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Old 09-20-2005, 09:17 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Las Vegas Nevada
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Endar Spire
When I woke up, two days had passed. The med-techs had stuck me in the Bacta tanks, and my body was repaired. I knew I was still aboard Ashtree Corona. That labored sound in the air circulation system sounded exactly the same.
The first tech to see me had almost shrieked in surprise. The doctor came in motioning for me not to move. “Just a few tests. What is your name?“
Name. Everything has a name. Everyone has a name. That’s how you know they’re talking to you and not someone else. “Danika?” I asked
“No, full name.”
I pondered. “Danika Wordweaver.”
“Home planet?”
He nodded. “You might have some problems remembering. You were under a long time, and hypox can’t repair neural damage. Don‘t worry about it.”
I wanted to tell him that not remembering would bother anyone, and telling you not to worry about it was stupid, but merely nodded.
Every doctor or med I saw for the next few hours was looking at me in awe. I was treated like a visiting Senator, anything I wanted I could have with a word.
I hated it. While everything was healed, I had trouble breathing, especially when I walked. I had been one of those that set the pace in our morning runs. Right then a newborn baby still crawling would have beaten me.
And I dreamed. Usually my dreams were normal. But these dreams linked together. When I slept, I was where the last dream had left off. They started with Kalendra and I walking home hand in hand. Again, that had never happened. Worst yet, I knew somehow that this wasn’t Kalendra I was with.
You must know the feeling. You are out among a crowd, and a face catches your eye. They look like someone you used to know perhaps someone you loved, or knew well. But when you’re closer, they don’t really look alike. The face isn’t even really close when you think about it. The voice is not right. This woman was brunette like Kalendra, a bit shorter than I like her, soft voice with an accent like my brief love.
It wasn’t her, but for some reason she acted the same at a lot of points. It bothered me more when she didn’t follow the script my memory handed out.
The first night in the pool she had stripped off her robe, but wore a bathing suit. Kalendra and I had been so comfortable together that a suit was superfluous. Yet ’Kalendra’ in my dream was nervous. As she had lain back in my arms the real Kalendra had cried. Yet this one just lay against me with shoulder tense. It took her a long time to really relax.
Did I tell the psyche-techs? Are you out of your mind? Once I was fit again, I would return to a ground unit. Away from what I took to be a gradual madness. But if they thought I was failing to track upstairs, all I would get would be a room with padded walls. No thank you very much.
Padawan Loras came to see me on the second day. She always reminded me of the women that came to hunter meetings with their husbands. A demented bird flying from task to task. That little bit of normality actually made me feel even better.
How are you feeling?”
“Like I died and no one told me.” I grumped. I was back to walking normally, but still didn’t have the wind to run.
“You did, twice.” She replied matter of factly. “You ran out of air, and your heart stopped as they were reeling you in. Then again in the airlock. The doctor was sure you wouldn’t come back to full mental capability.
“If it weren’t for Bastila, you would have been shipped out with the crippled yesterday. But she said you were still cognizant.”
I felt a chill of terror. To wake up in a Republic hospital, everyone sure my mind was gone. Or worse, living there to a ripe old age as a drooling moron or a resource to havest. “How did she know?”
“We’re not quite sure, actually. Well you have two more days of convalescing to do. Does it matter to you where?”
“Five of the damaged ships are well enough repaired to return to shipyards. A mobile repair ship has arrived to begin repairing the others. The others are splitting up to try to locate the Leviathan. At Bastila’s request, you’re being transferred to Endar Spire.”
I considered the option. Did it matter? Not really. “When?”
“As soon as your gear is packed.”
She was as good as her word. Less than an hour later, I walked across the gangway onto the Endar Spire.
With all of the ships that were damaged or destroyed, every ship was crowded. I was assigned a room I shared with a junior officer. I never met him because he was on Beta-shift, and I was assigned to Delta. We shared the bed, each sleeping when the other was working. In my case, work was sleeping, eating, and going to the gym to work out for the next four days.
My dreams continued. This was the first time in my life I had ever had sequential dreams, though others I had spoken to had mentioned them happening. But I am sure no one had ever lived through such rich and vivid dreams. Kalendra and I practiced with ritual brands, though hers seemed to glow as if it were a light saber. We spent as much time together as we had in real live, running through the fields, walking hand in hand. Hugging as if to chase a chill away. But there were those odd places where dream did not fit reality. Climbing Jumja trees to drop ripe fruit into her hands, something that had not happened because while Jumja would be ripe at this very moment at home, they had been two months away when Kalendra and I spent those halcyon days together.
As it had been in real life, our entire world was each other. There were times when I would be bothered, and when that happened, she would sense it, taking my face in her hands, and kissing my cheek yet again. That kiss would draw me back into the dream.
On the fourth day, I was in the wide wading pool of home, leaned into the tile backing. We had practiced until we were both tired, and it felt good to lay in the water.
“May I join you?” I opened my eyes, and Kalendra was there. She dropped her robe. For a moment, there was a struggle in her eyes, then the suit she had worn joined it. She slid into the liquid, and moved into her favorite spot on my lap. My arms encircled her, and she snuggled with a soft cry of satisfaction.
“I wish we could stay here forever.” I whispered.
“You know we cannot.” She admonished. “There is much we must do.”
I had no idea what she was talking about, but part of me knew exactly what she meant. “I know.” I felt saddened. The dreams had become the most exciting part of my recent life. They would have to end.
Then I tensed. Like the time I had reached for my boots and stopped because somehow I had felt the presence of the hook spider in one of them. Something bad was going to happen.
She had sensed it too. We slid apart, unconsciously taking positions of defense. Ahead of me was a nebula I had never seen, and a golden sun. From that sun plunged a Jollo cat. The largest and most ferocious one I had ever seen. I reached for my pistol, but I had forgotten it somehow. Then the cat plunged between us. I could hear Kalendra scream, and a massive paw slammed me down-
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