The story so far:
Two days later and she still couldn’t move. Her arms, her legs, everything felt glued to whatever it was she lay upon. She managed to wiggle her fingers the day before when waking from her nightmares. She’d not remained awake for long. Phys had given her something to help her sleep. No rod this time, he poured a sour tasting liquid between her lips, holding her head up so that she might swallow and not drown in the medicine.
Her eyes had not cleared much until that third day of consciousness. Even then, it still felt as if she saw the world through shards of colored glass. They were less frosty, though, as the fog cleared.
“Awake again?” Thomas asked. She looked the only direction she could look, straight up. He did not show himself to her. She tried seeing him through the corner of her eye, but her peripheral vision was sketchy at best.
“Tired of the dreams.” At least her voice worked better now. She sounded more like herself than she had two days ago. At least, she thought it was two days ago. “What day is it?” she asked.
Thomas answered her, his voice rough. “You were out for quite a while,” he said. She would’ve nodded had she been able to.
She did some calculations in her head. “Day one twenty-five.”
“Day one twenty-five? You’ve been keeping count?”
Again, she wanted to nod. “Since Max left,” she said instead. “Any news?”
“What?” Something soft and damp brushed the sweat from her forehead. It trailed down her neck to first one arm and then the other. Thomas took his time with her left hand but he did not wash her right one. She remembered the snake light, how it had caught the edge of her hand and wrist when she attacked it with the hatchet. So many questions welled up. She focused on the one she had just asked.
“Any news about the Harbinger transports? Have they made it to the Arks?”
“We have had no news, Renni. No communications whatsoever. I’m sorry.”
“Sorry for what,” she growled, emotion taking over her voice. “There’s nothing for you to be sorry for. It was a long shot anyway.”
“I’m sure he’s safe.” She felt him wash her right leg. He left the left one alone except for her foot. Thomas moved back to her face and lifted her head, washing the back of her neck.
“Why can’t I move, Thomas?” she asked as he set her head back down, brushing her hair up and out of the way so she wouldn’t be lying on it.
“Phys gave you something to keep you still until you healed…” He hesitated.
“And? What aren’t you telling me?”
“I’m not sure…”
“It okay, Thomas.” Marshal came near, though still out of sight. “Show her. She strong little Harbinger.”
“How’re your eyes, Renni?” Thomas asked.
“They’re okay. Blurry but okay. Why?”
“Please don’t be afraid.” He moved closer. She blinked a few times, trying to see.
“Why would I be afraid? Afraid of what?”
Thomas then moved into her field of vision. Renni gasped and shut her eyes. When she opened them again, the image before her had not changed other than to grow a little clearer, the details stark now. She looked up into Thomas’ face. But it wasn’t Thomas’ face. Not entirely. One green eye looked sadly down upon her. The other blinked white, surrounded by what looked like pale gray metal. Reddish blond hair, nearly shoulder length, grew from half his head. It softly rested against his neck, rested against more gray metal. On the other side, long tendrils like thin wires matched the length of his hair. White lights illuminated the tips of each strand. Pale blue, green, and yellow lights blinked underneath metal and skin alike, giving both a faint glow.
“Thomas, what happened to you?” Nearly half Thomas’ head was machine.