Chapter Seventy-One

The immediate question on everyone’s mind was “would he make it?”

James laughed, and looked at everyone assembled there.  He looked at the chart in front of him, and cleared his throat.

“Well, while his injuries were pretty severe, we can all expect a full recovery out of the kittychicken.  As soon as he learns to balance without that tail, anyway.”

There was a collective groan from the assembly.  Namid was already up and moving, her burns healing at a rate that only aether could cause.  Thor had kept his watch over the prow of the ship, and now Hariel and Elanor joined them.  With Hariel fully over the effects of his initial aether poisoning, his mind was unclouded and he was eagerly awaiting news that Irian lived.  Elanor cared naught-she was in their cabin, most likely feeding the fish even now.

James looked at the report again.  He looked back at the assembly, and by now crew and others were crowding around, hoping for news.

“Irian will live.  Whether he will fight again, that’s anyone’s guess.  But live, yes.”

The room had somehow been collectively holding its breath, but there was a corporate exhale.  Namid collapsed.  Hariel was faster than Thor, though, and he caught her.  “James, if you will, is there a bed near him we can place her in?”

James was already entering the codes for the door.  They laid Namid in the bed next to Irian, who was hooked up to all manner of machines, monitors and IVs.  There was a steady beep from the heart monitor, and the gentle clicking of the breathing machine.  Irian lay there, swathed in bandages, his chest rising and falling in time with the machine.

“What’s with those bandages?  They’re black…”

“They’re silver-impregnated.  Kills bacteria in the wound.  Namid and Irian were both found packed full of sand.  We washed and scraped as much out as we dared when we got him in here, but he’ll still require more surgery just to deal with sand.  That’s before we talk about fixing him.

“Fixing?”

My people’s technology is far more advanced than most would believe.  The Prince showed you some of it, but he mostly worked with your technology-a genius there, but there are other minds just as brilliant here waiting for Irian to wake.  In fact, when he does, Irian is one of the best minds on the planet.  We’ve spared no expense to find him, we’re not giving up on him now.”

“So this arm and leg won’t grow back?”

“No.  Unlike a normal injury you’d sustain, being hit with that beam works differently on a molecular level.  His body basically forgot how to fix those areas.  He’ll not fix that on his own.”

“But what about Namid?  Her burns are healing just fine…”

“Hers were just caused by steam and radiant heat.  The beam didn’t touch her.  She should make a full recovery.”

“So she’ll be just as fetching as ever, then?”

The last voice was thin, but there was still steel in it.  Irian was struggling to push himself up in the bed, and wasn’t quite aware he was down an arm and leg.

“Everyone keeps looking at me like I’m dead or something.  Cut it out.”  He tried to push up on his left side, and fell back on the bed.

“Hey.  Who took my arm?  Give it back…”

James released the button on the screen he carried.  Irian sank beneath a sea of powerful painkillers and hypnotics.

“All right, we need to let him rest.  He’ll need a lot of it.”

So shall we all, thought James.  So shall we all.

 

 

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Published in: on January 4, 2011 at 2:13 am  Leave a Comment  

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