Part 55: Interview 27 BonusBarracks 27 - The View From On High
The fighter jet screams across the sky, and though it is lost in the air, the two girls inside give shrieks of delight as it wheels and twists through the air like a swallow, before finally gliding back down to the air hangar outside of the HQ. Peregrine hops out first, whooping as she does, then turns around to proffer her hand, allowing Andromeda to get out. Her cheeks are red, but she’s smiling.
“Well! Let’s get over to Rose’s office, then.” Peregrine says. “I have a feeling we’re late…”
Sure enough, the first thing Rose says when the pair bumble into her office several minutes later is “You’re late.”
“Heh, sorry. You know what I’m like.” Peregrine replies.
“She’s a bit shit with time kept, uh, timekeeping.” Andromeda says. Rose raises her eyebrows at this use of a swear word, but says nothing. Instead, she gestures to the tea set on the table in front of them.
“Well, you’re here now. Shall we?”
“Don’t need to tell me twice!” Peregrine says, pouring herself a mug of tea and sipping it, smacking her lips appreciatively every so often. Andromeda and Rose are more dainty with their cups, sipping it gently and placing it on the tea tray to cool for a bit. Rose pours some more milk into her cup.
“So, Andromeda… I take it you’ve been enjoying yourself with Peregrine?”
“I have, yes.” Andromeda replies, smiling. Her words come more easily than they have in the past, and she seems more confident as she eyes Rose. “You, yes, knew this would happen?”
“Somewhat.” Rose replies. “I… had a similar friend back in Orange Star. She helped me out when I was struggling to deal with people. So I thought you might need the same kind of push.”
“She’s certainly got more friends now! Everyone keeps wanting her to hang out. Dare I say it, couple of the lads might be intending to get their legs over, too!”
“Not at the tea party, Peregrine…” sighs Andromeda. “They can test, um, try, all they like. I’m not that kind of girl.”
“Hah!” laughs Peregrine. “Still a prude, eh? That’s fair. I respect it.”
The afternoon passes more quickly than expected, and soon, Andromeda has to excuse herself to perform some chores around the barracks. Rose immediately fixes Peregrine with an interested glare once the door closes, and Peregrine looks right back at her with a lazy grin.
“Yeah?” she asks.
“I’m curious. That first flight seemed to… help her, somehow. What did you say to her, up in the sky, all those weeks ago?”
“I didn’t do anything.” Peregrine replies, shrugging. “I told her to look down, and she saw the same thing I did, when I first became a pilot.”
Rose remains silent, a curt nod prompting Peregrine to continue.
“The world from up there looks small. And so do the people. When you’re up there, you suddenly realise how small the opinions of people are. You stop giving a shit. There’s more important things to focus on than the opinions of people - the country is spread wide open, and suddenly you can see how big it is… and how important it is to defend it.”
“How poetic.” Rose muses. “So that’s what you showed her.”
“That’s all she needed. She’s really come out of her shell though, wouldn’t you say?”
“Almost too much.” Rose replies. “I’ve noticed that she’s adopted some of your more colourful language.”
“Ah, well…” Peregrine says, giving Rose a sheepish grin.
“Thank you, Peregrine. I appreciate what you’ve done for her.”
“Hey, it was my pleasure, boss.” Peregrine says. “She’s an interesting gal who’s had an interesting life. I’m glad to be her friend!”
“Good. Well… there’s still some tea left. Shall we?”
“Oh, go for it. I’ve got nowhere to be today. Let’s take it easy for once.” Peregrine replies. With a gentle smile, Rose begins pouring the tea.