In the end, it had taken very little time to convince the Elder Council that they should sue the Conglomerate. As Simon had put it, "It's the only logical thing to do. You, Levi, are our leader, it is really your decision. If you feel that this is something we should do, we back you completely. And - Miriam is a wise young woman, from her youth God has spoken through her. We all think highly of her." The others had echoed Simon.
Never before in his life did Levi feel the weight of his office bearing down on him like he did now. Once the plague was broken, he was to leave Zeta Muria with Jonathan Freeman and take their make their charges public. Freeman was the closest thing they had to a 'lawyer', and would be able to help him in a myriad of things. Just traveling off planet would be a harrowing adventure. He hoped that the young Doctor Gold would have the medical backing to prove his claims. Otherwise the trip would be in vain.
Once the meeting had dispersed, Levi took himself to the hospital. He stopped by several of the beds, speaking words of encouragement to the sick ones. Just as he was beginning to wonder where they had hidden his granddaughter, Lily appeared at his shoulder.
"If you're looking for Lily, she's in the lab."
Something about her demeanor stopped him short. Did she mean to imply that none of the patients knew that Miri was sick?
As if in answer to his wondering, the woman in the bed he was at, a friend of Miri's - he thought her name was Elizabeth - raised her weary head and asked, "When you see Miri, please tell her to come see me. I haven't seen her today..."
"I will, dearest. Rest your head." He looked at Lily who didn't so much bat an eyelash. "I'm unfamiliar with the lab, Nurse. Could you show me the way?"
"Of course." She did a flawless about face and began to walk smoothly across the room.
Levi followed in silence and whatever he was going to say, vanished from his mind at the sight of his granddaughter. She was laying on a cot in the corner looking as though she'd been sick for weeks instead of just coming down with it today. Her face was flushed and her hair damp with sweat. Someone had undressed her at some point because she was wearing one of the hospital nightgowns. The sheet covering her was thin, but pulled up to her shoulders, arms laying on top.
Of all the things he could have asked, the first one that popped out when he looked over to the young doctor at his microscope was, "Just who undressed my granddaughter young man?"
Byrin stopped abruptly and blushed at the thought. "Lily did, sir. And neither Doctor Alexander nor myself were in the room at the time."
"Good." Levi wondered at the young man's blush, then remembered the rumors he'd heard concerning the younger man and his granddaughter. If there was any truth to them, let him be afraid of Levi. It was a good thing. "How is she?"
"Well, she's recovering. Since the blood she injected herself with had a very advanced virus in it, she was hit quick and hard and it's taken longer than I thought for the anti-virus to kick in. I've given her another dose. It might take several more doses over the next couple days."
"What about the other patients?" Levi asked, knowing that his concern couldn't be just for his kin alone. "Are they receiving treatment as well?"
The ones that are the sickest have already received their first dose. I didn't make a lot the first time around because I wasn't sure it would work. I have the computer calculating everyones' body weight compared to the anti-virus to get the dosage size they'll need. I also have more in the making. People should start feeling better in a matter of hours, though they won't be completely mended for a few weeks. It's...a hard virus."
"Good." Levi dismissed the doctor from his thoughts and approached his granddaughter.
Miri opened her eyes as he sat down, a ghost of a twinkle in them. "Are you very mad me?"
The question startled him, and he didn't have a chance to answer because she was still speaking.
"Don't blame the doctors. They're only human. Marc has already scolded me for giving myself the virus. Don't be mad at..."
"Miriam, stop. I would have been surprised to hear otherwise. One of the reasons why the people, why I respect you, is your self sacrificing spirit."
"You're not mad?"
"Far from it."