“Oh, dear Dio… “ Asher said, his hands were clasped together, and he raised them up to his mouth. I knew he was saying a silent prayer.
“Is it really that bad?” I asked. I raised a hand to my face. The metallic taste of blood filled my mouth and my words sounded wet with it. My fingers found a wide opening on my chin and my tongue found another on my lip. “Yeah, I’m gonna need stitches.”
“Lot’s of blood,” Asher muttered, his face pale. He stepped past me and into the washroom. A moment later, he returned with a white towel and pushed it into my face awkwardly.
“Thanks,” I said thickly. First aid was something we were all trained on, but I remembered my first time seeing someone I knew bleeding. I could empathise with Asher’s discomfort.
“What the hell?” Emeric said. I turned to see him standing behind me. His eyes were wide.
“I fell,” I explained, “There was a jolt, and-”
“Yeah,” Emeric said dismissively, “What was that jolt?” He looked past me at Asher.
“I could ask the same thing,” Skyler muttered angrily from behind Asher. His eyes were wild and his arms were folded across his chest. His biceps rippling beneath his shirt.
“I honestly don’t know,” Asher explained evenly, trying to split his attention between the two men. “I haven’t had a chance to check it out. I was preoccupied with Anaya.” I noticed a red blush blossom on his cheeks. “Because she fell. She’s cut herself pretty bad. Don’t you see the blood?”
“Well, get cleaned up!” Emeric said to me. Then he turned his attention to Asher. “And you should go figure out what that was! In fact, I’ll be on the bridge, I want to see if maybe we hit something.”
“I’m going to need stitches,” I said again. The towel on my chin noticeably less white. I started to feel a little strange. There was pain, but also a slight tingling, as though I was still in shock. The adrenaline in my system still had my heart pumping hard.
“Help her with that,” Emeric commanded Skyler.
“What? But I-”
“You want to be treated like a part of this ship? Trusted like my crew? Pull your weight. Stitch her up.” Emeric glanced at the blood at the bottom of the stairs and the small spatters of it on the wall. “And for goodness sake, someone clean that up!” He grabbed Asher by the sleeve and pushed him towards engineering. The two of them marched off to their opposite ends of the ship.
Asher glanced back at me, a look of worry on his face. I tried to smile reassuringly, but that just caused a fresh gush of blood.
Skyler glanced at the floor and wall, a look of disgust washed over his face.
“I’ll clean it up,” I mumbled. “Just please help me get fixed up first.”
Together Skyler and I walked up to the infirmary. I felt a little light headed, and my face started to pulse with a fiery pain.
Willow was sitting up in her pod. Her hair was a mop of tangles and she stared at us both horror struck. “What happened?”
“No idea,” Skyler grumbled. “But this one needs stitches.”
“Do you need help?” Willow asked.
“I want you to stay put til I can have another look at you,” I said. I didn’t want to talk, but I knew I had to walk Skyler through the process. I sat on the chair by my desk.
“Yeah, I got this,” Skyler said, though his tone left something to be desired.
“Suture kit is on the third shelf of the cupboard here.” I pointed to my right, above the desk.
Skyler took out a tray with all the supplies needed for stitching a simple wound, each was individually wrapped in plastic. He grabbed the edge of the plastic and made to tear it off.
“Wait! Wash your hands,” I began, “and gloves are in the top drawer over there.” I pointed to the drawers beside the sink.
Skyler nodded and did as he was told.
“What now?” He held his hands out in front of him, fingers spread wide in the gloves.
“You need to inject the syringe of anaesthetic into the area around the wound. Then you will have to clean it out before starting the stitches.”
I opened up a file on my computer which had a bunch of videos of simple operations. I opened one and skipped through to the end, so that Skyler could watch to see how stitching was done.
“Oh, that is so disgusting.”
“Suck it up, Skyler.” Willow moaned from her pod.
I had to take over a few parts of the process, but in the end, the bleeding stopped, and the colour returned to Skyler’s face. “Good as new,” he said as he put a bandage over his work.
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see that the Engineering doors had opened. “The Raven is gone,” Asher said. I turned and saw that his face was flushed and his eyes wide as he walked slowly towards us all. “It’s totally gone.”
“What do you mean, gone?” Skyler said.
“Well, there are small bits of it everywhere, but it isn’t a ship anymore,” Asher responded.
“How does that even happen?” I interjected. Speaking felt weird, the freezing made me feel like the lower part of my face was missing and the bandage pulled the skin of my neck.
Skyler rushed to a nearby window, and looked through, and I followed him. Through the window, we could see the walkway that once connected the two ships together was still extended, but at its end was empty space.
“Where is it?” Skyler asked.
I turned to look at Skyler and watched as all colour disappeared from his face.
I didn’t see him come in, but it was Emeric’s turn to chime in. “That ship was two seconds from falling apart when we found it. I’m surprised it lasted this long. It’s a shame we didn’t bring more supplies from it before that happened because they could have been useful.”
“I can’t believe it is gone,” Willow said. Her voice was shaky. “It could have exploded while we were in cryo. If you didn’t find us, we would probably be dead now.”
Almost like someone lit Skyler on fire, his face instantly went from a ghostly pale to a fiery red. “You did this, didn’t you?” He yelled.
Emeric grinned. “Even if I had, there likely isn’t any proof anymore.” Emeric met my shocked gaze. “Not that I did, of course.” Then he turned to face Asher. “Can you tell what happened?”
Asher didn’t get a chance to answer because Skyler rushed towards Emeric. His body low to the ground, his shoulders wide. He growled like a wild animal as he plowed into Emeric. He lifted the Captain off of his feet for a few moments before the two of them fell onto the floor, Skyler on top of Emeric.
Asher rushed to the pair of them and pulled Skyler off of Emeric. I expected to see blood, but Emeric continued to hold his grin.
“Sedate him!” Emeric yelled.