BEGINNINGS:

The Essence of Time

Flames flickered in the background as screams resounded across the highway. The doctor was the only one who seemed the least hurt- the main wound inflicted upon him was the blood streaming down the side of his face from his temple, making his head pound. A bloody lip contributed to his worn attire from when he had tripped trying to escape from his damaged car before it burst into flames. In mid fall he had rolled his ankle. Luckily, he had hid from the worst of the explosion under his steering wheel. The semi-truck, loaded with gasoline, had gone too fast for the icy conditions and fishtailed into the oncoming traffic, causing a massive pileup.

The doctor limped about, trying desperately to help those in need with his small first aid kit he managed to save from the back of his pickup. The snow was too red, the victims dying too fast, the medics too far. What could he do? The screams wailed and the explosions roared like thunder. He was only one man...one slowly dying man...

No. He refused to think like that. He was a doctor, and these people needed his help. He came upon one who looked promising, one he knew he could save.

She laid sprawled out in the snow, a baby clutched in her arms. Blood was gushing into the snow from her skull as she slowly shivered to death. He knew a few bandages would hold her until the medics could finally arrive.

But when they did, what would they say to him? Many found him mad for his strange ideas, how he could stay in his basement for days, working on some strange concoction he claimed could save mankind. What would the medics say when they saw him? Would they chase him away or accept his help?

"Ma'am, I'm here. Let me help you,"

"You must promise to take care of her...you must...keep her alive," The woman whispered to him. "Promise me."

Unsure what to say, he continued to stand over her.

"You'll live...you'll live," he assured. "There is no reason to jump to those conclusions. You only have a head wound which I can easily treat-"

She ignored his every word until one word, the one she craved, was to be spoken.

"Promise...me...please...promise to keep her safe. Promise to keep her alive...promise not to let any harm come to her. She's the one you have been looking for. She's the one you need to save. Please. Promise."

"Please ma'am. Listen to me; you'll be alright. You're injures aren't as bad as some and you'll baby will be fine. I didn't know you had such firm belief in my work but-"

She grabbed his shirt collar with her good hand, bringing him down to her so they were nose to nose.

"Promise me. P-p-please...take her. H-Her age is one-and-a-half. Perfect. Look at her now-look. Just...promise me...promise."

"I promise," He uttered.

"She's the one. She'll understand-one day...my Kylie...my sweet Ky..."

He finally let the tears fall as the grip on his collar slackened and her raised head dropped.

He grabbed the baby as she struggled in her blankets, still crying.

"Shhh...you're alight. I promise...I promised..." he soothed, stroking her bleeding face, slashed by glass and other sharp debris. The baby fell silent, opening a pair of blue, tear filled eyes. And as soon as his eyes met hers, he knew her mother was right.

She was the one.

And he walked away with the baby, who had cried herself to sleep.

But, the flames continued to flicker. And the screams continued to wail.

~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~

"Almost there now..."

The only sound was the various chorus of machines beeping-some in sync, some to their own designed rhythm. The man hunched over a small girl, a needle in his hand. The girl's light brown hair splayed in a halo around her head, her eyes permanently closed. Her face was stained by various scars that would never heal, a breathing tube curling over her ears, and resting up by her nose as oxygen supported her life. An IV slowly dripped down into her right arm with symptomatic plops. A heart monitor was hooked up to her chest, ringing to each heartbeat, many other machines sitting around the gurney.

"Now!" The doctor suddenly exclaimed, plunging his needle into her other arm. A clear liquid was shot into her veins. The heart monitor wailed as the girl's heart stopped.

"Again!"

He loaded another needle, placing it at the ready.

"Now!"

He repeated this process two more times. As the last needle was shot in, the girl's heartbeat quickly skipped back to a slow rhythm. The man heaved a huge sigh, trailing his hand across his forehead to collect nervous beads of sweat.

"What a relief. Now...to finish..."

The doctor moved over to a line of five beakers, all labeled. The substances sat about equal, filling up each of the six hundred milliliters beakers about half way. All but one-which the loner was filled with not even a full ten milliliters high.

"If I mix this properly..." The doctor trailed off, lost in thought. He concentrated, lifting the tray and carefully balancing the tray till he set it down at the lab table next to the gurney.

Slowly the man opened the IV, emptying its contents in an empty beaker which sat on the table. He dumped the clear liquid the first beaker held into the bag as he plugged the IV so it couldn't drip into the girl.

"Halotestin..." he muttered, and then proceeded to pour in the next.

"Dianabol...Anadrol 50...my own...creation...and last but not least, a microscopic dose of Testosterone, only needed to...balance...the mixture out..."

He unplugged the IV stepping back from the gurney.

The scientist sat, watching as his mixture as dripped into the girl's bloodstream. He watched as her skin faded to a translucent pale, the scars on her face slowly fading. He giggled in happiness like a small school boy, skipping around the gurney.

"It's working! It's working!"

Suddenly, the heart monitor wailed, the girl's heartbeat fluttering like a pair of hummingbird's wings on turbo, the heart monitor barely able to keep up with the rapid beats. The doctor gasped as the girl's body began to rock violently, the gurney swaying as if it was going to collapse.

"No! She's seizing! She's seizing!" The doctor cried out, his voice panicked and tight. He grabbed the IV with one hand, scooping the girl up with the other, and set her down on a lab table. He fought with her shaking, flailing limbs as he strapped her wrists, ankles, hip, and neck to the table, pushing over the heart monitor and respirator. He plugged in her IV, waiting as the heart monitor came to a steady, high pitched drone, and her body stopped shaking.

"No! No! Not now, not ever! I promised! I promised!" The doctor shrieked, pounding on the girl's chest as a desperate form of CPR.

Slowly, one heartbeat after the other, the girl's heart came back to a normal pace of two hundred beats per minute. He heaved another huge sigh, unclipping the IV and finding his mug of coffee. He sipped down the calming cup of Joe to comfort himself from the sudden, traumatic experience.

He glanced up from his coffee as a new machine beeped for the first time. He gasped, his eyes widening to the size of saucer plates.

"I-It can't be...!" He watched as the machine printed out an almost entirely black receipt, except for the small, printed date at the bottom.

"After all these years...fourteen-and-a-half years..." He continued breathlessly, "She's...she's finally going to awaken."