Chapter VIII: Cartridge Chewing 11, Part I

"Are you sure this is a good idea?" I asked Cos as he drove the three of us literally to the middle of nowhere to a place only he knows about, being his usually untelling, secretive self.

"Of course, it's been one year and she hasn't found an interest, and we haven't found a name for her either." Once again Cos has managed to point out several things to do with us and the stray (of whom we thought was truly at the end of the line) living in the District building for a year of her life, with who-knows-what going in her head. The landscape was a virtual desert, with the scowling grey clouds obscuring the sunlight from view, preventing the lifeforms outside from turning into jerky. I looked back from where I was sitting in the front passenger seat: the girl's head was turning left and right, this way and that, as if she hasn't seen a desert, let alone read about one.

"And anyway, it's the stray's eleventh birthday. We have a right to celebrate it by bringing her here." To my unfortunate horror, I saw the building that the District never told me about: an exclusive shooting range in the middle of dangerous alien territory. What could Cos be thinking by bringing an eleven year old here? Is he nuts?

"Are you surely sure this is a right way to celebrate?"

"What a better way to find a potential hobby!" I can't believe what he just said as he drove through the gates and parked in one of the empty lots facing the wire fence and the desert beyond. He just chuckled in that unnerving way of his, just like the time when he read about the display of corpses in a newspaper and how the majority of the world was infuriated by it. The girl however was somewhat enthusiastic about all this, seeing that she doesn't get out of the building much.

"You're just pure nuts!" Sometimes I feel like strangling him for being crazy like this; eleven year old girls shouldn't be exposed to… Oh, never mind. Anyway, we got out of Cos' silver Volkswagon Beetle and headed over to what appeared to be a registration post. Cos turned to me as the three of us walked together, side by side. He smirked in the most horrible of ways.

"The fun is just beginning, yes?" I swear he directed it in the odd hair and eye colored child. From what I saw, she was slowly starting to smile.

"Yes… it is… beginning…" I must remind myself to not let out the both of them together without my supervision, knowing how destructive he will encourage her to be.

"Wait, let me correct what I said, you are crazy, Cos." This comment set him off laughing, typical. Looks like it's going to be one hell of a day for us three then. But then my heart stopped cold, I felt something behind us, menacing, bloodthirsty and crawling like a shadow. Oh no, not again! Everybody turned around, aware of the shocking noise that I didn't hear, rising from the depths of my heart…

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