Duncan was still staring at her and whilst she held his gaze, she found herself unable to move. She was completely stunned by him. She didn’t know why. Maybe it was the lack of seeing anyone that she didn’t then kill, maybe it was the fact that she had heard his voice nonstop for 10 months with only a dimming memory of what he looked like to associate with it, whatever it was, she was completely overwhelmed by him in this moment. She wanted nothing else than to stand there forever, taking in who he was, this man who had not left her side, even when she pushed hard to make him go. He had stayed, and he was still here.
She didn’t know how she felt about him. She knew that she felt admiration and respect and gratification for his loyalty to her, but outside of that she was unsure where her feelings fell. All she knew was that the affection she felt from him was so beautiful that she welcomed it completely. After ten months of people who at worst hated her and at best had a mutual understanding of her, this was completely new and so, so needed. She hadn’t realised how much so, but feeling it now made her want to collapse into a heap and start to cry, if her Walker body knew how to express such an emotion.
Duncan must have felt something in her reaction because suddenly he was by her side, his electric touch at her elbow and sending shivers all across her body.
“What do you need?”
“Do you take requests?”
The voice was coming from Kirsty, who was now sitting on the edge of her bed, her hair had been fashioned to fall over her shoulder and she chose this moment to push it behind one ear and flutter her eyelashes towards Duncan. Duncan gave her a bemused look.
“You’ll have to excuse Kirsty,” Charlotte said. “She tends to hit on any man that moves… Although, I kind of get it. You’re like a sexy silver surfer.”
“Okay,” Daniela interrupted, making her way to Charlotte’s drip. “Let’s look at the dose of your drug shall we?” She gave Duncan an apologetic look. “It takes some modifying. Sexual inhibition comes with the toxins bizarrely enough. Most people just don’t notice it because their too crippled with the pain. Subject 94 went through a period of grabbing my arse any time I came near. That was one of the signs I took to mean my pain medicine was beginning to work.”
Duncan grinned at that and suddenly Kirsty was at his side.
“So, I don’t know if you heard, but I happen to be dying.” She said.
“I think I heard something about that.” Duncan said.
“Well, I was just thinking.” She continued, leaning in close to Duncan. “As you are here, and I’m here, and there’s a bed just over there…”
“Kirsty!” Daniela said, interrupting her before she could go any further. “Why don’t we work on your drip now?”
Once Daniela had adjusted all three of the women’s drugs and they began to show some signs of self-control around Duncan, she turned back to him. Duncan met her gaze and an intensity seemed to sizzle in between them. Once again, Duncan’s trademark grin was nowhere to be found, he only showed concern for her.
“Daniela.” He said.
Daniela broke eye contact and started busying herself at the work station, setting up the next lot of drugs, this time adding enough of the medication to send each of them into a deep sleep from which they would never wake.
“I’m grateful for you for doing this.” She said, her voice business like. “I was a little concerned about having to do it myself.”
“It’s no problem. Of course, if they want to go this way, I’ll happily help them.”
Daniela stopped what she was doing then, her hands resting on the table and her head dipped low.
“I administer them with the deadly toxin and you let them go without any pain. That sounds about right.”
“If you would prefer…”
“That’s not what I’m saying.” Daniela said. A pang of pain shot through her chest and she shut her eyes tight, desperately willing it away. “I couldn’t do it if I wanted to. I’d have a better chance of administering the drug on myself.”
“You know that’s not an option, right?”
Daniela turned to look at him then.
“Why are you here?” She asked. “I’m a cold blooded killer. You should be finding ways to kill me. Every action I’ve done since coming into this room leads to me being the bad guy.”
“But you’re not a bad guy.” Duncan said. “You’re just coming out of a really crappy patch.”
“Is that what we’re going to call the murder of 100 innocent lives? A crappy patch?”
“One of these days, you are really going to have to stop feeling sorry for yourself.” Daniela turned to see Leah looking at her from her bed.
“Like Charlotte said earlier, you get to live. And if you dare live it in a pool of self-pity, I will come back to Earth and kill you myself.”
“Pffh.” Kirsty said. “Good luck on that. We’re almost up to a year of being in Utopia. You’re going to have quite a fight on your hands.”
“I don’t know,” Leah said. “She’s been in here for all of it.”
“Her Walker has. Not her. You think Gary stopped injecting her just because she was lying in a pod?”
Daniela looked at them quizzically.
“What the hell are you talking about?” She asked.
“Took the words right out of my mouth.” Duncan added.
Suddenly Gary’s voice came over the sound system.
“They don’t know anything about that yet, guys. How about a change of subject?”
“Don’t know anything about what?” Duncan asked.
“You mean, you guys have been taking it without knowing why?” Kirsty asked.
"Kirsty…” Gary said, his voice a low warning.
“The protocol was to tell everyone it was vaccines.” Leah said. “I never thought that people would buy that for this long though. I was sure that the moment people showed no signs of the toxins, they would start to question.”
“Not to mention when accidents happen. Surely you guys must have noticed the sheer lack of cuts and bruises on all of you.”
“I have no clue what you’re talking about.” Duncan said. “There isn’t any lack of cuts and bruises. People are hurting themselves just like normal.”
Kirsty looked up at the camera, addressing Gary. “Does this mean that it’s not working?”
There was a brief pause before Gary’s voice came over the speakers. “Everything’s right on schedule.”
“On schedule for what?” Daniela asked.
Kirsty smiled at them both. “For repopulation of the Earth.”