Prompt 363 – Virtuous

What is most virtuous about you?

Lara carefully opened the door to the study. No one was in the house—she would have sensed them—but that didn’t mean there weren’t traps. She’d learned that lesson long ago, during her first foray as a scavenger. The Wastes were unkind to any who did not respect the dangers of the outside world.

The room was clean, though. Even if there had been any surprises left behind by sadistic Waste dwellers, she was not the last person to enter the room. The desk was littered with pages untouched by the dust covering the shelves. They had been brought out recently and left in a hurry. “Shane.”

“You really think we’ll cross paths with him again?” Midge asked, looking warily around the room as if he expected the man to leap out of the floorboards.

“He was here,” she said, rifling through the open files on the desk. They appeared to be expenditure reports and payroll lists.

Midge cracked his knuckles. “I can’t wait to get my hands on that smarmy bastard.” He had a score to settle. Their last encounter hadn’t gone his way, but next time it would be different.

“Patience is a virtue, Midge,” Lara sighed. What had Shane been looking for? Why hadn’t he put everything away when he was done?

He grimaced at the utterance of the ancient adage. She only used it on him when he was being impetuous. “How is being patient going to get us closer to our goal?”

“Shane is meticulous,” she replied. “This mess,” she gestured to the scattered pages, “is not like him. If we rush after him, we’ll miss what he left behind.”

He stuck out his lip. “How can you be so sure he left anything for you to find?”

“I know him,” she said. “He said what we were looking for is dangerous. That we should give up and go back to Ark empty handed. But he’s looking for it, too. If it really is that dangerous, he would know that he can’t do it alone. That he’d need some insurance if anything happened to him while he was searching.”

She chewed the nail of her thumb. “He doesn’t want me out here. He thinks he’s still protecting me by telling me to go home. But he also knows me. He knows I will not give up. He was my Mentor, after all. And just like I will never stop following him, he can’t help but teach me.” A pained grin tugged at her lips. “There’s something here, I know it.”

Midge frowned. “He’ll still be several steps ahead of us, though. We can’t afford to waste too much time deciphering clues he may or may not have left behind. If he finds the Key before we do, none of this will matter.”

Lara’s grip crumpled the sheet of paper in her hands. “I can do it,” she said. “Trust me, please.”

He rubbed the back of his neck in defeat. He could never refuse her when she gave him that look. “Ok. Tell me what to look for. This will go faster with two of us looking and we can get back on his trail.”

Lara nodded, handing him a stack of documents to go through. They would find the answers together.

Notes: I am a very patient person. It was the first virtue that popped into my head when I read this prompt and I tried to think of which of my characters also has an abundance of patience. Lara came to me pretty quickly. Midge is not patient, so it seemed like a fun idea to have her remind him of the virtue of patience.

There’s still a lot I do not know about this world, but I like exploring the characters all the same. Not sure where this falls in the timeline of other scenes I’ve written for them elsewhere on the blog. It’s definitely some time after they’ve encountered Shane at least a second time. I don’t there was anything in that first encounter really that could have given Midge a score to settle. Plus, Lara seems to have come to terms with the idea that Shane is still protecting her, which she would not believe if she still believed he had abandoned her. Or maybe none of this is canon and it’s just a silly B-side to get into my characters’ heads and suit a prompt. It’s anybody’s guess really.

Of the other virtues, I am also kind and charitable. I suppose I am also (mostly) humble. If I were more diligent, I would not be so lax in writing my posts. Chastity fled the coop in college, and temperance is a daily struggle. What about you? Which of the virtues do you embody most?

Have a great rest of your weekend!

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