Chapter 25

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Shen carried Celeste to the bed closest to the cabinet.

"What happened?" Hailie asked.

"This idiot decided that getting in front of a swinging cutlass was a good idea," he said. He threw open the door and started pulling stuff out.

"If I didn't you'd be dead. It was your fault for not paying enough attention. This man doesn't know what the word gratitude means," Celeste said. Her voice was softer than usual. Her hand was clamped over the wound.

Shen slammed a bottle down onto the table. "This is why I told you not to fight. You're the trained doctor on the ship. What's supposed to happen now?"

"I'll give you instructions. Hailie, you're going to have to help him." Celeste seemed to only now notice Benji. "You must be Benji. Hailie was right. You did get yourself injured."

"Things happened," Benji said.

Shen removed her hand and cut away her shirt. "Oh God," he muttered. He opened a bottle and poured it on the slash. Celeste hissed.

"Shit. At least give me some warning before you do that."

Shen took a drink from the bottle.

"Do you really think now is the right time to be drinking?" Hailie asked. The alcohol was strong in the air.

"Of course it is," he said.

Hailie took a look at the slash. It went from Celeste's left ribs to her right hip.

"Use the moss," Celeste said.

She'd never seen Shen look like that. Almost as if he was in a daze and moving on autopilot.

"Do you need my help?" she asked. He didn't answer.

Shen opened two containers. One had dried moss and the other had a different kind of cream than the one she used on Benji. He handed her a needle and thread. By the time he finished putting the things in the wound, the bleeding had mostly stopped. He placed three black and orange berries in her mouth then took a rag and cleaned the area around the cut.

"Now stitch me up," she said. Hailie was surprised at how even her voice sounded considering the pain she must be in. Those berries must have helped.

Shen took the needle from Hailie, his hand shaking.

Celeste held his hand. "If you can't do it then let Hailie."

"No. I'll do it."

He removed the moss and started stitching, going slow, almost mechanical, like he was trying not to think of what he was doing. It was when he was almost finished that Celeste gasped and held her hand to her chest. Her breaths were shallow. Shen's hands froze.

"What is it? What is happening?" His eyes looked almost panicked.

"My lung is collapsing," she said. "I need... a small sharp tube."

"Where the hell am I supposed to get that?"

"I will bring one," Hailie said. She ran out of the room and headed to the kitchen. She pulled out a bucket from under the counter and dug around in it. She found what she was looking for, a thin bamboo reed. She'd glimpsed it when she helped Gordon cook. She took her knife out and wiped as much blood off on her pants as possible then cut the tip to a point. She went back down to the med bay and handed it to her.

Celeste took the bamboo and stabbed it into her side.

"What the hell are you doing?" Shen asked.

She took in a deep breath holding her thumb over the end and then let it out releasing her thumb. She did that a few times.

"I had to release the air. Now stitch in a circle around the hole. Make the stitches deep and leave the end long enough for you to pull. When I pull this out you have to close the hole immediately."

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