The betrayal RW Chapter 9 snippet

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The light was bright and it hurt her eyes, she reflected with a groan. Closing her eyes again, Kate felt a pounding from her head again, this time from her right temple. She felt the annoying itch of the nanites at work repairing the damage to her skin. Letting her thoughts drift back in time, she remembered the splinter hitting her shoulder and then her head.

She slowly opened her eyes and looked down at her right arm. Reynolds had removed her coat and blouse while she was asleep, leaving her in her slacks and a gray tank top. Looking at her shoulder, she could see the skin reforming over her bionics, a new section gleaming under the lights.

With a sigh, she closed her eyes again, the maddening itching coming from her arm too. Resisting the urge to scratch, she sighed at the familiar feeling. The nanites in her blood were hard at work again, she mused, at repairing the damage to her body. Placed in her body to make red blood cells after the loss of so much bone marrow, they had immediately mutated and grown beyond the scope of their original programming. Now, unless the damage was too severe even for them, they busied themselves at repairing her body while they replaced the red blood cells her body needed.

It also means I get to enjoy a much longer life then a normal person would get, she thought with a groan as she reached for her shoulder. As if I really want years of this misery…

“You’re awake, Skipper,”

Forcing her eyes open again, she watched Reynolds walk over to her bed. With a sigh, she forced herself into a sitting position. It was a surprise to see her arm in one piece, she mused, it must have taken some work on the doctor’s part for her to have it’s use still. Especially with the number of wounded they had.

“I feel like a truck ran over me,” Kate mumbled trying to stand up. “But I’ll live.”

Everything moved so slow that the first step she took felt like a century. She reached out and grabbed the table as her knees tried to betray her. This is going to be fun, she thought.

“I’ll be fine,” she growled.

“You shouldn’t be up yet,” Reynolds said. “You had a bad concussion.”

“I have a ship to take care of,” Kate countered as she took a few tentative steps before she started moving with her normal stride.

“How many casualties?” she asked the Doctor, as she looked toward the filled beds in critical.

“One hundred fifty are dead,” Reynolds said, eyes drifting to the floor. “Twenty are critical, and thirty are stable.”

“That’s half the crew,” Kate breathed as she realized the enormity of the butcher’s bill.

“At least your math skills are still there, Skipper,” Reynolds said.

She stepped towards the intensive care section. Without a word, she approached the beds before her. There were the people who had given their all for her, she reflected, and she refused to turn her back on them.

Half the crew dead of injured, she accused. All because I had to go chasing after the truth like Captain Ahab and his white whale!

As she entered the quiet room, she looked at each bed. Sometimes she winced involuntarily as the injuries the doctor had treated. Each bed was an indictment in her leadership, she thought as a tear wound its way down her cheek.

If only I had done my job better, she told herself. Then these people wouldn’t be injured like they were!

Her stomach dropped to her feet as she stopped before the bed of a gunnery officer. The young woman wasn’t much older then she was, in fact she was probably younger, and her injuries were severe. With large sections of arms and legs, her body looked like a shell of its original self.

She was such a pretty young woman, Kate mused as she remembered seeing her in the mess hall, and look at her now!

“What’s her prognosis, Lisa?” Kate asked softly.

“With the advances that Matthews made,” Reynolds said. “We should be able to replace the segments of her limbs she lost with cybernetics.”

“And be a freak like me…”

“You’re alive aren’t you, Kate?” Reynolds said. “It’s time to quit throwing the pity party, damn it! You gave your best!”

“And I got beat…”

“It happens to us all,” Reynolds said. “So get used to it…even ‘The Banshee’ can lose!”

“I see,” Kate said. “Where can I find Chief Brooks?”

“The last time I heard anything she was in engineering,” Reynolds said. “But you’ll need to take a suit with you.”

“That bad?”

“Worse,”
“Take care of them, Lisa,” Kate said as she gently squeezed Reynolds’ shoulder. “For me…”

With that, she turned and left the medical bay, leaving the stunned Doctor to stare at her retreating back.
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