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Chapter 4

Once Calix and I are back in our room, I immediately pull out my phone and go into my favorites to call my mom.

“Hello, Honey,” she says.

“Hey Mom,” I reply.

“How’s it going?”

“Fine. Just fine. I had to go into the field early this morning. Calix saved my ass again, and we both kicked some alien ass. Akira’s in the infirmary... Cade said some really horrible things at breakfast and I yelled at him... Um... How’s Dad?”

“He’s pretty good. He says he misses you, especially when you used to hang out after school.”

“Tell him I miss him too.” I say, a slightly sad tone coating my normally sarcastic voice.

“I know the fight is important to you, but how are YOU? Physically and mentally?” She asks. Just like Mom to be worried my wellbeing over the wellbeing of the FREAKING WORLD.

“Um... physically, fine. A little tense, and often strained from all the working out (which I don’t understand, it’s not like we’re actually fighting with our bodies we fight with GIANT FREAKING ROBOTS!). Mentally: terrified, stressed, worried, paranoid, determined, and a lot of other adjectives.” Leaving out some crucial details about constant beatings and a lot of time in the infirmary, especially early on from all the mishaps when getting used to the controls of the Gungrams. Then I realized how much like a videogame it really is.

“Okay. Just remember to be careful. And, no matter how much you want to, you cannot insult General Dubois.”

“I know. I know and I won’t. The only reason I yelled at Cade today was because he was being so sensitive and clearly cared so much about everyone’s feelings.

I hear her laugh.

Damn, I miss my parents.

“How is Calix’s family?” I ask, making brief eye contact with him.

“They miss him, but they’re doing pretty well,” she replies, obviously knowing I’m going to relay the info to Calix after the call ends.

“Okay, well, I have work to get back to. Talk to you later Honey.”

“Bye Mom.” She hangs up.

“They’re doing well. But they miss you.” I say, leaning against the wall.

“Mine or yours?” He asks.


He goes back to his book.

Suddenly, and completely unexpectedly, General Asshole bursts into the room (well, not burst in the way you’d imagine, he just throws the door open and walks in).

“All right. We have an emergency in Haven’s area. And, as you know, the older one is in the infirmary. Since the two of you are warmed up already, you’ll be piloting units 5 and 6,” he announces like there’s no way it’s subject to change (which it probably isn’t).

‘WHAT THE HELL! WHY DO WE HAVE TO GO?! Why don’t you get Cade and Moya? Cade said how bored he is at breakfast! WHY DON’T YOU GET ELIHU AND DIVA, WHO HAVEN’T BEEN AWAKE SINCE THREE A.M!’

Which is what I would say if I wanted to be fired.

Which I don’t.

Seriously, I’m not kidding, I don’t want to be fired.

Quit it!

Anyway, now’s one of the times I REALLY want to kick him in the sweet spot. I wouldn’t, but I want to.

“Excuse me Sir, but how would we pilot Akira and River’s Gungrams?” Calix steps up.

“The same way you pilot your own damn robots.”

This is gonna be simply peachy.

I can already hear Asshole Jr at lunch.

‘You got two in one day! That’s not fair! That’s not fair!!’

And I’ll be laughing so hard on the inside.

Because I don’t want to be fired.

I really don’t.

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