“I saw Arty bleeding, trying to treat himself,” he told her. “And a couple others wounded too. Take care of them. Do your thing. I’ll handle the rest.”
“Oh, will you?”
Her words hung in the air with a bit of a nasty sting, but she didn’t take them back. Instead, she turned around swiftly and inhaled a sharp breath. Half a dozen faces of the crew looked back at her. A few people were crumbled against the wall, managing injuries. Barely.
“All right,” she said, her tone raised to address the room at large. “You heard him, I need help. If you’re hurt, find a place to sit. If you’re bleeding anywhere on the core of the body, don’t move far. Everyone not injured, pair with someone, apply pressure to the wound with whatever clothing you have. Or just use your hands, get them dirty. Press as hard as you can,” she explained, her tone heavy with significance. “And then press harder.”
Leta crossed through the room, assessing the damage on either side of her, seeing who needed the most immediate help. Actually, she knew who needed the most immediate help, and he was currently in the bridge. Looking around quickly, Leta had to appreciate their attempt to organize, but this ship needed a fuckin medical team.
Finally, the young woman dropped onto her knees before a particularly washed-out looking, sweating, shaking, younger member of the crew. “Hi,” she greeted, attempting a smile through her breathlessness. It was a quick effort for a better bedside manner, although she still preferred it when her patients were unconscious.
“Mind if I take a look?” she inquired keenly, and without waiting for an answer, she got to work.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Still, nothing. Corra had followed the captain all the way from the cargo bay to the bridge, desperately trying get his attention, but no matter how much she shouted and how often she begged, he seemed not to hear a word. She had had a hard enough time just keeping up with him (for a wounded man, he was unusually fast), but as they reached the bridge and he collapsed into the pilot’s chair, she was finally granted the opportunity.
Breathlessly Corra seized the back of his chair and tried again. “Fiearius please. We can’t….we can’t just leave.” But the captain seemed wholly focused on his task, his eyes locked on the console before him and his hands furiously at work. Frustrated, Corra shook the chair. “Cap’n, stop, don’t.” Still, nothing. It was as if she were invisible. But she had to tell him. He had to stop. They couldn’t leave yet, they just couldn’t.
Finally, tired of this, she released her clutch on the chair and instead reached for his shoulder (the one that wasn’t bleeding profusely all over the bridge) and spun him around to face her. “Fiearius, fucking listen to me!” she yelled in his face and at last, some semblance of recognition flashed in his eyes. Her heart leaping, Corra jumped on the opportunity.
“Fiear, we can’t leave,” she told him desperately, her voice cracking under the weight. “You–you killed Goddora. This is our one chance. We have to go back. We can break up his compound, we can get those people out of there. If we leave now–” Her voice caught in her throat at the very thought of it as her eyes began to water. “If we leave,” she went on more steadily, “someone else is just going to take it over. Nothing will change. We have to do something before that happens. Take advantage of the confusion.” The tears were now starting to stream from her face. Her hand gripped his shoulder more tightly. She could barely get the words out. “Fiear, we have to save the allies. We have to go back. Please.”
But even as she spoke and laid out what should have been a decision clear as day, she began to realize that he perhaps wasn’t even listening. Yes, he was looking at her now, but his eyes were glazed over, his pupils wide and it almost seemed as though he didn’t recognize her at all.
Instantly, she wanted to scream. How did he not understand how important this was? He had been handed a unique chance, a chance she had been praying for her whole life, and he was just about to throw it away. Oh how she wanted to shout and yell and beat on his chest until he listened. Until he understood.
But all he did was stare right through her.
Suddenly, a crackle erupted from the intercom to their right and Cyrus’ voice sputtered out of it. “I’m ready,” he said, worry in his voice. “Can you do this?”
While Fiearius seemed entirely unable to comprehend Corra’s words, he understood his brother’s just fine. “Of course I can,” he replied, breaking free of her grasp and turning back around to the console. “I’ve done this a million times. It’s fine. I’m fine.” True to his words, Fiearius tapped the right combination of commands the the ship’s engine rumbled to life beneath them. Corra’s heart stopped. No, she thought furiously, they couldn’t. They couldn’t just abandon them like this.
Tears were streaming down her face now as she fell to her knees beside his chair, holding onto the arm of it like a liferaft. “Please, Fiearius. Don’t do this. We have to go back,” she said again, her voice quiet now, muffled behind her sobs. But it was hopeless, wasn’t it? He hadn’t listened before, why would he listen now? “This could be our only chance. Fiearius. We have to–”
The ship lurched forward. The intercom crackled again as Cyrus’ angered voice shouted, “No, it’s not ready yet!”
Fiearius, however, did not bother to hit the return button so it was only Corra who heard his reply. “We have to go now. If we wait, I’ll never see you again.” She frowned and lifted her head to stare up at him through fuzzy, water-soaked lenses.
Beneath her, the ship lifted off the ground and began its usual shudder. Subconsciously, she braced herself for the lurch and consciously tried not to think of all the people they were leaving behind. The people she’d known, grown up with, the people who were, for all intents and purposes, her kin. Her kin that she had abandoned three years ago. And abandoned now again.