Following the events of Day One p1
“How many made it, exactly?” Nysha asks, looking at the young man in the security vest.
“Um,” the young man stumbles over his words as he flips through a stack of papers in his hands. He stops on one page, pulls it to the top, and begins to count. Nysha watches his lips move as he counts silently.
“36, ma’am. Including yourself.” The young man finally says.
“Does that include the baby?” Nysha asks.
“Uh,” the young man scans the paper over, then sets the stack on the table as he pulls a pen from his vest pocket and scribbles at the bottom of the top sheet. “37, ma’am.”
“37 people; out of two hundred sixteen.” Nysha sighs heavily. “Zero engineers, zero electricians, zero plumbers… I don’t think any one of them are farmers, either.”
“Uh, no ma’am, but, uh,” the young man hesitates, then closes his mouth.
“Yes, Jeremy? If you have an idea, I am all ears.”
“Well,” Jeremy pauses, swallows, then finds the courage to speak. “Well, I know they’re not farmers, but I know at least one person here who, uh, has some experience, um, growing… stuff… in an indoor environment.”
“Ah, wonderful. We do not have anyone who can fix a light switch, but we have someone who can grow some pot.” Nysha says.
“Yeeeaaaaah, pahhht,” Jeremy repeats, suspiciously slow. Nysha gives him an unamused look, then nods and smiles.
“Thank you, Jeremy, that could actually be helpful. If I need anything more, I will call for you.” Nysha rises from her seat and Jeremy takes the cue to leave. He leaves the papers on the desk and turns for the door. The door swings open as Jeremy approaches and he freezes mid-step, barely stopping in time to avoid running into the woman standing outside with one arm raised, ready to knock, and an infant tucked in her other arm.
“Oh, sorry,” Samantha says, quickly stepping to the side to allow Jeremy to exit.
“No worries, ma’am.” The young man says. He nods his head politely and passes by.
Nysha smiles warmly as Samantha steps inside.
“Samantha!” Nysha calls when she sees the new mother. She raises a hand and waves her closer. “Come to join me for dinner? We have plenty of M.R.E.s. Enough to last us all a few decades.” Nysha motions to the seat across from her desk. Samantha chuckles as she sits.
“No… well, maybe, but no, I came here to say thank you for this morning.”
“Please, there is no need to thank me. I am happy that I was able to help.”
“You were a lot of help, and you made me realize I really need to be here to take care of Shay-“
“Oh! You went with my suggestion!” Nysha interrupts Samantha with a joyful clap of her hands. “I am so glad.”
Samantha chuckles again and nods.
“Yes, you were right. It is cute. I like it. But, I wanted to let you know that I am here. I have my arms full right now, but-“ Samantha pauses briefly, shifts the infant in her arms, and looks Nysha in the eyes. “I knew my husband’s work here. He needed to study a lot for the position, and I was always there helping him along. I actually know the ins and outs of this facility fairly well.”
“I didn’t expect to have my position questioned so quickly,” Nysha says, leaning back in her seat.
“Oh, no, no-“ Samantha leans forward, extending her hand and resting it on the desk as though trying to comfort Nysha. “No, I didn’t mean- I have my hands full as it is raising Shay, there’s no way I could take your position here. It’s just, you offered me help when I needed it, and I want you to know that I am here for you – in an advisory position.”
Nysha’s expression slowly shifts from suspicion back to a smile.
“I see. Well, we are severely short-staffed. So, you’re hired.”