‘So can I see him?’

‘Well yes’, it said.

She swallowed still unsure of Malakan ettiquette if they had such a thing.

‘Is he all right?’

If light could be heard that was it’s voice.

‘No. In fact he succumbed.’

The throat tightened but hope was unbearable. ‘But here everything’s all right isn’t it? I mean that’s the whole point?’

‘Beloved…,’ the voice uttered. ‘You want to see your loved one. You can. But he is not a person. He is not he. In the final act of pestilence he was wiped out. He couldn’t accept love.’

The creature stopped and seemed to look down. Were those red sparks tears?

‘But why do I feel hope… for Alex?’

‘You love. And that has allowed us to save a husk. But merely a husk. It has no memory. And will never receive it back. The virus, in it’s death killed him.’

‘Yes… I know that. But maybe my memories can help.’

‘Oh yes’ the Malakan sparkled.

‘But’, he said in deepening blue ‘everyone’s memory is their own. Even if all the people Alex knew could share their memories his own will never come back. But…your sharing can start his new life. It will be an entirely new life. He will look a bit like Alex. Sound a bit like him. Maybe even do some of the things like Alex. But he’ll never be the Alex that you once knew. Then again…’ It paused.

She wept.

The Malakan held her in his arc of amber.



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