Drabble Battle #2! Unfortunately, the Discworld prompt somehow managed to fling itself off the Elephants and go thundering elsewhere, so for the moment the battle rages between Space and Space. 8D voksen
is to blame for the Gundam Wing, and everyone else is to blame for Trek.
Again, word count is not an indication of bias (FOR SERIOUS THIS TIME), and nothing is really read through or fully thought out. Experimenting with a few new styles, too! Gundam Wing: Treize lives! But Zechs takes huge political falls.
When they dragged him out of the wreckage it would probably have been more appropriate if he had been kicking and yelling, but he was too tired to kick and too hoarse to yell, and too busy sucking pointlessly at the last of his oxygen, his oesophagus seizing inwards with every breath. He heard words - "is that -" and a bumbling mess of medical terms, a crushing list of chemicals before someone screamed "stat! stat!" - and the familiar, naval, tidal pull of false gravity asserting itself. It always starts behind the stomach before spreading up between the shoulderblades. And then there was someone else yanking the tubing of his air supply away, one gasping moment of nothingness like space, and then the smell of hard plastic.
'He's breathing,' they said, their voices coming in down off a panic. 'He's breathing. Stand back, give us room - wheel him into medical bay 6, delta deck. He's breathing,' the phrase repeated a third time like a prayer while his throat continued to constrict, silent and unnoticed and unmedicated, unmedicable.
Waking up was an entirely different matter all together. Like any good soldier in war he snapped awake, eyes first. He blinked away sealant gone crusty over his eyes, blinked again, and again, but there was nothing in front of him, just a spiking pain like a migraine starting above the bridge of his nose. The space around him felt like a vacuum, blasting every part of him outwards until he had to move, but he could not sit up, because his hands were strapped down and again his throat ached as if he had been screaming all day, all night, since they rescued him with pity and - god, he hoped - promises of pacifism, honour, dignity to survivors.
'Please don't struggle,' a voice said, female but not feminine, hysterically like and unlike every woman that Zechs had ever seemed to got to know in his life. 'The blindness is temporary. The doctors say that even the protective coating of your Gundam and your visor could not block out enough of the explosion - when they found you your retinas were blown. They say to give it two weeks, maybe a month.'
Her voice was steady and factual, but sympathetic, like she had learned to speak from speeches and drafts and could therefore measure every word, know every meaning. Zechs heard her move, and then the rattle of ice cubes against each other before a cold chip was pressed to his mouth. 'Suck,' she said to him. 'Wet your throat. We can talk - they've let me see you first before everyone else.' She pushed the chip into his mouth, which was slack. Her voice was softer when she said, 'We have a lot to talk about.'
Zechs nodded in lieu of words, and crunched the chips to feel the numbness go up his teeth. When the water trickled down, he swallowed and said, 'Relena.' Relena's voice didn't quite shake when she called him her elder brother and touched her fingers to his fingers. Zechs chuckled, not knowing what else to do. 'Can you undo my hands? Or is that...' He trailed off. He chuckled again, this time louder: a laugh.
'Are you all right?' she asked him, again with that curious blend of concern beaten down by practicality. She didn't move to untie him. 'You're -'
'What are they going to do with me?' Zechs cut her off, as gently as he could after 10 years of war. 'Do they know
'They haven't decided yet,' Relena said. 'But I think it would be best if we could keep you safe. Somewhere safe,' she said again.
'Safe from whom?' Zechs asked, groping upwards to meet her hand. She clung on and he let her nails dig into his skin. 'Ghosts?' he asked, his voice finally starting to break apart from misuse and screaming. '900,000 dead soldiers? Myself?'
'Mostly the latter,' she said, as though she knew - as though she knew exactly what he knew, that they were brother and sister but he barely knew her and she barely knew him, and if they wanted that to change they needed more than a few minutes post-Apocalypse, with less than one of them a wanted man. 'There's a good facility, close to Sanc -'
'An asylum's an asylum by any name,' Zechs said, letting her go. 'Put a man in there for some time and they'll find something wrong with him. But it's fortunate - I'm not well. I'm not well, and I haven't been well, and because I do not think that I am going to get better they will be very impressed by my sanity and let me go eventually, sometime after they have dug up the stories they want to hear about the world ending three times, four times, I've lost count now. That, and how it was like to fly in a world with Gundams, and Gundam pilots, the whole damn sky alight and dying. You really had to look
, not just listen, because once there's breach and compromise their voices get stolen and the screaming stops, abruptly. Did they all live?'
'What?' Relena started. Zechs heard a clatter of something, maybe a syringe.
'Did they all live?' he asked her again. 'The five pilots.'
'Yes,' Relena replied, cautious. 'You're not -'
'I'm not sure who the main characters of this story even were,' Zechs shrugged, lying back down. 'Or what the plot was, or who betrayed whom, or if all of us were loyal to the end.'
'Not yet,' he said to her, grinding his head back against the pillows of whatever they had strapped him onto and feeling the crunch of his hair beneath his scalp. 'Perhaps not ever any more, for that name. Did he live?'
Zechs got angry. 'Did he live
'I'm going to inject a sedative into your IV, brother,' she told him, in her own way forgiving. 'We'll transfer you while you sleep. Thank you for your understand and no,' she said, as the world tumbled up into star-bright colours behind his bandages. 'I do not think that Treize lived.'Trek: Flying-o-phobic McCoy, meet Starfleet!
'Do you know what's out there?' his first professor of the year - his year, whatever year it was that they'd put him in - asked his class - whatever class it was that he was in. McCoy had no real idea: he wasn't some untrained boy coming in with no experience under his belt, but then again his sum experience with non-human life forms rounded up to a big fat zero. They must have put him somewhere, because he wasn't learning about basic biology all over again, but when someone opened a lecture with "DO YOU KNOW WHAT'S OUT THERE", McCoy's first reaction was that they'd put him in with the freshly minted Hippocrateses, all eager to please and woefully lacking in cynicism. Disease,
he wanted to scream, fingers curled tight around his datapad to stop himself from itching at his brand-new and irritatingly starchy red collar. Disease and danger wrapped in darkness
. Because it was true. Space was huge, empty in a lot of places, and too full wherever else it could accommodate. This being Starfleet, the professor was probably going to say something about Enterprise (the whole campus was obsessed with that word now that it'd come out that the new flagship was only a few years away from completion) and Discovery and New and Excellent Worlds.
The professor slapped the podium he was standing at. The loud noise made McCoy look up - it was one oddity after another oddity, what with the 100 year old whiteboard and honest-to-god markers behind the man and what looked like a paper-and-spine medical reference to his side that looked like it could date back to the days of Ibn Sina.
'Disease!' the professor announced, thumping the tome. 'And a lot of danger. Though the latter isn't your problem as medical officers, unless it stems from the former, in which case it is
your job.' He stormed to the board, and fielded a marker. 'Because space is huge, class. It's gigantic and it's vast and you never know what may be beyond the next warp. Which is exciting, yes -' He scrawled a giant '4001: INTRODUCTION TO STARFLEET MEDICAL PRACTICES' on the board, and then turned around. '- but I hope it terrifies the shit out of all of you too.'
Which was probably when, for the first time since his first mock-field test (where, in a fit of motion sickness, he'd spewed up all over one lower-ranked cadet), McCoy looked to Starfleet and saw something more than a dole or a cloud-castle in the sky just solid enough to give him room to sleep at night.
ALSO WIK!!!: it is imperative (see the number of exclamation marks I used there?) that you give me your addresses for the Great Mailer
if you wish to receive mail! SHYNESS IS NOT AN OPTION. I love sending mail, so indulge my sad little life and go paste yourself there. 8D