by Rae Cod
“How long has he been infected with the parasite, Mr Kant?” asked Doctor Fenton, keeping her face as neutral as possible. This was the tenth case presenting with intensive acceleration they’d had this week. The patient – the host – was under sedation in isolation; isolation to supposedly protect others from the parasite, sedation to protect the patient’s own sanity: the National Health Service just didn’t have the resources to deal with something like this.
“He was infected in the first wave, so I guess about six months ago, we’ve been really careful since then, followed the guidelines not to touch…except…”
Dr Fenton’s ears pricked up, “except?”
“His birthday, three months ago, it was just the once…it’d been so long since either of us…and his symptoms seemed under control…”
“Did you use protection”
“No,” said the husband – Mr Kant, Doctor Fenton reminded herself. She must remember to use peoples’ names, be more human. “It all happened so fast…” he trailed off looking sheepish. “What about his penis, can you fix it?” Dr Fenton reflected that this was going to be the least of Mr Kant’s worries when she delivered the news of the test results.
“Mr Kant,” she said in what she hoped was a calming voice,
“Call me Michael, please.”
Doctor Fenton took a deep breath. She really didn’t have time for this…the implications…she dragged her focus back to the worried man in front of her.
“Let’s sit down for a second, Michael” as she settled her slim frame onto the plastic seat, she wondered why they put such uncomfortable chairs in waiting areas, perhaps to dissuade all but the most committed from waiting,
“Michael, there’s no easy way to say this,”
“You can’t fix it can you?” tears began to gather in his eyes, but she ploughed on, no point prolonging the agony.
“No, we can’t reattach Tom’s genitals; there’s nowhere to attach them to. The parasite appears to have accelerated; what began as a hormone imbalance has become something much more. Tom’s body has restructured itself in a way no person has ever seen. Michael, this is going to be difficult to hear, unbelievable even, but Tom’s sexual organs have become entirely female. In every physical sense that we can detect, he is a woman. He is also three months pregnant.
She managed to catch Michael before he pitched forwards off the seat and called to a passing nurse to help lift his dead weight onto an empty trolley.
“He’s just fainted, monitor his stats and stay with him until he comes around. I’ve got a few calls to make.“
She passed the isolation ward on the way back to her office. It was peacefully quiet, apart from the reassuring bleeps of the monitoring equipment. She saw Tom, a tall athletic type, breathing rhythmically in a deep sleep. Her eyes were drawn to the faint swelling apparent in his stomach area and she allowed herself a small smile. She never dreamed things would happen this quickly.
In her office she settled herself onto her yoga mat in the lotus position and took a few deep breaths, allowing her breathing to slow, as she opened her mind and cast it outwards to the farthest reaches of space, connecting with her home planet in a matter of minutes.
Sisters of Tanafriti, this is Adhara, reporting from planet Earth. The colonisation is proceeding quicker than expected. The organism is spreading at an expediated rate, mostly thanks to a practice called sex which these humans seem unable to resist, even more so when they are told not to have it, which has worked in our favour. An exciting development: one of the hosts has been impregnated. I have connected with the child and can confirm she is Tanafriti, we were able to communicate and she understands her role in this new world. Prepare for departure, by the time you reach Earth the organism will have completed its work and only Sisters will remain.
Well done Sister, came the response in her head, The Sisters and Earth are indebted to you. Challenging times are ahead Adhara, but this is necessary. We leave you in balance.
In balance, Sisters.
Adhara opened her eyes as her consciousness settled back into her physical form.
Time to visit Mr Kant and encourage him to go home. The organism was likely taking root in his body, but there was no need to alarm him just yet, perhaps allow him a bit more time with his family and friends, a few more hugs to help the new world on its way.