Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Day 3 -- 5164 (15,718)

I am having a very hard time getting going, even when I have the time. And I don't have much of that. The story started to pick up a bit today, though. I think I'm finally getting a feel for the people and the story.

Today's snippet:

Utley took over, his big hands surprisingly fast and careful with the ties. He pulled the tunic back and grimaced -- Jasha looked down and could already see bruises.

"What happened?"

"Ti Mar Ann lost his temper," Jasha said softly.

"And his honor," Utley added. "He kicked you after you were down, Jasha. Many times. I couldn't get to him. I'm sorry."

"No one could get to him," Felicia said. "And thank you for getting me beyond his reach. I wasn't ready for that reaction from him."

"No one expected it," Utley said. He had begun to look around the room with more interest than fear. "I don't think Ti expected to do it, but he has never been known for his ability to hold is temper. They never should have allowed him to be head of science."

The other woman -- Jasha wished he knew a name -- ran a scanner over him and again. She frowned this time, but then looked at Jasha and smiled a little. "Sorry, that probably looked dire for a moment there. I was trying to read changes in our body chemistry before I gave you any drugs. I don't see much, but there are enough little things that I don't dare give you anything too strong for the pain. I'm sorry."

"I can get you some Palsa root --" Utley began, and then looked back at Jasha with a start and bowed his head. "My apologies."

"Palsa root? And there is a problem with it?" Felicia asked.

"It helps to deaden the pain, but some become addicted to it. My mother died of such an addiction. And because she ate the root often when she was pregnant with me, I am already susceptible to it."

"I would like to see some of this Palsa Root," the woman said. She placed a metal tube against the side of Jasha's neck and he felt a slight, cool feel that spread down to his chest within a few heart beats. "Better?"

"Much," he agreed. "Thank you. I do not know your name. Forgive me."

"My fault," Felicia said. She settled in a chair by the bed and looked frazzled. "From the time the trouble started, I lost my focus. This is Diane Demarco. She's our chief med. This is Jasha mar Leodora, Di."

"Oh! You are the one! Thank you, Jasha mar Leodora."

"Thank you?" he said, confused. She had drawn out bandages now and helped him sit up strarighter as she started to wrap them around, under the back of his tunic and around front.

"You woke us. I am alive today because of it. Shouldn't I thank you?" she said, sealing the bandages off.

"I don't know," he said, and didn't look at Felicia. "This might not be a place where you want to be."

"Here or dead? I'll take here. Dead can come later." She stepped back and looked into his face. She had an earnest look, her narrow, dark face intense as she met his look. "This is not what we planned, but then I suspect nothing we planned would have quite worked the way we thought anyway. We're here. I hope that I might be able to help you and your people, Jasha. I hope that we can all make this transition and accept our places here."

Jasha nodded and then looked in surprise at Felicia when she made a sound of amusement.

"Sorry. But those words were really aimed at me, Jasha. Di just knows better than to lecture me."
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