When Jon finally woke, he woke quickly. One moment he was asleep,. dreaming of tomorrow, and the next he skyrocketed into consciousness. He had been so deeply asleep that he didn't even know what time it was anymore. And the words. There were words, echoing around inside his head. It was like he should be hearing them, like someone was standing right next to his ear and speaking them to him.
But no one was there. They were simply bubbling up within his brain. The only thing he could recall as they faded from his mind was the image of Manhattan Island that had come after he had... consumed that man. They were the same words too. The words of the images that had surrounded that moment, that past, when he had tried to cross the line.
This was the second... no, the third time that something had come from within him, and he didn't know where it had come from. There was only one logical possibility. This had begun when the pathogen had entered his body. Therefore, in theory, it must be causing it. Faulty causality, perhaps, but he could come up with no other solution.
Of course, that brought its own problems. If these really had come from the pathogen, that would have to mean that it had... created them, because it didn't take them from him. And creation involved some sort of sentience. Some sort of intelligence, beyond the desperate bid of any cell to survive.
For the moment, he shoved any thoughts of the implications out of his mind. He wouldn't think about how this thing was like him, fighting against the things that had created it and tortured it. Had then tried to dispose of it. He wouldn't think that maybe this thing had a right to live, all on its own, as much as any creature.
No, he wouldn't think of any of that.
If it truly was intelligent, what would that make the sounds and images that had come from nowhere. Attempts to communicate? Then maybe it was waiting for some sort of reply?
And so, he asked the one question that he had always been longing to be asked. Asked by the military, by his sister, by anyone in this abysmal war. It slipped from his mouth in a quiet whisper, barely loud enough so that he could hear it himself.
"What is it that you want?"