The nurses gathered what they were demanded of and practically ran out of the Sector in a stampede.
"…Do they do that a lot?" Arthur asked in a surprisingly flat-toned voice. His fear must've kicked the Old Australian accent right out of him. The man looked at Cinder with wide, surprised eyes.
"No," Cinder replied, settling down on Isabella's old chair. Or at least, the chair her visitors sat in. She hadn't sat in it this entire time. "This is weird."
Arthur nodded; Cinder still didn't want to see his eyes. Just his appearance had a kind of air around it that easily told people to stay away.
"Did it hurt?" He asked her in the flat voice.
He motioned his hand—or rudely pointed—at her arm. "That."
She shrugged. "Yeah. But when the pain's over, you think of it as 'it wasn't that bad'."
Arthur let a sigh escape. "A couple pipes fell on my foot," He explained to her, nodding at his bandaged foot. "It's black and purple right now—doctor said I might need surgery," He glanced at Cinder again with amber eyes. "I don't want an amputation."
What did she look like, his mother? Cinder let the irritated feeling fade away into the faint pop rock sparks of pain in her shoulder. He must really be worried about his foot if he was spilling that to her. The Charlene Ferguson. The Cinder Sushi.
"It'll be alright," She reassured slowly. The words weren't in any form comforting; it wasn't like she constantly told people it was going to be alright, compared to the many people who had comforted her in the same way. "If you do get prosthetics, you can tell Mandy to come find me. The first few months are hard to deal with."
Arthur nodded hopefully, returning his gaze back to his foot. What a sad, sad man.
Cinder sighed, thinking for a moment about the candles Isabella always carried with her. Or Annabel, that was.
"What are you thinking about?" Arthur's voice broke through her thoughts. He couldn't stay quiet for a moment, could he? No wonder the nurses lashed out at him so quickly.
"Things," Cinder replied tiredly. "A lot of things."
Arthur made a noncommittal sound in the back of his throat and fell silent again.
She thought back to all those months ago, when Matt had told her about land. He had gotten angry about it, she faintly recalled. Could she be sure that Acheron Island was better than the Crasher's standards? What if it was a horrible place—and she remembered everything? Charlene would stay with the Fergusons; she was more than sure about that. Maybe it would be for the better, too. Everyone got mad at 'Cinder'. Nobody at Charlene.
"Tell me about your arm, Charlene?" Arthur's flat voice asked her in a surprisingly annoying tone.
Cinder gave him a sharp look. "There's a thing called 'asking'. You should try that."
"I did ask." Arthur replied.
She was wasting her breath snapping at this man—but she couldn't help it. Stupid people did no good to her short temper. Best give in; maybe then he would shut up.
"You've heard of the McRevis Massacre, right?" Cinder started off.
"Okay then. The McRevis Massacre started off with the Division 60's Captain, McRevis. His Chief, Will Gardner, caught the Captain when McRevis went insane. That's what they say, at least. Anyway, my roommate woke me up that morning," Cinder hesitated, her mind tracing back to that morning. It was like yesterday already. The blaring of the sirens and Amy's nervous voice crept into mind again. It was frightening how well she remembered that day.
She looked blankly at Arthur, who was watching her curiously with his sharp, weird eyes. "Right. She woke me up and I went to go help."
"Why did you try and help? Did you know that you could lose a limb?" Arthur interrupted quickly.
She paused at his questions, thinking that over. "…No, actually. I didn't think about getting hurt at all. I was worried that something had happened to people I knew. Anyway, I was running the deck when I saw Colony. He was carrying this man with him, so I helped the doctor by taking the man to this sector,"
Arthur darted his gaze away to peer around the room, as if Will was there, listening intently to her story. Will had tried so hard to ensure that McRevis wouldn't hurt anyone—and it had backfired on him. Did Will die with that regret in his heart? Did Matt?
The girl blinked a few times, staring up at the ceiling. She wanted the tears to roll back into her eyes instead of spilling in front of this man.
She hadn't minded much crying in front of Mandy, Colony, Isabella or Green. But this was different—this was a man who was set on that she was a war veteran, knowing what she had done was helpful to her kind.
I'm not as strong as you'd think I am, Cinder thought to herself. I'm just a scared, stubborn little girl.
"And then what?" The man's voice interrupted her thoughts again.
"That man," Charlene went on, clearing her throat of the tears that had swelled up so suddenly. She should tell Will's moments with a strong voice. "Was Will Gardner."
Arthur's eyes widened, as if she had just told him that sharks could fly. This wasn't one of those stupid drama stories; this was real.
"McRevis's Chief?" He asked in awe.
She nodded gravely. Will had been bleeding to death on that side of the room, right there. He had been scared out of his mind and desperate beyond words. Anything she could tell Arthur would make Will sound like a frightened little boy, but what could she say? She hadn't known Will for more than a few minutes.
Cinder brushed her bangs aside with her metal fingers, staring off into space. The metal limb didn't bother her anymore; she was used to its grey contrast, used to the scars surrounding the metal plate that protected what was left of her shoulder. How stupid had she been, trying to claw off the arm? It was what Thomas and Colony had sacrificed to help her regain normality—and she had taken that for granted. It made her feel horrible.
"He told me who he was," She continued on with her story. "And begged me to kill McRevis. I had just gotten out of the Weaponry and Defense Division a few weeks before, so I knew how to fight. But McRevis was bound to be out of my limits; I didn't know much then."
"…But you do now." Arthur finished her sentence for her. That was really annoying. What did he know about her, in truth?
Cinder shook her head. "No, I don't really. Will gave me his sword, Sunset Divider,"
"The Sunset Divider?!" Arthur blurted out wildly. Oh great, 'the' again. "You were given Sunset Divider?"
"Could you please stop interrupting me?" Cinder snapped at him. His awe-struck face fell into a crestfallen expression. "The point was that he gave me the sword and I left—that was the last time I saw Will. He died that day, I was told.
I left the sector, trying to find where McRevis was. But my Captain, Thomas, found me in the Mainframe."
"The what?" Arthur asked her curiously.
Oh right, that wasn't what it was called. She felt her cheeks flush for her slip of tongue. "I mean, 2B Corridor."
This was the part that she felt a little discouraged to talk to with anyone else. Thomas's desperation to make sure she didn't fight McRevis—it made sense now. Why else would he have given her a Bind? But it seemed kind of awkward that she didn't feel the same about him.
He was Thomas, for crying out loud. He was a jerk in her mind.
"Thomas told me not to go fight, but I didn't listen. I really should've, though. I left, thinking that I knew what I was doing," Cinder shook her head again, feeling all kinds of stupid and embarrassed. "But I really didn't."
"Did you find McRevis?" The man asked her.
"I lifted Sunset Divider, about to swing," Cinder went on. This was a fuzzy part in her memory. She remembered the falling dread feeling, and the look on McRevis's face. That would never stop haunting her. His angry, sad face and Will's miserable, painful face would forever be etched into Cinder's memory, as long as she was Cinder. Maybe even longer.
"But everything just…went numb. I saw his face, and I wondered…why couldn't I swing the sword?" The thought made her shudder slightly. A few more fizzles of pain shot down her arm. "Why couldn't I swing? Everything blacked out after that. I woke up a week and a half later in that very bed you're laying in," She motioned her head to Arthur and his bandaged foot.
His face was pricelessly in awe.
"My roommate Isabella was sitting in the chair I'm sitting in, staring off into space. Then Colony came and sat down, talking to me about the Massacre. I asked where Will was," She recalled, fading back into the memory. Bad times. "…He said Will had died a week and a half ago. Then he said something about infections and I freaked out."
Arthur turned his head to the side. "You didn't know you lost your arm yet?"
"Nope. I didn't have this arm when I woke up—I just had a stump of an arm with a metal plate over it." She pulled the collar of her shirt a little past her collar bone to show him the metal plate.
"Bloody Rohm," He repeated breathlessly. "The scars…"
"Couldn't feel them. I couldn't feel anything for a while. Thomas came in about a…day later, I think? He brought my arm with him and attached it. Let me tell you, Arthur, when they attach the nerves, it hurts like I don't know what," Cinder said sternly. "It's like getting slapped in the face and your gut at the same time. It hits you hard. It really does."
Arthur sighed, resting the back of his head against the metal headboard. "Great. Just great." He turned his head to the right to keep eye contact with her. His eyes were still shocking, but not in the way Armagello or Turu's eyes were.
She shrugged slightly. "Like I said, you get over it. Believe me; I didn't like my arm for a while. Look right here," Cinder pointed her left hand towards the metal indent she had made in the bedpost rail.
Arthur's wolf eyes followed her gesture, staring at the indent. He probably didn't believe it.
"You bent that? With your arm?"
The man laughed. He just sat there and laughed like he didn't have a care in the world. He laughed like nothing was wrong with him, wrong with her, wrong with anyone.
He laughed like Matt.