Chapter 22 (Changes)
Ambrose shook his head at the declaration from Timora’s father. He started to open his mouth to refute the man then shrugged he’d be at it all day. Thinking a moment an idea came to mind. “I do not wish to be called by that name. I have given you a cure that will allow you to live. I am sorry at the moment I only have enough for thirty three other people.”
Timora’s father’s eyes went wide then he nodded. “The more we can save the better it will be. Though I am afraid it is too late for many,” came the weak man’s voice.
“I should have enough for almost forty more later today. I think I can have enough for seventy eight each day, though I need a way to get to the people that need it. Fighting off hundreds or thousands would lead to the death of many.” Ambrose told the man.
“So you need me and my daughter so you can give this to all?” The man’s head was nodding. “For what you have given and done for my family I would be honored to help you great Cit-Chac...” The man was suddenly quiet when Ambrose held up his hand.
“I’d rather you call me Ambrose, at least ‘til more of your people are safe. At the moment only you and Timora are immune.” Ambrose told the man.
Nodding again Timora’s father lay back as the machines continued to monitor him. A mere specton later they all heard Timora as she started to stir.
Trying to sit up and go to her father she soon found out that it was best to sit still a bit. Swallowing hard they heard her ask, “Lord? Is father going to be ok? He is all I have now.”
Ambrose walked to her, “Yes he should be fine now. He was just starting to come down with the malady.”
Sighing Timora nodded, “Can you really help all those that are sick? Many of the young children are sick, plus most of those that are of advanced years are also sick.”
“Yes, you father has told me all of this. I...” There was a sudden rapid beeping of the machines that were hooked to Timora. Going to them Ambrose’s eyes got large at the readings he saw there. Going to look at her father’s readings he saw almost identical readings. Turning back to Timora, Ambrose looked closely at her. Sure enough her fingernails were longer almost claw like. Shaking his head a wide smile lit up his features.
Weakly Timora lifted her hand to stare at the claw like extinctions of her nails. “Lord?” Almost panicking she turned to Ambrose with a frightened, terrified look. “Lord what is happening to me?”
Sighing now, Ambrose had to somehow explain to the young woman. “I am afraid that the only way to save all of you is this cure. It has changed you; you will be faster, stronger and highly more sensitive to everything around you. I’m sorry but it was the only way to save you.”
Timora was nodding still staring at her clawed hand. Ambrose remained quiet as her eyes got wide when the claws retreated into her hand. Ambrose’s smile started as he nodded to her. “Do you know how far I will change my lord,” she asked.
Ambrose shook his head, “Not at this moment though I might soon. I’d have to have you here for a great amount of time. As we both know others would grow suspicious.”
“Yes, that goes for the both of us.” They heard from behind them. Timora’s father was on his feet looking at the claws on his own hand. It was at that moment that Timora started to weakly giggle. Ambrose turned then a wide smile lit up his human face. Both of her father’s ears had fur on them! Both were more cat like giving him a cat/human look.
“Sire!” Roth whispered to Ambrose. “Are we seeing the birth of our race?”
Ambrose nodded as he leaned to Roth. “I believe we are. Though I am afraid we are going to have to teach them how to...” Ambrose started.
“It’s not hard,” they heard Timora saying. “Just think of what your regular hand looked like.” Her still shocked father nodded then with a smile watched the claws retract his hands then his ears appearing human again.
“I am glad that you have learned how to change my daughter.” Turning to Ambrose the man bowed, “as soon as she is better we need to go. I can see that it takes a bit of strength to survive. Our people are strong I think even the sickest could survive. We will have to see Cit ... I’m sorry Ambrose. I will try to remember. As for you being accepted I think that will be easy, though after they start to change that might change. We will just tell all that you are a medicine man from a tribe far to the north that heard of our troubles.”
Ambrose scratched his chin a moment then nodded, “I see what you are saying. Let me get the rest of the cure for today then we can proceed.”
It was almost a half minton later when six figures slipped into the village. They were met a few times by guards that regarded them with suspicious looks, especially when they saw the weapons that four of them had strapped to their backs.
They all quickly made their way to a huge isolated conical building. Once inside the four with weapons mouths dropped open at the sheer number of people within. An older man beckoning to them had them moving to another section. Within they saw hundreds that were mostly children.
Ambrose remembered the outbreak when he was a child, but this was by far worse than even his nightmares. Rapidly moving around the room Timora’s father stopped at one bed. “Here this is the worst of them. If it can help him then I think that we have a chance.” Ambrose nodded as he adjusted for the youth of the child, and then with the older man blocking the view injected the plasma in the boy’s arm.
They all sat beside the bed for almost two spectons, when the boy’s body started to convulse. They had to place something over the boy’s mouth as he started to scream. Then another three spectons later the boy’s body went limp. Ambrose pulled a small scanner from within his clothes. Looking up he nodded to Timora’s father, a wide smile broke out on his face. Sighing he stated, “We have a chance then, he was the worst of all of them.”
Nodding Ambrose took more readings seeing the plasma racing through his body. “How many have you lost?”
“He was the worst of the third set we moved into here. The first set had about a hundred, the last died two weeks ago. The second set had well over two hundred, the last of them died a few days ago. Will he survive?”
Ambrose looked at the rapidly climbing readings, nodding he said, “Yes, I believe he will. What did you mean if it can heal him we have a chance?”
“Oh! This is the chief’s son. If we can help him then the chief might allow you almost anything you want.” Timora’s father said.
Ambrose looked at the older man a moment then pointed to his ears. Closing his eyes the older man’s features shifted back to human. “I’ll have to get as much ready as I can. I forgot in all this to ask you your name.” Ambrose said.
The older man bowed to Ambrose, “I am called Hippacamp, Lord.” Hippacamp said the last in a whisper.
Ambrose was nodding when something clicked in his mind. Hippacamp!!? Almost betraying his surprise Ambrose had to turn away. [By the great Feline! Hippacamp! One of the greatest doctors the father of all doctors! He was amongst those that landed that on Xendra! Cousin, be careful AND respectful!] Came Adina’s thoughts.
[I thought I told you to stay out of my thoughts Adina!] Ambrose’s angry reply said.
[Sorry, with you as far away as you are, I had to make sure you are safe. Also I wanted to tell you Skylos has the ship almost ready to go.] Came her reply.
Breaking out in a huge smile Ambrose thought, [finally something is going the right way. Though I am afraid it might be a while before we can attempt to go home.]
He heard a sigh then Adina thought to him, [I know cousin. This is the start of our people if we don’t help them then we won’t be. Like you said this is a major headache to think about!]
Ambrose was nodding as they moved to more of the sick that were there. For half a minton they worked through the seventy that were the worst. Then Ambrose was moving back to the first young boy as he finally started to stir. “How are you feeling?”
With a crackling voice the boy whispered, “Thirsty, so thirsty.”
Ambrose smiled as he held a cup of water to the boy’s lips which he drank greedily. “There that should help.”
The boy nodded then his mouth fell open. “Who are you? I am feeling something strange from you. It’s almost like I have a cat in front of me.”
“You have been sick for a while I am sure that is why you are feeling strange things.” Ambrose told the boy. The boy nodded staring at Ambrose then laid back down closing his eyes.
Ambrose pulled the small scanner out again going over the boy. Nodding Ambrose started to go to the others nodding when he saw ALL their readings growing steadily stronger.
Ambrose finished then pulled Hippacamp aside. “As with you and Timora they also will start to notice changes. You have to keep all of them here ‘til we are ready to move them.”
Timora nodded then a thought hit him, “What of the chief’s son? Surely he will try to gain access to him at some time or another. He, I am afraid we won’t be able to keep out.”
Ambrose nodded as his mind was racing to devise a plan and a cover for the changes her knew were coming. Sighing he turned to Hippacamp, “I’m afraid that I’m going to have to reveal who I am sooner than I want to. Though I might only have to, to the chief.”
“Yes Lord Ambrose,” Hippacamp was whispering. “That might be for the best, he might be able to help with this more than any other.”
“Alright I have to go back where we met. I have to make more of the serum before we can really move on. The problem is everyone may be infected. If that is true I might not have enough fast enough to heal them all.” A worried Ambrose told Hippacamp.
“Lord,” Hippacamp whispered. “The fact that you have saved this many children gives me hope that we will survive.”
“I’d feel better if we had far more, believe me.” Ambrose told the man before he and his knights started out for the ship.