McGilligan and Madison were walking near the climbing wall. Evans turned to walk towards them. Hopefully he hadn’t been doing too much moralizing. McGilligan didn’t need any more of that.
Once Evans got close, he shouted, “McGilligan! Can I talk to you alone?”
“Yes Sergeant!” McGilligan responded. She turned to Madison and gave him a quick hug.
Madison smiled, “You’ll have to show me those pictures of your son later. He sounds adorable.” Then turned and started walking back to the Squad’s tent.
“What do you want Sergeant?”
“Just wanted to see how you’re doing McGilligan,” Evans nodded and gestured for her to start walking.
“Tiscornia and Callahan haven’t really talked to me. Madison is nice and understanding. Johnson and the rest, not so much,” McGilligan looked down.
“So Madison is nice?”
McGilligan smiled, “He’s made me feel a bit better about myself. Told me that no matter how far we’ve fallen from God he still loves us. Because, while we’re all imperfect, the messiah died so we can be saved. Plus, it turns out he’s read some of the same Vledscan stuff that I’m reading.”
“That’s good. Maybe he can help convince the rest to go easier on you,” Evans nodded, “So far Johnson has said she doesn’t want to room with you and Howe says she can’t take orders from you.”
“You know… When I entered the war, I’d probably act the same way. I just thought he loved me and made a mistake.”
“Lance Corporal,” Evans looked at McGilligan, “That doesn’t matter now. You’re a soldier, and from what I’ve read, a damn good one. You just focus on doing your job, alright?”
“Yes Sergeant. But, if they don’t trust me-”
Evans interrupted, “Doesn’t matter. You have earned your right to be here. Johnson is a professional, she’ll fight with you, even if she hates your guts. I think I can pressure Howe to accept you, and Nivelle will follow her. Ollie works with Johnson, and Sheppard is under Callahan, so that should be good. Once we get through our first tour, they should see that they can trust you. And don’t listen to them.”
“Yes Sergeant, thank you Sergeant.”
“So, on to other things. You say you’re from the Western Desert? What’s it like out there?”
McGilligan smiled, “Well hot.” She laughed, “People often think of it as a wasteland, but it’s really full of life. You just have to know where to look. I grew up hiking in the mountains with my family collecting lizards.”
“Sounds lovely, now, I need to get back to the tent, why don’t you come and you can talk with Madison some more.”