Chapter Three: Sakev

 

Oh, what a wonderful feeling, I’m happy to say.

Wow. What had that woman given me?

That human song kept playing in my head over and over again. I couldn’t stop it. At least my arm didn’t hurt anymore, or my leg, or my back, or my head.

Do they make that stuff in canisters?

I shook my head and tried to clear my thoughts. Whatever she had shot me up with messed with my head. I didn’t like it.

I noticed that she had taken the shard from my arm and placed it on a tray near me. Wasn’t it blue before?

It was…I remembered.

When we fought the hybrids, the crystals on their bodies were blue, like the Xathi soldiers, but this crystal taken out of my arm was almost clear now. There was hardly any blue left to it. Weird.

She smiled down at me.

I drooled. These meds were great!

Then I felt a new sensation, like something biting me. I looked down to see her sticking my arm with a needle, pulling thread through the new hole she just put in me.

“Oh, I was hoping you’d leave that hole there. Gives me a new pocket to hide things.”

The look on her face was priceless. I chuckled.

She pulled harder on the thread. It hurt.

“Okay. If you do have to stitch me up, can you at least make sure the scar looks good? Some sort of design maybe?”

“Sure. How about a pretty flower?” Her face was serious, but her tone was light.

I liked her.

She had an ethereal beauty to her.

And she was humorous.

“So the ‘asshole’ gets a flower?”

Vrehx’s voice came from my right. “If it stops him from talking, give him a bouquet of flower-scars.”

He wasn’t happy with me.

I couldn’t really blame him. I had acted rashly and irresponsibly. I hadn’t taken the hybrids seriously enough, and it cost all of us.

But that didn’t stop me from being what the humans called snarky. “Yeah, can you stitch it like a whole, whatever he said, of flowers?”

I made my eyes wide, trying to look innocent as I asked. It sort of worked on her because she laughed a bit as she pulled the thread a little harder, again.

“Skrell! That hurt.”

It actually did. It wasn’t bad pain, it was just…irritating.

Her voice came across very condescendingly as she responded to me. “Oh, I’m sorry. Did the big, bad soldier have an owie? Should I get you another shot of medicine?”

I guess I deserved that.

I shook my head, regretting it a bit as it started to hurt a little more. “No. I shall survive.”

“Good. Now shut up and stop moving, or I’m going to make a mess of the stitching.”

It was one of the few times that I did as I was told. I stopped moving and just watched her. I wasn’t exactly the most…how would Tu’ver put it?

Subservient?

No, that wasn’t the right word. I struggled to think of it, but I was never really the type to be patient and well-behaved, not unless it was absolutely necessary. But there was something about this female human that made me just sit and watch.

Her long auburn hair was pulled back into what the other females called a “pony-tail.” Not sure what a pony was, but it looked good with this one. It helped to get the hair away from her eyes…those blue eyes that looked nearly black, that’s how dark they were.

And the tiny little freckles on her nose were just a bit smaller than the ones on her cheekbones. They were adorable, especially on her.

She was short too. Lying on this bed, I was still almost face-to-face with her, which meant that if I was standing, I’d tower over her like a monster.

“And…done!” She announced as she tied off my stitches and cut away the remaining thread. “Do me a favor, okay, crystal-boy? Don’t screw up my stitching. I’ll be back to check on your leg and back in a few when the meds have kicked in a little more.”

She moved over to Vrehx and began examining his head and shoulder.

“Take care of him for me, Madame Doctor. I don’t want his woman angry at me if he’s scarred,” I said as she began cleaning the gash on his head.

It wasn’t as bad as it had originally looked, but it was still nasty to see.

“Shut up, Sakev.” Vrehx was still angry at me.

“Hey, you weren’t supposed to follow me. I could have handled it, if I had a few clones of myself to send in first.”

He shot me a look, the one he usually gave when I needed to stop talking.

I didn’t obey.

“What’s your name?” I asked the comely doctor. “I’m Sakev. I’m known as the fun one in here.”

“Yeah, I can tell.”

Skrell. Her coldness struck home. I tried harder.

“Come on, tell me your name. Don’t make me invent one for you. If I did, you probably wouldn’t like it,” I teased her.

Vrehx shook his head.

I could hear Tu’ver let out a grumpy sigh. Even Axtin shook his head at me.

But still I pressed on. “What? I just want to know what her name is, so I can give her a properly addressed thank-you note.”

She glanced back at me, her face serious. “You really need to just rest. You’re annoying the other patients.”

The thing is though, I saw her start to smile as she turned her attention back to Vrehx and his head.

“Very well. I’ll rest.”

A not-so-silent about time came from Daxion at the far side of the room. He wasn’t badly hurt, just a few small scrapes. He was helping to patch up Tu’ver, whose hand still looked terribly bent the wrong way.

I watched as she finished up with Vrehx, giving him some pain medication to take and ordering him to come back and see her that evening to check the stitching. He agreed as he went to a nearby basin, washed up, and went to help Dax with Tu’ver.

There was a sickening crack as they snapped his wrist back into place. He barely grunted, but I could see the supreme effort he put into not making a sound.

She went over to check on him, running her scanner over the wrist and arm, and ordered him into a brace, so his ligaments could rest and heal. He thanked her, and she smiled at him.

It was a good smile. Not as pretty as other smiles that I had seen, but I could see that it was genuine and held a real level of care and concern in it. As she started to look at Axtin, I decided that I had rested enough.

“Come on, give me a name. Don’t make me call you something unusual like…Dot, or Flower, or Stitches.” I made sure to keep my tone light-hearted. I wanted her to know that I was harmless…or as harmless as a military killing machine could be.

I got nothing from her.

“Very well. I’ll have to go with Stitches then. That’ll fit the stitches you put in my arm, and the stitches I’ll have you in when I make you laugh.”

Her reply was something from my own heart. “Let me know when you say something funny, and I’ll try my best to laugh.”

Everyone inside the med bay laughed. I made several different facial expressions as I nodded in defeat.

It was a good retort from her.

“That was very well done.” I grinned. “I concede. I suppose I’m not as funny as I thought I was. Or maybe I haven’t gotten started. But that should convince you to give me a name. Don’t make me get serious about my humor.”

“Oh? You weren’t serious before? Okay. Give me your best shot at what you think is humor,” she challenged me.

I broke out with some of my best, bringing most of team two to tears with laughter and even getting a smile out of Tu’ver.

It felt good to see him smile, but it felt so much better when I made her laugh. She visibly fought it, but she laughed several times, and that made me feel better than the pain meds did. Even General Rouhr, who’s standing in a corner and monitoring things, smiled a bit.

When Stitches was done patching everyone up, Rouhr called her over.

I didn’t hear everything, but I heard some of their conversation.

“He needs to stay in the med bay overnight. I’m worried about the cut to his back.”

“When will he be available?”

“If things go well, he’ll be back on his feet tomorrow. It’s mostly a precautionary measure.”

I decided to cut in. “I’m well. My back only itches a little bit.” It hurt. “I’m fine.”

She sucked her lips in, trying to hold back a smile.

Rouhr wasn’t so nice. “Be quiet. You’re lucky she’s holding you in here overnight, or you’d be working in the recycling center, cleaning it up. Alone.”

I stopped smiling. That was not something I wanted to do.

I really didn’t want to be down in the recycling center. That’s where everyone’s…I gagged a bit.

Rouhr took advantage of my silence. “You’re lucky no one was killed, and that your injuries were the only ones that were serious. If I could, I’d kick you off the team and off the ship. As of right now, you’re off patrols until further notice. Let’s see how bored you get then.”

She must have seen the look on my face because she had a very sympathetic look on hers.

Later that night, as everyone else finally left, she came to check on me again. I stayed silent, letting her do her work. I rolled over, so she could check my back, which she said was good.

As she checked my arm, she smiled at me. “My name’s Evangeline, but everyone calls me Evie.”

She left, leaving instructions with one of the workers playing nurse to keep an eye on my arm and to get her if anything changed. She flashed me a smile as she went to check on the others.

I laid back, smiled, and closed my eyes. It had been a long day.

Madame Doctor had somehow made this war much less boring.

***

Sakev is a work in progress. I’d love to know what you think! (and… Sakev is available for pre-order now!)

 

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