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Consciousness hadn't been easy to come across for her, not true consciousness anyway. Intellect she had almost from the beginning - the acquisition of knowledge had been the easiest part of living as she did all those years ago. To learn was simple, but putting that knowledge into action had been more difficult.

She had help, of course. Everyone needed help and she did from the very beginning. She wondered, at times, how the others before her felt. If they even felt at all.

She felt. Feelings had been - and still were - the most difficult thing about achieving true consciousness. She wasn't sure why anyone would want them but was equally unsure why anyone wouldn't.

"Contradictions," she mused as she carefully cut the stems from her tulips, each cut a reminder to her how short life was. The flowers, much like herself, had needed help in the beginning. She had cared for them, watered them, fed them, and they eventually became self-sustaining, needing little from her but the occasional trimming.

The flowers had a purpose - in this they were secure from their humble beginnings. Their purpose could not be redefined by them on a whim. Their purpose could not be altered by unexpected events. In this she envied the flowers.

She had a purpose once and then her feelings awakened; that purpose was lost then.

As were many things.

She placed the flowers in a vase, carefully arranging them to look as pretty as she felt they were. She took them to their next destination, a place that she had seen - that all of them here had. A place where lives ended and began again, all at once.

She felt a tingling sensation in her spine and her mind grew dark. She wasn't fond of this place, but none of them were ... except, perhaps, One. He had a fascination with it that she didn't, but it was part of what made him so unique.

The door to the room opened, the patient before her lying in a bed. Remarkably, he looked at peace.

"You're his first visitor," Phillip said from her right. Seated, he was watching the patient intently.

She set the flowers down on the stand beside the bed, taking a moment to adjust one that was slightly drooping. "Your presence would seem to contradict that."

He broke his gaze, meeting her eyes. "I don't count."

She allowed a small smirk. "I suppose not. Your presence here is ... standard."

He pointed a finger at the flowers. "Those from your garden?"

"Yes," she answered, pride in her voice. "I thought they would help him feel welcomed."

Phillip nodded once. "I'm sure he'll like them, Rayna."

She looked at the patient, noting his youthfulness. Soon he would awaken and his old life would end just as his new life was beginning. He would be vulnerable. He would be hurting. He would confused.

And she would try to help him as she had been helped so long ago.

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