A/N:So, I was thinking about April and Donatello but also this evening, I was messing around and reading words - I love words - thinking about them, their origins, meanings, uses and quotes about the meanings and themes, etc. Well, I came across the word causality and … well…erm, this just . . . sort of happened…
'Causality is an active relationship, a relationship which brings to life some thing new, which turns possibility into actuality.' –Dialectical Materialism (A. Spirkin)
Chapter 1 - A Cause
His left hand, his dominant hand, what remained of it, was shaking; despite pinching his elbow and forearm between his knees to help steady it. He was bent over at an angle, behind the crates, listening to his brothers finish the battle with the techbots. The newest assault weaponry that Baxter had developed for the Shredder. A mix between soldier and airborne drone, Mikey had dubbed them Skippers because of the way they'd move: a series of quick skips until they'd become airborne for short bursts of time hovering twelve feet off the ground; firing lasers down on them. They were not playthings. They were heavy weaponry. And he and his brothers were not prepared. Not for something like this.
He'd shouted to his brother who stood gaping and trying to come up with a clever name as the four drones came at them to get to cover. That's when he was hit. The laser tore through his flesh with a searing jolt that incinerated his bo and left him to stand in shock as he watched his flesh burn away, revealing the shockingly white bones of his hand and wrist between the blackened muscle and tendons. He didn't register pain at all. In that moment there was only the shock of the impact. The shock of the sight of skin and meat disintegrating before his eyes.
"My hand," he said, still staring, numb and rooted to the spot. Out in the open. A pair of barrels raised and took aim. Twin dots, red and glowing merged on a point at his temple. Raph had barreled into him. Saved him. Had he stood but a second longer he would've had a skull for a head.
What was I thinking? Bonehead move, to not get to cover immediately, he thought and giggled at the ridiculous imagery and choice of wording. He looked up, momentarily giving up on trying to wrap his badly injured hand. He realized that the shock was hitting him now, full force. That was bad. Shock could kill you. That or lasers to the skull. Again he giggled and shook his head, tears running down the sides of his cheeks; hot against the chilled skin.
Vaguely, he realized how cold he'd become, barely able to keep grasp of the bandage he was trying to work around his injury. It fell onto the floor next to one knee. His fingers were scrambling as they tried to take hold of the end of the bandage. But his arm would not stop quaking and his fingers felt like they were attached to someone else's body. His injured arm kept popping free from between his knees, slippery from the blood. He snagged the end of the ragged bandage between numb lips, held it fast between gritted, slightly chattering, teeth. He grimaced as he attempted to twine the end around his hand and wrist once more. At least the heat cauterized the arteries for the most part. Still there were enough blood vessels spilling his precious fluids onto his legs and floor in front of him.
The room spun. He pitched to one side and caught himself with his hip. His brothers were yelling about finishing the last one. Leonardo was ordering them to flank and strike. He hoped no one else was hit. By the sounds of the battle, he doubted it. Besides, only he would stand stock-still in the center of a room after telling someone else to get to cover. What did Raph call him all the time . . . genius? He giggled once more, dropping the end of the bandage that was held between his teeth to flutter over his chest.
"Oh, I'm a genius all right," he whispered and his voice sounded funny in his ears. Choked. He didn't recognize it. He took in a shuddering breath. He braced the back of his head against the crate and closed his eyes for a moment.
It hurt. It hurt worse than anything he'd ever had to endure before. And he could only push back the cold rationality, the calculations of his odds of recovering full use of hand after such massive damage. Of what this injury would mean for him. For his future. He tried to move the blackened stumps of flesh that were once his fingers. He scowled and grimaced, sucking in his breath. He gripped his wrist, wincing in pain and tried again. Nothing. Not nerve damage, please, I won't be able to use this hand properly if the nerves are severed. He frowned and stared at the bones showing through the lumps and strings of the translucent inner flesh and sinew between the bits of charred chunks of muscle. Of his hand, there was very little left, actually. Even if he got home, hell, if he was home right now, in this very instant, there was very little any of them could actually do to fix this. Not to mention that the chances of healing without developing a serious infection were slim.
And if that happened . . . The trembling turned to quaking and his body felt as if he'd been dipped in ice water. The word, amputation, filled his mind. He choked on a sob.
No. He couldn't give up. There was always a chance, right? He wiped the sweat from his chin with his shoulder and blinked twice, trying to clear his blurred vision. Wondering why he couldn't see properly. Can't stop now. Push the logic away. What was Leo always on about? Pushing forward. Onward. Charging ahead, or was that Raph? Where there's life, there's . . .something, he couldn't remember the quote. Oh yeah, a chance. A hope. He shook his head and rocked. Something like that. Yes. Hope. He had to stay hopeful. What would April think if she saw him now? Giving up so easily. Giving into his fear like a coward.
I'm sure I'll be fine, he lied to himself. But like Leo, Donatello was a poor liar. Even when it came to lying to himself. Just fine. It's not so bad. I'll be fine.
Of course, he didn't have a state of the art facility he was running to for treatment. He didn't have a staff of highly trained surgeons ready to go to work on him immediately upon arrival. Think positive, Donnie! Master Splinter always says it helps! Let's see, what do I have? I have a lab in the sewers that would make a refugee camp look like the Mayo Clinic and a large rat to attend to my wounds. He giggled through grinding teeth and blurring tears. I'm fucked.
Still, he set to the task of using his thumb and finger to pinch the bandage from the floor and begin again. Why was this so hard? He sat forward, folding over his arm and bent legs; swearing in frustration and despair, but his voice was weaker now and his cursing was a mere murmur.
"Dammit. Oh, god . . ."
Mikey fell next to him. Voice hysterical and too loud in his ears, "Donnie! They're gone. Are you . . ."
He jumped and shuddered. The bandages that had made it around his wounds weren't wrapped securely and they spiraled off his forearm like a spring. He watched it happen with a morose sense of detachment. He turned his head to look up at Michelangelo. It was hard to see. Was the room filling with smoke? All he could make out were Mikey's blue eyes. They seemed huge as they bounced between the mess of jagged flesh that remained of his hand and his other brothers running towards him.
"I'm in shock," he said in a calm voice and his eyes rolled up into his head. He teetered and felt Mikey's hands, so hot they felt as though they were searing through his flesh, catch him.
"Hurry guys! He's gonna pass . . ."
A/N: I know, I, Alone comes first, then Tender Trap III and Lost in the Gloaming, but I just had to get this down and posted. Planning it to be short, but for now, I'll just leave this here.