Her bedroom was dark with the shutters closed and all the lights off. The ship went to sleep a few hours ago, but Novah couldn’t seem to fall asleep herself. Instead she watched the darkness as if expecting to see something.
In her mind Novah pictured Atana-503. She was walking mindlessly through the corridors, her hand running along the wall. The room was chaotic. Hundreds of people running, children in arms crying, alarms going off. It didn’t make sense.
Novah groaned and rubbed her eyes before angrily jumping out her bed. She opened the door by bravely asking Atana to with the keyboard on her bedside table. And when the door released, she strutted out with her arms crossed.
She didn’t know where she was going but anywhere seemed better than that empty dark room. So she walked and walked until she found herself mindlessly walking to the hospital ward.
She didn’t know why but it somehow felt right. As she slowly approached the door and looked in, at the people asleep in cots, the curtains blowing with the air conditioning, she watch where Calix laid.
Quietly she walked toward him and hesitated before sitting in the chair Seiko was sitting just a few hours before. There was a window on the wall near his bed, the stars and planets shone and sparkled, if she wasn’t so empty perhaps she would have felt something. But instead Novah watched the light shine onto Calix his resting face.
When suddenly he took a deep breath in and opened his eyes. Novah gasped a little and her heart started to panic. She wondered why she was there. Calix leaned up and rubbed his face.
“What are you doing here?” He asked kindly.
Novah’s eyes sparkled with fear but she answered strongly, “I couldn’t sleep.”
Calix nodded and looked out the window with Novah. She could feel him staring at her. Her heart beat like a prisoner banging against prison bars and she could feel herself shaking even if it barely showed. In her mind she started to wonder, why was he so kind? How much pain did he have to suffer to get that mechanical eye?
“How--How--What happened to you?” She asked looking at him, trying to study his face for some sort of emotion lingering beneath.
Calix looked away and back at the window and cleared his throat, “Um...raiders. My parents were tradesmen and raiders attacked us. Shot my mom in the gut and choked my dad. I tried to stop them and they blew my head. Banged my head in pretty bad,” he chuckled to himself, “I’m not sure how I survived but Atana-32 was near, they arrested the raiders, the ones they could get, and brought me to the ward. The doctors used the Atana system to reshape the left side of my head and regrow things like hair. Technology it’s--it’s incredible. Now the only thing you can see that is mechanical is my eye.”
“I’m so sorry,” Novah replied, her eyes glassy. How did people make a fuss of her when Calix had been through so much more and how he remain so joyful. Novah’s heart sang with pity and compassion, but she swallowed her urges down and remained in her place.
“I’m sorry about what happened to you, too,” He asked with a soft voice, “It must be hard with all the Atana systems everywhere. I don’t blame you if you don’t trust them anymore. God, I’m surprised you trust me,” He laughed and pointed to his left eye.
Novah smiled sadly and looked out the window, “I don’t trust anyone.”