It was about midday. Rachel decided being a Track-hoe was not for her as she pulled yet another weed. Amy was nearby, tugging stubborn carrots out of the ground. Sonya, keeper of the Track-hoes, pruned an orange tree.
"Can you go into the Deadheads and find the stream? We need some more bloody water for the peas." Amy said. She tossed Rachel a bucket, who obediently ran off towards the woods, eager to show Amy that she could be a Runner.
She knelt at the little stream. It was peaceful there. The water pleasantly trickled past. Beetle blades rustled softly in the dried leaves. The air was humid, but surprisingly cool. Rachel decided that if she ever had any down time, she'd come here to relax. Then she realized that the rustling was too loud to be a beetle blade. Looking up, she saw a girl with strawberry blonde hair, horrible, ropey green veins...Jackie. Sonya had described the Changing, and had mentioned that there was currently one girl, named Jackie, going through it. Jackie looked like a rabid animal, even foaming at the mouth, glaring down at her insanely.
"Uh-Jackie?" Rachel asked cautiously gripping the bucket handle more tightly. "That's your name, right? What are you doing outside the Homestead? Did Esther let you out?" Esther was Keeper of the Med-Jack. Lanie, Allison, Hillary, and Mandy were the other Med-jacks.
"I saw you. You're bad." Jackie said in a wild voice. "You're bad. Bad. Bad. Bad. Bad."
"No. I don't know what I did before, but-"
"SHUT UP!" Jackie screamed. She brandished a knife Rachel hadn't noticed before at her. "YOU DID THIS TO US!"
Rachel slowly backed away, when suddenly Jackie threw the knife at her.
"Woah! Jackie!" Rachel dived away to dodge it. "What are you doing?"
"YOU DID THIS!" Jackie pounced onto Rachel, pinning her, digging her fingernails into the Greenie's wrists. Jackie's teeth clacked horribly above Rachel's face, then found a home in Rachel's arms.
Rachel screamed and writhed, momentarily throwing Jackie off balance. Swinging the bucket at Jackie, there was a loud BONK! as it hit Jackie's knees. Rachel scrambled to her feet, throwing the bucket away, and sprinting off back to the Gardens.
"HELP!" She screamed. "HELP!" She stumbled into the clearing, falling forward as Jackie dove onto her from behind again.
"YOU DID IT!" Jackie screamed, each word probably ripping her throat apart. "YOU DID IT! YOU DID IT! YOU! DID! IT!"
"Jackie!" Amy stood above them, the other girls running towards them. Jackie looked up. "Stay back!" The Gladers stood, watching. A shovel was pointed at Jackie's head. "Jackie, calm down, or else I'll have to hit your head. and I don't want to hit your head with this bloody metal shovel, and I'm sure you don't want to be knocked out like that either."
"If you get me, you'll have the wrong girl! Get-her!" The mad girl shrieked.
"I'm going to count to three, Jackie. One!"
Jackie bared her teeth.
Rachel screamed as teeth dug into her shoulder again.
"Three!" There was a sickening CLANK! as metal hit head. Jackie flew off Rachel, then lay on the ground, not moving.
"Med-jacks!" Amelia turned to look for them. Esther and Mandy stepped forward. "Take her to the Slammer. Tie her up and patch her up there." She helped Rachel up.
"You okay?" She asked, dusting Rachel off. Rachel nodded, dazed. The girls stared at Rachel suspicious glares. "All of you, back to work." They all walked away, muttering. An alarm pierced the quiet, ominous noises of the Glade, making everyone jump.
"What's going on?!" Rachel shouted over the noise. Everyone started sprinting off towards the Box.
"It's the bloody newbie alarm!" Amy shouted back.
"Greenie, we've never had two new people in the same month, much less two days in a row! Come on!"