Chapter Eight, Part Three: PinkieMature

He’s stiff as the proverbial board, and so warm. His skin, normally so cool and smooth like Ice Dolphin flesh, is too hot. It feels strange, as though it might try to steam soon, and she wonders if he’s somehow come down with something. Perhaps it isn’t the ring that caused this… perhaps he’s just sick… but no. That’s silly. It’s always the ring. 

“ You just had to touch it again, didn’t you?” she groans as she hefts the floppy frame of her charge onto the desk, then flicks her earpiece on. “The potential for reverberant temporal overlap is greatest in this area, you know that! You little snot. Why in hells did you do it again?” One limp little wrist, hot and clammy in her fingers, brushes against her thigh like a weakly thrown toy pillow as she sucks in hard breaths and stores the oxygen in her extra lungs, preparing in case she has to breathe for him. 

Silently, she waits with him as he breathes too shallowly in her arms, as her earpiece’s emergency feed sends out for any nearby med-bots, security guards or certified Medicals, anyone with a level five health clearance, really. 

“It’s all right, Daddy,” she says softly, brushing a strand of his whitening hair back from his blanched little boy face with its arched nose and dull eyes grasping at nothing, wrapt in unconsciousness. “You’ll come  back. You always do.” 

The End

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