“Hi Ksiel!” Veeyel waved as he sat up straight, struggling to get a sheet off his legs.
Ksiel entered cautiously, leaving his bag by the door. The last time he was here, there wasn’t nearly as much medical equipment. A heart monitor and two saline drips stood next to Veeyel’s bed, all three attached to the former Ksa.
“Hi, brother… why are you like that?”
Veeyel remained cheerful and smiley, but the tone of his voice changed. “Uh, something happened. Medics don’t know what. I’m going to just put it down as one of those silly Ksa things.”
“Silly… Ksa things?” Ksiel scratched his head. “What do you mean?”
The smile faded completely. “We’re experiments. Medical experiments designed to create the best type of Rethan possible. The amount of genetic bullshit they did to us, it’s amazing we haven’t exploded yet. Of course this means treating simple medical conditions becomes a complicated pain in the backside. Especially when the medics realised that I’m immune to multiple types of antibiotics and have a resistance to anaesthetic…”
Veeyel fell silent and stared out of the window. While the weather had been warm and humid, it was cloudy outside. Cloudy to the point that it was almost foggy, the tops of many buildings couldn’t be seen. Ksiel shuffled over and looked for somewhere to sit down. There was a lone stool in the corner, so he dragged it to Veeyel’s bed and awkwardly perched on it.
“You aren’t doing to well, are you?”
“No. I’m dying. Really should be dead already.”
The L-Class all knew that Veeyel was ill and probably didn’t have long to live, but the way he so bluntly said that was somewhat disturbing.
“And to think,” Veeyel interrupted, “I lectured you on not committing suicide. You know how hard it is to fight off these thoughts? I try so hard to avoid them but it never works.”
“I understand. The suicidal thoughts always nag at the back of our minds.”
Once again, Veeyel interrupted. “And we can’t even fucking take medication to help us. No sleeping meds, no relaxing drugs. Fuck all. I was hoping that Kayel would be able to get us all moved off to some far away land where we can be happy and get it all done faster but I’m honestly having doubts now.”
“Why?” Ksiel asked.
“You not been reading the news?”
Ksiel shook his head. One of the nice things of no longer being a Ksa was that he didn’t give two fucks about what was going on in the solar system. He hadn’t read a paper or watched the news in weeks.
Veeyel though just sighed. Being in hospital, he clearly had more time, or at least more boredom, to keep up with recent events.
“The Sixteen, the current rulers of all Thanatian territories, are falling apart. One of them walked out and the others are rumoured to be in-fighting, and they’ve broken some of their ties with the Thraki, with whom Kayel wanted us to work and live with.”
“But I thought that was just Thanatian planets, not the neutral territories?”
“Nope. Giant, convoluted mess.”
Ksiel shrugged, then put his hand on Veeyel’s shoulder. “Kayel is still working on it. He’s apparently got a meeting with some Thraki called, uh, Vokulunax or something like that. There’s still some hope…” Ksiel paused. He’d spotted a television set in the corner. “Does that work?”
“Yeah but there’s nothing on…”
Ksiel grinned, leaping up and grabbing his bag. He rummaged through it until he found two controllers and a small, black box – a portable console.
“You wanna play some electronic games?”
Veeyel’s eyes lit up as Ksiel started setting up the television. “I’d love to!”