Thursday, August 11, 2011

Character Study: Aim, "To Ambrosia"

They would need water. Even if they traveled only at morning and dusk, the afternoon heat would still shrivel them up in two day’s time. Aim ignored the worried look Shy had when she watched her. That expression seemed to make a permanent resident of itself recently. It marred a perfect beauty. “Here.” Aim tossed a wide-brimmed hat at the girl. “Put it on and never take it off.” Aim put her weight into the crowbar and snapped open another one of the large crates in her room. They’d leave in the morning. It would give them a good ten hours before anyone became suspicious of their absence. Shy held the hat, continuing to watch Aim with that same, stupid look of concern. Aim gritted her teeth and snatched the hat back from her. “Put it on, idiot.” She rammed it onto Shy’s head, perhaps a bit too harshly. “Make yourself useful. Fill the canteens.” Shy nodded, carefully picking up the sacks and slipping silently down the flight of stairs.

They would need water, Aim thought again. More water than they could carry and more water than they had containers for. Even if they could carry all the canteens, it would only last the two of them for three days, tops. Miahara was at least twelve days away.

She swallowed dryly, standing up straight for the first time since she began riffling through her supplies. Her back hurt, and her neck even more when she craned it back to curse god.

This was a suicide mission.

Eyes closed.

She’d known it was a suicide mission since the moment she told Shy they’d do it. This was a suicide mission that Shy would gladly give her life for. And Aim?-

Her breath was warm on her lips.

-Well. It would have to be.

The crowbar wheedled its way into the crate, and with an almost angry shove, it cracked open. Sand billowed as Aim kicked the top off, and she choked on it when she’d instinctively gasped.

Sitting carefully wrapped in protective plastic was the last thing Aim had expected.

The Key.

“Huh,” Aim said.

A grin slowly twisted its way across her lips. The hovercraft could carry the water. And reaching Miahara would still be seven days away, but Aim knew of someplace else she could make in three. Someplace they could stop to refill the canteens and then maybe, just maybe they could make it.


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