Monday, December 17, 2012
Let me start today’s entry with the observation that Kalquorian drugs are wonderful. I feel better than even before I got sick, though they tell me I’m not ready to be up on my feet yet. I’m being nagged at that I need to build up my strength, get some more vitamins in me, etc., etc. I’m told I’m malnourished and anemic. Dr. Nayun is such a mother hen. I think that must be what ‘Imdiko’ translates into.
But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Back to where I left off.
When I woke up again after my terrifying shuttle ride, I was in another white room. Only this time it was an actual room and not the cabin of an emergency medical shuttle. There were strange machines and weird sounds all around me. Several Kalquorians bent over me. I would have panicked, but I felt so woozy. I couldn’t keep my eyes open even after just a few seconds.
That kept happening. I’d come around for a moment or two, find myself in an all-white room. Everything was in soft focus, I guess because I was mostly out of it. If not for the machines, I might have thought I’d gone to heaven. Yeah, me allowed in heaven. Let there be hysterical laughter.
Sometimes I’d be alone. Sometimes I’d see my mom sitting in a chair nearby, knitting. At least it wasn’t baby booties anymore. She seemed to be working on a winter scarf. In muggy-ass south Georgia. Hey, it might get below sixty degrees for a week or two in six months. Can’t have the Kalquorians’ necks getting cold, right?
Sometimes I’d see doctors and orderlies. Big alien men in green tunics standing over me, muttering to each other or busy doing stuff I couldn’t comprehend. Especially the one older guy, Dr. Nayun. I saw him so often in fact, that about the fifth time I woke up I fought to stay conscious so I could ask him his name.
He told me and then said, “How are you feeling?”
“Like shit,” I croaked. I was glad he spoke English. I didn’t know if he spoke profanity.
Apparently he did because he laughed. He has a nice laugh, by the way. All warm and rolling, like the world’s happiest giant. He even kind of looks like a storybook giant, sort of like an illustration I once saw in a copy of Jack and the Beanstalk. Big with lots of curly, gray-tinged hair tied back in a ponytail. He has a mustache that covers his upper lip and a nicely trimmed beard. A wide nose. Fat cheeks that make his eyes look all squinty when he smiles, which is most of the time. And he’s wide as a barn door. I kept waiting for him to bellow, “Fee-fi-fo-fum!”
“Go back to sleep,” he told me. “You need the rest.”
Exhaustion was already trying to claw me back under, but I wanted to know how much trouble I was in and mostly how Mom was doing. “Has my mother been here, or was I just dreaming?”
“Matara Eve spends most of her day in here with you. I think you’re her one anchor to reality.”
“She’s okay though? Eating? Not scared?”
He put his palm against my cheek. For such a huge guy, Dr. Nayun has an amazingly gentle touch. “Physically, she’s doing very well. She doesn’t always rest well, but when we get you out of semi-isolation, she’ll be able to sleep in your room. I think that will help.”
I don’t know why I asked the question. Maybe because I was so out of it. I mean, I had no reason to trust Dr. Nayun, not one bit. But my mouth opened, and the words just kind of popped out. “Can you fix her? Make the dementia go away?”
He blinked at me. “You mean the buildup of proteins in her brain?” He patted my cheek, but his look was sad. “We don’t have the resources here, Matara. You’ll have to take her to Kalquor for such procedures.”
“But it’s possible on your planet?”
“I couldn’t say. Brain treatments are tricky. I’m not qualified for such delicate work myself. All I can do is perform a basic diagnosis and keep her comfortable until she sees someone who specializes in such matters.”
He’d held out a carrot, and like a stubborn mule I didn’t want to let it out of my sight. “Still, there is a chance she could be made better, right?”
Nayun nodded. “There is a chance. Now I insist you close your eyes, Shalia, or I will be forced to sedate you.”
See what I mean about mother hen? Or father giant, ha-ha. Fee-fi-fo-shut up and go to sleep, Shalia. But I had run out of steam by then anyway, so I closed my eyes and was out like a light.
I hear someone coming up the hall outside my room. Probably Nayun again, ready to cluck over me some more, even though I’m no longer on the endangered Matara list. He’s a good guy. I don’t know about most Kalquorians, and I’m still leery over what they have planned for me when I’m better, but at least one of them seems decent. And maybe they can do something to get Mom back into fighting shape. Look out, Kalquor. If the real Eve Monroe shows up on your doorstep, you may wish you’d never met Earth.
Well, hello. Dramok Dusa is walking into my room. Later.