Thursday, February 14, 2013

Re-Read: Chapter Fifty Two- Separated

"You think that if you can make yourself disappear, 
that will stop me?"

As Jared and Wanda bring their plundered good back into the caves, Wanda main concern is the Seeker might catch onto their plan and try to destroy herself and the host. When they reach the hospital, Wanda finds Doc preparing for the procedure, laying out the necessary equipment on his desk. Doc is relieved to see the pair and brightens when Jared presents him with two full cases of Heal and tells him that they found an easier way to procure medical supplies than having Wanda stab herself. Jared is confused when Doc does not laugh at the joke and when he catches him exchange a piercing look with Wanda. Wanda relays to Doc they were able to obtain ten cryotanks as Jared roughly pulls the rest of the supplies into the room. She is not concerned he will damage the tanks as they are made from no element found on Earth and were constructed to withstand abuse from interstellar travel.

Wanda wonders about Jeb, Brandt, and Aaron's reaction to her term as Doc examines the tanks. Though he tells her they are in agreement, she is not convinced and tells him she will not show him the procedure unless she is sure. Jared stares at the pair confused and Doc wonders how much Wanda has told him. She relays to Doc that Jared knows of her plan to save the Seeker and turns to him to let him in on a little more of her terms.
"Doc has promised me that if I show him how to perform the separation, you will give the released souls safe conduct to another life on another planet. No killing."

Jared also agrees to these terms and assures Wanda that he can make sure the others also keep their word. Just as retrieving the tanks was relatively easy, added occupied ones to the outgoing stacks should present no additional problems. Jared asks for them to wait for him to start the procedure as he returns the jeep back to its hiding spot. As Jared's footsteps fade, Doc wonders if she spoke with Jared about Melanie. Wanda has not, but is convinced Jared can see her end game. Doc resigns his inquiry and heads out of the hospital with a bottle of chloroform to talk to Jeb and prepare for their plan.

Wanda moves to sit against to wall, trying to rid her mind of the events to come. It is then that she realizes that she has not heard Melanie since she made her deal with Doc. 
"Mel? Mel? What's going on? Are you mad at me? I'm sorry about before, by the jeep. I didn't do anything, you know, so it's not really fair-"
Weary of Wanda's exasperated calls, Melanie tells her to stop, but to also leave her alone. Wanda wonders why Melanie is not talking to her and when she looks into her thoughts, she sees Melanie's plan- to make herself disappear. Wanda cannot fathom Melanie's attempt to erase herself, knowing how much she wants to get back to Jared and Jamie. 
"Yes, but ... I can't ... I find myself unable to be the death of you, Wanda. I can't stand it."
"Love you too, Mel. But there's not room for both of us here. In this body, in this cave, in their lives..."
Melanie disagrees with Wanda on this point, but Wanda will not waver from her plans. Diverting their attention to other topics, the two think about where to send the Seeker, Wanda's happier memories filled with ice castles and colored suns, and fairy tales from Melanie's childhood. Their thoughts are interrupted as they hear Doc, Jared, and the others return. Wanda implores Melanie to pay close attention since she will have to do the procedure when she is gone. 

Jared walks into the room carrying the unconscious Seeker as Aaron, Brandt, Jeb, and Doc follow behind. He places the body on the cot as Wanda asks Doc for the No Pain. Staring at the Seeker, Wanda wonders if anything will be left of the host once the soul is removed. Pulling out a thin sheet of the medicine, she places it on the Seeker's tongue before asking Jared to roll her onto her stomach. Trying to keep her voice steady, Wanda asks for Heal, Clean, Seal, and Smooth as she brushes the Seeker's hair from her neck. Unable to pierce the skin, Wanda asks Doc to make in incision the length of the scar already on her neck. Before Doc can make the cut, Wanda calls for Jared to bring over a tank and power it on. As his presses in the circle on the lid, the tank begins to hum with power, which causes the others to move away from it. From there, Jared spins a dial and waits for the light to turn blue before opening the lid and releasing the cold from within. 

With the tank in place, Wanda is ready to continue. As Doc cuts deeper, the silver of the soul mixes with the red of the blood. Switching places with Doc, Wanda slides a fingertip under the creature, twisting it underneath the soul's body. Slowly, Wanda coaxes the soul from the body, lifting it from its place and holding it in her hand. 
"It was beautiful. The soul whose name I'd never known billowed like a silver wave in my hand ... a lovely feathered ribbon."
Wanda finds her hatred for the Seeker does not carry over into the form as she whispers "sleep well, little one" before lowering it into the tank. Once the soul is secure, she takes the tank from Jared and hugs it to her chest, "protective as any mother." Glancing back to the body on the table, Wanda sees Doc working to seal the wound. He also wonders when she'll wake up, if she is still there. They can do nothing but wait and Jared moves her to a cleaner spot where Doc checks her vitals. Jeb slides up next to Wanda and praises her work, though he feels a little conflict with their actions. Wanda hears Brandt and Aaron behind her, discussing their success with elation and voicing their desire to tell the others. Hearing this, Jeb silences them, saying there will be no "soul snatching" until the Seeker is off to another planet. 

Knowing she will need more support with her plan, Wanda realizes she will have to talk to Ian. The thought of this pulls at her heart, wishing there was a way to spare him from the pain. Telling Jared goodbye is also a painful thought since she believes his joy at getting Melanie back would overshadow the minuscule sadness he would feel about her absence. Doc's voice breaks through her thoughts as the host starts to come around. The room falls silent and Wanda edges Doc forward to talk to her. 
"Um ... Hello? Can you hear me ... miss? You're safe now. Do you understand me?"
Slowly, her eyes open and she focuses on Doc's face. She takes in the room, stopping to scowl at Wanda's familiar face, before returning to Doc. 
"Well, it feels good to have my head back. Thanks."

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