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Wanted to but couldn’t. Rose’s mouth was drooling, a clear blue fluid. Her nose ran with blue snot. She was suffering from bluish-gold aural discharge. The horrific extent of her desecration by Claire, the AI’s malicious bodily intervention: thru her abuse of Carmen, the defunct LS74 series, her maladministration of autodoc, the breaking of its Hippocratic Oath; suddenly became apparent to him. Claire had deliberately flooded her lungs and stomach with liquid freezing agent, effectively poisoning and drowning Rose at the same time,

‘Bitch!’ Tiernan yelled, loud enough for the whole of Carmen to hear, but Claire paid no attention, no longer capable of feeling guilt, of atoning for her sins. He ran his hand over the slight round of Rose’s belly, wondering if she was pregnant, wondering if her foetus could have developed inside her body during hibernation, if her baby could have survived.

Tiernan shook his head, distracted,

No way! Kid would be twenty-four-years old by now. Focus! Must focus on saving Rose.

He knelt beside his soulmate and rolled her onto her front, placing the flats of his hands in the crease between her shoulder blades, then pushed down hard, pumping her body like a human foot pump for all his life was worth. Tiernan pumped all that horrible liquid jelly out of her mouth and nostrils until she’d spewed it all out, ridding herself of her assailant’s curse,

‘Come on, Tiernan,’ he told himself, ‘You can do this, man. You can save her life.’

Once Rose had stopped vomiting blue gel and her nasal passages were clear, he rolled her limp body onto her back. Tilting back her head, Tiernan pinched her nostrils, sealed her mouth with hers, and gave her his kiss of life. Her chest rose then fell. He remained calm, resting his head on her chest, listening for her heartbeat, pressing the side of her neck with his fingertips. Rose wasn’t showing any vital signs of life. Tiernan pushed down harder, both hands compressing her chest, pumping her heart, then kissing her, blowing sweet air into her lungs,

‘C’mon Rose, you can’t just die on me! I love you.’

Desperately, he pumped her heart, kissed her soft lips, blew his life-giving breath into her sweet lungs, loving his dear, sweet, woman, for all her life was worth.

She coughed, bringing up a jet of blue-tinged mucus. Her eyelids flickered, then opened. She tried to speak, weakened by her horrific ordeal, tried to say the loveliest words in the new-born world, content to mouth a silent whisper,

‘You brought me back, brought me back to life. I’ll always love you.’

She closed her eyes and slept.

Overwhelmed with emotion, her saviour stared up at the cobalt steel ceiling, and prayed,

‘Thanks be to God.’

Then he lifted her frail body, and carried her to the sunpad, where he dried her of the blue taint, vowing that he would never leave her side again. Soon as Rose was dry, he carried her to her cabin and tucked her up in bed, all snug and cosy. He reached into his fatigues, drawing out the simple gold wedding band, crying with joy as he slipped it onto her ring finger, whispering,

‘Love you, Rose, with all my heart,’ he said, eyes awash with tears, ‘Will you marry me?’

She was beautiful.

He admired her sleeping face. The tiniest flicker of a smile teased her lips, telling him all he needed to know,

‘Yes, gladly. I’ll marry you. Gladly.’

And then she slept.

THE END?


Submitted: October 12, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Harriet-Jacqui's Hormones. All rights reserved.

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