Everything seemed to be fading away.
His vision was blurry, head ringing, heart racing.
He could feel the agonizing pain eating away at every inch of his body.
Pain beyond anything he had ever felt before. Excruciating pain enough to drive anyone mad.
But wait, what was this? what was this faint feeling of gaiety. This lingering emotion to smile.
Was he perhaps happy? was a part of him thrilled that he’d gotten through that alive?
A simple victory, a little short sighted, but still...
“I'm fucking ali...”
He coughed up blood.
** Kuek * Kuek **
He was choking on his own blood.
The irony didn’t escape Lwanda. He knew far too well what it meant.
This was it, his one and only warning not to lose himself in the small victories.
It was the universe telling him this place wouldn’t be that kind.
This was a jarring place, one where his worst nightmares would come true.
He didn’t have time for that, this was no time to be celebrating, the warning had been issued and he
knew to heed to it.
Lwanda wiped the blood from his mouth. It was time to get going.
He didn’t know where, all he knew was he had to keep moving.
This world, this place, none of it made sense to him.
Was it maybe all a dream? No … the pain was real enough.
So then a fantasy land? Was that it? It certainly felt like it.
But how? just how did any of this happen.
The last thing he remembered was going to sleep in his apartment.
The tiny, dusty place wasn’t much for sore eyes, but still he called it home.
He remembered being intensely worried, he was supposed to present himself for the
mandatory Bleak Protocol the following day.
Would the organization think he fled? Or worse, would they think he revolted and joined the Reapers?
Well none of that mattered, he had more important things to worry about.
Lwanda looked around, he was still lodged between the eagle’s wings.
He reached out wanting to climb out, but only one hand moved.
What was this numbness he was feeling? His arm, he couldn’t feel it.
A familiar feeling of fright filled Lwanda’s face.
He knew something was up, something bad.
He hesitated to look, or rather he didn’t want to look.
He’d had his fill of bad news for a lifetime, he didn’t need more.
But still... he had to look, he had to know.
Reluctantly, Lwanda directed his gaze towards his shoulder.
“What the hell?!”
“What is this?!”
Lwanda fought back a gag, he couldn’t help it. Just what the heck happened?
What was he seeing? How did it get to this and how come he didn’t feel this earlier?
He looked at it again, his shoulder, it was a gruesome sight.
His shoulder bone was completely dislocated and was protruding through his skin, his arm pale from his shoulder down. The blood circulation had been cut off.
This was bothersome, he had to go, he needed to go, he couldn’t stay there any longer.
But... there’s no way he’d make it far with his arm like that, he had to do something, anything, to fix that mess.
Lwanda thought back to the mandatory classes back at the settlement.
The Classes seemed so mundane and unnecessary to him, they were in the 4th millennium, the pinnacle of technological and scientific advances, what good would learning about first aid, let alone the 20th century do?
It was bothersome and wasteful. He slept through the classes confident that if he ever needed medical attention the nanobots in his blood would handle it, and as for his history, it was all unnecessary.
He didn’t need to learn about the people who lead to the current condition of the planet.
“Damn it, so that’s how it is huh?’
Lwanda laughed at the irony, the lessons he’d looked down upon, would they be the deciding factor whether he survived or not.
“Damn it, if only...”
Lwanda mumbled, he didn’t need to say anymore, it was obvious what he was feeling.
The deep sense of regret, the deep longing for a do over. If only he was given another chance, if only he knew it would end up like this, maybe he could have done better? maybe he could have done things differently? Well, all that was just wishful thinking, it couldn’t be done, and he couldn’t turn back time, all he had was himself and now, he had to work with what he’d got.
“If I remember correctly, there are two ways to fix a dislocated shoulder, the first is...”
Lwanda looked around, he had a plan, but he needed something.
He whispered, desperately looking around to find one, he needed it for the fix, he was going to try the first method and he needed a rock for that.
Lwanda turned his gaze towards the eagle’s head, it was awfully quiet this whole time, a fact he’d failed to realize. Were his senses dull or did his unexpected survival make him sloppy? Well nonetheless, he’d realized it now and it was time to check.
“What the hell?!”
Lwanda said, he quickly covered his mouth with his hand. It was the only thing he could do to prevent himself from throwing up. The sight was ghastly, truly horrifying.
If he didn’t know better, he’d say it was straight out a horror film.
Blood was gushing out of the eagle’s neck, it had landed head first into a spike. Half its face was missing, and the little that was left had been impaled.
Lwanda noticed an odd ball at the tip of the spike, he moved closer to take a look.
“Is that its eye?!”
The eagle's eye was lodged at the tip of the spike, it had been completely run through during the fall.
It was astonishing how it landed in such a peculiar place but that wasn’t important at the moment.
As he stood there lost in thought, Lwanda wrestled with the fact that he somewhat felt bad for the eagle. Was it a justified feeling? he wondered. Had the tables been turned would the eagle have hesitated? No... the answer was obvious, he would have been bird food.
“Snap out of it, this is not the time.”
Lwanda steeled his resolve once again, he knew what he had to do.
He had decided to go with the second option, it would hurt like hell, but he had no other choice. Hesitantly, buying as much time as possible before the torturous pain, Lwanda slowly held this wrist. The plan was to lift his hand and move it forward and that would fix his shoulder. Maybe ...probably.
He had slept through most of the first aid classes, any idea he had was just a rough estimate.
“It’ll all work out”
“On the count of three”
“One, two …"
The pain was excruciating, he could feel very bit of it.
Everything he’d numbed out came flooding in, pain, immeasurable pain, beyond anything he’d ever felt before.
He couldn't handle it, it was more than he bargained for.
“Damn, my vision is...”
He was losing consciousness, his body was beyond its limit. There was no putting it off.
Lwanda collapsed to the ground.
As he lay there, drifting in and out of consciousness, strange shadowy figures suddenly appeared. He couldn’t make out their shape nor what they were but he was getting a bad feeling about this.
“What is it now?”