A nurse enters the room and seems surprised to see me up. "Sgt. Marshall, you're awake!" She says, like I couldn't figure that one out for myself. "How do you feel?"
"I can't feel my feet! Why can't I feel my feet?"
She smiles sympathetically and I can tell immediatly that I don't like her, "I'm sorry Sergeant, you were badly injured by the missle, we had to remove the entire lower half of your body."
"YOU WHAT!" I scream. I look back down at my toes and wiggle them again. How can she say that when my feet are right there in front of me?
"We managed to replace it with cybernetec parts, without losing you. It was a long a gruelling process but we managed to hook it up to your higher functions without losing you. Though we have not had a chance to restore your nerve endings to the mechanics."
I stared at her trying to comprehend the meaning of her words, "You mean to tell me I'm a cyborg."
She looked at me for a moment as if she'd never really thought of that, "Well now, I suppose you are."
My first thought when I open my eyes is that the whole thing had just been a horrible dream. I was lying on a couch on a sort of sun porch. Vines climb the screen-like gate that surrounds me and flowers poke through at selective spots in the walls and ceiling. The sun streams through the vines and the light dances around me. I sit up feeling refreshed and energized as I take in my surroundings trying to remember how I got to this place. How much was a dream?
A door behind me opens and a young man about 10 years my junior comes out onto the patio to join me. He's dressed in kacki pants, steel-toed boots and a sleeveless shirt. I can tell from his walk that he's a military man but I've never seen a military man with such long hair. His hair is blond and he has it gelled straight up with his bangs flipped into a goofy swirl.
He moves around the couch and stops in front of me his hands behind his back in the at ease posture his muscles tense. I stand to my feet on instinct and almost fall on my face on my unsteady legs. The man, who had stopped my fall, helps me to regain my balance but I refuse to let him bring me back to my seat. "Easy there soldier." He says and I grit my teeth and set my jaw hoping to hide my embarrassment. He smiles and I can tell I'm not fooling anyone.
I straighten myself taking mental note of the fact that I can feel my legs again. "Where am I?"
"Rumplekammer" He says simply.
The word is familiar to me. After being stationed in Germany years ago I had picked up some of the language. "Rumpelkammer" I repeat, "The Junk Room?"
The man chuckles, "Indeed. But more than that it's a place of second chances."
"The last thing I remember is being in the hospital after an explosion and finding out I was a cyborg."
The man nods, "You still are. The Oubliette finished the process to restore your brains awareness that your legs are there. You won't feel any pain but you'll be able to control your legs. Thankfully being here you got a free pass through the surgeries and the months of physical therapy and healing you would have gone through. Thanks to the Oubliette, it's like you were practically born with those legs."
I nod, surprised at how easy this all is to take in. "And who are you in this place?"
He laughs, "Here? I'm nobody, just Jaden Waters. Back home I was a level 5 Time Traveller. Second in Command to Commander May Penelope. " He pauses, then adds, "That makes me your commanding officer."
I'm about to comment on this when suddenly an alarm begins to blare and the air around us begins to pulse red. Another man sticks his head out the door shouting at us over the blaring siren. "You both need to come inside right now. Demure just left the house without permission and there are four more characters scheduled to arrive here at any minute."