Justice Page 35

’’I\d like that. You can never have enough friends.’’

’’We have a phone directory. I\m listed inside. I\m just called Flame. I don\ have a last name. I haven\ had a reason to choose one yet.’’

A Jeep being driven by a Species woman approached the gates. She was a big woman, obviously an experimental prototype and not a Gift Female. Jessie didn\ have much experience with those females except for the one she\d spent time with at Reservation. She\d liked Breeze a lot.

’’There is your ride. I hope you enjoy living and working here, Jessie. It\s been a real pleasure meeting you. I hope to buy you a beer soon. Call me.’’ Flame waved.

She gripped her gym bag and waved back. ’’It was a pleasure meeting you too. I\ll be calling about that beer.’’ She headed for the Jeep.

The large Species female scowled. ’’Human, you are to come with me.’’

’’Hello. I\m Jessie. You\ e my ride?’’

’’Yes.’’ She didn\ look happy. ’’I\m Midnight. Please climb in.’’

Jessie tossed her gym bag into the back seat and sat in the passenger seat. She didn\ reach for her belt. There were no seatbelt laws on New Species properties. They also didn\ have a lot of vehicle traffic or speeding issues. She mainly saw golf carts parked along most of the curbs. The driver turned the Jeep around and glanced at Jessie again, obviously not happy to be assigned to drive her anywhere.

’’Do you not like humans in general or is it just me?’’ Jessie kept her smile in place.

’’I don\ mean to be rude.’’ She glanced at Jessie with a softer look. ’’I\m not used to dealing with your kind and my experiences haven\ been good.’’

’’I see. Well, I\m a total smartass but I\m always nice to people unless they aren\ nice to me first. I don\ think you\ e being rude. I just wish you\d give me a chance before you decide not to like me. I\m open-minded about you.’’

Midnight smiled. ’’I see.’’

Jessie had to learn how to break the ice all of her life. As the daughter of a public figure she\d had to deal with a lot of strangers in different types of scenarios. She could be more open and blunt with New Species than with humans and she liked that. Species didn\ play games or lie easily. They were straight up.

’’So, are you the one who\s going to tell me where I work, what I do, where I\ll be sleeping and when I start? I\m kind of in the dark except that I have a job and I\m living here.’’

Midnight flashed her blue gaze at Jessie. ’’I\m just supposed to pick you up and take you to one of the cottages. I was told to show you the home, wait around until you\ e ready and then take you to the Medical Center. I don\ know anything else.’’

These people need help with their job orientation program , Jessie decided. ’’Fair enough.

Will I have to live with someone or do I get my own room?’’

’’You will get your own cottage. We don\ share living space unless we live at the women\s dorm but we all have our own apartments. We just share common areas. It\s for New Species only and visiting humans are assigned cottages. They are houses located in secured areas cut off from the rest of the general population.’’

Jessie grew silent, allowing that information to sink in. Secure areas cut off from general population sounded pretty grim. Midnight wasn\ a talker and didn\ seem to mind the silence that stretched between them. Jessie glanced around her surroundings.

There were a lot of buildings that didn\ have names but they did have letters to identify them. She realized she didn\ see any numbers at all, on anything. She shrugged it off. They left the buildings and drove through a large park. There were tons of trees and an obviously manmade lake.

’’That\s really pretty.’’

Midnight glanced at the water. ’’I like Reservation better. They have a really large lake and it\s pretty. I did four weeks there last month and want to go back.’’

’’What do you do there? Is it better than driving new employees around?’’ She meant it as a joke.

’’Slade, he runs Reservation, requested female help while construction was being done there. He needed help with security so twenty of us lived there. Once everything was done we were brought back here. We missed it. This is nice but Reservation is better. Now we trade off shifts so I go for a month but then we switch. It works well and that way our females are divided equally between the two locations.’’

’’Is being divided equally important?’’

Midnight hesitated. ’’We are a lot fewer than the males and they are protective of us. If something bad ever happens at one place they want to make sure not all of us are killed.’’ She paused. ’’We get threats all the time by your kind to blow us up and hunt us all down like animals. It makes the men worry about us and they divide our numbers evenly.’’

’’I understand. Humans can be pretty shitty, can\ they?’’

Midnight shot her a surprised look.

’’I know how flawed my people are.’’ Jessie shrugged. ’’Some of us are good while some of us deserve a bullet to the head.’’

The Species woman smiled but tried to hide it by turning her head forward to watch the road. ’’We are also needed here because Justice and the council decided we should take care of all our people. Some of our females weren\ living here until recently and they need us stronger females to care for them.’’

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