He had taken out his new Lotus Elise and gone for a joy ride first.
"I'm here, I'm here, Elise," Lana mumbled.
"You're obsessed," Elise said.
That's a big deal, Elise continued.
"I'm glad you're down there, Elise," she said.
"Everyone's asleep, and I'm bored," Elise complained.
"I'll be rotating to the surface this afternoon," Elise said.
He'll be replacing Elise as your current roommate for the time being.
My friend Elise is on the special security team.
"I had a feeling this week would be rough," Elise said with a smile.
Elise held out a meal bar, which Lana accepted.
Lana jerked, afraid she'd been caught, before she realized Elise was calling over the command center's channels.
"Heya," Elise said, flashing a quick smile.
Elise gave a few hand signals to her detail.
Wait, Elise, can't you tell me what's going on out there?
Elise hesitated then said, Frankly, I don't know.
Both Elise and the Guardian were grim about the world outside the compound, and neither explained exactly why.
"Elise, you're taking your men out to the west side for supplies tonight," the general replied.
The woman named Elise grimaced but made no response.
I won't subject you to Elise and her insubordinate rabble, but you'll remain with the other army seniors here as my advisors.
A moment later, Elise darted by with a hand laser in her grip, disappearing between the same buildings.
Elise nodded in understanding.
"Hell, no," Elise snapped.
Elise lowered her laser as Lana blocked her shot and approached the man named Arnie.
"If he moves too quickly, take your shot," Elise replied.
Elise followed his lead.
Elise rushed them, and Brady followed.
Elise grabbed at Arnie, who twisted free and followed Lana.
Elise shouted, leaping atop the nearest boulder with her laser aimed at him.
"Lana, you fool," Elise scolded, squatting beside them.
Elise grabbed her wrist, but Lana resisted again.
"Move, Elise," the general snapped, pushing the guard commander away.
You'll report to Elise tomorrow morning.
Elise sheathed her weapon with a glance at him.
Elise fell into step beside him after checking on Lana.
Elise gave him a sidelong glance.
Brady lifted Lana gently off the gurney and entered, following Elise through the waiting area into the bay beyond.
She was the opposite of Elise: delicate and sweet, quiet and soft-spoken.
"I'm here, Elise," the same man who greeted them at the gate said with some irritation as he entered through a side door.
"I want updates hourly," Elise ordered.
Elise turned her attention on Brady.
The doctor ignored her, and Elise left.
Elise always had extra anti-sleepers.
Elise pursed her lips, and Lana was surprised to see her eyes water.
Elise said nothing else, struggling to control her own emotions.
Elise nudged Lana when she continued to stare.
Elise had said the PMF soldiers were fighting alongside hers, and that they'd seen soldiers in Western uniforms.
Elise, I need a team to go down and test the air.
"I'm busy," Elise barked.
It was the blond special security woman, Elise, who burst into the med center.
Elise gave him an irritated look, reminding him again of how little respected the army-types were.
Elise was agitated at more than him.
"The missing little girl who got shot," Elise replied.
"She's too naïve …" Elise drifted off.
God help me, I hope it's soon, Elise responded, stuffing the meds the doc placed on his desk into a tactical bag.
"Yep. She's somewhere out west over there," Elise said with a wave of her hand towards the forest.
Elise turned away and stormed off, supplies in hand.
Lana had done exactly as Elise directed.
She'd removed her personal identifiers, hacked into the government's tracking mainframe to deactivate the implant in her brain, and changed into the black tactical uniform Elise brought her over her civilian grays.
Elise promised to find her by dusk, and together, they'd go west, to the Peace Command Center.
Elise didn't give the bird call they'd agreed on, so Lana said nothing.
She watched them go, startled to witness the men in Western uniforms that Elise had claimed to see.