Sun and moon hesitated, time faltered in its march. The brilliant scythe of exquisite agony forged her being into a single block of molten courage. No thought of surrender existed. The alien within must be expelled, exorcised from dependence on her life force. Drawing breath, she clung to the nightmare horse of pain galloping toward the dénouement rising before them. A surging tide of pain lifted her and then…blessed surcease. The alien within vanquished, the absence a tiny wound on her psyche.“It’s a baby girl,” a far off voice intruded on her peace.