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Chapter three

Xander's POV 

I had already anaesthetized Becca when Dr. Baldowski walked in. Without much further ado, we connected the machine and set up. We placed nodes on her forehead, at the back of her neck and somewhere between her root hairs on the scalp.

"This is it!" I said as I took the specialised hospital drill.

Dr. Baldowski held her head firmly as I drilled a hole at the back of her head, careful not to cause any damage then passed a camera and a sensory cable into the cerebrum. 

"Turn on the machine." I said, fingers crossed.

I was using two monitors. One to see where I was to stop and the scan of the passage I was using and the other, to record the memory.

"Anything?" Baldowski asked.

"Not yet!"

I finally settled at the downward edge of the cerebrum. 

"Now, we just have to wait." I said.

"How long do you think it might take?" Baldowski asked. 

I shrugged my shoulders.

"Patience pal."

Three and a half hours later...

"Xander! An image!" Baldowski exclaimed. 

I stood up from my seat on which I was dozing and walked up to where Becca laid.

"Temperature?"

"Slightly below normal, 35ºC."

"That's perfect. Blood pressure?"

"Normal!"

"Pulse?"

"Also perfectly normal."

"Breathing rate?"

"Normal!" Baldowski said surprised. 

"It's working!" He added.

I sighed in relief, "Good!"

I moved my attention to the screen. It indicated five years on the bottom right side of the screen. 

Becca was meeting her grandparents. 

"This is your nana and she loves you very very much." Her mother said, poking her nose. She was balancing Becca on her waist.

"And your granddaddy. He is Indian. You said you loved Indians, don't you honey?" 

"I do!" A petite little girl's voice shouts with jolly. 

"Aww! Gracias, my angel." The grandfather said, which was horrible.

"Quit it dad! Spanish doesn't suit you. Leave it to mum." Becca's mother said as she laughed.

She looked exactly like Becca. A red Indian mullato Latino. Very unique combo.

Six years...

Becca was hiding behind a sofa set, looking at her mother and two men arguing just by the staircase.

"I can't help you anymore. You have to leave." One man said.

"Help us with what?" The other man asked, confusion clearly laced in his voice.

"Look, Dan! You don't have to do this." Her mother said.

"Do what? You used me. Look how well-off you all are. You have two children, a family and I have nothing."

"Use you? You gave us this land to build on and I clearly made good use of it." The other man, presumably Becca's father said.

"Exactly! I gave you, so it is still legally mine." Dan said.

"Why did you give it up then? What was the point of giving it to us just to come and take it back?"

"Oh! I don't know, because you are my brother.- I couldn't- I had to sacrifice for you at the time because that's what big brothers do, according to mother's opinion. But now, things have changed."

"Are you now jealous of me, of my life?" Becca's father asked.

"Jea... do you hear yourself?" Dan denied. He was burning with undefined rage.

"In fact, get out of here now or I'll burn this house with all of you inside."

"Where  will we go? What about Becca! Just give us time to..." Her mother started, panic lacing in her voice. 

"Becca who?" Dan cut her off. "Oh! I don't care about that squeaky squirrel you call a child. She fucking annoys me! You have thirty seconds to vacate this house."

"Just because you are jealous of how your brother's life turned out?" The mother insisted.

"Hey!" Dan shouted angrily, pointing an angry finger at her.

He seemed to be a temperamental stout man.

"Out!" He bawled then stormed out.

Thirty seconds later...

"What are we going to do? Where will we go?" Her mother asked, pacing around the room.

"Where's Antonio?" Her dad asked. 

"He's in his room." Her mother answered. 

Becca was still behind the sofa, listening silently until she moved. Her father looked to her direction. 

"Go, go get him! We'll just leave. Dan can do as he pleases. You know, too much alcohol. Hurry!" He said and his wife left for the stairs. He himself walked to Becca.

"Come here sweetie. We have to leave home." He said, picking her up and balancing her on his waist.

"But daddy, I don't want to leave."

"Sweetie, I know but we have to. Your uncle Dan, will hurt you and I can't let anything happen to you or your brother Antonio. We need to go." He assured, kissing her forehead.

"But he already..." Becca started but jumped and shut her mouth as she heard her uncle's voice boom from a distance.

"Joe! Get out!"

At the same time, Antonio and her mother were making it down the stairs.

"Let's go!" Joe said.

"I expected to find my house empty." Dan said.

"As far as I know, I built this house."

"Don't play that card on me, brother." Dan spat out angrily taking out a matchbox. 

"Uncle!" Antonio called.

Becca mimicked, frustrating Dan who in turn slapped her.

"Dan!" Joe bawled, almost dropping Becca.

Her mother quickly took her and placed her on her own waist, trying to calm her.

"You can kick us out but you have no right to hit my daughter." Joe said angrily.

"I do! Every single time I come to visit. I don't know why she never told you. Oh, right! She knows what I would do if she did." Dan said.

"You son of a..."

"Don't dare Joe! We share the same mother, remember? It wouldn't be wise to insult her now, would it?- Now! Out!"

Antonio stepped out and tried to block Dan as he was about to light a match.

"Uncle stop!"

"Get away from me you loot!" Dan said, lighting the match this time.

"Uncle!" Antonio insisted which frustrated Dan even further making him throw the match stick on the sleek carpet, taking a hold of Antonio.

"Dan, please!" Becca's mother cried, still balancing a crying baby Becca. 

Dan shot a glance at Becca's mother. He seemed to be trying to reach her silently but Becca's mother wouldn't notice. It was as if he was saying he wasn't going to do anything, just scare them off but his silent message was thrown to a blind eye.

"Honey! Let's go!- Dan! Let go of my son."

"Ugh! I don't care, take him." He said, pushing Antonio towards the father. 

Fire was catching up fast.

The rest started to leave, thinking Antonio was behind but soon realised he wasn't when they reached outside.

"Antonio!" Joe called. 

He decided to go back inside but was stopped at the door by Dan who was just making it out, massaging his jaw.

"Where is he?" Joe shouted angrily.

"That little rascal punched me. Hmph! Teenagers! I did what was necessary." Dan said.

Suddenly, Antonio's screams of pain were heard. 

"Antonio!" Becca cried.

Joe heaved with anger and laid a punch on Dan's subtle jaw, the exact place he was massaging. 

He then made an attempt to go back inside but the house blew, sending him and Dan away from where they had stood.

"This is rough." Baldowski concluded. 

I replied with silence as I concentrated on the screen. 

Joe quickly got up, taking his wife and child away from Dan who was advancing towards them. Becca's mother was crying uncontrollably, whispering Antonio's name. Becca, calmer than before, laid her head on her mother's shoulder and Joe, limping beside them, was deranged but helped them walk faster.

"This is not yet over, Joe!" Dan shouted from behind them.

"He's coming after us. Daddy! Mummy! Uncle is behind you." Becca said, pointing at his direction. 

The couple increased their pace, seeking refuge under a train tunnel.

"Joe! Get back here! You are going to pay!" Dan called from an evident distance of his silhouette in the dark tunnel.

The two started running until Becca's mother tripped and fell, Becca moving away from her grip and landing on the other far end of the tunnel. The rails and an incoming train separating them.

Becca was hurt. Her head had landed on a huge stone.

Her mother would not make it in time to get up and pick her up.

"Becca!" She called.

Black!

"Xander!" Baldowski called.

I stood in alarm. Becca was shaking. 

"Status?"

"Temperature, the same; pressure, very low; pulse and breathing rate reducing." Baldowski confirmed. 

I quickly placed a gas mask over her nose and mouth.

"Not now! Not now! Not now, Becca!- Get the blood pressure pump! Quick!" I commanded.

Baldowski moved swiftly and attended to her. I instructed him to hold the mask as I defibrillated her heart.

"Don't give up now, Becca!" I whispered silently.

After ten minutes, the screen displayed an image.

Becca's eyes were partially closing. Her mother was fighting Joe to go get her but Joe kept on insisting he can't lose his family at once and to wait for the train to pass. 

Their plans changed when Dan threw a knife at their direction and they had no choice but to run, leaving Becca.

"Becca!"

"Mama!" Becca silently called.

Her eyes closed.

"Get the camera and sensor out." I instructed. 

"But..."

"Fine! I'll just do it." I said.

I took a cotton ball and placed it at the hole once I had removed the sensor and camera out. Baldowski passed me the filler and I quickly filled up the hole in the skull, closing it. I finally stitched up the wound and bandaged it.

I drew in a breath.

"Status?" I asked.

Baldowski waited a few seconds then sighed.

"Back to normal!"

I drew out the breath and high fived him.

"Great job!" He acknowledged. 

"You too pal. We now just have to wait. Wait for Becca to wake up!"

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