Day 021: Washed by the Blood
Summary: Visions in the midst of the Blood Fever
Date: 06/10/2016
Related: Penance Caught in the Middle
Tuan 


May 19th (Day 20 after Dropship) — Cave; Forests outside of Coesbur


The depths of the Blood Fever were reaching their peak as the illness wrecked havoc throughout Tuan. The visiting of Britt and Arlin had been a welcome reprieve from the symptoms but within him, Tuan still felt and believed that somehow this Blood Fever was a price he was paying. It was just after the midway point of the fever when the heat within his body reached its peak, spiking past the points where his body could manage itself. Still recovering in many ways from the Sky flu, the immune system of the young man was compromised and as the fever rushed past his breaking point the delirium settled in.

"It is a penance, it is a humbling. Too much pride and I must be humbled." Every word from Tuan was rasped out between fits of coughing and blood that flowed almost freely from his mouth when he opened it. The attempts to wipe it clean by those that had tended to him were short lived as it would be replaced by another trickle that would grow into a dried river.

"This is not a penance Tuan, this is a sickness." The voice echoed quietly as the soothing hand ran over his shoulder. The voice was clear, so much clearer than others he had heard considering the state of his body and the hand on his shoulder felt cool. Like a winter breeze touching the burning skin. But what truly brought a shudder and sigh of relief was the recognition of whose voice it was.

"Mother?" Tuan sputtered out, a cough of blood following. "Mother… help me."

Arlin had warned that he would wish to be dead before it was over, that point had long since passed for Tuan. Buried, deep in his mind was perhaps the revelation that he was in fact dying, or even dead. A general acceptance of that had yet to settle in and he struggled mightily against the notion for some time prior to this. Yet now, now he was acquiescing to the possibility. Now that he could hear his long lost mother, feel her soothing touch on his shoulder.

"Mother… let me come to you. To the fields. I will even be glad to see Matthieu, I will be nice to him, I promise." The last, the thought of being nice to his brother causes a laugh to escape Tuan before it is replaced with a harsh gagging and splattering of blood from his lungs onto the ground followed by a rasping gasp for air.

"Why are you so selfish child?" The soft voice responded within his mind. "What of Ginia? What of Luka? What of Wantoppa? Do you think those of this world are so eager for you to leave them? That is how a child views the world. Selfishly. What they want. That is why you lay here like a pitiful creature, trying to reject those that come to you. Feel sorry for Tuan. He has to make tough choices." It is then that Tuan's mind has changed the tone of the voice, no longer his mother but his brother, Matthieu harshly criticizing him; always criticizing him.

"Nothing was ever right for you!" Tuan snaps out loudly towards the rocks of the cave, the energy of his anger causing his body to toss slightly to make the argument. "Because nothing you ever did was right." The mental retort comes to his own mind, again in the voice of Matthieu. "You are a child. Fit to what catches your attention. Full of excuses. You have never given Wantoppa your everything. You have never given MY wife and MY child your everything. How do you expect to be of value if you never give everything you have? Selfish."

"Selfish."

"SELFISH."

"Father and mother just tried to make the world better for all of us. Who do you make the world better for?" Tuan's voice echoes now in his own ears as he mutters out loud. "And look where that got them? They are dead." This time the voice within Tuan's mind seems to echo all, like a chorus of everyone he's met. "When you wake you can go back to who you are. Or you can be washed by your own blood."

Washed by his own blood. The mere thought causes Tuan to try to laugh but nothing comes out. Within moments the parts of his mind that have not completely fallen to delirium have registered that nothing, particularly air, is coming in either. Gasping, clutching and thrashing begins as Tuan struggles to pull that most precious air into his body but the blood in his throat and lungs is preventing it. Blood colored eyes snap open with shock and alarm until he feels the tight arms about his chest and the breath of words in his ear.

"Get up. There is work to be done."

The squeeze about his body, a convulsion, does enough to dislodge what had clotted him enough to expel the backed up fluids. Like a dam breaking open over a constrained reservoir the blood within comes free before with gasping breaths the fever breaks, the peak of the mountain of disease being crossed over.

As the delirium of the fever starts to recede, Tuan finds himself speaking with weak voice. "Water…" He doesn't know who is there, but he trusts that someone is there. "Water please. And Wantoppa."

He could not see himself, there were no mirrors but were one to look at Tuan it would seem as if he had been dipped into a pool of his own blood, washed in it…

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