Always in Repair
The only sound in the operating theater was the steady hum of the stasis field generator that suspended the patient in the center of the theater. All other equipment, and the surgical team assigned to this experimental task, were assembled, and ready to begin. "We only have a single chance at this. There are no do-overs, no restarts - once the timer starts, we either succeed, or the patient dies." The surgeon reiterated, and the rest of the team nodded. They have been practicing for this procedure for the better half of a year, and the opportunity has now presented itself in the form of one of the most promising candidates suffering near-fatal combat injuries. The patient would be Jacob Mitfield - the third prince of the Kingdom of Mithambe. His injuries were severe and otherwise fatal without surgical intervention: in the course of activating his Emanation for the first time, the ethereal energies coursing through his body were in excess of what his core could take, resulting in catastrophic damage to his internal organs. Without the surgery that was being performed today, he would succumb to his wounds in hours. The surgery that was being performed is the first of its kind - with Jacob being a prime ethereal candidate, a miniaturized EMBM engine was designed by the The Mithambian Arcana Society to be inserted into a person with high ethereal compatibility. With Jacob being ranked as a Parisian King and a Chesarian Rook, he was considered a prime candidate for the experimental surgery, with the procedure having been approved by the Royal Court. The surgery was complex in itself - in addition to removing the non-viable internal organs, archimagi from the Society would be wiring up the engine into the hollow of Jacob's chest, while synchronizing it so that Jacob could freely control the engine with the essence of his soul - his willpower directing the engine to perform its tasks. Correctly done, the engine should be able to resynthesize missing organs for him, as well as augment his formidable ethereal might. "The timer has been set at zero. Let us begin." -- It is not often that I meet one of my own in this space, especially someone so young. Jacob's "eyes" violently opened, but he was not at St. Asha's anymore. Instead, he was greeted to the "sight" of nothing but pure white. He "looked" around, but could not even see himself. Is this it? Did I succumb to my injuries? Did I die without being able to properly say goodbye? You have not quite yet crossed over, my child. Realizing that his thoughts were actually heard, and that someone responded to them, even though he felt as if he had no mouth to properly speak with, he began to "search" around, trying to locate the source of the second voice alongside his own. Who are you? Why am I here? Show yourself! The second voice giggled at Jacob's stern verbosity, before "sight" appeared before him. What greeted him would have made him drop his drink and his jaw, if they were still a part of him. I know you... or know of you... I have seen you before. But where? Jacob pondered, because the face of the woman before him was memorable. Every bit of his soul knew of her - knew her, as if she were always there. "You do know me. After all, in an actual sense, you are my son, Jacob." The woman before him kneeled down beside him, even as Jacob felt a sense of self returning - his body began to materialize once more, and "sight" became proper, as did words. "... I am at a loss for words, and a loss of memory," he admitted, his sight still captured by the lady before him. "May you tell me your name?" "I shall, my child." She placed her hand on his head, and gently stroked his hair. Jacob found that he did not mind the sensation - as if this woman reminded him of his mother. "Your people know me as Amarise. But you, my Jacob - you would know me more intimately as Maris." This admission floored Jacob. Maris was the wife of Ernest Mitfield - his forefather, and one of his great ancestors. If what this woman speaks is the truth - and Jacob had no reason to believe she would be lying - then Maris was actually Amarise. That he, his brothers, his father, and all that descended of the Mitfield line before them - they were of the divine! "How is my son?" Amarise gently ruffled Jacob's head, even as he felt calm in the presence of the goddess that everyone else worshipped. "I did feel you the other day - and I felt you call upon me for the first time. Did you accomplish what you set out to do?" Jacob recalled the vast energy of the eternal tearing through his body, even as he faced down the Creature of the Void, and poured his heart and soul into the strike that would grievously wound it, securing their freedom and the safety of the rest of the armada with them. "I think I did? It would be moot now, given that my body is most likely dying from the overstrain..." Amarise nodded, before pondering for herself. "Indeed, you did call upon more than what your so-called 'Aces' would have been able to withstand. But you managed to stand it, if even for a brief moment in time." She smiled, even as she stood and offered her hand to him. "I do not believe that you are yet ready to join me properly. Perhaps down the future, but not in this moment of time." -- With great care, ruined organs were slowly being removed, and were also photographed for evidence, before being placed in jars for long-term storage. The surgical team worked in relative silence, with each tick of the clock being the only noise that accompanied their movements. No excess action was taken, nor was any pace dallied - time was of the essence, and they made the best of it, with each action complementing the others work in sync. As the chest cavity was cleared, the ENBN ethereal engine was poised to be lowered in position, suspended over the gaping maw via crane. With the surgeon's nod, the engine was slowly lowered into place, before it made contact with Jacob's spine in the back. "Confirm spinal placement." "Engine located on T3," called a radiography technician that monitored the surgery with specialized equipment. Being able to track the location of the device within the body, the technician confirmed the correct placement of the engine, before giving a thumbs up to the lead surgeon. "Activate spinal securement claws, and confirm deployment." A low whine was heard for a moment, as mechanisms in the rear of the device stirred to life, and bound the device to Jacob's spine. "Confirmed deployment," called another technician that monitored the device's functions. The surgeon nodded, and stepped aside, as the archmagi team from the Society stepped in, and began the process of "wiring" the device to Jacob's soul. -- "So this is what it meant to call upon you?" Jacob, in his expanse, remained with Amarise, his head rested on her lap. He felt calm in her presence, and was no longer anxious of what was happening to him in the real world. "Indeed, my son." Amarise smiled as Jacob mentally explored the changes that were wrought unto himself. Despite the catastrophic physical damage that he incurred, the first successful performance of his Emanation strengthened his ethereal focus and expression. "Out of all of my children, you are the first who has called upon me in such a way, and with such vivid clarity of purpose." "Why could the others not? Surely they are stronger than I," Jacob admitted. He may have been the strongest in the ethereal, but he was no ruler like Hector, nor charismatic like Joseph. "Not everyone carries the Gift - it is rare to see it appear, even in bloodlines that are directly blessed by me or mine," Amarise informed. "The carriage of even divine power occasionally skips siblings or even generations," she added - the last one to be so intimate with her would have been Clarisse, and Jared a few generations before her. Before Jacob could ask more, he felt aspects of himself beginning to change. Unfurling his wings, he looked at his feathers, and saw that they began to take on accents of brass, of silver, of gold. "What is this?" he asked Amarise, although it did not cause him pain. "What that is, is that it is almost time for you to wake up," she smiled. As much as she loved to spend time with her beloved children, this one would soon return to the world of wakefulness, where he could live out an active life once more. "It means that you will be whole once more, and with some additional might to throw about." Jacob allowed his wings to tuck back into himself, nodding but once. "Will I see you again?" he asked, a hint of longing in his voice. Amarise was very much like his own mother, and even he could not deny the adoration he felt in her presence - like a parent looking proud of the achievements of their children. "You very much will." Amarise helped Jacob to stand, before embracing him, planting a kiss into the crown of his head. "It is time for you to wake up, my Crow. Remember what I have given you, and make the best use of it." She held him in her arms, even as Jacob felt the world of white beginning to collapse, and his mind falling into rest. -- "Engine is now active. Surgical wounds are beginning to close, and organ regeneration confirmed via radiography." With this announcement, the surgical team was finally able to wipe the sweat off of their brow, even as Jacob was taken off the anesthetics, removed from the stasis field, and wheeled away to recovery. One of the most experimental surgeries in the history of Vinesia was successfully completed, and its fruitful results paved the way for better treatments of even the most debilitating of diseases. "You have yourselves a fine team of staff, Doctor," commented Marcus Mitfield, as he watched the entire surgery from the observation room. "I cannot owe you enough for saving my son," he added, bowing his head towards the surgical team that gave him his son back, and who would come back stronger than before. "It is but our pleasure, your majesty," the lead surgeon replied, even as the operating room was now being cleaned. With the prince off of the table and in the process of healing, they could now relax, and watch history being made through the actions of the reborn Invisible Crow.