Love Across Time chapter 10

 Ryan shifted uncomfortably in his chair under the scrutiny of the tribunal. "You've been with this organization for over 10 years, with an exemplary record. I am extremely dismayed and disappointed in you. These charges against you are not only extremely serious, but inexcusable. Stealing medications? Administering them without a license? Unlawful interactions with people in the past? What in hell were you thinking?"

Before he could even open his mouth, his advocate stood up. "Magistrate, I have documentation here that will eliminate most of the charges."

"Let me see the documentation, please." She was handed the prescriptions and Ryan's certification to administer the meds. "I see. All charges are hereby dropped except the unlawful interactions with people in the past. Mr. Edwards, do you have anything to say in your behalf?"

"Yes ma'am," he replied, rising and bowing respectfully. "Have you ever been in love, Chief Magistrate? I thought I had in the past, but I realize now that I hadn't. Not really. Then I met Ethan Evans, the man from the past. I don't believe the miscalculation in the time coordinates was an accident. I believe we were meant to meet and fall in love.

"In my past relationships, the thought of any type of sexual encounter would not have even entered my mind until I got to know the other person well enough to develop some kind of feelings for that person. With Ethan it was different. We couldn't keep our hands off of each other. I thought..."

"I wouldn’t give two cents for whatever you were thinking. Sexual intercourse with a person in the past is the most serious of all offenses, and do you know why?"

"Yes ma'am. The Grandfather Paradox, but that doesn't apply in my case. I had sex with another man. There's no way I would be able to become my very own grandfather."

"Regardless of that fact, you have freely admitted to having sexual relations with a person in the past. You are hereby sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole." One of the other Magistrates leaned over and whispered in her ear.

"It has just been brought to my attention that the young man in question is seriously ill and could possibly die from the medications he was given. The death penalty now comes into play. However, that portion of your sentence will be held in abeyance pending whether or not this person lives. If this person dies, you will be put to death immediately."

"I don't want to live without him. Death would be preferable to that."

"Let's hope it doesn't come to that, for both your sakes." She banged her gavel. "The sentence is set to be carried out immediately. Mr. Edwards, I hope this young man was worth throwing your career and life away."

"He was, Magistrate. He most definitely was."

~~~~~

Chris looked at Ethan's doctor in shock. "So, if I understand what your saying, if you continue to give him his HIV meds, he could die. If you don't give him his meds, he could die." His voice broke a little as he said, "Either way he's going to die? There's nothing else that can be done?"

"We have the best doctors around working on his case. This is nothing like any of us have ever seen. This is thing. The convulsions have grown progressively worse. The next one could damage his brain to the point where he'd become totally dependent on life support. At worse, it could kill him. There's no way to tell for sure. He's young, strong and healthy. His T-cell count is way above normal, even for you and me. Wait a minute..."

He stopped to think for a minute. "Something is hyper-stimulating the production of t-cells, making his immune system very aggressive." He went to the nurse's station and sat at the computer, clicked the mouse a couple of times, typed something, clicked the mouse a few more times, typed something else then clicked the mouse one last time.

"Ann," he said to the nurse, "I'm discontinuing Ethan Evans' HIV medication. I've ordered full-spectrum blood tests every 12 hours. I'm to be notified immediately if there are any changes to his t-cell, WBC and RBC counts and his viral load."

"Yes, doctor."

He ran off muttering, How could we have missed this? to himself.

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