CollisionWithParadise
hadn’t cleaned her up and dried her. She looked down and saw why. The suit was torn where a long gash on her leg bled profusely, forming a pool beneath her. She briefly gagged at the alarming sight of so much spilled blood.
    Her heart pumped in her throat. If she didn’t do something fast she’d bleed to death. She had to get to an emergency med station and stop the bleeding. There was one in the control centre itself, meters away, but it didn’t matter how close it was if she couldn’t get to it.
    She tried to pull out from under the solid console. Unbearable pain lanced up and brought instant tears to her eyes. She broke out into a sweat.
    “Zac?” she called out feebly, hoping beyond what logic told her. Her voice cracked. “Zac!” She’d lost Zac when the ship went into its tailspin, long before the crash. Even if the suit had remained operable, there was no Zac to operate it. And no Zac to help her either. She was going to die here, on an alien planet without ever having set foot on it, and just meters away from an emergency med kit…
    No! Damn it! She hadn’t travelled this far and crashed Zac to just bleed to death.
    Summoning up a surge of adrenalin, Genevieve pulled with all her might, screaming against the excruciating pain. She blacked out for a moment and when she came to, she realized that she hadn’t budged. Her breaths withered to shallow wheezes. She watched through a daze of burning pain as her leg wept blood, and her strength ebbed out of her with it.
    A loud clap thundered, as though a piece of the ship had fallen off, followed by a sighing groan. With the sound of metal shrieking against metal, Zac shifted and she could feel the console move, its weight lifting slightly off her. She bit down on her lower lip and hauled herself out, certain she was ripping her leg off. Darkness took her again.
    When she regained consciousness, she discovered she was free from the console. She crawled in a single-minded haze to the med kit, leg dragging uselessly like a burning stump. She reached the kit and her hands fumbled it open. “Come on! Come on!” she sobbed, struggling with the nano-repair bandage. After the third try she managed to apply it shakily to her leg. The bandage instantly went to work, snipping through the blood-soaked pant leg and discarding it on the floor. Genevieve inhaled sharply when she saw the extent of the deep gash, now raw, puffy and still pulsing blood. The bandage crawled down her jagged wound, spraying a mixture of antiseptic and local anesthetic, which immediately dulled the pain, and stitched the wound closed. The bleeding stopped. After injecting what Genevieve supposed was a nutrient antibiotic mixture into her muscle, the bandage dropped off her leg like an engorged leach, its metalloid legs retracting.
    As Genevieve let herself collapse back, the bandage instructed her in a simpering female voice, “This is only a temporary measure. You must report to sick bay immediately.”
    She barked an exasperated laugh and gasped out, “There is no sick bay!” Then, after releasing a groan of relief, she felt herself passing out.
    Genevieve awoke with a start, sucking in air sharply, and feverishly anxious. The ship was deathly silent and she swore she could hear her own heart thumping. She pushed herself up from the floor but her leg gave out from under her, and she nearly passed out. She pulled herself up onto the med station counter and tried to put weight on her leg. Agony burned up into her bruised abdomen and ribs, sending her toppling in a near-faint to the floor with an involuntary cry. She gathered in a few long breaths and scrounged the med kit for some stim pills. She found a small bottle and shook out half a dozen. They spilled onto her shaking hand and threw them into her mouth, gulping them down in a spasm of convulsive swallowing. She then pocketed the bottle and hoisted herself up again. She fought down waves of dark nausea and willed herself to stay conscious,

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