Okay, so here’s part 10 of the “New Bits” exercise. I probably won’t post any more of this one, as it may turn into an actual project, but we’ll see. If you’d like to go back to see previous segments, click HERE.
I may put out a few more pieces of my original writing exercise, “Creative Trifle,” so watch for those. Otherwise, I will start a new exercise in “writing to write,” without worrying about editing so much as I go through it.
Till then, enjoy part 10!
“Way to handle the ‘hops, Jimmy.”
The buzz saw in my brain spun up a little higher to drown out the unwelcome sensory input.
I thought about telling her to go fuck herself, but the effort it took to generate such a witty comeback only ran my brain through the lumber mill faster. I think I vomited again. Bile.
“Gross. You big baby. Get your feet under you.”
I rolled onto my back; thankfully, fate—or someone with a sense of decency—had put me on my side so I didn’t choke to death.
Of course, they’d left me on the floor in the first place, so there’s that.
“-ckyu” I managed to whisper without adding to my distress.
“That’s my boy,” Jules said, a friendly lilt to her voice. I thought for a moment—just a moment, mind you—that she really did care.
“Time to go back to work,” she said, thumping me on the chest with her palm like she was getting me up for school.
I immediately went fetal, rolled to my side facing away from her, and failed to expel anything more from my stomach.
Though I tried my damnedest.
“Fuck me…” I managed to say, gasping for the breath my heaving chest wouldn’t bring in. “What the hell was that?”
I felt her stand up and loom over my stricken form. “That was a Recon hop. A series of quick jumps and re-jumps lasting just long enough for ATHENA to grab an accurate, on-site, status instead of relying on the math.”
I tried to force her words to make sense, but my brain was Swiss cheese: more holes than not. At least I didn’t puke again.
Finally getting a good breath in me, I took a couple more, rolled slowly onto my back, and decided I could risk opening my eyes.
“Fuuuuuccckkkk…” I said, getting a glimpse of Egress. “How long was I out?”
“About thirty seconds. It would have been worse without the booze, believe me.”
“Care to explain that?” My voice was almost back to normal, despite the fact I felt like I’d swallowed a cup of dry sand.
“You really want a chemistry lesson, right now?”
Soft footfalls to my right, and I caught a glimpse of Brie squatting down, a hypo-gun in here hand.
“Don’t move,” she said. “Not that you really could, right now.” She pressed the tip of the gun into my right shoulder. The pneumatic pfft was accompanied by a near instantaneous pinprick.
“Ow,” I said, nonplussed. “What was that for?”
Brie stood up and walked away, back toward the control console. “TD-Fault cocktail,” she said over her shoulder. “You should be fine in a minute.”
A warm sensation quickly spread throughout my body from the injection site. The throbbing in my head lessened, but didn’t dissipate altogether. I was able to turn my head toward Jules and extend a hand.
“A little help?” I asked.
“Pass, sunshine. You’re on your own.” She pointed at my shirt, which is when I felt—and smelled—it: the vomit on my face, shirt, and hands. Cocktail or not, I almost added to it right then.
I struggled to my feet to get away from the mess on the floor. When did I eat spaghetti?
Jules pointed toward the exit. “You have twenty minutes to clean up and meet me in the squad room. Move.”
I started to go past her toward the doors when she said, “Wait. I’m not walking behind you to breathe that shit in. I’m going first.” Her legs had her out the door before I could react, but as I passed through the door and turned toward the locker room, I heard her voice over the loudspeaker.
“Nineteen minutes, numb nuts.”