[Narrative] Who:Gwendolyne Riley Guinevere Reilly What: A new apartment, a new job, and new arrangement Where: The diner → Her new place over the flower shop → The facility When: Nowish Warnings/Rating: Nope
Gwen felt empowered by her success at the egg hunt. She had attended a public function, albeit a strange one, and she hadn't been apprehended.
Said success had bolstered her during her first shift at the diner. At first, she'd been checking the door with unacceptable regularity, especially given her inexperience with taking orders or carrying plates, but her nervousness had lessened as the shift progressed. She'd found the center of gravity on all the diner plates, and she'd corrected the temperature of the heated water in the sink, to ensure appropriate bacteria removal. She had a moderate amount of trouble with the slang customers used to place their orders, but she found them willing to point at the placemat-menus, and she was greatly improved by the end of her first eight hours.
She was also super tired. A lifetime (nearly a year now) spent inside the facility hadn't prepared her for physical activity. Her feet hurt, and her thighs and calves burned, and she wanted to die (not literally) by the time she made it to her tiny studio above the flower shop.
But it was unexpectedly nice, flopping tiredly onto the bed that had come with the small and furnished space. She was going to have to practice being super frugal to afford it on what the diner paid, but it was hers. She'd never had anything that belonged to her, and she was euphoric when she fell asleep, her apron still on.
When she woke, it was late and dark. No lights were on, and the moonlight was illumination through the window. But it wasn't the light that woke her. It was the sensation of a presence in the room, and she didn't question that feeling. Without even opening her eyes, she ran for the door, but her attempts at freedom were insufficient.
A man grabbed her around the waist, and she felt a sharp pain in her thigh. She looked down, the room spinning in a way she knew indicated use of a fast-working toxin. Darkness followed.
She missed her next shift, but she returned to the diner the following evening claiming illness and picking up a closing shift. Her eyes were bloodshot, and she was pale, but she made it through the shift with few blunders and only a half-dozen glasses destroyed and subtracted from her pay for the day.
After her shift, she returned home. Her neck hurt. She knew she couldn't feel the chip that had been placed beneath the skin, but she kept trying to locate it with fingertips that could not locate the offensive electronic.
She was home, but home came at a price, and she set the alarm for her morning laboratory appointment with the League scientists. But, when weighing pros and cons, it was a small price to pay for relative freedom.