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NULL SPACE - Part 8

There was blood everywhere. The door to the ship hissed closed and Null slumped against the wall of the ship. She had managed to keep off the artillery unit but she had been shot in the process. The pain throbbed through her and she could feel her blood seeping out, she needed to stop the bleeding soon but she was having some trouble moving. It was much more painful then she had imagined, had her nanomachines been working then this wouldn’t have been and problem and she could have had them fix her injuries. Now however all she could really do was bleed out over the floor and try not to die. She could only wait and hope that Jeran found her before she died. She tried calling out to him but her voice wasn’t working very well, she wondered if she had been shot someplace important. She couldn’t really tell. She couldn’t die here yet, she wasn’t done with that she wanted to do.

It wasn’t until Jeran had finished piloting out of the space station and was able to set the ship on autopilot that he returned to look for Null. However when he found here he gasped in horror. She was surrounding with a pool of blood and he desperately hoped that she was still alive. There was a bullet wound in her right shoulder, dangerously close to her throat. He rushed back into the ship’s storage room and grabbed the woefully underequiped medical bag that the ship had. It was supposed to be used to minor injures not gaping gunshot wounds but unless they returned to Ark-Neon then there wasn’t any hospitals to got to and the bag was the best they would have.

He lifted Null carefully and brought her onto one of the beds before setting her down equally as carefully. He examined the injury to find out what he could do about it. There was only one good thing about it, the bullet had gone all the way through and left her body so he wouldn’t have to attempt to remove it. He had some field medicine training but he had feared that removing a bullet would be beyond him. His bag didn’t have any skin grafts of other useful equipment to fix the wounds so he needed to find another way to stop the bleeding.

His best option was to close up the wound and then wrap it, with his equipment that was the best the he would be able to do. The first thing that he did was give her and injection of pain killer, he didn’t want to do his amateur surgery on a patient that could feel it. He put on some gloves and wiped some disinfectant over the wound before taking out a needle and thread to close the wound with. He hated to use such an old fashioned way to do this but desperate times called for desperate measures. He tried to close up the wound on both side and neatly as he could before wiping away what blood remained on Null and wrapping her shoulder with bandages to stop any remaining bleeding. He really hoped that any internal bleeding that she would experience wouldn’t be dangerous to her.

After that he took off his gloved and washed up. He didn’t think there was anything else that he could do for her other then monitor her life signs and take care of her. Now that the surgery was finished he felt helpless, unable to do anything. It was worse when her life signs continued to decreases, getting weaker and weaker. He needed to find her a real doctor, someone who knew what they were doing.

As the ship’s controls he pored over the maps for this area, there had to be someplace nearby that they could visit which would be safe. Preferable someplace that had a proper hospital. He scanned through the nearby planets, preferably someplace easy to hide from both ANGEL and Myth. Then there on the list was Zen, it was a low-key planet which didn’t have much, but even a small planet would have some kind of hospital, it was an advantage over space stations. Also Zen was a colony planet which recently earned its independence through fighting so he might be able to get medical care for Null without too many piercing questions.

The only problem was that Zen was still hours away and Null was continuing to get worse. However there was really nothing Jeran could do other then wait and worry. And that was primarily what Jeran did. He sat by Null’s side and watched her vital signs getting more and more worried as they continued to drop, he could only hope that they would last until they arrived at Zen. To Jeran the journey felt like it was taking forever even though it would only a couple of hours. It was a relief when they finally got close enough for him to hail the planet. After that it was a simple matter to get permission to land. He was also able to convince them to send and ambulance to the docks to pick up Null. He gave them an excuse that there had been a pirate raid on the space station that they had been staying at and the two of them had barely escaped with their lifes. Jeran sincerely hoped that they would buy his excuse.

He was able to land the ship successfully. Landing through a planet’s atmosphere was more difficult then parking in a space station but Jeran was a steady hand, even his worry about Null didn’t cause any landing problems although the autopilot was helping him more then he cared for. Zen only have a small space port so Jeran was greeting personally by much of the staff, they helped the ambulance staff get Null out of the ship and on to the ambulance. Then before Jeran could even wish Null good luck the ambulance was off.

Jeran was able to get a ride to the hospital from some of the shipyard staff for a little bit of money. They seemed very interested in him, they probably didn’t get many strange guests. His driver was a big burly man who made Jeran look small in comparison. “So, I hear you survived a tussle with some space pirates, you seem luckier then your companion.” Said the big man.

Jeran winced at his statement. “It was a mistake, I should have had her start the ship while I held off them only enough for the ship to start. It was a bloody amateurs mistake.” He cursed himself as he spoke, it had been something he had been trying not to think about. Null’s injury could have been prevented had he though enough ahead. With the ship’s autopilot Null would have been able to get it started.

“Sounds rough man. Since you say that it sounds like you have some experience with a gun.” Said the big man, “So do I, even though I might not look like it.” Jeran wanted to tell the big man the he really did look like it but he held his tongue. “You see, many of us helped earn our independence so there are a lot of people on the planet with combat experience. Now we are all just trying to deal with it.” There was a hint of a smile on the man’s face so Jeran could tell the man didn’t regret it.

“Yeah, I was a… security guard at the space station. We tried to stop the pirates the best we could but eventually the evacuation signal was given and we all had to pull out. The woman hadn’t been able to get out in time so I had to take her with me.” Said Jeran.

“Is that so… It looked and sounded to me like she meant an awful lot to you. You sure she is not your… you know.” The man said in a playful tone. Jeran could see that the man was grinning.

“How many times do I need to tell people that it isn’t like that. We are just friends, nothing more.” Protested Jeran as best as he could. However the man just laughed at his plight, why did people always do that.

“So you did know her before the attack. Maybe she was already in the ship when it happened?” The man laughed again much to Jeran’s dismay. “But it’s alright I won’t tell anyone.”

“Great… just what I need. Another person not saying anything about something that doesn’t exist. Now can you just please get me to the hospital, quickly.” Said Jeran in annoyance. Was there anybody in the universe who didn’t immidiately think that he and Null were any item. Wasn’t he supposed to be old enough that that wasn’t supposed to happen anymore. After all he had a daughter already didn’t he.

“Alright alright, we are here man. Don’t get upset. The woman is inside and should already be in treatment.” Said the man as they pulled up to the hospital. Jeran got out and rushed inside. He was greeting by the staff and was immediately told that he needed to wait outside of the emergency room. Jeran did so uncertainly. The time passed slowing and it was frustrating not to know what was happening inside there. Eventually the emergency light went off and the doctor come out.

“Your lucky man, if that woman hadn’t been made of such stern stuff she would be dead by now. But she is going to pull through.” Jeran breathed a sigh of relief as he heard the man speak. “But I’m suprised, when she came in I was almost certain that she wasn’t going to make it. If she hadn’t been tough as nails then she wouldn’t have made it, she should feel lucky to have a body like that.”

Jeran wasn’t certain how much luck had to do with it but he was glad that Null’s miraculous body had pulled through again.