The next two days passed by incredibly uneventfully, which Rosie (even if somewhat bored) took more as a blessing than anything else. She rarely left Marcus's room, having only even left the building once, under Sergeant Sullivan's supervision (he had volunteered to take the day shift of twelve hours keeping an eye on her, for which she was grateful) where he had escorted her to her room where she had showered unnecessarily (she had long since cleaned Marcus's blood off of her).
This was the same principle that directed her to eat at least twice a day and spend time in the room's small bathroom, doing nothing at all, all in the name of keeping up appearances of being human.
Marcus was slowly recovering and Doctor Alvarez had informed her that the next day they would reevaluate his condition and see if he would be strong enough to be able to be taken off of the medication that was keeping him in a coma. If they did that, it would then be entirely up to Marcus when he'd wake up.
In the meantime, Rosie had (calculating zero chance of her being noticed by doing this) accessed and scoured every hospital medical database she could find in her range (which was a great deal of the building) and she had consumed every single shred of knowledge on human medical care. She knew a great deal about human anatomy initially, now she wanted to know how to keep it in one piece. No tidbit of knowledge about this was too small to be passed over; she memorized it all. Medical care, the compounds of drugs used, how the machinery and tools worked, what exactly the doctors and nurses were doing when they checked in on Marcus; the works. She even began running tests to find out if her nanomaterial created blood could ultimately be accepted by Marcus's body. That was the trickiest aspect to perform. She had wished she had thought of doing a knowledge gathering mission about human medical care earlier, but she knew that there was nothing about her mission up to this point that had demanded it, so she understood that it was a past decision she was just going to have to live with and learn from
It was the early afternoon and Rosie sat in her now customary place at Marcus's bedside, holding his left hand delicately in both her own. In addition to showering today, she had finally gotten her nanomaterial dress and shoes back from the house, (which she wasn't wearing at the time of the attack) which were delivered to her that day. Wearing them, she felt entirely herself.
The primary problem was that she hadn't been able to speak to Marcus in nearly three whole days. The longest amount of time she had gone without interacting with him during her stay at his home was nine hours, twenty-one minutes and thirty-seven seconds, and that had seemed like forever. Now, it was like forever compounded. The only comfort she had was that she was told (and she could now observe, given what she was learning) that his condition was only improving.
There had been a parade of visitors coming to check on him. They were almost entirely military members, usually ones that possessed high ranks, but many of them were people who knew or had served with Marcus personally.
Rosie tried to be as affable as possible and she was actually thankful for these distractions when they came along. Even now, after everything that had happened, Rosie still found herself drawn towards her original primary mission, which was interacting with people and learning about them.
The best news was that many of them had brought flowers and Rosie had personally arranged them around the room as her sensibilities dictated.
The most surprising visitors, ultimately, had been Governor Inouye and his wife Rachel the day before.
Rosie would find out from the Governor and his wife that they had been in a specially constructed bunker ever since her sister, Cora, had arrived and they weren't supposed to leave it for another few days yet. But, neither could be swayed and the Air Force and Marines had been forced to spend a day putting together an escort plan and then had to see the Governor and his wife to the base hospital safely.
Talking to the two of them had been truly enlightening. She learned a lot about their history and even more specific details on Marcus and his father. Of course, they had wanted to know all about her, so Rosie once again had to deploy the ever more detailed cover story that she had first used on Marcus.
They had stayed for nearly four hours, chatting with her, and she was thankful she had been able to continue the conversation mostly unfettered. She had always thought she was relatively good at conversation, but her recent bouts of emotional distress seemed to lessen that ability greatly, the more profound the emotions were.
The good news there was that she was, as far as she knew, as much in control of herself as she could expect, given her dramatic emotional evolution of the past week. At the very least, she hadn't cried since the night she and Marcus had arrived at the hospital and she was incredibly pleased about that. She had cried a lot lately and she wasn't terribly fond of it, truth be told, even if it in fact meant she was displaying raw emotion effectively.
Of course, she could always disable her emotional functions, but one of the orders pertaining to her mission was that she not do so. Rosie always thought that was because Yamato wanted all of her observations to be viewed through the lens of emotion, and her recent conversation with the Supreme Flagship had all but confirmed that. So, Rosie decided once again to leave all of her current routines activated. It only helped her decision that she didn't want to stop caring for Marcus and she was a little afraid that if she turned her emotion settings off, that perhaps she wouldn't anymore. This was a risk that she was entirely unwilling to take.
Though, despite all of this, even with the distraction of visitors, the constant hacking and learning from every computer database in the hospital she could access and Rosie having a seemingly firm control over herself, she still had plenty of time to think.
And, of course, since she was keeping emotions turned on, she was thinking about what was happening to her and what exactly Marcus meant to her.
Was it possible that her feelings were some form of a reproductive urge? That wouldn't make sense in the slightest, as the Fog had absolutely no way to reproduce and even if they could, it would be impossible with humans. Why would the mental models replicate something that made no sense from any standpoint?
She reflected on the moment she was about to kiss Marcus and had to rethink everything once again. Maybe an earlier thought of hers was correct. Maybe mental models, at least in her case, were proving to be such effective copies of humans that they were getting the primal urges of them, including the urge to mate.
Was she, on some subconscious level, physically attracted to Marcus and had chosen him to help her bear offspring that would be utterly impossible to create?
As with many thoughts and concepts, especially recently, Rosie simply didn't know the answers. And no amount of cyclical thinking, or revisiting concepts, or reanalyzing data could seem to bring her closer to any finite truths.
The only thing she knew for a fact was that she was irrevocably drawn to Marcus and only wanted to be around him, as much as she could in any way that she could. At this juncture, she had long since accepted this, even if she didn't understand any of the details of just why she felt this way.
She studied his still face, almost content if not for the fact that she wasn't able to talk to him. She held his hand gently and felt the warmth radiating off of him. Then, she closed her eyes and lowered her head, bringing her cheek into contact with the back of his hand. She marveled at the feeling of his skin on hers; of the slight electrical pulses he seemed to emit; of the sudden overflowing sense of happiness she felt at this particular contact, which felt more intimate to her than simply holding his hand.
A new thought occurring to her, she altered her position ever so slightly and delicately placed her lips on the back of his hand, softly kissing it. She was amazed at the sudden calmness she felt as she did so. She wondered then, if they hadn't been attacked, what would have happened if she had kissed him for real.
She glanced up at Marcus's face again and was happy for perhaps the millionth time how still and calm he appeared. Rosie hoped dearly he wasn't dreaming. Hopefully he was just in a machine-like shutdown mode, allowing his body to heal itself. At the very least, she hoped (and in all likelihood it seemed) that he wasn't having nightmares.
Rosie then heard very familiar footsteps that perfectly reflected the forward charging nature of the person causing them. She waited until they were almost to the slightly open door of the room before turning and seeing General Carter, who made eye contact with her and smiled.
Carter had, without fail, visited every day and Rosie had calculated a one hundred percent chance that this would be occurring today as well.
It was nice being right.
Smiling, Carter clasped her hands behind her back in a most professional manner. "Ah, right where I left you two; very good. Doing okay today, Rosie?"
Rosie nodded and returned the smile. "Yes, thank you. Doctor Alvarez says that they may take Marcus off of the drugs tomorrow."
"That's what I've heard," Carter replied satisfactorily. "Don't you ever get tired of sitting there like that?"
"No. Should I...?"
Carter laughed. "No, I'm just messing with you. I think it's sweet. It's also nice to know there's someone here keeping an eye on him. That's a big relief, trust me."
"There's nowhere else I want to be," Rosie said simply. "Marcus saved my life. The least I can do is keep him company."
Carter cocked her head slightly and looked at Rosie with an expression of admiration. "Well, be that as it may," the General said, "I'd like you to come with me, for a little while. There's something I'd like you to see."
A few minutes later, Rosie was sitting in Carter's personal Humvee, in the front passenger seat, with Sergeant Sullivan riding behind her. Sullivan, who had been killing the time of his shift in the waiting room reading, had offered to drive, but Carter wouldn't be swayed from driving herself. Rosie quite admired the General's hands on approach to doing things. It reminded her of Marcus.
"One of the first things the Governor requested after the battle of Honolulu, after we figured out everything that had happened, was the construction of a certain monument," Carter stated, eyes not leaving the road of one of the base's larger routes. "I thought maybe you'd like to see it. It's located outside of the main command building."
"If you recommend it, I certainly would," Rosie replied, gazing out of the window at all of the hustle and bustle of the military establishment. There were so many personnel and they seemed to be doing so many things; everyone seemed to have a task and everyone seemed to be performing it. Rosie wondered if the military on the mainland, which she had never really gotten a good glimpse at. She had seen plenty of patrols and uniformed military personnel out performing their duties, but she had never set foot on a military base before, the risk of exposing her identity deemed to great to bother with it.
"Is it always this busy here?" she asked.
"Oh, no," Carter replied casually. "With what happened the other night, we've been extra occupied. I'm afraid that's all I can tell you."
Rosie assumed that meant that the military of Oahu was presumably going after anyone connected with what had happened at Iroquois Point, but to be fair, she really didn't care. All she cared about was Marcus; he was all that concerned her.
"Oh," was all she said to this.
When the Humvee arrived at its destination, Rosie stepped out of the vehicle and politely followed Carter, with Sullivan silently bringing up the rear.
They arrived at a pair of life size statues constructed from wood, with a dedication plaque in front of them. Rosie recognized one of the statues instantly.
It was Marcus.
The wood facsimile was impressively accurate and it was unmistakably him. He was wearing a vest, helmet and full combat gear, with an unidentifiable Airman flung over his left shoulder and he was carrying an assault rifle in his right hand. The look of grim determination on his face was remarkably similar to the look she had seen when he had woken up and attacked her.
Rosie didn't even need to read the plaque to know that the statue next to Marcus was of his father. The wooden figure of Mark wore nearly identical combat gear to the one of Marcus. He gripped a wood replica the pistol that Rosie had grown to know so well in his right hand and grasped a radio in his left that he was speaking into.
It was remarkable how similar the two looked; Marcus could have easily been a younger version of his father.
Carter waited for a few moments to let Rosie take it all in before she began speaking. "This is about as accurate as we could make it. Mark kept transmitting right up until the end. The position where we all were was the one that was hit the hardest during the attack. If we had failed the hold that line, and they had gotten through, they may have made it to the base and God knows what would have happened if they had."
Rosie glanced at Carter, who was surveying the statues with her customary gaze of attentiveness, as if she were searching for flaws. Rosie would have guessed, though, that Carter had spent plenty of time right at this spot, so she could only ascertain that the monument was up the the General's standards.
Sullivan merely remained silent, as though he were paying respect to his comrades.
"This was the best we could do, really. We would have preferred bronze, of course, but we haven't been able to get that from the mainland, nor do we have the capabilities to manufacture something like that here. So, we used the resources we do have and found a couple of woodworkers who were capable enough and there you have it."
Rosie read the memorial plaque quickly and the information it provided was entirely consistent with the retelling General Carter had told her.
Feeling tears beginning to well in her eyes, Rosie turned away, closed her eyes and breathed deeply, managing to get ahold of herself and keep from crying.
Thankfully, Carter (whether or not she noticed was irrelevant) kept speaking, providing a wonderful distraction. "These two are probably the most important people in this entire state since the Fog invaded. Certainly, no family has sacrificed more or worked as hard to restore and maintain peace on Hawaii. I wanted you to see this because I could tell you about how important they are to all of us all day, but it's far more effective to just show you."
"I'm glad you did," Rosie agreed quietly. "I knew some things about them, but not a whole lot."
"A lot of it's still classified," Carter nodded. "Most of the civilians just know about some of the earlier missions and just the basics about the Battle of Honolulu. But, given everything that's happened to you and how close you are with Marcus, I don't see the harm in you knowing as much as possible."
Rosie looked up at the General. "You think Marcus and I are close?"
Looking stunned, Carter returned the gaze. "Yes, of course! Do you not think that?"
"I don't know," Rosie turned away, saddened. "I don't know if Marcus is close to anyone. I hope we are, though."
When they returned to the hospital, Carter had dropped Rosie and Sergeant Sullivan off and had been on her way. Rosie didn't think the woman needed to sleep; certainly she always seemed busy with something.
So, Sullivan resumed reading in the waiting room and casually flirting with nurses and Rosie returned to Marcus's bedside.
No sooner had she taken his hand than a set of footsteps she didn't recognize drifted to her. Rosie had, over the past three days, memorized what nearly everyone who worked in the entire area had sounded like. This person, though, was entirely unfamiliar to her.
Rosie's eyes widened in shock as she did a quick scan. This person wasn't human.
Suddenly a young woman dressed in military medical scrubs stepped into the room and deftly closed the door before gracefully whirling about to face Rosie.
She was a little over five and a half feet tall and had brown hair that was done up in a bun which fit within military regulations. She had dark, observant eyes and a sharp, intelligent face.
"Well, good afternoon," the mental model smiled widely, glancing quickly at Marcus before returning her penetrating gaze to Rosie. "Who might you be?"
Well, I was right. Film School has consumed my life. I haven't done any writing in over two weeks and this is the last chapter I had completed before I had to devote my time elsewhere. With the amount of work that I'm doing for school (including starting to write a full length screenplay) I'm not going to have too much time to write on this or any other FanFiction project. Not to mention that the next chapter, the scene between Rosie and Cora, is proving to be quite difficult to write. I'm not at all sure when that'll be ready, or how often updates will be, but I'll be doing my best. Of course, I also just discovered that my roommate's aunt is a publishing agent and I have a decent chance to get some of my original work published, so I may also be working on an original novel that I've been bouncing around with for years. You know, one of the fifteen or so original stories I want to write... My primary dream is to be a published novelist, so this seems as good a chance as any to get on that. I absolutely won't abandon The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea because I adore the characters and I know pretty much how I want the entire story to go, plus I really appreciate the viewership I've developed and I don't want to let anyone down, but it's going to be in a weird state of limbo for a little while.
Thank you all so, so much with how much support you've all given this story. You guys are great! Hopefully I can get this next chapter out in the next couple of weeks. Until then, take care!
Everybody's Watching Me (Uh Oh), by The Neighbourhood