Extract from my WIP:

With that decided they were soon out in the corridors again, all white, odorless, sterile – Kaya just trusted that Jen had gotten enough information to know where they were going. Kaya was initially concerned that her brightly colored hair might give away to the few scientists they passed that they didn’t belong here, but it turned out no – nerds actually had different styles and looked no different to regular folk. Who knew. In fact it was more likely to be Jennifer who gave them away as whenever anyone looked in their direction she avoided eye contact and gazed awkwardly at the wall or floor. The last way you wanted to look while committing a crime was guilty.

Kaya waited until they were out of earshot of anyone then urged, “try to act natural, okay?” Of course she immediately realized her mistake – Jennifer was acting natural. Her natural state was wishing she could become vapor whenever strangers turned their heads in her direction. “I mean try to act like you actually belong here and know what you’re doing. Or just forget everyone else and act like I’m the only other person here.”

Jennifer peered sideways at her. “When did you become an expert at sneaking around places?”

Like much of her life, that was a long parade of mistakes Kaya didn’t want to get into right now. “It’s just… people,” she said. “I understand people, and if you look suspicious people will suspect you. If someone looks at us just nod or smile back at them.”

“All right,” Jennifer took a long steadying breath, “I’ll try.” And she did – the next researcher that came by she smiled at. It was like one of those horror movies where a ventriloquist’s dummy is possessed by some demonic entity, so Kaya praised the effort but suggested just nodding from now on.

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