Mi Shebeirach



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Scene Title Mi Shebeirach
Synopsis Hebrew. A prayer said on behalf of others, particularly those in need of healing.

Hana may have walked out on Otomo at their last meeting, but she never forgot what he asked for.
Date June 19, 2018

Yamagato Building

Nearly two months ago now, Yamagato Industries was cast into disarray. Echoes of that pivotal moment linger in the forthright display of contractor badge on lanyard, in the blue band around her wrist, in the politely unobtrusive suited man who shadows her strides through the Yamagato Building. Shadows, because the first thing Hana did upon acquiring her escort was pry out of him directions to her destination and let long strides carry her ahead.

Mi Shebeirach avoteinu, m’kor ha-b’racha l’imoteinu

Before that, before concluding her eminently cordial encounter with Yamagato's security personnel, she acknowledged the building's ever-watching spirit with no more than a discreet nod to one of its technological eyes. Both before and after, Wireless remains silent in the digital realm; so does Tenzin, its awareness tucked snugly within the confines of her ability. There are no telltale discrepancies to register now, and she neither makes explicit overture nor acknowledges any attempt at contact. Not now.

May the Source of Strength who blessed the ones before us

The room that is her destination is intimately familiar in a way that transcends the sleek postmodernism of Yamagato's preferred aesthetic: hospital settings, at least in the developed world, are nearly universal. It is scrupulously clean and sterile, outfitted with bed and chairs no more comfortable than they have to be, and augmented by equipment she's seen too many times — been attached to too many times. The persistent, rhythmic beep of the heart monitor is all too easy to filter from her conscious notice.

Help us find the courage to make our lives a blessing.

Hana pauses at the foot of the hospital bed, looking down upon its occupant. A man she met only twice, ambushed once and stormed out on the other. A man with whom she sympathizes all too much, his life's tale an imperfect yet powerfully compelling mirror of her own. It's been nearly two months since Hachiro Otomo was set into his coma. Some might say she should have paid her respects weeks ago; it would have been more socially proper. Hana could not care less about proper. When it comes down to it, she isn't here for Hachiro at all: she's here for herself.

And let us say: Amen.

Soon, she resumes motion, taking the few steps needed to bring her around the corner of the bed and to the chair beside it. Seating herself, Hana pretends not to notice the escort lingering beside the doorway, just as he studiously pretends not to be intruding on what seems an otherwise private, personal moment. She draws a square of paper from a pocket of her suit, charcoal-hued on one side and snowy white on the other.

Mi Shebeirach imoteinu, m’kor ha-b’racha l’avoteinu

"It's often said that coma patients hear you talking to them," Hana remarks as she begins to fold the paper in distinctly patterned steps, voice low and quiet. "I can't attest to this myself; I remember nothing of mine." No fewer than three times has she herself lain unresponsive on a hospital bed, the first of them caused by a bomb not so very different from the one that laid him low. All those years ago, she woke to find her world upside down; and when Hachiro finally wakes, she expects he will feel no less dislocated and disbelieving.

Bless those in need of healing with r’fuah sh’leimah

"But I won't say anything you need to remember." Nothing that need be safeguarded from her listener. Nothing that may (or may not) need be withheld from Jiba; she's not certain, yet, what degree of disclosure Hachiro permits for his creation. And above all, nothing that she herself considers protected information — nothing from those pivotal, defining moments clutched so tightly they still make her soul bleed years and years after the rest of the world moved on.

The renewal of body, the renewal of spirit

Instead, her tone takes on a patterned cadence, words spoken with the gravitas of custom and prayer. The Hebrew couplets, her shadow finds indecipherable, but the English that accompanies them fills in all the necessary context for the blessing she means to impart. The origami crane that takes shape in her hands is prayer of another kind, good wishes writ in symbolic action and attention to detail. After both have come to completion, her voice fallen silent and the neatly-folded, dark gray crane cradled in her hands, Hana regards the sleeping man for a long moment… then decisively places the paper blessing on the nightstand and rises from her seat.

"Wake up, Otomo," she murmurs, leaning momentarily over his supine form. "We have things to talk about."

And let us say: Amen.

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