Excerpt from The Cadet Manifest 003 (access previous Communications)
I did as I was instructed. Every morning on our journey to the Great Warren, I had the Rabbit Girl repeat her orders. Together we ran drills of the execution from dawn till twilight. In her sleep, she mumbled. She was fretful and nervous like all of the Rabbit Girls are. I should have known something wasn't right, but they are all so wiry and fried from repeated brain tinkering that it was hard to read exactly how badly this one was malfunctioning.
After two days of traveling, we finally reached the Great Warren. The Rabbit Soldiers stopped us at the underground entrance as we expected. Their large front teeth were filed down into sharp spikes and the Rabbit Girl shuddered and shivered and all but choked on her words, but she managed to get them out. "We're going to see Fival," she told them. They searched me, but let her pass. I was blind as a mole in those dark tunnels, but she skipped along as if it were midday, humming one of the girls' silly tunes that I didn't recognize.
"It's this way," she told me. I looked right and left, searching for any sign of Nippon's guard detail. I saw nothing. When we entered the small dirt chamber, there was only one rabbit perched in the corner. His eyes spun in maddening spirals and his ears twitched. It was Fival. I remembered him from my infant cadet days when I also had to stand before him. "What are we doing here?" I asked the Rabbit Girl. "We're not really supposed to see him."
The Rabbit Girl had been before him dozens of times, this I knew. Fival knew her after a second, a brief moment when his sanity returned from his ebb and flow of lunacy. He smiled. I saw his tongue dart out between his teeth. Then the Rabbit Girl screamed. A piercing noise that rumbled the cave's dirt walls. I tried to stop her, but had to cover my ears as they started to bleed. She removed the hidden sonic weapon from below her waistband and aimed.
Fival evaporated in a puff of fur and guts and the earth above our heads broke open to reveal the sky. The Rabbit Soldiers rushed toward us and I acted quickly to cave-in the room's doorway. The Rabbit Girl was hysterically out of her mind. Ignoring the accident staining her clothing, I removed her from the scene. The temptation to leave her behind to deal with her failure was strong, but I will let Bianca deal with her. My only concern now is getting back to the New Society Settlement before the Rabbit Soldiers catch us.
- Scout Riley
(Tune in next Story Time Tuesday for the next installment)