Note: This tale takes place some time in the somewhat near future.
The sun was shining and little poulia were whistling and singing outside. A warm but gentle breeze was blowing into the small private room. The room wasn’t as pleasant as outside, what with the constant beeping machinery and the hard hospital bed, but that didn’t bother the room’s occupant.
“It’s a lovely day today, don’t you think?” a young Rethan medic smiled as she entered the room.
“One of many…” Veeyel weakly smiled back from his bed. “How are you, Eltea?”
“Good, thank you, although I’m a bit busy today. Lot of patients in my care. You? All of us are really surprised on how much better you are!”
Veeyel glanced down at his body. Although he was brain-damaged, had lost a lot of his memories and could no longer feel anything past his stomach or his left arm, he had come a long way.
“If you say so…”
Despite his progress, there were a lot of doubts lingering in Veeyel’s mind. He would probably need cybernetics to walk again, and there were other, more personal problems at hand. A long time had passed since his imprisonment and his insane bid for freedom. The rebellion was over, and those he cared about were missing, possibly never to be seen again.
Eltea though was always there to cheer him up. He needed it, it was easy for Veeyel to start crying, waking up from painful dreams and slithers of memories.
“Oh, don’t be like that! You can move your arm now, you couldn’t do that a month ago!” Eltea gleamed as she checked his drips, lowering the dosage of painkillers. She then changed his saline drip. Although Veeyel could feed himself, he was always in a state of low-level dehydration, for reasons none of the medics could explain.
Veeyel wiggled his arm about. Eltea was right. He had proper feeling in his fingers now, not the numbness he had before. That was just in a week or so. Whatever they were doing was working.
Eltea pulled his bed forward and reached round behind Veeyel. She began massaging his shoulders, which made Veeyel relax start to drool. He hated being so weak and having so little control. Kayel had always said he was too controlling… That thought though made him suddenly tense up.
“You alright?” the young medic seemed concerned. Of course she did, that was her job.
“Yes, sorry. Sometimes memories come back by surprise. My brain doesn’t like doing what I tell it to, like the rest of me.” Veeyel started to relax again, but couldn’t quite settle down. “What happened to Kayel?”
Eltea looked up. “Kayel? Kayel Theanon? No vok really knows. Most think he died. Not even his kids know.”
“I forgot Kayel had kids. All my memories of him are from so long ago…” Veeyel sighed. He needed to think about other things. Eltea finished massaging him and started doing other checks, in particular checking the blood pressure in his motionless limbs. She really was a really pretty Rethan. He thought Eltea was young, but she didn’t seem that young. Maybe a few years younger than himself?
Finally, she checked the feeling around Veeyel’s head and snout. Her fingers felt tingly on his skin. But he moved away sharply as Eltea felt around the large cracks on his head shield.
“It’s fine…” Veeyel hesitated. “Say… Are you doing anything later, when you are off duty?”
Eltea looked at him suspiciously. Veeyel immediately started stammering.
“I-I-I d-don’t mean anything like that. I know you c-can’t. I-I can’t either. It’s just I get lonely and… I’d like to spend an evening watching television with you. That is all.”
Eltea put a comforting hand on Veeyel’s shoulder. “That would be nice. I can’t join you tonight, but how about tomorrow night? I’ll bring some party tarts and some drinks.”
Veeyel smiled. An actual, proper smile. “That sounds absolutely perfect…”