By: Bull Demon "We clear?" Goddard asked, looking down at the scanner console. "Should be. For now," Cat muttered. "Suzee says as long as we stay within 1 day of Spung territory we're at risk." "And my father will surely be looking," Elmira said from her place behind Harlan. Goddard had stuck him on navigation as Bova had the helm under control. "We have enough fuel for 3 more jumps. You have a spot in mind?" Goddard asked Elmira. She nodded and pointed to a near by sector. "This used to be Phyligian territory and it's still charted as that. My father had a rather large battle with the head master nearly 18 years ago. He'd never return to that area again," She explained. "Who owns it now?" Bova asked. "Free space as far as I know," Elmira said. "But there are plenty of planets to hid behind if need be." Goddard nodded. "Let's go," he said, squeezing Bova's shoulder. "We need to keep this ship as quiet as we can for awhile." He began to walk out of the Commandpost when Harlan slipped down beside him. "Can we talk?" he asked. "Sure," Goddard said, stopping. Harlan looked around. "In umm.. Private?" he added. Goddard smiled. "Of course. Come on. I'll make you something hot too drink," Goddard replied, as they left the large room. * * * * * * Forest looked over at the monitor she had set up. The vital signs displayed were horridly low and she sighed. She wiped her forehead off with the underside of her wrist and glanced to Rosie who was stroking her sleeping friend's hand. "You've done a wonderful job so far," Forest said. Rosie looked up. "He must have hurt for so long," she muttered. "Don't think about that," Davenport said, coming up behind her. "Once he passes over this ordeal he'll be back to himself, I'm sure. It will just take time," Forest told her. The Mercurian nodded and moved around to her friend's head. Forest had her repair the damage from his pulled tooth with about 7 stitches. Then, lacking the shaking hands Rosie had, showed her the proper way to slide a thin tube down his throat to allow the Christa to breathe for him. Rosie had turned away and cried a little when Forest slid another down through his nose and siphoned nearly a pint of blood from his stomach. "Rosie, dear, could you hand me the packing?" Rosie moved around the offshoot the biobed had sprouted which Radu's left arm was fastened, holding several IV lines Forest had set, and gave Forest the wad of synthetic cotton. They had been working on him for the past 4 and a half hours with still more to go. The sedative was slowly beginning to take its toll on him as well. Forest had repaired as much of his stomach as she could but told Rosie he wouldn't be tolerating food well for a long time. Then she had made Rosie take out her friend's badly ruptured spleen and a portion of liver. Rosie hated every second of it, fearing she may mess up and make him worse. "I'll be amazed if he get's away from this without a scar..." "I doubt that's his main concern," Davenport said. Forest smiled as she began to clean off the plasma burn. It had overlapped the whip gash and now was oozing a clear liquid. Rosie sighed and looked at the monitor that sat next to her. The Christa seemed to know what was happening and adjusted herself accordingly, despite the numbers Forest had entered. She had slowed down his breathing considerably to ease the stress on his systems and increased the oxygen saturation greatly. "Oh.. Yuck.." Forest muttered, now seeing the full effects of the plasma burn. "Rosie, want to give him a dose of tetanus prevention?" she asked. Rosie nodded and went over to the wide array of bottles Forest had brought with her. She pulled out the correct one and held it to the light as she drew the contents into a syringe. Davenport set a hand on her shoulder as she fed the blue liquid into one of the IV heads. "Doubt he'll complain about the soreness from that," Davenport said with a small smile. Rosie couldn't help but share it for a second. She left his side and went to his head, feeling her eyes fill with steaming tears again at his swelled up and disfigured face. "I'm so sorry, Radu," she whispered, with a warm hand on his cheek. A low tone came from the monitoring box and Forest's head shot up immedately. "I knew this was going too well.." she muttered. She looked at the screen and then bolted for her bag. "What's happening?" Rosie asked, seeing the jagged line that had shown her friend's heart fall nearly flat. Forest had a long package in her three fingered hand along with a 2 ounce vial. She tore open the package and Davenport swallowed hard at the 7 inch long needle she drew from it. "His heart needs a little help..." Forest said, drawing the vials contents into the hollow part of the syringe. Davenport saw that Rosie was having a hard time focusing now. "Why don't you step out, dear?" she offered. Forest nodded, not taking her eyes from the items in her hands. Rosie nodded and looked at her fading friend one last time before bursting out of the door and nearly right into Catalina's back. "Rosie!" she shouted, startled. Rosie wrapped her arms around her friend, no longer being able to conceal her sobs. "It's not fair!" Rosie cried, angary and sad all at the same time. "It's just not fair!" Cat didn't know what to say. "Come on. Come here," she said, and sat down with her shaking room mate. She felt Rosie begin to cry harder and pulled her into a big hug. "It's okay," she crooned, not even knowing what was going on. "It's okay.." * * * * * * "You mean your words, don't you?" Goddard asked the tired boy across from him. Harlan nodded after taking a drink of coffee. It tasted so good and was warm, something he hadn't felt after spending a day in Hell. "I mean, I just don't know why.. He just doesn't seem that bad anymore," Harlan admitted. Goddard nodded. "Go on," he pushed. "I've treated him so badly for so long and he's done nothing but eat it. I envy him for being as strong as he can be with someone like me around. I've been such a jerk! He didn't kill my dad.. I know that..." Harlan muttered, sighing forcefully. "I'm glad you can admit that now," Goddard said, seeing this as a major step in his life. "And I honestly hope you get a chance to relay this to the person it matters most too." "He took a round of plasma for me, Commander. I just feel so.. So rotten that I wouldn't have done the same for him. And on top of what Shank allowed his crew to do? I think I only heard him express pain once out load and that was thanks to the drugs Forest gave him. I mean how can he do that?" Harlan asked. Goddard sighed and rubbed his chin. "It's his race. They are very loyal people and aren't violent unless provoked. From what you told me about him crushing that Spung's hand proves it. I think you'll find he was more after that boy to protect you then himself," Goddard explained. "But he could have killed them!" Harlan shouted, not understanding why someone with great strength wouldn't use it. "They don't use it for bad that often, Harlan. Even with the awful race that nearly killed them off they can't be. Andromedans haven't a bad bone in them anywhere unless brought up or driven to be. During the war I watched two children taken out of a hut and thrown into the mass burial pit. They had starved to death in silence for 3 weeks before dieing. Three weeks, Harlan. A human would die within days and go crazy in the process," Goddard said. Harlan nodded and rubbed his wrist. It was a painful reminder that he wasn't in a nightmare. "Come on, let's go see how they're doing," Goddard said, leading the quiet boy out of the galley. * * * * * * Forest was looking at the heart rate strip on the monitor and she sighed. "Looks like we won that one.." she muttered, moving back to her patient. "I hated so much to tape this in place over his wounds but..." "It's very understandable," Davenport said, watching the Spung work gently. She had slipped the needle between two ribs and into the main artery of the boy's heart. Davenport had felt sick the entire time but remained in order to replace Rosie. Now, she watched as the Spung carefully drew it out, leaving only a tiny hole. "That won't bleed being an artery?" "Not for long. They heal up fast," Forest replied. "Now..." She snagged a few thick pads and rolls of bandages, setting them at his side. After carefully placing the padding over the worst of his burns, she began to wrap the bandaging around him. Davenport was amazed at how quickly she worked, and easily put the wrapping around his chest a dozen times without disturbing him much. "This will need to be watched. I've seen simple burns go from unhappy to livid in a few days." Davenport looked up a gentle knock on the door. Catalina stood there, beckoning her teacher over. "What is it?" Davenport asked, coming over. Cat moved to the side a little so she could see Rosie crying quite hard into her hands. Most were evaporating into steam but still water slashed onto the floor. "Rosie." "It's not fair!" she cried again. "He came so far..." "Rosie," Forest said, walking out to see her. She knelt down and put a three fingered hand on her back. "He's alive, sweety. The drugs I gave him just began to get too strong." The small girl couldn't stop crying so Forest lifted her to her feet and guided Rosie into the Medlab. Once next to the girl's friend, Forest wrapped her arm around her shoulders. "See?" Rosie dared a small look at her sleeping friend. There was the steady beeping now of his heart and she smiled a little. "Radu..." she breathed, looking at the neat job Forest had done with the wrappings. "He.. He scared me so bad..." "I know he did," Forest said drawing several thick blankets up over him. She went to the tangle of piping hanging over his head and twisted one of them off completely. "Now, we wait." "What was that?" Davenport asked, coming over and wrapping her arms around Rosie's neck in a small hug. "The drug keeping him asleep. He'll wake up within an hour or so but he won't be completely with it for a few days. I need to speak to you, Rosie, about his further care," Forest explained. "You won't be staying?" the Mercurian asked, almost disappointed. Forest shook her head. "As far as I know, ‘Mira and I will be out of here as soon as I deem him stable. We're endangering you by staying here. Warlord Shank can trace his daughter anywhere it seems. I couldn't stand the thought of you having to tangle with that Spung after all you've been through," she told her. Davenport nodded. "Can the others see him yet?" she questioned, knowing the kids would want to see their friend. The Spung shook her head. "I don't want anyone but Rosie, myself, or you around him for the next 24 hours. Any extra activity or emotion at this time could be fatal," Forest said. "You have to remember the physical and mental strain on your navigator will be abundant." There was a gentle knock on the door and Davenport went over to see who it was. Go to part 7!