Again with Potentially Unlikable Characters

Author’s Note: I was going to post more of this sooner, but I kept getting busy or being sick. That is my life anymore, it seems I’m almost always sick.

Anyway, here is a bit more of the same story as before, with the characters I don’t know if anyone but me will like.

First Day on the Job

The pounding on the door matched the pounding in her head. She groaned and forced herself up from the bed, frowning as she looked around the room. This was not her house. This was not her clinic, either. Her hip throbbed, and she swore as she sat up, cursing the government with everything she could think of and all she couldn’t, her anger building as she rose from the bed.
She was still clothed, no one seemed to have violated her in that sense, but since they’d put something in her body that could control her Talent and tracked her every movement, they’d done plenty.

She crossed to the door and opened it, almost surprised she could.

The figure on the other side of it wasn’t that much of a surprise, though she wouldn’t say she was glad to see him. “You again. More paperwork, is it? I really don’t need more documentation on how the government had stolen my life from me.”

“I’ve come to collect you for training,” he informed her with the same flat tone to his voice. “You will receive it in progress as we work. There is no class or manual. You need to dress and leave now or there will be consequences.”

“So you’ll punish me?”

He shook his head, his eyes dropping to her leg before going back to her face. “I don’t have to. They will. That is your life now.”

She swallowed, having little choice but to mouth the words and hope she got some kind of response from this rock in front of her. They can hear everything I say and do, too, is that it?

He gave her a curt nod, almost as if he didn’t want to be seen reacting to her words. She choked on her fury, feeling invaded in more ways than she could voice.

“You should change. We don’t have much time.”

“The day just started. How can we possibly be late for anything?”

“We investigate crimes. Those don’t happen on regular schedules. And while you may have just woken, it is actually quite late in the day. Come. We need to leave.” He turned toward the door, and she sighed. She supposed she had no real choice, did she? If they were watching, and she refused—he’d warned her they would punish her, and did she really want to know what that was like?

She already felt like crap, and she didn’t figure she was up to running, even if she wanted to get far away from here.

If they were watching her, this place might be full of cameras. Great. Well, that actually gave her an incentive to leave, even if it was with the soulless paper-pushing bastard who was waiting outside her door.

Fine. She could do that. She’d go with him and find a way to escape later.

“Does the soulless one have a name?” She asked as she struggled to keep pace with him. Tall as he was, whether he meant to or not, he was out pacing her easily just walking normally, and it was annoying as hell. She still felt a bit drugged and lagging, and she didn’t want to walk all over the place. If they were some kind of special investigative force, why didn’t they have some kind of vehicle?

“Several, actually, if you are referring to me,” he said, and she folded her arms over her chest. He wasn’t going to tell her? Really? She wanted to hit him. She wasn’t sure she cared how she might get punished over this. He deserved a smack for being such a jerk. He didn’t have to be like this. Shouldn’t she know his name? Or was he really just the messenger? He only came to tell her that she had to work, and that was it?

“I can’t imagine it’s some kind of state secret. Or are you just giving me information again? This time it’s safe to transport me without sedation, so where’s the form? Should I get it in triplicate?”

He shook his head. “No. I will be training you.”

“So I should get to know your name, then. Because if you get any idea about me calling you ‘master’ or ‘boss’ or—”

“Those aren’t applicable to someone in our position,” he said. “Though there is some hierarchy, we are all still subject to the main authority that comes from the government.”

“Slaves, basically.”

He seemed to tense, but he didn’t deny it. “The one the government uses for me is Vershon.”

She stopped. “The government changed your name?”

He looked over his shoulder at her, frowning slightly. “That surprises you? It shouldn’t. Though… Yours hasn’t been altered, if that is your next question.”

“So you’re going to call me—”

“The government designated you by your birth name, not the one you were using when you were arrested. You will be known as Iris Marcey so long as you are with the organization.”

She sighed. “Do I look like a flowery type of girl to you?”

“You look like an irritant, and if I had any choice in the matter, I would not be escorting you now,” he answered, and she balled her fists, tempted again to hit him. “You should have attacked me at your apartment. At least then when you made yourself useless, I wouldn’t have to carry you back and have wasted all the time it has taken us to go this far and also the trip back. There is too much to do to be bothering with this.”

“Well, if I could just leave—”

“You can. You will likely lose your leg if nothing else, but that is still an option.”

“Not much of one.”

“No,” he agreed, stopping in front of another door and opening it. He stood and waited, and she frowned as she stepped inside. He could be leading her to her death for all he claimed he was here to train her, and yet she had no real choice but to go with him, did she? “This way.”

“More walking?”

“It is not much farther, though you should probably appreciate that the office is not near your residence.”

“I don’t appreciate anything about this situation.”

He didn’t say anything to that, walking away and leaving her no choice but to follow again.

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