The skirmish outside was brief. There was distant yelling. A heavy pounding began above my head. It rattled the supplies on the desk and shook clouds of dust from the walls. Other shots crackled, farther away and scattered, but they receded to nothing. It appeared the rebels had won another small victory.
Perhaps my observations of the rebels were wrong. They seemed to be taking out more Guards than I had ever remembered. And winning fights. Perhaps I hadn’t even seen this “Rebellion” before. Was it in other districts too? It had most certainly spread to E3. So did Major Neil instruct me to go to F2 because it’s some sort of base?
My heart fluttered. A real rebellion, spreading across the Districts. It had always seemed uprisings were crushed instantly, the Guard always had the upper hand. Maybe that was just staged. Perhaps the fighting I had seen before was all a lie, just to keep us straight, to keep civilians from getting any ideas.
Maybe the Meeting was beatable.
Colonel Wilde came through the door, with an intellectual looking man following her.
“This is Staff Sargeant Quincy.” the Lieutenant boomed. “In this little camp, his hands are those of a deity. He’ll fix you up good and clean.”
Quincy adjusted his glasses and began fetching fanciful instruments from the desk, measuring up the cruelty of each one before accepting it with a smug nod, and placing it with the other chosen munitions. I’ve always hated doctors.
“While he fishes the lead out and sews you proper, I’m gonna need to know a bit about you.” she said.
Quincy plopped down next to me and began examining my various artificial gaps, peeling my blood-soaked shirt away from my shredded flesh.
“To start, what is your full name, and where are you from?”
“My name is William Gaynes, but I go by Will. I’ve lived in E3 my entire life.” I winced as Quincy prodded my shoulder investigatively.
The Colonel scribbled something on a small pad, ignoring my various grunts. After a brief silence, she spoke again, gazing down at her pad.
“So, if you’re a resident of E3, a legal resident, how did you end up here? Intentionally wounded, carting a high-tech, highly illegal sleevegun?”
Through gritted teeth, I began. “Well…”
“Hm!” Quincy jolted up with a wide-eyed, bewildered expression across his face. Before him was a tray with shrapnel spread across it, freshly retrieved from my shoulder. “How did you?…” he stuttered, dumbly.
“That’s from a Guard. They were trying to take me into custody after I had called…”
“I know it is, that’s the exact problem.” Quincy said, interrupting in a very doctorly manner. His head pivoted between the tray and my shoulder rapidly. “Why aren’t you dead? This is a combat-class assault rifle round. Fired only by the Meeting. A gun firing this has stopping power enough to take off a man’s arm, or to render it useless at least. Even through standard armour. And you’ve been hit twice.”
“I guess I’m just a lucky fella.” I shot coldly.
He ignored my dark tone. “Its like you’re… after this, I need to perform a few tests.”
“Stay focused Quincy, you get play time after hours, just fix him up.” Wilde spoke with authority. “Now answer Will, please.”
An outlandish siren was ringing in the far distance, and there was gunfire chiming in, distant and faint.
Quincy began sterilizing my shoulder, and I began telling my tale.