I don't remember having a day off work in my life. A week off was an alarming shock for me. I could see Nurse Joy's point, but I wish she had suggested it at a better time. Not when I was in the middle of dealing a patient. Goodness knows how that gardevoir is coping. Death rates has soared since the 1990's, of course care had increased. The healing machine was used worldwide in 1995 whilst the purification chamber was released in 2005.
The journey to Lavender Town was a rather quiet one. I expected that there would be a couple of battles on the train, but I didn't hear any trainers cry for a battle at all. I seemed to have been surrounded by the business class with all these men and women in smart suits. I think of a lot of them were going to stop off at Saffron City.
Luckily for me, the nursing home was only around the corner from the train station. My thoughts were with that gardevoir. I still couldn't bring myself to call her by her original trainer's nickname, but I really hope she survives. I don't think I could dare look at Nurse Joy again if she dies.
"Hello Minerva." I saw her waiting outside the doors. Nurse Joy must have told her about my visit. Minerva's shoulders shivered. She had been waiting for me for a while.
"Oh good afternoon Matron," Minerva said with a smile on her face. "Did you come to see my dad?"
"Yes, Nurse Joy sent me over to check how he was doing."
"He's been feeling a lot better now," Minerva told me. "He's been diagnosed with delirium. It's not so severe though, he's been recovering quickly. The symptoms can get mixed up with dementia, so that's why it seemed as if he was losing touch with reality. I think he was just missing his family. So how long are you in Kanto for?"
"I'm here for the week." I didn't like the tone of Minerva's voice when she told me Spiritomb's diagnosis. Maybe she was trying to put on a brave face, but I found it more concerning that she was smiling. Something was iffy and I don't like how dementia is being ruled out. It's hard for most healthcare professionals to detect the difference between dementia and delirium, so I think he should have more tests. Delirium and dementia are both horrible and the sad thing is... a lot of trainers assume that only humans can get it.
"That's good." Minerva began to grin. "Before you see him, I have to give you a vaccine." Minerva slid the doors open and lead me into one of the nursing offices.
"Right, what sort of injection is it?"
"I have to inject you so you can't catch pokérus."
"Really?" I asked. "But pokérus is completely harmless."
"Not if it's from a pokémon that's hacked," Minerva explained. "The hacked syndrome makes the pokémon that catch it more liable to other diseases. I'm sure you know all this, but it's procedure I have to take."
"If you insist..." I think I remember Spiritomb mentioning something like that before. Minerva's been doing her homework.
"First I want you to hop onto the bed and lay down." Just as requested, I hopped on the bed. It felt really strange being on the patient's side. We didn't say anything to each other until after the injection. I would have preferred the injection to be somewhere over above my torso, but if it's a policy, there'd be no point fighting it. But it's comforting to know that they've done something about treating people with the Hacked Syndrome.
After the vaccine (which gave me an incredible feeling of weirdness racing down my back), Minerva led me to Spiritomb's bedroom. Tucked into bed with a smile on his face. Everybody running around for him, instead of the other way around.
"He's just finished his afternoon kip," Minerva told me. She turned over to her father, who had been losing touch with reality. If it continues to worsen, he may be told to retire. I'm sure it's going to break his heart. He loves his job. I've known him for a long time and I just know he'd struggle to occupy himself. He was fine at the home because he was with his family and it was only temporary.
I could imagine if that was me who was forced to retire, I couldn't live with myself. Ever since I was a happiny, I knew I wanted to get into nursing. I was good in battles, but I never really had a real passion for it. But I would always get kicks when I had to heal my trainer's team.
Those were the days I would rather forget. I couldn't bring myself to say my trainer's name sometimes. I spent the first ten years of my life with Justine. We didn't really get on as well as she did with the rest of her team. We hardly spoke to each other when we were at university because of her drug addiction. She only had herself to blame for being expelled.
Justine was out of my life now. I bet she's somewhere around Kanto where her drug addiction was embraced.
No, now is not the time for a flashback.
Spiritomb asked how everybody was getting on at the hospital. I told him that things were pretty much the same and that things were fine. He glared at me, as if he could see right through me. I guess being a blissey makes me easy to read. We're described as being happy all the time. So if one's got a miserable face, something has to be wrong, right?
"The prostitute..." I groaned. "She's positive for the Hacked Syndrome and HIV. The full restore won't be enough. If Nurse Joy hasn't had told me to go on holiday, she might have felt better."
"Don't beat yourself up about it," Spritomb said. "She would has a small chance of survival. If you ask me I think she'd be better off dead."
He seemed to be back to his normal old self again. As harsh as it was, it's something he would normally say. I didn't want to hear it, but I knew it was coming.
"HIV and the Hacked Syndrome are a deadly combo," Spiritomb explained. "It leaves the immune system helpless. Anyway, did you hear the news about that tyranitar who tried to commit suicide?"
"Well it's the same one who lost that trainer in that car crash. Pretty sad really. I can't remember what I said to him, but it must have hurt him pretty bad." At that point, Spiritomb's gaze returned. "You know my parents had were hacked, well I've inherited some of their corrupt genes which means that my memory can become impaired."
"You were pretty racist," I said. "I know you're not fond of rock types for whatever reason, but you accused him of killing his trainer."
"I remember now," Spiritomb claimed. "He sneezed and let out a sandstorm in his trainer's car. The trainer collided into a sudowoodo. Everybody survived apart from the trainer and sudowoodo. If I recall correctly, he was a support worker. The trainer had a pikachu called Sparky."
How on earth did I miss Cruise's attempted suicide? Did all of this happen as soon as I left the hospital. I knew that they would have a tough time without me. That Nurse Joy is mad.
"One thing that I'm worried about," Spiritomb pondered. "It's my daughter Minerva... I think she's trying to kill me off."
"What?" I gasped. I thought this was going to be something about the hospital. I didn't expect it had anything to do with his family. Maybe that's why he favours Little-Wit so much more. Spiritomb pulled me closer and quenched his eyes shut. "So whatever happens to me I just want you to know that... I love you and whatever you do, don't let Minerva give you any medication."
I had to blink and shake my head. My ears must have been deceiving me. Did he just say that he loved me? I'm sure he means it in a professional way. As in... he admires all the hard work I've done over the years and that's it's inspired him to become a better nurse.
I could imagine little stars floating around my head.
"It's too late," I whispered. "She gave me an injection."
"But why would you think something like that?" I asked curiously. "Minerva seems to do her job well."
"What you've got to understand about Minerva is that she's very selfish, but what sort of injection was it?"
"She told me it was a vaccine to protect me from viruses. She put the needle in a funny place though."
"Where may I ask?"
"I'd rather not say."
"You've been tricked."
"What makes you say that?"
"Minerva's got some loose screws," Spiritomb informed me. "Sometimes I wonder if she really is my child. I'm sure Agatha was mistaken when she said that I'm her father."
"But you were left in a day care centre with Matilda?" I asked.
"That doesn't mean it's my child," Spiritomb retorted. "We did make love, I wasn't the only pokémon she slept with at the day care centre. It could have been anyone's child."
"Is that why you favour Little-Wit more?"
"I wouldn't exactly call it favouring," Spiritomb admitted. "I know she's my child. She's got my eyes and her mother was quite reserved. Little-Wit's mother really loved me..."
"But Agatha traded-"
Before I could finish my sentence, an ache from my backside tumbled me over to the floor. Spiritomb was laughing whilst his eyes were fixed on me. He cackled. "I think you might be laying an egg,"
"Am I really laying an egg?" I gasped, rolling over the floor. "Do you mean that Minerva's artificially inseminated me?"
"Yep, and she's probably mixed instant egg drops in there too."
"INSTANT EGG DROPS?"
Instant egg drops had proven to show no significant damage, but we still wouldn't recommend them. The mother needs time to lay the egg and the foetus needs time to develop in the womb so the egg can absorb calcium. These drops can make pokémon be born at an alarming rate, the egg shell that protects the foetus can be very soft and can hatch prematurely.
I'm certain they have a connection to the Hacked Syndrome, but I've never got round to actually proving it. The egg that I expelled from my body was small. It was pink with white stripes on it. The average pokémon eggs are usually quite large can be roughly be twice the size of a human baby's head. Depending on what form they're in, the egg sizes can vary.
It was not as painful as expected from a birth, but that's because the egg was so small and came out very quickly. My species are expected to carry the egg for as long as two months and it will hatch within a fortnight. Heat, movement and off course those drops can make the process of birth much quicker.
The chansey line are always female, so I was certain that it was going to be female. Sperm with the y chromosome were often rejected. Although I have heard of one case where a chansey had a son, but he was a still-born hybrid.
My child was going to come out of the shell soon. The metallic shine on the egg was a sign that it was an artificial egg. Naturally made eggs would have a rough complexion. I wouldn't dare touch it, I'll let the child come out on it's own.
"I know the man who invented the drug," Spiritomb told me with his eyes on the egg. I liked how he was tucking on berries as if he was eating popcorn in a cinema. "His name was Rocker. He was some trainer. His team were addicted to drugs. A blissey knocked out his entire team and he said he was clean ever since."
"This Rocker chap... did he have a dragonite on his team?" The name was strangely familiar.
"Oh yes," he replied. "That dragonite is his baby."
"Then I'm that blissey," I said. I don't think he remembers me, but I can't forget his face. "By the way, he's still using drugs. He came into the centre with a team of sableyes with wonder gaurd."
"My original trainer battled him while we were at Smogon. I pretty much beat all of his team because my trainer kept on telling me to use ice beam, toxic and softboiled."
"It's small world after all."
"I even beat his sap sipper swampert," I told him. "They didn't expect ice beam to do much damage, but he passed out from the toxic."
"Well that one is certainly on drugs," Spiritomb said. "Ten years time that Swampert is going to be in a wheelchair."
"It looks like we'll be having a lot of stuff to do when we get back," I announced.
A happiny hatched from the egg, so luck incense was obviously mixed. She looked down on her pouch and cried. She crawled over to me and stared at the egg in my pouch. I took the egg out of my pouch and plopped the child in it's place. She was so tiny, but it was understandable since she hatched prematurely. There seemed to be no obvious defects so far, but I still had to be careful.
"I think I should ring the bell to get you both cleaned up," Spiritomb suggested.
"I think I'll be fine."
"You've just had a baby," he reminded me. "You need time to collect your thoughts." He pushed the button near his bed and a pair of chanseys came running through the door. "Now my friend's just had a baby, and I was wondering if you two could be so kind to take her to give her a spare room?"
The chansey's nodded. One of them pointed her arm and said, "I'll go and get a wheelchair."
"I won't need a wheelchair," I said. "I'm perfectly mobile."
Spiritomb's eyes pierced at me. "Listen to them, Matron." I rolled my eyes and as soon as the wheelchair was ready, I sat down and played with my daughter's hair.
They took me downstairs to a room with a view of the river. They tucked me into bed and set out a little cot for my child to sleep on when I was ready to place her to bed. My egg was placed inside the cot. They left saying that if I needed anything, I would just need to ring the bell. I knew that I would be okay. All this fuss over me felt weird. I think if it was any other pokémon I knew from work, they'd be embracing this.
I saw Minerva outside by herself. I wanted to have a few words with her... Whether her mother was promiscuous, it didn't excuse her behaviour. She would have been in big trouble if she was a human. I hopped outside to see her. I was quite surprised they didn't lock the this place up. Anybody could go wondering about. Minerva waved as she dropped to the floor.
"How are things Matron?" Minerva asked.
"Fine," I lied. "It seems your vaccine has given me baby."
Minerva looked down and saw the happiny sleeping in my pouch. She gasped. "Oh my goodness I'm so sorry!" There was something superficial about the sweet tone of her voice. "I must have giving you the wrong injection. I'm sorry Matron, but... aww you have such a beautiful daughter. What are you naming her?"
I haven't even thought of having a child. Let alone name one. But there was something not right with Minerva. She was hiding something from me. She looked as if she was about to drop it into the river. A small flame peeped out of the bag. As soon as I saw it flickering around in the bad, I knew it was Little-Wit.
"Minerva … what are you doing to Little-Wit?"
Her sweetness melted away to reveal a spiteful ghost. "I'm sick of Little-Wit getting all of my father's attention. He's never noticed me..."
"And do you think drowning Little-Wit is going to make him respect you?"
"If it makes him notice me, then so be it."
"So tell me, why did you spike my vaccine?"
"If I killed my sister and created a new one, we could start all over again. We could be a real family."
"That was Spiritomb's sperm?"
My stomach churned. I think I could have easily died right there. Come on Matron, I said to myself. Pull yourself together. I've got to safe Little-Wit before another disaster happens. "Bring me Little-Wit," I requested in my most sincere voice.
Minerva dragged the bag containing Little-Wit over to my feet. "I think you should also talk to your father. He'll need you right now."
Minerva cradled Little-Wit in her arms and released tears of guilt. There was so much the two needed to say to each other, but it was not my place to tell her for him. It needed to come from himself.