Friday, 25 September 2009 - 7:49 pm


When I got back last night, I was still trying to figure out what I had learned from the General and what use it might be. I forgot most of it when I saw Matt.

His face was flushed again, but he hadn’t been up this time. He kept saying that he was fine but he was definitely too hot. I ignored his protests and did my job.

I called Simon in and the medic agreed about the fever. He checked the stab wound and found it angrier than it had been when I changed the dressings yesterday. Violent red lines lead away from it, poisoning Matt’s whole body with the infection.

It’s not really a surprise, we were told, considering the rusty blade that made the hole. I stared at my friend and asked why he didn’t mention it earlier, but he just shrugged. He didn’t want to worry anyone. I told him that he’s an idiot but I kept a tight hold on his hand.

Simon has given him antibiotics and said we’ll see how it goes. He was tight-lipped about it; he’s more guarded than usual, so it must be bad. This kind of infection is nothing to be casual about at the best of times, and this isn’t one of those.

I sat with Matt all day, even when he slept. I snuck in a bowl of water to ease the fever with, trying to make him more comfortable. The antibiotics need some time to work. A couple of days, the medic thinks, then we might see some improvement; in the meantime, he’ll probably get worse.


Matt’s more scared by this than he’s letting on. He’s keeping so much inside these days – he jokes and chats with me well enough, but he doesn’t say what’s really going on with him. I don’t know if it’s the Sharks or the space between the dorms, but something is making him clam up. He’s usually so open and honest, especially with me, and the notion that something has interfered with him that much scares me.

I’m trying my best at just being here anyway. Trying to keep him going with whatever trivialities I can think of. We talked a bit about the General and the situation here.

He squeezed my hand and said, “I know, Faithy. I know. It’ll be okay. We’ll be okay.”


The other injured Seekers came in today to get checked over. I had to pull Thorpe into another room to check on his ribs – he still won’t let any of the others know about it. From the looks Dale was giving us, I think he knows, so at least someone is looking out for the big lug day to day. They’re all healing okay, though.

We exchanged news. I told them what happened with Jersey – she’s back on sanitation duty, along with the fella she attacked – and that Matt was sick. They all went in to talk to him, and that cheered him up a bit.

Terry asked about Tia, but I haven’t seen her in days. I told him I’d find her and make sure she’s all right. Dale filled me in on the latest activities of the Sharks – in short, they’re keeping their heads down, both in regards to the cutouts and the Seekers. They’re not well-liked, so at least this might not blow up into something larger. I can only hope that it’s actually finished now.

Dan is the only one of the Seekers who wasn’t involved in the altercation, and word is that he’s doing okay. As quiet and unobtrusive as he is, I think Dan would fit in anywhere. He knows when to keep his mouth shut and do as he’s told. Maybe I should see if he’s got any advice for me in that regard.

I must have looked stressed, because each of my visiting friends asked me if I was okay. Even Thorpe – when he asked, I almost crumpled into tears again, because he doesn’t usually do that. I just miss my friends, I told him. I’m worried about all of them and Matt’s sick, and nothing here is what we were looking for. He patted my shoulder and I took a shuddering, steadying breath, trying not to lose control of my emotions all over him.

“We’ll work it out,” he said. We. That was exactly what I needed to hear.

He’s a rock. I never realised before how valuable that is, though a part of me always knew it. I don’t think I’ve needed it more than I do now. I was sad when he had to leave.


They went just before the rain came, and I returned to sit by Matt’s side. Sick of trying to sleep on a chair, I pulled a gurney into the room and crammed it against the wall. Most of my gear is here anyway. Simon tried to argue with me when I brought it over from the dorms, but I find that just not listening to him and doing what I need to works fine. I’m not leaving; it’s that simple.

Matt is still feverish and dozing. At the last check, his temperature had risen another couple of notches. There’s not a lot that we can do about it, though I’m still dampening him when I can. We just need to wait for the antibiotics to kick in. I think it’s going to be another long night.

He’s going to be all right, though. He has to be.

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