Rachel hopped out of the Humvee and carefully opened Scarlet’s door. Unbuckling her, she gently picked her up and moved to Mateo as he talked with another soldier that met him.
“Nicely done, Captain. We’ll take the wounded off your hands. Have two of your men escort the two Mythickin to the research area and have the rest of your men take a breather.” Mateo nodded, and the man walked over to talk with more soldiers.
“Roger, Cameron,” the two men looked Mateo’s way. “You two have been with them the longest. Escort them to the research area and standby.” Nodding, they walked over to Rachel as Cameron went to inform the rest of his team.
“If you could follow us,” Cameron said, nudging his head toward the ER.
She noticed that she was drawing a lot of attention; likely from the moon’s light making her glow. However, when she walked inside, and her glow faded, she still drew eyes. Is it because of my bright skin and white-pinkish hair?
They went by several doors with soldiers at attention; everyone made way for them as they continued, staring at her as they passed. It’s got to be my hair, it covers my tail, so that’s the only thing … except for my pinkish-red eyes and bright skin—Zoe did say I stand out.
Her ears twitched as someone began talking to the Unicorn in English. “Hello, your name is Maria Camila Espinar, correct?”
The voice that responded was soft but had a hard edge. “That’s right; you the President of this hospital?”
“That’s correct. I understand that for your—services, you require compensation?”
“What of it? I have a service and if you or anyone else wants to use it, pay up.”
“Yes—these people have just come running from their homes with nothing on them…”
Maria chuckled. “I know you have WIFI up and working in this building; tu esta bromeando, cabron? They can access their bank accounts and wire money.”
Rachel frowned as the President went silent for a moment and Maria sniffed. “Nothing to say? No tengo tiempo.” She stated in a disgusted tone. “If the hospital wants my support then it’ll have to pay; think smart, payment to me and no drugs or equipment.”
“Give me some time to consider your proposal.” The President muttered.
Laughing, Maria’s soft voice and condescending tone seemed in contrast. “Think quick, basura de mierda; people are dying.”
It soon became apparent that she’d left the conversation with the President as she spoke to someone new. “Estos tontos darán; Ve a buscar a la pandilla y diles que traigan comida al décimo piso.”
“Dale, hermana,” a young man chuckled.
Rachel sighed as she continued talking in Spanish. She’s charging for healing people when the world’s falling apart … if Maria’s like Scarlet and me, she could probably just do it with a snap of her finger. She’s a freaking Unicorn … aren’t they supposed to be pure and generous? Well, I guess it’s not like I’ve changed all that much … a bit, but nothing crazy. If she was a crook then, she’d be a crook now.
“What is it?” Roger asked.
“Just listening to a conversation,” she muttered. “By the way, is there any other Mythickin here beside Maria? The Unicorn.” She added, noting his blank stare.
“Ah, umm, I haven’t been briefed on any other Mythickin other than Scarlet and you.”
“That right,” Rachel said, still scanning the area for more information. There are so many injured; from minor cuts to massive internal organ damage. Some wounds seem to be from ability users, but most sound like they were caused by the riots and crowds running from anyone that changed; knowing the CDC was getting involved played a role in it, no one wanted to be infected. There are so many biologically altered people dead too … seems they got hit the hardest around the world. Hundreds of bodies that the National Guard and Military are helping to clear out … all from a handful of groups and individuals. It’s so sad.
She arrived at a medical ward that seemed to be clear of people; the doors locking behind them. She could hear an excited woman up ahead. “Richard, they’re coming! It’s the Vampire and Bunny-girl! Isn’t this exciting.”
“Chill, Julia. Remember the report, she can probably hear you fangirling right now.” An older man said with a chuckle, making Rachel smile.
“I can’t help it! A real-life, like, in reality, Vampire and Bunny-girl! Hare, gotta remember that; it’s an important difference, but still! What must they look like? I haven’t seen any pictures.”
“Right, deep breaths—deep breaths. Okay, they said they’re here, right?”
“Yeah, coming this way.”
Cameron and Roger frowned as they started hearing the girl’s squeals. “Something wrong up ahead?” Roger muttered.
“No,” Rachel said with a light chuckle. “She’s just excited.”
Rounding the corner, she got her first look at the pair. They both wore lab coats and standard hospital attire. The man seemed to be in his fifties, the woman in her early thirties. When Julia saw them, it looked like she was going to faint. “You are—gorgeous!” She breathed.
Adding a light smile, Rachel sighed. “Thanks.” She examined the large medical space in a glance; she spotted a patient room to the left and went in to set Scarlet on the bed. She turned as both Julia and Richard moved to the door, and before Julia could squeal anymore, Rachel put her finger to her lips, causing the woman’s jaw to snap shut. She was happy to see there were no windows. I should probably leave the curtains around the bed open and leave the glass door a crack … I hope she doesn’t have any trauma from being forced into that coffin. Turning back to the pair, she left the room, leaving the glass door a crack behind her.
“Is there anything wrong with her?” Richard asked with concern as he looked at the door.
“No,” Rachel said. She moved to sit in a waiting chair, pulling her hair around her right side. “She’s been using her abilities a lot and is feeling tired. I think she’ll need a little more blood in a bit. She fainted from a lack of energy after subduing a man that attacked us and has only had a single blood pack to stabilize her.”
Julia’s eyes were sparkling. “Really, she subdued the person that attacked you?”
Roger and Cameron moved further down the hall and sat in chairs. Cameron muttered, “Rachel, we’re going to try to get some rest. Wake us if you need anything.”
“Alright, thanks, Cameron, Roger.”
Richard glanced over at the soldiers. “Did they say something?”
“She must have heard them with her super hearing!” Julia noted.
Rubbing between her eyes, Rachel took a long breath. “Alright, so, Richard, Julia, I was told that I would be taken here, but it was a little vague for the purpose.”
Julia cleared her throat, standing straighter. “Right, so, I have a doctorate in animal science from Cornell University, specifically, animal genomics and bioinformatics … basically, I know a lot about animals. I also love anime … seeing you in real life is like a dream come true!”
“Doctor Jarsdel,” Richard said firmly. “We need to be professional.”
Taking a deep breath, Julia tried to calm herself. “Of course, I apologize … what was your name again? They really should have asked people to put their names on that race survey.” She muttered.
“My name is Rachel Park.”
Richard nodded. “Right, Ms. Park, it is a pleasure to meet you. My name is Doctor Richard Raynott, MD of Psychiatry and General Surgery. We have been asked to look at each Mythickin and assess your condition.”
“Condition,” Rachel whispered. “Do you know why any of this is happening? Why everyone changed?”
They both shook their heads. “No,” Richard said in a grave tone. “We have tested many people changed and found no matching signature biologically. Mythickin, however, are extremely rare from what we’ve been able to determine; analysts have determined through numbers pulled from other countries … one in every one-hundred and fifty people have been affected worldwide—that’s roughly fifty million people.”
“They haven’t been able to compile all the races or types yet,” Julia stepped in. “However, there are only fifty-two Mythickin discovered so far.”
“I’m one in fifty-two,” Rachel sighed, leaning back. “That means there are three so far in Miami alone … that’s pretty surprising, right?”
“Indeed,” Richard pulled over a chair to sit across from her. “There are three in Tokyo, Japan discovered so far … they’re taking the change rather well. There hasn’t been near the amount of chaos as in the U.S., and there are a lot of people with powers helping over there.”
“Obviously,” Julia chuckled. “It’s Japan; they love The Oscillation.”
“The Oscillation?” Rachel shifted at the name. “The President said something about an oscillation.”
Grabbing her own chair, Julia sat next to Richard. “That’s what they’re calling it; I think it started from the speech. They’re calling this event The Oscillation. We’ve gotten a lot of reports about the exact moments it happened; there was a reverberation that pulsated back and forth inside of you before the change, right?”
Rachel looked down at the floor. “Yeah, my roommate said that I changed from normal to—this like a hundred times in a second before this form stuck.” She gently rubbed her left bunny ear, feeling the tingling sensation it left. “It was like I had these ears all my life; I instantly knew how to minimize the volume around me and focus on specific sounds.”
“Fascinating,” Richard noted, taking out a tablet PC to document her description. “That’s likely a mental control; you can mentally, no—instinctually, control the sounds you perceive. That’s quite amazing.”
“You’re a Lunar Hare, right?” Julia asked, continuing at Rachel’s nod. “So, what makes you different as a Mythickin than the other bunny and hare Beastkin we have documented? Why are you so special as a Lunar Hare; a Mythickin, not a Beastkin?”
“Let’s see,” Rachel mumbled. “The moon—when I am under moonlight, I gain an enormous amount of energy. How do I explain it … when I was in a Humvee, not under the moon, I was able to kick out its door, sending it smashing into a nearby car, crushing it and sending it flying into a nearby building. On the other hand; when I was under the moonlight, I was able to move extremely fast, fast enough to cause massive shifts in air pressure, and I could easily rip into a steel door and rip it off its frame.”
Staring at the two doctors’ confused expressions, she chuckled a little. “I guess that doesn’t explain it very well. I tried with kicking the door and with the other door or running, I didn’t even have to try—it was like it was made of butter and my fingers just sank into the steel with ease. When I’m not under the moonlight, I don’t feel that massive strength—sure, I feel strong, but nothing like under moonlight.”
“Huh,” Richard typed down the information on his tablet.
Rachel’s brow furrowed. Wait, Scarlet was worried about the sun … what if I have to be concerned too? “Umm, it just occurred to me, but maybe I’ll get weaker under sunlight, in contrast to moonlight—what happens when the sun and moon are both in the sky?”
“Excellent questions.” Julia nodded before pursing her lips. “Hmm, anything else interesting about your change?”
Feeling a little depressed, Rachel shook her head. “Just the speed, strength, and hearing—well, my vision has expanded, I can see everything in my peripheral vision in focus.”
“Interesting,” Richard noted. “So, from what you’ve said, you’re far stronger than any Beastkin we’ve seen so far and much faster. Some Beastkin seem to have enhanced speed and strength, but ripping steel apart like butter, nothing like that yet. There are some human—I’m sorry, that was insensitive of me.”
Rachel’s lips fell as she stared at the polished wax tiles, still able to see both doctors’ concerned expressions. “No need to apologize—I realize I’m not really human anymore. I may look human-like, but I’m pretty sure my blood will come back not very human-like—I mean, it’s white.” She scratched at her left brow. “It is what it is.”
“Your blood is white?” Richard asked, looking down at his report.
“Yeah … what about Maria’s blood?” Rachel asked, head lifting
Both doctors shifted nervously. “I guess you can hear people talking about her,” Julia said before breathing deeply. “The Unicorn—Maria, has chosen to withhold her blood until compensated … since it could be a valuable resource, she says.”
“Can she do that?” Rachel’s head tilted to look in the direction she heard her and her gang talking in Spanish jovially.
Richard shrugged. “Well—we don’t know what other kinds of abilities she has, and with the horrible things some of the other Mythickin have done, the President decided to give them some leniency until we understand them a bit more. That’s one reason why we gathered both Scarlet and you here.”
“I understand that,” Rachel said as she looked over at the room Scarlet slept in.
Her attention was diverted as she heard one of Maria’s gang members running back up the stairs to see her; he spoke in English. “Hey, hermana, I heard two other Mythickin just got in.”
“¡Carajo! They better not mess up my deal. You hear what they are?”
“Na, they’re talking about a bunny and black-haired girl with pointy ears though. Apparently, the bunny glows like you, hermana. The bunny was carrying the black-haired girl too.”
“No clue—could have been asleep.”
“Yeah, that’s what they’re saying.”
“Alright, muchachos, stay here; I’ll go check out these payasos.”
“You gonna pick a fight, Boss?” Another guy asked.
“Tsk, if they’re moving in on my business, sin piedad.”
They shouted, “Aye, reina del bloque, no se detendrá hasta que se caiga!”
Rachel sagged against her chair; she didn’t understand the words but recognized the tone. “It sounds like Maria is coming this way and she’s not happy.” Richard and Julia shifted nervously.