It was rare that Micelle Farrone felt tears grasp the cusps of her eyelids the way that they were now. She was a doctor at Durik's main hospital, Hera's Mercy, and she was an emergency room doctor at that. She had witnessed horrible things every day at work, and even more-so when she had been impressed into the service of the 11th Regiment of the Noble Lady's Light Infantry as a combat surgeon. During the New Aegean Raid, Micelle had been outfitted with some of the best combat armor that one could find floating around on miltech black markets, equipped with a helmet HUD that could read a wounded soldier's vitals in the time it took to blink, and had med-tools that could deliver bio-boosters, chem stimms, and accelerated healing programs under even the most viscous EMP attacks. None of that shiny battlefield technology could have kept her from witnessing the atrocities committed by her platoon lieutenant and her fellow soldiers against the New Aegeans. The V'Halsen Wars, as they were so often called now, were nothing but an excuse by a stuck up bitch of a politician to resolve Durik City State's feuds with the rest of the confederated City States in Micelle's opinion.
Blood, death, hatred and carnage was nothing new to her.
Yet it was rare that a story of such tragedy, much less seeing it, had such a powerful effect on her emotionally. Micelle had started off her shift a week ago with ease. She'd woken up in her bed that was covered in purple silk sheets. Not poly silk. No, she'd have none of that. She had the credits stored away to pay for real silk. She rolled over in her large bed as her alarm unit ran its morning program. The shades on the windows opened to reveal the sunrise that was hovering under a belly of low black clouds which perched themselves on the spires of the apartment super-scrapers which housed Durik City's brightest and most beautiful elite. Blinking lights of comm towers flickered in the dark mass like so many rubies and sapphires obscured by malicious waters of a thief's underwater cache. Micelle laid a slender arm out across the bed as the morning program fired up the media file of Salee Pontour's Ninth Opera. The sheets were still warm from her live-in boyfriend's heat, and she could hear him moving about in the living room of their luxury apartment, going about his morning routine before heading out to the Freeman Rehab clinic he founded with loaned funds from his corporocrat father who thought Micelle was fantastic.
She stared down her arm and saw the faint pinprick clusters of scars on her ebony skin and reminded herself of why she always wore long sleeved gowns when her and Tomas went to the nigh sickeningly luxurious parties his conservative father threw. She was always sure not to bring up her views on the Wars when he'd make a toast to the veterans at the start of the dinner. His old V'Halsen Regime mates who now represented Durik in the House of the People and House of Lords probably wouldn't appreciate her making an outburst about their defeated “Noble Lady”.
Micelle rose up from under the sheets and scoffed.
“Butchers.” she muttered to herself, a common morning habit that Tomas found endearing.
Her nude form plodded with the disgraceful walk of a soldier, something she couldn't shake since she left the VH Army, and she stepped into the bathroom lined with slate grey rock imported from the Erisman volcanic steppes. Without sparing as much as a glance toward the mirror, which was suddenly flooded with InfoNet morning reports on traffic and comforting stories about rescued dogs and overblown celeb dramas from the AM talk show vid-streams, she slid into the shower pod and was hit with warm water from the walls and ceiling.
“Clear net streams down to traffic. Bring up Joles and Riker.” she commanded as she began washing the previous evening's activities from her skin.
Soon the sounds of overly cheerful morning hosts, bubbling over their caffeine about some affair that a Klerian vid star was supposedly engaged in dropped away. In their place came the cynical jabs and puns of Micelle's favorite aud-casters, mocking everything from the morning talk shows she'd just turned off, to the way that that the over glamorized celebs were worshiped for nothing other than being famous and good at talking to a camera drone.
This morning, they were playing one of Micelle's favorite parodies of a pop song, and she sang along as she began to dry herself off with a black cotton towel. Again, real cotton. Tomas insisted. She wrapped the towel around her torso, picked out a scrubs suit from her walk in closet in the bedroom, and went back into the bathroom to get dressed. As she applied her makeup in the mirror, she watched the traffic footage in the upper right hand corner.
“Fruk,” she she said after painting on her purple lipstick.
The stream was making it painfully clear that she was going to be lucky to make it on time to work with the way the overpass near the hospital was backed up due to an incident at a C-Fed roadblock. Micelle didn't mind the C-Fed military police. She thought they were a preferable alternative to the V'Halsen Militia which had enforced Lady Katra's rule, and still did in some slums despite the bitch being dead. In her mind, she had to deal with more kids who were messed up because of a VHM six packing (pistol shots to the elbow joints, knees, and ankles), than a harsh MP beating with a stun stick. It was even more rare for someone to come into the ER with bullet holes that fit a Gaian rifle caliber, rather than the depressingly frequent cases of Maclaran or Jimungan made rounds. The VHM were no better than the gangs and the street clans in her medically acclaimed mind. The C-Fed's were just trying to do their best in a frighteningly unstable situation.
“Shit happens.” she said, hearing her old platoon leader's words come from her own mouth.
Micelle wished she could remove the soldier woman's ideology from her brain and put on her earrings and slid into her auto-mold sneakers and left the bathroom. She tied up her hair into a tight ponytail and pulled on a crisp white doctor's smock over her scrubs and grabbed her purse and keys from her anti-modernist dresser. She insisted on that. Not Tomas. She could still hear him in what seemed to be the dining room, and wondered to herself what the hell was keeping him from getting to work.