Callum, Waris, Koyla, Jacob and Darma compare scars
"And that was how I got this scar over my eye," I said, tracing the scar from the top of my eye to the base of my cheek, which I got during a hostage situation.
"Nice," Koyla said. "I got this one from car door closing on my fingers?" He said and held up his right hand to show us.
We all sharply drew breath and winced having all done the same thing at some point in our lives.
"So was that because you had to flee some kind of mob?" Waris asked.
Koyla looked confused.
"No my brother just closed the car door too quickly," he said.
Waris rolled his eyes then pulled up his sleeve to reveal three long, thin scars up his arm. We were running from a mob when we passed through Kashmir on our way to Europe. We went that way to grab ice on the highest peaks. I ran too close to a wire fence and got scraped for my trouble. Luckily I didn't die from infection."
Jacob from Isreal was walking past with Nebaioth from Palestine. "You think those are scars he said and lifted his shirt to reveal a bullet hole close to his belly button.
All our eyes went wide at the messy wound and we all drew a sharp intake of breath.
"You think that's bad?" Jacob said, and he turned round to reveal an even bigger wound near his kidney.
"That's the exit wound," he added.
"Who shot you?" I asked.
"It was actually an accident, I was just leaving a building with the Israeli prime minister and a sniper shot at him and missed and hit me. "Funny story, when more bullets began to fly, all the bodyguards crowded around me and left the prime minster out in the cold. I guess Dr Ghost had convinced them I was more important than my leader. He had to duck behind a wall.
"Do you have scars?" I asked Nebaioth.
"No, however if you look at my arm you can tell it's slightly crooked. That's because a heavy set guy fell on me at an airport. There was some kind of panic because one of the Destroyer's pipes was crossing a runway to get to a lake on the other side. In panic people rushed out of the way and this big guy not only fell on my arm but pushed it against a trolley. It snapped three times.
Nebaioth shuddered at the memory. "I remember all three one after the other. Luckily none of the bones pierced my skin however the breaks were not properly set so I ended up with a wonky arm."
We all stared into space at the thought of an arm breaking in three places.
Waris broke the silence, "I wonder if anyone else has scars?" he asked looking around the cafeteria.
"And good stories to go with them," Koyla said.
"I think mine's a good story," I said.
"Errh," everyone said, "Maybe."
It was then Darma from Indonesia pushed her chair back from her table and scrapped the legs along the floor as she turned it around to us.
"You want a good story?" she said, and she grabbed her right hand and pulled it out of her shirt. The sleeve dangled from a stump halfway up her arm above where her elbow should be.
We all looked at the stump then her hand which looked real except now it was free I could see ended with a cup with various ports and clips on it.
"That is awesome," Koyla said.
Darma handed him her hand and Koyla looked at the fingers which were flexing.
"It was state of the art when we left Earth, it's even wireless," she explained, and the fingers made a rude gesture to Koyla.
"Hey!" he cried out.
"So how did that happen?" I asked.
"So my village was on Rinca island and when the Destroyer was coming down it was feared there would be a tsunami in the pacific. Rinca Island was protected by the fact it's not directly on the pacific. However we did receive a warning to temporarily evacuate to the west side of the island just in case.
Unfortunately, no one could predict that the Destroyer's arrival, despite its kinetic shield, would upset the tectonic plates. The weight of the ship on the Pacific plate caused other plates to shift and there was a minor quake and the Indonesian islands suffered a tsunami, which did hit our island."
She then took a deep breath.
"Rinca island is also part of the Komodo national park."
"No way," Waris said.
"Exactly, unlike you boring people, I had to live on an island full of Dragons," Darma said, and her disembodied hand pointed at all of us.
"Ahem, Australia," Koyla said. "It has 9 out of the 10 world's most venous snakes, plus crocodiles and spiders under our toilets."
"And England had...cows, darn," I said.
"Yeah, but I'm pretty sure that Koyla wasn't living with crocodiles on a day to day basis," Darma said. "And yeah cows, poor Callum."
"Anyway I travelled with my father and two younger brothers with the rest of our village over the mountains to the west side of the island.
"Unfortunately the Komodo dragons were attracted to the large groups of people making the journey. Now Komodo Dragons aren't hunters they eat carrion and only make stealth kills. So our group was mostly safe. Then the Destroyer landed. We saw its smoke trail in the sky, we heard its landing. then the tsunami hit. I never got to go back to our village, but I hear it was wiped out.
"The waters came inlands and my family and others took to higher ground. Unfortunately so did the Komodos.
"The higher we went the thicker the jungle, me and my brother got separated from the group thanks to a herd of other animals trying to escape the rising water levels.
"The Komodo couldn't believe their luck, their prey was getting more and more concentrated. Me and my brother found a path through the jungle and we tried to find our dad. That was when a Komodo about two metres long got the jump on us.
"Sneaky Smaug hid in the leaf litter and ambushed us. My brother was the target and the Dragon went right for him. I saw the eye of the creature between the leaves and realised the danger.
"There was an explosion of greenery as the Komodo burst out with its jaws wide open. I shoved my brother to one side and those jaws came down on my forearm.
"I remember the jaws broke my bones and it was like someone had stabbed me a dozen times where the teeth sank in.
"The beast collapsed on top of me and it was a heavy, smelly creature and it was hissing and chomping down.
"Then brother stabbed it in the side of its head."
"I'm sorry?" Jacob said.
"We lived in Komodo country we all had weapons and yes he was younger than me but only a couple of years. The dragon thrashed and writhed as it died, but it didn't let go of my arm. We both had to pry it off my arm and run, because the blood was attracting more. Thankfully they focused on the corpse we left behind rather than us.
"Unfortunately Komodo dragons, while not venomous have so much bacteria in their mouths they might as well be. Thanks to being lost and the tsunami we were in that jungle trying to get out for days and the wound became infected.
"My brother had a belt so we wrapped it around the upper bicep and my brother cut off my arm."
"Excuse me," Koyla said, and he put down Darma's detached arm and he turned away with his own hand over his mouth.
"You alright there buddy?" Waris said.
"Yeah just give me a moment," Koyla said.
"That's worse than being shot," Jacob conceded.
"My brother sacrificed his shirt to stem the blood from the new wound and we eventually got out of there. I almost died from blood loss, but made it. I thought I would have one hand for the rest of my life, then I was chosen to fly through space on this giant trash can and Dr Ghost pulled strings to get me a robotic arm."
Darma wriggled her finger at the arm and it crawled its way across the table like a mutant spider and she picked it up and reattached it.
We all looked at the arm in silence. I didn't know what the others were thinking, but I was day dreaming nightmares about sawing off my arm, breaking the bones, being in a hot sweaty jungle dripping blood while mosquitoes eyed me like a buffet from the trees.
I got off lucky it seems, it's not like a badger would take my arm off, unless it was a Honey Badger.
Waris then said out of the blue, "It's not really a scar though is it?"