In the second installment, Cil begins the healing process working with Master P’Hilz….
…P’hilz looked down at Cil in her rest station. She was looking a little stronger today, with two full days of nutrient pushes. But still probably too weak to handle the draw of having her body heal the cancer. P’Hiz had been pushing things as hard as she dared, but it was impressive that the woman had survived long enough to trip and fall into that traveler.
“One more day, I think. Then we will heal the cancer. The other things may have to wait until she has been conscious and consuming real food for a few days.
Keep pumping the nutrients and monitor her. If there is any change you are to reach out to me immediately. I will not lose this woman after she fought so hard to stay alive long enough for us to find her.”
P’Hilz had her apprentices with the woman day and night since they brought her back to the infirmary. Several of the medical doctors had asked her why she was spending so much time on a homeless person who likely would go back to the drugs that landed her on the street as soon as she was healthy enough to do so.
But P’Hilz would not listen. This woman had broken the addiction based on the fact that there had been no traces in her system. And her research showed that the woman had once been a very successful sales manager.
I would be willing to bet, that if given the chance, she would work her tail off to rebuild her life. I am betting on that, and I intend to see her get another chance.
God did not give me the right to judge, only the ability to give them another chance.
She shook her head once more at the looks the medical doctors gave her when she came out of Cil’s room.
“Would you want me to consider what you have done in your lives to determine whether or not to help you?
Dr. Mee didn’t I see you with a lady of the night just two weeks ago? Bet your wife didn’t bless that.
Dr. Hu how many times have we had to cover for you because you drank too much the night before?
Should I consider those things before treating you two when you need my help?”
They both ducked their heads and hurried down the hall without responding.
What makes people so judgmental? Really, we all have things in our past that we would like to erase.
“Making friends again are we?”
“Master Caz, why do you take such pleasure in startling me?”
“Because it is so easy, and you are far too serious most of the time. How is she?”
“Sir, she is still pretty weak. Improving but not yet ready for the stress of healing her cancer. I’m hoping we can do that tomorrow and then bring her out of the coma and get her eating solid foods.”
“Yes, that will be the best way to improve her strength. But with the cancer so far along, I certainly agree with your approach. If you find you can’t wait, call me, and I will do what I can to strengthen her while you do the hard part.”
“Thank you Master Caz, as always you are most helpful.”
“It is an honor to serve.”
He nodded and was gone again. Like always, he was here one second and gone the next.
Too bad you are already spoken for. Not many men in this world I would consider chasing but you are one Master Caz.
Okay, P’Hilz back to work there are people who need you.
The next morning P’Hilz again stopped at Cil’s room first. She looked better, but the diagnostic weave still showed her as pretty weak. And the cancer was growing again.
I can’t wait any longer Cil. Please forgive me for putting you through this.
“Master Caz, the cancer is getting stronger quicker than Cil is, I think we need to go ahead with the treatment. Can you spare the time to assist? She will need help surviving the cure.”
“Yes P’Hilz, I will be there shortly. Do you have your apprentices assembled or should I bring some of mine to feed you?”
“Sir, I have my apprentices here, we just need someone with the skills to keep her alive while I work on the cancer.”
“Okay on my way.”
Twenty minutes later, P’Hilz watched as Master Caz formed a series of strengthening weaves and a continuous diagnostic weave.
“Okay P’Hilz, I am ready. You may proceed.”
“Thank you Master Caz. You four feed me the power colors as quickly as you can and don’t stop until I finish. You will stand by to fill in if you see the flow lessening. And you two will feed Master Caz as he works.
They all nodded, and P’Hilz went to work forming the compound weave she had developed for this particular type of cancer. Then she poured the power colors into it and filled the weave until she could see it was near to unraveling then she placed it on Cil and began feeding it again as it spent itself destroying the cancer cells and replacing them with healthy cells.
She pressed her talent as hard as she could and still the weave seemed to be slow in it’s progress. This was a particularly bad case, she had known that from the beginning.
She put all that she was into the effort willing Cil to fight with her and she felt the reduction in the power colors feed as her apprentices wore down. Then there was a surge as her remaining apprentice joined the effort and she pushed harder. There that was better progress.
But the progress slowed as the flow from her apprentices again began to lag. P’Hilz pushed her own talent harder to make up for the reduced feed. Gradually, she felt her apprentices give out one after another. When the last one gave out, she dug deep and pressed her talent beyond anything she had attempted before, knowing she would pay for the drain, she did it anyway.
It was working, slowly but it was working. She just needed to hang on for a little while longer. She felt herself failing, but pressed on anyway. Then suddenly she felt a huge surge of power colors. One of the senior masters had joined the battle that was clear. P’Hilz pressed on and an hour later the last cancer cell was gone. She pulled back and collapsed.
“Damn it P’Hilz! You are too valuable to be doing this to yourself all the time. If you need help ask for it.”
P’Hilz recognized the voice of Master O’Rvl and tried to get to her feet to show him the respect he was due, but just succeeded in falling the rest of the way to the floor.
“Caz, give me a hand.”
And P’Hilz felt herself lifted up and put into the sleep station next to her patient.
“Get her on fluids and let her rest. You three will watch her and let me know the instant she tries to get out of that sleep station. Tell her I said she is to rest for at least two days with no use of the power colors.
Damn fool, keeps trying to burn herself out.”
“Caz, you over did it a bit too. I want you to take the rest of the day off, go find that woman of yours and sit out in the sun or something, but no more power colors today. Is that clear?”
“You know you are not really helping her when you let her do these things. Make sure in the future that you have a full complement of junior masters to back the two of you up. They will all come to support you two and you know it.”
“Yes sir, I will sir.”
“See that you do. Now get out of here, I will see that she recovers and her patient too.”
“Yes sir, thank you sir.”
…Cil opened her eyes and looked around. She was in a sleep station in a very clean room with people in white one piece outfits like starship crew used to wear. As soon as she moved a person came immediately to her side.
“It is good to see you awake. Master P’Hilz has given orders to get you eating high caloric foods as soon as possible to help your body recover from the effort it has expended over the last few days.
Do you feel up to a good meal?”
“I have no money to pay for a hospital stay, nor any hospital priced meals. Please just show me the way out of here.”
Then was when Cil noticed that she was strapped to the sleep station from the waist down, and had not clothes on under the sheet that was draped across her.
“Where are my clothes and why am I strapped down?”
“I’m sorry ma’am, Master P’Hilz was very specific. You must eat to regain your strength. I believe she has cleared it with Master O’Rvl and you have no bill due, everything is covered.
Please sit back and rest. Here is a menu, just tell me what you would like and we will get it for you.”
“I don’t understand. What does she want from me? Nobody gets this kind of treatment for free.”
“Master P’Hilz is not known for asking for anything from those who cannot afford to pay. Please ma’am, I will get in trouble if you don’t eat.”
Cil was shocked. This young lady thought she would get in trouble if Cil did not eat. What kind of place was this?
“Okay, I will eat if that will keep you out of trouble. But I’m serious, I have no credits and no hope of having any in the future.”
“Thank you ma’am. What would you like to eat?”
“Just bring me what you think will keep you out of trouble.”
The young woman left and came back a few minutes later with a large tray filled with pasta’s and meats and even a couple of desert sweets.
“Seriously? You think I can eat all that? I have had months when I did not consume that much food.”
“Just eat as much as you can, please.”
Cil could see the concern in the young lady’s face and nodded her agreement. She started with the meats pretending that they were just particularly flavorful jerky.
When she tasted the steak, her stomach immediately responded, and she discovered that she was hungrier than she had thought. Still she had gone without a full meal for so long that her stomach, however willing, would not hold that much.
She managed to finish half the steak and a quarter of the milkshake they had pushed on her before her stomach groaned and quit accepting any more.
“I’m sorry miss, but if I eat any more you will be cleaning it up off the floor in a couple minutes.”
“That’s fine Cil. It will take a while to get your stomach stretched back out. Let’s try eating smaller portions more often, say 6 meals a day for a little while.
I really need you to eat as much as you can for a while to give your body what it needs to recover from the stress we put it through.
I don’t know if you remember me, but I’m P’Hilz. You gave me permission to heal you and I have accomplished much of that, but need you to regain your strength so I can finish the job.”
“Finish the job, what have you done and what are you planning to do, ma’am?”
“Good question. First, I healed the broken bones and concussion you had when we met. But the diagnostic weave revealed that you had stage four cancer of the lungs. I’m guessing you had trouble breathing when you exerted yourself very much. That was getting worse quicker than you were recovering, so we had to do an emergency procedure to cure you of the cancer. That is why you are so weak and we need you to eat as much as possible over the next few days.
The next step is to start reversing the damage you did to your system with the drug use. You have broken the addiction, at least physically, but there is a lot of damage that needs to be fixed.
We will start with your bones because that is most urgent. They need to be stronger so you don’t break them constantly. Then we will fix your musculature and get you to rebuild a bit.
I’m hoping that by eating well, your body will produce the needed blood cells to help you recover from the anemia so your body can heal itself without needing my encouragement when you leave here.
The other thing we need to work on is getting you back to a state that you believe in yourself. Some of the issue is physical and I can fix that, but there is also the learned responses that I can help you with but cannot fix for you.”
“Ma’am, I told you that I have no credits. Moreover, it has been at least a couple years since I have been able to get a job of any kind. How do you expect me to pay for all this ‘healing’?”
“I expect you to try to get better. And when you are ready, I expect you move back into a real job once more. I will do everything in my power to get your ready, but you must help. That is all I expect in terms of payment. Master O’Rvl and I will cover everything else. We have been blessed and want to share those blessings with you.”
“Because you need the help.”
“Lots of people need help, why me, ma’am?”
“God put you in my path. I will not question his wisdom.”
“Ma’am, you seriously think you can do all this? Make me healthy, and get me back into a real job?”
“Yes, if you are willing to try, I know I can get you healthy and back into a real job. But you need to know that I will only do it once. If you go back to the drugs, you are on your own.”
“Ma’am, you could not pay me to take a drug again. I lost everything to that damn drug. And I didn’t care, until I could not afford to buy it anymore and the dealers cut me off.
I may never get healthy again. I may never be worth anything to anyone, but I will not take another drug as long as I live.”
Cil saw the air shimmer as she made that statement with conviction. But she also felt something change inside her. She could see the confidence and conviction of this young woman. But she could also feel it. P’Hilz believed she could get her back on her feet. Maybe there was a chance.
“I believe you. Okay, then work with me and we will get you healthy. That’s the first step.”
“Yes ma’am. And you want me to overstuff myself six times a day to help with that. Right?”
“Okay ma’am, what else do you need me to do?”
“Well, you are going to be in the sleep station for a while. I can queue up some reading material that will help you understand what you have been going through and what you can do to help counter that.
I would like you to read through that stuff and we can talk about it some evenings when I make my final rounds. Okay?”
“Read, ma’am? Well, I haven’t done that in a while, but I will try.”
“That’s not something you forget. And you probably read a hundred things a day walking the streets, you just didn’t notice it. You will be fine.”
“Okay, I will try, ma’am.”
“Good. Now I need to go on my rounds. Finish that shake and look through the menu. You will be able to eat more if what you are eating is something you like.”
Cil, started to respond but Master P’Hilz was already walking out the door heading on to her next patient, presumably.
Am I dreaming? Is this really happening, or am I having a really cool flashback? Oh, who cares? If it is real and she really does help me that is awesome. If it is not real and I am laying in the street waiting to die, I like this better.
“Ma’am, Master P’Hilz has queued up a couple of books for you. Do you feel up to doing some reading?”
“Sure, why not.”
“Excellent ma’am. To bring down the vid unit, you press here. Then select this button to queue the reading material. It will start at the beginning of the first book this time, then will return to where you left off next time you start it up.”
Cil followed the instructions the young woman gave her and sure enough a vid unit came down and her sleep station adjusted to put her in the best position for reading. Then she looked at the screen and focused on the first book in the list. It immediately opened and she was able to begin reading.
Master P’Hilz was right, she did remember how to read immediately. But she also got tired fairly quickly and before she knew it, Cil had drifted off to sleep once more.
Three days later, Master P’Hilz returned and they discussed the books well into the night. The first set of books had been about self-reflection and evaluation and they had discussed Cil’s past, both the mistakes and the successes. By the end of the evening Cil could see several times in her life where she had received blessings and messages that she had not discerned at the time. It was an eye opening experience, and Cil continued looking back at her life experiences with an eye for those events most of the next day. She could not decide whether knowing there had been opportunities to become a significant influence in the universe was exciting or depressing. But Master P’Hilz had insisted that she simply note the opportunities and lessons for now, without judgement.
Another couple of days past and Cil read several more books, then just as she reached the end of the reading list, Master P’Hilz showed up once more.
“Good evening Cil, how are you feeling today?”
“Ma’am, I feel like I need to go out for a run or something. I have been in this room too long.”
“Fair enough, but no running. How about we spend a couple hours on the beach discussing the books you have read? It would not hurt you to get some vitamin D.”
“It is after dark already, not much chance of getting any vitamin D today, ma’am.”
“It is still several hours before dark where I’m thinking of. What do you say?”
“I’m game. Anything to get out of this room for a while, ma’am.”
“Okay. Give me a couple minutes to let people know where we are going and then we will port out.”
P’Hilz went out of the room for a couple of minutes while Cil dressed. The whole time Cil thought about how she would approach the subject of when she would be able to start this new life Master P’Hilz had promised her.
“Okay, all set. Are you ready Cil?”
Master P’Hilz touched her shoulder gently and the room went dim then faded out and was replaced by a white sand beach with waves coming in gently. It was a very bright day and it took Cil a few seconds to adjust to the sudden change. Then she looked around and could see a white topped mountain range to one side, a gentle slope upward behind and to the other side and a body of water that she could not see across in front of her. It was very beautiful and peaceful. The confusing thing was that there were no people at all here. A place like this at this time of day should be crowded.
“Where are all the people, ma’am?”
“Ah, good question. We are on an island out in the middle of the great sea. I learned about this place from a merchant who had been forced to take cover here during a storm. It is quite a distance from the normal trade routes and is not large enough to support enough population to justify a new trade route. So, only those who can teleport ever come here.”
“How strange. I didn’t know anything like this existed any more. Why would someone not at least turn it into a resort for the wealthy, ma’am?”
“That will probably happen eventually, but for now, it is a great place to relax and seek your center.
So, let’s talk about the books you have been reading, shall we? What do you think they are about?”
“Ma’am, they are all about the power of positive thinking. I have actually read a couple of these before in my other life before the drugs. The thing they don’t tell you is that the same truths apply if your thinking is negative. I have considerable experience with that and can attest to the power of negative thinking.”
“That’s exactly what I had hoped you would see. So last time we talked we looked at opportunities and lessons that have occurred in your life, now we are talking about the power of positive and negative thinking. How do you think the two things are related?”
Cil had not anticipated that question, so she stopped to consider it for a while before answering…