Amnika opened her eyes to see a female Inersien hovering over her, using energy to heal. When the healer noticed Amnika awake, she stopped and turned around to grab a vial.
"Oh, do I have to?" Amnika said. She was still sleepy. She recognized it from the last time she had it, "Can't I just sleep? I had to have that when I injured my foot. That stuff tastes terrible."
"Yes, the stabilizer fluid tastes terrible." The medic held the tube up. "You lost a lot of blood for a child. You would sleep for days, and your father needs you to be with him. The dignitaries are very adamant about having children near their parents." She opened the vial.
"They treat their women and children like pretty ornaments," The aide behind the medic lamented. "No wonder they're troublemakers."
The medic admonished him. "We do not disparage what we do not understand."
"I apologize," the aide said, "and I certainly don't understand." He sighed. "I bet this isn't the first time we will deal with the outcome of this."
"You know, your brother will join you later today," the medic continued as she handed the vial to Amnika. "I'm sure you will want to see him instead of sleep."
The Medic nodded, and Amnika grabbed the vial and drank it, tipping her head back to make sure she got it all. The oily substance burned a little, and the bitter, pungent aftertaste caused Amnika to make a face.
The two adults chuckled. The medic handed her a small cup filled with little round, black berries.
"This should take care of the taste," The medic said, "One of the Natisiens heard what was going on and picked these from the garden here."
"Oh, the garden for the Natisiens!" Amnika took the cup and looked up at the entrance. There stood a young Natisien female.
"Thank you," Amnika called out to her.
The Natisien leaned up against the door. "Everyone heard what happened," she said, "no one likes the Hemerians. Mother said I could pick berries for you to help with the bad tasting medicine."
Before Amnika could ask for her name, she tapped her chest with one finger and skipped off.
Moments after, Rhada walked in. He smiled, causing his cheeks to puff. Amnika noticed that his eyes no longer looked like slits above his cheeks. He had lost some of his baby fat since the last time they were together.
The medicine was starting to take effect. Amnika bounced to the edge of the bed.
"Well," the medic remarked, "Looks like she's well enough to go."
Rhada walked over and hugged her. Amnika was a little surprised at the sudden gesture, but she hugged him back anyway.
"Come," he said, "Everyone is right outside."
Amnika got down off the bed. She looked up at Rhada, who was now tall enough to look over her head. They headed outside to find Nahaeda and her father, along with the dignitaries and their two children. On seeing Kinku and Kinka, Amnika stepped behind Rhada.
Kinku tentatively inched closer to Amnika. He rubbed the back of his neck and looked down.
"I'm sorry I injured you," The translator buzzed over the whistles and trills. "You were right. I didn't know I could poke through. It was an accident. I didn't mean to hurt you."
Amnika sidestepped so that she was in full view of everyone. She thought the apology was forced.
"Take it for what it is," he cast a thought to her. He crossed his arms and narrowed his eyes at the Hemerians.
Amnika sighed and nodded. "I forgive you."
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