CH. 2 PART 2: RESURGENCE

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The medic took the woman into another room within his tiny home, which he had converted into a lab. His monitors lit up as he sat at his workstation.

"It's already a risk taking you here. The organization runs on fear, so it's not uncommon to have fights break out in the lab. Especially when test subjects are brought in. Some won't go down without a fight, and I end up helping the unfortunate ones like you by sneaking them here." His eyes returned his monitors.

She mulled over his words. He thinks I'm a test subject. It explained his sense of normalcy around her. He gestured for her to sit on the examination bed, wrapping a monitor around her arm. Several charts populated his computer screens. He did a double take at the woman's reading. Miss, you're not who I thought you were.

The medic's device had somehow bypassed the authentication of her Go-Card, granting him access to a few medical records from his facility's database. Her Go-Card had matched to a profile of "Yiuna Li", a sparse record on her that had been created some years back. He didn't think much of her name, but wondered if she really been a test subject for that long.

"I have reason to believe they activated the current experimental beta in your system. The injection they gave you affects your nervous system and begins at your spinal cord, leaving traces over your back. Please undress so I can take a look."

You have some bloody nerve, dragging me home for this, she thought, smiling tersely through her pain. She was irritated at her own helplessness. Yet she knew something was off; her heart was pulsing in her ears. Was it just her, or was it starting to hurt just to move her body? The pain was similar to what she felt when she had undergone experimentation some years ago. It manifested in a familiar yet unwelcome searing on her back, pulsing just under her skin. She thought she would never be reminded of those days again. A check-up was probably necessary, but she had disdain for losing any degree of self-reliance. It was how she had gotten by.

The woman removed her blouse. The medic waited until the sound of her rustling clothes died down before walking over to examine her. Suspicions confirmed, he beheld misery in her beauty. A faint glowing pattern could barely be made out on her delicate skin, through her shoulder blades and down the slender curve of her back. The marks resembled the delicate wiring of buses on a motherboard. The medic's suspicions heightened as he realized the pattern on her back didn't resemble those of the other test subjects. It may have been a reactivation of the virus on her record, but even that didn't tell him much about her. At the very least, he knew it wasn't the current beta.

"I was right," he said, feigning a lack of suspicion. He reached for a syringe and walked back over. "Hold still."

He barely drew in a breath before Yiuna stopped him. With a pivot of her hips, she turned to grab his wrist with one hand as the other held her shirt over her chest. She winced from the movement.

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