and Vanessa watches her go, the cogs beginning to turn in her head.
She was angry. Angrier than Dymek, perhaps. But she… she didn’t make a scene. She handled it professionally.
Rose finds Andromeda in their shared bedroom a few minutes later. She enters quietly, and Andromeda, sat on her bed, stares at her dolefully. The red around her eyes hints that she was crying just moments before.
“Andromeda, I am truly sorry about what just happened. I thought you might like something to take your mind off it, so…”
Rose stands aside, and another girl enters the room - the windswept and excitable Peregrine.
“Hi there! It’s nice to properly meet ya - since Vanessa’s gone all moody recently, I’ve been without a flying buddy.”
“Flying buddy…” says Andromeda.
Peregrine nods. “I like to live life on the edge - fly fast and become one with the wind! Rose suggested I take you up into the sky sometime. Not one of those battle copters, either, I’m talking a full-on fighter jet. Sound fun?”
“I want to… become one, one with the wind…” Andromeda replies, nodding. “Is it… safe?”
“Normally, absolutely not.” Peregrine replies, grinning. “But if you’re with me, you’ve got nothing to worry about. I’m a pro, despite my age. So, shall we?”
Andromeda nods, and Rose is heartened to see the hint of a smile returning.
“That sounds… nice. Let’s, um, do it.”