Olandian medical ship
434 years after the colonization of Olandia
Angeni Traek looked out the Sanctuary's porthole window into the night and waited. She'd heard a man's shout of frustration and pain. Telepathically.
Her head still ached with the sound echoes.
"Missing the children, Prime Healer?"
Angeni jumped, startled by the voice from behind her.
She turned to see Sidra, the medical ship's new-tech, humanoid office robot. Sidra referred to her work with genetically injured children.
"Always," she said. Why trouble Sidra with the whole truth, that she'd heard a wounded man's shout. That she knew he was on his way to them now.
"I'm sure the little ones are in good hands on Olandia." Sidra took pride in knowing the details of the staff's lives.
"Yes, they're fine. Fine. I check in by holovid often."
"A world without children has little hope for the future," Angeni mused.
Sidra's gaze followed hers outward. "Dandrovia moon was chosen for its convenient nexus in Alliance space. An efficient port for Sanctuary. Not it's hope for the future."
"True," Angeni agreed. The temporary home to their hospital ship was stark, a landscape of rocks and little more.
"The duration of your volunteering on the Sanctuary nears an end. You will be free to return home."
"You must rest now."
Angeni shook her head slowly. "No. A rescue shuttle just flew into port." Deep under the moon's surface, were tracks for launching and landing hyperspeed ships. Dandrovia's beacons lit the entries cut in the rocks just enough that she could see the shuttle.
Sidra's eyes flashed alarm. "You are positive?"
"The markings were clear--"
"Your replacement should be here. You are much too tired for more work tonight. I will find...." Sidra rushed down the corridor, her movements quick and agitated. Angeni turned to watch her leave.
Alert sirens blared. Just as Angeni expected. And dreaded. She closed her eyes a moment. Determined, she faced the entrance squarely, her white robes floated about her legs as she turned.
The doors swooshed open. A medical robot with angular features, older technology than Sidra, stepped through the door. No attempt at human looks had been made with him. He moved with an awkward and lumbering gait. An integrated medical stretcher cantilevered behind him.
Isak, a young technician, rode a platform at the rear. Lights indicated the machine worked to stabilize an unconscious patient.
The man she'd heard.
"This one's bad, Prime Healer Angeni, real bad," Isak said, his expression tense and pained. "Won't make it." He lifted his gaze to hers, his eyes darkened by sadness. "He's Alliance Guard."
She glanced sharply to Isak, then back to the patient. She checked the prone man's vitals, recalibrating the robot just to be sure. Her fingers flew over the control pad. Fatigue was forgotten as adrenaline flooded her bloodstream. The wounded man's dark hair was matted, his handsome face abraded and cut.
"Alliance Guard? How--"
"A special operations team chasing smugglers in the swamps of Gandos tonight."
The Sanctuary did not treat many of the Guard. More often their opposition.
"We owe the Guard a great debt," she whispered.