Chapter 16

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Terra returned to Freehold and pulled into the hospital parking lot. She walked in through the emergency entrance to pleasant greetings of several who recognized her. She caught the attention of Zoe Bliss, the trauma nurse who led the triage team two nights ago. Zoe's tight hug caused Terra to yelp at the sharp pain.

Zoe stepped back and noticed the wound. Blood stained the bandage wrap that Terra applied earlier to her left arm. "What do we have here?"

"Could you help me out with this Zoe?"

Zoe motioned Terra into a nearby treatment room and removed the bandage, studying the wound for a moment. "I've seen this kind of injury before. It looks like a graze from a high-velocity projectile. Do I want to know how you got it?"

"Umm, no you don't."

"That's what I thought. Okay, I will clean it up and then get a doctor to close it."

Zoe carefully washed out the wound and applied an antiseptic. She left and in a few minutes returned with Dr. Liz Gaur. "Terra, you don't have to get hurt to visit us. Let's see what we have here. Hmm, nasty gash, but it's not too deep. Bet it hurts."

Terra nodded as she pressed her lips together.

Liz dabbed on some pain killer, much to Terra's relief, and closed the wound with tissue adhesive. Zoe then wrapped it in a bandage. Terra let out a deep breath.

Liz sat down next to Terra. "Terra, I would like to ask another favor from you. We have a patient who came in with the Fairhold casualties. He has a piece of shrapnel embedded in his neck very close to the brain stem. The risk with conventional surgery is very high. Would you be willing to do a psi-surgery procedure to clear it?"

"I will try. When do you need this?"

"As soon as possible. Can you do it this evening?"

"Okay. Let me go get something to eat while you get him ready."

Liz gripped Terra's hand. "Thank you."

As Terra placed her food tray on the table, Ginny came up and sat down across from her. "So what did you learn at Fairhold?" Terra jerked up. Ginny answered her unspoken question. "Will wanted me to check on you. He does care about you."

"I know. I had to go see it all for myself."


"The village was completely destroyed. I wanted to know who did it. It turns out both sides did. And the bastards used anti-personnel loads. Those poor people never stood a chance."

Ginny shook her head. "War at its very worst."

Terra looked directly into Ginny's eyes and then glanced down. "You were right. To the villagers, it did not matter who attacked them."

Ginny pointed to the bandage on Terra's arm. "And that?"

"I, uh, ran into some soldiers that did not want me to be there."

"So what now?"

"I am going to raise hell in the Blue Uprising!"

"Be careful, Terra. People who do this kind of thing do not like having their methods challenged."

Ginny stood up to leave, but Terra motioned her back down. "Ginny, I need to ask you something. This clinic, the dining hall, the school, the orphanage - what keeps all these good things going?"

"It is the hard work of everyone who works and volunteers in them. That is the stock answer, but I know that is not what you are asking. Have you ever heard of the Library?"

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