CHAPTER 27: NALAU MEETS THE RESCUED CHILDREN

The cargo bay of the Suus ship has been modified to serve as a modern triage hospital. There are three small clean rooms available for seclusion or emergency procedures; but mostly everyone is in one large space. There are organized rows of beds, each with a medical monitoring system. The bed linens are color coded to indicate the condition of the patient. White for those that seem OK and only needed rest; yellow for those that need closer evaluation; and orange for patients that were either critical or at risk of becoming critical. Empress Nalau had never seen anything like this in person. She turned to the Suus that had escorted her here, “How many? How many are here?”

The Suus she spoke to seemed to pause, but Nalau knew that she was consulting the Suus that had been stationed on the ship during the rescue. “127.” She projected telepathically.

“How can I help?”

Again the Suus consulted the others telepathically. “The young, the infants. They are in need of comfort from a being more similar to them than a Suus. Follow me.

Empress Nalau was led to one of the clean rooms, it had been converted into a nursery for it’s six inhabitants. Three of whom, were indeed infants. Nalau picked up a very small humanoid, it looked like a human to her and it was crying hysterically. It instantly calmed when it felt her warmth. She sat down on one of the beds and looked toward her escort. “Please hand me the remaining children, I want them all near me here on the bed.”

Without comment the Suus followed her direction and handed their the remaining two infants and helped the three toddlers climb up on the bed. Nalau was literally covered in frightened little ones. They needed rest, and so did she. She resigned herself to just sit quietly.

Sometime later a Suus entered the room, she could not tell if it was the same one that had escorted her here until she heard her voice in her head. “Your Majesty, I have come to inform you that we are about to depart for Gaznzul. There is a medical facility there that is ready to receive all of the evacuees. It will take us quite some time to get there, if you would like to leave the ship before we depart…

“That won’t be necessary.” She said. “I’ll stay with the children until we get there. Do you have appropriate sustenance available for them?”

Yes Your Majesty. I will have it delivered immediately.

“Thank you.”

Nalau settled in for a long journey. She was glad to be alone, she needed time to process everything that had happened – to attempt to come to terms with horrific images of the rescues that were now a part of her. And to consider the changes she was about to make to her life.

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