Of Space and Bachelor’s Degrees Chapter 7

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VII

Richard was no longer really conscious, but somehow he still felt something of what was going on. Perhaps it was a dream. Richard had heard that you couldn’t feel pain in dreams. However, he was still capable of understanding that something should hurt, and that was still quite unpleasant. He couldn’t exactly remember the actual feeling of pain that had hit him right before he went unconscious, but he remembered that it happened.

The pain had started in his hand, and travelled up his arm. That brief moment had been enough for him to fall unconscious. Richard didn’t think he was the kind to faint from pain, but he hadn’t experienced pain that strong before, either.

Now what he was left with was the memory of green blood on his hand, and of the feeling in his arm. In his dream, the blood entered his own veins, moving through them and both numbing them and causing them great amounts of pain, though Richard was still only experiencing it as the idea that it should be painful. It spread up his arm and into his heart, where it caused problems he couldn’t really describe. From there, it spread throughout his body.

As it spread through his body, Richard felt that the blood, or whatever part of it was causing the damage was becoming more dilute. This was good, because that meant it caused less damage. However, it was still causing damage to more places. It wasn’t particularly encouraging to have more widespread destruction, even if it was more limited. Then, Richard noticed significant reductions as the invading blood passed through certain parts. Perhaps his kidneys? Richard thought that would be correct, but since he was in a dreamlike state, he wasn’t entirely sure.

Then, there was the addition of something else. A third party that wasn’t him, nor was it the invading force. At least, not the same invading force. However, as this third party flowed through his blood, it removed the foreign blood, and the toxins or whatever they were that came with it. This implied it was perhaps something helpful. However, Richard still didn’t understand what it was, so he wasn’t sure if he wanted more strange things inside of him. Not that he could do anything about it in a dream, or could he? After he thought about it, he started to feel that this other thing was being removed as well, not particularly at a certain point, but just everywhere.

Richard felt himself, for lack of a better description, being wrung out like a wet towel. Every part of him was being squeezed out, though in this particular case it wasn’t liquid, but… energy, maybe. He wasn’t sure what the purpose of that was, or if he even understood what was happening. However, as time passed, he seemed to have less toxins or whatever they were in his system. In addition to that, the other thing that wasn’t him seemed to be steadily disappearing as well. In fact, he felt like there was less of everything, including perhaps a bit less of himself. He wasn’t really sure what that meant, but it didn’t seem to be too bad. On the other hand, sleeping humans weren’t particularly good at thinking rationally, so maybe he would realize everything he experienced was horrifying and strange when he woke up… if he remembered it. Everything started to fade, as if he were somehow awake now and was slipping into unconsciousness.

 

Then, he woke up in something akin to a hospital bed, with vague memories of a dream.  He inferred this from pictures and videos that he had seen, rather than any significant amount of personal experience with hospitals. The second thing he noticed besides his location was that he hurt a lot and was exhausted, even though he had just, apparently, woken up. After looking around, the third thing he noticed was Jot, looking at him.

“Hello again.”

“Good afternoon Richard. I trust you slept well?”

“Oh yes, except for the part where I hurt and don’t feel like I slept. Also, I appear to be in a hospital room.”

“Well, you’re not in a hospital room, technically. This is just the clinic at the school here, although it’s as good as some hospitals. Better for you, since it was much closer.”

“Ah yes, I think I remember it from a brochure. I don’t suppose you could explain to me why I’m here? I can’t really remember…”

“Hmm. Blood, toxin, screaming. That’s pretty much what I got out of it. I didn’t really pay attention to the specifics, but you could ask-”

“Richard!” a strangely familiar man with long hair entered the room at that. “You’re up!”

The man was not so strangely familiar in the way that it was odd that he seemed familiar. No, instead, he was familiar, and strange. This man, of course, being Richard’s father.

“You’re here? That’s… probably not good. How long was I unconscious?”

“Just over a day,” said Jot helpfully. “He showed up last night. Your father, I’ve been told. I see the family resemblance.”

“Hmm, yeah, but I’m adopted.”

“…I don’t believe you,” said Jot.

“But, my parents have always told me I’m adopted. My whole life would be turned upside down if I found out I was actually related to them!” said Richard. Sarcasm was hard when everything hurt and he felt exceptionally heavy, but he managed quite well anyway.

“Ah son, I hate to break it to you at this age. You’re actually… still adopted. Seriously.”

Jot looked at the father, then the son, then back at each in succession. “Hmm.”

Jot’s hmm conveyed the fact that he understood they were serious in their claims but that he also believed they were wrong, or didn’t know what adopted meant.

At this point, the doctor walked in. “You… you’re alive! Also, you’re awake! That’s… excellent news. How do you feel?”

“Tired. It also hurts everywhere. I also feel extremely heavy.”

“That’s excellent!”

“Hurting is excellent?”

“Well, normally we would expect you to be dead, so yes. Regaining consciousness in not much more than a day is beyond excellent.”

Richard pondered this point. He didn’t really feel like he’d almost died. Not that he felt good at all, just that he thought almost dying would be a lot worse. Then again, he couldn’t remember what happened after the sudden burst of pain when he passed out. Presumably, it had continued to be unpleasant. He had a vague feeling that he had been watching something happen, but couldn’t really remember how, nor could he recall what it had looked like. He had a strange feeling that he’d never seen the vague memories, yet also that he had.

At this point, Richard’s stomach growled. The doctor smiled, and sent a nurse to go get him some lunch. Meanwhile, he asked Richard pertinent questions about his health. The doctor seemed to think positively about the current situation, although it was also clear that the lack of major problems was unexpected, to say the least.

Richard asked, “So… what exactly happened? I vaguely remember pain and then passing out…”

Jot spoke up at this, since he had been there the whole time. “Okay, so do you remember helping up that girl who tripped? Good. Well, she cut her hand on a stray shard of glass, so when you helped her up, you got her blood on your hand. Noxians have toxic, well, pretty much everything, and it can be easily absorbed through the skin. So, you passed out, probably from the pain, or as a defense mechanism. We instantly called for medical help. You were extremely lucky, normally humans die before help can arrive. They immediately injected you with some healing nanites, and that made you look a bit… less bad. Then, they moved you here and hooked you up.” Jot gestured to the IV and equipment attached to Richard.

In time, some light broth and jello arrived, and Richard quickly scarfed it down. Afterwards, Richard’s stomach still growled.

Jot spoke up at this point, “I didn’t think that would fill you up… not the way I’ve seen you eat, anyway. I think I saw just the thing in a vending machine nearby.” At this, Jot excused himself to go get… whatever the thing was. Obviously some kind of snack.

Richard and his father were left alone. His father spoke up first. “Listen, son, I’m very glad you are alright, even though it is somewhat of a strange occurrence for that to be so. If anything comes up, and you need someone to talk to, or ask questions, I just want to let you know I’m here for you. Especially if you still feel sick or… strange.” Richard didn’t really understand why his father was saying this. He supposed there might be some lingering effects from the strange toxins, but other than that, there shouldn’t be anything else. More importantly, if he felt strange or sick he would probably need to tell the doctor. Still, he did appreciate the offer of comfort.

Shortly thereafter, Jot came back with five large candy bars. He handed one to Richard’s father, set three on the table besides Richard, and opened one for himself. It didn’t look like terribly exciting candy, and it wasn’t chocolate or anything Richard recognized. He picked one up, surprised at its weight. Sure, it was big, but it was seriously heavy. He looked at the label. It read, “Cal Pal, serious energy for serious hunger.” He opened it and looked at it suspiciously.

“It’s Xevaronian, I think you’ll like it,” said Jot. “I got some for us too since I know I haven’t eaten since breakfast yesterday… and your father has probably not eaten much more than I have.”

Richard put himself in the state of mind he had used for eating Xevaronian food- it was not to be taken lightly. He imagined it smelled sweet, some kind of fruit he’d never tried before. It was sort of a pinkish white, taffy-looking substance, although more firm. He bit into it. It was hard to bite through, and hard to chew. It was, however, very tasty. Within a few minutes, Richard had finished his bar. He reached for another one and opened it, too. Jot looked like he was about to say something, but decided against it. Richard ate the second bar, and then split the last one with Jot.

Now he felt really full. He’d probably had a little too much, especially since he’d just been sick, but he felt alright. After talking with his visitors for a while, he felt tired, and went to sleep, only waking up sometime in the evening.

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2 Replies to “Of Space and Bachelor’s Degrees Chapter 7”

  1. Haha, man he must really have an efficient digestive system (Maybe literal SYSTEM?) That electrical interference had me suspicious straight away that he’s ‘different’. Wonder how it will be explained to him or how he’ll find out.

  2. ELINAviolets says: Reply

    Well one thing’s for sure; with the amount jr. Smith eats he can defenitely be recognized as a main-character XD

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