*The buzz of electronics and hushed voices filters through the air. A dark-haired soldier sits on the edge of the medical bed, clutching the unconscious occupant’s hand with a mix of concern and love. The woman in the bed is much paler than usual, her usually luminous green skin gone waxy and near grey. Her shirt and blood-soaked pants are torn from the frenzied work of the medics in the field and here, back at Talanis. A swath of kolto-drenched bandages wrap her leg from hip to knee.
But she’s breathing. Her vital signs have begun to stabilize. Soon, she’ll be stable enough to go in the kolto tanks. But now, the two are frozen in time; the thin tube running between them, filter in the middle humming, pulls the blood from his arm to hers.
And they are even more connected than before.*