Sharron Emrich ~ Goldwing

Shadowdancer Chapter 22

part of: Shadowdancer

by Carrie Radna

Frieda’s next waking memory was a flash of light underwater. Several strange gelatinous creatures huddled over her body, inspecting every limb, every part. Two of the beings wore dark goggle-like eye-coverings with an electric light shining brightly from the irises. The lights traced her figure and would pause to flash. After each flash the nurses in attendance, who were known as nei-ta, (Nei-to signified male nurses), spoke into tiny microphones that rested by their mouths, recording the health stats of their newest human patient. One was in charge of her upper body while the other studied the lower half. Their voices sounded like rushing waves, a language Frieda could not easily understand. 

She had no idea where she was and the nei-tas ritual was alarming to her. She tried to struggle out of bed. The two seasoned nei-tas motioned to a third one standing in the corner of the room to come join them; she had been watching the preliminary examination take place. Her name was Jeil. She was a student who reacted quickly to her teachers’ request. Their voices flowed together earnestly in the De’aiîo’ean dialect.

“Jeil, come here,” the eldest one whose name was Xuam, said. “The human is struggling.”

She firmly tried to hold down Frieda’s legs, a major task for Jeil.

“What should I do?” Jeil asked. Jeil was normally very nervous. Frieda was her first live human patient.

“Don’t worry. Just hold and stroke her head gently in your hands. It should calm her down,” the third nei-ta, called Mob, instructed Jeil; she was very round in stature and was considered a very talented De’aiîo’ean healer. Her soothing demeanor helped calm Jeil down somewhat.

“But what if it bites?” Jeil asked them.

Mob rolled her eyes. She’s so innocent. Hope that this training would help her grow-up some. 

“Jeil, we are mostly made of water – human bites will not hurt!” Mob exclaimed.

“You don’t have to shout,” Jeil answered meekly.

“I’m sorry. Please help us,” Mob commanded.

Noticing that the human girl’s arm was bruised, Mob tried to straighten it gently, aware of the constant throbbing pain Frieda was experiencing. She then held down Frieda’s left arm, which was flailing by the bed. 

“Owww!” Frieda cried out. Her arm was very tender from the fall.

“Bad sign,” Xuam commented as she looked up. 

“She may need a second operation,” Mob answered.

Jeil ran to Frieda’s head and peered down at her, wondering why human eyes were so colorfully opaque and round. Their skin felt strange too, almost like Qwayo skin (fish from Wýl), without the scales. Relying on her intuition, Jeil started to hum as she stroked Frieda’s head. Suddenly, Frieda started to smile. A dreamy look came over her face. Her movements became slower and more even, to the nei-ta’s delight.

“Keep singing, Jeil! It’s working!” crowed Mob. It was amazing to see the trainee have this healing skill mastered already. This was highly unusual for new nei-tas. As she gently cradled Frieda’s arm, Mob wondered if her first assessment of Jeil’s capacity to handle humans was premature.

Soon after, Frieda was completely relaxed. She knew now that the strange beings would not hurt her. The toning from the youngest one’s lips (or whatever they were) was so beautiful, it lightened her entire being like a warm burst of sunlight that traveled freely throughout her organs, bones and blood. The pain that resonated from her right arm had temporarily ceased. 

“AHHHHH…” Frieda purred contently. All three nei-tas grinned.

“Excellent, Jeil. The patient is finally still, thanks to you,” Xuam commented, letting go of Frieda’s legs, which were resting limply.

Jeil felt a surge of pride. She had found her calling. Looking down at the human girl, she noticed that her eyes were closed.

“Is she asleep?” she asked Mob.

Mob laughed. Jeil still has a lot to learn…she told herself.

Immediately another figure appeared, entering the room from the wall which was made out of water. All the nei-tas stood at attention. It was one of the head healers, whose specialty was human surgery. He was known as Kenjaon.

“Is the first exam finished?” he asked them.

“Yes, Kenjaon. The girl’s vitals are normal, except for her right arm. She must had landed on it as she was arriving at Thíä-ei’r,” Mob replied.

“That’s not unusual…at least it wasn’t a leg…” he grinned. All of them laughed except for Jeil, who remained in the dark, “What does that mean?” she asked Kenjaon. He smiled patiently at the nei-ta in training.

“Well Jeil, many humans like this small one here tend to injure themselves when landing in different dimensions, such as Thíä-ei’r, Wýl and Olo. They travel through a portal, then they speed up in a space their scientists refer to as a ‘wormhole’.”

“And a worm is…”

“A yerg,” Xuam answered.

“Oh! Now I understand!” Jeil joyfully exclaimed.

Thank goodness, Mob told herself. She then changed the subject, “Kenjaon, which ear will you place the translator in? She was very disorientated and agitated, which might be due to her inability to understand our language.”

“Good point, Mob. To answer your question, we will put it inside her left ear, because humans usually process language in the left side of their brain,” he replied.

“All right, fine. Will you need further assistance with the human?” Xuam asked Kenjaon.

“Yes, I will brief you later,” he answered. “That is all now though.”

“Thank you, Kenjaon. Good luck with the surgery,” Xuam answered.

She indicated Mob and Jeil should exit the room with her, leaving Kenjaon alone with Frieda, who was sleeping soundly in her bed. He came over, feet wet from the floor sprinklers, to take her hand into his gently.

“Don’t worry. We will take good care of you,” he whispered.

He loved his mission, and soon would fall a little in love with her in the process. He liked the look of the girl. He hoped that when she finally woke up, she would be as enchanting awake as she was in slumber. 

Without a word, he walked out of his patient’s room, through the wall made out of water. He had so much.