When I awoke again, I felt significantly better, the pain had lessened in my leg and throughout my body where I had felt bites before.
"Ah good, you're awake. You should have enough medicine in you to ensure the healing of your leg. You should have enough strength to move around, but I highly suggest you use the crutches I gave you earlier. Your friend and Piper have both waken up as well. Piper fell back asleep before you woke up, but your friend should be awake if you would like to see him now." the doctor said with his usual grandfatherly smile.
"Yeah." I said, my voice stronger than before.
"Good, I'll grab your crutches for you. Don't sit up too fast or you'll just pass out again." he warned.
I sat up gingerly and carefully moved my legs over the side of the cot.
"Now, I've healed most of the bites that the Hydras gave you, but you have to be careful or they could open back up again. The crutches shouldn't open them, but don't get into any fights."
I nodded my head and positioned the crutches under my arms. I lifted myself off the bed with ease, and tried not to put any pressure under my leg. The doctor had covered my leg in a tan bandage with some metal splint holding my leg still in case I tried to move it.
"Yes, I had to put a splint on your leg. It shouldn't hurt a bit, but it might feel a little different for awhile. "Follow me, I'll take you to your friend, he's been very anxious to see you." he said the last part with a small glint in his small eyes.
I walked forward on the crutches and followed the doctor out of the room into a familiar hallway.
"So, you must have a name, it seems like everyone else here does."
"Yes, I do in fact. My name is Tuidae, but since I am the main doctor here, that is what everyone refers to me as." he replied.
"Tuidae, I like it. It's very unique." I replied, and I saw him smile.
"He's in here, I'll let you two chat. I need to check on Piper, the other doctor here has the day off today." he said, opening the door for me.
I walked inside, and my face brightened instantaneously as I saw 52 give me a huge grin.
"64, I cannot thank you enough. I heard what you and Piper did for me, that was incredible! I can't believe you would do that for me! I hardly even know you!" he said excitedly.
"Don't worry about it, I'm just glad I'm not the only human here." I said with a smile. "Have they told you about the Empire?" I asked him.
"No, what about the Empire?"
Great thinking genius, now you're going to have to break the news to him. I thought.
"Did you hear the doctor ever say anything about taking some chip out of you? Or a tracker?" I asked nervously.
"Yeah, he did kinda mention something earlier, but I didn't really think anything of it." So I guess I would be the one to tell him.
"Well, I don't know how to explain this without scaring you, but the world we lived in, was a lie. They were controlling us, the Empire. Everything you felt, everything you did, that wasn't all you. They had a part in all of it." his eyes widened and his jaw dropped. "We were all constantly tracked, that's what the doctor took out of you was their tracker. He also took out the chip that dulled our emotions and senses, so everything may be a little overwhelming for a bit. Don't worry though, it all goes away after awhile. These people here, the Vivere, you can trust them. They mean us no harm, and they hate the Empire too." I said slowly, trying not to shock him too much.
"Wow." he said after awhile. "So, they can't control me now?" he asked warily, his bright, familiar green eyes filled with fear and curiosity.
"No. They have no power over us here." I reassured him. He grinned.
"I always kinda thought something was up with them, right from the start! Things just seemed to be too boring at the place I used to work at, and I'm smart too. When the Empire saw just how smart I was, they moved me up to work as a Ranger with you. Nothing ever felt right about them though, it just seemed a bit weird." he explained. His reaction wasn't as I thought, it was very different from mine.
"It's kinda hard to accept though, how have they managed to do this for so long without somebody trying to stop them?" he asked.
"I don't know. I think that nobody wants to, just because they're so big and it would be so hard to remove their power, not to mention how it would effect everyone. The Vivere said that there were other people that crashed here, but when they told them, the truth of the Empire killed them." I answered.
"But, how has the Empire not found them yet?"
"Luck, mostly. I'm not exactly sure, but I would guess that it has to do with the weird energy levels that caused us to crash here in the first place." I replied.
"The doctor back there, his face..."
"Yeah, the Vivere are like, part human-part animal. The woman that helped me get the medicine you needed, that was Piper, she's part cat. The doctor here is part bird. I have a friend I met earlier here, his name was Canis, and he was a dog. It kinda just depends who you meet."
"They have names with letters? That's so weird... I wouldn't have thought of that. Doesn't it get confusing after awhile?" he asked.
"Not really, they even gave me a name, Nick. I bet they could find a name for you too, if you wanted."
"Maybe, I don't know. This is a lot to take in." he said, leaning back against his cot.
"Yeah. I can leave if you need some privacy..."
"No. It's fine, it's good to have someone here that isn't alien. I don't know how you managed." he said with a nervous laugh. I grinned.
"I don't really know either. I wasn't here for long though, just about a day before you showed up." I replied.
"Did anyone else from our crew make it?" he asked.
"Thanks for saving my life." he said with a genuine smile, his bright eyes shining with gratitude against his broken body.
"Piper?" I asked quietly. If she wasn't asleep, I wanted to talk to her.
"Yeah?" she replied hoarsely. I walked over to her bed and sat in one of the chairs near her cot.
"I'm sorry." I replied.
"For what?" she asked, her voice raising slightly.
"That you had to get caught in the mess with all those Hydras." I replied sadly. I felt horrible, she just wanted to help me get medicine for my friend, and now she was stuck in a bed because we were ambushed.
Her once burning gaze softened just a bit. "Nick, I knew that we would have to get across he fields to get to your ship, and I knew there would be Hydras there. I had to go with you, or you would've died out there. Besides, it was completely my choice! Don't say your sorry, because you have nothing to be sorry for."
I smiled just a bit. "He's doing much better by the way, 52. The doctor said he should be up and walking within the next few days."
"That's good, I'd like to meet him. You humans are very interesting sometimes. We perceive you to be these ambitious beings, then someone like you turns up and risks your life to save someone you hardly know. It really is incredible." she said with awe. Inside, I was bursting with happiness. I was suddenly grateful for her accompanying me to the ship, for more reasons than her saving my life. I feel closer to her now, that the coldness that was there before, is replaced by friendship. I couldn't help but grin.
"You all are pretty interesting yourselves, you are all so different and unique, it's a very big cultural difference from where I used to live." I replied. She smiled back, and for a while, we just sat in silence. No words were said, but it felt like we were just suspended, like no time was passing. It wasn't uncomfortable, but we just took comfort in each others presence.
After a few minutes of silence, I noticed Piper begin to drift off back into sleep. I noticed I was becoming tired too, so I left her room as quietly as I could with crutches, and made my way back to the room I was staying in while I healed.