AN: I got this idea just sitting in school – half asleep; I'll mention- and just wrote it in an hour. Let me know what you think… and the fact that I wrote it fast, I only read through it one time so bear with me on the spelling.
This is when Wanda/ Melanie is found in the desert by Uncle Jeb and then when she is brought to the caves… Jeb's POV.
Saved… for now
As I gazed over the open desert of nothing but dried dirt and small and useless bushes I saw it, or was it a someone? It got me confused and so I inched closer. As I was about 20 meter away I saw that it was indeed a someone, a person. If alive, I didn't know. I walked closer. Surely it, or she, I could distinguish it now, wasn't dangerous. I could clearly see that she was lying on the ground, practically waiting for nature to round its course and take her life.
That's usually what happened if you'd stay out here too long. I was a few feet away I saw her chest rise and fall, though very faintly. Her back was up and her face was towards the ground. Her face was, however, to the side and I could se her eyes being closed. It was a horrible sight. Not just being a human left in the desert but that the human looked familiar. Too familiar. 'Melanie.' I thought in horror. It took me 2 whole seconds to think all this through. Jared and Jamie had gotten here, saying she was gone, taken, kidnapped, turned.
"Noooh." I whispered ever so slightly and I doubted she could hear me. Maybe she wasn't and escaped… Maybe… I didn't have to think through the next part of what I did. I shook her for some affect but no sounds were made. I rolled her over and took the water bottle I had and poured some over her face, cooling it.
She opened her eyes and she got the water right in them. It mush have hurt but she didn't care, obviously. They would not like this. Hell… if it weren't my cave; they would have had me thrown out and her shot in the head at the first sight. I sighed and saw her chin inch up and she opened and closed her mouth, searching for the water. I helped her hold her head up and angled her chin as the water slid down her throat.
She drank a lot and had it not been the body of my niece I would not have allowed it. But I could not let her be hurt. She was my niece for cryin' out loud. The water bottle was empty and I brought another one to her lips. As the night was black and she was alone, I made sure that it was in fact true. I made extra sure it was really an it and not her. I rummaged through my bad and found the flashlight and brought it up. I opened her eyes and flashed the light and to my much discomfort; I was right. The light reflected around my face and I sighed heavily now. No the others would not understand this at all.
I sat back and watched as she opened her eyes and took in her surroundings. She looked at me and at first she looked completely confused and surprised but after a while, emotion flashed on her face. Recognition? No that couldn't-
"Uncle Jeb?" It was fain but it was there and it was rough. She still sounded like Melanie. I was sure I would choke on my own breath and I couldn't keep from staring at her face. Is it really true? But I saw… the eyes…
"Well now," I started "Well now, here's a pickle." After a few seconds she, it, whichever, asked another question that also took me off guard.
"Did they make it?" I kept my face impassive as I asked who.
"Jamie, Jared!" She croaked out but it was still forceful. "Jared was with Jamie. Our brother! Are they here? Did they come? Did you find them too?" How would she know about them? Surely if Melanie was truly gone, it hurt just to think it, then she shouldn't have known about them, well, not that they would come here at least. This was interesting.
"No." I answered. What was this one doing? But if she asked about them then she must have a mission. The aliens want all humans, they would not get em' I'll tell ya, not all of em.
"No." She whispered and closed her eyes, "relaxing" into the ground.
"Look," I said, "I, uh, have something to take care of. You rest here for bit and I'll be back for you." I had to leave and think. What should I do? If I'll take her, it back they'll shoot it, her. Anyway, I couldn't bring her back myself. As I walked back to the others I thought about what to say and how to explain. I mean; she was an it, thing, whatever, whichever; but how would she know… about the place and Jared and Jamie. She could have gotten it from Melanie's memories. I've always though on how they could know so much and how they got their information. But why would she have asked like that? She looked and sounded so concerned like she truly cared weather or not Jared or the kid was fine.
The way back was long and any other time I wouldn't have complained but now I felt myself getting into a hurry. I didn't want her to be left in the desert by herself for too long. She could get dehydrated again; she could starve even more than she already had. She could get eaten by a coyote or something. What shocked me most was that I actually cared about it. Sure it was Melanie's body but not her inside, right?
I was closing in on where the others were. They saw me and made no move to walk towards me. As I closed in I quickly explained.
"I found one of them in the desert. Beaten down by the sun and heat and looks like she doesn't have much longer."
"Did it come for us Jeb," Maggie asked.
"I don't know Maggie but we just can't…" I didn't tell them it was Melanie. They didn't need to know that just yet.
After that, most of the conversation was a blur. Many of us, none Jamie or Jared, although I'm sure Jared was told by now, went off and soon again found the body lying with it's face in the dirt again. Dawn was just around the corner and I saw her sitting up, drinking from the water I had left with her.
"Why did you give it water Jeb?" Kyle was mad and I'm not sure weather I was angry about that or not. Melanie, she, it, turned onto her knees at the sound of the voice. We made a circle around her. She looked around at each of us and I tried to keep my expression as friendly as I could at the moment, not aiming at her like some of the others did.
She was now looking at me intently. She observed me and I observed her. I could tell that some of the others watched me now instead of her but I didn't look or acknowledge any of them. But I saw, out of the corner of my eye, that Kyle made a move for her, ready to strike at any moment.
"Hold it Kyle." I told him. He immediately stopped and turned towards me.
"Why? You said you made sure. It's one of them?"
"Well, yes, she surely is. But it's a little complicated." So very complicated.
"How?" It was Ian this time who asked and his voice wasn't as angry as his brother.
"See, this here is my niece, too." I knew they wouldn't understand.
"Not anymore she's not," Kyle said in his angry and rough voice. He spit at the ground near her, it. He made a move for her again and this time I was serious. I aimed my rifle at him.
"I said hold it, Kyle." He froze like I had expected.
"Jeb, what are you doing?" Ian sounded terrified. Surely he knew I would never actually fire the gun at Kyle.
"Step away from the girl, Kyle." I said, ignoring Ian.
That made Kyle swirl around and practically yell out; "It's not a girl, Jeb!"
I kept the gun aimed at Kyle. "There are things to be discussed."
"The doctor might be able to learn something from it," Maggie offered. The voice brought Mela- the girl, it, to turn her head in her direction. After a few moments she exclaimed in the same voice as when she'd first seen me.
"Aunt Maggie? You're here? How? Is Sharon –" Maggie rushed forward and slapped her twice right on the face.
"You won't foolus, you parasite. We know how you work. We know how well you can mimic us." He words came out snarled and very acidly.
"Now Maggie," I tried in a soothing voice but she cut me off.
"Don't you 'Now, Maggie' me, you old fool! She's probably led a legion of them down on us." But Maggie backed away like the girl in front of us was dangerous which you could se; she clearly was not.
"She's alone, Mag. She was pretty much dead when I found her–she's not in such great shape now. The centipedes don't sacrifice their own that way. They would have come for her much sooner than I did. Whatever else she is, she's alone." With that said, I walked slowly forward and I could see the slight fear in her eyes. As I held my hand forth, she just observed it, like it was going to slap her also.
"C'mon," I said soothingly. "If I could carry you that far, I woulda brought you home last night. You're gonna have to walk some more."
"No!" I heard Kyle exclaim.
"I'm takin' her back," was all I said.
"Jeb!" I heard Maggie screech at me.
"'S my place, Mag. I'll do what I want." I always used that excuse for the most part. But it was my place and I'd do what I wanted with it.
"Old fool," she said in defeat. I may be an old fool but at least I had some compassion. I bent down and grabbed her arm, dragging her to her feet. She would come weather she liked it or not. She tried to steady herself and held on to me. I heard voices and noises of disapproval but pretended that I didn't.
"Okay, whoever you are. Let's get out of here before it heats up." It was still dawn but it wouldn't take long after the sun had arrived and taken its claim over the dry desert to make an affect on us.
AN: I'm not sure I'm really pleased with it but you'll be the judge of that!