Another day, another time. Right now I need to focus. Shader told himself, focusing on regulating his breathing to make it easier to hold his rifle stable. It had been nearly a week since he had seen any kind of life inside the old western church chapel he'd taken refuge inside. Nothing bigger than a rat.
A rat would be a welcome change from this mindless monotony. Shader thought inside his head, blinking sleep back. He pinched himself to make him stay awake, but his eyes drooped anyway. He saw something push into the room and fired his rifle out of reflex. It hit whatever was there, but even the noise from the weapon discharging couldn't keep Shader awake. His eyes drooped and he fell asleep.
"Ouch," came a voice from somewhere nearby. Shader sat up instantly, looking around wildly. Judging by the daylight... he'd never fallen asleep. It was dusk, still.
"Hello?" Shader whispered. He paused as something touched the bare skin of his right shoulder. He felt someone gently start to turn him around. He looked behind him and saw a girl a few years older than him with dark red hair and dark blue eyes looking at him. She was pretty, he noticed. Her shirt was dirty, but long in length and sleeves. It was a dark green color. Her pants were brown shorts that went to just above her knees.
"Who're you!?" Shader asked, backing up. He felt his palm slide off of the edge of the ledge he had fallen asleep on and stopped moving. The girl raised an eyebrow and asked, "Were you the one that fired that gun?" and pointed to his sniper rifle lying beside her.
"Yeah, what about it?" Shader asked, wishing he could back up more. His head was starting to swim again.
"You hit me." She said. She winced and tapped her leg, which had a bandage around the edge of her thigh.
"Oh no... I'm sorry." Shader said earnestly. "That wasn't my--I mean, I thought you were--"
"I know. I should have figured someone else was in here." She said. She opened her bandage and took a look at the wound.
"If I don't get something on it soon, it'll get infected." She muttered to herself.
"I have some antiseptic." Shader offered. She looked up at him and saw two things in her eyes: hope and suspicion.
"Do you really have some?" She asked. Shader nodded.
"What should I call you?" She asked, suspicion still evident in her eyes.
"Shader." He answered, with a slight smile. Some of her suspicion melted away.
"Sift?" Shader asked. She nodded. "I'm good at finding things buried inside of other things. Although I usually sift through emotion and not physical piles." Sift admitted. Shader smiled a little bit more. He was starting to like Sift.
"How long was I sleeping for?" Shader asked Sift. She looked at the light coming in from the broken rooftop opening to their right.
"Almost exactly twenty-four hours ago. You slept like a rock. It wasn't easy to get up here, and it would've been a lot easier if you had been awake to help me." Sift said. Shader frowned.
"I couldn't fight it anymore. I was too tired to think. The only reason I hit you with my gun was because I have trained a reflex thingy to fire whenever I see movement." Shader said.
"Why?" Sift asked, raising an eyebrow.
"In case someone comes in... usually I hit the head or chest, so you're lucky." Shader said, trying to sound impressive. Sift smiled, showing white teeth, and Shader grinned.