How does one deal with the loss of your own child?
No parent ever should have to deal with such a thing, not in a perfect world. But ours is not perfect, far from it. When Michael first wrote me about Bianca’s unusual behavior, I took it for the normal bout of youthful rebellion and experimentation which often comes to many at that age. Nothing to be too concerned with, I thought at the time.
But eventually, the news began to become even more bizarre, and I began to put the pieces together; they painted a disturbing picture, and one that I had seen too often before. The time had come to return to New Babbage to take matters in hand.
After my initial examination of her, conversations with other people, and correspondence with a few others, I had finally managed to put the pieces together. During Bianca’s sojourn to seek me out in Egypt, she mistakenly found herself on the wrong transport and ended up in a place called Ireem. To make a long story short, she contracted malaria, the ordeal causing trauma to the processes that controlled her brain chemistry, resulting in what most people would call a “split personality”. This is something I had seen happen before in my expeditions to the Near East; even in the most favorable recoveries, the person was not the same person they were before the trauma occurred.
This last fact was echoed and reinforced by a conversation with Mr. Scott Melnik. He disagreed with my methods, thinking me arrogant in my attitude and erroneous in my methods. And yet, he honestly expected me to acquiesce to his methodology. He has no medical training that I am aware of, let alone knowledge of the psychological conditions involved in such matters. Yet he seemed to believe his was the path to take.
In my investigation into her condition, I had learned that she, under the control of her most recent personality, was inclined towards more dangerous behavior, I shall say. She had physically assaulted one of the Wilde Hospital staff (other instances that I later learned of I shall refrain from mentioning here). It was clear to me that this aspect of her personality MUST be subdued immediately; not only for the safety of others around her, but for her own welfare. If her emergent personality were to take some action that would result in her prosecution and imprisonment, then her chances for recovery would be nil.
My treatments involved the use of hypnosis in an attempt to try to merge the two personalities together. Also involved were the use of hypnotic suggestions in an attempt to subdue the more dangerous aspects of her deviant personality.
Since when does the desire of a uniformed would-be suitor such as Mr. Melnik supersede the educated and experienced training of a professional scientist, and that of the father and legal guardian? I suspected Mr. Melnik’s intentions to be more selfish than he was willing to admit. He might have found the emergent personality to be to his liking, and perhaps was encouraging this in his interactions with Bianca. I take this opinion, because her blackout episodes seem to be occurring more often in his presence. Her interactions with him were causing her emergent personality to come forth more frequently.
“Do you recall anything from your blackouts, Bianca?”
“I remember getting excited before getting a bit dizzy. I remember Mr. Melnik pulled me to him roughly and kissed me…that’s about it”
I had lied to Michael the other day during our chess game. She was getting worse. Her blackouts becoming more frequent, and were being encouraged with her interactions with Mr. Melnik. And his statement to me continued to resonate with me…
“Even if she does merge personalities, she still won’t be the same as she was before”.
How does one deal with the loss of your own child?
When Michael gave me the answer, temporal regression, I knew what I had to do. The machine I would need had already been built and tested for another purpose which had fortuitously resolved itself. I only needed to re-verify the calibrations to the equipment. This was my beloved daughter; after all, I could not chance an error.
“What’s this machine Father?”
“I made this a little while ago to help with a problem Michael was having. I think it will help make the blackouts go away”.
I handed her a cold glass of apple juice with a sedative. It would be best if she were asleep during this.
“Drink this, I want you to stay hydrated in there.” She drank it.
I watch as she settles herself onto the platform inside the machine. I help her settle in.
“How long will this take, Daddy?” I looked into her eyes for a moment before I answered.
“Don’t worry. Time will fly by. You will hardly notice.” I answered her and smiled. “…And when you awaken, you will feel like your old self again.”
“Good…” she said. The sedative was starting to work. “Ok, I think I’ll take a nap, just a little one, I don’t want to stay out too long, busy things and all. I love you Daddy…”
The door to the machine was closing to begin its processing. “I love you too, Bianca.” Her eyes closed, and the machine started to hum.
I removed my goggles.
I prayed to the Maker.
And I wept.