A brief, semi stream of consciousness look into the head of Dr. Simon Royce during the events of Felicitous Pt 2.
Her brow crinkles as I place the band around her head. Confusion? No…no…when she is confused her brow crinkles but her eyes widen and she tilts her head to the right. Her eyes are narrowed now and head is tilted towards me. Apprehension then? Yes that makes sense. Blasted woman…she can’t be angry when I don’t realize she’s upset if she can’t give me proper cues as to her state. Maddening.
I have never experienced the Memory Miner before. A tingle of electricity passes through the band as I try to focus in on the day. It replays in front of my eyes as though I am living it. Interesting, it is like being a third party in my own head. It goes as I remember, there is Melissa…odd to see her alive again…
Why so odd dear brother? I am always here. You simply refuse to listen.
Oh hush up you harpy.
Yes, we have tea. She pays no attention to me, the silly girl. It it completely nonsensical that my own twin would be so bloody irrational and stubborn. I go for firewood, she falls down the stairs. She is dead, I know it before I even reach her. Irritating that I got so upset then…not as though it was my fault, I told her I would get the blanket for her. But perhaps it was proper for me to be upset? It is protocol when a family member dies, yes?
Anyway, the babe is still clearly alive though not for much longer. Glad to see I managed to get my wits about me enough for that. Pick her up, carry her to…wait. The figure in the back, it was NOT my imagination. Who was watching me, another agent? Something to ponder.
We’re in the cellar now. Caesarian goes fine but the baby was clearly injured in the fall, labored breathing. Not much to be done there. Screaming at the experiment, illogical but apparently fruitful. I hear Melissa’s voice, telling me what the final ingredient is. Vaguely aware that it’s madness to think that she is talking to me, but beyond caring. Add ingredient, finish experiment, wonder if Felicity is seeing anything worthwhile?
Baby is dead…never conduct trials on humans…code of ethics. But Melissa’s voice very logically points out that no one knows that the child is even born yet. I must try it on something, I cannot fail this miserably, matter of pride. So I do, I inject the child. Her cheeks become rosy and she wails like a bloody banshee. It works. I have counteracted death. I have stoppered life itself.
I try it on Melissa’s corpse but it has no effect. My sister’s voice gently chides me. Of course the sacrifice is necessary, sacrifice is always part of greatness. She tells me that I am like a god now, I have replicated the miracles of Christ himself. That batch of elixir will restore 12, maybe 15 people if estimates are correct. All it takes is a live child born of a dead mother. Difficult to find naturally, but easy enough to ensure manually…I am a prodigy after all…I have the skills to ensure…
Perhaps yes, it is numerically logical to exchange one life for many. But I took an oath to heal, not harm. I made a promise. And promises are meant to be kept.
“I shall do no harm.”
I hear the word come from my lips and a sense of righteousness flickers through me. I remember this moment well. The moment where emotions gave way to logic. Where I obtained the Clarity. I was like being plunged into an ice bath, a sudden evolution. From that moment I became unfettered, mostly unfettered, by illogical emotions. Rules, logic and ethics would therefore guide my path.
Melissa’s voice still weakly pleads in my ear, but I shut out her nonsense. Melissa is dead, it is illogical for her to speak to me. And she says such wicked things. Melissa was never wicked. Not-Melissa thinks she can fool me but I am wise to her now. She still bothers on occasion though, ever so loudly when I see a woman with child. It becomes hard to shut her out then. She almost sounds right then.
But enough introspection. The vision is fading and I will speak with Felicity about what she saw, see if there is any…
I am not back in the hotel room. What is this. I am seeing through the eyes of a little girl, staring into a looking glass as she brushes her hair. It is obviously Felicity, perhaps seven or eight years old? Bloody hell, the device malfunctioned and now I get to watch a child brush her hair and play with dollies?
A man enters. He calls her by name. Wait…Felicity really is her name? She is the worst spy ever! She calls him Father. Ah! Make sense, I can see it now in the cheekbones.
He sits in a chair and motions for Felicity to sit on his lap. She doesn’t seem to want to and he forces her to and she cries. He is…he begins to…
He is interfering with her.
Interesting. Perhaps this is the source of Felicity’s rebellious behaviours. A neuroses stemming from the need to subvert the will of male authority figures. And her father…some form of perverse frustration on the part of the male in this case? Some variation of the Oedipal complex? I have been meaning to read Freud’s latest articles, perhaps he’ll have something on it. After all, fathers are not suppose to do this to their daughters.
Fathers are NOT supposed to do this to their daughters.
Cool, clinical thought is shattered by rage and revulsion. If I could I would reach out from behind this little girl’s eyes and snap this monster’s neck with my bare hands. How DARE he. He is worse than a monster, there are no words for the thing that he is. HIS OWN DAUGHTER! Men are supposed to protect their families! Like I tried to protect Melissa…and failed. Sweet Jesus, Melissa’s dead, she’s DEAD. And I couldn’t do ANYTHING.
I am overwhelmed by rage, grief, frustration and hopelessness as I witness what this evil man does to this poor child. A small voice in the back of my head tells me its illogical but what I feel had nothing to do with logic. I am keenly aware that there is something wrong with me, that the Clarity which has helped me has also robbed me of something. I am mourning for my sister, something I should have done a year ago. I am mourning for the innocence lost by this precious little girl, my dear friend. I am mourning for the fact that I could not feel grief until now. It is a terrible thing to lose a piece of yourself, to be helpless. Felicity how could anyone be so cruel to you? This offends all rightness, this should not be. I promise you while I live and breathe I will do what I can to protect you, whatever it takes, even at the cost of my own life.
It will be easier to protect her if you listen to me, dear brother.
Not-Melissa’s voice is seductive. As illogical as it is, I want to believe it’s my sister whispering in my ear. Maybe I was wrong…maybe it is her…come back from the beyond to offer me help. A form of redemption. She did help me make the first potion after all, perhaps she has other secrets to share…
I am back in the hotel room and tears are hot on my face, my stomach and chest feel twisted into knots. My face turns hotter with embarrassment as I realize Felicity is seeing me this way. She is looking at me oddly. Of all the expressions I have analyzed, I have never seen her eyes look so cold before. Not-Melissa is still whispering secrets into my ear, promising me that she will help me change the world. I reach out my hand to Felicity without knowing why. My partner takes my hand. Her skin is soft. Not-Melissa voice becomes the mere buzzing of a gnat as I meet Felicity’s gaze. The look in her eye changes, softens, becomes warm. I do not need a clinical study of her face to understand this expression. Her eyes are lovely and sad. For a moment, I think, we understand each other. I am struck with a sudden longing hold her close. Something slips away.
I am calm. Clarity has returned and I am glad for it. The harpy is still trying whisper her nonsense in my ear but she is Not-Melissa so she is not worth listening too. I wipe the tears from my face. How foolish, to cry for people long dead. To feel responsibility for Felicity’s well being. Regrettable that it happened, but I had no part in that travesty. And if the past is any indication, she would get in a snit if I told her of my intentions to “protect” her. Stubborn girl. And to give up one’s own life for another? Preposterous! A one for one exchange for a life is mathematically unsound and illogical. But to not have her about? Something in my chest twists ever so slightly, the same illogical something that makes me seek out blasted daisies in the desert. I have grown fond of her company and the idea of harm to her is distressing. And in order to keep Clarity simple rules must be followed. Whether or not she knows it, illogical or no, I made her a promise.
And promises are meant to be kept.