Cassandra sealed the cut on Phil’s neck with a medical wand. In this act she accidentally touched him.
“Don’t touch me!” he hissed.
He ran into a corner of the room and went into fetal position on the floor shaking.
“Go away!” he cried.
“I see now how much effort it took in there to try and convince me that you were okay. That was hard I’m sure,” she said.
She walked over to the replicator in Phil’s room. It was next to the bed he wasn’t using.
“Give me vegan lasagna, peach mango tea and kale salad number seven.”
“Six minutes,” replied the replicator.
“Deny the feeler all access to all replicators on the planet.”
She dimmed the lights, walked over to the door and whispered.
“The hardest thing to do is to feel. The bravest thing in all the universe is to feel the down going from which there is no return.”
Phil didn’t move.
She left the door to his quarters open and walked across campus to her office.
“Pendent record,” she barked.
The pendent around her neck chirped in reply. She inhaled and began.
“Cassandra’s Log, Dizang date 23/22/4040. The feeler has just experienced the life of a torture victim and exhibits all the classic signs of a severely tortured human. He desires no touch or presence of humans at all. Such contact is deeply painful to him and his prognosis is grim. His brain is changed deeply. Now he finds out who his friends really are .”
She sniffed and blinked a wet eye.
“And that friend is … ME.”
She stopped and looked at Dizang above her to the west.
“Pendent. Stop recording.”
Her pendent chirped again.
“Pendent, send this voice message to the Phil on Desarious. ‘The feeler needs himself now more than ever. Come immediately.’ Pendent send.”
The pendent chirped.
She walked back to Phil’s quarters and sat by the open door out of his sight.
She heard him reach for the food and she made a fist and pumped it.
“Yes!” she said silently.
“Don’t be too optimistic,” said a voice from behind her.
“I’ll be what the fuck I want. We are NOT losing this feeler! “