Chapter 1.1

May 31st 2045

          "Vitals are normal. Brain activity is strong. White cell count remains exaggerated. Dana, how do you feel?"

The MRI scanner putters down into silence, and Dr. Connor's voice rings through the ear-buds clear and cool-mannered. My arms and legs are planted firm and still at my side as the curved sides fold open around me and the bed whirs gently forward, out of the machine that had me in panic attacks a year ago. Now, I just chuckle to myself that it looks like a giant egg.

          "Hungry," I answer honestly. I rarely give them anything useful to go with. It's the same with the psychiatrist, I talk more about what I think Lisa's thinking than about what I'm thinking. The truth is that I've been feeling sick all day, but that's down to the fact that it's monthly check-up, and I know Extraction is coming up after lunch.

          "Almost done, darling," says the voice I love hearing. Dr Seymour's an elderly man, but he has such a suave voice that every time he leads the Extraction, I close my eyes and imagine him fifty years younger. "You can sit up now."

I do so slowly, the dizziness returning and my stomach growling for food. My scrub trousers crinkle loudly as I twist my legs over the bed's edge and slip down, the scrub shirt showing my mid-riff as I stretch my limbs that have gone numb after a good half an hour in the scanner. I'm alone in the room - a circular room high up in one of the central hospital towers - but a light goes on in the room next door, illuminating the window where three of my doctors stand next to computers, reams of files under their arms.

          "You passed with flying colours," says Dr. Connor, wiping sweat from his receding hairline.

          "Did you expect anything else?" I ask sarcastically, fiddling with my itchy patient bracelet.

          "Well, not really, no," he admits.

          "There's a slight change, a hormonal imbalance -," says Dr Andrews, flipping papers on his clipboard.

          "Yes, it's my monthly," I say quickly, "you just have to ask." My second year anniversary at the White Lily Institute is fast approaching, but privacy was something I waved goodbye to in the first week.

          "R - right, of course," he stammers. I sigh - he's new, it can't be helped.

The End

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