After breakfast I asked them in the small training room. On the whiteboard I outlined the fighting situation of the firefight at the sports field.
“Thort, you reacted well and kept the runners at a distance, so I was able to fight the runners that Amelie and me tried to encircle. Amelie, I still wonder how you get it that you’re loading this weapon,” he said.
I lifted my Klaucke
"and forgets to turn over the safety lever. That you get nervous, when you get into a fight I can still understand but that you are not able to find out why the weapon does not work that is already sad. These weapons are designed so simple that anyone should be able to operate them."
I tried to stay calm Amelie kept her gaze lowered.
“How many times, Amelie, I have shown you this even, not five times, dozens of times. It’s one movement, loading, locking lever down and firing.”
I realized that I was talking in rage.
“But I didn’t see it,” she told me, “The gun was just blocked.”
“Because the damn safety lever was not overturned. In doing so, you have put us both in a situation that could have been fatal for us. You’ve even been knocked over by the runner. What’s new to me is that they have a kind of Taser function that knocks out an opponent to the ground and knocks one out of action so that the other opponents can come back and fight one down. I suddenly had to fight four runners, one of which was so close that I couldn’t shoot him immediately without hurting you.” Said I addressed to Amelie.
“I just stopped him from shooting you straight by kicking him. I can’t take care of each of you when we’re in battle. I must be able to rely on you to at least be able to defend yourself. Amelie, the safe handling of your weapon is your life insurance, if you had fired, it wouldn’t have happened that the runners would have encircled us. They behave like wolves, they set you up, they circle you and then they kill you. They’re not waiting for you to find your safety lever on the weapon. They kill you immediately."
I had raised my voice, but I avoided yelling at her. She looked down at the ground and avoided looking me in the eye. Thort stared in front of him.
" And then the retreat. Amelie, you were an absolute total failure when I say down! then it’s down, immediately and on the spot.
"But there was the big puddle of water." She contradicted me again.
I hit the table with my flat hand, both shrugging.
"Damn again, if I hadn’t ripped you to the ground you would now be pierced like a Swiss cheese lying out there.
When a Hunter appears, the question is not whether two steps further is a dry spot. Then it’s called DOWN! even if there’s a mud hole or a big bunch of shit in which you throw yourself in. That’s better than being pierced seconds later.
"And then something, if you already have a gun in your hand, then you use it and shoot it and best of all at this Hunter, because that at least gets him out of the concept."
Her face ran red her hands clenched to fists and tears ran down her cheeks. But she wasn’t sobbing. Thort stared petrified at himself.
“Yesterday we put a pile of ammunition for nothing, for really nothing.” People, we’re going to have to practice that. The next time we go out there, I want to be sure that each of you can use your weapon 100 percent and 100 percent will be able to fight down an opponent."
I was in a rage, but I still avoided roaring. Then Amelie suddenly looked at me. Her gaze was desperate.
“I don’t want any more, you constantly scold me, we are constantly in deadly danger and only make it so strait into the bunker.” I don’t want any more!" she shouted at me.
She hit her fists on her thighs. I took a deep breath and then said in a very calm tone
“OK, well, then I don’t need to keep talking my mouth and get upset about your inability, then you just stay here. I am not going to take anyone who is not 100 per cent capable of defending themselves. I think that’s it for today.”
I turned around taking the Klaucke from the teacher’s desk and going to the exit. I heard Thort go on Amelie
"You stupid goat, you had to again contradict him, he rips his ass open and the only thing you do is nothing but stupid chatter. Just shut your trap and listen to what he tells you and do it!"
I heard her clamouring, but I wasn’t interested in that anymore I had my nose full to repeat several all things and to realize that was going in on her right side wents out on her left
I went to the bedroom to get my luggage. I had to distract myself with something and so I decided to clean my weapons. I took all the weapons and my cleaning kit, then I sat down at a table in the common room and lit a cigarette.
Should they slap their heads in one another, I was just fed up with going on some mission and suddenly being in deadly danger. I alone was able to assess my risk and withdraw if it became too brittle.
Slowly the thought came to me to pack my things and move on alone. So maybe I had a chance rather than with the two. I could send them help if I encountered military or other aid workers. And if I can’t do it, at least they were safe. On the other hand, did they have a chance on their own? Was it right Thort who made the most of his best to let sit him here with her? Wasn’t that somehow unfair? Amelie wouldn’t make it to the next crossroads on her own. I didn’t give her a chance on my own.
Thort appeared in the room. He had two cans of beer in his hand and put one in my hand.
"Come on, drink one," he said, and sat down.
"The stupid goat sits on the toilette howling. That is what she can do the best she is a real Crybaby. Howling because of every shit, especially when things get tight. I’ve known her for a long time, she was like that as a child. Always had to go after her nose, and woe that wasn’t the case. Warped brat of rich parents.”
"Your girlfriend?" I asked. "Nooo, the parents were always on holiday with us, my parents have a boarding house, they were always on vacation. Always played with her as a child. Yes and later I took her with me. Into the disco in Östervik you know."
I nodded that I understood him, but gave no answer.
"Would you really want to go out alone now, without us?"
That this question would come I had already thought, the way he had started on her, he was afraid to get stuck with her here. I didn’t want to go on the subject anymore and said
“Thort, I don’t want to talk about it anymore, can we leave it for today?”
Thort lowered his gaze and looked on the table. I dedicated myself to my weapons and remained silent. Thort smoked his cigarette at the end then he got up and left. A short time later, Amelie and Thort returned. They both had their weapons and a few cans of beer in their arms that they put on the table, then they sat down with me. Amelie sat at the table with her head lowered. She tried to disassemble her Klaucke.
She struggled to find the sledge barrier and squeeze it out. But she obviously didn’t dare ask me. Then, after a few attempts, she had loosened the sled and then, pfffiooing, the sled spring flew through the room. She hadn’t been careful when building apart and hadn’t loosened the tensioned spring carefully enough.
I wordlessly pushed her flashlight over and said
"Go and look for her we have not a replacement."
I didn’t want to discuss it anymore. Without rebuttals, she stood up with her head lowered and crawled around on the floor to look for the feather. I didn’t pay attention to her. After some searching, she returned to the table and put the flashlight back on me. She leaned on my shoulder with one hand as she bent over me to put the lamp back on me.
She was cleaning on the gun until I couldn’t watch it anymore.
“It’s not enough if you brush the brunne off the gun, you have to clean it inside where the powder residues are.”
She shrugged and looked at me in horror. I looked at her, because I had practiced cleaning often enough with the two of them. I took my Klaucke and slowly dismantled it for my terms, but this was still a lot faster than she had done. I showed her the places that needed to be cleaned. Instructed them to drizzle oil on it again, let it work and then clean it with a Lapp twisted together.
She followed it up and was a little more skillful. Then I advised her to rub the gun with some oil so she wouldn’t rust. I worked silently until the late afternoon, because I had said what To say. Every now and then Thort and Amelie looked over at me stealthily.
“I’m going to do something to eat,” she finally beeped and moved into the canteen. After some time she came back and said
"Come you eat."
I put my weapons aside and walked over into the canteen. Amelie made me a plate full. Mostly it was some stew. We took everything there was in the cans. I ate in silence. Amelie sat opposite me and looked at me waiting. I didn’t pay attention to them. Thort tried a conversation, but I didn’t get into it. It was a strangely tense atmosphere. They watched me.
After the meal I got up, I didn’t want to be in the company of the two, I wanted to be alone with my thoughts. Eventually I took the G3 and my Klaucke. I went to the outside door of the bunker I needed fresh air. Before I opened the door I pulled the gun. Loading and securing was a movement for me. It was slowly getting dark. The air smelled salty, because the sea was not far away. I didn’t see an enemy. I leaned on the door so I could quickly get back into the bunker in case any robots showed up. I lit a cigarette and covered the embers with my hand. I looked around constantly and didn’t hear any suspicious noises.
I had to go to the collection point at the sports field to find out where the survivors were evacuated. I definitely wanted to follow her trail. After some time I went back into the bunker and closed the door carefully. I brought my weapons into the bedroom, took my bath toe and washed me.
The two were still sitting in the common room. I sat down there to smoke another cigarette. Because we had agreed that we would not smoke in the bedroom. I sat down in a couch. And turned me away from the two. From the corners of my eyes I could see that Amelie kept looking over at me. I lit a cigarette leaning back on the couch and stared facelessly at the opposite wall. I looked after the billowing cigarette smoke.
Thoughts about my next course of action kept circling in my head. What was I to do? Should I actually go on alone, or should I try again with the two. I felt like they were eagerly awaiting a reaction from me. Should they simmer calmly especially Amelie.
When my cigarette was over, I got up and left.
"Good night," I said softly as I left the room.
Shortly thereafter, they followed me. I hadn’t finished my bed yet. As I covered myself in my bed, I saw Amelie sitting on her seat. She looked over at me again anxiously and stealthily. In the half-dark she couldn’t see that I was still awake.