It was a gray and stormy day, the type of weather that makes everyone depressed and annoyed with the world. However, it seemed like Shep was blind to the dreary atmosphere, since he had a bright smile on his face as he spun a sword in his hand. To the right of him, holding up her hands to defend herself, was Eve. She seemed to be amused though with a small smile on her face.
"Shep, stop messing around and put the sword down. Griffin will kill you if he sees you playing with that sword." Slyvien ordered. Shep put the sword down with a dramatic groan, "You're lucky you were even allowed on this trip, Lou was pissed when she found out you disobeyed her orders."
Shep shrugged, "Worth it to see Melvin!"
Ash was listening to the conversation the warriors were having with slight amusement. She scanned her eyes at the warriors. Percy was by himself, as usual. He was more introverted than the rest. Slyvien was packing his bows in his quiver, Eve was cleaning her whip, and Shep was… Shep was doing whatever Shep normally does.
"It's good they are leaving the camp for a bit." Ash heard a voice behind her. She turned her head slightly to look at Quint, who had his hands in his pockets. She smiled slightly.
"Yeah, so we don't have to deal with them being super annoying." Ash joked, to which Quint laughed.
"I heard that." Slyvien called over to Ash, glaring at her. Ash stuck out her tongue right back at him.
It was days like these Ash enjoyed the most. The ones where jobs were small and she could interact with the camp just as if they were family. They were family, although some people wouldn't admit that.
"We should get going soon," Percy spoke, his voice stale and cold.
Slyvien nodded, "Just waiting for lunch to get here."
"I bet you a week's worth of chores that Beth got distracted talking with Griffin again," Ash spoke up. Shep and Eve chuckled slightly, yet Slyvien was still not amused. Before he could open his mouth, though, Beth was seen jogging lightly over to the group of warriors. Behind her, the teens of the camp were walking in small groups, going over to the gate where they would say goodbye to the warriors.
It was a tradition that the camp always did, just to raise the spirits, and to make sure everyone had a chance to say goodbye in case something bad happened in the Maze.
Normally, everyone would be required to say goodbye. Today, there was one person missing, and Ash already knew why he couldn't come.
"Right on time, as usual." Slyvien said to Beth, who smiled lightly and nodded.
"Hey, who touched my sword?" Griffin yelled. Shep glanced away as Eve held in her laugh.
"Shep did it." Percy spoke up.
Griffin glared at Shep, who crossed his arms, "Snitch." he murmured under his breath.
"Alright boys, don't get angry at each other before we leave." Eve stated simply. Slyvien tied a bag together, flinging it around his shoulder to carry it along with his bow and arrows.
Lou walked forward, to which all of the warriors stood up straighter. It was a sign of respect.
"This mission is supposed to be a simple report mission. Eve, you have the notebook I gave you, correct?" Lou asked. Eve nodded as she pulled out a brown leather notebook with twine wrapped around it.
"Why does Eve get the notebook?" Shep asked, tilting his head.
"Cause her handwriting is better than the rest of you." Slyvien answered, to which Shep nodded in agreement.
"I want you, Eve, to write down the path you guys take today." Lou spoke, "That'll be your main job in the Maze. Everyone else, make sure you don't get lost. If you have to spend the night, at least one person should stay awake to keep watch. You all know the drill by now, so I wish you guys luck."
"We don't need luck, we've got each other." Shep stated. Ash wanted to gag at how cheesy the line sounded.
"This isn't an inspirational speech, Shep." Percy stated.
Lou cleared her throat before the boys could start fighting, "That's all. Please try to keep eachother safe…" Lou added, before walking to the gate.
Some of the camp members ran over to the warriors to say goodbye. Ash watchedShep as he talked with Pink and Aidan, smiling slightly as he picked up a bag of supplies. Percy went to walk along with Lou, to help her open the gate, while Griffin watched Percy closely with a hint of jealousy in his face. Eve was hugging Zara and Beth, promising to come back to the camp with small tears in her eyes.
Out of the corner of her eye, Ash saw long brown hair sneaking away from the group. She turned her head to watch as Corine went farther away from the group. She couldn't help but have her eyes narrow slightly. She looked around to see if anyone else noticed Corine walking away, but it was only her.
Ash had a gut feeling that something wasn't right.
Walking down the sleeping quarters hall without hearing crickets chirping or snoring was a surreal experience for Corine. It's not like she wasn't allowed into the sleeping quarters, but it was eerily quiet, even for her.
She held a plate of food as she continued to walk, past her own room and to the end of the hall, before she knocked on the door and opened it a tiny bit.
Diana was sitting on the edge of her bed, clicking her tongue when she turned her head to see Corine.
"Hey Diana, I brought food again!" Corine opened the door wider, then when she stepped in, she closed the door behind her. Diana narrowed her emerald green eyes and tilted her head as Corine sat on the bed across from her.
"I told you to call me Jackie." She spoke. Corine forgot about their last talk, and she felt guilty for not remembering.
"Sorry, right, Jackie." Corine sighed as she handed the food to Jackie. Jackie looked at the food, taking the plate and placing it right beside her. She then turned her head back to the window, clicking again once more.
Corine took out her book that was hidden underneath the mattress, laying down against the bed as she read, listening to Jackie continue to click her tongue.
Corine felt safe in this space, even though the camp told her Diana… Jackie was dangerous. She didn't even say much, and Corine liked quiet. The word "friend" for Corine was not one she used often. Yet, Corine would say, with one hundred percent certainty, that Jackie was her friend.
Been a while since a chapter, but I hope you enjoy it!