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He was getting seriously annoyed now: in the Program or not, Ryan was talking like she was already prepared to lay down and die; the point that Jethro was going out of his way not to make.

“Hey girly, how bout you shut up for a minute and listen to me.” His father would've cringed if he'd heard him talking to a woman like that, but stressful waits and cramped conditions take the manners out of better people than a sixteen year old surrounded by hell. “See where we are right now? In the fucking kitchen. Sooner or later, someone's gonna get real hungry and come here looking for food, and odds are if he's still alive that long he's gonna be toting something that ain't good for our health.”

Yeah, he'd said what he'd been thinking that whole time. Hell, why hadn't he said it sooner? Would've probably pulled Ryan over to his way of thinking a lot faster than just his fucking pep talk.

“Think they know this place is empty?” he asked, the barren shelves around him embellishing the point. “Bet you your life that they'll come here the moment their stomach comes rumbling, and when they find this place is empty?” Munch munch, cannibalism time.

Okay, now he was overreacting, but dealing with some starving guy was not high on his to do list.

"Chill Jeth" he reminded himself, sensing his excitement. "Stuff is shitty enough without you making it worse." Gotta stay cool, gotta stay chilly willy, as he would say years ago when trying to impress his big brothers with childish jargon. Ryan was on edge enough as it was and she didn't need some rifle carrying huge dude bearing down on her like he'd put a bullet in her head at any moment.

“Look, I see where you're coming from,” he resumed, stifling his frustrations with a pinch to the bridge of the nose. “going out there ain't exactly the most inviting thought in the world, I can dig that. But trust me on this, when you're in a war zone the last thing you want to do is stay bunkered down. Keep moving, or you'll get sniped off and that's that.”

Yeah, he'd learnt that from fucking Medal of Honour.

He scooped up his bag and headed towards the door, still holding the gun in his hand. “I ain't gonna make you come with me Ryan, but you just said you would so we might as well make a move, yeah?” He tried to smile, but all that came out was a cocky eyebrow quip.

He knew he was acting rashly, but his body was moving on its own now, pushed along by a tightening force. “Gotta stay on the move, gotta protect the women, gotta be the hero,” he told himself. “Hero ain't going down to no damn sniper.”
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Vioectrolysis · The Mess Hall
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