Chapter Eighty: Drying Out

Irian was not handling the lack of alcohol well.

“You took this from him, what are you going to do about it?”  Namid was close to throwing Irian’s cup at Elanor.  “He can’t get out of bed, he isn’t speaking.  He didn’t sleep last night.  Look at his face.  Do you see the pain there?”  She pointed at the pile of blankets on the bed.

Elanor wheeled over to the blankets and drew them back.  Irian’s face was a rictus of pain.  Silent tears streamed down his face.  The ends of his stumps were bloody, as were the fingers of his right hand.  “Why wouldn’t you tell me, Irian?  It’s time to end this nightmare.”

Elanor typed a string of commands into the datapad Irian had left in the floor.  A detailed plan of his arm appeared, with the vital connections now in place.  Another command showed the leg, also suitably finished.  “Well, that answers the first question.  Now we have to figure out how to get you to sleep to do it.”

Namid looked at her blankly.  Elanor continued.  “Irian designed a large part of this.  What he didn’t understand was how to implement it.  And I can do it, if we can simply get him knocked out to begin.  I thought he drank for other reasons than to kill the pain.”  She swallowed.  “This will be more difficult.  I need some things from the assembler.”

Some time later, Irian was strapped to an operating table.  His face was still the same mask as before, and his wounds were uncovered.  Elanor was readying a series of injections.

“I had to make this in the assembler.  I needed such highly refined drugs there were none to be had on board-we used them all to keep him out the first time.  Are the two of you ready?”

Namid nodded.  “The stubborn thing can’t talk.  Will this work on him?”

“Yes.  Namid, help him drift off.  After that, lock the door and admit no one that hasn’t been decontaminated.  If you choose to come back, the lock has been keyed to you, but you’ll need to go through decontamination again.  I don’t recommend it.”

She nodded.  “Will it hurt him?”

“If he’s awake, yes.  I’m going to give him an injection, and then I want you to make sure he is completely asleep.  If he wakes up while the assemblers are working, he could damage himself further.”  She jabbed the needle into Irian’s forearm.  “This is all a big gamble.  We’ve never tried anything like this before.”

Irian’s eyes opened.  “Cariad…”  His mouth moved, but no words came out.

“Just like Taliesin, I used the suantrai on you.  You’ll sleep till I tell you to, and wake when I tell you.  And when you do, you’ll be whole.”  His eyelids drooped.  She supported his head as it lolled back.  “He’ll be gone soon.  I have to trust you to make him better.”

Elanor nodded.  “I know.  And like Musashi said, I’ll not make the same mistake twice.  Let me get to work, this will take a long time.  And I promise you-it won’t be pretty.  Come back if you dare.”

“I threw up already this morning.”  Both women shared a laugh.

“I’ll take care of him.  You take care of his child.”

The door shut as the two massive assemblers swung into place over Irian.

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Published in: on June 28, 2011 at 9:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

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