Monday, August 11, 2014
So I’ve finished my story about being a prisoner on the Little Creep’s ship. We were rescued by Captain Zemos’ ship three weeks ago. I guess Finiuld's ship had been in no hurry to get anywhere in particular, because it only took us a week to reunite with the transport. The Pussy 'Porter had remained at the Xniktix space station until Captain Zemos sent word that we’d been found. Then it flew with its two remaining destroyer escorts to fetch us. I’ve been home for two weeks.
The destroyer had searched high and low for us since we disappeared. I am impressed that they did so for one pregnant Earther woman and a Nobek. More than ever, I am reminded of how much importance the Kalquorians hold those of their kind and mine. After all, Oses and I had been missing for almost two weeks. Given that Finiuld’s ship was phased invisible should have knocked the search party off the scent after a couple of days.
Yet the Ofetuchan vessel had left a trace of its passage, some kind of energy disturbance trail. Since Captain Zemos’ crew couldn’t find a good reason for its existence, they thought it might be worth following. They didn’t have anything else to go on, so it was as good a clue as any, Zemos told Oses. That’s why they were only two days behind us.
I’ve been told that once we got back to the transport, we returned to Xniktix Space Station, where our fellow prisoners were let off. The Adrafs will take care of them until arrangements can be made for their various worlds to reclaim them.
They had to tell me about it later, because ... well, I went a little crazy. Not bouncing off walls and straitjacket crazy, but more like a really quiet and huddled kind of crazy. I kept hiding in corners and inside closets and under furniture. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I cried a lot. I had nightmares that made me scream my throat raw.
I saw things that weren’t there. Usually it was a movement at the corner of my eye that looked just like something small with spiky orange hair and a fluorescent green coat. My room in Medical had to be kept lit at all times. Otherwise I would see things in the shadows; maybe a tombstone-toothed smile like some monstrous Cheshire cat. Those waking nightmares are fading at last. The last time I saw something that wasn’t there was three days ago.
Dr. Tep says the baby is fine, thank goodness. My dads have commed to say they’re glad I’m safely back on the transport and to send them a message as soon as I’m able. No doubt worried he’d upset me, Nayun didn’t cry...but his voice kept getting choked up. Their Matara Joelle also left a message, saying she was sorry for what I’d been through. She seems nice. I don’t know why I kept putting off talking to her. I’ll have to do that soon.
Betra, Candy, and Katrina come to spend time with me every day. It is so good to see my friends again. They cried over me when I first got back, but since then it’s been all jokes and funny stories and ‘let’s make Shalia happy again’. I think they’ve had a lot more to do with me pulling myself back together than the psychologist Dr. Feru ... who is a pretty decent fellow, incidentally. He’s talking about letting me loose from Medical in a few days. Maybe a week. We’ll see how it goes.
Then there is the man who held me together through the worst time of my life. Oses is back at work, which Betra assures me is the best possible therapy for a Nobek. Betra also says Oses is much quieter than he was before and keeps to himself for the most part. I think my liaison is worried for his friend. Betra may not want to have sex with Oses, but I think he does love his would-be suitor, at least as a brother might. When they happen to encounter each other in my room, Betra is not standoffish at all anymore. He smiles at Oses and looks him in the eye as they converse. It’s Oses who has become a little hard to reach. Not because he desires Betra any less ... I can tell that yearning is still there from the way he looks at the Imdiko when Betra’s back is turned. I think Oses is simply trying to put the pieces of his life back together, though in a much less dramatic fashion than I am.
Oses doesn’t keep to himself where I am concerned. He stops by every day, even if it’s just a few minutes before he pulls a double shift. We never discuss our captivity with each other. We don’t talk much about anything. Both of us are perfectly content just to be in the other's presence. When you know someone will do anything and everything to keep you alive, all the rest is just noise. I have that in Oses. I hope he knows he has that in me ... I think he does, anyway.
He and I may not be clan anymore, but we are family in our hearts. To me, that is more precious than any legal binding.