AaW Chapter 30
Dora was crying in the dark alone. Large, silent tears came out of her eyes as her head lay back on her pillow. Mary had closed her door to the bedroom a few minutes before leaving her alone. Paige barged in ten minutes later, tired and dirty from the fight the night before. The younger woman rushed over and gave Dora a big hug.
“What the fuck is this? What about doctor patient confidentiality?” Dora had asked Mary who was lurking by the door.
“I am not your doctor. I was not acting as your doctor as we played out a hunch I had about your condition and further more you can feel free to sue me if you want. I knew you wouldn't tell her. I knew you wouldn't tell anyone until the little bun fell out of your oven. And I know that is the wrong tactic to take. For you, for me, for everyone. You are resting today, all day. Maybe you go to the council meeting if you go to sleep right now. We can't risk it. You know that.”
Now an hour later all Dora could think about was the baby. A baby. Her child, a last gift from Roger. Her first impulse at finding out she was pregnant had been to ask Mary for the morning after pill. This was what had gotten Dora out of bed so long ago the morning that she met Paige and Mike. The thought of filling her prescription had never even crossed her mind, there was simply too much going on.
Dora should have restrained herself from asking for the morning after pill, she knew Mary was a strict Catholic and there was absolutely no way the woman had taken any of that sort of medication from the pharmacy. To her complete surprise Mary had gone over to a cabinet, pulled something out and then returned to hand Dora a packet of pills.
“Right here is how you can end this. This is Mifeprex, 'RU-486' or better known as the morning after pill, whatever you want to call it. You can end a pregnancy up to nine weeks with it and you are probably about seven weeks along.”
“What? You? I thought...”
“You thought right. I told you, no bullshit until after we sleep. I am not condoning you taking this pill, I knew you would ask about it if the test came back positive. I am not having this baby. You can end it right now, right here and we will never discuss it again.”
“Why did I pick this up? First, there are actually times when saving the life of a patient requires the sacrifice of the child, if the patient dies the child dies too. I am too pragmatic to kill both, especially now. I have never, ever written a prescription for this. Or were you asking why am I offering it to you? Dora I have never given this to any of my patients. I am not an obstetrician, so it really never came up. This is the first time I even have to contemplate going against my beliefs, I knew it could happen someday and this mess with the zombies made me realize it probably would happen. People have sex, people probably do not want to have babies right now. The decision was easier than I thought it would be. As to why I am giving it to you, well I am not prescribing it. You have free will as God intended, you have to make the 'choice' to murder your baby. If you do you will go to Hell, I do not doubt that for a moment. You have me pretty well convinced you are going to Hell anyway, if we are all not there already. I have put the ability to murder your own child in your hands, I will have to answer to a higher authority for that. I can only hope that I will be forgiven for this crime against God.”
“I thought this was a sin, like the biggest in some way? A mortal sin?”
“Is it a mortal sin to make a hand gun? Even knowing hand guns are made to kill people? Or is it the fault of the person who buys the gun and kills someone? Funny how religion works, isn't it? I put the gun in your hands, I created the situation for you to make the moral choice, not me. I feel bad about my part in this. I could have lied and said I didn't have the drugs, a lesser sin. I don't know how it works Dora. I’m not sure if there is some sort of naughty and nice list, like Santa is supposed to keep, only for souls instead. I do the best I can. Right now I am running on three hours of sleep, my only son is gravely injured, I’m living in sin with his father and I make medical decisions every day based on the group's needs rather than the individual I am treating. I am in no position to judge you. This decision is also important to the group and I, alone, cannot make it. How many babies have we rescued? You know as well as I do that the child will give people hope as well as be a drain on our resources. I think the boost to morale will outweigh the costs. What do you think?”
A look of wonder crossed over Dora's face, “You and Alex are...”
“Stop it. This is not the time for that.” Mary held up her hands in front of her, gesturing for Dora to stop talking. “Just make up your mind, don't get sidetracked on things that are not relevant to your decision.”
Dora handed the medicine back to Mary, who put it into the cabinet and locked it back up without a word. There was a slight smile of victory on Mary's face as she guided Dora up to her to bed. After telling Paige not to let anyone disturb Dora for the day, the two women did the unthinkable; they took all of the walkie-talkies off of Roger's dresser and left. Dora had started crying again the moment they left.
Dora looked over as her door softly opened. Paige's head peeked into the room.
“Oh God! I didn't mean to wake you!”
“You didn't. I can't sleep. Too much going through my head.”
“You want to talk?”
Dora gave her a look that could have curdled milk.
“No, really it might help.” Paige let herself in, she had a purse in one hand.
“You going somewhere?”
“This? No, it is just the walkies. It is easier to carry them around in the purse than it is to try and juggle them in my arms everywhere I go.”
“So, do what I do. Dump them on a dresser and only answer them when you are around.”
Paige looked mortified at the very idea, “Dora, that might not be the best way to handle them...”
“It’s the best way. None of us can handle all the crap that goes on around here, except by getting away from it. And really, where can we go?”
Paige shrugged her shoulders, not quite agreeing with Dora, but not disagreeing either. “You could delegate more of it to other people.”
“To some juniors? You know, after last night more than half the town is under thirteen years old?”
“Yeah, 'fuck' is right. What are we going to do Paige? What are we going to do?”
“We got to get out of this place. We have to head to Iowa. If we don’t have the man power to stay on here, then we have to leave.”
“I don't want to agree with you. I really don't, but I can’t see how we can make it here anymore. We can't hold on with children. We have thirty people over twenty years old left in town. We have seventy kids thirteen and under and we have thirty eight, well, older kids really, between fourteen and nineteen.”
“I didn't realize it was so bad. I mean, I knew there were a lot of kids running around, but that many?”
“Yeah, I just ran the numbers before I found out I’m expecting. Last night was bad for us. Not just Susan and Leroy trying to kill me, or losing Jeff, Sarah and Sally, but all those others who were killed when they came over the fence. Damn the wonder twins! I know they set that attack up!”
“No one saw them last night. Just those other two supers, the woman that looked like Clinton and the old dude. And we got Hilary. Sure the old man was driven off, but one super for ten humans is about how it works out for us, actually that is a better than normal ratio, isn't it? I remember when we first ran into them when the horde came down from Denver, I thought we were all dead.”
“Me too. I was so afraid that night, more than any other time since this shit started.”
“Even at the restaurant? I mean that was pretty bad, we didn't even have guns then.”
“Somehow I think of that day as the time before I really knew what to expect. It is like the days of my youth or something, an enlightened time before we really lost our innocence. No, I was more frightened when I saw that super tear Vic Slater's head off and throw it into Nancy Wald. I am pretty sure if I had checked, I would have found piss running down my legs at that moment.”
“You pissed yourself? You?”
“Oh don't tell me you weren't scared!”
“Want the truth?”
“Yes, if you think I can handle it.”
“You might not be able to. Here is the truth Dora. I was not scared, because you were not acting scared. You charged that fucking super zombie, ducked when he swiped at you and shot him through the chest twice, the bullets didn't kill it, but it did throw him on his ass and he couldn't get up fast enough before you shot him three times in the head. It is hard to be scared when you have wonder woman fighting on your side.”
Dora just stared at Paige and let out a laugh after a moment. “You mean it!” she said with a surprised look on her face.
“I do. That is why you lead and we follow. You don't act scared, you tell people what you think of them. You are barely in control, but your snap decisions are better than the decisions I would make if I had a week to think about it. You seem to be able to judge people moments after you’ve met them and you come up with solutions to problems the rest of us didn't even know we had. Is your head big enough now?”
“Oh my, yes love! You do say the sweetest things! How is Mike? Any changes?”
“No, nothing really, uh...” Paige trailed off.
Dora stared at Paige, finally the younger woman flushed and looked at her hands, “Peter, he woke up downstairs in the recovery room, he started babbling, asked if the council, if you, had seen the video yet. Did you watch the video yet?”
“What video?” Dora thought for a second, “Oh God, that video! No, no I haven't really had time, I forgot I picked the damn thing up, you know?” Dora made as if to get out of bed.
Paige blocked her way and said, “You are resting, let me get it, where is it?”
“Well if your God is so great it will still be in my jacket pocket, I tossed it in the tub when I came it. Careful, it is filthy.”
Paige went into the master bathroom and over to the large corner tub that had not been used since Dora moved in. The dirty black jacket was in the tub and there were spatters of blackish red blood congealed all over it.
“Holy shit, I was with you all night, when did you get this bloody?” Paige fished around inside the jacket pockets, pulling out a loaded revolver, with the safety was off first. Slowly she engaged the safety and set the gun on the counter by the sink. Reaching in again she pulled out several different kinds of ammunition, bullets for various guns, a shotgun shell and a double bladed knife. There was nothing else in that pocket. In the other one she found a second knife struck through the lining and hanging out the bottom. The blade was streaked with blood, she decided to leave it there. “I got nothing in the jacket, are these your pants in here?” she called out to Dora.
“Yeah, but they were too tight to put a camera in one of the pockets, did you check the inner pocket of the jacket?”
Reaching inside the jacket she felt around for the inner pocket and came up with a taped black rectangle. “Found it. I think your jacket needs to be burned.”
“Oh, darling it is the height of fashion, 'blood streaked grime' I call it. It’s simply the rage in all the Midwest right now. Yes, that does look familiar.” Dora said as Paige tossed her the camera.
Paige flipped the cylinder of the revolver opened and reloaded it with spare rounds she had taken from Dora's pockets, three of the bullets had been fired. Dora turned on the video camera the two women start watching the small screen. “Dora you didn't reload this last night.” Paige scolded.
“It was a pick up from...uh, Sally I think. I didn't check it out or clean it either. Mike would be upset, so let’s just keep that between us girls now that we are all friendly and such...oh...ah Paige?” Dora asked while looking at the video on the camera screen.
“What darling?” Paige asked in mocking imitation of Dora's own voice.
“Come look at this and tell me what you think it is.”
Paige came over and sat on the bed beside Dora, together they both rewound and watched the first video on the recorder again.
“Oh fuck. That's not...” said Paige.
“Yeah, it is. You saw it too, right away. 'Oh fuck' indeed.”