Kelly Morgan nodded as her Mum ranted about MORFs who had psychic abilities. She held her fingers to her right temple as she ate breakfast. Her Mum had always had a thing about telepathic MORFs, and she had gotten worse since Kelly went through MORFs just after Christmas. "Mum, I know you feel this way, but could you tone it down a little please? You're giving me a headache. I can hear it in here " She tugged her ears, "and I hear it when you're thinking about it here" She tapped her temple softly, "I know you've got to give a speech to the Council later, you've been thinking about chasing up my registration so I can go into the exams blind next year. Then on top of all of that I'm hearing everybody else in a five mile radius."
She noticed that her Mum was looking angry at her. "Look I'm sorry. You're the closest one to me, so I hear you the loudest. The people five miles away are still loud but I can block them out pretty easily compared with blocking you." She winced as her Mum looked at her. "Dammit will you stop that. It's been seven months and your still yelling your thoughts at me. Maybe that's why telepaths don't like you."
Kelly stood and made for the stairs. "I'll finish up once your gone to work." I called over her shoulder as she dashed upstairs. She wished she could talk with people telepathically, rather than just being able to read minds. Kelly walked into the bathroom and sat on the toilet. She smiled as her headache got worse. 'It was worth it' She thought to herself as she started running the bath.
"Hey, Mum?" Amy called when her Mum walked past her bedroom door. "Can I go downstairs? I want to see Geronimo."
Barbara Young looked at her daughter sat up in bed. She sighed. "You'll have to stay on the sofa. I'll bring him in to see you IF you settle in first. Would you like some help getting downstairs?"
Amy nodded. "Thanks Mum." Amy kissed her Mum as she was helped up from the bed.
When they got downstairs, Amy slept on the sofa for an hour. She still felt weak from the exertion of coming down the stairs.
"Just as I promised," Barbara said, holding Geronimo, her pet rabbit, out to Amy. "Here he is."
Amy held Geronimo on her lap. She stroked his ears against his head. She watched her Mum go back into the kitchen and whispered softly, "One day Geronimo, one day I'll be able to pick you up myself." Tears stung her eyes. She knew it was unlikely. Her family had shown a high tolerance to MORFs, only a distant cousin had gone through it, and that was the only thing that Doctors said would cure her.
She bent and kissed Geronimo on the head, wiping her tears against his fur. "Please Geronimo, one day." Geronimo started nibbling the edge of the blanket covering Amy. Amy giggled softly as Geronimo pulled the blanket up as much as he could. "Thank you." She said softly, not noticing her Mum watching her. Amy fell asleep, cuddling Geronimo softly.
Amy woke as each breath she took became a struggle. She found she couldn't reach her panic button, her arm felt like lead. Geronimo bit the chain that held the alarm and pulled it free of Amy's clothes. Taking care, as Amy's breathing became louder, Geronimo bit down on the button, activating the alarm. Barbara came rushing down the stairs, the alarm triggering a wristband she always wore. When she heard Amy's breathing, she dashed for the phone, hitting a speed dial button. She brushed Amy's hair, her hand trembling, as she spoke to a doctor.
Amy closed her eyes as her Mum left to open the door for the ambulance crew. She didn't notice being picked up and rushed into Hospital.
When Amy opened her eyes again she was in a hospital bed, tubes hooked into her nose and arms. She noticed her Mum on one side of her, her brother, Sam, on the other. "Hey Bro" she said, her voice barely a whisper. He gave a twitch of a smile before looking at the foot of her bed. Doctor Elsbeth Jackson looked at Amy solemnly.
"I'm glad you're awake Miss Young. From what your mother told me, you have a very intelligent rabbit." Doctor Jackson smiled briefly. "Unfortunately I have bad news for you. Your respiratory system almost completely failed. We have done all we can, called in everyone we've been able to, but we cannot repair your lungs. You will need to stay here indefinitely." She bit her lip as if she wanted to say something else but left, tears briefly filling her eyes.
Amy looked at her Mum and her brother. They were afraid to look directly at her, afraid that their emotions would hurt her. Amy smiled, which surprised them. She struggled to sit up a little, shaking her head softly when her Mum went to help her. She took a few deep breathes before holding out her hands. She took one of their hands in hers. "Thank you. You've both been here for me. And I know you'll be here as long as I..." She bit her lip, not wanting to say what was on their minds. "I'm not going anywhere. You'll have to go home at some point. I don't want you to smell too much when you visit." This got a small chuckle from Sam. "Geronimo still needs to be fed. YOU need to eat. I know you too well Mum, you'll stop eating again. And you need to make sure you've sorted everything at work." Barbara nodded, wiping her eyes with her free hand. "The Doctor's have always told me that I was unlikely to live for long, and I've lasted longer than they guessed. I've been thinking about things since I've known I could die soon." She bit her lip; her throat was starting to hurt. "You're stronger than you think, emotionally. But when I look at you now, I can see parts of you dying with me." She licked her lips. "Can I have a drink?" She asked, looking at her Mum.
Barbara smiled at her daughter, "You've grown so much." She said as she held a cup of water to Amy's lips. "And you're right. We do need to eat and sleep. I think we can work something out so one of us are always here." She kissed Amy on the forehead. "You get your rest." Amy's eyes drooped shut. "Night angel." Barbara whispered.
When Sam sat down outside his sister's room, he hit the chair next to him hard with his fist. He felt lost. Amy had been a constant in his life, and now... He didn't want to think about what would happen. His throat caught as he stopped himself from crying. He knew that if he started, when he started, his Mum would feel worse. He bit his lip, trying to think. When his Mum left the room he said, "I'm going to go home." Barbara nodded, her mind elsewhere.
When he got home, he sat beside Geronimo's hutch. Although he had the free run of the garden, Geronimo always seemed to be in his hutch when people wanted him. Sam sat there for a while just looking at the rabbit. "I know we haven't gotten on well Gerry," Sam said, feeling stupid talking to the rabbit, "But Amy won't be back." Sam hit the ground next to him. "We don't even know how long." He bit his lip. "I wish she'd never." He stopped again. "I just want her to be better. She never complains about her pain, she never seems to cry. It's not fair." He started rocking backwards and forwards slowly. "She needs a miracle, and we can't pull one out of our ass." He reached out to the container with rabbit food in. "If you don't bite me, I'll feed you. Mum will only forget otherwise." He chucked food into the hutch. "I can't believe that talking to you helped. I must be going mad."
Doctor Elsbeth Jackson sat at her desk, frowning and thinking. It was only when someone cleared their throat that she realised that someone had come into her room. Darren Tilley, a Doctor and empath, sat across from her, grinning at her. "Haven't seen you so lost in thought since you got caught up looking at all those germs just after you found out you were an elemental." Doctor Jackson blushed. "That and you're on one hell of an emotional roller coaster. I could have felt it through several inches of lead." Although his abilities weren't affected by lead, he always joked about it as if they were.
Doctor Jackson sighed. "I've got a case... It's getting to me." She reached down and turned the folder in front of her toward him. "She's fifteen for Christ's sake. She's been ill since she was four. She's been housebound for two years. And nothing I do helps." She hit the desk with her palm biting her lip from the pent up feelings inside her.
Darren looked at her surprised. He had never seen her so angry. "You need to let your feelings out before they affected others." He said offhand while reaching for the folder. As he read through the notes, he felt Elsbeth's emotions wave around. He raised an eyebrow at a couple of the notes. "You called in Jakob?" He asked, surprised as Elsbeth. The two bio elementals hated each other with a passion.
"I had no choice. I called in favours from people I didn't know I could get favours from. Jakob was as stumped as everyone else. We don't know what this is, what caused it. Hell I haven't been able to predict anything about this... illness since I first looked at the case eight years ago. The only think that I do know is that the only thing that even has a possibility of curing her is MORFs." She sighed and sank back into her chair. "This case makes me wish we could infect people with MORFs, when nothing else has a hope in hell of working." She looked out the window. "I've heard rumours from the American doctors, that there are Bio's that can. I don't know whether I should put a post about Amy on the board. Maybe... If someone could help." She snapped her head to Darren suddenly. "Do you mind talking to her? I never thought about her emotional health."
Darren snorted out a laugh. "I must say I am interested in this case. If the reports are accurate, the patient seems very mature and emotionally balanced. I'll talk to her. If you tell me how you got Jakob to look at her." Elsbeth laughed at him.
When Amy woke, her head felt light. Sam smiled at her from his seat beside the bed. "Sleeping beauty is awake at last" he joked. "When I went out I got something for you." He pulled a tissue paper wrapped package from his pocket. "I hope you like it." He placed it into her hands.
"Thank you." Amy said before unwrapping the present. She raised her eyebrows when she picked up the contents.
"It's suppose to be a good luck charm. A rabbit's foot. I'm sure it's synthetic." Sam said blushing slightly. "It's just... I know you miss Geronimo."
Amy held her brother's hand. "You were being thoughtful, I shouldn't discourage it." When Sam looked at her, she stuck out her tongue.
"Jesus Sis, your hands are freezing." Sam put his hand on Amy's forehead. "I'm calling the Doctor." He pushed the call button, then again when he got impatient.
"I heard you the first time you know." Doctor Jackson said, leaning against the door looking at Sam. "Now, what seems to be wrong?" Amy chose that moment to start coughing.
When Amy had finished her coughing fit, she noticed that Doctor Jackson had started taking a blood sample. She watched as the needle pierced her arm. "How are you feeling Amy? I want the truth this time." Doctor Jackson said quietly.
"Lousy." Amy admitted reluctantly. "I have a headache, a big one. My stomach feels like it's being kicked, my arms feel like lead and I want to go back to sleep." Her shoulders sagged. "What is it Doc?" Doctor Jackson had used the blood on a machine.
"Well Amy. It looks like..." Doctor Jackson pulled the report from the machine, smiling as she looked at Amy. "Stage one of Massive Ontogenetic Regulation Failure Syndrome. You have MORFs. You'll need packs for IV; we'll keep you under as much as is safe." She moved to the doorway. "Nurse, MORFs IV kit for Room 271 please." She called.
After hooking Amy up to the IV, setting the rules for the nurses, and telling Barbara about Amy, Elsbeth sat in her office. She sank into the chair, relaxing properly for the first time since Amy had been admitted. "Knock knock." Darren called as he looked around the door. "Can I come in?" Elsbeth motioned toward the chair opposite her. "I heard that your patient has caught MORFs," he said as he sat down.
"We were lucky with that one. I dread to think what would have happened if she hadn't caught it." Elsbeth shuddered slightly. "Did you manage to talk to her?"
Darren shook his head. "I've got a busy schedule at the moment, earliest I can do is once she's done with MORFs. I've pencilled her in for Tuesday. If she hasn't reached stage three by then she'll have a preferential booking for when she's ready. Truth be told I think her Mother might need it just as much." He shook his head. "I have a feeling that Miss Young will accept anything that MORFs throws at her. I don't know about Mrs Young. She's frightened by it."
Elsbeth's computer bleeped, indicating that an e-mail had arrived. "Typical Americans, late for everything." Elsbeth chuckled at her joke. "I've just got to write up a few things then I'll be leaving. You?"
Darren shook his head. "I'm finished for the day now. Who knows, I might even be able to get an early night for once. See you in the morning." He left quietly.
Elsbeth brought up the e-mail on her computer. She bit her lip and re-read the message. She put her fingertips together. The e-mail read: Project closed. Terminate all specimens.
Elsbeth got up and stared out the window. A year ago, she would have carried out the orders without questions. She went back to her desk and opened the slim secret compartment underneath the desktop. She drew a gun out. Steeling herself, she took a deep breath. She knew what she had to do.
Doctor Jackson held the gun in her hand. "I'm sorry Amy." she whispered. She raised the gun, took aim and squeezed the trigger.
The entire MORFS Universe can be found at http://morfs.nowhere2go.org/