Draining the poison was a relief. The resentment she felt about the process was a minor price to pay. It dehumanised her, the procedure, it left her vulnerable. A feeling which, with the poison in her, would have been a problem. But as it was funnelled away from her blood by a bored looking nurse the pain of being a victim, a host, to her condition went with it. Until the next time at least.

There was no cure, there never would be, the experts declared. An assertion she detested but what could she say in argument? The barrages of tests, the experimental treatments, the endless prodding and speculation – it had all come to nothing. And after it all they still shook their heads and with hollow regret said there was nothing more to be done. So what more could she say? They knew better than she did. So they drained the poison when it needed to go, something to cling to at least.

The extreme, the crippled and broken victims, afflicted by the same consuming illness as her were all that lay beyond the judgements of the earnest doctors. If she was a host at least she was a living one, while they were simply sacrifices, their proud choice to refuse respite robbing them of all else. All choices and all freedoms beyond that one declaration of resistance.

The procedure was over now. She felt lighter, more human. Always the way once the poison was gone. Though she knew that over the coming weeks and months she would slide unwittingly back to that point of resentful inhumanity. An inevitability of her condition, until the final cure of death of course. That same path chosen only by those who clung to refusal as stubborn treatment of their own prescription. A mad few, a suicidal few but even as she dismissed them the choice loomed over her just the same as it did them.

Not today though. Not with the poison gone. Today she was human. Tomorrow resentment would cast the choice anew.

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