Rookie Move

It wasn’t the blood that disturbed him. It was the footprints. Red imprints of the bottoms of shoes circling around and on top of each other. Red circles, and red wavy lines, and red swooshes. Blood was natural, organic, the stuff of life, but the footprints along the surgical room floor were the most unnatural pattern imaginable.

This is what we do to each other. And to think this is what it looks like when the patient survives. My God, Mika thought, what have I signed up for?

The room had been cleared for some minutes now, the action over and the damage contained, with only an assistant left behind to count depleted inventory.

“You okay?” the assistant asked.

Mika nodded, unable to turn away from the scene that would fuel his nightmares for forty years.

“You lost?”

He shook his head and shook off his trance in the process. “No—” he cleared his throat. “I’m here to collect the…sample, or whatever it is you extracted.”

“And you are…?”

“Sorry. I’m Candidate Lorne, Special Ops. Would you—” he steadied himself, “would you point me…to the closest—” Mika spilled his last meal back up and onto his boots. This might have been a mistake.

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