Thursday, April 30, 2015

Visiting Hours (20 MAY 2016)

The medical bay was quiet, but there were a few visitors still, despite the late hour. It had been determined a month ago that, unless there were actual life-saving procedures going on, there wasn't any particular reason to limit visitors to the medbay. Lieselotte Faber sat in a chair near de Matos' bed, while Ana Lucia Mardones leaned against an empty bed nearby.

"You're kidding me," Monica said, her brows lifted in disbelief. "A whale?"

"I wish I was kidding," Liesel replied. "I didn't get a clean look at it myself, but Mardones," she paused, jerking her head toward the other woman, "got an eyeful."

"Si," Ana Lucia confirmed. " It was covered in pods, you could barely see the whale, and the bugs just kept ripping their way out of it."

"Jesus Cristo," de Matos whispered. "How many do you think there were?"

"Armarnis said we killed at least thirty, maybe thirty five," Liesel said with a shrug, referring to her countryman by his nickname. "Who can say how many would have kept coming, if they hadn't blown the whole village to scheiße." 

"It was pretty terrifying," Ana Lucia interjected. "Those monsters, up close, they just..." she trailed off, unable to adequately express it.

"Especially after seeing what they did to the people of the village," Liesel agreed. "Mardones here was fearless, though. She killed three of them in under five seconds. Probably would have been more, but she ran out of ammo!" Liesel laughed a bit when Ana Lucia blushed and scowled at her.

"La mierda," she growled back. "I was scared out of my mind. Just couldn't let it get to me."

Monica took Liesel's hand, and reached out to Ana Lucia. After a moment, Ana Lucia shoved herself off the bed, and stepped over to take the offered hand.

"I'm glad you're both okay," Monica said. "It kills me whenever I hear that we've got wounded coming in, and I'd hate to lose another sister or brother." Ana Lucia smiled and squeezed Monica's hand before letting go and dropping back to lean against the other bed again. Liesel continued to hold her hand, while the two of them shared a long look. Just as Ana Lucia began to think she should leave them alone, Liesel turned to her and smiled.

"Who would ever have thought?" she asked. "A German, a Brazilian and an Ecuadorian serving together?"

"Sounds like the start to a bad joke," Ana Lucia agreed. "Stop me if you've heard this one..." The women laughed at that for a moment, before the conversation turned serious again.

"What do you think is next?" Monica asked. "The médicos say I'm going to be in this bed for another few weeks, but I'm dying to get back out there."

"I don't know," Liesel replied pensively. "We keep seeing more out of the X-rays. This new armor is excellent, and I hear they're working on actual laser weapons, but I can't imagine that things will continue to go as well as they have been." As she spoke, Monica and Ana Lucia caught the shadow that crossed her features. Both of them knew that Oksenov's death still bothered her, though she normally hid it well. They also knew the stoic German would open up about it when she was ready, and not a moment before. There was a long silence, each of the women finding herself momentarily lost in her thoughts. It was Ana Lucia that broke it first.

"I think I'm going to head to the gym," she said, "let you two have some time alone." She glanced around, seeing only the newly promoted SSG "Armarnis" Lindemann, taking his leave after visiting Hassan and Daiwa. De Matos smiled at her in farewell before reaching over to take Faber's other hand, holding them both as she looked up from the bed. Mardones left them in silence, nodding to Lindemann when she caught up with him at the entrance, where Makhandule stood waiting for him.

She glanced back once before she left, and smiled a little whens she saw de Matos pulling Faber down for a kiss. They'd be alright. With luck, they'd all be alright.