XSDF Battleship Einherjar
Floor 9, Medical Ward
May 30, 2044, 2146 Hours
To… be with someone… means sharing who you are with them…
“Does his tachycardia show any signs of normalizing?” asked one of the doctors to another, who scanned to reveal that the the applied sedative was performing adequately, although, in this case, much of the job of alleviating the widespread physical pain was accomplished by lowering the sensitivity of the nerve receptors to well below perceivable levels.
The air was tense as the handful of surgeons present hurriedly and competently went to work finalizing the patient’s stabilization. He was connected to a few supplementary life support systems including a respirator and a machine to recirculate his blood.
In tandem with these and the surgeons was another specialized apparatus used in the treatment of structural damage to intricate artificial components. It featured a movable, looming base in support of four programmable, automatic robot arms sporting a wide array of equipable items. Each arm is customizable and able to perform various surgical tasks.
But how could I ever do that… when there are days in which I don’t even know who I am… or what I’m suppose to be?
The operation was frantically coordinated, orders and responses interchanging alongside the beeps and whirs of the life support systems and the medical bot. Arms, both biological and mechanical, were about the patient’s debilitated and ravaged body.
Aside from the obvious damage to his core, from fair bruising throughout to the more severe injuries by apparent, heavy blows strong enough to, at some points, warp his metallic endoskeleton not to mention injure his more sensitive internals, the team’s attention was gravitating toward three key locations, namely the bloodied, partially melted shreds stopping where his left arm passed the elbow and his two legs from the knees down used to be.
Well, maybe that’s untrue… Maybe I’ve known full well what I would need to become… to fight…
Judging from the type of damage done to each limb, it was concluded that the wounds were inflicted by a small to medium plasma weapon discharged at close range. The metallic frame was liquefied at the break. There were also portions of the surrounding tissue near the cut off point that showed signs of being dissolved, such as small, plasma induced holes.
His intact right arm was fastened to operating table with reinforced straps over his wrist. It was not customary nor protocol to do so for patients showing no signs of hysteria or agitation, but rather he himself demanded it. For what purpose or for whose safety it was for, remained unsaid. All the same, he made no attempt to struggle against the restraint.
At the moment, the machine set to work securing wayward scraps and administering specialized doses of Tz6 to mend absolutely vital areas. The solution was particularly used to temporarily seal off conduits leaking vital fluids, allowing the recirculator to perform its duty unhindered.
But I’ve been running. Hiding… from everything…
The current objective was saving his life. To that end, all critically important structures and mechanisms damaged beyond repair in the torso were removed carefully and replaced. In addition, all loose parts were extracted just prior to closing the operating entryways.
I’m tired… but that’s okay… There is no need to hide… anymore…
The patient’s face was without his usual pair of durable glasses. They were found crushed to the point of near unrecognition at the sight he was found in. What was on his face, however, was the clear breathing assist mask. It’s user was unconscious during the procedure and the blood trails from the cuts and wounds around his head were patched and cleaned.
Moments later, the team was rewarded with a positive reading on the electrocardiogram. His vital signs had stabilized, with all reading within acceptable levels. “(Sigh) That should just about do it. But we’ll need to monitor his condition to make sure the Tz6 is doing what it’s suppose to. Prep the ICU,” the head surgeon said to the others, who moved on ahead of her. She lingered on in the room, eyeing the shattered man on the table. Although his body was already synthetic, it wasn’t going to make the days to come anymore pleasant.
Because I think I understand what my purpose is…
“I’ve hardly heard him say anything to me. Have you?”
The two nurses, a man and a woman assigned to the cyborg’s care, were talking to each other outside his room, as was their tendency.
“No. Barely a thing.” the male nurse said. “I tried to talk to him. But mostly he just lays there, closed off. He doesn’t even eat the food brought to him until everyone’s out of the room. Can’t tell what’s going on in his head half the time.”
She sighed loudly. “Same here. I guess it is a bit too soon to be expecting him to be opening up right away. Must have been hell…”
“I take it he still refuses company?”
“Yep. Shakes his head every time I bring it up.”
“And he keeps on insisting on his arm being tied to the bed?”
“Damn… near death is one thing. This is torture.” the man responded exasperatingly.
“I know…” the woman said sadly, gathering two replacement IV bags from storage. “Not much we could do other than our jobs.” She carried the intravenous solutions into the patient room.
“Hey,” the nurse greeted meekly. Hearing nothing from the bedridden frenchman as per usual, she stepped over to the side of the bed and started replacing the hanging IVs.
“Just replacing the bags…” She glanced over at the emotionless expression on his face as he looked at the ceiling, that being the the most prominent part about him, given that the medical sheets were covering him from the neck down obscuring his still absent limbs. Only his head and secured right arm were visible.
“Not really in the mood today either…” the nurse posited lightly. “That’s okay… Though I’d wish you’d say something. Everyone’s probably worried about you.” She smiled but it soon dropped at his continued silence. “Alright… breakfast will come shortly…” Having given up on trying to engage him, she walked to the door, confident, at least, that there would be no change today either.
“Thank you…” Narcisse spoke plainly, causing her to 180 away from the door, in his direction. But there was no perceivable change in his demeanor. The nurse smiled thinly, quietly closing the door after herself.
The crippled man sank his lethargic head on his pillow. Now, without the need of the major external life support, his face was free of the oxygen mask. But with his only hand bound, quiet tears were also free to streak from both eyes down to the back of his head. His natural response of trying to wipe them away could not make it passed the restraints. And in the end, he stopped trying.
Yes… I understand now…