Unfolding the Past, Wrapping the Present
That drizzly morning where I stormed into the sanitarium, seemingly for the first time in weeks, I was not in the mood to deal with polite guidelines of behavior. I'm not quite sure I remember everything I called Roundtree, but some of it was medically impossible (even for mad science) and I was kinda loud. The police had taken that nurse off to whatever they thought was safe, and Mack seemed fine with me not physically threatening the doctor. "What sort of hospital are you running where the staff can go off the deep end and you DON'T BLOODY WELL NOTICE?!?!"
He got huffy, and was about to bring out the I Am The Doctor voice, and I cut him off. "I do not give a damn what you think you were doing, I am taking him out of here before the rest of your staff decides he needs 'help'." Hayes pitched in, babbling about how he could not be moved, and the nurses murmuring it was all so unseemly, but they couldn't find Ward Sister Grace to tell me off.
About half my rage was an act. Yeah, I was angry, and it really was a shoddy way to treat them, but the main thing was keeping my wings mantled and the claws extended. I needed some physical space for the shields to work, here. I had a thread of a connection to Mr Antfarm, stepping his pain reactions off, and channeling the energy to boost his immune system, increase the healing of his wounds and give him some strength. I had enough of padding around the rules of maintaining the status quo of the local medical standards. They were doing less for him than we had been able to manage in Steelhead.
Sweeping the hospital for more energy sources, I started to get the residuals from Nurse Rain's activities from the day. It was worse than they thought. "...and where is your Ward Dragon? Where was she when all of this was happening?" The nurses that had been under Sister Grace began muttering. From their whispers, Sister Grace had not been in the dorm that night, and I knew from when I was hiding here that she never left the campus. No lover, no family to visit, her whole life was the hospital, and yet and Sister Grace was no-where on the grounds. I also knew, from the negative pool of energy in the basement, something was very wrong.
Mack looked like he was about to drop, but his day shift counterpart Daniel had just shown up, and they were having a hurried conference in the back of the crowd. They peeled off down the wards with about a half-dozen of the younger nurses and all but the two burliest of the orderlies. Those two were flanking Roundtree like goombahs backing a don as we argued back-and-forth about his medical qualifications.
About ten minutes later, a shriek went up from the basement, and soon after, Watchman Daniel pelted up the stairs. I was just able to pull my working shields in when he reached me and grabbed my wrist. I nearly pulled back and decked him, but he was radiating more concentration than fear. He turned my hand over, and inspected my talons, then he took a sniff of the back of my hand. "I di'n think so, but I had't be sure. We need you to stick around, jus' th' same."
Ignoring Roundtree's demands for information, I nodded, "I will stay in arm's reach of you while we wait for the police."
Hours later, the police cleared me, when they found the coal shovel, and the hand-prints in the blood that were smaller than mine. True, I am a shape-shifter, but the hands were also the size of Nurse Rain's. The Caledon investigator looked me over, and shook his head, "Na, you've not been in the basement, I think. I know how to contact you, Dr Belfire." That was a shock, as I hadn't even told my parents I had passed my boards. I had the oddest feeling he was taking my family history just by glancing over my clothes. The small pin on his lapel depicting an open book gave me a clue where he might be getting his information, but at least he was clearing me of the murders.
Yes, murders. They found two separate scenes of carnage, one in the laundry, and one in the boiler room. No bodies yet, though they were shutting down the boiler to see if anything was left. The hospital was short-staffed, and it seemed the staff was dwindling more with each new revelation.
In all of the confusion, we managed to get everyone clear of room fifteen, long enough for someone to dress and slip away. It was the least I could do for him, as the staff still would not release him to me. I still have the thread attached to him, so I can find him later when we get a doctor for him. Father is not available, and Vater is more of a neurosurgical specialist, so I hope I can drag Beck out of whatever memory-dampening stupor he's dug himself into this week.
Back in the swing
6 months ago