the bright side of life // open
Today was, whether Elizabeth liked it or not, her day off. She’d awoken with the digital clock on her nightstand glowing at 6:20 am, practically swimming in her own sweat from a fever, the sensation of a car engine exploded in her skull and her throat nearly swollen shut; prompting both Mr. and Mrs. Gottlieb to quarantine her from K-Science and the Med Bay with an armful of vitamins and ibuprofen.
After a few hours of tossing and turning in her room, she collected a stack of selected readings and paperwork, a box of tissues and a hefty bottle of water, shuffling out to the mess hall to work. The kitchen staff took barely a glance at her before filling a thermos generously with Japanese green tea for her. She smiled at them gratefully and shuffled into an inconspicuous corner table of the hall. It would be another hour or two until the rest of the Dome personnel filled in the rest of the tables for lunch hour, so the quiet was adequate enough for work.
Nervously, Liz unfolded her mail from the past week and re-read it. The letter was from the University of Hong Kong, outlining the necessary details behind taking Graduate studies by correspondence and online participation while working in the ‘Dome. She hadn’t actually expected the school to let her do it, but between working for the PPDC and playing the disability card when she’d contacted the university’s administration, they seemed willing to help in her unusual circumstance. Maybe living in a world with semi-frequent monster attacks made people nicer to each other.
The only trouble was, Liz had been so busy that she didn’t really have anyone around to break the good news to.
Well, this is awkward.
Sometimes. It’ll just depend on where help is needed.
You didn’t hear this from me, but I actually almost had fun re-organizing his library.
Well, I certainly hope I get to see you around more often, you seem like a wonderful lady.
Really? That thing is enormous. I haven’t even heard of half of them.
If you think so, ma’am. I’m just trying to help like everyone else.
fight like a girl // open
Liz’s introduction to Marshall Hansen had gone well enough. Though by her standards, ‘well enough’ meant that she hadn’t embarrassed herself quite as much as she’d anticipated.
Her chest felt like an exploding steam engine as she stalks her way towards the elevator. Logic and all the things she’d learned about self-care and reason poke through the white noise of fear, shame and adrenaline. Gym time. Now.
It’s not even ten minutes later that she’s donned her sweatpants and is hammering her hands and feet into the tough skin of Sydney - her own nickname for the gym’s punching bag. Liz wasn’t one for subtlety.
She steps back from the swinging bag to exhale, permitting herself a silent congratulations on at least managing the conversation halfway-well. She hadn’t been stunned or incoherent. It was like talking to- well, like an average man. She knew better than that buy into the rock star image of the pilots, but this was personal. And because somebody up there liked her, he actually knew her from her file and danced around all the elephants in the room about her trauma and humble origins as a loser twenty-something with bad luck.
At least she kept herself from gushing about the Striker Eureka poster she’d kept on her bedroom wall in the ward.
She forces a grin, and sighs,
"Lizzie, tu es complètement débile."
Then she punctuates with one last roundhouse kick to the bag before striding away. Maybe she’d feel less like an ass after some pull-ups.