The constant hum and whine of machines where a thing that relaxed her while she worked. The monotonous task was boring to say the least and made it hard for her to truly say she loved where she worked, but to be surrounded by concrete and steel made life so much easier.
A loose strand of dark hair consistently danced within the vision of her right eye and she finally decided it was too distracting to ignore any further. Swiping the back of her gloved hand over her head she managed to stick it into place, likely held there by sweat for the moment and continued to focus on work. Gears fit into place and were sent onwards to someone else again and again.
How many hundreds of items passed through Dai’s hands already was not a thing she concerned herself with. Not anymore. She no longer challenged herself to beat her old goal from the day before. That game had grown old quickly. Her eyes were continually slipping away from her station to check the clock on the wall of the workroom. Usually finding disappointment at how little time had passed since the last time she had checked. Now though she was pleased to see how soon it was to her break. She grinned, brushing back the loose hair again, and focused on finishing the last few parts before the sound of the whistle to release her from her station.
Her gloves were off and stuffed into the oversized pockets of her male trousers as soon as the shrill sound echoed through the factory floor. Coworkers nearby had similar ideas as they filed towards the door looking for lunch outside of the stuffy building. Forgoing her coat, she grabbed the pail that carried her lunch and ignored the chattering crowd as she chose a quiet corner of the concrete lot to eat in peace. The cool weather was a welcome relief as she dropped into a messy heap to lean against the brick building. She ran her tongue over the cut on her lip while she pulled out her food. It still felt sore, a reminder that in a few days she would try and repay the favour to her opponent when next she saw them in the underground ring.
Using the time efficiently, Dai ate through the unassembled sandwich (assembling it this morning would have cost her valuable time and energy) and washed it down with a jar of lukewarm water with still several minutes to spare before she would need to return indoors. She turned her face up, enjoying the sun behind closed lids as the winter air cooled her flushed skin.
With the sound of the second whistle she got up and joined the others in heading back to work. The machines were droning louder as people went back to their assigned tasks. But above the hammering and grinding of machinery a loathsome sound could be heard, making her shoulders instinctively bunch up in a cringe. How could someone bring one of those things into her workplace?
If ever anyone had bothered to ask her why she hated them with so much passion she would have explained it simply: could you ignore the constant nagging of a mouth breathing human on the back of your neck? For that is what it sounds like to someone like her. So how could you expect her to endure it? She couldn’t go through several more hours with this torture and she exited the flowing current of workers and headed straight towards the obnoxious sound.
The culprit was a small plotted fern, and the conspirator of the crime was a young secretary, bent over her desk not knowing what she had done. As soon as Dai was close enough her hand shot out and closed into a tight fist. The sounds of harsh breathing changed to chocking as it struggled and still Dai kept her focus and her grip on the life tight. The green began to wilt, the once healthy plant drooping and turning brown at a rapid rate. It didn’t take long, a minute at the most and the struggling fern gave in, leaving welcomed silence behind it.
Dai relaxed and lowered her hand, catching the open mouthed stare of the young girl as she had finished strangling her plant. “Why would you bring one of them here?” Dai shouted at her above the factory noise.
The girl blinked, closing her mouth into a firm line as she picked up the pot. “You didn’t need to kill it!” she shouted back, deciding she didn’t want a shrivelled brown plant in front of her and tucked it away on the floor beside her chair. At least she wasn’t so stupid to ask her to bring it back to life. That was impossible.
“It would have died anyway,” Dai answered with a shrug. Factories were no place for plants, that was the reason why she was here and not in Aramir with the rest of her family. She pulled her gloves back out and replaced them on her hands. “I did it a favour.”
Whatever unlady like thing the girl muttered at her could not be heard over the sounds of machines and Dai didn’t give her the chance to repeat it. At least now she could get some work done.