Make sure you’ve read all the Sector 1 exploration posts before continuing!
Armed with makeshift medical supplies, I knocked once again on the door to Ishi’s room. Aoi answered with a weary sigh.
Guga I know you mean well, but at least wait until she has an actual bandage–
…Wait you found a whole kit?? Where?!
All the way in the back of the laundry room closet, would you believe?
That’s practically a health hazard! Why don’t you put one of those in the kitchen when I’m done? So everyone knows where it is.
Yeah, that’s a good idea, I’ll–
Oy! Tim! Tim, is that you?! Get your ass in here!
Ishi’s voice roared out from the depths of the dorm.
Uh, well, she’s still kinda undressed…
Dude he’s my best friend, he’s used to it, gyahahahaha! Let ‘im in!
…I am, ah, used to it. It’s okay, really!
After checking to make sure no one else happened to be walking by, they opened the door and I shuffled inside.
Ishi’s room looked pretty similar to mine, except for the video game posters on the walls and the black-and-green rollerskates perched on the shelves. Ishi herself huddled on the bed, cradling her arm… The blood had soaked the ribbon pretty thoroughly, and the smell made me sick to my stomach.
When she saw me, she pushed herself up with her good arm. Were it anyone else, I would have immediately left to give them some privacy, but Ishi had made it a lifelong mission to wear as little clothing as possible.
Nonono don’t get up! You need to rest–
Dude, lay off, I’m just sittin’ up. It doesn’t even hurt that bad.
Wh– That’s a load of bull, Ishi, I saw what happened! What were you thinking??
Look, what else was I supposed to do?! You saw the poor girl! You woulda done the same thing if you weren’t a fuckin’ toothpick, and you know it.
I mean, yeah, maybe! But still!! You could’ve gotten yourself– what if you–
Ishi sighed and put a hand on my shoulder.
Tim, listen, I’m gonna be okay. I’ve had worse than this in derby.
Hell yeah dude, one time I took a tackle the wrong way and this chick broke my leg in like three places and fractured my spine–
Th-that’s not funny!! It’s different this time, there’s no one here to help us, no hospital we can take you to–
–Aoi’s right there!
I’m a lab tech, not a doctor–
–You could have died, Ishi! Don’t you get that?!
H-hey now, it’s not that… ah shit. C’mere, buddy.
Ishi wrapped her good arm around me as I lost the last frail shreds of any composure I might have had. I felt kinda bad for having a cry on her shoulder when she was the one grievously injured, but I’ve never been good at bottling up my feelings for too long… and over the course of this horrible, terrible day, I’d built up a lot of those.
I– I’m so scared, Ishi… What the hell is going on?
…I dunno, man.
I’m trying not to– everyone has been so nice so far!! W-well, mostly, but– but we’re in space! Th-those windows in the cafeteria, I saw the stars, we’re really in…
And I can’t stop thinking about that thing, a-and what it said and what if we can’t stop it and someone really tries to– to–
Yeah. Scary as hell. But I’ll tell you what I think…
Ishi turned to look me in the eyes, and stopped for a moment to think about what she was going to say– now that didn’t happen often. When she spoke, her voice was as resolute as ever, but I had the feeling she was talking to herself just as much as she was talking to me.
…I think these are good folks, Tim. Even the ones I don’t like, you get along with ‘em, and that’s gotta count for somethin’, right? The bolt bucket talks a lotta shit, but… nobody here’s goin’ down without a goddam fight.
…You really think so?
Yeah. So don’t you start givin’ up, it ain’t even been a day yet! And I– I’ll be more careful, ‘kay?
I wasn’t sure I believed her words any more than she did… but I did manage to calm down enough to clean off my glasses as she waggled her injured arm at me.
It really, like, actually isn’t that bad, y’know. Stings like hell, but I can move it around easy enough, I don’t think it got way down into the muscle–
Uh, I don’t mean to interrupt, but maybe let the person with an Ultimate talent in a vaguely adjacent field decide that?
…Oh, right. Aoi was there, sitting on the other end of the bed cutting the spare bedsheets into strips, and they definitely just saw all of that.
Oh– oh my god I’m sorry let me get out of the way–
It’s okay. Things are rough for all of us…
They barely gave Ishi a chance to react before untying the ribbon and pouring antiseptic on the wound.
Huh– Holy shit ow???
It hurts more if I tell you it’s coming.
They wiped away the excess blood to get a better look at the actual state of the injury, then starting wrapping her arm up again in gauze and makeshift bandages.
Okay… yeah, it’s not as bad as it looks, but you still should keep it in a sling… I’ll throw something together. Moving it around is just going to make it take longer to heal.
But– but it’ll heal! That’s great! Thank you, Aoi–
Don’t get up until tomorrow, though! The blood loss will have made you pretty light-headed, and you shouldn’t strain yourself anyway. And don’t argue with me, Ishi.
But I’m hungryyy…
Oh, I’ll go get you both some supper! I wonder if Jurou’s finished with… whatever he was making. I’ll be right back!
I hopped up from the bed and headed for the door.
Oh… thank you. And would you tell Gugalanna she can come visit now?
Yes, of course.