BEST MOM BEST MOM BEST MOM
I have nothing more to say.
Garth: … Seven, Ma’am.
As Lady Halea approaches a tapestry, she holds the skull headdress up to the light so she can see it. Garth slouches behind her, looking ashen and sweating.
Lady Halea: SEVEN YEARS? No one’s ever lasted more than TWO… even after a few months at an Aquifer… How has that bite not spread? Why has the boy not TURNED?
Garth: I… I’m not sure…
Lady Halea: I think you’re VERY SURE.
Though she’s not facing him, her glass eyes seem to pierce through him. With some hesitancy, Garth recalls Vanna in her lab, beakers and test tubes smoking on her table and a blackboard scribbled full of diagrams and charts on the wall. A basket of bleached white coral sits beside her feet.
Garth: … His mother. She’s the head chemist of the Lodestar Guild. For the past decade, she’s been working on a way to stop the spread of Seabite- and she may have succeeded.
The long branching spines of the white coral are stark and ghostly against the smokey background that the scientific equipment emits. But Vanna holds it like a treasure- like a cure. Vanna with long hair holds a small, exhausted, and ill looking Pavel in her arms, and a tiny luminescent vial of white medicine in her free hand.
Garth: When her young son was bitten, she began treating him with a formula of her own making- and that boy’s scar has been confined to his head ever since. The medicine needs more testing, but it already has incredible potential, Ma’am. Thanks to Dr. Morena, seabite may soon have a treatment more effective than aquifer water.
Back in the present, Halea’s smile has melted away. Garth looks on with sweat still beading on his temples, expression and thoughts closed off but one thing is clear- concern is a prevalent emotion. Something is not right.
Lady Halea: More effective than Aquifer water… how exciting! Still, I would have loved to hear about this before today, Garth.
Garth: You DID, Ma’am. We’ve been talking about it for years.