Could she lie? She’d never been a liar, her mother had taught her better than that. But she heard the panic in Jacob’s voice and knew that things were dire, her life, his life were on the line. She could bear the smudge of a lie on her soul. For him, she’d bear worse. She nodded and ran, letting loose all the panic she’d been reigning in since she’d left Oberhall’s office and seen what he’d seen. All of her fear surfaced, she’d wanted just enough to aid her when she set out to lie, but what she got was a torrent. Like one of the streams swollen with snow-melt her family had to navigate towards the end of their trip, when they were exhausted and done in. She felt the same in the face of this emotion she’d unleashed so that when she skidded to a stop in front of the poor cleaning crew she looked like a madwoman. Her face was pale, her eyes wide and streaming with tears, her lower lip trembling with tears.
When she spoke, she forced her accent, knowing how different English was now from when she was alive, the way the dialects had become more homogenous because of the ease of communication. Everyone spoke the same, or close enough that her brogue when pushed made her almost unintelligible to them even when using simple words.
“Please.” She started, her breath coming in gasps between sobs. “He’s sick, he’s down. Oh please!”
She kept at it, broken sentences that never saw their end, sobs that swallowed all sense and tears big enough to catch the artificial light and reflect it back at them. She repeated herself, let her frustration at their lack of understanding show and grow. She kept pointing towards the bio-dome and kept up her pleads. Eventually something caught at their comprehension and they backed away from her as if remembering who she was and what she carried. They kept helpful expressions on their faces but they slowly backed away, giving her soothing lies in return for her pleading ones. She knew they wouldn’t go help Jacob. Their fear of her possible contamination was enough to keep them from being close to her, there was no way they would expose themselves to an ill Jacob. But that wasn’t the point. She’d delayed them, she’d done it. She watched their retreat turn into a full out run and hoped that they were the cowards they seemed to be and that they would just flee the area rather than risk getting caught up into a quarantine. The question was, had she kept them enough?
She turned back and ran towards where Jacob worked at the codes, wiping the tears away from her face and trying to get a hold of herself. She didn’t want Jacob to think she was as upset as she was from anything new. She skidded back around the corner and called to him, her brogue still a little high,
“I’ve done it, they are running off, but I’m not sure where too.”