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Tag: hospital

Finally!

The Federation finally dealt the Serpentis in Placid a blow and hopefully made a dent in the drug trade. Nice, too, to see the Feds working with local groups like the Placid Militia and actually acknowledging them for trying to do what the Federation honestly should have been doing all along.

The article calls Rise “a scourge on the region of Placid” and I can’t agree more. Even being Reborn myself, I honestly don’t understand why so many Intaki are attracted to it. Despite its supposed “assistance” with memory recall, it has such dangerous risks, and even if it didn’t… It cheapens the whole tradition of being Reborn, spits on those who spend years training the mental disciplines our ancestors used to pull true memories. Anyone who uses Rise simply wants an easy time of it, can’t be bothered to do the work themselves and wants to skip ahead. It’s cheating!

No one can guarantee anything that is “remembered” with Rise is even accurate anyway. Other drugs pull hallucinations out of nothing, create wild trips of the imagination that are worse than nightmares yet also send the user to the most stimulating high or the most devastating low. It’s still all a product of the drug. Why then should Rise’s effects be any different? No one will ever convince me the Serpentis have any desire to do Intaki Reborn any favors. They care about lining their pockets, nothing more. Besides, if it was such a boon to the Reborn, it wouldn’t be illegal.

After the Serpentis attacked the passenger liner, I had amnesia. I knew who I was but the event itself and the days immediately following it were blocked. I had difficulty recalling my childhood. I knew my family but sometimes their names escaped me. All of my Reborn memories were gone too, and remain hidden from me even today.

At the time it never occurred to me but thinking about it now I wonder… My amnesia abated quickly, a month or so at most. I still had a great deal of physical rehabilitation to undergo, not to mention psychological therapy… I’m in no way an expert about that kind of trauma, but surely that’s unusual? What if they used a little Rise to “help” things along? How could I ever trust my own recollections if that were true?

The idea makes me sick, actually, and now I wish I hadn’t thought of it. The hospital is reputable though, and I can’t honestly believe the doctors would risk their medical licenses using an illegal drug in patient care. If anything, the mental disciplines I learned as a child are what helped me through it all. That I know some memories are still blocked reassures me I haven’t been exposed to Rise.

In any case, I hope the Federation continues down this path and wipes Placid clean of all its scourges, and further encourages locals to contribute like they have today. Having lost such assets, the Serpentis should start to think twice about their activities there.


Immortal

I have never felt this tired in my life. I’m not even sure what time it is…just very late.

The entire day was spent at the intake office, and most of that in the medical wing, a very cold and sterile place. It reminded me of the hospital and my throat started to ache with memory.

They weighed me, tested my blood, scanned my brain, took tissue samples. I ran for what felt like hours on a treadmill, with tons of leads and wires strung from my body, feeding data to their equipment. They put me in a centrifuge to test my resilience against g-forces—at one point I was sure I would black out, but managed not to. That part was almost fun, actually! Like being on rides at the amusement park with Father as a child, only much more intense.

I think now they must know more about my body than I do!

I wasn’t told much, just led around and ordered to do this, that, and the other thing. Often, the personnel attending me would review results on their printouts or datapads, nod, make notes, and apparently mutter with approval. Half of what I did hear them say I didn’t understand at all. So much technical jargon!

…and then I died.

They don’t tell you that in the recruitment ads.

First they shaved my head. I was escorted, in my underthings, down a long hallway to a medical bay, and there I found…me. A copy…a clone of me, inert and lifeless inside a cryo tube. I recognized a few of the other applicants there, all of them shivering in little more than their skin, and all staring at copies of themselves, as I was. We laid down on hard, cold beds, and were…taken…a few at a time.

It was…odd, like going to sleep and then waking up to an out of body experience. The whole thing was relatively painless, yet I’m sure I felt myself being sucked out of myself. Then, opening my eyes and looking down on my now lifeless body… I can’t really put that into words. Not yet anyway. Maybe not ever.

I have implants now, five sockets along my upper back and neck that all capsuleers must have, and some wetware in my brain to accept inputs from the sockets. The skin on my back is still raw and I’m dying to scratch.

I had barely enough time to get used to what had happened before they hooked me up to a new machine and “injected” a number of “skillbooks” into my brain via the implants. Really, they’re just data modules… I can feel information accumulating in my mind, but until the module finishes compiling I can’t make use of any of it. It’s just…there…like a spot of fog, or a shadow at the edge of my vision. As soon as I try to focus on it, it moves away, just out of reach. Yet, each minute that passes brings the fog closer to me and into sharper detail.

I have so much to learn. These skills that are growing in my brain now are just the basics, rudimentary information about spaceflight and ships and the navy itself that I need to know before I can even think about taking on actual practical information. Most of what I need will be downloaded into my head this way, though they told me I’ll also have to attend actual training courses. They’re going to teach me manual flight too, just in case I wash out in the capsuleer program, and I’ll be tested regularly to make sure the injected skills have properly integrated with my brain…

My mind hurts, actually, with all the changes I’ve gone through today. I mean, I died. My head feels stuffed, as if a wad of cotton is in there, and the wad is full of bees. I could sleep for days. But I’m excited too. Now that I’m here, now that the deed is done, I know to the very core of my being that I made the right choice. I will be a capsuleer, of that I have no doubt. It’s only a matter of time.


Starting Over

I’m told I’ll be released in a week. My physical therapy has gone well; I’m fitter and stronger now than I was before the incident. Thanks to the doctor’s skilled hands you can’t even tell I was ever physically injured…all the scars are gone.

My psychological health has improved greatly since I got my voice back. I no longer fall victim to fits and tantrums when I see reports of pirate activity on the news. I feel much calmer, much more like myself. The nightmares are becoming quieter also… More and more I can sleep an entire night through. They tell me there’s little else they can do to help…the rest of this long road I need to travel on my own, as Ida teaches us.

Mom…is much the same. Her body has healed and they know she could take care of herself…if she wanted to. They moved her to a long-term care facility, one normally for the elderly with advanced mental decay. She seems old now, though she’s not.

She has yet to say anything to anyone and in my heart I know I won’t hear her speak again. She’ll never come home either.

I’ve been thinking for a while about what to do when I’m released. I haven’t yet sung any of my songs. I’ve tried… Maybe it’s this place. Maybe it’s just not right to sing here. But even as I write those words I know it’s more than that. The songs are in me but I…just can’t. I can hardly bear to think I’ll never sing again.

What is left for me? Then I consider the oath I swore, of the threat the Serpentis represent. I haven’t forgotten. I never will.

Today I saw a recruitment ad in the feeds and at once I knew it was what I needed. A capsuleer! Now I know who these people are. This is how I will give back to the Serpentis what they gave to me.

I’ll have to sell everything to raise the necessary funds…but it will be worth it.


Hello Again

I spoke today for the first time in ten weeks!

At first I wasn’t sure I could. But then the words formed and the sound came out!

I went to see my mother. She’s out of intensive care now and is responding well to the regenerative therapies. She can sit up unassisted and is starting to be able to handle solid foods. I hoped when I showed her I barely need the hoverchair anymore and could greet her aloud, it would spark something, anything…

At the sound of my voice she did turn to look at me. I reached out my hands and she let me take hers in mine, and even squeezed my fingers a bit. She watched me for a moment before a tear fell down her face and she turned back to the window.

She’s always like this now, always staring out the window.

I talked to her until my throat felt raw and I worried I’d overdone it, but she didn’t look at me again.


All I Ever Wanted Was to Sing

Dr. Haluarin wants to operate on my throat again. My vocal chords were basically destroyed by shrapnel and the regenerative therapies they’ve tried to date haven’t worked.

He says at this point it will be easier to completely remove what’s left and wants me to agree to let him grow me a new set instead. They’ll basically clone my throat and then transplant the new vocal chords in.

I don’t know anything about cloning. He says it’s quite safe and thousands of people called “capsuleers” are cloned daily without issue.

I haven’t been able to speak, or sing… What will I do without my voice?

I’m going to agree to the procedure.

…I wonder what a capsuleer is?


Mom

Mom woke up today. I don’t think she knows who I am.


The Long Road Revisited

I’m calmer now; I can finish the previous entry. I guess they had to sedate me again. Lately I get so worked up! When that happens the nurses make tutting sounds and murmur about the so-called stoic nature of the Intaki. My therapist sighs and makes notes.

What kind of life will I lead now? I wish I had died.

No, that’s not true. Not all the time, but still sometimes. I was naive about leaving Intaki, ignorant about what dangers there were beyond my world.

It took some doing; in the early days they wouldn’t let me watch the newsfeeds and my therapist still doesn’t like it if I do. Actually, she reminds me a lot of my father that way. He never let us learn much about New Eden, and I guess now I understand why he always became irritable and quiet when any of us asked questions. He was always afraid to talk about space. But maybe if he hadn’t been I wouldn’t be in this position! How could he let us go out there without knowing anything?! I’ve never been so angry…

I’m paying attention now; I see and hear the reports of what goes on all across Placid, things I never paid attention to before, things my father tried to protect me from the way he kept the waiver secret.

But some weeks ago I finally learned who attacked us, who wrecked my life and killed all the people I love.

That name is what I hold onto. If I have nothing else now, I have that. And one day I will be free of this hospital, free of bleached sheets, antiseptic smells and needles and therapies and people telling me it will “be okay”. On that day, I will find a way to get back at the pirates for what they’ve done. I swear.

Serpentis.


The Long Road

It’s been a while. My therapist says I should keep writing, that it will help. She says I need to face what happened, that I can’t heal until I admit the details to myself.

The Scope pestered me for weeks to give an interview regarding what happened. When my amnesia finally abated I agreed, just to make them stop asking. Doesn’t that qualify as admitting the details to myself? After all, I heard every word that left my mouth. Perhaps my therapist has no idea what she’s talking about.

I’ll note the details here. She’ll be checking anyway; better to get this over and done with.

The passenger liner had finished its jump into Agoze. Suddenly the deck shuddered and the warning bells sounded. A moment later the lights in the entire passenger compartment went out.

I left my seat. I wasn’t supposed to; all the signs said everyone should stay put and buckle up in the event of an emergency. But my mother had just excused herself to the restroom; the jump hit her hard and in those first moments after, while the ship was aligning to the next gate, she’d felt she couldn’t hold her stomach any longer.

I almost couldn’t make my way. The deck kept tilting violently back and forth and the darkness was punctuated every few seconds by blinding bursts of light from beyond the viewports.

I realized then, along with most of the other passengers, that we were being shot at. The flight attendants started shouting, children screamed, and smoke poured into the compartment.

Mom was in the restroom still bent over the toilet when I finally found her. Really, it took only a few seconds but just like in the holovids, time had seemed to slow down. I remember she groaned at me and made some sarcastic remark about turbulence in space. These were the last words I heard her say.

What happened next is literally blown permanently from my memory. I’m told the hull of the liner breached and set off a series of explosions. Everyone in the passenger compartment was killed due to decompression…including my father and brothers.

The only survivors were those of us in the restrooms and a few crew who became trapped in other parts of the ship when the emergency seals activated. Even then, we weren’t terribly lucky. The explosions twisted the wreck of the liner, tossing us about like ragdolls. I don’t remember that part, either.

My next memory is of lying crumpled up in a corner of the restroom, with part of a stall lying over me. My back was broken and I had shrapnel embedded in me everywhere, including my throat. Someone, not my mother, was screaming about being on fire. I was paralyzed. I couldn’t do anything…but listen. Oh god, the screams…

It took a long time before she quieted. But then, the woman’s death revealed another horror: I could distinctly hear the sound of whistling air. Somewhere, what little oxygen we had was slowly finding a route out into space.

It got very, very cold. The fire was still burning and that kept us from freezing to death. At some point I passed out, from lack of oxygen, blood loss…from the cold… I’m told it was two days before we were rescued.

I don’t know why we didn’t die, why the attackers left the wreck and didn’t finish the job. I know it’s been hell since then. My mother suffered severe head trauma and is still in a coma. She’s not expected to live. Many of the other survivors are still in hospital as well. I can feel my legs again but I’m still relearning how to walk. My speech therapy is taking longer…too long.

Everything is gone. Everything. I can’t sing, I can’t walk. I couldn’t even go to the service for my father and brothers—! There wasn’t one because…because…explosive decompression and no bodies recove


Confused

Why am I in the hospital? I was on the passenger liner and then… I can’t remember what happened. Where is everyone?

Everything hurts. I can’t walk, I can’t speak. The nurses gave me a pad to write on, but they won’t tell me where my family is. All they say is my surgeries went well and I should regain use of my legs soon.

I can’t speak…

Why did this happen…? I can’t speak.