My throat swelled and I could feel my heartbeat at the tip of fingers as I looked up to Ian's devastated face. His eyebrows furrowed more and more as each second of silence went by. I felt as though I was choking on words, there were so many things I wanted to say to console him and assure him that my death was not near but there were so many things that I couldn't explain that I just drew a blank. He shook my shoulders and pulled me to him.
"Wanda.." he murmured in my ear.
"No , Ian , they don't know what's going on. Didn't you hear them? They said it could be anything , for all they know it could be some sort of minor virus or bacteria epidemic." I rushed trying to soothe him.
"What about the souls you've seen that died, what about Sunny ? The fevers and sight loss? That doesn't sound like a minor anything and you said that the souls know everything about the anatomy of the hosts they're going into. The healers not knowing what this is … I don't think that's a good thing. Wanda.. I can't.."
I cut Ian off with a kiss. I felt his tense lips under mine, full of resistance.
"Wanda, if anyt-" Ian started as he pulled away, but I shushed him with my lips once again. He began to comply to my offer, relaxing his lips and pulling me closer. I wanted him to know we would be ok. I wanted him to know that I would never stop fighting for my life for as long as he was with me. Words wouldn't suffice. I had to show him. The deeper our kisses became, I knew he understood for I felt wetness from his tears on my cheek. I pulled away, wiping the tears gently with my thumb.
"Ian, baby , its ok. We're going to figure this out. Please don't cry" I murmured to him, saddened by his tears. He nodded against my forehead. I looked into his eyes which were glistening blue, covered with a shine of tears.
"I know, Wanda, I know. And you know I'll be there with you and I'll never stop trying until you're safe." Ian whispered, cupping my face in his warm hands.
"But for now," Ian sighed "We have work to do." He kissed my forehead and looked around. There were several filing cabinets around us and there was a table covered in loose papers and stationary. The room appeared to be some sort of conference area. Not wanting to risk getting caught, we kept the lights off, only letting the light through the closed blinds be our guide. Ian began sorting through the papers on the table while I began opening the cabinets, opening files.
Data. Iventory. Shipments. The tabs on the folders read out basic needs for any facility. The second cabinet was full of patient records, categorized by illness or reasoning for visit. Fever. Headache. Wounds. All common visitations.
"Any luck?" I asked Ian, glancing over as he was studying a sheet of paper.
"Not yet, you?" he replied.
"Nothing" I sighed.
I ignored the files and opened the cabinets and cupboards which were filled with medicines. I grabbed those I knew we were low on such as cool and heal. There was an eye drop bottle labeled illuminate, this was new I thought, and I had a vague clue as to what it does when I heard Ian grunt. I looked over at him and saw that he had his hand was engulfed in a file cabinet.
"What's wrong?" I inquired.
"There's something back here it's jamming the cabinet and I can't take it all the way out." He explained, still struggling.
"I have smaller hands, let me" I walked over to him and pulled his arm out while I placed mine in and sure enough a thick folder was stuck in the rails.
My small hands managed to pull out an old looking file with the label Orixe.
"I know this" I muttered to myself. I looked up at Ian; he just looked back at me with curiosity.
"This is a name, this is a soul I knew back in the origin, and he taught others about the other planets" I explained.
"Like you, at the caves" Ian pointed out.
"Not exactly like me, he knew about planets he's never even been on, he told me about the seaweeds yet he's never been there" I clarified.
"So this could be important?" he asked. I nodded slowly and opened the folder.
Papers and pictures slipped out, spilling onto the floor. Ian bent over to pick them up, but he froze when he picked up the first one.
"Wanda" he said, the sound of disbelief and fear trembling through his voice "Take a look at this." He handed me the sheet and immediately saw the words Incredulous Theory by Orixe written in bold. The word confidential was stamped red across the page. As I read further, the article explained that the soul Orixe, a soul who took part in establishing the origin, discovered continuous flaws in the soul attachment to new hosts, and the inevitability of their rejection and eventual detachment from them. He examined every planet and their inhabitants and possible flaws in the soul attachment over time. He was the originator of medications to make the transition easier, or to subdue the side effects. It further explained the stages that a soul will encounter once the body begins to reject. The dimming of the eyes, a fever or delirious state, blindness, and finally the taking over of the original host. My eyes began to fill with tears and I collapsed to the floor, holding in sobs and clutching the paper. I scratched the floor, grabbing papers and pictures, reading and examining the images. The papers were filled with cases from every planet, every host attachment, every soul rejection possible, with an image to go along with it. My breathing began ragged and my cheeks were slick with tears. Ian was kneeling on the floor beside me, his palms on his forehead, fingers digging through his hair. His body was shaking and heaving from his sobs.
"Ian…." I started my hands shaking , reaching for him.
"LOCKDOWN, CODE RED , LOCKDOWN, CODE RED,…." A loud voice over speakers suddenly exclaimed. I flinched at the high volume and the alarm lights that came on filling the room with a red glare.
My panicked eyes met Ians'.
"The others" he stated as he grabbed my hand. He had the folder in his other and I grabbed the medicine that I stashed.
As we got closer to the door , what sounded like a flurry of people ran out in the hallways. Their voices carrying out with the sound of their feet.
" Humans , Rogue, spotted outside near a van , we're losing them quick go !" a loud voice exclaimed.
When the sounds subsided Ian cautiously opened the door and looked out the hallway, I quickly pulled him back.
"What?" he exclaimed. I jumped at the tone of his voice.
"Sorry, what's wrong?" he muttered, his eyes full of apology.
"The eye drops I found, I think they can hide you." I explained. I pulled his head down and gently dropped the solution into his eyes. When I clearly looked back into them his deep blue eyes were slowly being clouded by the silver that the souls had.
"You look like me" I stated. He said nothing and continued to simply look into my eyes.
"They must have wanted to hide what's happening, Sunnys' eyes, do you remember? They don't want the other souls to panic" I rambled, mostly to myself.
His now silver eyes flinched, his face morphed into a sadness that I couldn't explain. It was only for a moment, and then a stoic expression was worn on his face.
"Let's go" He said as he grabbed my hand.