“Damn. It’s over already. Zero!”
“Did you get enough data?”
“Affirmative. Data on their defenses is now sufficient to formulate a plan with the requested success rate. With only a .05% margin of error.”
“Yes, General. Calculating the optimal strategy for Grendel now.”
Sirvanna paced. Every few seconds a bolt of electricity ran from her feet into the carpet.
Katelyn and Alexa were sitting outside Florence’s medical lab with her. Yuni and Alena had left Alena’s recovery room to join them. Ryu and Mary were waiting to see Florence. Ryu’s forehead was bleeding and his shirt had been torn open.
“What happened to you?” Mary asked.
“I was protecting the children when the wall came down,” Ryu said. “I managed to push them out of the way, but I was hit by some of the rubble.”
“Looks like we got injured in similar ways,” Mary said. “I caught Blair and screwed up my back.”
“Pacing isn’t going to make the operation finish faster,” Alexa said.
Sirvanna stopped to glare at her and swiftly resumed pacing.
“This isn’t the best time to point that out,” Katelyn whispered.
“I hope Ines is okay,” Yuni said.
“Of course she’s not okay,” Sirvanna said. “She twisted her neck falling from a massive robot. Do you even listen to yourself talk?” Sirvanna lightly bit her thumb and continued pacing.
Alena shifted in her seat. “It’s okay,” Yuni said, taking her hand. “She’s just upset.”
“Of course she’s upset,” Alexa said. “So much left unsaid. So much left undone.” she stood up and walked over to Sirvanna. “That’s what you’re thinking about, right? Everything you should have told her. Everything you wanted to do. Who the hell are you to write her off so quickly?”
“Alexa…” Yuni began. She stopped herself when she felt Alena’s hand pulling down on her shoulder. She turned to her girlfriend and Alena shook her head.
“I know what I saw,” Sirvanna said.
“All three of us saw it,” Alexa said. “We’ve also all seen stranger things than someone surviving that kind of hit. We can all understand that you’re in pain right now. We know that you’re afraid for her safety and that you’re feeling helpless. But that doesn’t give you the right to snap at anyone. Nor does it give you the right to give up hope.”
“Don’t try to manipulate me,” Sirvanna said. “Not this time. Not under these circumstances. I let it go last time because what you said helped me find the courage to come to terms with my own feelings, but right now… Just don’t push me.”
“Please don’t fight,” Yuni said.
The door creaked open and Florence stepped out. Everything went instantly silent and all eyes turned to the young doctor.
Sirvanna opened her mouth as though she were speaking, but no words came out.
“Is Ines going to make it?” Alena asked.
“This is the hardest part of my job,” Florence said.
Sirvanna slumped down to her knees. Yuni covered her outh, a look of shock creeping over her face.
“Dead?” Alena asked, quietly.
“Well,” Florence said “It’s not that bad. I’ve managed to get her stabilised but…”
Florence looked around and took a deep breath. “But I can’t wake her up. She’s in a coma. She could wake up in a couple of weeks, but she could also be out for months, even years. Perhaps even her entire life.”