"Desperate times?" I asked, sitting up further in bed. "What sort of desperate times? And what kind of measures include me?"
"We need you. It's time to fulfill your purpose, Angela," Antonio said. "Your purpose is this: to become Raen."
The doctor stepped back and began to prepare some medical instruments, and Antonio took the corner, speaking with the Colonel, who eyed me with interest. My parents filled this extra room around me, without prompting. They grouped around me, like visitors to the infirm; last rites and goodbyes before death. It was this type of aura I picked up from the atmosphere surrounding me, and I didn't like it.
Mom took my hand, her warm fingers curled tightly around my ice cold. Dad perched on the edge near my feet. Both of them had teary expressions.
I leaned in and whispered to them, "What's wrong? What- mom, why are you crying?" It unsettled me all the more. She wasn't upset over the fact that I knew the truth now. Something more was going on, and they knew I knew it.
She just squeezed my hand, shaking her head. Dad reached to put his arm around mom.
I voiced my thoughts: "It's... You're both acting like I'm dying."
Mom's composure broke completely. She put both hands to her face, sobbing. Dad pulled her to him, and I was left staring with confusion.
"Am I dying?" I asked, quietly.
The colonel snorted. "Your body isn't."
My body... "What the hell do you mean by that?!" I tried to rise, tried to swing my legs over the side of the gurney. But I couldn't. Whatever that nurse had given me made my head swim, and I nearly fell back, dizzy and weak.
The doctor moved toward me, a full syringe in hand.
"No. Don't!" I shook my head, willing myself to get up, to run! Get out of here! The adrenaline started to course, and my vision became focused, my muscles contracted. I stood up, fists ready. I was not going to let him inject me with that red liquid. "I don't need any more medicine. And you're not going to inject me with anything," I challenged him. The dizziness was fading, and my body wanted to fight.
"Restrain her!" The doctor said, holding the needle out of my reach. His eyes were fearful.
Just then out of nowhere came Antonio, the colonel and my father. They grabbed my arms and legs, and hoisted me back onto the bed. I struggled, but they restrained me and began to strap me to the gurney. I couldn't move. I yanked and kicked and scratched. They still held me. My mother was still crying; I could hear her wails.
A sharp prick, and then a sting as the doctor injected the liquid into me.
"Mom! Dad!" I screamed at them, trying to push off the haziness that started to creep over me. "Get me out of here! Please!"
Whatever it was was burning in my veins, causing painful spasms in my muscles as it flowed up my arm and closer to my heart.
"MOM! DAD! OH, IT BURNS!" I screamed at the top of my lungs, writhing in agony as the poison reached my heart. I could feel it, searing like fire, spreading throughout my body. "AHH! STOP IT, MAKE IT STOP!" I faintly heard the monitor jumping erratically with my unstable heart beats.
My body seized. I could not control any part of me. I felt someone, cradling my head, making sure I wouldn't choke on my own spit, the foam dripping from my mouth like a rabid dog.
One last convulsion, and I was limp. Sweat coated my skin, and I was burning with a fever. My pulse returned to normal, but I still could not move. Could not speak.
The voices now surrounding me were as if heard through a tunnel: "Goodbye, Angel, I love you... I'm so sorry. Goodbye..." My mother? I was not sure; not sure of anything.
Everything faded. My vision grew darker as my body sought the solace of unconsciousness. But it did not come, not fully anyway.
I was merely unaware.