This is one of many stories I have planned about the details of how the characters in PSII really met. Did they all just show up at Rolf's house? How did they even know he was home? Are they all a bunch of weirdo stalkers? No! Whether it was by chance or fate, Rolf met his friends in the most interesting of circumstances. One would have to believe it was destiny that brought them all together.
This is Amy's story. She is an eager doctor at Great Light Hospital in Oputa. Unfortunately, her days are mostly filled with boring paperwork, due to the inertia of Mother Brain's society. However, things are about to get a lot more interesting for this young doctor when a trio of strange travelers make a scene in the emergency room. This is chapter one of a two-part story.
It was another slow and quiet day at Oputa's Great Light Hospital. A young and enthusiastic doctor, Amy Sage, was busily tapping away at one of the hospital's database terminals in the patient records room. She would have preferred to attend to patients than do quality control in the database, something she had done three times that week already, but there had been only one ER visitor that day, an attempted suicide, and he was quickly whisked away to the psychiatric wing for close evaluation. She remembered what her combat medic brother had told her over a year ago as he encouraged her to choose a field other than trauma: Just you wait, Amy. Mother Brain will eventually keep people from doing anything more strenuous than brushing their teeth! His warning seemed ludicrous at the time, since there was no shortage of trouble with biomonsters, and accidents were happening left and right at all the planet's major control centers.
Then it happened: A directive from Mother Brain put everyone on near lock-down. It was deemed too unsafe to travel outside the heavily fortified towns and cities. One would have thought the citizens would protest such an extreme measure, but decades earlier Mother Brain brought teleportation to Motavia, making travel the old fashioned way almost obsolete, anyway. It built robots so people wouldn't have to work. It even eradicated most of the disease within the Algo system, and controlled the weather and the crops grown on Motavia. With such a grand safety net, there was almost no compelling reason to leave the cities. The people of Motavia were idle but healthy, yet as much as Amy appreciated all that Mother Brain brought to Motavia, she worried that it could all unravel very easily. It had already happened in Arima when armed marauders disabled the city's control towers and laid havoc on its buildings and residents. Then, of course, there were the ongoing issues with Biosystems and Climatrol. Every day there were more reassuring messages from the network insisting that things were under control, arrests had been made, and things would return to normal shortly. Amy was doubtful about the messages, but she didn't see any way she could help the larger problems the planet seemed to be facing. She wouldn't allow herself to become apathetic like so much of the population already was, though. She was proud to be a doctor and would continue to do her job until she was replaced, even if it meant doing boring record entry and quality control every day.
Suddenly she heard commotion in the waiting area of the emergency room. She quickly locked her work terminal and hurried through the doors that connected the records room with the emergency room's reception area. At the main entrance she saw an enraged government agent with cobalt-blue hair in heavy armor leaning into the on-duty nurse across a counter. There was another armored man in a black suit--though he didn't appear to be in any government uniform she recognized--standing a few feet behind the agent, holding a limp body in his arms. His blond hair was cut into a severe military style, and she could make out a large shot gun slung over his back. Amy's heart beats quickened. What's going on? she wondered.
"You can't refuse to treat someone!" the government agent exclaimed as he slammed his fists into the counter in exasperation. "She's been paralyzed by armor ants and the longer we stand here and argue, the more likely the paralysis will be permanent!"
"Do you really want that on your conscience?" the agent continued forcefully, shoving a finger into the nurse's chest.
"Sir!" the nurse exclaimed, putting up his arms in defense. "We are not permitted by law to treat bioengineered humanoids. Mother Brain has declared that-"
The agent interrupted again, "Mother Brain?!" he snorted as he turned around in a huff to the man wearing black, "Mother Brain! Are you getting this? A blasted computer is dictating medical care for humans! Unbelievable!"
"Sir, if you'll let me continue," the nurse sighed, "we simply cannot administer aid to your... friend." He looked sideways at the victim's motionless body. "However, I would suggest seeking the veterinary services of-"
"A vet?!" the agent was incredulous. He grabbed the nurse's collar and pulled the hospital worker up to his face, so that the two were nose-to-nose. "Is this how Great Light treats all their visitors?" he snarled through his teeth.
The nurse gulped nervously, "I would really like to help you sir, but Mother-"
"Don't say it!" the agent interrupted, jerking the nurse by his collar, "Don't you dare say it!"
"Rolf," the man in black interjected, "we're running out of time."
The agent let out an angry grunt and let go of the nurse. He put his hands on the counter and hung his head in defeat. Amy stood by in amazement. This is horrible, she thought. Why couldn't the hospital help?
"What's that you were saying about veterinary services again?" The agent asked in a low, dejected voice. The nurse began jotting down some information for the agent.
Amy took another moment to think. What did the nurse mean by "bioengineered humanoid"? The nurse handed a slip of paper to the agent, who yanked it out of his hand. Just then the man in black turned around and Amy finally had a better idea of what all the uproar was about. The victim had very long, pointy ears, unlike anything she had seen before. It startled her.
OK, so she's not a human. But she- well, she's not a pet!
Her mind raced. "You can't let this happen!" she scolded herself aloud. "That girl needs your help!" Amy stared at the nurse, who was already sitting down at a terminal, busily logging information into the hospital's database. Has he no compassion? she wondered, frustrated. She tried not to be surprised by the lack of empathy on Motavia anymore. Amy didn't need to look at the crestfallen agent again before making her decision to help the paralyzed girl.
"Wait!" she called, pushing aside staffs members as she raced over to the group of strange visitors, "Sirs! Please!"
The agent and the man in black turned around. They saw the young doctor hurrying towards them. Once she reached the two men she took a small instrument out of one of the pockets of her hospital coat. With her other hand she went to open one of the girl's eyes, but the man in black pulled the victim away from her. The agent stepped between Amy and the man in black.
"Hey..." the agent said, grabbing the doctor's forearm, preventing her from touching the girl.
"I won't hurt her; I promise," she reassured him, hoping he could see the concern in her eyes and move past the distrust he now had for the hospital. The agent studied the doctor for a minute before making his next move. Finally, he grudgingly stepped aside.
"If you don't mind holding her head up," she instructed the man in black, "I need to check her pupils." He looked at Amy suspiciously. She couldn't tell for sure, but she thought he was eyeing her hospital badge. She was a little intimidated by him; he was much taller than her and quite brawny. Still, she needed to take care of the girl and there wasn't much time. "Please?" she pleaded sweetly.
The man in black tilted the girl's head up. Amy opened one of the girl's eyelids and looked at her eye through the instrument she had in her hand. She was relieved at what she saw.
This is encouraging. She's human enough!
She took her hand away from the girl and addressed the two men, "I can help you, but..."
Amy suddenly stopped and cautiously looked around the waiting area. Too many eyes here, she thought to herself.
"Let's go outside," she said, motioning for the two men to leave the building with her. She escorted them to a small gazebo in the hospital's court yard.
The man in black placed the girl gently onto the gazebo bench and Amy knelt down next to her. "I'm going to ask you both to stand back. Please don't be alarmed by what I'm about to do," she addressed them, composed.
The two men looked at each other in bewilderment, but complied with her request. Amy placed a hand on the girl's upper chest. A small glow emitted from her hand and penetrated the girl's chest, which also began to glow. The startled agent tried to take a step forward, but was cut off by the man in black.
"Wait, Rolf," he intervened.
A few seconds later the light from the girl's chest had dispelled, and she let out a faint moan.
"Nei!" exclaimed the agent, diving over to the girl and putting his hands on either side of her face. He saw her eyes flicker and open slowly, but she was still limp and unresponsive. "Is she going to be all right?" he asked very seriously.
Amy stood up and smoothed her bright yellow dress. She assured the men, "Your friend will be stable for the next few hours, but I'll need to perform a more complete treatment on her if she's going to have a full recovery." She looked up at the giant clock on the side of the hospital's south wall. I'll be off in two hours, she thought. They can stay at my house until then.
"Doctor, I-" the agent started, but Amy put a hand up in interruption.
"I wish I had more time to explain, but they're going to wonder where I've gone..." she stared back mindfully at the entrance. "I want you to go to this address," she handed the man in black her Motavian ID card.
"This is your own home?" he asked, puzzled.
"Yes," she quickly answered, holding out her keycard. "I have to work for two more hours, but we can't leave... Nei? Is that her name? We can't leave her in the hospital gazebo without rousing suspicion from the patrolling whistlers. I don't mind if you stay at my place until I'm done working."
The man in black hesitated. "I've seen a lot of traps in my time. Is there a reason why you're helping us?"
"I'm a doctor," Amy said indignantly. "What would you prefer me to do? Would you like for me to call the vet-"
"All right," the agent groaned, "we'll be there." He turned his attention to the girl on the bench and softly spoke her name. The man in black took her keycard.
"Good," Amy said with a nod as she exited the gazebo.
The man in black called to her, "Dr. Sage?"
He did read my badge, she thought. She turned around and looked at him.
"Thank you," he said sincerely.
She smiled. She glanced over at the agent, who was gently stroking the girl's hair; he wasn't even paying attention to Amy's exchange with the man in black. She saw how worried he was for his traveling companion. Amy knew she was doing the right thing, and it felt good to be able to help someone for a change.
"You're welcome," she replied as she swiftly walked towards the building. "See you in two hours."
Rudo folded his arms in front of his chest and watched the petite doctor with scarlet hair disappear into the hospital. It had been a long time since he had seen a total stranger show any kind of concern for the welfare of others. It is her job, he thought to himself, but these days even doctors listen to Mother Brain over what's in their own hearts.
Rolf was skeptical. "I don't understand her motivations, and I don't know if this is the best plan," doubted Rolf as he gently scooped Nei into his arms, "Should we really trust her?"
"If you're not happy with the alternative, then I don't think we have a choice," Rudo answered plainly. He looked at the doctor's ID he had been entrusted with. 'Amy Catherine Sage,' it read. If this is real, then she certainly trusts us, he thought. He read more: 'Date of birth: 26 APR 1261. Height: 158 cm. Hair: Red. Eyes: Blue. Address...'
He took the navigation device off his utility belt and entered the doctor's address into the system. Her house was only half a mile from the hospital. As the directions flashed across the screen, Rudo waved his hand for Rolf to follow him. With nothing to lose, they embarked to the doctor's residence.