It has been said across many worlds and many eras that time is the healer of all wounds great and small - eventually time would move on and all things would pass with it into the great beyond.
Kialya did not appreciate the sentiment as she left herself segregated with her thoughts once more in the harsh sterile medicea room onboard the Assyrian medicea ship, she had lost track of all forms of time on purpose and denied herself most forms of contact beyond the orderlies and nurses who brought her meals and medications, refusing to talk or even acknowledge those who attempted to converse with her in any way, shape or form.
Portions of the battered and bloody bruises across her hips had healed with time, but the stumps that now made up her legs where still stitched with bloody red scar tissue joined with the white lines of self-dissolving stitches and white patch bandages, the rest of her body was slowly but surely getting used to the acclimatized loss of limb but her mind rebelled against it, she felt shattered and hollow and filled with an indescribable loss of pain and misery.
She had failed in her duty, failed her shipmates and her commanding officer, she had failed on every possible level a Scythian officer could fail and was then forced to pay for it with her flesh and blood.
She had failed as a person, failed as a woman, failed at every possible level other than being a slab of meat for the operating table and now wanted to be left to rot.
Perhaps if they left her here long enough the bedsores and ulcers would kick in, and then being unable to move she would just stop eating, drinking and eventually breathing - a slow and agonizing way to die, more than enough to make up for the other 1400-something crew who died a lot faster in that fateful conflict.
Or at least that was the plan anyway, if it wasn't for the damned thesnuggler they kept trying to shove into the room with her.
He was an Assyrian, an officer like her but a non-combat recruit - most likely hired through a commission through his university education and given a mock rank to justify his joke of a position.
He wasn't Scythian, he wasn't raised in her culture - taught from the age of childhood that life was preparing her from the age of 18 to 28 for mandatory service to the empire, that the military trained for all walks of life and wasn't just a pansy choice for someone who wanted a subsidized education.
It was honour, it was duty, it was a life spent serving to reap the rewards.
His hair was unkempt, his uniform fitted him but was loose around the edges, treated more like a pair of scrubs than a soldiers attire and the laser pistol holstered at his side had never been drawn or used for anything beyond his own ego-games in front of the mirror.
In her eyes he was perhaps one of the few things in this universe more sad and pathetic than she was, and he got under her skin throughout the entirety of his two hour sessions. The endless waffling, his so called version of the military "de-brief" everything about him was just irritating.
For what must have been the first time in her recent memories she felt genuine hate towards this goddamn moron.
As the session passed on she had taken to staring intently at the gas on air pump extruding from the wall to her left and focusing on drowning him out of her mind with her own form of internal white noise, using that wordless voice in her head to put him anywhere but in the damn room with her.
Obviously even his will was starting to crack as he eventually stopped talking to himself after an hour and a half and sat silently for a moment, he spoke to the room rather than Kialya as he said something along the lines of cutting the session short and coming back tomorrow with extra nursing staff and he hoped she would come around and communicate with someone before he would have to go another step higher in her care, whatever the hell that meant.
He packed up his things into a small medicea case and moved the chair back to where it was when he came in, worded something along the lines of a goodbye as he left the room and Kialya was left with some peace to herself once more.
That peace was very quickly broken as a figure suddenly burst through the door with a half-muttered "Oh shi-" and the door slammed shut followed by several heavy breaths at the door.
Kialya whipped her head around to see who the new mystery incomer was and saw the man stood at the door.
Tall, built and muscular with black skin and short black hair, a Scythian Marine BDU kept in near immaculate condition and a laser pistol holstered at his hip, and as the eyes moved down the leg of his uniform ended and revealed the silver of a mechanical leg, brand new and in mint condition.
A pang of guilt filled her heart as she realized she was now in the presence of one of the ground marine forces from the assault, a man who had been through direct combat and had taken his wounds, almost the same wounds as hers. He was now up and moving, obviously pulling himself back together and getting on with whatever counted for life in this fleet.
As he turned he realised he was not alone and was caught by surprise, returning Kialya's glare as his own eyes darted from the bed to the figure within it, to the naval officers uniform on the second chair beside the bed, his eyes moving to the rank pips and he reacted instantly, standing to attention and snapping off a crisp salute.
"Maam! Sorry! I thought this room was empty!" The unknown marine fired off with the speed of a marine as Kialya shifted her weight fully to lie on her back.
"Relax marine, no need for that shit in here" she spoke slowly, getting back into the practice of using the vocal cords that had been silent since Lord Shadowscythes departure "Who where you hiding from?"
The marine dropped his posture quickly, settling into a far more comfortable standing position as his hands dropped to his mid-torso, making motions as they went as he spoke aloud.
"This utter asshat of a psychiatrist has been hounding me for weeks now, little shitsucker that he is got around to me early while I was trying to get some lunch - I legged it to the first door I could find and hid from the sun'a'bitch" He ran off with a sly grin, obviously another victim of the Assyrian who had been hounding her all this time.
"Whats your name marine?" Kialya asked aloud as her voice finally found itself steady again.
"Quaram maam, dare I ask the same of you?" He returned.
"Kialya . . . " She replied " . . . take a seat if you want, I doubt he would look for you in here - I have been giving them all the silent treatment since they put me in here"
"Much appreciated" He replied as he moved her uniform off of the second chair, keeping a healthy distance as he then let out a sigh of relief and arched his back, the cracking of vertibrea filled the air.
"How are they treating the navy then? Any better than us ground pounders?" He asked half-jokingly.
" . . . I uhhh, get my own room I guess? And all the Assyrian pains in the ass I can handle" She replied slightly deadpan, an attempt to break the ice, all part of the age old imaginary feud between the Navy and the Marines.
Quaram let out the mandatory half-chuckle as he looked around the room. "Heh - we don't even get digs this big shared between the six of us, I get the feeling I need a transfer"
He stretched again, this time the legs - she watched with an almost bizarre mix of sickness and jealousy as the prosthetic limb matched the movements of the real limbs near perfectly as the ankle rolled and artificial toes wiggled.
Quaram looked down at his new foot as he noticed Kialyas gaze and replied weakly "Blame the Immortals for that one - took my leg clean off with a boobytrap, I was damned lucky to be inside when it happened, the atmosphere of that damned rock kept it sterile but any exposure to that planets sun would scour the cells from your bones, the new limb is good enough but a little strange to get used to. The Assyrian ones work by turning the phantom limb you get from amputation into actual nerve signals to control the movements, I don't think I will ever get used to feeling a floor under a metal foot when I put it down."
Kialya suddenly shot her gaze to the floor and then across to where her legs should be as she dropped silent, tears filling her eyes.
"Maam? You okay? Was it something I said?" Quaram asked with the first range of genuine concern she cared about for a long time.
"I'll save you the story Quaram, and the gore - I have nothing left of either leg from above the knee down, the Assyrians removed them after the gravity was knocked out, I don't think I will ever look at a set of stairs the same way again" She muttered as she choked back tears of loss and pain.
Quaram moved across to the closer chair as Kialya finally broke down for the first time since she drove Lord Shadowscythe away with her pain. The marine, not entirely sure what to do between being a soldier and a person simply lent her his hand as warm, salty tears started to roll down her cheeks, slowly at first before becoming a flood that lasted for at least ten minutes or perhaps longer in the rooms twisted joke of time.
Eventually she looked back up to the marine as the tears past, in the hardcut features where signs of warmth as a small but welcomed smile grew on the marines face.
"Thank you Quaram, you tell anyone about this and I will have you court martialled" She uttered silently between the pair with a blank experession, it was still far to early to smile,
"Not a problem maam." He replied aloud.
"For the love of the maidens will you call my Kialya? Its not like the chain of command matters much for me right now"
"Tell you what maam, I'll cut you a deal - I'll use your name if you let me invite some friends into here from time to time, with these Assyrians about we could use the escape and you could certainly use the company." He said, the look on his face could only be described as un-naturally sly and devious.
Kialya thought on it for a moment, it was probably the first good thing to happen since she arrived in this maidens-forsaken room.
"Deal" she replied, as a sheepish smile finally emerged on her lips.