Emily didn't remember what hit them, she just knew that suddenly everything was wrong. She was flying through the air the ground coming up fast. She felt pain as her shoulder hit the ground. She felt things in her break and skin be rubbed away as she skidded over the ground. She came to a stop when she hit something, though she was too disoriented to know what. There was a blurry image, what might have been her brother, and then everything went black.
Emily woke up to an empty hospital room. The only things in the room were a small dresser, an empty chair, a side table that had a small clock on it, and the machines she was hooked up to. Her first instinct was to panic. She had no idea what had happened or where exactly she was. The only thing she knew was she was in a hospital.
She stopped, her father's words of caution echoing in her mind. They had always tried to prepare her and her brother for insurrectionist attacks on their home on Reach. It wasn't often, but there were rebels everywhere. They had always told her that when her mind wanted her to panic she needed to remain calm. Emily took a deep breath and forced herself to calm down.
She took in her situation, looking around the room. She couldn't move her left arm due to a large cast that kept the arm in place. She was aware that her right ankle was bandaged so she would be able to stand up. She was more annoyed to find that her hair had been shaved down. She'd sent so long growing it out and now it was all gone. She felt around with her right hand until she found a controller. She looked it over, identifying the controls for the bed and the button to call the nurse. She hit the call button and sat back to wait.
A man showed up a little while later, smiling at Emily when she looked over at him. "Well it's good to see that you're finally awake. How are you feeling?"
Emily didn't know what to say to that. She was in pain, sort of. Most of what hurt seemed to be partially numbed, so she ignored the question. "What happened?" Her voice was horse and she got the feeling she'd been out for a while.
The man's smile fell a bit and he moved to kneel beside Emily's bed. "I think that's best left to your grandmother to tell you. I'll call her so she can come and talk to you." The nurse stood up and moved out of the room.
Emily sat in silence for a long time. She fell in and out of sleep, only really waking again when the door was opened. It was a nurse come to take some blood samples. It wasn't until several hours later that Emily's grandmother finally showed up. Emily had been in the care of her grandmother for as long as she could remember. Her mother had died a year ago and her father two years ago, both from rebel activities. She'd always lived with her grandmother though as her parents had both often been away on duty.
Her grandmother right away tried to hug her, though it was too painful for Emily so she stopped. "Oh, I'm so glad you made it. The doctors said that you were in bad shape and they were afraid you wouldn't pull through."
"Grandma, where's Jason? What happened?" No one had told her anything and she wanted to know if her brother had made it through as well.
Her grandmother's expression became grim and Emily felt a dark weight settle in her stomach. "Honey, there was an accident. You and your brother were riding into town on his motor bike. A drunk driver hit you. He tried to run. You barely survived, but Jason died in the crash."
Emily's mouth fell open, unable to believe what she was hearing. Her brother was dead, just like that. Some drunk driver had taken him from her in a second. Emily took deep breaths, unable to fight it back as they turned into sobs and the tears slipped down her cheeks. "Did…did they at..at least get the guy."
Emily's grandmother nodded. "When the man tried to return to his car another kid showed up and knocked him out. He's awaiting his trial right now." Her grandmother sat in the chair beside the bed, her pity obvious in her eyes. "They have video footage of it so they say they won't need you to testify. The doctors say though that you'll be able to head home in a few weeks."
At this point Emily didn't care. She hoped that man rotted in prison for what he'd done. Her family was gone, her grandmother the only family she had left. She remembered late nights with her brother, blowing out birthday candles in a cake he had clumsily written 'happy birthday Emily' on. She remembered him standing up for her when others picked on her for being smaller than them. All of that was gone, now only memories that would eventually blur and fade over time. Emily just closed her eyes and cried for her fallen brother until she was too tired and slipped into sleep.