Allison ~ Bodyguard 2

Shadowdancer Chapter 23

part of: Shadowdancer

by Carrie Radna

Chapter 23

After the operation, Frieda slowly opened her eyes, wondering if the last memory that she had had of the three unusual watery figures, the nei-tas, were a figment of her wild imagination. But as she turned her head towards the window, she noticed that water was covering the entire outside of the window, signifying that wherever she was at that particular moment, she was truly underwater, in some distant space far from Earth. She was astonished. First the weird white desert, now underwater. The realization disorientated her.
Oh, my God…where am I and how did I get here? Frieda said to herself. She was a little scared, but groggy. The music of the inexperienced nei-ta still lingered within her skull, giving her a translucid, doped-out feeling. She tried to sit up, but it was too difficult in her condition. Her right arm was bandaged tight, but it did not hurt too much. Her left ear, however, was still tender from the surgery, “Damn!” she yelled out loud as she accidentally hit her head on the side of the wall. Frieda shook her head to relieve the pain. She gingerly touched her covered ear, which had an earring sticking out of the cloth. She quickly checked her other ear, but it remained untouched, without no piercing through the earlobe. Tiny monitors were attached to her left fingers and right toes with molded clips made of soft rubber. Also, her clothes were gone; she was barely covered in a slightly open silk-like robe bound by two ribbon ties.
Frieda needed to know where she was before trying to escape this strange place. She sat up and carefully tried to get off the bed, which was an interesting exercise thanks to the monitors and her wounded arm. After ten minutes of struggling, she stood up and walked slowly towards the window. A maze of bright blue, green and lavender greeted her, swirling with fish and plants she had never seen in marine life books. In the distance she could see the cloudy shadow of another building, made of blue, iridescent stones, where green tropical plants stood tall and untouched inside the window. It was like nothing Frieda had seen before. It was beautiful.
“Wow,” she whispered to herself. 
As the word left her full lips, she suddenly felt faint. Before she could fall, however, she heard a particuliar sound: the sprinkling of water under her feet. She wondered if she was going to be electrocuted – but her side of the floor remained bone-dry. As the rest of the ground began to fill up with water, she heard someone speaking to her in English, “Are you all right?”
Frieda then fainted.
She opened her eyes and saw a tall, lavender-colored being made of water. He was looking down at her with a concerned expression on his face. She did not recognize him at all. She held her breath in fear. However, the being’s eyes were warm and black, shaped like crescent-moons. He smiled back at her, showing no teeth.
“Can you hear me?” the creature said.
Frieda blinked her eyes, in total disbelief. She stammered, “Yes, I can.” The creature seemed overjoyed.
“Excellent. I could understand you perfectly – the translator’s working!”
“What do you mean? Look, can you help me off the floor?” Frieda asked him.
“I’m sorry about that…glad to,” he replied, offering her his hand. She pulled herself up. His hand felt warm and more solid than she was expecting. 
“Thanks,” she answered, finally meeting him at eye-level. He was slightly taller than she was, but not by much. He seemed nice like the others…then she became self-conscious again. The back of her robe was open, revealing her naked backside. 
“Um…excuse me, but I need to tie my garment—” It took a second for him to comprehend what she was trying to tell him.
“Oh! Do you need any help?”
“Not really. Can I take these things off of my fingers?” she asked. On the outside she resumed a cool and collected appearance, but inside she was mortified and certainly did not want any creature, male or otherwise, to help her cover herself again, no matter how safe or solicitous they seemed to be. 
“Certainly,” he answered as he expertly removed the monitors, which pinched her a little as they fell off. As she tried to tie her robe with her left hand (her right hand was useless due to her injured arm) she asked, “What’s your name?”
“Pleased to meet you Kenjaon. Do you know who I am?”
“Somewhat. Your name is Frieda Anderson, you are from Earth, and you came here for a grand purpose.”
“Really…” she considered as she slowly tried to walk back towards the bed again. “Okay. Where are the others who were here?”
“The nei-tas are aiding other patients. They have asked about you.”
“Nei-tas…” Frieda carefully pronounced the foreign word. “Is that right?”
“Yes. I will tell them that you are awake and fine,” Kenjaon told Freida.
“Good. Which one sang to me? It was so wonderful,” she commented as she tried to lie down on the bed again. Kenjaon replied, “That would be Jeil. She’s in training.”
“And the others?”
“The elder one is Xuam, and the round one is Mob. They are both skilled De’aiîo’ean healers as well as nei-tas. I am also a De’aiîo’ean healer,” Kenjaon informed her.
“I see. So, nei-tas are like nurses, and healers are doctors, right?”
“Correct!” Kenjaon was well-versed in human methods of healing and its terminology. He was impressed with the human girl’s intellect and curiosity. To his delight, Frieda continued, “What exactly is a ‘De’aiîo’ean’?”
“Well, you’re looking at one!” he teased her. She smiled. Kenjaon’s pretty funny, Frieda decided. 
“Yes…but what are you?” He sighed.
“We are inhabitants of Wýl, where you are currently residing until you are fully well, most of us are working as healers and nei-tas or nei-tos, (male nurses) fabr, zawera and even rudui, who represent us in Thíä-ei’r…”
“Thíä-ei’r?” she asked him. 
“The place where you landed, it is dry and white.”
“I remember…six hooded figures found me…”
“They brought you here,” Kenjaon started to explain.
“So you could be healed. There are no healers in Thíä-ei’r, except the Aæriole’I, which we do not count as true healers. Since you sprained your arm and needed a translator to communicate with us, surgery was required,” he answered.
“A translator?”
“Yes. I inserted a translating device inside your left ear. Without it, we would not be able to talk to each other without a great deal of difficulty. You see, I am not speaking to you in English. You are now hearing English. The device automatically converts De’aiîo’ean syntax into English. In retrospect, I hear you speaking perfect De’aiîo’ean right now. Do you understand?” 
Frieda touched her wounded ear and considered for a moment. She remembered not comprehending the nei-tas before as they examined her for surgery, which had increased her stress level. Now she could understand what Kenjaon was trying to tell her…but only a little bit…
“Somewhat. I remember, the nei-tas, is that the right term?”
“You’re correct. What a good memory you have,” Kenjaon commented.
“Thanks…Anyway, I remember them speaking as if their voices were rushing rivers. Is that De’aiîo’ean?” she asked him.
She’s smart and adaptable. She’s going to be a great warrior, he said to himself. Maybe she will be the one to defeat the Blue Beast in Xenzoy. There had been so many other warrior cadets before her, but they all died during the last quest. Kenjaon silently hoped that Frieda would survive to tell the tale. He liked her too much. 
“Yes. You are very clever,” he commented out loud. She grinned. Kenjaon then added, “I wish that I was clever enough to really comprehend exactly English is! You humans have so many languages!” he exclaimed. “How do you keep them all straight?”
“By having human translators without devices in our ears, but they are few and far from between,” she laughed. He laughed with her. Then she felt tired. She yawned and said, “I need a nap. Can we talk some more later?”
“Absolutely. Let me know what you need,” he told her.
“Okay. Thanks for everything.” 
Kenjaon got up and started to leave, but she stopped him with a question that he could not answer, “Kenjaon?”
“Yes, Frieda?”
“When will I get out of here?”
Her inquiry took him aback. 
“When?” he answered, unsure of the nature of that particular word. Without replying he turned and exited through the water wall, leaving Frieda slightly confused as she lay down to sleep.