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Near Death Experiences - Zuan Shi

About Near Death Experiences

Previous Entry Near Death Experiences Sep. 5th, 2006 @ 09:13 pm Next Entry
WHO David, Kai, Zach Darling, Rebekah, Wynona
WHERE Rubaiyat, Jaguar & Greenleaf's Medical Center
WHEN September 4, 2519

Sitting at the console, Kai is...asleep. Head back, a smudge of dirt on her forehead and another on her cheek. Her fingers are dirty and greasy, but the panel has been welded, everything is fixed except the com and sensors and she fell asleep working on it. Can't fly without sensors. Tools are scattered around and a couple of wires dangle near her knee. She's not stopped all day.

David moves into the room almost silently, and watches Kai for a moment. He's torn, in many ways. His arm in a sling, he moves over to where she's sleeping, stopping about two feet away. He says softly, to the sleeping woman, "Kai. It's David. I'm not going to hurt you." He reaches forward, and touches the back of her chair. Not touching her, but moving her.

A shift and a stirring and Kai blinks the sleep from her eyes, pushing against the seat. "David? You hurt, love? Do you need anything?" She's not fully awake yet, grabbing the bottom of her shirt to rub at her face before eyeing the console as if trying to remember where she left off, then looking back up at him again. "Sorry. Fell asleep, I guess."

David smiles, easily. He says "Yes, I need something. I need you to curl up against me, so I can feel useful. I'll watch, while you sleep, this time." A pause. "And I did bring an inflatable mattress. So, no excuses." He lifts his hand, and grins. "Or I'll make you cook dinner tonight, without my help."

A faint, wry smile and Kai looks behind her at the setup, then up at David. "Are you up to me sleeping beside you? I don't want to cause you pain." Famous last words. "I think I got the distress beacon fixed, at least. So, if someone -is- looking for us, we might get found." She reaches for a rag and wipes off her hands, then pushes out of the chair and stumbles - stiff from sleeping sitting like that. "I'll get us out of here, safe. I promise."

David says "I trust you to get us out of here, Kai. And how often do I have to tell you I need you to curl up against me?" He reaches out with his good hand, to stabilize Kai when she stumbles, gripping her arm and shoulder.

Leaning into that hand, Kai rests a moment, then kicks off her boots and steps closer, resting her cheek against his chest and wrapping her arms around him. "David...I don't want you to go back." she whispers that last, so very softly. "I know you will, but I -really- wish..." she swallows, then clears her throat. "I'm buying this ship and having Jon and Jana run it for me, then I'm buying a second ship. I'll need help with it."

David says "I know you don't want me to go back, Kai. It's pretty obvious. I..." He pauses, and speaks slowly. "I am going to be going back, for at least a while. I've given my word." He puts his arm around her back, turning slightly so she's not pinning his wounded arm. "I'll be helping you as much as I can, here, as well."

"Can we lie down?" Kai asks softly, then moves to the mattress and kneels beside it, waiting for David to get comfortable first. "I tried to not fall in love with you, David. And no, it's not the dao shi stuff or the rest of it. It's...I've been fighting it since I first met you. I pushed you at Helene because I didn't -want- someone that could control me as a partner. Not again." She rubs her face. "But, when I watched you sleep, and you were hurt, I had to really look at my feelings and think about what it was I was doing. And, I don't want to hear that you have vows to Amery, that you have to stay with her. I don't want to hear it. I know it's there - but I don't want to hear you saying it. Ishmael refused to leave her - his love for her and his need to -not- be needed killed what we might've had. Ji is hers. Yves is hers. Everyone that is important in my life - is /hers/!"

David says "I have no vows to Amery, Kai. I appreciate what she's done for me." He settles on the mattress and the mat. Adjusting his large body, he moves his wounded arm slowly, to give Kai a way to nestle in against him, while he keeps his good arm unencumbered, so he can use his pistol if need be. "I want to work off my debt to her. Would -you- trust me, if I simply abandoned someone who aided me? If I just left Helene, whom you'd, as you yourself said, encouraged me to be with? When she finally came to trust someone enough to let me get close to her?"

"I'm not asking you to just...leave, David. Aren't I allowed a moment of selfishness, though? To say to you, of all people, what I -really- want?" Kai hesitates, then slowly curls against him and rests her head on his chest, avoiding the injury. "I can want something, and know it can't be. I'm used to that." She sighs quietly. "Very used to that."

David smiles down at Kai, and says softly, "You can be selfish, at least with me." He strokes her hair and scalp, with his good hand, and carefully lowers his bad arm, to give her a place to curl up into.

"I want you here, with me, David. All the time. Working at my side to help build a life for us. Give us something to hold on to and never have to crawl to anyone again. I want you here, to hold me when the nightmares are too bad. To be here when I find joy in something and share that too." Kai closes her eyes and breathes in his scent and relaxes a touch more. "I love you, David. I've been trying to replace you in my life, and it's not working."

The big bald man doesn't say anything, for a long moment. Then he says softly, "I know, Kai. I've been watching you. You're going to sleep now, and I'll hold you, to help keep the nightmares from being too bad. No more over-working. You've got a buffer, so you can afford to relax, a little. Knowing you, you're trying to get the purchase price for the ship within a month or two."

Voice slurring softly, Kai murmurs. "Got a third of it in two weeks already." She breathes deep and grows limp against him. "Tell me...do you love me? Do you want me? Is this all just...one sided?"

David murmurs, "It's not all one-sided, Kai. My uncle would be too amused for words. He always said the worst thing that can happen is for you to fall for someone you've trained." He pauses, and breathes, softly. "I want you. I don't know if I love you. I don't know myself."

"You didn't train me. You just...found the training already there." Kai whispers, the words broken and breathy. "You can't have me, and -her-. If you want to have me, it has to be only me. Selfish me...awful, self...fish...me." And then the breathing deepens and she's asleep, just like that.

David stays softly, to the sleeping woman, "I know, Kai. Which is also how Helene is feeling." He sighs, and strokes her hair, as she sleeps against him.

Time passes, and Kai whimpers softly, curling small against the warm bulk beside her. She tenses, breathing quickening. "...coming...they're coming...he's going to find me...have to hide..."

David says softly, "I have you. He won't get you, Kai. Hide behind me. I'm here." He strokes her cheek, lightly.

Quieting once more, Kai settles into sleep. The next hour or so passes quietly until she stirs and rubs at her face, shifting to look up at her 'pillow' "David?" she murmurs, slowly sitting up so as not to jar his arm.

David says lazily, "Yes, Kai?" He's been careful not to use diminuatives, or calling her sweetheart, or anything like that... while he's not on heavy sedatives, at least. "I'm right here."

Distress Call Loop:
You remit, "Over the speaker, a raspy voice calls "Mayday, mayday, this is the *crackle..hiss*...we lost thrusters and life support...*hiss...hiss...*" in Cockpit -

Kai leans over and kisses him quietly. "I love you. For now, that's enough. For now." She pushes to her feet and goes back to the console, checking that the mayday signal is still being sent.

David sits up slowly, and puts his left arm back in the sling. "For now." He agrees, quietly. "Want some help, now that you've had a nap? What caused the malfunction, power spike, or the actual physical impact?"

"Something tore through the relays when it shredded the hull." Kai replies softly. She refastens a connector and turns to reach for the next when she jerks hard and starts to shudder. Yeah - someone grabbed the wrong thing. The smell of burning...meat...

You remit, "Over the speaker, a raspy voice calls "Mayday, mayday, this is the *crackle...ee-yat...hiss*...injured aboard...*hiss...hiss...* Emergency landing...hit by debris..." in Cockpit -

You remit, "Over the speaker, a raspy voice repeats "Mayday, mayday, this is the *crackle..Rube...hiss*...we lost thrusters and life support...*hiss...hiss...* (Sounds like a recording looping over and over - different parts of the message hissing out depending on the relay strength)" in Cockpit -

David moves, fast. His left, wounded arm swinging with him, to slam against her chest. Yes, it'll be painful for him, but it'll keep his good arm able to function, as he slaps for the power disconnect. "Ai ya! O zhe zhen shi ge kuai le de jin zhan." Damn! Oh this is a happy development.

The current zaps David, but only as long as it takes to cut the power. Kai collapses on the floor under the console, not moving. Not breathing. Her left hand is smoking and the finger and thumb are black.

David simply opens Kai's shirt, and puts his hand to her chest. Feeling for a heartbeat. "Kai, talk to me. Alekskiaya Wang." If she doesn't respond, he's going to start rescue breathing, and CPR. The burnt hand is secondary to keeping her alive.

Nope, no breathing. No heartbeat. Already pale, she is limp beneath him. At least her last words were "I love you." Her being dead would sure make the whole mess less complicated now, wouldn't it?

You paged Darling, Wynona, and Rebekah with 'If you keep getting the feed you will eventually hear all of the parts of "Mayday, Mayday, this is the Rubaiyat. We've taken damage on thrusters and life support and are making an emergency landing. Mayday, Mayday, this is the Rubaiyat. We have injured aboard. Making an Emergency Landing somewhere on New Canaan. We were hit by debris from an explosion. Sensors and communications are out. Life support failing. One thruster down, the other failing. Mayday, mayday.'

Darling (Zach) pages: you hear someone knocking on the hatch

David begins to do CPR, and is doing rescue breathing. Naughty boy, he's not using the recommended air mask, so he's getting her germs! Ah well, it's not like they haven't shared spit before. His large hand pumping on her breastbone, stressing it considerably.

Darling boards the ship from the outside.
Wynona boards the ship from the outside.
Rebekah boards the ship from the outside.

Darling yells, "hello?!?!"

You paged Darling, Wynona, and Rebekah with 'Jon and Jana are 'sleeping' in engineering - since they're not online.'

Rebekah falls into line behind Darling, frowning slightly and shrugging at Nonie. "Don't get it."

Wynona steps in, covering the area with the revolver, just in case of ambush, presumably. She looks to the various hatches, sweeping behind any cargo or obstructions. and then Zach for any cues. "Guess I'll check aft..."

Darling nods, turning up to the bridge. "Beks, keep an eye on that hatch."

David calls out "In here! Man down!" He's got Kai's shirt open, and is doing CPR, as well as rescue breathing. The huge, bald man has his own left arm in a sling, and is shirtless. His left shoulder is swollen, four puncture wounds obvious, a couple of days old.

Darling arrives from Passenger Hold - .

Darling steps into the scene on the bridge, blinking for a moment.

Darling rolls Willpower with a 0 modifier. Result: 10

Rebekah has arrived.
Wynona has arrived.

Rebekah stands in the doorway to the bridge, watching behind them, to make sure nothing comes from behind, "You alone in here?"

The smell of roast...meat...fills the air, and Kai's index finger and thumb are blackened and smoking. And she's not breathing. David has pulled her out from under the console and opened her shirt to do CPR and rescue breathing. Power has been shut down on the console once more, so no sparks are there.
For those that haven't seen it before, Kai's chest is a roadmap of scars, burns and whipmarks from collar to...well, wherever is visible.

Darling remains stunned, watching the scene unmoving.

Wynona ends up coming forward, probably not all the way into the "Two more in back, they don't seem hurt, I made sure they're getting air..." She pauses at... the smell, with an exclamation in Chinese under her breath. It's the voice from the radio, if anything was working to hear it.

David looks up, and says crisply, "Anyone else know CPR? With only one arm, I'm going to wear down, fast." He has an upper crust Persephone accent. Which doesn't jive with how he sounded, on Shadow. "Keeping her alive is first priority. Alive, we can work on the hand alter." He pauses, to cover Kai's mouth and nose with his mouth, and exhale into her chest.

Darling finally snaps to the present, dropping to one knee to begin compressions. "Keep breathing." His hands find the spot between Kai's smallish breasts and begins to pump

- Darling rolls First Aid with a modifier of 0. Result: 14

"What you want me to do, Captain?" Rebekah asks. "Need me to get supplies from the Jag?"

Darling nods, looking to Beks. "There's a defibrilator in the engine room. Compartment 3C, yellow box about 6 inches square."

For Kai, the whole scene is a touch surreal. Especially since she's watching it from the ceiling of the cockpit. At least, for the moment anyway.

Wynona nods. "Guess I'll stand by, then, unless you want those other two on the Jaguar so we can dust off."

Darling continues to pump... "Jag's still hot, but we gotta stabilize her first. Can you get a redout from the engine console? tell me what's damaged."

Rebekah goes running for the defibrilator. She comes back, hands devoid of shot gun so she can carry the yellow box and a basic first-aid kit. It takes her nearly a full minute.

David says crisply, "Engines are fine, now. Sensors are mildly damaged. We got the hole patched. There's a doctor's bag under bunk three. Two more compressions, before another breath."

Darling nods to David, glad for the snap back to the matter at hand. "Beks, turn it on.. set the leads out like it shows in the picture.... tell us before you push the blue button." He gives Nonie a grave look.

David leans forward, and gives Kai more air. "You got here in the literal nick of time. She dropped seconds before you came aboard." He pauses. "David Hanson-Jones. Delphi. Nightingale, engineer. I was deadheading with Kai, Ariel to Greenleaf."

Wynona says, "Guess you been here a while, we were getting your distress call on repeat. Looks like comms are offline. I'll go get that bag, then." She slips back out."
Wynona has left.
Wynona arrives from Cockpit - .

"I don't know nothin' bout first aid," Rebekah tells Darling. "I don't want to fry her, or nothin'." She pulls open the yellow box and looks for instructions. Surely it has them? Oh, there, on the inside of the case.

Wynona wanders back through the area.. "Bunk three,' she mutters.. 'Like they got numbers. But, she finds a likely-looking bag, looks inside, and brings it forward.

David says, more relaxed, "Just follow the instructions." He flexes his left arm, still in it's sling. "Open her shirt fully. Leads go near the hip and just under the armpit, opposite sides." He sounds almost as if he were teaching a course in CPR, rather than giving immediate instructions to keep someone alive.

- David rolls Medical Treatment with a modifier of +0. Result: 22

"David", Darling repeats as he pumps. "Good to meet you. Zach Darling of Pelican Freight. My cook Beks and my friend Wynona Bean" More time for introductions later, better to be mindfull of Kai's ribs.

Rebekah reads the instructions again, then nods to David and slaps one sucker onto Kai's chest and the other near her hip. "Ok. Think it's ready. You do it, Captain."

Wynona nods, as she sets the bag down where the doctor can get at it. She steps back.

Darling backs off, keeping his hands clear and nodding to David. "I think I'll let the pro handle it." At this point, it's beyond human hands as the device diagnoses and fires as it best sees fit.

David leans well back, and looks around. "I'm clear, you're clear, we're all clear. Hit the button." He lets the machine work on Kai, reading her lack of heart beat.

One jolt. Two. Kai gasps and coughs, then starts to tremble as her heart starts up again. The lovely aerial view ends and she's staring up at the ceiling before she closes her eyes again and simply...breathes.

Darling falls back onto his haunches, looking relieved and concerned at the same time. No small feat, that.

"Well I'll be," Rebekah says. "That thing worked amazing. It's good to know it lives in the Jag." She leans over to read more of the writing on the defibrilator. "It just... electrocuted her alive again?"

Darling says, "She's a pleasure craft... far more likely to carry old codgers with bad hearts than a working freighter."

Darling just looked your way***

Darling glances to David, anxious for him to pronounce success.

Wynona settles back, ...well, the thing seems to be making optimistic beeps. "Think so, Beks. Here's hoping.

Darling says, "There's a fed outpost on the other side of Three Hills... should have med staff.. or we can take her to Ariel in the Jag."

Kai's hand with the burned fingers starts to throb and she whimpers softly, shivering as blood moves through her body at a faster rate than the cpr gave it. Her chest hurts, her head hurts and she's cold.

Rebekah nods to Nonie, then says to Darling, "Maybe they got a stretcher on board, here? If not, can use a sheet. I'll go find somethin'." She stands and moves toward the door of the bridge.

The machine pronounces "Normal sinus rhythm." David takes the pads off, and turns the machine off. "Painkillers... injectable. Call her a fifty kilos." He checks a small pamphlet, as he draws the fluid. He leans over Kai, and says "Kai. Alekskiya Wang. It's David. I'm going to make the pain go away, Kai. There will be a little sting. You aren't with them. Be with me, Kai." He gives her the injection into the belly, rather than the arm. "No Alliance facility, Darling. Bad idea."

Darling looks to David, "What then? Where?"

The pain eases and Kai's eyes half-open, glazed and barely seeing. She relaxes, still shivering, but doesn't speak.

Rebekah comes back with a blanket and a couple of clean sheets. She couldn't find any stretchers.

Wynona says, "Shadow's got a new doc, anyway. And Greenleaf's not too far out, right?"

Darling says, "There's a hospital on Greenleaf, that's for sure."

David says softly, "Greenleaf. Or the Eurydice, and Doc Cassandra. Kai wouldn't last in an Alliance facility, Mr. Darling. Psych problems." His Persephone accent fades away, and he sighs, softly. "Lets get her hand at least bandaged. Burned it when she got a power spike through the receiver." He pauses. "And I'm just a medic."

"I just cook" Rebekah says. "And sometimes I clean floors. I say, take her where's the best doctor that ain't gonna commit her to the loony bin." There. Her 2 creds.

Wynona hrms, and nods. "Think that hand needs anything fancy? "

David begins to squirt a heavy oil or grease on the burns, then wraps the thumb and forefinger, separately, before he begins to wrap the hand itself. Working only with his right hand, his left still in the sling. "It looks like the muscles aren't badly damaged, at least." He looks at Rebekah. "Can you get a bowl of cold water, as cold as you can get it? With ice cubes. We can keep the swelling that -will- happen to a minimum, and extend the time the doctor has to work with, by up to an extra hour... if we keep careful watch and don't let the burns get -too- cold."

Rebekah remembers reading something in a romance novel about emergency care of bad burns. But too late. David was already doing it!

Wynona all rights, then, and holds out a hand for half the blanket, "Well, let's get her aboard the Jaguar, then. Lady's hand could be her livelihood."

"Shouldn't we ought to get her to the Jag? There's ice a plenty there, and other things, and we can do all this one the way?" Rebekah asks.

Berthing -


Four privacy bunks are staggered throughout this space. The first is on the port side, the second is on the starboard, third on port, and fourth on starboard. This allows for a non-linear path through the berthing compartment of this section.
Overhead lights allow for subdued lighting, a comfortable level of illumination that inspires rest and rejuvenation. The bunk spaces themselves are designed with each crewmember's privacy a key component. Modular, the bunk spaces have their own doors with minimal 'interior' space in which to move about. A communal head is available for three of the areas while a private head is available to the largest module, obviously the Captain's own.
Aft is an oval hatch leading into the engine room while forward seems to lead into the common area of the vessel.

Wynona settles Kai into a berth, with Beks' help, and settles her in, as the ship lifts.

Rebekah goes about getting the ice that was requested, and clean cloths for bandages. There's booze for pain, if David needs it.

Wrapped in blankets and not feeling any pain at the moment, Kai mumbles softly. "..get y'all safe home...not let bad..."

Wynona nods, to Kai, patting her on the brow, "Don't you worry now, everyone's secure. You got em all through."

Rebekah croons at Kai, "Oh now, there's no more bad. You're safe and is all your crew, and we'll get you help right soon, so you just close your eyes and rest a piece." She starts to hum old Shadow lullabies, trying to be soothing. She grins at Wynona as they have almost the same reaction.

David carried, or at least helped, Kai into the other ship. He's not exactly in prime shape himself, but he's operational. "We're all here, Kai. Relax. Stand down, soldier." He tugs her close, letting her have his good side, this time.

Kai settles quietly as she is soothed and held, body going limp against David's side, breathing steady and shallow, still shivering now and then. The smell of 'cooked meat' still hovers under the sting of antiseptic balm.

Wynona settles back, as the closer friends take over in the morale department. she leans back a bit, and takes out a small flask, sipping on it.

"She's all shivery. Oughtn't we cover her with a blanket or some such, for the shock?" Rebekah asks. It was a good romance book, set in a hospital. She opens a cabinet in the berth and takes out a stack of standard woolen blankets. A few hole-ridden socks fall to the ground and she grins over at Nonie, "Skye just won't let up with the captain's socks. It's the funniest gorram thing."

Wynona nods, laughing a bit. "Blankets are good."

David strokes Kai's hair and lower back, through the blanket that's been wrapped around her. He says softly, "It's just shock, Alekskaiya. I have you. Safe. Relax." He grips her wrist, and guides her wounded hand to the bowl of icewater. "This will hurt, but then the pain will ease. I'm right here, Kai." He nods to Rebekah. "We can use another blanket here. And I'll need a doctor, as well. Damn panther bite."

Wynona nods, "I'll call ahead, anything I should tell em apart from the obvious?"

A soft cry as the icewater hits her wounded hand and Kai's teeth start to chatter. She whimpers and turns her face into David's stomach and leaves her hand in the cold. She's not really all that alert or aware. It's mostly instinctual.

Both of Rebekah's eyebrows rise, "How, praytell, did you run into a Panther in the middle of a ship crash? This sounds like somethin' might make a good song, or least a good story."

David says softly, "IMV Pandora. Titan class hauler. Pirates hit it, from a Remora class ship. Left abandoned. The Pandora was a Circus ship... and the animals got loose. We didn't know... so we walked into the animals." He grins, suddenly. "At least the monkey was left with Jon and Jana."

Wynona nods. "I'll go make that call, have someone waiting for us when we put down." She goes forward and does so.

Rebekah sets about tucking a blanket around Kai, and then she drapes another around David's shoulders. "You alright, there? Anything I can get for you while you're a helpin' her?"

David says "Oh, I'm doing fine. Just on mild painkillers, and antibiotics. The punctures were irrigated, so... not much to do, until I heal up."

Stirring as the ship lands, Kai whimpers. "Hold on...not let it crash...safe. Get them safe..." and then silence again. The pain, or the painkillers are really screwing with her head.

Wynona comes back in after calling in, "All right, we're obviously down, there'll be a gurney waiting for us."

"Alright. I'll get out there to meet em. Best if they come get her directly, as they'll know how to move her and all without, you know, killin' her all over again," Rebekah says. "No sense takin' extra chances and droppin her on her head, or some such." She goes to greet medics and show them into the berthing.

Wynona nods, "All right, Beks, you do that. Then, let's get out of the way." She looks to David. "And here's a chance to get that arm looked at, if you've a need."

Kai is mostly quiet except for whimpering as her left hand is jostled and bumped.

David mutters, "I hate Greenleaf. Spent -way- too long, here." He strokes Kai's hair. "I'll stay with her, as much as possible. And it's the shoulder, more than the arm. Some muscle damage, I think."

Wynona nods, "Well, that part's up to you, but it looks like you'll be here a bit, anyway. You want us to go with you?"

Medics enter, with gurney. They do some perfunctory checks on vitals Kai's, hook her up to something that monitors the beating of her heart, and tuck blankets around her as they strap her onto the rolling bed. One of them asks around about the incident, to find out if there are any details they need to know to pass on to medical staff. When they get to David, they nearly have a fit, "You need to get that taken care of." Yadda yadda.

Private Room - Stockton Medical Center - Greenleaf

The room is set up for two patients, divided by a curtain and with a small bathroom adjoining. A large picture window with blinds overlooks the forest, providing a very serene and calming view for both patients. IV stands sit beside each bed and an oxygen tank is slung beneath, both having a tray that can be moved over the patient for eating or reading.

Settled in one of the beds, hand wrapped and treated, an iv of painkillers and other good things dripping into a vein and Kai's monitors beep reassuringly from sensors stuck to her body.

Wynona steps in, after the two have had their emergency treatment, yawning slightly. "Evening, there." Just thought I'd check in before catching a shuttle back for Shadow.

David gets Kai the emergency treatment that she needs, and hands them the download from the defib unit. Then he submits to being worked on professionally as well. Intermuscular stitches, which he'd not had done. So the wounds are three days old. At least they weren't left to fester. He sits in his own bed, looking amused about something. "I've been... informed that I should never do emergency treatment, without a doctor's supervision. And they want my doctor's bag, since I am not a doctor. Well, too bad it's on a ship."

Kai looks a lot smaller in the hospital gown and minus all the weapons she left (really!) on the Rubaiyat. A faint whimper and she stirs, then settles, breath catching then easing again. "...Mom?..." she mumbles at the sound of Nonie's voice, then curls the fingers of her good hand into the blankets. "Not...captured. Not let them...take Chun..without me." Yeah, we're 'all here'. Not.

David says softly, "Alekskaiya. It's David. I'm right here. Relax. Safe." He looks at Wynona. "Can you move the curtain? They put me on her right... so I can't -reach- Kai, to touch her." He pitches his voice carefully, to not be too military and commanding. "Kai, it's David. I'm right here."

Wynona hrmphs, at David's little tale, going over to the young lady, and shifting the curtain out of the way. "You're all right, missy."

A slow breath and Kai sighs. "S'alright...mom's here. She'll fix it...stupid...getting sick at graduation..." Her brow furrows and she tosses her head side to side, then breathes "The war...they want to...have to stop them. No more..."

David works himself to a sitting position, and moves off his bed, to kneel beside Kai's bed. He's not about to stand, with the painkillers and muscle relaxants. Nor is he about to sit on Kai's bed, and frighten her. But kneeling beside her cot lets him at least touch, and lets her see him. He grips her forearm, lightly. "Kai, it's David. I'm right here. He won't get you."

Wynona nods, quietly. "Seems she had a bad time of it. What happened up there, anyway?

Kai quiets as soon as David touches her, settling into that haze that's not quite sleep, not quite awake. The monitors were beeping faster, slow down to a regular rhythm now.

David says "Basically, she spotted a Titan class ship, on the sensors. We boarded, and... well, lets just say it reminded me of why animals kept in a circus should always be kept fed. Twenty three people were supposed to be on board. We found nine skulls. And a big snake, a panther, a bear, and a bunch of monkeys. No human survivors. The engines were unstable. We got off in time, but were damaged, when the Pandora's box opened up."

Wynona nods. "Sounds like one of the stranger stories out there just this month.

Kai is quiet. She settles into a fitful sleep, the beep hiss of the monitors and oxygen helping to keep her stablized and the iv doing the painkiller and fluids job. It's going to be a while before she wakes up now.

David says very softly, "Jon had already been wounded. Sprained left wrist. Kai got a little bruised, but not too bad. I got bit by the Panther, after I'd shot it. It had eaten at least two crew members."

Wynona nods. "Sounds unfortunate for all concerned, that." She looks to the young lady again. "Suppose I should catch my flight, though. You need a hand back up?"

David says "No thanks. I'll be staying right here for a time." The huge man looks up, at Wynona. "Thanks for the help. I don't think I could have done that, for long."

Wynona sighs, and pats the girl on the shoulder. "Well, all right, Captain, you just rest for now. I'll probably see you on Shadow sometime soon."
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