“Please, just kill it!” Abigail was crying and shaking as she begged over and over for them to destroy the sculpture that she had so lovingly, so recently created. Sophie leaned forward to gently stroke her face, pushing the hair away from her eyes as she did so. When she eventually spoke, her voice was as soft as a mother trying to calm her frightened child.
“Abigail, it isn’t the sculpture that has made you ill. It isn’t alive, you must know that? Now, the doctors can’t find any evidence of bacterial infection, so it must be a virus. The good news is that you seem to have stabilised by yourself. We might never really find out what happened to you, but Abi, I promise you it wasn’t that sculpture.”
“No. No, Sophie, you weren’t there! That machine is alive and I don’t care how crazy that sounds. It was feeding off me and there was nothing I could do. It must have started while I was sleeping and by the time I woke up I couldn’t move to escape.” She shuddered as Sophie touched her again, shushing her and glancing around furtively. There was no-one close enough to hear and she leant forward to whisper to her friend.
“Abigail, listen to me. I am not going to destroy that sculpture; I think it would be bad for you. You need to get over this whole thing about the dreams. I know that it has been hard for you over the past few months. I know that you have made a lot of changes very quickly.” She paused and took a deep breath. “I just don’t think that you were as ready for some of them as you thought you were. This illness has really taken it out of you. I can see that, but even before then… I don’t know Abigail; you’ve been trying to hide it, which must mean you are aware of it at least; but you just aren’t right at the minute.” Abigail shook her head violently, fighting to control herself and to stop sobbing.
“I know what you think but I just need you to help me. Please, destroy the damn thing and I won’t ever mention it again.” She slumped back into her bed and lay, spent and hopeless. “Please, I promise, I won’t mention it again.” Her eyes closed and Sophie sat, watching her sleep for a minute or so before shaking her head with a sigh. Sadly she got up and left the room.
Tia snarled as she entered Sophie’s unconscious mind. They were going to kill the machine, destroy all the dreams that she had spent so long building. She had never been quite able to shake off her old humanity; the others had and had found their nirvana, but she had grown envious of those who had remained mortal. Even now, especially now – when she could at last see them again – that envy was turning to hate. She wanted to be one of them. More than anything she wanted her mortality back, and she was not going to let them stand in her way. Forget coaxing them into giving up their mass willingly, she didn’t have the time or the inclination any longer. They were going to give her what she wanted. There was no-one to stop her.