Prologue "What is it?!" Scientists and doctors exclaimed from all the corners of the meeting room. Dr. Isloch ignored the frantic questions shot at his frail old body. This would be the last disease he would ever discover. He studied his notes; ruffling from front to back, back to front. Abruptly he stood, his stooping frame barely altering his height, and everyone fell silent. "It is nothing we have ever seen before," his voice rang out, sharp and true despite his age, "This disease will be called 'Voropenitus' Latin for 'inner consumption' for that is what the disease does. It slowly consumes organs leaving the brain and heart for last. Once it begins consumption of the brain and heart, the person will then go into a coma. Studies have shown that if not placed under life support within five minuets of pre-coma stage, which would be, the pupils completely expanding and fading to red, the person will die abruptly. No cures have been found and if the person has not entered the pre-coma stage, the life support will kill them. "The symptoms include hair turning red, the earliest symptom, and the skin loosing pigment and become stark white. This disease only affects those under the age of thirteen. Once diagnosed with Voropenitus, a small computer like chip is inserted at the base of the neck. This will set off an alarm when the child reaches the pre-coma stage. All those with this disease will be immediately hospitalized in the permanent wards. "There is only a eleven point one five percent chance that the child will awake from the coma. If the child has not awakened after five days they are dead and shall be taken off of the life support. If the child does wake up, they will be paralyzed from the neck down; now requiring help with their breathing, heart, and so on, aided by the best machines designed." Dr. Isloch surveyed the unsmiling crowed listening with rapt attention to his words and said, "That is all."


Shayla rolled over and sat up. She glanced at the sunlight pouring through her window and slid out of bed and on to the square it made on her floor. Reaching for her brush, she glanced at her reflection in the mirror and the brush clattered to the floor. Her bright blue sparkling eyes stared back at her with a mixture of fear and disbelief. Her sleep mussed honey-blond hair that framed her face was tinted a noticeable red.