CutFreeze – Chapter 1 and 2
“Terraria,” Chloé muttered, unable to stop another of her snorts. They just seemed to flow out of her. Not that she seemed concerned about upsetting anyone – especially Canea – but she should at least keep the snorting under control. “As if.”
Canea chose to ignore her. Both women crossed the underground parking lot, walking by dozens of identical black Mondae Cars. They were long and sleek, elegant in design, and faster than any other vehicle around. That was why only the Squadron had access to them. The Mondae Dealerships had no permission to sell them to anyone else. Nonetheless, Canea had spotted a few of them in obscure neighborhoods. Even Maihem used to drive one.
She shook her head. Not him. Don’t think of him. You froze him out. The freezing procedure should have done the trick.
She remembered Doctor Phabianc’s words, though. My pick may have frozen him out of you but you still need to do the work in recovery.
“What did you just shake your head for?” Chloé asked with a slight tone of mockery.
There was that irritating snort again. Couldn’t the woman conduct a single conversation without those snorts? Canea gave her an annoyed look and met her partner’s amused gaze. There was so much she wanted to say to her, but she decided to keep her mouth shut. What was the point? Chloé wasn’t the first woman to treat her as if she had done her a personal insult and she would probably not be the last one. She just wished it would stop, though.
Canea didn’t have many female friends. Most women disliked her on sight. Some had downright bullied and slandered her for no real reason. Thinking about it, it was a miracle she had made it to S-A Junior rank in the squadron with all the damage some of the slander had caused.
It was all the more reason to reach higher.
When they arrived at the end of the line, Canea stopped and turned to Chloé who held the ignition pad in her hands – she had insisted on carrying it.
“That’s the one?” Chloé asked.
The series number was printed on the side, 45927. Chloé made a big deal of verifying the series number on her ignition pad and then she clicked the button. All four car doors opened upwards.
“The yellow button opens the first two doors,” Canea reminded her.
“Don’t tell me how to use this thing,” Chloé snapped and took her place in the driver’s seat, pulling the door down hard. With a sigh, Canea closed the back seat doors and then she sat down in the passenger’s seat. She wasn’t looking forward to this ride. Even though a Mondae car cut the traveling time to Terraria in half, those fifteen minutes sitting next to Chloé still seemed like an endless drag.
The car zoomed noiselessly out of the parking lot and rose in the air.
“We’re not supposed to fly unless it’s an emergency,” Canea reprimanded her.
“This is an emergency. We’re going to Terraria. We have to be quick. Thieves and murderers live there. I don’t want to spend any more time in that dump than I have to.”
“You’re an S-A Junior of Dacaria’s Squadron. It is our job to deal with thieves and murderers.”
“Are you trying to put me in my place?”
“I’m just saying that …”
“Don’t forget who you are, Canea Delu. Don’t forget who you’re talking to. You do NOT put ME in my place.”
“I wasn’t …”
Chloé turned on the radio at the highest volume and loud electronic music mixed with heavy guitar sounds silenced her words. Canea was seething with rage, she felt like punching the woman and hitting that smug grin off her face, but she sat in silence, knowing that she would get in big trouble if she did that. Chloé Zettanu wasn’t only a High Dacarian, she was also General Zettanu’s daughter. That meant that she had special treatment and any physical assault on her would be punished harder than usual. Canea reminded herself that Chloé wasn’t worth suffering a sentence for. No one could discipline her, though, for entertaining the thought of striking her.