Pain. My whole body was awash with it. But why? I should not feel pain, I should be with my mother. That thought jerked me awake. I wasn't dead, instead I was in a bed. My thigh and upper body were bandaged and my hand was attached to some sort of drip. But the pain was there, as I tried to move I gasped involuntary, the white hot pain shot down my leg from the stab wound.
A door opened, and as I looked up I thought I was hallucinating again, as the figure of my mother rushed forward and tightly held me. I felt her warm tears slide down my cheek as the realisation she was real hit me.

A hundred different emotions washed over me, as I returned her embrace. She was alive! It was more than I ever hoped. I had been so sure that Carl had killed her that, it never once occurred to me that she might be alive. A torrent of tears ran down my face mingling with with hers, sobs racked my body and she held me, gently rocking me back and forth, soothing me as she had when I was a child.

All cried out, I gently let her go and looked at her. Her face was drawn and it seemed she had aged ten years since I last saw her. I noticed silvery strands of hair had taken up root and contrasted against her otherwise dark hair. She smiled at me, and cupped my face with her hands.

"Reve, my baby Reve. I never thought to see you again. And here you are" Her eyes held the wonder at seeing me, as I'm sure my eyes mirrored hers.

"I thought you were dead, Carl said, Carl and he......Collins." and the tears threatened again.

"No honey, it's a long story but one I'll tell you later. Right now I need you well and back on your feet. There's too much to be done, and you're the key Reve"

I looked at her quizzically, "The Sergeant thought you were spies, that's why he opened fire on you and your friends and why he did what he did. There's been a wave of open attacks, and the war has intensified. It was when I heard you screaming and saw you, that he realised what you meant to me. I told him all about you Reve".

So that would explain why I was bandaged and the drip in my hand. But the face of that man, well, I knew it would take awhile before I trusted him. I didn't like his 'shoot first, ask questions later' way of life. My friends, where they here, or had they been killed? And Lucas, had they treated him? Was he safe. My mother, plainly able to see the concern on my face, reassured me.

"They are safe and are being treated. I know it's going to be a long time before a trust is formed. But you are all safe now".

I hoped so. We'd all been through too much. The door opened and in walked Lucas and Elvira, Lucas was being assisted by Elvira who looked unharmed but Lucas, he'd taken a serious beating. Forgetting my injuries I attempted to jump out of the bed to greet them, but the pain hit me and I gingerly led back in bed as I held my hands out towards my friends.

Both took my hands in theirs as I looked at them, "Lolita? Amy?" I quietly asked, but Lucas shook his head. My sorrow deepened at the loss of them, the tears ran afresh.

"And how are you?", Lucas knew the many questions behind that one question. His eyebrow's arched, but he replied "Considering, much better than yesterday. Although I shall be keeping a wide berth away from the Sergeant"

I nodded, feeling the same way. "But I've spoken with the others and your Mother of course, and if you're willing. We'll stay here, it seems more's been going on with the aliens that even we were aware of".

I agreed, there was much to learn but fatigue over took my body and I fell asleep still holding my friends hands as I wondered what it was that we had missed.

*********************

I awoke to an empty room, so I began to sit up, my body twinged in process but at least the pain had subsided somewhat. As I stood up, my thigh protested but it held my weight. The floor was cold underneath my feet but I couldn't spend anymore time in bed. I needed to know what had been going on whilst we'd been in the caverns. Opening the door, I was suprised and dismayed by the sight that met my eyes. The corridor was cluttered with various people who seemed to be hurt. People in white scrubs were rushing about but the eerie thing was the quiet.

So many people injured and yet they were so quiet. What had happened to them? I shuffled forward slowly, taking it all in. A man, was led on a portable bed, the side of his head wrapped in bandages but a red stain was visible, his upper body seemed to have been burnt, his arm and upper body were wrapped in some form of clear plastic, drips and tubes of an assortment were attachd to him.

It was the same the further I walked, I stopped as I saw Elvira helping someone. She was in full mode, wiping away the sweat away on a young man's head, as a doctor tended to a wound on his leg. She seemed so self assured and was concentrating on her task at hand that she didn't see me.

Lucas walked past, saw me staring and approached me with a warm smile. "She's found her niche here" he said to me. "So it would seem" it came out harsher than I meant it to, but Lucas was distracted by someone else. It was the Sergeant, his face was set with determination, but my stomach knotted and sweat broke out on my palms.

"Ah they you are! I need you to come with me" and he brushed past the pair of us and turned off down the corridor. Lucas gripped my hand and squeezed it, as we followed him. Knowing this was the man who shot at us, beat us and tortured us both without at first asking questions made me angry, but I had to keep that in check to find out what had been going on in the world around us.

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