Sky in the Stars, Part 14

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The higher-ups of Gray Hunter check in on Skylar and discuss her future in the organization.

Subject name: Skylar Connor

Age: 21

Sex: Female

Height: 5’9”

Weight: 123 lb.

Next of Kin: N/A

Contact No: N/A

Family: N/A

Date of Admittance: 30 September 2931

Previous Ward: N/A

Reason for Admittance:  Subject in critical condition suffering multiple severe injuries due to blast trauma, and deep space exposure.

  • Exterior injuries: Multiple bruises, and lacerations.

  • Internal Injuries: Multiple bone fractures including leg and rib cage, pulmonary contusions,  subdural hematoma, and minor spinal injury. Subject was deemed clinically dead by medical technicians on site.  

Under further study by Doctor Salil Jain and Doctor David Lewis, Skylar Connor will require 6 months  (minimum) of closely observed rehabilitation.

Prognosis: Due to effects of neurotrauma, asphyxiation,  as well as a result of initial injuries and psychological trauma, subject is likely to suffer  mild to extreme amnesia. Weight loss, hormonal imbalance, chronic fatigue, and frequent episodes of cephalgia may result from injuries sustained until subject makes a full recovery.

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Subject name: Skylar Connor

Age: 21, Female

Date of Admittance: 30 September 2931

Current Date: 14 December 2931

(UPDATE): Subject has shown steady physical recovery, but continues to sustain neurological effects from initial injuries. Speech pathologist Dr. Heidi Kelley will continue to monitor and train Skylar Connor to treat cases of aphasia, and dysarthria.  Episodes of cephalgia continue to persist, while  further study on subject’s loss of balance has inhibited normal functions.

Note: Subject has demonstrated clear case of anisocoria. Treatment is unnecessary and will remain non-priority unless at behest of subject.

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29 March 2932

Citadel Military Academy Station, Medical Wards

Sector 4, Sigma 5 Space

Skylar opened her eyes, waking up in her white dormitory. The walls, the furniture… everything was a sterile white. The entire ceiling glowed with a natural lighting appropriate for the time of day. There were no windows. The only time she saw the outside was in the recreation room  in the rehabilitation center. It was a big dome-like room, meant to simulate  real-life areas of Earth, such as forests, brooks, jungles, even city life. It came equipped with aroma dispensers, climate and humidity control, along with wind simulators. Anyone dumb enough not to know could be easily fooled. But Skylar, after a while, had figured it out.

There was nothing in her room but a desk with a holo-computer, and a bed. Clothes and food were brought to her daily, and bathing was taken  in large locker rooms. Most days she was out of her mind, zoning out into a blank stare thinking about nothing in particular. Sometimes it took nurses a minute to get her to come to. She still had a bit of trouble walking , resorting to a walker at times if she couldn’t help it. Even then she was known to fall to her knees.

It took months after that. Multiple therapy sessions with her psychologist had helped her ease with the fear of space. Upon arrival, simply leaving her in a dark room would send her spiralling into panic attacks. She couldn’t sleep with the lights off and often kept herself occupied by training in the facility gym. It was the only way to keep her mind off of things. She knew how to use the equipment. She still knew how to hit a punching bag.

Outside of the exercise room stood a group of  individuals. Two of which were Bard and the Chairman. Captain Snow stood with them, along with a few doctors. They watched as Skylar fought against the punching bag using all of her training. There was a fire in her eyes… as if she were trying to regain everything back, and focusing on a single thing.

“My my…” said the Chairman, “This girl certainly has garnered some attention.”

“You said she’d surprise us…” Bard started, “But shit… the girl’s got more balls than most of the men I’ve trained. What did you say about her, Doc?”

One of the doctors adjusted his glasses and  looked down to his datapad. “Uh… erm… well… Miss Connor is showing a steady recovery in most aspects. Only a few drawbacks, nothing serious. What surprised us was the recovery itself.  We’re still making some psychological evaluations, but physically… she’s very resilient, if I may.”

“Tough kid.” Captain Snow said, her arms crossed over her formal uniform.

“Uh, yes… tough is a good word I’d use.” the Doctor nodded.

“Have you finished filing your report, Captain?” asked the Chairman.

“Yes sir. All footage, logs, and everything on Skylar’s activity on the EX-390 incident has been uploaded.” Snow replied.

“Good.” the Chairman nodded.

“If I may, sir…” Snow paused. “I’d like to give Miss Connor my own personal commendation  and recommendation. Should Skylar’s recovery be complete… I think she should be enrolled. Get her out of this labor limbo. She’s being wasted on mining projects, and you  know it.”

“That’s quite a thought,” said the Chairman, “The girl has virtually no credible history. She’s still a low-end grunt worker. She shouldn’t even be on record.”

“I understand, sir. But after completing my report, I would like to have Skylar signed under my own command. Experience or not, she’s demonstrated courage, strength and dedication to her job and colleagues. That’s something I want under my command.”

Chairman gave a faint smile with the slightest tilt of his head, “As you wish, Captain Snow. I’ll make arrangements with the Academy officials and see if we can’t squeeze Skylar into a future program. If you’ll excuse me…” the Chairman bowed, straightened his tie and walked away with Bard at his side. The doctor stood behind Snow and pointed toward the exercise room.

“Would you like to see her?” the doctor asked.

“Yes please.” Snow answered. The doctor nodded and pressed his thumb to the door, allowing the door to open. Snow proceeded inside and approached Skylar as she continued to fight. Skylar was oblivious to the Captain’s presence. With a few more moments passed, Snow smirked. “Got a mean swing, kid.”

Skylar let one more punch to the bag, “Captain Snow.” She said, turning to the Captain, “I wasn’t expecting you here.”

“Just came to check on you.” Snow replied. “Kind of feel like you’re my responsibility, you know?”

Skylar flexed her hands a few times. “I’m fine, Captain. Don’t worry about me.”

“Well… news is, you’re recovery is going fine. I’ve asked that you be enlisted into the academy.”

“Academy?”

“It’s where Gray Hunter likes to recruit a lot of their special staff. People like Bard and I went to the academy. It’s not exclusive to Gray Hunter. It’s just owned and run by them. Students there often end up going to various private military groups. It’s quite a reputable institution. Food sucks, but hey, you learn something.”

“I don’t know…”

“You want go back to working the asteroid fields  with a bunch of dead-end low-lifes?” Snow crossed her arms. “Or do you want to work with someone like me and get paid more than your living expenses?”

“Work with you?”

“I’ve asked for you to specifically be moved under my command.”

Skylar seemed hopeful for a moment. “On a ship?”

“Yes…” Snow raised a brow.

Skylar backed away into the punching bag. Her breathing started to quicken, “Ship… in space.” Images floated before her eyes. She saw stars, and blackness. The sudden feeling of weightlessness began to take hold.

“Skylar?” Snow furrowed her brow, “You okay?”

Skylar shook her head suddenly could see nothing but space. She was in the space suit again, floating in an endless black. She cringed, and began to tense. She could feel an overpowering feeling take hold of her… something she could do nothing about. She tried to draw air into her lungs but oxygen seemed to have no effect. Fear took its icy grip around her as her heart began to race, beats missing rhythm… the sudden sense of death enclosed around her.  The view of space and the exercise room switched back and forth as snow appeared to fall from the ceiling.

“Doc!” Snow cried out. A pulsating light came from Skylar’s white bracelet. Skylar slid down the punching bag and then wrapped her arms around herself. With one quick inhale, she let out a piercing scream that even Captain Snow had to cover her ears for. Doctors rushed into the room, taken back from the sudden scream that was suppressed from the soundproof  walls and windows. And just like that, Skylar passed out. Captain Snow barely caught Skylar before she could fall on anything dangerous. “What the hell, Doc?!” Snow yelled.

“She’s had a panic attack. The events of her incident are still fresh to her… this is one of the drawbacks we mentioned.”

“Shit… isn’t there anything that can be done?”

“Therapy… that’s all, Captain Snow. This is something Skylar has to fight on her own. We can’t simply make things go away.”

A few nurses took Skylar onto a stretcher and  moved her out of the room. Captain Snow grabbed a doctor by the coat and pulled him close, “Listen Doc! You’re going to do whatever it takes to get that girl back to normal. She gave her life to save hundreds of people she didn’t even know and now you’re telling me she’s being punished for it?”

“I-I’m sorry, Captain! There’s nothing we can do right now! This will all take a considerable amount of time.”

Snow growled but was unable to say anything, releasing the doctor’s coat. The nurses and doctors left the room leaving Snow to sigh and  compose herself.

“Sorry kid.”

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