This serial is presented in draft form and will be updated each Thursday. Your comments are always welcome!
Prologue ~ Ch 1 ~ Ch 2 ~ Ch 3 ~ Ch 4 ~ Ch 5 ~ Ch 6 ~ Ch 7 ~ Ch 8 ~ Ch 9 ~ Ch 10 ~ Ch 11 ~ Ch 12 ~
Ch 13 ~ Ch 14 ~
“What are the odds of something like this happening?”
“I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“Look at their charts – there’s a genetic link.”
“Someone better go get Dr. Arjun.”
Mercifully the voices drifted away. Or maybe it was his mind that was drifting again. Ravi was only dimly aware of his surroundings. He was in one of the rooms in the infirmary, that much he knew, immersed in a tub of water. There was another tub beside his and he was pretty sure there was someone in it, but he couldn’t be sure.
He hurt, every part of him. His skin felt too tight for his body. They’d given him drugs to help with the pain but they weren’t working and it was causing some concern. He tried to reach out to Nereida but it hurt too much.
“The boy’s year mate said he’d been showing signs for the past several days, but the girl showed no sign at all. She just collapsed when he did.”
“Let me see that chart.”
Ravi wished they’d go someplace else to talk. Every word was like a spike being driven into his head.
“Yes, I remember these two now. Has the girl shown any potential at all?”
“Then I don’t see the problem. You know the procedure for the M class subjects – they’re a waste of drugs. Just leave her be. If she survives we’ll find a use for her later; if she dies then it’s of little consequence.”
“Yes sir, but if you’ll just look at this chart . . . you see how every time there’s a dip in her readings there’s a dip in his? And he doesn’t seem to be responding to the medication.”
“This shouldn’t be possible.”
It’s Nereida and I, Ravi realized. They’re talking about Nereida and I. But why don’t they care whether she lives or dies? He tried to force his eyes open to see who was talking, but the effort only sent a lance of pain through his skull.
“Make a note to study this later. For now, start her on a low dosage of the transition drugs and keep a close eye on his reaction.”
“Yes doctor Arjun. What about pain medication?”
“Give the boy as much as he needs. He has a high potential and we can’t afford to lose him.”
“And the girl?”
There was a pause.
“Give them to her only if absolutely necessary.”
Again the voices faded away. Ravi tried to make sense of what he heard but his thought process was too muddled. The pain began to ease but his mind began to drift again.
“Do you ever wonder if we’re doing the right thing?”
“Shh, keep your voice down if you’re going to talk like that.”
“Sorry, it’s just . . .”
“No, I understand. Sometimes I wonder as well. But we all risked so much to be here. We have to finish what we started.”
“The tespiros are getting worse, and the death rate keeps increasing.”
“Do you think it’s because of the genetic manipulations?”
“I’m positive it is.”
The voices moved off a bit and Ravi had the dim impression the people talking had moved off.
“Poor thing, at least now we can give her some relief.”
“I wonder if we’re doing her any favours.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, it might be kinder to let her die. I’ve seen what becomes of the M class girls.”