Monday, 24 December 2012

Chapter twenty six


Connor pulled up a chair next to Duncan and Adam. Duncan was sitting back in his chair, looking a little awkward whilst Adam sat there staring into space.

“Is he okay?” He asked Duncan.

“He’s good,” Duncan said, his voice low. “He’s just adjusting. Mind you, I almost got a bullocking from Kelly when she found out he was roaming around on his own.”

“Where were you?”

Duncan shifted in his seat uncomfortably. “Nowhere really, just… you know… helping out and stuff.”

Connor looked around the room. There were a lot of crying people, a lot of hugs and support. It all seemed a little awkward though, which, after he thought about it, did make sense given that they were all just a bunch of strangers thrown into one place. The only link that held everyone together was that they were all picked individually for survival. It was a bizarre feeling to have, to simultaneously mourn everyone and everything you knew whilst also feeling the overwhelming relief that you had survived it.

“Where’s Christiana?” Duncan asked.

Connor nodded his head towards the bubble. “She’s made herself a picnic. I tried to talk her out of it but she’s adamant that she wants to watch the whole thing.”

“Does she think it’s some kind of show?” Duncan asked.

Connor gave him a look. “What do you think?” He said. “This happens to be one of the most empathetic people I have ever met. She’s torturing herself.”

Connor felt his stomach twist as he said the words. He wished he could just drag her out of there, but she was having none of it. She was of the opinion that as long as there were people out there suffering then she would suffer too.

And bizarrely enough, now that most of the fire had seemed to have abated, there seemed to be a lot more people still out there surviving. It was clear that they were all suffering horrifically but they still seemed to be running for safety, presumably because their initial refuge had eventually given up. Connor could only stand to watch it for a moment. Not when he couldn’t do anything about it. Kelly had said that they weren’t to use Stylo 1 unless it was completely necessary and they didn’t appear to be in any immediate danger, as such, all there was left to do in the bubble was to watch others die, this seemed fine for Christie but not for him.

“You would think that she had worked with enough Post Traumatic Stress Disordered patients to know that sitting in there isn’t doing her any good.” Duncan said.

“You know Christie,” Connor said. “Ever the martyr.”

“What’s in there?” Adam asked.

Connor looked round in shock at his voice.

“Oh hey man!” Duncan said. “Welcome back, you doing okay?”

“You can be a real prick sometimes Duncan,” Adam spat back. “What’s in that room?”

“It’s sort of like our observation deck,” Duncan said with a wink. “It lets us see what’s going on out there.”

“You can see outside?” Adam asked. “Aren’t you worried people are going to try and break in?”

“We can see them, but they can’t see us. It would be pretty reckless of us not to have a way of seeing what was going on now wouldn’t it?”

Adam looked at Duncan for a moment, his head cocked to one side.

“Duncan, are you actually affected by any of this?” He asked.

Duncan shrugged and gave him a grin. “Shit happens.” He said. “What’s the point of stressing over it? I deal.”

“Emotions are for girls apparently,” Connor said with a small smile.

“Too right. I mean, if there was something to be done then I’m there, I’ll fix it. But if not? Why worry? Life is too short my man, just ask any of those people out there.”

“I can’t decide whether to be inspired or offended by that comment.”

Connor looked to see Daniela sit down at the table opposite them. Her face was pale and her eyes looked blood shot but she wore a determined look on her face that seemed ready to attack anyone who might ask her if she’s okay.

Duncan grinned at Daniela. “Hey Daniela, sleep well?”

“Piss off.” Daniela said and turned to Connor. “How’s Christiana doing after last night?”

“She’s drinking wine in the bubble.” Connor said.

“She deals in a very special way,” Duncan added.

“Are we dropping the Nathan pretence now then?” Adam asked.

“I’m surprised you remember,” Duncan said. “And yes, we are. She had the joy of watching me save her arse last night… after she threw a few punches.”

“Oh right,” Adam said. “Of course, Duncan mentioned something about you helping last night.”

Daniela rolled her eyes and took a sip of her bottle of water.

“So what’s happening?” She asked.

“I’m going to go and check that bubble thing out.” Adam said, standing up.

“Do you want me to come with you?” Duncan asked.

“No.” Adam said. “I want to do it alone.”
Connor got up and pulled Adam to one side.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” Connor asked. “Because once you see what’s going on out there, you can’t unsee it.”

Adam shook his head. “It doesn’t seem real to me right now. I need to see it for myself.”

“Okay, just… keep an open mind okay?” Connor said. “A lot has happened since the last time you were out there.”

Adam nodded and Connor let him go, sitting back down again to see Duncan edging his way towards Daniela. Ah crap, he thought, if he starts pissing off the girls in this place, he’ll have nowhere to hide. And with that, he grabbed the chair in between Duncan and Daniela before Duncan could get to it and sat down.

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