Flash Fiction: Path of Light 2 – The Verdict

While moving the content from my other blog over here I immediately felt, that I should continue the stories I began. Please regard them as experiments. They are evolving, and I don’t have any idea were they are taking me. I don’t know, either, if I will further elaborate on them. But nevertheless here is the second part of Path of Light. The first can be found here.

How good it felt. She finally could see again. But in the happiness of being visually capable, mixes the fear for what might come next. Afterall she had lost three days of valuable labor. She knew that she cannot pay up for this.

Shortly after she had accidentally forgotten to close her helmets light vizor, while being exposed to the direct sun light, she had fallen in a heap. Luckily mission commander Smith had caught her, knowingly. Surely she wasn’t the first one that had collapsed because of the strong light. She won’t be the last, either.

Smith and private Anderson had carried her to the base where the medics took her over. A few hours later she had woken up, but couldn’t see. The medics told her, that everything will be alright and that she only had to wait three to four days. Three days to heal the retina. Uncountable days to heal her pride.

Besides the medical staff only one person visited her during those dark days. He must have been some kind of attorney. His voice was strong and loud and had, at the same time this slight undertone of disinterest so common to men of his profession.

“Private Marie Pattner?” he boomed.

“Yes, sir”.

“My name is Jonas Morrison and I’m commissioned to hand you this paper, it correlates with the circumstances you experienced recently. Because you are currently unable to read them, I will put them on the table over here. Read them as soon as your condition allows it. The rest will clear itself up soon. Have a good day.”

That was all. From the medical personal only Pepper Pearson, a nurse, who has arrived with Marie on Mars, displayed any hint of sympathy. On the second day she could talk Pepper into reading out, the paper Jonas Morrison has left on the table.

The Verdict is awaiting you, as soon as the doctor responsible for you, will classify you as FR (fully recovered).

‘Oh shit’, Marie thought. ‘I have never heard about anything called The Verdict. But couldn’t that stiff bastard had told me this few words, instead of placing a mysterious paper to read, knowing I can see shit? Ah, damn it.’

‘Can it be? Do they know it already? No that is not possible. We have been very carful. At least on earth. There can be no traces.’

Pepper wouldn’t answer any questions either, at first. At the third day, while removing the healing machinery from Marie’s head,  she revealed her, that she is the doctor responsible for her. She looked so young, 18 maybe 20 but certainly not older. Marie couldn’t believe it at first.

“I’m so sorry, but I cannot risk loosing this job, so my conservative attempts to get any information regarding The Verdict have fallen short. No one knows anything in the circle of people I can trust farther than a mouse poop. But if you want to and don’t tell anyone about this, I can keep you here for two more days. So you might find out yourself.” Pepper said.

Marie was a little bit overwhelmed. By now she had dismissed the thought that The Verdict might be anything problematic. But Pepper’s concerned voice let her think again. “I can see. Better than before, actually. How can you hoax them in thinking I need more time to recover?”

“That is pretty easy actually. It’s quite usual that sunburned eyes need more time to recover. You are really lucky. Often patients are left with only 40% of sight.”

“Is no one supervising your decisions … you seem so young, after all …”

“I’m 16, and finished grad school three years ago, I made a lot of practice during Mars War 2, on earth, though, but I’m a trusted expert in all things you can catch up here. But if you don’t want, so be it.”

She turned for the door and started to walk.

“Wait. I’m sorry. I didn’t meant to offend you. I’m 23 and still I’m the youngest in my corps. It was so unbelievable that I could be so lucky to meet Ms. Wunderkind on Mars.”

“Doctor. Please … No, no just kidding. Pepper is fine for me. It was so refreshing to talk to someone who doesn’t treat me as someone from another planet, if you know what I mean. Do you agree?”

“Yes, I agree. Thank you. And I’m very pleased to have met you as well.”

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