Photo via Visual hunt
“Don’t stay out too long again,” Philippe told her as she relaxed into the body conforming chair. “You almost didn’t make it back last time.”
“Trust me, I’m not making that mistake again,” Suyen said with a shudder.
Philippe tied the tourniquet tight on her upper arm and tapped her lower arm until he found a vein that didn’t have too many holes in it. He slid the needle in and depressed the plunger on the syringe.
For a moment Suyen felt nothing. Then came the weight on her chest, the sense that she couldn’t breathe. She let her eyes close. She could hear the monitor as it beeped, letting everyone around her know that her heart rate was slowing. For a moment, she heard and felt nothing.
Light flooded her senses and she was floating above herself. Philippe was beside her, constantly checking all of her readouts. The director and his assistant were watching her wasted form as it struggled to maintain the life she so desperately clung to.
Knowing her time was limited, she willed herself out of the secret lab and out into the night sky. She lifted herself higher and scanned the city. She saw the streets and took a moment to enjoy the beauty of the lights of the cars, streetlights, and the city. It mesmerized her and held her attention for several seconds.
She tore herself away from the view and focused on her mission. She continued looking and, just as she knew she was at the limit of her time, she saw what she needed. She locked the details in her mind before willing herself back to her body.
She woke to Philippe’s worried face. “You cut it close again, Suyen,” he said. “A few more seconds and you wouldn’t have survived.”
“I know,” Suyen said. “But I found her.”
“Where is she?” the director asked.
Suyen opened her mouth when suddenly her heart monitor started going crazy. She gasped, hands clenched as her chest felt like it was going to explode. She was vaguely aware of an IV being stuck in her hand, of something hot piercing her veins. She dimly heard shouting. Then there was nothing but a solid tone.
Suyen found herself staring down at her body again. This time there was nothing binding her to it. Her heart monitor was a flat tone and her chest was still. The director was screaming at Philippe, who had tears running down his cheeks.
“How the hell am I supposed to know what happened?” Philippe snarled, startling the director into silence. “I told you she was too frail to keep going. I told you she needed some time to rest. You knew your daughter was safe, that she would be okay for a while longer. You could have given Suyen time to recover from her last trip.”
Suyen realized what had happened. She was dead. Her body, not accustomed to having her soul consistently ripped out of it, had given up. She let herself drift out of the lab. She floated up into the night sky. There she gazed down at the streets and lost herself again in the mesmerizing light.