Talon, Maggie, and Claw were sitting at the table. They had just finished lunch. Keahi was off taking care of some business. The three mutates were talking randomly about things. Then one subject that they usually tended to avoid came up.

"Do you think Xanatos will ever find a cure?"

The question had been raised by Maggie.

"Maybe," Talon said. "I'm not holding my breath."

Claw motioned with his hands. We are living without it.

"True," said Talon. "But I think the question is would we take it."

Silence.

"I would," said Maggie. "I want to see my family again. I just don't want them to see me like this. I want to be able to go outside and not have to worry about being shot or turned into an experiment."

Talon nodded. "So would I. My family is accepting about it, but I can tell that they are not happy with the idea." He turned to Claw. "What about you?"

Claw thought for a long moment. No, he signed.

The other two mutates were surprised.

"No?" repeated Talon. "Why?"

Because I don't want to lose Keahi, Claw answered.

"But what if Keahi takes the cure?" asked Maggie. "Would you do it then?"

Keahi won't take the cure, Claw said. Being this way, that is Keahi.

"And what about her arm?" asked Talon. "We don't know if her body will be able to support her cybernetic arm if she is fully human."

Keahi is Keahi because she is a mutate, said Claw. Her other self, the person she was before, her full human identity, to her, it doesn't exist. It is dead.

"I understand," said Maggie.


Later that evening, Keahi was wondering the same thing. Claw came up to her, knowing what she was thinking.

Keahi turned to him. "If there is ever a cure, would you take it?"

Claw shook his head.

"Why?" asked Keahi.

Because you won't take it, replied Claw.

"Claw, don't throw something away because of me," said Keahi.

Claw bent down and kissed her. I love you. I won't leave you.

Keahi stared at him. Here was her answer. And she was happy for it.