Bright light, strange voices, alien faces. Something forces air in and out of my lungs. I want it to stop. It hurts. Everything hurts. A white figure looms above me. Go away and leave me alone. I try to push the white from away but my limbs wont move. I begin to struggle. Ugly sensations shoot through my body as I move but I want the white thing to leave me alone. The white thing and another figure pin me down. Desperately I try to yell at them. I can't. There's something down my throat that comes out of my mouth. There's a sudden pressure my shoulder, then nothing.
“I am not a liar!”
That shout wakes me. Mavic? I try to open my eyes but they wont. There’s something in my mouth still. I try to raise my hand to get it out. My arms won’t move. Nothing will.
“Really Mavic, why should I believe you? You lied to Edward to get him to go with you.”
Who’s that? Sounds like a girl.
“That was necessary! Sorry Edward, but you never would have come with me if I hadn’t said that,” I hear Mavic say.
“I know…” Edward replies.
“Are you sure that he’s not dangerous?”
That’s a new voice. A man with a Spanish accent, I think.
“Look at him, Ricker!” Mavic yells. “Does he really look like he’s dangerous to you? He was mulled by a big scary monster!”
“He could be an agent working for the corporations.”
“You’re the God damn psychic! Just read his mind and find out for yourself.”
“Can you please stop yelling?” a woman with a very strong British accent, asks.
“Someone is sleeping in here, if you haven’t noticed”
“He needs to wake up. He’s slept long enough,” Mavic snaps.
“He is awake,” Ricker interrupts.
There’s a quick shuffle of feet then Mavic and Edward’s heads come into my line of sight, along with three others.
“Keith can you hear me?”
I ignore Edward as I stare at the other three. One has short hair, ones wearing a white coat, and the last one has white eyes. That’s all I see before my vision starts to swim. Mavic shakes my shoulder.
“No Keith, stay awake. Don’t go back to sleep.”
I can’t though. I try but the distorted faces before me fade away.
I twitch as something taps my noise. "Catherine, stop it..." I mumble. Nothing happens for a few minutes and I start to drift off again. Something pokes my cheek. "Catherine, stop! I'm sleeping." Irritated, I roll over into my side. A stabbing pain runs through my body. "Ahhhg!" My eyes shoot open. I'm met with a pair of huge yellow eyes in my face.
I yell and then the owner of the eyes screams. Frantically I try to sit up, ignoring my pain. The yellow-eyed thing scampers off. Panicked I look around at my surroundings. Where am I?
I'm in a dim room filled with what looks like medical equipment. I realize I'm in an infirmary. God, where am I, and what was that thing? My head starts to throb. Slowly I raise my hand to my head and rub it, wincing at the pain the small movement causes. Why is my hand so cold? Gently I move my hand so I can see it. A strangled cry of shock escapes my lips. I start to shake. “What is this!” Ragged breaths begin to burn my chest as they shake my body.
"Keith, Your awake!" Someone runs up to me and steadies me by taking my shoulders. I recognize the person as Edward.
"Mu-mu-my arm!" I gasp. Edward forces my arm down slowly.
"Calm down," He tells me. "I know your confused and scared right now, and your arm...she had to do it, I'm sorry."
Still shaking I gaze down at what is know my right arm.
Thin black fibers form muscles where the old ones would have been. A strange gray metal bends and flexes as I move my cold hand. It hurts but I keep moving it. I just can't believe what I'm looking at.
"What happened?" I finally manage to ask. My voice sounds dry as it cracks. Before Edward can answer, Mavic and a small woman in a lab coat hurry in. I stare blankly as she pushes Edward out of the way.
"Hello, your name is Keith, right?" I nod dully. "Well, my name is Gretchen. Can you tell me how you’re feeling?" I recognize her voice. She has a very strong British accent. I look up at her.
Brown almond shaped eyes studies me from a small heart shaped face framed by two wavy side bangs. The rest of her light brown hair is pulled back into a bun at the top of her head.
I look away from Gretchen too Mavic and Edward.
"What happened?" I ask again.
Mavic shakes his head. "How much do you remember?"
I close my eyes for a moment as I try to remember.
"There was the junkyard and then Darwin told me there was...something coming, and... we started to run..." I pause for a moment, catching my breath. Breathing has become very painful now. "Then...then the monster was chasing us? It leapt at Edward and I think it landed on me..." I cradle my head with my left hand. "I can't remember anything after that."
Mavic and Edward tell me everything and slowly I start to remember. The creature jumping on me, tearing into my arm, crushing my chest… Most of what they’re saying just blows over me as I stare at my arm. As far as I can tell, the robotic limb reaches past my shoulder and down my back. Eventually I interrupt them. “How long was I out for?”
Mavic and Edward glance at each other but before they can reply, Gretchen tells me.
“You been comatose for nearly ten days.”
I struggle out of the bed I’m in.
“Wow, lie back down!” Gretchen demands.
I swat away her hands as she tries to push me back on the bed. My head swims as I stand up. The pain in my chest triples as I stand. Why is it so easy for me to stand? Breathing hurts, my arm and shoulder is throbbing, but I can stand. I try to take a step but the world does a hectic dive around me. I stager as I stumble back. Edward ketches me as I fall.
"You really should lie down."
I try to shove him off.
"I need to go! I need to get to get her. I only have three days left."
"You can't do anything until you rest. I need you to lie down." I glare up at Gretchen but I'm met by a cold stare. "Sit."
I sit down slowly back on the bed. Shakily I look back at my arm. I don't say anything, just stare.
“I’m sorry Keith, we had to amputate your arm. We had no other choice.
"Why did you take me arm?"
Gretchen polls up a chair and sits next to me. She glances up at Edward and Mavic.
"Can you two please let me talk to Keith for a moment, in private?"
They nod and walk away. She turns and looks at me. "I'm truly sorry for what I had to do to you but I had to. If I hadn’t done what I had, you would have died.”
“My arm was that bad?”
She sighs. “The creature striped a large portion of flesh from your forearm. Almost every bone in your arm as shattered, some pieces were even missing. The worst part was the creature that attacked you was highly venomous.”
“It was that bad…”
“Yes. The venom made your arm swell so much that blood wasn’t able to seep through your wounds. Your actually vary lucky that Mavic and Edward were able to get you here.”
“Where is here?” I ask.
“Why, your at The House.”
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