Finding One's True Self Part 18
By Xan Steel
Maria came home one night from work later than usual. She had hoped to finish the day early, because Daniel and her had a dinner date at that new restaurant in town. Sadly they had lost a major experiment in DNA Splicing. For what ever reason it wouldn't remain stable. So there were long winded meetings and finger pointing at who was to blame from this disaster. Once the evidence was brought in though, the finger pointing stopped.
She pulled into the dark driveway, which was unusual. Ever more unusual was the fact there was no lights on in the house. As she got out of the car and went to the front door. The outside light that would normally turn on didn't. She unlocked the door and stepped inside, as she turned on her little flashlight she had.
Daniels severed head had been impaled on the telescope he had brought home. His still beating heart was on their little eating table squirting blood with each beat. His severed legs hanged from the ceiling by barbed wire. His torso sat on top of the tv, dripping blood and entrails onto the floor.
Maria screamed bloody murder at what she was witnessing. She was then suddenly grabbed by her hand and thrown across the living room floor knocking over Daniel's head into her lap, causing her to lose it as she tossed it off of her. "SHUT UP BITCH!!" She looked up at the voice and saw their father holding a large bloodied kitchen knife. "D Did you do this to him?" She asked him through her tears and pain of loss. "What, you didn't think I'd make good on my word in that letter?" He said as he took a step toward her. "NO!" She screamed sliding away from him. "STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM ME!" He kept getting closer to her, as she got up and run to the back yard to get help, only she crashed into him. He grabbed her as she struggled and screamed louder so anyone could hear her. He then stabbed her in the belly. She fell silent feeling the icy cold blade inside her. "Now it's your turn my dear sweet daughter." He said calmly, as he yanked the knife out and began to repeatedly stab her over and over again.
Maria violently thrashed and screamed inside the stasis unit. Her hands beating on the glass as hard as she could trying to get out. Sandra was a lite sleeper and was woken up by all this, and hit the emergency release button inside. She went over an unlocked Maria's unit as she literally jumped out and fell to the floor a hysterical mess. Sandra went to her and pulled her into a hug, as Maria struggled against her. "MARIA, it's ok you're on the ship!" "NO, NO, HE KILLED HIM! HE KILLED MY DANNY!! NOW HE'S STABBING ME!!!" Sandra saw her eyes were still closed, and slapped her hard. It worked as she opened her eyes to look around. She grabbed Sandra and collapsed in her arms weeping heavily. "Shhhh Sh Sh Sh I've got you sweetie." Sandra said gently rocking her back and forth on the floor. Thinking that she must of had one hell of a nightmare.
After a while and double checking on Daniel to make sure it was all a bad dream. Maria explained in great detail what her nightmare was to Sandra, in the light of the stasis units. Sandra didn't know what to say other than hug her tightly. After a while they felt the bitter cold of the ship as Sandra grabbed a few blankets for them. It would be another twenty-one hours before the ship reached its recharge point, and would start turning on systems that had been shut down. Maria went and got the scanning device she had. She needed to do something to get her mind off of her nightmare. She hooked it to the unit Daniel was in and upped its scan range to make sure it would reach his brain from outside the unit, and let it go to work. She then went back and huddled up to Sandra to get warm again.
The scan took seven hours to complete this time, because it had to go through the stasis unit. Once it finished it alerted Sandra and Maria to its findings. They came out of Sandra's small room where they kept warm and looked over the readings. "His brain is still growing that third part. It's slowed down because he's in stasis, but it's still managed to grow another five percent." Maria said surprised. "Wait it shouldn't be growing at all, should it?" Sandra asked. "I'm not sure how these beds work, but stasis usually means that everything stops moving, or growing." "Metabolic Stasis." Came Mathews voice as as both ladies leaped and screamed. Which took Mathew by surprise. "Sorry." He said. "DAMNIT, DON'T DO THAT!" Sandra yelled at him. After the ladies had calmed down again Maria asked him what the difference was. "The difference." He started. "Is that metabolic stasis, slows time down. So that one day equals a full year. It greatly slows down your ability to process nutrients so you're not starving. The other type is known as Cryogenic-stasis. Which freezes you instantly and stops time that way." He finished. Sandra started, "So even though it's slowed down..." "That part of his brain will continue to grow." A look of horror came over Maria as she grabbed to scanner and ran to her lab, and began to hook it up to the computer.
After an hour of running the information through it, it came back with a final result. If they hadn't gone into stasis, Danial would be dead. The computer suggested removal of twenty percent of his cranial fluid as soon as possible. Waiting any longer would cause serious brain damage.
Maria dropped in the chair and wept heavily. She was losing him faster than she could prevent it. There was a drill on board the ship, but was she truly prepared to put a hole in his head. Images from her nightmare slowly crept in to her mind again as she cried out. Sandra and Mathew rushed in to see what had happened. She looked at the computer then turned to Maria and hugged her tightly as she started to cry softly. Mathew was unsure what to do in this situation. Daniels death would have a large impact on them. Returning to Earth was out of the question as they where to far away with only having one plasma injector.
"Mathew." Maria began after calming down. "Please keep Danny in stasis for now, until I can do what needs to be done." Mathew looked at her before answering. She was trying to find the courage she would need to save him. "Of course Maria" he said leaving the room.
As Mathew got to Daniels unit, he turned to look him over once more. "I can only hope where ever you are, that you are happy for now, and that we can bring you back one day. As you are dearly missed by us." He said quietly while putting his hand over Daniels unit, as he began to reprogram it to have a manual release only. He went to the cockpit to look over the reading before he headed back to the ladies.
"Well" he started as he returned to them as the ship became active again. "It's going to take about a month for the cells to recharge, at which point we'll need to go back to sleep to head to the next recharging location." Sandra spoke gently to Maria. "You should know that he trusts you completely, to do whatever it is you need to do, to be able to save him." Maria just looked up at her with a confused look. Sandra confessed that she told him what was happening before they got into their beds, and that he told her that. Maria thanked her for saying that. "Right now I need to work past my fears of drilling into my own brothers head, especially after that horrid nightmare." She finished visibly shaking.
Over the course of the month, Maria was having a hard time trying to find her courage to save her brother. Her biggest fear was losing control of the drill and driving it into his brain, killing him. In the final week, she finally came to terms with completing the task, as Sandra came to her. "Maria, you can't go through with this just yet." "What do you mean?" "Do you remember him talking about these dreams or visions?" "Well yeah, but he wasn't sure if they were real or not." "What if they are?" Maria looked at her for a moment. "What are you getting at?" She asked. "If you operate on him, you're going to need to put him under right?" Maria nodded in response. "If this race of people found someway to remove his consciousness from his body. Then putting him under would put him in a coma, or even kill him before you operated." Maria stared at her unsure what to say. "We all want to save him. But I think for now it would be better to leave him in stasis. Right now, he's fine, and with reviewing the information, and looking over the ships flight path, we'll be able to get to Alpha Centauri and still have time to save him." Sandra finished as she walked over to give Maria a tight reassuring hug. As much as Maria had finally come to terms with operating on him. She didn't want to lose him during the procedure.
Sandra started feeling her shake and pulled back. "I'm sorry if I've angered you." She said sympathetically. "It's not you. It's them. Why him? What's so damned special about him? Why put me and you two, through this fucking emotional roller coaster?” Her breathing became rapid as she screamed in anger at the air. Sandra grabbed her and took her to the storage room before she started breaking things in the lab. "Here." She said pointing to a bag hanging up. "Beat on it till you feel better." She said as she went to behind the punching bag to hold it for her. Maria stared at it and then hit it once. Then again, and again. Until she continued to beat on it. Tears of anger flowed from her eyes.
She hated their parents for not loving them, or raising them, or giving them a warm and loving home they wouldn't have to run away from.
She hated these people for taking her brother from her and changing him.
She hated this Julyna for making her brother fall in love with her.
She was jealous because deep down inside she wanted to be in a loving relationship with him.
She wanted to bare his children.
She can't care how taboo it was or how much a sin it was in the eyes of others.
She loved him more than anyone else ever could.
She wanted to save him, bring him home so she could hold him again.
After a long while Maria fell to the floor on her knees. Her hands a bloody mess, but her anger satiated. The pain she felt from her hands was a reminder to how much she cared and loved him. Sandra gently pulled her on her feet again and went to get her cleaned up, as Mathew stayed behind to clean off the bag and floor for them.
Five years have passed as Maria is woken by a horrid nightmare. Mathew teaches them the difference between metabolic stasis and cryogenic stasis. As Maria finally, lets go of her anger.