Thursday, June 18, 2015
Today was pure shit. It started when Betra shared the news that Candy’s body stopped fighting the Other One. Whatever it was that I was able to give her in that blood transfusion is done. The organism has sped up its takeover of her body, and she’s showing spikes of near consciousness again. She’s been placed in an armored stasis capsule under full guard. They predict she will be completely transformed within a week. We are losing her.
The second round of bad news: the It is gaining ground in my body. Tep came in to tell me that the latest scans show the invader has entwined its ‘veins’ within my chest, right arm, upper back, and neck. More are feeding into my brain.
“The baby?” I asked, almost too scared to speak.
“The organism continues to avoid your abdomen, including the womb for now. That’s a good sign since its twin invaded Matara Candy throughout her entire body quickly.”
I thought about my suspicion that the pregnancy had something to do with retarding the It’s progress. All at once I felt a grudging agreement elsewhere in my head. Oh shit, my thoughts were leaking into the It’s consciousness. More frightening to me was that it knew the baby was keeping it at bay for the moment. I felt that it saw my unborn child as an enemy.
I went into full panic. “Doc, the It knows something to do with my pregnancy makes it hard to take me over. It wants to destroy her. You’ve got to deliver this child now!”
While Oses growled a warning and Betra stroked my hair and shushed me, Tep slowly shook his head. “It’s true that something to do with the pregnancy appears to be the reason you are still yourself. As it is the only weapon we have at the moment, I can’t take the child. That would erase the one defense you have. We would lose you, Shalia.”
“If you don’t, the baby could die! Oses, make him take her!”
Tep leaned close so that his face filled my vision. “Listen to me, Shalia. We are monitoring you very closely. The instant this thing shows any sign of threatening your child, I will deliver her. But for now, you’re our only hope of finding out how to stop it from destroying you and Candy. If we can save all three of you, we will.”
I sobbed, “But if you can’t—”
“Then I will do what has to be done. I promise you that.”
Feru had come in at some point. “If you can continue to access the It’s memories, we could discover what separated it from its last host. There is still hope. It’s too soon to give up on you.”
I thought I felt a curl of satisfaction from my unwanted interloper. The It was pretty sure what had happened before was of no bearing to the present situation. It was convinced it would not lose.
I glared at Tep through my tears. “You don’t leave my child to one second of chance. Do you hear me? One tiny little hint – just the suggestion of a hint that she is in danger – you get her out. Don’t you dare fuck with me on this, Tep.”
If he was offended by my show of threat, he didn’t give any indication. Instead, Tep told me, “I have already started giving the baby medication to accelerate development of her heart, lungs, and other major organs. She’s now a few weeks advanced of the original due date.” He gripped my shoulder and squeezed. “Do not fear I’ve not made her my main concern, Shalia. I’m giving her all the support I can so that if it comes to an early delivery, she will have the best possible chance of thriving.”
Relief filled me. All this time, Tep had been looking out for my daughter, making her the priority she deserved to be. I realized that in his own way, he was as dedicated to her survival as Oses – even if it meant giving up on me. It was the best I could ask for.