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Thread: The culled (pg-15)

  1. #1
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    May 2004
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    Default The culled (pg-15)

    The culled

    Prologue

    Dr. Nanami Kozuka frowned as she stared down at the results of a series of blood tests done earlier that day. Positive, one small single word had just ruined her day. No matter how much she stared at the eight bolded letters they refused to change. Kanako Zhang’s 26 week old fetus had tested positive as a hybrid, and now Nanami had to see the woman in only a few minutes and pretend everything was normal. As Kanako's obstetrician Nanami had to remain professional and act like she hadn’t just been made aware of the fact that her patient was carrying a child that had Pokemon DNA as well as human.

    Not that Nanami expected Kanako herself knew that fact. The other woman was twenty-eight, single and too smart to think something like this would go unnoticed. This may have been the first point in her pregnancy at which they could safely draw blood from the fetus but if Kanako knew the kind of child developing in her she wouldn’t be here today. Like most people she probably wasn’t even aware that hybrids could exist.

    Hands clenched tightly around the damning pieces of paper, Nanami resigned herself to knowing that her patient was just another unfortunate woman that’d had the bad luck to fall for a Ditto masquerading as a human. While the doctor tried to place no judgement on the rather unique Pokemon and their desire to experience life as a human, it did on occasion cause serious problems for their unwitting partners. Regular pokemon were generally incompatible with humans when it came to reproduction - a fact for which Nanami was immensely grateful - but once in a while, transformed Ditto succeeded as males in getting a human female pregnant. As far as Nanami had heard, the Ditto engaged mainly in brief affairs and never knew of their offspring, and those in relationships seemed to split upon learning of the pregnancies. There were probably exceptions, but given how rare the phenomenon was to begin with, she’d never heard of any.

    In addition no one had ever recorded a case of a female Ditto in disguise becoming pregnant, though most scientists assumed it was possible. They also theorised that the pregnancies terminated if they ever transformed back into their natural forms. All anyone had to go on in regards to hybrids were cases with human women.

    A ditto’s own erratic DNA was evident in their hybrid offspring, but it showed itself in a slightly different manner. Hybrids exposed to other Pokemon for any length of time or experiencing heightened levels of emotion around them began to transform. These transformations were incomplete, however, creating creatures that were part human and part Pokemon. The transformations were also irreversible, and sometimes, depending on how the hybrid’s body had changed, this locked them into forms that were incapable of survival. Those that did survive then had to contend with these new changes and any power and instincts that emerged due to them. Information on that was scarce though, given that all hybrids today were secretly segregated from society, and historic accounts weren’t always accurate.

    With a heavy sigh, the dark haired woman closed the beige folder the blood tests were in, placed them on her desk and headed for the door. It was time to meet Kakano and perform the ultrasound the other woman was scheduled for. Nanami could only hope it would all go without incident, she wasn’t really sure how to handle an emergency if once occurred.

    The waiting area of the obstetrics wing had been decorated in rich, soothing earth tones from the sandy coloured walls to the cinnamon carpet. Patients waited in comfy plush chairs upholstered in dark chocolaty brown fabric that complemented the stained wooden legs they rested on as well as the similarly treated magazine bearing tables. Despite this, like everywhere else in the hospital, the atmosphere was tempered by a faint sharp smell permeating the area, a lingering odour of the chemicals used to keep the place sterile. Nanami had long since become accustomed to it but was reminded every time she saw a patient wrinkling their nose while waiting.

    Kanako however, wasn’t currently doing that; the curly haired brunette instead stared out the large, windowed wall on the east side of the room while her long, manicured fingers tapped lightly on her stomach. Nanami smiled a little as she stepped closer and calmly called the other woman’s name. She needed to appear like nothing was out of the ordinary during this, and despite the recent development, Kanako was still one of her favourite patients. The other woman was blunt and funny and took the trials that came with pregnancy in stride.

    “Encouraging the baby to dance now are we?” Nanami teased. She remembered both that the unborn child had been rather active as of late and that Kanako preferred not to know if it was male or female. Years before and not under Nanami’s care, the other had lost her first baby late in her pregnancy and insisted it was easier to not know this time. That she could be excited without starting to dream in specifics of a child that might not be.
    Kanako laughed and amusement shone in her slate grey eyes, “I like to think we’re communicating. I’m just being gentler about it.”

    Nanami nodded and lead Kanako down the wide, pictured lined hallways to the ultrasound room. She had opted out of the cheaper units one could have installed in their offices, preferring the higher quality and more reliable equipment the radiology department used. It meant a bit of give and take in scheduling appointments so that one of the machines was free, but it was worth it in her opinion.

    A few minutes later Nanami was spreading a clear jelly over Kanako’s stomach while the other woman lay still on an examination table. “Have you managed to get your mother to stop calling you every day yet?” Kanako’s only real regular complaint was that her mother seemed to insist on calling with often unnecessary advice every day.

    Kanako snorted and shook her head slightly “I wish. Every day at two PM, she calls with something she remembers from having me or some new thing she read or saw on TV. The long distance must be horrible for her phone bill, but she’s determined I be as prepared as possible this time.” There was a tinge of weariness to the woman’s voice as she finished speaking.

    “Preparation would not have helped back then,” Nanami murmured quietly, “and you’re doing everything right, right now.” Dammit, she had meant to cheer Kanako up by commiserating over nosy parents, something that usually worked. Given that this would likely be the last time she saw the other woman, the doctor wanted to keep her memories of her favoured patient mostly positive.

    The topic of conversation shifted awkwardly to gardening then sports as Nanami moved the transducer over Kanako’s stomach in a familiar pattern, dark blue eyes locked on the imagine being produced on the monitor behind the other female’s head. Everything shown in the black and white image looked fine. The fetus was an appropriate size and moving well for it’s age, it had normal heart beat and, most importantly, showed not a single sign of any growths that might indicate the child was transforming in utero . It wasn’t an overly common occurrence, but it was an incredibly dangerous one. Humans were not built to birth transformed hybrids and, in every recorded occurrence, something had gone wrong at some point during gestation. Kanako’s ultrasound was clear, though, and that was a relief.

    “Everything looks good here but there’s something a little curious with some of the bloodwork done earlier.” Nanami offered the woman a reassuring smile to try and keep her calm as she gave the news. “I’m going to arrange for you to have a consult with Doctor Suguri in Hematology sometime in the next week.”

    Kanako frowned, “You can tell me if I should be worried. I’d rather know now if there’s something wrong with me or the baby.” Milky white teeth chewed on a pale lower lip and there was frustration evident in her eyes.

    Nanami felt bad for Kanako. She liked having her as a patient and deceiving her wasn’t easy. “If it was something I thought you needed to seriously worry about, I wouldn’t be letting you go home,” she lied and began to clean the remaining ultrasound gel off Kanako’s stomach. “It’s just an extra precaution over what is probably nothing more than a little fluctuation in hormones. I’m taking extra care with you.”

    Kanako looked up gratefully at Nanami and again the doctor felt like scum. Kanako had suffered the loss of a child once already and here she was using that against her to secure a false sense of security. It rubbed Nanami the wrong way and yet it had to be done. She had to separate her feelings from what was right, what benefited the whole over one person.

    Ten minutes later, a reassured Kanako was on her way home and Nanami was back in her office. The weary young woman sat at her computer and typed up an email to Miki Suguri. The computer system would already have flagged the presence of the Pokemon DNA in Kanako’s fetus and sent Miki, the resident at the hospital who dealt with these matters, an alert. Nanami was expected to send Dr. Suguri a personal report as well; failing to do so would look suspicious.

    From here on it was all out of Nanami’s hands anyways, Dr. Suguri would arrange to meet with Kanako and have her taken from the hospital or she might … well, Nanami wasn’t sure. What exactly happened to human women after they were identified to be carrying hybrids wasn’t something she knew. Everyone’s situation was different, based on how they had to arrange these women’s disappearances and whether or not they were willing to go, assuming they were even informed beforehand. All Nanami knew for sure about Kanako’s future was that the rest of her life would be spent far, far away.

    End notes:
    As far as I know you can’t draw blood from a fetus in our present day and age but I figure the Pokemon world is advanced enough that it could have figured out how to do that.

    I feel like this was very tell and not show and a lot of info to take in but I couldn’t really find a way to cover the issue without shoving tons of explanation in.
    Last edited by Ladyumbra; 20th June 2010 at 10:13 AM.
    http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthread.php?t=455057
    ^ The culled
    They say ignorance is bliss, they're wrong.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Quars
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    The only point where I noticed a lot more tell than show was near the beginning, with the long rambling history of Ditto birth patterns. Otherwise, it flowed smoothly, and I liked how it worked out. There's probably a few small things that I could nag about, but on a whole I enjoyed it too much to do that.
    "That poison's only strong enough to kill a dead dog"

    A boy and his frog, venturing across the lands in search of sister and glory.

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