Damhamer – Chapter Three
It is now lunar date 2515. All of Vipa’s wounds have healed but no memory has returned. He still has the tormara visions as he calls them. Dr. Lexetod prescribed a sedative, 100 mg of Medalin Roxee, before he goes to bed. It seems to help but has not stopped the dreams completely. Status unknown of his anatomy. Dr. Lexetod is concerned if we administer the wrong medication we could harm or even kill him. The patient has been coping as best he can. We will be going outside today; that should help him to feel better. I hope if and when Vipa regains his memory he will decide to stay, but for now I hope his memory will return. It has to be hard to wake up in a strange place not knowing where you are or who you are.
Dr. Lexetod said there was no reason for Vipa to stay here at Medesto. We will need to find a place for him. He definitely could stay with me but my roommate Colosha would not be too happy about that. Her boyfriend is Drakillium—he is a very large and very jealous being. There is one option: there is a guest complex about six blocks from Medesto. The merchants and the city council had it built for visitors to Orex Orion. If your stay was 56 time periods or less you could stay for no charge. If more time is required there would be a small charge for the accommodations, mostly for upkeep and cleaning. Most of the visitors to Orex are here to buy, sale or trade. The visitors are given free accommodations; it helps the business transactions to be more lucrative. If the buyers or sellers feel they are getting a little something extra it makes the bargaining go smoother and the merchants get better discounts or sell more products. Either way, everyone is happy. I am sure he could stay there at least for the 56 time periods—then we would have to work something else out. It is possible he could regain his memory and he will want to return to his home. I hope he will stay. My roommate teases me that I am like a schoolgirl with a crush but there is something about him—he is so dark and mysterious. I always fall for the bad guys. Not saying Vipa is a bad guy but no one knows who or what he is until he remembers. I am going to believe there is something special about him. I always fall for the wrong guy; my track record is less than impressive when it comes to dating. I have had a few relationships here but most of the good men are taken. As a single being on Orex you have to move fast or the guy will get scooped up before you know it. My roommate tells me I’m setting myself up for another heartbreak but I don’t care. There is something different about Vipa. I just hope he is not attached to someone and he likes me. Oh God I do sound like a schoolgirl. I know my concern should be that Vipa gets his memory back.
Oh crap I’ve got to get to Medesto; Dr. Lexetod has made the arrangements for Vipa to stay at Orex Hostel Six. I will take him there and help him get settled in.
“Good morning Eesa.”
“Good morning, Nurse Vetta. How is the patient this morning?”
“He seemed to rest comfortably last night.”
“That is good.”
“Good morning ladies. Sii, I have made all the arrangements for Vipa—all you need to do is take him there and check him in. He will need some supplies. Use the hospital account for them and there is a med order for the sedative he has been using.”
“Thank you, Doctor. I will see if he’s awake.”
“Good morning, Vipa. Did you rest comfortably last night? Did you remember anything?”
“My sleep was undisturbed. Nothing has returned to me.”
“That’s okay. Maybe soon I’ll have a surprise for you. Dr. Lexetod has released you.”
“What does release mean.”
“You do not have to stay here. We have made arrangements for you to stay at one of the city’s living units. I am going to take you there now if you feel up to it.”
“Yes, I feel fine, but I do not have any tukern for such lodgings.”
“Tukern, what is that?”
“I do not have anything to trade.”
“That’s okay—it has all been taken care of; you don’t have to worry about any of that. Let me get your clothing. It may look a little different. I had them repaired. There were tears and some fire damage to them, but they are as good as new.”
“I do not know how I will repay you.”
“As I said, you do not have to worry about that. All we need to do is concentrate on getting you well.”
“You honor me and I am not deserving. May Galington’s light bring unmeasured riches to you and your line.”
“Hey, what is that?”
“I’m not sure; I just felt it was right to say.”
“Thank you for the compliment. It sounds like you remembered something. I have never heard of Galington’s light but it sounds beautiful. I have a few things to do. I will be back in 10 minutes. If you will get dressed I will take you to where you will be staying. It is called Orex Hostel Six.”
“Knock Knock, are you ready to go?”
“Yes, Nurse Vetta.”
“Please call me Sii. Since you’re no longer a patient here, I am not your nurse anymore. However, I can be your friend.”
“Yes, friend. That means I will still take care of you and help you any way I can, and you can trust me. Friends help each other.” I thought to myself, I would like to be much more than friends, but until we know more about him we can only be friends. “Eesa, I am taking Vipa to the Hostel Six now. Would you please check on Mr. Landers in room three for me?”
“Yes, Nurse Vetta.”
“Thank you, Eesa. I will return in a few hours.”
“Sure you will, ha ha.”
“What was that, Eesa?”
“Nothing, Nurse Vetta. I was just thinking it will be a little longer than a few hours for you to get Vipa settled in or tucked in.”
“Stop Eesa you’re incorrigible (laughing).”
“Are you my friend, Nurse Eesa?”
There was a surprised look on Eesa’s face. “Yes, I guess I am, Vipa. I am your friend.”
“It is a beautiful morning. Of course it is. It is the same every morning here.”
“What do you mean, Nurse—I mean, Sii.”
“Well we are basically standing on a giant rock in space. It is classified as a class VII asteroid which means it has properties here that are different than any other.”
“What are properties?”
“They can be different things, like this asteroid has Ran X6 which has never been found on any other asteroid, or anywhere else for that matter. It is why we have air to breathe—scientists found if you burn the material it creates an oxygen/nitrogen mix similar to Earth’s. It has a little higher oxygen level, which is great for the body. That is how the atmosphere is created and why the sky is an opal green color. There is a refinery on other side of Mt. Eature where your ship crashed.”
“We are traveling through space now?”
“No, not exactly. We are not moving; we are rotating like other planets but we stand in one spot.”
“How is that possible?”
“We have two suns, a day sun and a night sun. They are in different positions and different distances from Orex, creating a magnetic field with just enough pull on both sides that it causes Orex to rotate. The daytime sun raises the temperature to about 85°F. The nighttime sun, which is the one furthest away, the temperature is around 65°F. It never really gets dark on Orex in the third of fourth time periods. It’s like a full moon.”
“How do you acquire food and water?”
“Since there are no natural resources on Orex, food and water has to be shipped in from other locations. If you want to grow something on Orex the soil has to be shipped in and it’s very costly to do so.”
“What reason would you want to stay on a useless rock?”
“As I explained before, I was recruited by the Xedef Priority—they occupied this asteroid about 116 years ago and built a military training base here. The city was started 53 years later. Medesto was the first to be built. There were a lot of people traveling through this region and they would stop here seeking medical attention and supplies. The Xedef Priority allowed merchants to come in and start building, and for the past 63 years the city has grown larger every year.”
“What is the span of this place you called city?”
“3.2 kilometers by 6.4 kilometers. There are a few smaller townships outside Orex, but they are mostly for tourists. Orex is halfway between Earth and Panark Five.
“It is a planet in the Jara System. It is similar to Earth but three times the mass. It takes 13 weeks to get there from Earth, and that is if you have a ship capable of hyper speed, so a lot of beings stop here for a few days to rest from their travel.”
“Why do people go to this place if it is the same as your Earth?”
“Earth’s population outgrew the planet 500 years ago. They had to find a planet that was habitable. The first planet found was called Sparta. They were already beginning to settle on Sparta when planet’s sun went supernova and destroyed it. It was very tragic. 6600 people perished that day, so the search went on for 15 months before Panark Five was found. The planet was rich in minerals and the water was pure, and the atmosphere was the same as Earth’s. There was plenty of plant and animal life. There were also inhabitants on this planet, but they were in the early stages of their development. There were only about 150 on the whole planet, and they live on some of the outer Inlands. Here we are Orex Hostel Six.
“What’s wrong, do you not like this place?”
“No, it’s not that. I feel undeserving of this place. I have no Tukern.”
“That’s all right, do not worry. It is all taken care of.” I took his hand and felt a small spark. I know this is like Colosha said; I’m acting like a schoolgirl. I don’t care. I know I may be setting myself up for a heartbreak but Arquilams are very passionate people and the heart wants what the heart wants.
“I am here to check in Vipa. I believe Dr. Lexetod has contacted you about accommodations here.”
“Yes, there is no problem. Here.” The clerk pulled the Optical Signature Copaler around. “Place your chin here, please.”
Vipa was hesitant. “It’s okay, Vipa. Your eye will be the key for your room.”
“They shall not remove my eye.”
I laughed. “No, no, she’s not going to remove your eye. This machine just takes a picture of your eye. It will be put into their system, and then she will code the door lock to your room.” It took a few seconds of coaxing, but Vipa did it. “Okay, that should do it. The room number is 712; it is on the seventh level.”
“You are welcome.”
“Once we get you settled into your room we will go and get you some amenities you will need.
“So all you have to do is look at the pad and it will let you in. The room is pretty nice. This is the disposal room and this is replicator, so what do you think?”
“I am honored to have such prestigious accommodations.”
“That’s good but it’s not that nice.”
“I am here in a world I do not know. This is a palace to me and I am humbled by the generosity that has been shown to me. It will not be forgotten.”
“You know, you are right. I take things for granted. Please forgive me for my selfishness.” Vipa then took my hand my heart started racing. Cool your engines, girl. He’s not proposing.
“There is no need for apologies. I am indebted to you and everyone here on Orex. The people here have a kind and giving heart. They are wonderful and I feel at home here.”
Vipa was still holding my hand, which I was not hating, and looking into my eyes. I felt he was talking to my soul—Okay back to reality. “Do you have any memory of using a replicator?”
“Okay. Well, the replicator can replicate most of the things you will need—food, water and such. You press this button and tell it what you want, and if it is in their processing banks it will replicate it. If you are up to it, we can go shopping for other things you might want or need.”
“I wish to see my ship.”
“There is not much left of it.”
“Take me to my ship.” He got a little louder. It startled me. He dropped my hand and turned to the door. “Take me to my ship NOW.”
“Okay, I will call for a shuttle.”
Vipa had the same look in his eyes as when he first came to Medesto. Maybe he is not ready to leave the hospital. Vipa stormed out of the room.
“Hey, calm down, the shuttle is on its way. Why are you so upset? Are you not feeling well? Why do you want to see the ship?”
He was still walking to the level lift. I reached out and grabbed his arm. He turned very quickly and with a dark look in his eyes. I was not sure what to say. I didn’t get a chance to anyway.
“I DO NOT HAVE TO EXPLAIN MY ACTIONS TO THE LIKES OF YOU.”
“Hey what does that mean? What’s wrong with you?” My passionate side came out so I snapped back. “You do not speak to me like that. I am here to help you.” With that note his demeanor changed again. He was shaking his head as if something was out of place.
“My actions are most regrettable. Please forgive me for my outburst. I do not know why this is happening.”
“Apology accepted, no harm done, but if something is wrong please tell me.”
“I will try to, but all I felt was anger and rage. It sickened me inside but I had no control over it. I became someone else and I did not like that side of me.”
“Maybe you should rest and we can go out later.”
“No, my Ta has returned. I feel fine now.”
“Okay, if you are sure.” (Beep) “The shuttle craft is here.” We made our way down the front of Hostel Six. The shuttle was waiting.
“This craft is unmanned?”
“Yes, it is automated. There are manual controls also, if you would like to fly yourself, but most people just sit back and enjoy the ride. You just tell the command center the coordinates and it will take you there. However, they are not designed for off-world travel. There are no life-support systems on board.”
The command center spoke. “What is your destination please?”
“Mt. Eature, sector 22B9.”
“Thank you. All items and limbs inside the shuttle. We are ready for departure.”
“Buckle up. It will take about 12 minutes to get there.” I was thinking, this could help him remember something— or everything. I’m not sure if this is a good idea or a bad idea, but it is my duty to help him in any way possible. “Here we are. It is the same as when you crashed here. No one can figure out how you survived, but I am happy you did.”
We walked through the wreckage. Nothing seemed to trigger any memories—until he reached the front of the ship where the pilot seat was somewhat intact. It was burned and broken into three pieces. “You were found 15 meters straight ahead.”
Vipa touched the seat. Something went off in his head. He fell to his knees. “Are you all right?” There was no response. He had his head clutched in his hands and it appeared to be experiencing pain. I put my hand on his shoulder. Instantly I felt a jolt up my arm and my vision darkened. Suddenly I was inside of a ship. Not one I have ever seen before. I felt something strike the ship. Alarms were going off. Someone was attacking the ship. I could see Orex; the ship was preparing to enter the atmosphere. I could see a monitor to the left. There was another ship approaching—it was the Borog. The vision ended. My head ached. What had just happened? “Are you all right, Vipa?”
“Yes. I had these images in my head.”
“I know. I saw the same images.”
He looked at me oddly. “How did you see my visions?”
“I’m not sure. I put my hand on your shoulder to see if you were okay and the next thing I know, I’m on a ship in this very chair, witnessing the attack. It was the Borog that attacked you.”
“Why would they attack my ship?”
“They are referred to as Vorutors which means space pirates.”
“I do not understand space pirates.”
“They come to Orex and rob the merchants and kill anyone that gets in their way. When I was connected to your thoughts I noticed you pressing some buttons on the left of the console.”
“Yes I believe that it was my weapon system.”
“So you must have returned fire. That is why they did not follow you down—you damaged or destroyed their ship.”
“What would I have that this scourge of space would want?”
“It doesn’t matter. They attack everyone. They most likely were planning to attack the merchants again. It normally happens after festivals and celebratory events. The Borog know that a lot of visitors come to Orex a lot more than usual after the events, and there’s a larger amount of Tukern, as you call it. They will return soon— there is the Brine Festival.”
“Yes, the first merchant to settle here was Malcolm Brine. He was a very wealthy businessman. He financed most of the buildings and the trade hall himself. The festival will be starting in 20 time periods. We must tell the council what you have remembered and maybe it can help us to prepare for their attack.”
“It is possible I destroyed their ship. There would be no reason for alarm.”
“Even if you destroyed that ship, the Borog would send others to find out what happened to it, and would bring more ships. When they found out it was destroyed they would be out for blood.”
“Why do the people here not fight them? You spoke of a military base.”
“Yes, there is a training base but the soldiers are not as battle ready as we would need. Besides, the Borog come in at night break into the Trade Hall and if anyone tries to stop them they are wounded or killed. There is only two military police for Orex. They have tried and failed costing many of them their lives. We must go.”
As we made our way to the shuttle we heard a ship approaching. As we turned to see what it was an explosion destroyed the shuttle craft. I was knocked to the ground and a piece of the shuttle hit Vipa. I did not see where he went. I tried to get up but a sharp pain shot through my leg. It was broken. I called out to Vipa, but no answer. I saw the ship that fired on us—the Borog. I had no weapon on me—they were in the shuttle. The Borog ship fired another particle burst closer to me. All this was happening in a matter of seconds. I knew I would be killed by the Borog so I prepared myself for the end as many would say. When you are in the shadow of death you reflect on your life. For the most part I have enjoyed my life. Arquilams are very spiritual; we believe in different shasa of existence. I welcome the next plane. I closed my eyes and prepared for the end. I assumed Vipa was already dead. If not, he would be soon. Things seemed to be quiet for just a second. Then I heard a scream like no other scream I have ever heard in my life. It was louder and fiercer than a Cortosh beast. I opened my eyes to see the Borog ship making another pass to finish me off. When I saw Vipa I screamed, “Run! They’re coming back!” He looked at me. His eyes were dark again. The Borog ship fired and Vipa leapt onto the top of the Borog ship. I was not sure if I was hallucinating or was already dead and it was my mind’s last glimmer of hope, but it felt real. The Borog ship stopped. Vipa started tearing open the Borog ship like he was opening a package. He was screaming and ripping this ship apart. The ship crashed down. Vipa disappeared inside. Then the front of the ship exploded. When the smoke cleared, Vipa emerged. In each hand he had a Borog by their necks and they were struggling to escape. With one quick flick of his wrist he killed both of them and threw them to the ground like trash. Vipa had saved us.
I began to cry. I was prepared to go to the next shasa, but that did not mean that I wanted to go now.
Vipa stood and admired his victory. I called out to Vipa. He turned and ran to me. “Are you all right? Are you injured?”
“Yes. My leg is broken. But what about you?” I looked down to see a large cut in his side, but it was not bleeding—in fact it was healing itself. I watched as it closed up just as the other wounds from the crash had.
“Please do not worry about me. I will get you back to Medesto.” He picked me up in his arms and set out for Medesto. Even with the pain in my broken leg I felt safe, and I knew everything was all right, but I did have questions. I could have called for another shuttle, but I was enjoying Vipa holding me in his arms. I will call for one in a few minutes. “Vipa how did you do that? How did you jump so high and tear that ship apart like it was paper?”
“I am not sure. When the shuttle was destroyed a large piece of it hit me. I felt the anger and rage as before. After that it was all a blur.”
“Well, however you did it, you saved our lives, and I am most grateful to you.” I thought should I give him a kiss— he did save my life and now is a most opportune time to go for it—so I leaned in and I kissed him on his lips. He looked at me with such compassion and tenderness. My heart raced. There was so much mystery in his eyes that could span the universe 10 times over. I was going to kiss him again but my communicator sounded. It was Medesto. Oh yeah, I have a communicator. I was blushing with embarrassment but I did not care. “Yes, Dr. Lexetod.”
“Sii, where are you? Everyone here heard explosions. Are you all right?”
“Yes, sir. Vipa is with me. He wanted to see the crash site, thinking it could trigger some memory, and we were attacked by the Borog.”
“What? You were attacked by the Borog? Are you hurt?” “Yes, I have a broken leg. Vipa is all right but the shuttle craft was destroyed.”
“Sit tight, Sii. The medical transport is on its way. I will alert the Council and wait for your arrival.”
“Thank you, Sigmen.”
Vipa continued to walk to Medesto. It did not matter; we would meet to transport on the way. I am ashamed to admit this, but out of all that happened I do wish he would remember his name. But for now he doesn’t seem to mind being called Vipa. I was glad to see the transport approaching. I was enjoying Vipa carrying me but my leg was starting to throb with pain. It would be fine in a few days. For now what is most important is to warn the council.
“Vipa, was there anything else that you remember in your vision? Did you remember why you were visiting Orex?”
“No, I do not recall any event other than the attack.”
“That’s okay. At least you are remembering something even if it was something bad.”
We met the transport and were taken to Medesto. Sigmen repaired my leg. Since it was the Tibia and Fibula fractured I would have to stay off it two days. Vipa held my hand during the whole sprinning process where the bone is fused together with waxaline, a organic-based glue so to speak. The microbes in waxaline mimic the bone material creating a bone-like paste that joins the two bones together. My leg will be good as new in three days and where the break is will actually be stronger than before.
“That should do it. Sii, you know the process; you have to stay off the leg.”
“Yes, Doctor. After a day like today a little R&R would be nice but we need to speak to the council. There will be an attack on Orex soon.”
“Yes, Sii. The council is on their way here.”
The council members arrived, and then Jezek and Leeber and even some of the higher-ranking officers from the military training base came. I felt like a celebrity. Vipa and I told them all we saw. Everyone knew that the Borog would return in numbers.
“We have to make a plan to defend ourselves. Orex is not prepared for a massive attack. We can only hope that Vipa will help stop the Borog. If what I saw him do to the Borog ship is any indication of his abilities he will be the only one that can save us.”
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