Of Space and Bachelor’s Degrees Chapter 18

Previous Chapter —IndexNext Chapter


Richard started at the strange rock that he had been given. So far, it had mostly just confirmed that he wasn’t human, and somewhat told him about what he was. The fact that he wasn’t human bothered him. It wasn’t that he was particularly against being something else, but it had been a part of his identity. It was something that he had shared with his parents, even though they had just adopted him. More importantly, it was just shocking to find out that he was different. At first it made him slightly less trusting in his parents, since he felt like they had lied to him. However, that wasn’t actually true. At the very least, everything was for his own good and they had done their best to be as honest as possible. Upon thinking about it, losing trust in his parents over the situation wasn’t fair, nor was being upset at them. However, being upset in general was perfectly acceptable, which was good because Richard couldn’t control that at all. He also couldn’t prevent his anger at his parents from existing, but he could control his actions.

After about a month Richard was still recovering, mentally, from the experience. Although he tried to not let it show, it had been very shocking to experience. However, he didn’t have to handle everything by himself, however. He still had friends and family around to help him. Richard’s father made himself available when he needed to talk, and Richard also sent his mother some messages, though it wasn’t the same as being there in person. Richard’s only other family was a grandmother, but he’d only met her a few times. As for friends from Utopia… he had some, but he felt closer to Jot, and even Elena, even though he’d only been friends with the two for a short time. Richard thought about what he now knew, and how it was change his life. He wasn’t sure whether he should let it… but he also couldn’t exactly stop it from changing him in some ways. He was deep enough in thought that he actually bumped into someone as he was walking to a class.

“Oh, sorry. I wasn’t watching where I was going.” Richard looked in front of him to see a hulking thing, eight feet tall and quite sturdy looking. Richard quickly corrected his thoughts. A person, not a thing. He just hadn’t seen this species much. What was the name, and Ulph?

The large, heavily muscled Ulph pushed Richard back a few feet. “I’ve just about had it with you people. Thinking you can do whatever you want.”

“Look, I said I was sorry. I don’t really know what more you want. Did you get hurt or something?”

Richard’s question was answered by a loud *crack*, preceded shortly be what appeared to be a punch right to his sternum by a massive fist the size of, or perhaps a bit bigger than, his head.

Richard had no idea what was going on. He found himself on the floor, and he was pretty sure he was about three meters away from where he had been. He felt like all of his ribs were broken, and it was extremely painful. Sadly, he had experienced pain of a similar degree once before. He was likely going to pass out.

Richard felt it would be very bad to pass out at this point. His ribs weren’t in a good state, and he was having trouble breathing- at least the one breath he had taken hurt immensely. There was also a large angry person who was probably still around. Richard couldn’t afford to fall unconscious. He refused to pass out. Not that he could do anything about it, of course.

Except, it seemed he could. He was aware that he fell unconscious, but he was still awake. Not his physical body, but what he needed. He looked at his injuries with his senses. It was bad. Really bad. He had not been too far wrong about all of his ribs being broken. Worse, he saw that some had punctured his lungs. What could he do?

Richard had been hesitant to make any changes to his body after learning about what he was. He was worried about doing something irreversible, like changing his brain and losing memories, or killing himself. In this situation, however, he threw all of those thoughts away. He needed his ribs to be not-broken. He mentally pulled and prodded and shaved and wrangled at one of the bones. There was a crack sound, though Richard wasn’t exactly sure how he heard anything. The bone lined up slightly closer to where it should have been.

Now, there was a hole in one of his lungs. Maybe he shouldn’t have done anything, because now more blood was getting into his lung. Although it wasn’t perfect, he tried to patch the hole. There was plenty of the proper material around, he just had to move some of the tissue. That was easier said than done. However, soon he had a layer of something like the tissue from his lungs covering the hole. He wasn’t sure if he did it right, but the hole was filled, and he seemed to have stopped bleeding into his lung, though he was still bleeding elsewhere. The process was very tiring, though he felt like he’d only spend a few moments. He still felt… thinner, as if there were less of him.

All that was left as an immediate danger was blood in his lungs. For some reason, as he was trying to make it disappear, he heard more snapping sounds. He felt like those had been happening still, but he was watching his body and nothing was changing. As he concentrated on it, somehow, a small bit of the blood was taken out of his lungs. Richard was exhausted, and couldn’t do much more than that. Then, Richard realized something.

Richard snapped to consciousness, and bolted upright. “Jot!” Jot had been with Richard, as usual. Now, he might be in danger.

In front of him, Richard saw one figure standing over another. A leg was coming down, about to smash into the head of the one on the floor. Then, Richard heard a loud crack. It sounded a bit different, maybe. The standing figure ran over towards him.

“Richard!” Jot was easily recognized by his voice, but Richard was having trouble seeing. Jot leaned down and looked at Richard. “Can you… be moved?”

“I’ll… “ Richard coughed. Some blood came out. “I’ll be fine. I can move.” He tried to stand, but failed.

Jot, however, had completely different and better ideas. Richard felt himself lifted off the ground, as if he were flying in the air. Then the walls and everything around him moved very quickly past him. It was strange. He watched the lights whiz by, as well as some people, but only vaguely. In what felt like no time at all, he found himself in the clinic, looking at a doctor.

“Hi,” said Richard, before he passed out again.

Previous Chapter —IndexNext Chapter

Leave a Reply