Otela IV - Moon 9 - Expert Distribution Warehouse

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The first thing Komi noticed was a strange, repeating clanging accompanied with a slight but steady shaking.

Her eyelids were so heavy, she could barely manage to open them. Every time she tried, little glimmers of light flickered before her blurred gaze. At first she couldn’t focus but after a while the woman recognized them as light tubes that were running by at the center of a moving metal wall. a wall? or was it the ceiling?

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The sound came from a stretcher, accompanied by 4 people, racing over the tiled, plated floor of the medical station.
Komi noticed some humans around her, dressed in light blue coats. Nurses? Doctors? Was she hurt?
They had no faces but seemed to recognize her, too. One of them pulled on her eyelid while blinding her with a hot light. Komi could see his hand as he touched her warm face, but she did not feel anything.
There was just a strange sense of heavy numbness inside her that made her feel like she was dreaming. was she?

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In order to continue their passing, the male nurses pushed some bystanders, who also looked faceless to Komi, to the side of the crowded hallway while they raced forward.
They shouted something and Komi could hear it, but did not understand a single word.

Lost she tried to move, desperately tried to talk to them. Saying she was fine, that there was no need to worry. But her body did not react. she could not speak. she could not.

In her dizzy ears the surrounding sounds amplified forming into a single unrecognizable pattern that felt wrong. She heard the beeping of instruments, the shouts of the people, shoes scratching on hard metal, the buzzing of light tubes and some deep ambient sound from an unknown distance all mixxed together like a devilish symphony.

She felt lost, what if this was not a dream?

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The pattern of light tubes got dimmer as Komi’s view began to fade. Helplessly trying to hold onto the empty faces she drifted away from them… into nothingness.
She did not want to leave. Not yet. Her lips formed a short, unnoticed word but there was no accompanying voice before the world became black again:

Sorry

[ to be continued … ]

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Part 2:

The large monitor which was wrapped around the entire room showed a large field of yellow flowers. The bright warm color of greens and yellows filled the otherwise bleak room, which was surrounded in hard plastic walls. This addition was ment to make patients feel better, and it worked very well.
Komi looked around like she had done for hours now, the only deflection being the quick visits of nurses or doctors. There was nothing to be done after she had already counted the 238 panels on the ceiling.

Six beds were present, all of them, except hers, filled with white skinned Caldari women. One of these had both her leg inside a plastic splint while an other had her head wrapped in bandages. The room smelled of disinfectant and worn skin.

She hated the smell. Komi looked down at her arm, at the hose that connected her to a medical apparatus. The skin inside her elbow where the tube connected with her artery itched, but she was carfully trying to scratch it. There was a second socket on the top of her hand but it was already disconnected, not tied to the machine anymore. She had been awake since a few hours now. At first she seemed confused to the poor nurse that came to calm her down but soon she soon got hold of her emotions.

Komi was wearing a patient dress, if this light blue rag deserved the term dress. Knowing that -while she was passed out- somebody unknown tampered with her body and put her into this rag made her still feel uncomfortable. While she struggled with her female pride, she turned to the side, trying to find a position that wouldn’t make her go crazy when the door suddenly slid up.

“Ah, good morning” The old Civire doctor progressed and took a seat on a small stool in front of her bed.

Surprised Komi tried to sit up in her bed to face the doctor. She felt heavy and was a little dizzy but managed to greet him with a slight smile.
Rushed but friendly the doctor placed a large datapad on his legs and continued:

“AH, patient #249, you finally woke up today, how are you feeling?”

“limp and worn out”
She answered quietly like some scattered person who just found her voice again.

The doctor took some notes.
“Can I ask you some questions?”

Komi nodded. Her responses were delayed a little due to her head feeling very foggy.

“What is your name?”

“Komi Valentine”
The doctor exhaled reliefed and scribbled notes on his datapad. The worst thing that could happen to him today would have been an unidentified patient that had no insurance to pay.

“Where are you from?”

“Frarn, xxxxx City”

“Can you see clearly?”

“Yes”

“Do you taste or hear anything weird?”

“No”

“Open your eyes wide!” The doctor moved his chair closer and blinded Komi with a light. She put up with it.

“Allright, Tell me something from your childhood.”

Komi wondered and looked baffled at the old caldari man.

“Something from my childhood?”

“Yes, just tell me anything please. Look at it like a test”

“hm…” she thought for a long moment “I once stole some sweeties from our teacher in second grade. She always kept them in a drawer under her table. I had such a bad conscience that I brought them back the next day”

The doctor smirked and took some notes.

“Do you know where you are?”

“The Nurse told me. I’m on a Station in Otela?”
Komi’s head got heavier and now the doctors smile faded.

“Do you remember what happened?”

Of course he asked this. Komi has puzzled about this question from the moment she woke up. She shrugged.

“I don’t know.”

“Well, What is the last thing you remember?”

Komi grabbed her head, being careful not to entangle the hose on her arm.
“I don’t know… there are memories, but I can’t arrange them in any order. I helped a friend with some computer virus, we passed into a wormhole…, discussions with a fleet commander. Explosions. My navigator telling me stuff…, fear that something bad happens, a nice dinner…”

Now it was the doctor who looked a little puzzled. He finished his notes.

"Ms Valentine, you have suffered a strong concussion as well as physical trauma. It will take some days until your head will feel normal again. Given the circumstances we found you, retrograde amnesia seems quite normal. You seem to be very lucky.
The head trauma you have experienced was very serious… you were unresponsive for 3 days, but it doesn’t look like you will suffer from permanent brain damage…"

After talking an additional two minutes about complicated terms Komi couldn’t grab, he finished his lecture:
“I need you to stay in bed for a couple more days. We must be sure there are no deeper injuries and need to monitor you.”

Komis torso swayed a little, and that made the dizziness she felt even worse. There was no point in even trying to flee the bed in her situation.
“Allright, Doc…”

“Thank you for your understanding. I will come back tomorrow and look after you. I hope you are insured, miss.”

Komi already went back into a laying position for the dizziness has gotten to worse. She nodded.

“Good, then enjoy your time in Otela!”

Komi smirked as the Doc left the room again. “The circumstances we found you”. What could that mean?
She wanted to think about it, but suddenly she became very tired …

[ to be continued … ]

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After two more days she finally got disconnected from the medical apparatus, being thankful since it made visiting the the unisex bathroom a necassary but taxing adventure of it’s own. Her headache faded as well as her dizzyness and Komi spent her day chatting with some other patients. All of them were members of the Caldari Navy and all of them were here for the same reason…
Komi noticed the wrinkles on the doctors head, that seemed to increase day by day and even his initial humor seemed to have given way to drainness, so she accepted the fact, that he kicked her out to make space for more “serious injuries”.

The warm water now running down her skin reliefed her and felt like being reborn after all those days of staying in bed. She didn’t even care about the claustrophobic small cabin who’s walls were cast from one large piece of hard white plastic broken only by the drain and a small opening at the top to reintroduce the air’s humidity into the station’s water cycle.

90 Minutes later and after checking in a bunch of paperwork, Komi was finally able to leave the infirmary. She got handed her personal stuff at the counter. It wasn’t much. Her pocket computer, that did not react to anything - probably broke, two stud earrings, a nice gallente-looking jacket, and a bag of freshly washed clothes that looked very ropy.

The Caldari woman behind the counter seemed a little annoyed after Komi needed five tries to figure out her insurance and banking credentials. Finally she did manage it, confirmed her identity with an iris and face scan and got handed a small card from the counter woman.
NOH was engraved next to the small chip that was used for wireless payments. She shoved the temporary ID card into her pocket and made sure it was secure.

“Have a good time on our station, Ms Valentine.” The counter lady said it as if she had rehearsed it forever with a smile on her face that was obviously just a farce.

Komi left the medical bay like an inconspicuous gray sheep in a grey shirt and grey trousers she bought at the hospitals small shops. If it wasn’t for her face tattoos and darker skin that made her stand out, one could think she belonged to the great mass of the working caldari population at this station.

She walked endlessly along large corridors. Cables guides were running alongside the walls, the floor looked flawless and she could see the reflection of the lamps that casted a soft light. Komi clearly admired Caldari people for their tidiness. Where did they take all the motivation from? No spot of rust, no loose cables hanging from the ceiling, not even something to trip over on the ground.
Compared to the Minmatar Stations she was visiting frequently, this place made her think of one of her mum’s quotes: “No matter how dirty your past is, your future is still spotless.”
Mum.

She still had not yet found a way to contact her family. They had to be incredibly worried.
Komi had learned from the doc that she had arrived at this station aboard a badly damaged escape capsule. He didn’t know more about this situation, and she herself still couldn’t remember anything but she suspected the worst.

She walked to the next terminal and used her ID card to get access to her personal space. Public terminals were not very safe to use, but at the moment she had no other choice. Using the touchless interface, she swiped away the hundreds of unread messages in her PO.
Some civilians cavorted in the corridor behind her as she opened a camera stream to her mothers adress.

What should I say?

The small camera on the terminal gazed at Komi for some seconds, before the screen revealed a older Vherokior woman -probably around 50 years old- sitting on the ground inside the living room Komi instantly noticed. The ground was made out of soft pale wood and cloths made from small reeds were slowly waving in the breeze that came from the ocean.

“Mum?”

The woman turned her head and got up from her pose, running closer to the com-unit that was mounted on top of a small shelf. Komi recognized a unfamiliar sadness in her mothers face, very similar to the look of the doctor or other people that looked older than they should have.

“K- Komi?”

Komi shivered. She had seen her mom crying only one time and that was very long ago, but now the tears were rolling down the woman’s cheeks and nose. Her lips were trembling as she said Komi’s name. The relief mixxed with the terrible pain that the Vherokior mother must have felt for the last days were overwhelming and her emotions were exploding now. She stared at her only child, and Komi, observing her mothers reaction, got caught by the emotions herself.

There was no way she could have been prepared for this. Komi blinked as unstoppable tears formed in her eyes. She got infected by the relief, sadness, anger, guilt and all the other accumulated emotions that had build up for days in her mother and were now radiated in realtime across all the space that seperated them.

“Sorry” was the only thing Komi could sop as she shielded her face with her hands. But none of the Caldari people seemed interested in her. They just minded their own business and nobody noticed or wanted to notice the tears dropping on the polished metal floor.

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