“Oh, someone’s awake!”
He heard a faint sing-song voice, it sounded feminine but right now he couldn't be sure. His vision was dizzy, his hearing fuzzy, and when he tried to speak his throat produced a thin croak. Whoever spoke must be closer, for he heard a clear click of the tongue.
“Sorry, you currently have a lot of antibiotics flowing through you. Usually morphine or anesthesia is a luxury, considering where we are, but otherwise you’d be in a lot of pain. And I’m no sadist...well depending on who it is I’m operating on of course.” It was definitely a female talking. “Usually you’d be in our medical division now but I’ll be frank. When we found you, you were no better than a slab of meat. Honestly, I don’t know what hollows you pissed off but you were shredded up.”
Wait...what? He tried to recall what happened but found he couldn’t remember anything. He tried to move, but discovered he couldn’t. He couldn’t feel anything.
“Our medics were ready to just finish you off with a cero until I butted in.” She hummed and though his vision was fuzzy, he could see the shape of a woman leaning over him. “You’re a very lucky Arrancar.”
His vision was starting to clear and he clamped his eyes shut, trying to focus despite the numb feeling that enveloped his body. He still didn’t know where he was, but he could faintly detect the reishi particles that told him he was still in Hueco Mundo.
Then, carefully, he opened his eyes slowly and let his vision adjust to the lighting. He blinked several times and tried to move around. His eyes fell on his arms and legs which were strapped down to what appeared to be a lab table. There was an IV in his arm, which must have been pumping the fluids previously mentioned through him.
It was hard to tell, but he swore he could feel something in his back and temples. He would have looked but it seemed that his head was held in place by straps as well. The only reason he saw the IV was due to the stand and tubing on his right side. His eyes then fell on the woman speaking.
She was rather short, barely over five feet, but she seemed to be rather pretty. Her eyes were a strange green and her wavy black hair fell messily over her shoulders. Her pale skin showed she rarely went outside. She wore a Arrancar style uniform but a lab coat was pulled over it. She smiled at him.
“I’m Erith Hexira.” she hummed walking over to unstrap his head. “Don’t jerk, you have a lot of recovery to do.” She paused as she overlooked him, and smiled once again. “You know...you remind me a lot of Rudbornn Chelute. Well, you have a jackal skull instead of a bull, but you’ll get what I mean.”
He had no idea what the hell she meant.
“Alright, your spine was a complete mess. There was no point in trying to salvage it, so I had to do a slow process of redoing it with cloned DNA and...okay go ahead and laugh...machinery.” she paused as if waiting for a reaction but he said nothing. He was too busy trying to process what she was saying. “Huh, thanks for not laughing. Brinza and Pastora wouldn’t shut up with the Terminator jokes.”
“That process took a long time because fucking up a spine is the worst thing you can do in surgery. You no longer have a back, you have a metal plating. But don’t worry, it’s quite flexible and you’ll probably forget it’s synthetic after a while. It’s even better than your old back!” She unstrapped his arms and legs, but let out a low whistle. “Man, you’re huge. Your legs can crush my head easy!” She helped him sit up, and he winced feeling muscles pop.
He looked and saw he was mostly bandaged up still. Carefully he lifted his arm to touch his head and frowned feeling the back of his head. “Oh, and your cranium took some damage. I had to do some wiring and metal plating on the back in order to protect your occipital lobe and cerebellum. Luckily nothing happened to the parietal lobe.” Erith explained.
He tried to speak again but another thin croak came out. She blinked before her eyes widened as if realizing something. She turned, grabbed a glass of water, and held it out for him. He took it gratefully and sipped, holding back a wince feeling how sore his throat was. After finishing the glass, she took it away from him and helped him slip off the lab table. His legs nearly buckled underneath him and at first he was worried he’d crush the significantly smaller woman, but she managed to help him situate his posture.
“Take it easy.” she ordered while gesturing to the mirror she must have pulled out for him. He slowly shifted over to it and was surprised by what he saw. He was big guy, standing around seven feet tall with large muscles. His chest was scarred but he was a bit bewildered by the aggressive looking plating that came over his shoulders. His head was encased by a jackal skull with the pronounced ear-like shapes and narrowed eyes holes.
“The plating is from the surgery. I tried to make it look like just a part of your hollow fragment so it looks...more natural I guess?” Erith shrugged before grabbing a large top that seemed to be the standard Arrancar uniform. She tossed it at him and he caught it. “Reflexes are good. Nice.” she hummed before grabbing a clipboard and scribbling something onto it.
He looked at himself and awkwardly fumbled in getting the shirt on. As he did so, he reflected over everything. He was supposed to be dead but yet this odd woman saved him. He looked down at her and became very aware that he owed her a huge debt. In Hueco Mundo, the weak did not survive. By all rights, he should have died after being overwhelmed and torn apart.
Yet she saved him?
“Okay big guy, we should take you to the king and see what to- Whoa!” Erith jumped, clutching onto her clipboard as he abruptly got down on one knee before her, resting his fists on the ground as he bowed his head. “What-What are you doing?”
“I owe you my life. As I cannot possibly repay you, allow me to serve you.”
Erith stared at him with eyes as big as dinner plates. “Um...really there’s no need-”
“Please.” He pleaded. She didn’t lift her gaze and he felt her eyes bore into him before he heard her sigh.
She set down her clipboard and crossed her arms. “Very well. I really don’t need a bodyguard or anything...but I wouldn’t mind the extra hand. Seeing as you have machinery in you...how good are you with tech?”