Sunday, December 23, 2012
I know I’m getting better, because I’m going stir crazy. I swear, if Nayun doesn’t let me get up and go for a walk soon, I’ll yank his beard.
He’s like a big, alien dad. “Take your time. I’m not going to let you relapse. Get strong for your mother’s sake if not your own.” The man must stay up all night writing lines to feed to his patients.
So, I had a visit from Dramok Dusa yesterday. He’s another surprise, like Nayun, in that he seems to be a nice person. In fact, with the orderlies and Mom’s babysitters (she has three that rotate shifts, keeping tabs on her and seeing to her needs), I have yet to meet one of the monsters we were told Kalquorians are. Really. Where are the sex-crazed, primitive abductors I was told about? That I produced so many cautionary (read ‘alarmist’) films about? Not a single one of these men has threatened me in any way. And they treat Mom like a queen, never getting angry when she spills something or starts to wander off or forgets what she’s saying in the middle of a sentence. She even came back to herself once, the old cranky Eve that never sees anything good in anybody. And for every insult she hurled at the Kalquorians that crossed her path, they only seemed to get nicer. Let me tell you, my mom can sling some mean in her natural state. I thought for sure the guy who keeps an eye on her during mornings and early afternoons would punch her right in the mouth. But no, Imdiko Weln only cocked an eyebrow at me. I swear the guy was on the brink of hysterical laughter. He was biting his lips but I could still see them lifting at the corners as Mom told him the various things he could shove up his own backside.
“Bipolar disorder,” I told him. “It’s either this or she’s crying and looking for a noose to wear around her neck.”
The young, cute Weln looked like he would respond, but that little salvo re-directed my mother’s fury at me. “I am not ill! Shut up telling these murdering aliens our private business!”
All the yelling brought in Nayun, of course. He sedated her, quite against her wishes but completely in line with mine. When she woke she was in happy, if dim, Dementia Land again.
Anyway, I was going to talk about Dusa. He’s a young one, it turns out, a little younger than me. I was writing my latest entry when he walked in yesterday. His smile was tentative, as if he just knew I was going to toss him right out of the room. Or order him out. Yours truly is not going to be literally tossing a 200-plus pound example of pure brawn anywhere.
“Hello, Matara Shalia. You are looking much better.”
Ha. I haven’t seen a comb in days. No makeup, starved, and completely hagged out from being sick. If I’m looking much better now, I can only imagine how gorgon-ish I was when he found me passed out in the middle of someone’s flowerbed.
Still, he was nice to look at. I know, I know, the enemy, the monster Kalquorians, the rapists looking to damn our souls. Whatever. Dusa is a very handsome version of his kind. Of anybody’s kind. So take me out and shoot me for appreciating it.
I smiled and self-consciously raked my fingers through my hair. I really need to ask for a brush. “Hello, Dramok Dusa. I’m starting to feel more like myself.”
“May I visit with you for a few minutes?”
“Sure,” I said, wishing mascara and lipstick would fall from the heavens like manna. Okay, I know I’m being stupid here. But he is that handsome and I was feeling really unattractive.
He stood at my bedside. His long hair was loose. Black and sleek, it lay down his back in a sheet. He had high cheekbones. I almost want to characterize them as ‘arrogant’. If he didn’t wear such an open, innocent expression, those cheekbones would make him appear haughty.
Nice strong jawline and an almost pointed chin. His lips were a bit thin, but when he smiles, which is a lot, I don’t really notice. And of course those funny purple cat eyes. I’m starting to get used to those, so they didn’t freak me out too much. And his fangs were folded away, so that also helped.
“I owe you thanks for getting us food and rescuing me,” I said after a few moments of uneasy silence.
“Not at all.” He looked pleased just the same. “I am happy we were able to find you in time.”
“I guess I didn’t make it easy on you.” I felt a little pride in that. I’ve been hearing what great trackers Kalquorians are, so slipping away from Dusa was something of an accomplishment.
He reddened. “I was assigned to monitoring five other Mataras we’ve been trying to get to come in. You left the first house while I was checking on some of those. I lost your scent.”
Lost my scent. Like he’s part bloodhound or something. Then I remembered the first time I saw him, coming down the street with two other Kalquorians. They’d had their noses in the air.
“Oh well. I’m here now.”
Dusa nodded. “I only wish I had been able to find you sooner before you got too ill. You scared us, Matara. We thought you might die.”
He actually looked upset over my becoming so sick. I was startled to see that.
We talked a little more. He’s away from his home planet for the first time. He’d just missed out on combat when the war ended. I was kind of glad to hear that. It was easier to not feel guilty talking to him knowing he hadn’t killed any of my kind. He’s clanned to a Nobek who is also here at the Academy and serves as onsite security. They haven’t found an Imdiko yet.
“Before the virus that killed most of our Mataras, Imdikos were the rarest of our breeds,” Dusa told me. “It can be difficult to find one, especially since I’m serving off planet.”
I was fascinated to get a glimpse into the whole clan thing. We’d been told by our government that Kalquorians liked to lie in sin with men as much as women. That whole homosexual business would land you in the fiery pit faster than anything else, or so said the Church.
I’m pretty antagonistic about the state religion, and I’ve usually felt that if the Church wanted me to believe in something, I’d go in the opposite direction. However, I wasn’t sure what to think about three men together, doing THAT. But then again, I don’t much care for doing THAT, so what do I know?
“You, uh, you don’t think any of the Imdikos here would be a good match for you?” I asked. “There are some very nice ones that are orderlies and nurses here. Handsome too.”
Dusa grinned. “I wish I had time to meet them. More rescue teams are supposed to be arriving soon, so maybe my Nobek and I will have an opportunity when they get here. Right now, we’re too exhausted from working double shifts. When we get done with work, we eat and go straight to sleep.” He ducked his head. “This was my first chance to check on you since you got here. I was hoping to see you sooner.”
Something beeped on the wide belt Dusa wore around his waist, and he grimaced. “And now my time is up already.” He blew out a breath. “I am glad you are doing so well, Matara.”
I was disappointed to see he was getting ready to walk out. I have so many questions, but much like Dusa, everyone is really busy around here. No one has much time to talk.
For this reason I asked, “Will you be able to visit me again?”
Dusa gave me a big, surprised smile. “I would like to. May I?”
“I invited you, didn’t I?” I held out my hand. “And since we were never properly introduced, my name is Shalia. You don’t have to call me Matara all the time.”
Dusa took my hand gently, as if afraid he might break me. “It is a pleasure to meet you, Shalia. Call me Dusa, if you like.”
I shook his hand. “Don’t let me make you late, Dusa. And come back as soon as you are able to.”
And off he went to rescue more reluctant Earther gals. It’s late in the day now, and he hasn’t been back yet. So either he lied about wanting to see me again or they’re working that poor boy to death still. Hopefully he’ll come back and I’ll have a brush by then.