Gold Coast: Chapter 6-A

Feb 16th, 2011 | By | Category: Gold Coast, Kymria

And the Of

Part A

“Brys, Let’s Talk.”

“Yes, Snow? What is on your mind?”

The young woman lay back on the long couch in silence for several seconds before letting out a long, soft sigh. “That’s a rather complicated question, friend. And a rather more complicated answer.”

“My comparative logic routines are quite capable. Perhaps I can assist in simplifying.”

Aerowyn laughed. “That’s the reason I’m talking to you, Brys. Oh….where should I start?”

“It is often easiest to begin with the most significant factor and work out in an interlaced dispersion pattern from that central point.”

“Most significant point? Even that’s a hard choice. Let’s see…. I’m a 27 year old…girl, from a back-water colony world, who has just been promoted to Chief Medical Officer of an experimental space station. I’ve just moved half-way across the Empire. I almost lost my husband a few hexes ago. ‘Ranth has disappeared on some secret mission, with no word when she’ll be back. I have a hospital full of wounded personnel–most of them students who should still be worrying about who they’re going to ask to the spring dance. And I just had a young girl thank me for letting her watch her boyfriend die. Is that enough to start with?”

“Quite.”

“I’m sorry, Brys. I thought I was ready to handle this job. Now I don’t know. I’m only 27. What right do I have to be in charge of an entire hospital? Especially out here.”

“Snow. I am little more than 5 hexes old, and I am responsible for the entire station.”

“That’s a little bit different, Brys. You’re a `mind, not a human.”

“This is true. But the underlying concept is the same. These responsibilities have been given based not upon age, but upon ability. I am quite familiar with your file, and have read the recommendations and committee transcripts regarding your posting here. The Admiralty believes that you belong here. I agree with their assessment.”

“Why?”

“While there are others who are more experienced than you, this station was founded on the concept of taking the brightest of the younger generations and placing them in a position of authority; to see if anything could be learned. Being only 5 hexes old, and having had little experience with humans, I find your interaction to be rather fascinating. Out of the other doctors I have seen, or have had dealings with, you are very different.”

“In what way?”

“I do not believe that any other doctor would have done as you did after the incident in the Hearth. Your tour among the injured made them feel as though you cared.”

“Brys, I do care. Any doctor worth their salt would.”

“That is perhaps so, but how many of them would have shown it to their patients in such a way. Whether you care or not is not as important as whether your patients know you care. Emotion is important.”

For several long moments, Aerowyn was silent; lost in thought. “Perhaps you’re right, Brys. Perhaps you’re right.”

“It is my assessment that I am.”

“Ever the humble one, eh, Brys?”

“Only pragmatic. Humility is perhaps something I shall learn later.” Aerowyn had to laugh at the `mind’s statement, but let him continue. “It is my assumption that previously you have had someone with which you have discussed such emotional turmoil as you are now experiencing. Most likely someone who is of a more advanced age than yourself. Is this correct?”

“Yes. Back on Cato, I’d talk with messach Curran. Or with `Bram. Now there was someone with experience. He’s been online for…about 50 years now. At the speed you guys think, that must be an eternity. And he’s been everywhere. Over a link, admittedly, but he said that for him, it was no different than actually being there. You guys–`minds–live on a different level than us, don’t you.”

“Our contact with the world is of a different nature than yours is. Yes.”

“And on Kymria, it was Kyung Lu.”

“What about Raven? Why do you not discuss your concerns with your husband. I would think that mated as you are, he would be the one who is closest to you, and therefore most able to help you with your emotional concerns. Is there something in such a relationship which I am not factoring?”

“Yes. There certainly is.” Aerowyn paused to put the idea into words. “I love Raven dearly. I love him more than I’ve loved anyone; stronger, more…passionate. He’s the single most important thing in my life. In many ways more important to me than I am. I can’t imagine not having him around. I know that I could talk to him about anything. That he would listen and understand and do everything he could to take the burden from me. Even if he doesn’t know how. But that’s part of the problem.

“Everyone who sees us thinks that I’m the strong one, the leader, and Raven is my trusty side-kick, submissive to my every whim. That I’m the one in control. But it’s not like that. Yes, I’m the leader–in the fact that I’m the one who usually does the talking. Raven’s just more…quiet about things. But I’m not the strong one. He is. He’s a thousand times stronger than I am. I’m the one who charges into things, running on emotion and adrenaline; ‘Damn the torpedoes; full speed ahead.’ What no one sees is what happens afterwards. They don’t see me sitting in my chair, an emotional mess. Or curled up in a little ball crying until I can barely breathe.

“And every time, Raven is right there; holding me, keeping me sane. I’ve never seen him break. He’s the strong one. I rely on him so much for the really hard times. I don’t want to pile on all the small stuff, too. It…Well, it wouldn’t be fair to him.”

“Aerowyn? If I may… Is it possible that Raven does not mind listening to your concerns? That he may actually enjoy it in some way?”

“Hmmm?”

” It would seem to me that he might find a sense of pleasure or fulfillment in dispelling your uneasiness.”

“Oh. Yes. I don’t doubt it does. After all, I feel the same way… not that I get much chance to do as much for him.”

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