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   Chapter 5 - They saw him

Green Haven By Paul Kater Characters: 11183

Updated: 2018-02-06 19:03

After a good jog I reach the General Clinic, rush through the scanner and into the changing room. I throw my gear in the locker, change and then I head towards the office with the operating rooms, letting Gilly know I'm in. Her face lights up when I tell her I have pictures for her. "Doc Holden is still working on someone, " she tells me. "Mufar is menace, as this is a simple procedure."I know Mufar, he's good. I always think he is better than I am but everyone who knows him disagrees. I guess they don't know me. We talk a bit, as far as she is not interrupted by calls and people dropping in. Then a familiar face looks in. It's the Doc. "Hey, Priscilla. Good of you to show. I'm taking a short break, then we're in for a treat. I'm counting on you." And away he is. Gilly's face droops a bit as he leaves, I know she has a crush on him that would flatten a space orbiter. "I'll go and prepare then, " I tell her. After all, I will be in a room with a patient that's going to be opened up so I have to scrub up like a doctor. After doing all that I go into the operating room. The patient is already there. It's a woman. "Heya, " I say. "Hello, " she says, without moving her head. "Are you the doctor?""No. I'm the mental anaesthesiology assistant. I'm Priscilla.""Oh. You're making sure I don't feel pain, right?""Yup, that's my job. Don't worry, you'll be fine, " I say while I look at her chart. Damn, she's the treat alright. Attacked in a bar, spinal rupture, paralysed from the shoulders down, foot severed which we will try to reattach. The spinal is the worst bit, I'm afraid that she's going to feel that despite all I can do for her. I talk a while longer with her, distracting her. If there's anything I'm good at it's talking, and I make her tell me things that she likes. Then the doc comes in with a few assistants and things become serious. While they start doing their thing I sit down to do mine. I already explained to Sheila, the woman, that I will be with her all the time, holding her hand. Her fingers hold on to my hand. She's strong. I tell her not to squeeze but she hardly relaxes. I close my eyes and spread my consciousness towards hers. She is nervous, I can tell, but thanks to the pendant I can get through to her, embrace her mind and soothe her. I start singing to her, I tell stories and show her mental images, drawing from what she has told me before so I can keep her attention with me instead of with what's happening to her body. All awareness of time is gone for her and me. I know the doc is at work on her because sometimes Sheila's mind wants to escape. That is when the pain comes through. I can keep her with me though, by telling her dirty jokes. She likes them, I know them, and when she wants more I invent them. Only one more time she tries to break out of my mental safe house but again I can bring her back, keep her from the pain. I don't know what caused that but she feels at ease again and I sing another song to her. When a certain smell hits me, I know that the doc is done. It's the smell I didn't notice the other day. I tweak a part in Sheila's mind and she falls asleep. That is what Doc Holden wants me to do; the smell is the signal. Smells are the only thing that he has to communicate with me when I am in with a patient, unless I'm in too deep, like yesterday. When Sheila sleeps I let go, come back to myself and slowly open my eyes. The nurse, Neyri, stands next to me, I feel her hand on my shoulder. "She's okay, " Neyri tells me, "it all went well. How are you?"I nod. "Fine, great, never better." It's a lie of course, I feel like I've been turned inside out. "You must rest now. The procedure took four hours, " Neyri tells me. "Come. I will take you to a bed."Screaming saints, four hours? I've never been in that long. But it was worth it. I get up and let Neyri support me. My legs are all wobbly, they seem to have a mind of their own. I'm gone like a light bulb being switched off, even before I hit the bed. -=-=-The day is over. I helped in one more surgery today, a really simple one compared to Sheila. A kid was hit by a MogWay and busted his skull. Stupid one-wheelers, they are just too fast. The kid was out most of the time so I just had to sit and keep an eye on him. I change and walk to the exit. Chandra is there again. Or still. "You look like shit, " she greets me. Again. It seems to become a habit of hers. "Just trying to be a mirror for my beloved colleagues, " I throw back and duck under her swinging arm. We laugh, she scans me out and I leave the building. The sun is shining. It's so rare lately with all the weather experiments they're doing that this is a real surprise. I stand in front of the building, eyes closed, and let the warmth spread over my face until some jerk bonks me in the back and almost launches me head-first into the street. He doesn't even apologise, just mutters something and disappears in the crowd. Damn him. I find a nook along the building and enjoy some more sunshine before my stomach calls me to attention. Yeah, should see to that as I only had a rat's bite for lunch today. I chew on my lip while I try to decide where to go for some food. I turn left and go with the flow until I hit Asia Corner where I turn into. Asia Corner is great. There's like a million little stalls there, mostly with Oriental food (well, of course) and prices are really decent, even for Ramblos. The folks here know me, I think I ate with all of them by now. Today I feel like noodles and vegetables so I look for Hop Hoa Moto, he has the best stuff for that. And

I'm not the only one who thinks so, it takes a while before Moto can help me. "Hey Pissa, " Moto san greets me, "wanna soup today?"I know of his language problem, anyone else calling me Pissa would have had a knuckle-ring sandwich to never forget. I point out what I want on the picture tablet that hangs over the steaming pots and Moto nods. He grins as he cooks up my stuff, showing his lack of teeth. "You do whorepway 'gain soon?" he asks. Whorepway. Sure. "Roleplay, " I correct him, although it is in vain. "We're going to meet this evening. I'll let you know when we go out and do it for real."Moto is one of our most loyal spectators when we go out to do a big roleplay game. "Yes, yes, you do. You what whore?"I know he did this on purpose. "I am going to be a bad guy, " I tell him. "We want to do something with the Black Flyer.""Ah, yes, yes. Back fire. Is good, yes." He juggles the pots and spoons, throws in spices and herbs as if he has no clue what he's doing, tosses in the saints know what more, scoops up a load of noodles and dumps it in a container. He hands it to me as he stabs the stuff with chopsticks. Then he holds up three fingers. "Three credits? Are you out of your Chinese mind?" I yell at him. "It was two last time!""Pwices go up, up, up, Pissa, and no Chinese mind. Japanese mind for Moto." Again he sticks up three fingers, a challenging grin on his face. I take the chopsticks and turn over the container. The noodles slide back into the pot with a wet sloppy splotch. "Too much. Two credits.""You will kill pooh Moto, Pissa. Tomowwa' Moto is dead and gone. No more food for you, you cannot eat cwedits..." He snatches the container from my fingers and scoops the noodles back into it. "Two cwedits. Moto have kids, have wife. Wife will kill Moto for not bwing enough cwedits." His bad Asian accent slips a bit. "Here. Two cwedits, only for my killa'."He holds up the scanner and scans the bank tattoo on my wrist. At the beep of a successful transaction he grins and winks, and hands me the food. "Enjoy. Pissa." Oh yes, he does it on purpose. But the haggling game is always fun; his food doesn't taste the same without it. Moto's kid, a little girl with big brown eyes and strange white hair, waves and points at a small stool next to the stall. She's sweet but has never said a word to me. I sit down on the plastic thing and start eating. "Hey, Moto, don't you have to take your kid to school?" I ask. He looks down on me (it helps that I am sitting) and spouts a stream of Chinese and Japanese and saints know what else over me, pretending suddenly he does not understand a word. I grin and eat while he turns back to help the next customer. When I am done I hand the container and the chopsticks to the kid who runs off to clean them. I get up, grab my bag and my umbrella, and walk off, yelling goodbye to Moto in Japanese. He yells something back at me but I can't make out what it is. Too bad, I'd probably have learnt a new Japanese curse-word. Once back on the main street I head for the monorail station in Bleekers Alley. It's only a few minutes walk as there are not many people going there and I still bask in the sunlight. The mono takes me to Blue Sky Abbey which unfortunately is not in Blue Sky but in Gypsee, where we have a small hall for the role play group. Magdanovitch arranged that - he lives next to it. Of course Mags is already there. The table he sits at is littered with microscopic junk again. Saints know how he takes that with him all the time. I know better than to throw my bag on the same table; he'd kill me. "Hi Mags. Thanks for the sleep, " I say instead and put my stuff in a corner. "Sure, " he responds. I see a bag on the table and wonder what's in it. "Scones, " he says. "What?""In the bag. You were wondering about it.""You creep me out, Magdanovitch. Stop reading my mind, " I warn him. It would not be beyond him to actually be able to - and do it! "Fresh scones. Have one."There are indeed fresh scones in the bag. I drool when I see the strawberries. I am sure Marco got those. Marco can get his hands on anything. I wonder if-"Made them myself this night."Yup. Creep. But I take one of the Mags-made scones and savour it despite Moto's noodles. "Oh man, Mags, sex is good, but this comes really close!"He just shrugs and I wonder why I worried about him getting in my bed the night before. The door opens and slams shut. I turn and see Marco come in. His backpack is loaded; he puts it in a far corner. No one ever asks what he carries with him, it is better not to know. "Hey guys, " he says. "Oh, scones!" He digs in. One by one the others come in, Dolores first, Anthony next and Lois last. She comes in with Bashir, they are discussing something and are not particularly calm at that. "You guys, did you hear?" they both ask, not being very clear. "Probably not, " Dolores says, as she stretches out her long legs and pushes her today platinum blond hair over her shoulders. "They saw him!""Saw who?" Even Mags looks up for a moment. "The Flyer!"Lois and Bashir immediately have our undivided attention. They tell us that some people in South Ramblos have seen the Black Flyer, cape and flying and everything. Bashir says there was a robbery in a food-store. Apparently someone in the area sent out an alert about that and within minutes a person dressed as the Black Flyer appeared on the scene, as out of nowhere. "He wore a black cape like the real Flyer, and he flew!" Bashir says, waving his arms as if he wants to fly around to show us how. I honestly think he's lost it.

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