Friday, May 17, 2013

Memoirs From the End of the World: Entry #36

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It's time to delve back into RC's complicated world.  For those who've missed prior installments of this serial, you can find it all on this PAGE.

Memoirs From the End of the World
Entry #36

RC sat alone on the cold concrete floor.  The darkness swallowed her whole, and she it allowed her to pretend that no one else existed.  The nausea had persisted all day, but she did her best to hide it.  She didn’t want to voice her fears, because silly as her reasoning was, she didn’t want to make it real by speaking those fateful words.

If she spoke them, the others would know what happened to her.  They would know what Leo did as she carried as she carried the constant reminder with her.

Even as she had these thoughts, she also experienced some guilt.  If she was in fact pregnant, she couldn’t blame the child growing inside her for what happened.

Of course, if it were true, one fact was indisputable in her mind.  She couldn’t let the overlords get their hands on her or her baby.  If they did . . .  This certainly wasn’t the kind of world in which she’d feel comfortable raising a child.

Maybe you’re jumping to conclusions, she told herself.  Maybe you’re just being paranoid.  Just give it some time, and you’ll see that it’s not true.

It took her forever to fall asleep.

The next morning, her first order of business was to find a private place to be sick.  She carefully ducked outside, knowing that if any of the rebels saw her, she’d be in for a stern lecture about security.  Luckily, there was no one in sight.

RC promptly vomited into a pile of snow, grateful that no one else could see her like this.  The chilly morning breeze helped subdue the nausea, and soon she was done.  Just as she was burying the evidence under the snow, she heard a familiar voice.  “What are you doing out here?”

Alyx.  How could she avoid telling him the truth?  It had been easier to simply avoid saying anything.  But actively lying to him about it?  She didn’t think she could go that far.

She looked down, afraid to meet his eye.  “I’ve been feeling sick the last couple of days, but I don’t have a temperature or anything like that.  I think I might  . . .”  Her voice trailed off, lost on the breeze that chilled her to the bone.

Alyx didn’t need her to finish the sentence, though.  He knelt down behind her, and she felt some warmth again as his arms surrounded her.  “How sure are you?”

“Not 100% sure.  I haven’t talked to the medic yet, but it seems like the most logical explanation.”

He sighed.  “What are we going to do?”

That one sentence soothed her in a way that little else could have.  His word choice spoke volumes.  Instead of asking what she was going to do like so many others might, Alyx used ‘we’.  Without even thinking about it, he included himself in the situation with her.  She wasn’t going to be alone in this.  Tears started to well up in her eyes, as if seeking to confirm her emotional instability.

“I don’t know,” RC admitted.  She shook her head, burying her face in her hands.  “I really don’t know.”

Alyx eventually helped her to her feet.  “It’s going to be all right,” he whispered in her ear as they headed back inside.  “I’ll do everything I can to make sure of that.”

Later on in the day, RC gathered the courage to talk to Harrison about her situation.  As the medic, he was the only one who could help her figure this out.  “The symptoms certainly fit,” he said solemnly after she told her story.  “We’d have to get our hands on a pregnancy test to be sure.  Either that, or wait to see how things go.  If you are, I don’t have the equipment here to provide proper prenatal care.  The only place around here that does . . .”  Harrison winced.  “Well, let’s just say you’ve already rejected that option by being on the run.”

RC nodded.  “Yeah, and this is the reality I was trying to avoid by running.”  She settled back against the wall, knowing that dwelling on this fact would do nothing to change the situation she now faced.  “Either way, I will not hand myself over.  I’m not going to let any child of mine be subjected to that future.  If you could even call it a future.”  And she meant every word of it.  Any child born in the breeding facility had a 50% chance of being implanted with alien spores that would turn them into future overlords, and a 50% chance of remaining human but spending 14 years breeding continuously by force.

No.  She would never stand for that.

“I need to know for sure,” she decided.  “Can you get a hold of the test for me?”

Harrison nodded.  “We’re going on a pharmaceutical raid in a couple of days.  I should be able to snag one for you.  I’ll also be sure to grab vitamins for you in case you need them.”

She managed a smile.  “Thanks.  You won’t tell anyone, will you?”

“Gossip isn’t part of my job description,” he assured her.

Thus began another waiting game.  At least no one was in immediate danger this time around, though this was just as life altering as anything RC had ever been through.  Aware that it was risky to say too much (they were living in close quarters, after all), Alyx simply held her hand whenever it seemed RC was having a difficult time dealing with it all.  She felt grateful for that.

The day finally came.  Harrison was as good as his word.  Immediately after returning from the trip, he discreetly handed her the box.

Her body went numb.  There was no doubt that the result of this one little test would determine the course her life would take. 

It could change . . . everything.

Go to Entry #37

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