M. J. SKYWALKER MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER, DAY ROOM/HALLS
Tandra did not like the looks of the armed man. He doesn't seem to be a police officer, she thought, and so that means he's here for another reason. I never thought mental patients would ever be the target of bounty hunters, but in this day and age, who knows...? Suddenly, she felt a tug at her arm. The young boy, no more than ten, was staring at her fixedly.
"Quaver...?" That was the only name he gave, and no other. It was ironic that her own voice was quavering as she addressed him. He was scaring her.
Without another word, the boy yanked Tandra out of her seat in the day room and began to run towards the kitchen. Helplessly, the 40-year-old-woman let herself be dragged, as she knew that there was an exit through the scullery--the room in which the dishes were washed. She and Quaver had performed the task of scrubbing the dishes when the hospital was short-handed on kitchen staff. They were paid for their work, and bought extra snacks from the hospital concessionary when they could. They shared them on Friday nights, when they could watch holovids. That made life less hopeless.
Quaver rushed with Tandra through the back hallways of the psychiatric ward, not daring to look behind or around him. He was driven, focused, and the fastest runner in the entire M. J. Skywalker Medical Center, with or without psychiatric issues. He was a pyromaniac, and the reason he was here was that he had burnt the homes of the bullies that had beat him within an inch of his life right to the ground--while the bullies were still in it. Revenge...
Revenge was what Quaver had sought, and at the cost of his freedom and sanity, he had found it. He'd been remanded to the hospital until the age of twenty-one, which would be a very long time. Was he sorry for what he'd done? No. He was glad that the bullies had finally gotten what they deserved. As for Tandra? He sensed that she was vulnerable, sad and weak. He was strong, and they had formed an intractable friendship against staff rules.
"In here," he said, opening the large chute for soiled linens. "You first."
Tandra obeyed, knowing that she'd end up in the laundry room at the very least.