At first, Graham drifted. His dreams were vague, full of yellow flowers and metallic crystals.
When he woke, it was in a hospital bed. He felt strange. He ached down to his bones, but it was a new ache, not the long-familiar consequences of too many G-forces that he was accustomed to. More oddly, the scar on his face felt less tight than usual, and a bit more sensitive. There was also a deep, stinging pain in his left arm that felt surprisingly fresh.
He looked down, and saw a gauze pad peeking out from under the sleeve of his hospital gown, right above his IV line. The rest of his skin was free of new scars, though the older ones seemed paler than normal, almost silvery in the room’s sterile white light.
“Someone performed a biopsy while you were unconscious.”
He turned, and looked up at the pilot of the Exia and the 00. The boy—the man, now—was sitting back in an uncomfortable-looking plastic chair, reading through something on a tablet.
Graham could have asked a number of questions. Why someone had performed a biopsy on him, why he didn’t have any new scars when he remembered being stabbed repeatedly with very sharp crystals, how long he’d been asleep—there was a lot he didn’t know. But something else came to the forefront.
“What’s your name?”
The man blinked at him, but didn’t reply.
Graham tried again. “You once introduced yourself as Kamal Majirif, but I know that was an alias. It’s been years since we’ve spoken face-to-face, and I think this time I would like to do so more honestly.” He attempted to lever himself up a bit, and looked the man in the eye. “I spent a long time thinking of you as a rival, you know. It seems stupid that I almost died without even knowing your name.”
The smile he received in return was faint, but genuine. “Maybe.” A pause. “I’m Setsuna F. Seiei, a Gundam Meister of Celestial Being. I’m glad you survived, Graham Aker.”