The stunned silence that followed was clichédly deafening, and yes, you could easily hear a pin drop.
"Well, what do you say? The boy ain't got all night you know, his body will go back to dying again when the Finkarian restoratives wear off."
"We can become Life-Users..." Hans said in a wistful tone.
"Really? Us? For real? Us" Delana was babbling.
"Yes, to save the boy." said the doctor, and seeing the shiny stars in their eyes, added with a smirky little drawl in his voice, "But don't worry, you'll both be very weak Users. Back in the day, we called Users like you luuuusers." , dragging out the last word with much aplomb.
After a very short pause, Delana retorted, "I'm gonna kill you one day Matthias!"
She was always good at a fast recovery, Hans thought, he himself was so mortified at having his hopes raised and then dashed that he could only manage a reproachful look at the wretched doctor. He and Delana had grown up together, childhood sweethearts, and the topic they discussed the most throughout their youth was to become magic Users. Delana favoured the raw power of the Divas, while he himself thought the technowizardry feats of the Finkarians were more amazing. But really, they weren't picky, becoming any type of magic User at all would be a dream come true for both of them.
"Oh, don't sulk! It's not what it's cracked up to be, most people just treat it as a tool of last resort. Being a Life User, especially a weak one like what you'll be, is often just too much trouble than it's worth. You get bad headaches, waking nightmares, and a wide range of sensations that we call the Shivers whenever any major activity on the network passes down to you." said Matthias with a rueful shake of his head, then continued with a smug look.
"Some Users actually went to register themselves just to make their lives more bearable, but luckily for you, I know an alternative solution." He finished off with a complicated flourish of his sleeves and a little tip of his head.
There was clearly a bit of the rascal in the doctor that they had never seen before, perhaps this was the old him, before whatever happened that made him become a doctor in Tradmart.
"Who will it be then?" Matthia said, he was suddenly all seriousness again.
"Me." Delana said quickly.
Hans knew what she was trying to do. True, it was Delana's turn now; they had worked out a system when it came to unpleasant things that had to be done, and it had become so ingrained in their daily lives they barely had to consciously keep track anymore. Being a weak Life User was apparently going to something of a lifelong suffering, so Delana was going to insist on following through with their system.
"NO! This is serious, we have to discuss this!" Hans cried out immediately, he just couldn't let her take on this kind of burden.
"What is there to discuss really? Hans, you and I have both wanted a baby for so long, and one of us has to do it. Why not me?" Delana said stoically. She was going to be stubborn. "Matthias, just how bad can things get for a weak Life-User?"
"It won't kill you if that's what you're asking. Don't fret too much, you'll get a lot of headaches and bad dreams the first few weeks, but eventually you'll get the hang of my method. And frankly, I think Delana would be more suitable to save the boy, most undeveloped minds respond better to a motherly touch."
To be continued...