Limping behind, Suzie’s shattered cool began to reintegrate.  She was in.  She was in!  Now she had to get out again on the other side.  If she had believed in luck she would have thought it good.  As it was she believed in Suzie and wondered what would happen next.

The corridor curved around the lift shafts at the back of the dock.  They passed door after dirty door,  scuffed, with brown grey stains around the handles.  Hazchem warnings gave clues to the purpose of the rooms behind them if you knew what they meant.

‘You OK’ Ariel over her shoulder.

‘Sure’ limping less with effort.

‘First thing is Medical. Not far’

Turning left down a cross corridor they came to an alcove with chairs and a door in it with a green cross.  The chairs were empty.

‘What time is it?’


There was a meshed grill on the wall next to the door with a big red button.  Ariel depressed the button. ‘Ariel from dispatch got a newby who fell into a dumpster.’ The mesh squawked. ‘No she’s not bad. she’s with me.  Needs looking at.  Squawk.  A videye centered above the door lintel swiveled and panned. The door clicked. Ariel opened it and went in grabbing Suzie by the wrist.

Inside at a desk a dark man sat.  Indian? Pakistani? White coat impeccable.  After the sordid corridor the clean almost hurt.  ‘Ariel is it? you are?  He had a form.  It was light green.  He had a pen it was blue plastic.


‘Suzie ‘…….. Writing, he looked up.


‘Smith… I suppose someone has to be. Number?’


I said, she’s as newby, only started this shift.’

‘I lost my tag in the dumpster, It was 143 something something I think.’

‘Doubt it, that would mean you were a dog handler, security..’

‘I am not good with numbers’ She cursed herself, first rule – don’t offer… take.  She put on a shit eater grin.  ‘Sorry.’


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