Before the Parasite

Torina took a long time to open her eyes. When she did, the only person in her hospital room was the woman in blue. She had strange, yellow hair, that was tied up on the back of her head, soft blue eyes that looked down at her with pity and kindness.

"Where am I?" Torina asked, looking at the strange room with new colors. "Is this Toal's City?"

The woman looked at her strangely, then shook her head. She stood up, then made motions with her hands, like she was holding something, and scooping it into her mouth.

Torina furrowed her brow, then put her hands in a position of holding a cup and holding it up to her lips, as if taking a sip.

The woman smiled and nodded; giving her a thumbs up as she opened the door, heading out into the hall, and closing it behind her.

The woman seemed nice, but who knows if I am in prison? Torina thought, then swept back the blankets that were covering her, leaning to get up. But the balance was wrong. She had never noticed before how her legs had moved, but now, it felt rather awkward, as if there was something wrong. Looking down at her thighs, she suddenly understood why.

From her knees on, her legs were missing. Instead there was a big, black screw attached to her knees. Torina's shorts were a black at the ends, as if someone had put them too close to the fire. Something burned my legs off... Was it her? What did that thumb up to the ceiling mean? She instinctively moved her dominant hand to feel the screws, to find that there was nothing to move.

Looking down at her right shoulder, and Torina pulled back the shredded, black sleeve with her left hand. She found a black casing around where her arm would have been. It looked like there was a hole leading into her shoulder, but it didn't look like there was any exposed wiring. That is a small relief.

Torina had hardly thought the words when the woman in blue walked back in, carrying a tray with some white stuff with a brown liquid covering it, a hunk of mystery meat, and a brown drink. She set it down on Torina's lap, then folded her arms across her chest. What is with the color brown? Torina thought. If this were a bad place, wouldn't they eventually lose their temper at the smallest things? Then smiling mischievously, she grabbed the white and brown stuff, and through it at the woman in blue.

It hit her right in the face, smearing white and brown over some of her hair hanging down by her eyes. Torina giggled; the woman looked rather annoyed. With a swift movement that rather surprised her, the woman grabbed the strange drink and threw the liquid at Torina's face. It got all over her face and dripped down onto her brown shorts.

Torina looked up at the woman, who was giggling herself. Torina chuckled a bit, then attempted to wipe off the liquid with her hands. She stopped when she heard water running. Looking up, she saw the woman running a cloth under a sink with water coming out of a spout. The woman tapped the side of the sink and the water stopped running. Crossing the room, the woman handed the wet cloth to Torina, then headed back over to the sink to get the white and brown stuff out of her hair.

Torina furiously scrubbed her face and her shorts until they were adequately dry, and handed the cloth back to the woman, who's hair was a little wet. The woman threw the towel into the sink, then pressed a button on a fat disk on the floor, which had a chair nailed into the top of it. After the woman had pressed the button, the disk hovered about about shoulder height off the floor. She pointed to Torina, then at the floating chair, then back at Torina.

Torina nodded and motioned for her to bring the hover chair closer. The woman slid the chair by the bed and turned it off. The chair smoothly slid down to the floor as Torina rotated herself so that she was facing the same way the chair was. Grasping the woman's shoulder with her hand, she slid herself onto the chair and buckled herself in, giving the woman a thumbs up and smiling.

The woman smiled and gave her a thumbs up back, pressing a button on the chair. It shot up then slowed down when Torina's head was about where the woman's shoulder was. The woman laid a hand on it, and gently pushed it out the door.