â€œAre you awake?â€ There was a dry cough and the figure suddenly jerked upwards. A strong hand held them still, â€œcalm down, youâ€™re safe.â€
â€œWhere, what? Where am I? What happenedâ€
Drick gently pushed them back into a lying position as they struggled to remain sat upright, hacking up dry lungfuls of air. â€œYou need to slow down or I am going to have to restrain you with straps. Try taking deep breaths and calm down. Your muscles will feel tight, there will still be some torpor and rigidity. Donâ€™t try and move too much just yet, give the drugs some time to do their thing. You shouldnâ€™t try to open your eyes. You could try blinking, your eyes will be dry and itchy but you will be unable to focus for a few minutes, the paralysis has not completely left your system.â€
â€œWhat happened? I mean, did we succeed?â€
â€œWell thatâ€™s a question that isnâ€™t easy to answer.â€ Drick snorted mirthlessly.
â€œWhat?â€ head moving in a slow rotation from side to side. The eyes had started to stream tears.
â€œLook you need to try and keep still. We gave you something to help with the removal of the paralysis and to help with any nausea but you are not fully out of the effects. You recover quickly though.â€
Drick watched as they took a few minutes to stop coughing and to settle. After a few more moments their eyes cleared and seemed to stop randomly moving. The muscles were beginning to work again and they would be able to focus, perhaps enough to sit up properly.
They tried to look at Drick, blinking profusely. They were still good looking even more so as the puffiness had gone and the busted lip had been healed. The food they had eaten in the between time would have also helped, despite the recent events. Nose could still be a little shorter. Hair was less of a tangled mess but still look tousled.
â€œI have an awful sense of Deja Vu. Where am I? Please donâ€™t say in the back of a Judicial spaceship.â€
â€œSafe. Well, mostly safe. You are at a private residence. It isnâ€™t connected to me or anyone they could trace as being connected to me.â€
â€œSo it worked?â€
â€œIt worked. You are officially dead, Marsh. Should keep the heat off you for a little while, at least until they work out that we hoodwinked them, which is less likely as the deaths were very convincing.â€
â€œYeah, they felt like it as well. How exactly did you fake my death? I would have assumed that any fake death you could attempt would be detectable.â€
â€œWell that was easy. We didnâ€™t fake it. We let them kill you.â€
â€œThey killed you. The emergency team that came to you found what they, and we, wanted. A corpse. After they pronounced you dead all we had to do was bring you back to life, but make it look as if you were still dead.â€
â€œAnd how did you do that? Also I am a little sketchy as to why you had to do that.â€
â€œWell things were starting to get very tense. To be honest I stirred up a bigger hornet’s nest than I expected way quicker than I would have liked. I was hoping to provoke a response and I did. A big response. Whomever was previously trying to obtain you, likely to get rid of you, had switched tactic. They wanted you dead, immediately, in custody.â€
â€œSo you had to stop them?â€
â€œThat would be pointless. We had to let them succeed. That way they would stop looking for you.â€
â€œHow did you know that they were going to do that?â€
â€œWe managed to get a line into their comms. Thanks to a small heart to heart, well more mind to mind, with a member of one of their strike teams.â€
â€œAny chance you could just tell me the whole story. My head still feels like a shed.â€
â€œLike a what?â€
â€œA shed, like the fourth day of a three day pass.â€
â€œRight. Well not all of it is my story as there were a number of players. But let me see if I can summarise it for you.â€