A Matter of Fact (Ch 4), Epilogue
A Matter of Fact
Chapter 4: Epilogue
Friday: Sept 21, 2007; Outside Schuster Hall
A frightfully large bear stood motionless atop the ragged body of the boy, who looked minuscule compared to the beast, it’s powerful front paws placed heavily upon the victim’s limp frame – weighting 800 pounds it’s mass alone would prevent the youth from breathing: were he even physically able to draw air in.
The massive muzzle, alert to any indicator of life, was stayed low - just millimeters away from the unflinching - unresponsive boys face. The bear lingered as it used it’s senses to ensure its target wasn’t playing possum; the painstaking scrutiny was intense as the beast sought any signs of life.
The attack had been brutal … savage perhaps. The unawares prey had been set upon from behind and been completely overwhelmed, there had been no fight and an opportunity at flight wasn’t granted. It was a predatory take down without compromise – no quarter or question as to who won.
An indignant snort was accompanied by a head shake exaggerated by the bears long fur, using a muscled foreleg the bear batted the unresponsive body beneath it - resulting in the carcass rolling around lifelessly, as a final insult the great bear reared up onto its hind legs and let fly a victorious roar.
Doyle Medical Centre
Dr. Ophelia Tenant was dressing the superficial wounds on Leroy Jacobs: aka Skyhook, the exuberant young African American man had been showing off his flight ability to impress new found friends in the Quad, the Doctor saw this same sort of thing the start of every school year – kids wanting to fit in by pushing their abilities beyond their untrained skills.
This particular boy could manifest a PK field that made him buoyant and float in the air, and while he could lift great weights airborne his field wasn’t capable of providing much protection which was apparent once he collided into a tree, nothing more than a few scrapes - and some hard-earned humiliation; which just might in the end teach him more than any course Whateley Academy offered.
Ophelia was finishing the bandage wraps on the boy’s knee, her long strands of hair skillfully passing the roll around the appendage while keeping it taunt, a few more and she’d be done bandaging him up, but that silly pager had other ideas; it vibrated and buzzed in her Doctor whites pocket drawing her attention. Before she could acknowledge its buzz a broadcast over Doyle’s public address system upped the urgency, the very tone in the voice calling her name alone said something bad had happened. Adrenaline started to kick in fueling yet another rush.
Hastily she asked Leroy to finish up his own bandage before running out the door and down the hall towards main reception: Doyle’s Emergency admitting area. While the Doyle Medical Facility was extremely well equippedj: it was still a small centre, everyone had to come in through the main admitting doors. What she saw awaiting her made her want to turn around and go back to tending to the scraped knee. Ophelia had become a Doctor to help people; it was her life’s calling and passion, seeing one of Whateley Securities finest covered in blood, straddling a student as he called out the compression count for CPR, Ophelia’s first instinct told her this was not going to end well.
The first aid stretcher had been laid upon the floor, its occupant swarmed by gathering medics who transferred the rather small youth onto a gurney which halted CRP momentarily - only to resume once the providers had repositioned, the Doctor tried to collect vitals amidst the swarm of well trained nurses and orderlies, the team hurried the gurney into Trauma Room 1.
Ophelia carried great pride over the exceptional staff that had been assembled, along with the first-class medical equipment which Doyle Medical Centre boasted – any Doctor would give their eye teeth to have access to the resources Doyle had at the ready. Trauma Room 1 ignited instantly into a finely tuned orchestra with no one skipping a beat, Ophelia voice activated the internal recording system to capture events.
Dr. Tenant directed a nurse to cut away the clothes from off the boy as she began to assess the massive chest wound. The Security Officer who had been performing CPR was relieved from his efforts by a male nurse, the officer stood away: he visibly shook while staring at the blood covering himself, he was spent from the exertion extended trying to preserve life - the Doctor directed a nurse to get him into a shower and instructed he get checked over – being exposed to mutant blood necessitated extra precautions.
Before he could leave the room Ophelia asked “How long ago did this happen ?”
“Less than five minutes.” supplied the security officer.
That was the first bit of good news, maybe this kid stood a chance after all.
“Let’s get him aerated people; careful with the neck, from that angle it’s undoubtedly broken.” directed the Doctor.
The nurse who had been using a bellows bag with facemask backed away to allow another skillful nurse to hold the boys neck while an air tube was inserted down his throat, the aspirating machine was turned on with everyone watching the chest expectantly for it to rise and fall: it didn’t.
“Is the airway blocked ?” questioned Ophelia.
“No Doctor, the air tube slid in without obstruction.” replied the nurse.
“Prep a scope to check the lungs.” she shouted over her patient.
Ophelia gently opened the chest wounds to gauge severity - while one nurse swabbed the blood to improve visibility, another nurse was applying the adhesive heart monitor leads to the few places where enough skin remained intact amidst the slash marks that had torn long gouges crisscrossing the torso.
The worst damage was directly over his heart: three distinct claw slashes intersected at one point on the chest: the heart. The flesh had been ripped deeply exposing white rib-bone; within that mess the Doctor spotted heart muscle which exponentially worsened the degree of damage inflicted, the claws had gone deep – very deep. She placed her gloved hand into the chest cavity and couldn’t feel the heart beating, looking at the heart monitor it too showed no pulse.
Panic stricken; Ophelia asked for the defibrillator to get charged and the crash cart was brought bedside, when the tone sounded ‘ready’ she shouted “Clear!” and depressed the paddles against the boy’s chest.
The anxious team watched the heart monitor as it registered a couple beats then faded away: “Again” called Ophelia, when the tone sounded ready she cried out “Clear!” with even less results when only two blips indicated heart function.
“Get me a heart simulator” within seconds another cart was wheeled in, the specialized devise would act as a pacemaker to activate and regulate the heart. Ophelia grabbed the wires within clusters of her hair and with the scalpel in hand began making precise incisions to the flesh around the heart and inserted the tipped wires against heart muscle. The machine was adjusted to mimic the heart function of a young boy and the area around the heart could be seen inside his chest, it visibly constricting as an electrical current shocked it; simulating the beat vital for sustaining life.
Ophelia timed the pulses as the lines danced across the monitor, it was irregular and weak – but beating, she checked the clock: 8 minutes – give or take, she prayed the CPR had worked and kept suppling the body oxygen.
The Trauma Team was collectively, unconsciously holding their breath as the Doctor gingerly lowered a small scope into the boy’s mouth, a monitor displaying the picture from the fibre optic camera as its light illuminated the throat wall, the tiny camera worked its way slowly down stopping only when it entered the lungs “No obstruction, lets reinsert the tube and give him 40 percent Oxygen” directed the Doctor.
Kane Hall: Whateley Security
Security Chief Franklin Delarose watched the security camera footage from near Schuster Hall yet again, playing each angle available. He rewound and replayed certain scenes exhaustively. He couldn’t find the trigger to explain what caused this to happened?
Whateley Security held responsibility for a most challenging assignment: to provide impartial on-campus security, an extra hard assignment due to the school’s charter. There had been many frustrating arguments over the years, but Delarose eventually came to understand how to saddle … not nessicarily ride the beast that was Whateley Academy. At times Whateley’s status was akin to being a nation unto itself; being neutral territory operating under the scrutiny of villain and law-enforcement alike. Security’s main duty focused upon trying to ensure the safety of those attending this school, students whose very existence drew the attention of every powerful group and organization: be they within or outside the law.
Whateley Security always needed to walk a fine line of not showing partiality: to any particular creed, in-order to uphold the schools prime concern - neutrality. Whateley Security could not enforce law - so his staff were not sworn policemen; most of them coming from military backgrounds, soldiers used to the notion of simply keeping the peace – by force if needed.
The real problem was when serious crime happened, it sent the balance askew and put his team under the microscope, all parties watching like vultures - waiting for any opportunity to gain more control and influence.
Although neutral Whateley had layers of rules to abide under: Rules crafted by the trustees to guide school operation, Laws enacted by governments for how a civilized populous should live: Tribal, State, Federal. All being weighted and deemed as acceptable for granting each person their own peace and security ... but a crime; it infringed upon another’s liberty with serious offences even costing a life. Chief Delarose was thankful that the sole person to administer judgement at Whateley was Elizabeth Carson: The Headmistress.
Delarose and his men worked under her authority - allowing them freedom to just be agents of security. But it still meant Whateley Security needed to conduct investigations, make arrests and provide confinement … all to be done equally and fairly without bias. Each offence - every conflict was walking into muddy waters, so acting rashly was Delarose’s worst enemy and finding clear indisputable proof his best hope of holding onto Whateley’s reins.
Delarose was fully aware of the clandestine surveillance he and his department was under, in a backward manner it was providing proof to all parties that no-one from any ideology was being singled out, he had grown to accept the ever-present scrutiny as part of the job.
Just as Delarose understood he needed to retain personnel ‘on the take, those whose services could be bought and to turn a blind eye; the pendulum had to swing both ways to establish balance. The Chief tried to keep the graft and scams in check rather than stopping it, since he saw the bigger picture at play… a vision that his second in command: Admiral Everhart, was as yet unable to fully grasp. The ongoing argument between them about the need to bring the men ‘in line’ showed that his second hadn’t figured Whateley out.
The familiar knock on the office door announced Sam Everhart’s arrival “Come in Sam” called out the Chief and pointed the young looking female Admiral towards a chair across from his desk.
“You have the look of a man expecting bad news.” supplied Everhart.
“Trust me, I’d love to get some good news right now.” ground out Delarose
“I’ve got to disappoint you Chief, my preliminary investigation hasn’t revealed anything new” was Sam’s response “and word is spreading around campus that the school is under attack.”
“Gear up squad Four heavy - and do a perimeter sweep” directed Whateley Securities supervisor “best not to take any chances.”
“On it” confirmed Sam as she exited the office.
Doyle Medical Centre
The last few hours had drained the Doctor to beyond exhaustion, cleaning the deep cuts and trying to seal up the long gouges was painstakingly slow, Ophelia had had to resort to stitches to draw the flesh closed when her healing spells had no effect, the body laying before her looked like a patchwork quilt.
Watching the monitors intently, checking once more if her patient was stable, Dr. Tenant finally left the room which looked as if a tornado had swept through it, shaking her head sadly that the results weren’t as promising as she had hoped. Ophelia slowly stretched her aching muscles as tresses of hair massaged her shoulders, she untied her surgical mask enjoying the breath of fresh air, next freeing her hands of the surgical gloves she stepping up to the wash basin - started the water and built up a lather.
“How’s it look Doc?” Chief Delarose’s booming voice startled the Doctor, peeling her away from that place of routine which only comes from doing something so often it becomes second nature. He stood next to her in what had to be a long-practiced stance, giving her space but not letting her avoid his presence either.
“It’s too early to tell, the kid was dead when he came in the doors, he is on life support now” assessed Ophelia “Tomorrow! I’ll see if he’s breathing on his own.”
“How do you classify the injuries ?”
“With you asking that question: I have to say it was an assault with intent to kill; we’ll know soon enough if you have a murder on your hands.” claimed the Doctor “Does my patient have a name ?”
”He’s registered under ‘Outlook’"supplied Delarose.
Franklin Delarose shook his head in frustration, hating how Whateley Security held the double-edged responsibility of protecting some of the more frighteningly powerful mutants in the world, while at the same time having to police some of the more frighteningly powerful mutants in the world.
There were days that retirement sounded like a mighty fine idea.
“Chief: I just got in. Nothing happening along the school’s barrier, no incursions and no sign of invaders.” Informed Sam speaking through his open door
“We had to check.” Detailed Delarose, grimacing at the news “Did you have time to take a look at the security footage from outside Schuster?”
“I saw it”
“Notice anything odd?”
“I suspect you’re asking about that second when the boy stiffened - just before being collided into?”
“You spotted that too? good. What do you make of it ?”
“Kid might have a weak danger sense, or empath maybe. But if he knew it was coming … why didn’t he react?”
“Can’t postpone it any longer, we need to try and glean what triggered this ?” Intoned Delarose as he and Everhart approached the small meeting room, the shared look between them braced each other for the task at hand as they entered.
The avatar bear sat in a chair which was tipped back leaning it against the wall, giving the two Whateley Security officers who entered the room a toothy grin that exposed fangs.
Saturday: September 22, 2007; Whateley Academy
Ophelia greeted dawn by rolling over and muttering; “Just five more minutes”.
As she lay there; warm and cozy under the blankets, her mind began to race. Being a Doctor is much like being obsessed – be that true: Ophelia had a bad case of OCD.
Elizabeth Carson had kindly informed her on many occasions that she needed to take some time off and get rested, but instead; here she was, worried about a young boy on deaths door on her first day off since early August.
Preparing for the day, she stood in front of her closet befuddled by a decision ‘work duds or casual?’ when her thoughts demanded to know how the boy had faired through the night, instinctively her hand reached for the familiar medical garb.
The walk from the small but functional staff house in the village over to Doyle only took a couple minutes, she passed a few other staff members with the exchanging of ‘Good Mornings’ and to the few students she passed who greeted her with either a wave or a “Hi Doc” as the youngsters darted off to an early morning class.
Walking into Doyle, Ophelia noted with relief to see it was quiet, she had discovered long ago that the ‘best days’ were those in which she had nothing to do. Checking in at reception to verify the current status, she walked the short distance to the Medical Centre’s specialized Critical Care Unit that she had moved Outlook into last night. Rounding the rooms doorway, she was mystified to find it empty, hurrying back to the nurse’s station she quickly ran her finger down the folders of patients and found Outlook’s file.
That mornings duty nurse approached as Ophelia read the charts, “Bonny; do you know where Outlook is?” Asked the Doctor.
“Opie: you’re supposed to have the day off remember?” Scolded the nurse.
“I know, I know … but the poor kid is in such bad shape.”
“Security came in in a panic after you'd left last night, they had the night shift move your patient to one of the warded rooms downstairs. I can put his stats up on the board for you?”
Ophelia nodded her thanks, she was irked that a critical care patient was getting juggled about – but was willing to give Delarose and his group the benefit of the doubt. Watching the board made her heart sink and a sigh followed as her disappointment was manifest; he was not improving – his condition had worsened in the last few hours, the electrically dictated heartbeat was losing its effectiveness and the hearts beating had slowed and even skipped one of every four pulsations; if not for the highly sensitive electrodes being used you wouldn’t even find a pulse.
Bonny allowed her some time to digest the boards readout before mentioning “Security will be bringing some students by later this morning.”
“He’s in no shape for visitors!” commented the disturbed physician.
“I was told they are needed to help verify something for Security, they’re slated to be here in an hour – enough time for you to get some coffee, OH! try the Danish; their de-lish. Now shoo!” spoke the friendly nurse giving the Doctor orders.
The warded room wasn’t designed to handle a critical patient, the various machines being employed to keep the young man alive had to be placed upon wheeled carts then positioned in an array that nearly surrounded the bed, wires and tubes ran everywhere and the equipments power cords filled all electrical outlets available in the hallway, the room was stark and windowless, mystic glyphs etched onto the walls.
Ophelia had taken Bonny’s advice and was better off for it, although; a half cup of cold coffee now sat on the corner of one of the wheeled carts near the door, Ophelia had been attending to her patient, checking and re-checking connections and responses, she barely heard the knock on the door announcing the visitor’s arrival.
“Doctor, Is it possible to allow myself and some students to come in. I require their assistance with my investigation” spoke the Security Chief.
Ophelia grimaced but had to acknowledge that he had the grace to ask: which only helped reinforce that she liked the man, he might at times be gruff and too harsh for her taste, and he certainly sent plenty of business Doyle’s direction, but he had a job to get done and she knew very well that he was good at keeping the kids safe, and she respected that.
“Can I stay and keep an eye on my patient ?” requested Ophelia.
“Wouldn’t have it any other way” remarked the big man as he stepped into the room, calling down the hall he asked “Nikki, Kayda, Mrs. Grimes. Would you come in please ?"
The two second-year Mystic Arts program girls were skittish as they entered followed by the teacher, all three-hanging close to the wall nearest to the door, each face conveyed a feeling of wariness, fear, and curiosity.
Delarose had ceded that Kayda was one of the best suited Wizards available to discover if Mythos magic was at play and begrudgingly included her. But also asked her teacher to be an observer as he had no clue about finger-wiggling.
“As I mentioned to you on the way over; I would like you to tell me if this person is a user of magic, particularly if it’s Mythos magic ?” As soon as Delarose mentioned Mythos magic, Ophelia’s hair stood on end and she too moved further away from the unmoving patient.
Upon the Chiefs invitation Nikki Reilly cautiously approached, while she didn’t draw upon the Mythos - she had encountered its stain enough to feel when it was present, along with her ability to see leylines and collect essence at will: it made Fey an obvious choice for identifying magical entities and sources.
Nikki circled the room ever mindful of the rooms occupant, keeping the bank of medical instruments positioned between her and the prone body at the rooms center, she took great care observing the room and the wards upon the walls. Returning to stand close to the door the redhead gave her head a shake to the negative, the movement allowed her luxuriant red tresses to bounce about her face “The only magic present is limited to that which was brought in by Kayda, the Doctor, Mrs Grimes and myself, the wards are preventing anything from entering or leaving”. Not having found any hint of magic with the boy she added “Quoting the vernacular, he’s a Null”.
Kayda was encouraged to step forward next: responding to the Chief’s gesture of invitation. Carrying a small wooden bowl Kayda asked Nikki to hold onto it as she withdrew from the sheath on her belt a decorated ceremonial blade, nervously she moved between the life support equipment to approach the bed – looking over to the Doctor and then her teacher, she indicated her need to cut some hair, Ophelia nodded in acceptance and Mrs. Grimes granted her permission understanding what was needed.
Using the ceremonial knife Kayda sliced off a few strands of hair, returning to stand beside Nikki she then placed some water, the hair, and a pinch of herbs from out of her deerskin pouch into the bowl. After a brief incantation; a spark of light and a puff of vapour rose from the bowl. Almost breaking into tears the Native American girl said in a pained - near disappointed voice “No indication of Mythos magic, his hair would show its presence on him like a fingerprint - no history of essence at all”.
Nikki Reilly, the Sidhe girl also known as Fey gave her friend a comforting one armed hug to relieve some of the obvious tension while the two moved toward the exit. Seeing an opportunity Dr. Tenant made a request: “Fey, could you try casting a healing spell. I tried making several yesterday without success, would you please try?” Nikki looked into the eyes of the pleading Doctor then down upon the near dead figure on the bed, after struggling with what looked like a debate - she nodded affirmatively.
Kayda moved to the wall bracing her back against it - as Fey stepped into the corridor to be free of the protective wards. Ophelia provided the powerful mage some insight “Life support is keeping him alive, a machine is telling his heart to keep beating due to all the damage it’s taken, he’s being aspirated to force his lungs to work, he has a broken neck, and multiple deep cuts mostly on his chest”.
Kayda gulped upon hearing the detailed list of injuries sustained, and Nikki held a shocked look as she slumped from the dire prognosis, nodding her head in understanding.
The Sidhe queen spoke a series of words then set about gathering the essence she needed and collected it into a healing spell, from the positioning of her hands it was quite a large working, re-entering the room she moved near to the rooms focus and sent out her casting towards the stricken youth’s chest. Fey watched as the accumulated essence merely fizzled like a deflating balloon to then end with a tiny pop as it faded completely. She turned in puzzlement to Ophelia and her Teacher saying “I don’t understand what just happened. It didn’t work.”
Ophelia’s hope was dashed “Thanks for trying dear” she gave as reassurance ttying to cover her own disappointment.
Chief Delarose released both Kayda and Nikki, ushering them out of the room with Mrs. Grimes following to give support and debrief them about the experience. After thanking them for their assistance in the hallway, the Chief next directed another youth to enter; which really surprised the Doctor. Paige Donner stepped into the room.
“Are you able to tell me if this person is a Were ?” Delarose asked.
Paige sniffed at the air and assumed a confused expression; she shifted to her Werecat form, then with fluid ease moved between the machines surrounding the bed and began gathering a scent, the sleek black cat moved away from the bed and retook her human form. “He is not a Were, but he has been marked.”
“What do you mean ‘marked’ ?” questioned Delarose.
“I’m not completely familiar with everything ‘Were’ but as I understand it - a female has claimed him” supplied Paige, the confused expressions upon the other rooms occupants faces required her to say more “I can’t explain it all too well, there are intricacies of Were society I haven’t been taught yet, it’s just that he’s carrying a scent, it was explained to me he’d be welcome in the tribe. Maybe my step-folks can explain it to you better.” informed Paige.
“Do you know who’s scent is on him ?” was the next logical question to be asked and the Chief beat Ophelia to it.
“I’m not familiar with who marked him.” revealed Paige.
Ophelia finally received clearance from Security allowing her to return Outlook into a Critical Care room, she established a vigil to keep his condition monitored and she was to be notified at any changes.
Returning home, she stood under the soothing spray of the showers pulsating nozzle; deep in thought, her ‘quick’ shower turned into forty-five minutes before she noticed the water cooling and stepped out. She had mentally reviewed every possible treatment she could think of, berating herself in concern that she might have missed something – forgotten something.
Firing up her computer Ophelia searched for a potential solution, an article in a medical journal about a boy in Western Canada that could reconstruct bone and muscle caught her eye for it’s potential merit but quickly passed over it. She skimmed over to the heart transplant site resulting in her interest being piqued: the waiting list was long since donors were hard to come by – but it was at least a chance, which is more than what she had a minute ago, Scrolling through the requirements for transplant: she was aghast to discover that each patient needed to have a mental assessment before being considered for viability and only then be placed on the wait list. Ophelia jumped to her feet and shouted into the air “LOUIS, I need you”.
The mental representation of Louis Geintz appeared in her living room, wearing a corduroy sports coat, faded jeans and a well worn pair of moccasin slippers, he stood for a second with a shocked expression - then turned around “Doctor – Please.”
Ophelia drew closed her bathrobe in embarrassment “Louis: can you make a mental assessment of a patient ?”
“That would be more Dr. Bellows specialty, why do you ask ?”
“I have a boy in Doyle who is dying, my last hope is to get him a heart transplant, for that I need to get a mental assessment of him … Louis; he’s unresponsive, I need you to go in and gauge his mind.”
“Ophelia, I…” and there it was, that look of desperation; the look that FUBAR had seen too often in his lifetime – on so many faces, be it on one of the students in Hawthorne, upon teachers grasping at straws, and if he was to be honest … at times in the reflection of his fish bowl. “I’ll meet you at Doyle.” he finally offered.
The fierceness of determination rose within Ophelia “I’ll be there in five!”
“Make it thirty, so you can get something to eat first and it’s a deal” bartered Louis. Opie’s ‘drive’ was the stuff of legend – that and her habit of forgetting the simple things; like food.
Louis Geintz stood with Ophelia in the Critical Care room, the boys sad small figure lay on the bed amid tubes and wires: pale and unmoving surrounded by beeping equipment. Ophelia checked and assessed the monitors as if begging the blips to do more than indicate a life fading away. The Doctor pointed her little flashlight into the unresponsive clouded white eyes which provided no hint of reaction. Looking at her possible salvation she asked “Anytime Louis ?”
“That’s just it Ophelia, I’ve been trying; there’s nothing there to work with, just blank walls” hating to break that information to her “I’m so sorry!”
Ophelia broke into tears, and grabbed onto Louis as she sobbed; wailing in disappointment. Maybe the shoulder she was crying on didn’t exist, and maybe a Doctor should have more separation from a patient, but right then: the biggest hearts on campus were in that room, and Opie’s was breaking.
Sunday: September 23, 2007; Doyle Medical Centre
Ophelia was trying to not think about the boy in Critical Care, but her rounds had her pass that open door too many times during the course of the day, she knew what needed to be done but any little distraction was excuse enough to avoid entering.
The usual afternoon rush had passed – odd to think it usual to have a stream of teenaged patients coming in with breaks, strains, and sprains as being usual; but Martial Arts held classes on the weekend and the new students always took a beating ... unfortunately too literally.
The clock approached four, and Ophelia resigned herself to her dreaded task, asking Bonny to assist her since she was the one nurse she knew who wouldn’t doubt or question the decision that really had no other option. They entered Critical Care room 1 and unplugged the life support machines, without the electrical stimulation the patient’s heart ceased beating resulting in the monitors lines riding flat across the screen. At three fifty in the afternoon of September the twenty third, in the year twenty ot seven: Alex Cameron Burke was pronounced dead.
Bonny solemnly assisted Ophelia in disconnecting all the wires that had kept the boy artificially alive, and the two-bore witness on the documentation announcing the boy deceased. Ophelia sought to take the body down to the morgue against Bonny’s saying an orderly could do it “No Bon, I need to do this – it’ll give me closure” said the Doctor not wanting to feel numb but not giving way to tears either.
Doyle’s basement housed a small but regrettably too often used morgue, the refrigerated little room felt colder than it actually was, Ophelia moved the rolling bed through the door and positioned it against a wall. Ophelia placed the young boy’s few personal belongings underneath the gurney for processing at the mortuary.
Lieutenant Simeon Trout had been keeping an eye on the happenings in Doyle with great interest, ever since he’d done an online search for ‘Outlook’ he had been secretly working out the details of a grand scheme which would be a score that could have him set for life. The carrot being dangled before his eyes was a bounty tallied at two and a half million for proof positive on the death of one Cameron Burke: aka Outlook. He nearly jumped through the screen when he saw Dr. Tenant wheeling the body down to the morgue.
Monday: September 24, 4:30 am; Doyle Medical Centre
Lieutenant Trout had fought over the need to bring in some help to pull off a heist, greed won out over caution. The Lieutenant had disabled the security cameras viewing Doyle’s basement and loading area; putting them into a playback loop – something he’d done hundreds of times before throughout the school’s security network and been paid handsomely for doing it. He backed his truck up to the loading dock behind Doyle, then noiselessly crept into the building using the falsified entry codes he possessed.
Ensuring nobody saw him he took the stairs down to the basement and walked up to the morgues door. Opening the heavily insulated door he used a flashlight to find the body within, it was resting atop a gurney inside a plastic body bag, he unzipped the bag uncovering the boys face and took photo’s of the deceased along with the death certificate.
Trout decided the kid was small enough that he could carry the body upstairs to the waiting truck instead of risking using the gurney and an elevator. Wrapping the boy’s body in the blanket he hoisted him onto his shoulder, he didn’t bother with shutting the door behind him as he lugged the dead weight up the stairs. Moving cautiously through the hallways he backed into the door pushing it open.
Approaching his vehicle he allowed the body to drop into the truck bed, he straightened up in time to hear “Freeze!” Franklin Delarose’s unmistakable voice bellowed as it echoed around the loading dock, it brought panic to Simeon who simply held still as four darkened figures moved in closer with guns at the ready - pointing nowhere other than directly at him.
“Is showing disrespect for the dead an offence” asked one of the men positioned in the confining circle around Trout.
“I’ll see if there isn’t something that’ll stick” said Delarose as one of his men put Trout into handcuffs. Chief Delarose directed that Lt. Trout be taken and confined at Kane Hall, that he would be along shortly to start the paperwork.
Delarose stood over the enshrouded body lying in the trucks bed, bending low he scooped the light weight boy into his arms then stood cradling it. He grunted as he stepped over the tailgate onto the loading dock, then entered Doyle, the Chief cradled the body in his arms as he carried it back down the stairs to the cool room it had been stolen from, he set the bag gently upon the gurney. Chief Delarose straightened; removing his beret and bowed his head, holding his stance for a moment, then turned to leave the room.
“gah - Louis! Are you trying to give me a heart attack ?”
FUBAR assessed the Chief for a second “Sorry Frank, I forget that people can’t hear my walking or breath” as he stood in the doorway.
“What’s got you wandering the campus tonight?”
“Ophelia cried herself to sleep tonight. So much emotion … it’s hard to ignore.”
“She’s got a heart of gold, it will be her undoing.”
“She put everything she had into trying to save this boy, it wasn’t enough. To have your limitations pushed and find yourself lacking, it’s a hard pill to swallow. ”
“The poor kid didn’t stand a chance, his heart was pretty near torn out of his chest… sorry - had you known the boy ?”
“No, not really. But I - I wanted to… needed to say goodbye” revealed Louis.
“We end up losing some each year” surrendered Delarose.
“You can’t fool me Frank, don’t even try to trivialize this.”
“What would you have me do Louis? I’ve seen too much pain over my career!”
“I get that Frank, but still - this hurts you: whenever one of these children who you’ve sworn to protect. Everytime one of them dies, You carry guilt and blame yourself.”
Franklin Delarose stood silent collecting his thoughts “I failed him Louis, I let this happen on my watch.”
“Could you honestly have done anything to keep it from happening ?”
“Had I known he had enemies ... maybe, but we had no warning, there are plenty of feuds between students but they can be be headed off from escalating. There doesn't seem to be any reason for his death, and the motive being given doesn’t check out." Cursing under his breath "Damnit - there was even one of my men right beside the kid when it happened.”
“This is burning you up inside; isn't it?”
“Darn straight, his attacker will maybe recieve what? A week detention and end up raking leaves or some such.” Complained Delarose “How is his family supposed to feel about that for justice ? We’re talking about taking somebodies life!”
“Whateley’s absolved from harm to students” offered Fub.
“Maybe it shouldn’t be! Administration and the School Trustee’s have taken the value of life and reduced it to a; a mistemeanor - just a minor inconvenience! Honestly; what kind of lesson is it we’re teaching these kids ?”
“We’re trying to help them survive in a world that hates them.”
“Look at how that turned out for Outlook here!" said Delarose with a degree of scorn “I worry we're just demonstrating to these kids that the rules don’t apply to them! That mutants are above the law!”
“Frank, you know how this school needs to operate - no favouritism.”
“You’re right Louis, it’s just that it’s a sore point for me.”
“And normally you'd find solace at the bottom of a bottle.”
“The Doctors told me if I kept that habit up it would kill me.”
“Have you considered chess as an alternate ?”
“I’m more of a checkers man.”
“I’m flexible, you know where to find me.”
“Give me an hour, paperwork never rests.”
Franklin Delarose closed the morgues door as he left, leaving Louis alone in the cold room.
Standing beside the body FUBAR lowered his eyes and considered the pain wrought upon his friends.
As the psychic arts teacher was deep in thought, his gaze cast over the corpse, a blinding golden aura began to emit above the bodies chest causing the encasing bag to dissolve, the intense light expanded outward to encompass the whole body, an intense flash suddenly occured saturating the room within the golden hue. Louis Geintz backed away - pressing his manifested body up against the wall in shock. As the illumination subsided the exposed body was glowing gold as Louis watched the many scars fade until the skin held no blemish.
The boys eyelids opened revealing shining eyes but the emitted light was pale against the rooms glow, the boy lay on the surface blinking a couple times before rotating his head towards Louis with the boy looking questioningly at him.
“Are you here to kill me - again ?”