Goliath waited on the roof of the meat plant, watching the broken door, his impatience close to a breaking point. There was nothing stopping him, after all, from returning to the plant himself, but Elisa could not go in without a warrant unless she could find probable cause. Broadway and Angela had mentioned the shootings in that area went on for some time before they found Brooklyn. If Elisa were correct in her assumption, someone was bound to report the shootings, and if she questioned any witnesses, they would be free to enter. However, even this short delay may be significant in allowing the Quarrymen time to escape. Goliath growled in fury at the thought. If he had known it would take this long, he might as well have waited for Brooklyn's surgery to end before pursuing the attackers. But then, Brooklyn would be in no state to tell him anything before the sun had had the chance to heal him, and that is if he survived the surgery at all… No, he could not think about that. Brooklyn was in Dr. Sato's care, he must be in good hands. He had to stay focused on his task to find the Quarrymen.
After what felt like two hours, Elisa finally radioed, letting Goliath know they were cleared to go in.
"It was easier than I expected," Elisa told Goliath. "There have been a number of calls about the shootings in the air, and I called Captain Chavez and told her I looked around and saw signs of damage to the meat plant. This is probable cause for going in."
For a split second, Goliath seemed encouraged by this news, but a second later his face fell. "That does seem too easy," he replied. "The Quarrymen do not seem to be concerned about being caught. That could mean they already had an escape planned."
"Maybe," Elisa replied in concern, "but we still might find evidence in the plant we can use. If we can find the bullets in the plant, we might be able to trace the gun they used."
"Brooklyn was shot once," Goliath told Elisa. "Angela told me she and Broadway heard one shot after the Quarrymen left them to go after Brooklyn. If there are any bullets to be used, we'd have to wait for Dr. Sato to remove them from Brooklyn."
"Unless the shot went through," Elisa replied. "Could you see…?"
"No," Goliath answered abruptly. "Broadway was pressing on Brooklyn's wound when I found them, I couldn't tell."
Elisa nodded in agreement. She did not expect Goliath or any of the gargoyles to have analysed the angle of Brooklyn's gunshot wound when his life hung in a balance. "Well, I guess searching for the bullet is as good a place to start as any." She reached into her pocket and withdraw a camera. "I should also show the damage in the plant to the NYPD. And we should check for security cameras."
Goliath nodded and lifted Elisa off her feet, using his claws to reach the plant's roof, where the door was pried off. Elisa started taking the pictures as she followed Goliath inside.
It did not look as though anyone had been inside since the gargoyles had left. The spot where Goliath had found Brooklyn was still stained with blood that had not entirely dried. He could not see any bullets or shells, and turned away from the sight as soon as he could. Instead he searched for the security camera, wishing now he had Lexington to help him.
Meanwhile, Elisa also looked disturbed by the thought of how much blood Brooklyn had lost, but forced herself to concentrate on the facts. She moved several feet away, trying to see the scene from the point of view of the shooters. When she had seen Brooklyn, he had a bandage on his chest. So he had to have fallen face down when he was hit. Elisa circled the scene, occasionally miming holding out a gun, trying to figure out where the Quarrymen were standing. She then moved closer to the blood, trying to find the bullet, but had no more success than Goliath had. Apparently, the bullet was still inside Brooklyn, they would have to retrieve it after Dr. Sato removed it. She had, however, managed to find a shotgun shell several feet away. She quickly placed it in an evidence bag. She then hurried to help Goliath find a security camera, all the while photographing the plant from several angles. Aside from the blood and shotgun shell, there were no obvious signs of a long struggle, though several pieces of meat have been knocked onto the floor. There were a few claw marks there too, but they were shallow and shorter than Elisa was used to seeing after a history of investigating areas the gargoyles had fought in.
"The attackers were fast," Elisa said. "It looks like they shot Brooklyn almost immediately after reaching him, and escaped. Brooklyn didn't have the chance to fight back."
"He must have been trying to lure them deep into the plant to keep them from shooting in the air," Goliath answered from the other corner of the plant.
Elisa sighed and continued to search for the security camera. At last, she had managed to find one hanging from the ceiling. "There!" She called out. "The security camera's up there. I just hope it caught enough details."
Goliath hurried over to Elisa's side and lifted her so she could reach the camera. Elisa examined it for a moment, but her face quickly fell. "It's not there."
"What?!" Goliath asked, refusing to believe his ears.
"There's no tape there," Elisa replied, now feeling frustrated herself. "If there was a tape when the Quarrymen attacked, they must have removed it."
"But how could they have managed it without Broadway and Angela seeing that?" Goliath asked, his temper rising. "They would not have had the time…"
"Unless they knew exactly where the camera was," Elisa finished.
"Then whoever runs the plant must be involved somehow!" Goliath exclaimed.
"Not necessarily," Elisa replied. "It could also be whoever supplied the security system for the plant, or the Quarrymen have checked out the area before they attacked."
"But how could they have known in advance that Brooklyn would lead them here?" Goliath asked.
Elisa thought this over. "Well, I guess I should investigate the owner of the plant," she replied. "But this puts us in a bind…"
"Why?" Goliath asked. "This is the first real lead we've had tonight."
"I know," Elisa answered quickly. "But I can't just bring in the Owner for questioning in the dead of the night without solid evidence of an attack, and for that I would need to present a blood sample to the labs."
"Which will reveal there has been a gargoyle here," Goliath groaned, spotting the problem. "There is no way to hide it."
"Exactly," Elisa nodded. "I'd have to prove I had probable cause to suspect someone's been hurt here to arrest anyone for suspicion of assault, at the very least. If I hide the evidence the blood was from a gargoyle, the GTF will be suspicious. I'm Matt's partner, we'll both be discredited for this, and they will assign someone else for the job…"
"Who might decide to give the Quarrymen license to destroy us!" Goliath turned away from her, looking as though he was restraining himself from striking his claws against the wall with extreme difficulty.
Elisa sighed. "I guess I'd better call Matt," she told Goliath. "He's going to need to be included in my investigations, maybe together we can work something out. In the meantime, maybe you should return to the castle?" she asked hopefully.
"No," Goliath told her, trying to keep his voice steady. "It may still be a long while before Brooklyn is out of surgery, I cannot return to my clan without having achieved something. Whatever you and Bluestone plan to do next, I want to know about it."
Elisa sighed in frustration, and left his side to find a telephone.
Broadway and Angela waited in the infirmary, Bronx lying on the floor beside them. Brooklyn had been in surgery for hours, and they had not heard a word from Dr. Sato.
Angela rose from her seat, pacing and clutching her injured arm. "Is it supposed to take this long?" she asked nervously.
Broadway looked up at her. "That could be a good sign," he told her. "It means there is something the doctors can do."
"Maybe we'd better go and check?" Angela asked hopefully.
"I don't think they'll let us in there," Broadway answered. "But maybe they sent someone to report to Xanatos? I'm pretty sure he'll want to be on top of things."
"Maybe, but I'd rather not ask him," Angela replied. "I don't know if he'll tell us the truth, even if he does know something. And in any case, I know Dr. Sato would come to us first. Or he would at least want to talk to Elisa, or to…"
"To Goliath," Broadway agreed.
Angela groaned. "I can't understand why he'd leave us now."
"To catch the Quarrymen before the trail gets cold," Broadway reminded her.
"Before waiting to see if Brooklyn's going to be okay!" Angela sat down again, glaring at the floor.
Bronx raised his head and whimpered. Angela sighed and patted him on the back.
Broadway shifted closer to her. "I know," he said. "You're right, I also expected Goliath to make sure Brooklyn's okay before going after the Quarrymen."
Angela now met Broadway's eye, her expression softening. "And I know you're as worried about Brooklyn as I am."
"Yeah," Broadway agreed, his voice shaking slightly. "I don't know what we'd do if we lose him."
Angela grabbed his hand and squeezed. Broadway stared at her for a moment, wondering if he should bring up the reason for the special dinner he had planned for her before the attack. But no, this did not seem the right time. Not until they knew Brooklyn was safe.
At long last, the door to the infirmary opened, and a woman in scrubs entered. She was rather short, and her face was hidden behind a surgical mask, and her hair was covered by a cap. She was pushing in a bed in front of her. If Broadway and Angela had not known it was Brooklyn lying on it, they would not have recognized him. His hair was almost completely hidden inside a cap, and his beak appeared to be forced open with a tube inside. The little of his chest they could see above the covers was covered in bandages, and his right arm was attached to a monitor. Broadway and Angela couldn't make out its meaning, but the doctor did not seem worried. They were fairly sure the steady rate of the beeping and the waves meant Brooklyn's heart rate was normal, though he was clearly still unconscious.
"Brooklyn! Finally!" Angela cried with relief as she and Broadway headed closer to him. Bronx quickly got to his feet, panting happily and raising himself to his hind legs, trying to get a better look at Brooklyn.
Instantly, the doctor backed away, looking a little nervous at the sight of Bronx. "No, please…" she said, trying to hide the tremble in her voice. "You shouldn't do that…"
"Bronx, get down," Broadway told the beast. "Brooklyn's going to be okay, isn't he?" he addressed the last words to the doctor.
The doctor still seemed a little apprehensive of Bronx, "The surgery went well," she answered. "I'm Dr. Grey, Dr. Sato is still washing…" she watched Bronx sniff at her legs now.
"Bronx won't hurt you," Angela told her. "Tell us about Brooklyn."
Dr. Grey looked like she was trying to relax. She untied the mask she was wearing, removing it and then doing the same with her cap, revealing long blonde hair tied in a ponytail. She had a kind, heart-shaped face and crystal-clear blue eyes. "Brooklyn is stable now, though it was a close call. He lost a lot of blood, and it wasn't easy to intubate him. We almost had to resort to a cricothyrotomy…"
"A what?" Broadway asked.
"In a nutshell, it means having to cut a hole in his neck to open an airway," the doctor explained. "Luckily the anesthesiologist managed to get the tube in through his beak at the last moment."
Broadway shivered slightly at the idea of a cricothyrotomy. He also didn't like the look of the intubation tube in Brooklyn's beak. "He can breathe with that thing, right?"
"Of course," Dr. Grey answered gently. "That's why it's there."
Broadway glanced at Brooklyn up and down. "Does he have to have his hair in that cap?"
"Not anymore," Dr. Grey answered. "Would you rather I removed it now?"
"Yes, please," Broadway answered. "He just looks so… different."
Dr. Grey smiled kindly and carefully removed the cap from Brooklyn's head, smoothing his hair behind his back as best as she could without lifting him from the bed. "That's a lot of hair," she commented softly. "Better?"
"A little," Broadway answered, still looking at Brooklyn apprehensively.
"He will make it to sunrise," Dr. Grey reassured them. "No one looks too well after surgery, but right now he looks worse than he really is. He's still under, he'll have to sleep it off until morning, or else he'll be in serious pain."
"He doesn't look very relaxed," Angela pointed out. It was hard to tell with the tube in Brooklyn's beak, but Angela thought he looked disturbed by something. She also noticed a bruise under Brooklyn's right eye.
"He's been anesthetized with a substance called ketamine," Dr. Grey explained. "It can cause nightmares. But he won't remember them when he wakes up."
"It's all because of the medicine?" Angela asked. "It isn't something else?"
"He's unconscious now," Dr. Grey reminded her. "Nothing else can be bothering him."
Angela glanced at her suspiciously. It was hard not to trust this woman, even Bronx seemed to agree, but she had not forgotten the staff members who had taken Brooklyn to be prepped for surgery and the uneasy feeling she had about them. She was tempted to ask Dr. Grey if she knew anything about them, but decided against it. Dr. Grey was still a stranger to her, after all.
Angela was spared prolonging the matter when Dr. Sato finally entered.
"Dr. Sato!" Broadway called to him. "Is it true? Brooklyn's going to be okay?"
Dr. Sato smiled and nodded. "Yes, the immediate danger has passed. But we'll stay in the castle until sunrise, just to be sure."
"Will one of you have to stay in the room with us?" Angela asked.
"No, there is a display of the monitor outside the room," Dr. Sato replied.
"I'll keep watch there now," Dr. Grey said, nodding politely at Broadway and Angela before departing.
Dr. Sato glanced back at Brooklyn, now looking serious. "Is Elisa still around? Or Goliath?"
Angela looked away at the question, her anger rising again.
"No, they went out," Broadway replied, hoping Angela would let go of her anger more easily if the subject were over with quickly. "Why?"
Dr. Sato looked as though he was debating whether or not to tell them something. "There is just something I need to ask…"
"You can ask us," Broadway told him.
"I don't think it's right…" Dr. Sato began.
"We know as much as Goliath or Elisa can tell you about Brooklyn!" Broadway told him indignantly.
"It's not that kind of question," Dr. Sato explained. "It's not so much about the medicine itself… more about your… well, special circumstances… and ethics. Elisa will understand this best."
"Our ethics?" Angela asked, confused.
"No, our ethics," Dr. Sato explained. "Medical ethics. There are laws doctors have to follow."
"Oh," Broadway nodded, though not entirely understanding. "Well, if it's a question of the law, maybe you should talk to Elisa."
"Yes," Dr. Sato nodded and turned to leave. "You two can sit beside Brooklyn now, but be careful not to move him, he's still in a delicate condition."
Once Dr. Sato was out of the room, Angela turned to Broadway. "They didn't notice?"
"What?" Broadway asked. He was still finding it difficult to look at Brooklyn too closely.
"Look," Angela gestured at the bruise on Brooklyn's face. "They didn't mention anything about it."
Broadway forced himself to look closely at Brooklyn's face, and was startled by the findings. "Yeah, you're right! Brooklyn didn't have that bruise when we found him."
"Someone here must have done this to him!" Angela exclaimed, her anger rising again.
"But Dr. Sato wouldn't have hidden that from us…" Broadway said, looking more worried than before. "But then, he didn't see Brooklyn before he went into the OR, right? He probably thought Brooklyn was hit when he was attacked at the plant."
"Who was Brooklyn alone with before Dr. Sato saw him?" Angela asked. "I saw a nurse and two men take him…"
"The ones you said you didn't trust?" Broadway asked.
"Yes," Angela replied. "But there were more doctors there, it could have been any of them…"
Broadway stared at Brooklyn again. "Well, won't be able to find out until Brooklyn's awake," he said. "We'd better make sure he's not left alone."
Elisa waited at the entrance to the meat plant, fidgeting slightly as she tried to make sense of her investigation. The missing tape, the lack of an alarm sounding, the fact that the Quarrymen were not concerned with their shootings being overheard, the fact that they had followed Brooklyn into that particular plant… The only thing Elisa was certain of now was this was not a random attack. Something much more sinister was going on… but what? And who was behind it?
At long last, she spotted the red-haired man she had been waiting for heading her way from down the street.
"Hi, Matt," Elisa said softly.
"I got here as soon as I could," Matt told her. "How is Brooklyn doing?"
"I don't know," Elisa moaned. "We left just as he was about to be taken to surgery. I hope it will be over by the time we're back."
If Matt were surprised to hear Elisa hadn't stayed with the gargoyles until Brooklyn's surgery was over, he politely hid it. "Well, I checked with the security system of the plant. There was definitely no alarm. It must have been neutralized somehow, or wasn't working properly before Brooklyn or the Quarrymen got in."
Elisa sighed and signaled Matt to follow her inside the plant. "I'm not sure if this should surprise us or not. There was no security tape, which suggests the Quarrymen neutralized the alarm to make sure they wouldn't be tracked here, but…"
"But it doesn't explain why they weren't concerned about the gunshots being overheard," Matt said.
"Or how they could have known Brooklyn would come here after chasing him in the air," Elisa added.
At this point, Goliath had spotted Elisa's entrance with Matt and joined them. At Elisa's insistence, he waited deep inside the plant so as not to be seen on the streets.
Matt doubled back a moment, for a split second startled by Goliath's sudden appearance. "Goliath!" he cried. "I was really sorry to hear about Brooklyn. I thought by now…"
"Brooklyn is being treated as we speak," Goliath cut across him, determined to stay on topic. "Elisa and I have been waiting to consult with you about what to do next."
Matt quickly composed himself. "Well, I was wondering about why there had been no alarm… is there any chance Brooklyn had neutralized it himself?"
"Why would he do that?" Goliath asked. "This is a meat plant, it is not a heavily guarded facility. There's no one here Brooklyn would have been afraid of arousing."
"Brooklyn might have been trying to hide here to get away from the Quarrymen, he probably didn't want an alarm to attract other cops. He couldn't have known this was our area to patrol…"
Goliath considered this a moment. "I don't think that's what happened," he said. "For one thing, I don't think he'd have had the time. And for another, Brooklyn isn't as knowledgeable about alarms and security measures as Lexington is, and whoever did neutralize the alarms operated too smoothly."
Matt sighed. "We'll have to think about that one carefully," he whispered, more to himself than to Goliath. "And there's still the matter of the blood. I really don't know how we can keep it a secret a gargoyle was here."
"But if it got out a gargoyle was here, people will blame the gargoyles for the attack," Elisa said. "It will only fuel the fire the Quarrymen have started…"
"Even so, it will be worse if we're kicked off the GTF for withholding evidence," Matt explained. "We can still deny the Quarrymen license to act freely, all the blood does is prove a gargoyle was injured here, it doesn't prove he had done anything to cause harm. Anyway, the public might think he's… been defeated," Matt said quickly, trying to avoid using the word dead. "This may actually quiet them for a while."
"I doubt it," Elisa replied. "Not when we don't have a body…"
"The fact is, there are no injured humans here," Matt explained. "No evidence a human was harmed by a gargoyle. What's important is we keep people from being too scared of the gargoyles to demand the Quarrymen become legal."
Elisa bit her lip. "I don't like this," she said.
"I don't either," Matt told her. "But I think it's better we bring in the blood sample than if we don't."
The cops turned to Goliath, as if waiting for his approval.
Goliath sighed in frustration. Whatever the consequences, Matt's reasoning made sense. His clan could not afford to lose their only allies on the GTF.
"If you think it is best," Goliath finally told Matt. "But if we are ever to track down the Quarrymen, we will have to move fast, before the labs identify the blood."
Matt shook his head. "I just can't figure out how the Quarrymen knew Brooklyn would end up in the one facility that didn't have a security camera or an alarm unless they planned it this way."
"If we only had more details about what actually happened here…" Elisa said.
Matt sighed. "I guess we'll need to hear Brooklyn's side of the story when he's better."
Goliath shook his head. "That will lose us too much time!"
Elisa groaned. "Goliath, what choice do we have?" she asked in frustration. "Right now, the best we can do is try and trace the gun, when there's a good chance the Quarrymen got rid of it, or bring in the plant owner for questioning, when we're not sure he's even involved."
Goliath seemed about to argue again, but Elisa held her own. "Finding the Quarrymen sooner isn't going to change what happened to Brooklyn. Right now, the best thing to do is to make sure he's getting better."
Goliath groaned, but recognized defeat. "Yes, I suppose you're right. Brooklyn may be out of surgery right now."
Elisa nodded, feeling a bit relieved. "Go on home," she said. "If Matt and I need to bring the blood sample to the police station, we'd better do it now."
"I can handle that," Matt said, watching the exchange between his partner and Goliath rather nervously. "I know you want to find out about Brooklyn too," he told Elisa.
Elisa smiled at him in gratitude. "I'll talk to you in the morning, Matt," she said.
"Yeah," Matt said softly. "I hope Brooklyn feels better."
Broadway and Angela waited silently by Brooklyn's bed. In spite of Angela's insistence that something was fishy about the staff, they hadn't met anyone who appeared hostile since Brooklyn was taken to surgery. Only Owen Burnett had looked in on them once when he was retrieving Brooklyn's clothes, leaving them by his bed, and the doctors had checked in several times, but none of them had appeared to wish to harm Brooklyn.
In contrast to Broadway and Angela, Bronx seemed reluctant to remain silent. He kept pacing by Brooklyn's bed, whimpering, apparently frustrated he could not touch him. Instead, he nuzzled his body against the bed, as though by doing so he could let Brooklyn know he was there.
"Bronx, lie down," Broadway told the beast. "Brooklyn's going to be okay."
Angela stood up and resumed pacing the room. "It must be almost dawn by now," she said. "If my father and Elisa aren't back yet…"
Broadway faced her, looking rather anxious. "Angela… you don't think something could have happened to them too, do you?"
Angela bit her lip, but quickly forced herself to remain calm. "No," she said. "One of them would have found a way to let us know."
Broadway tried to feel reassured, but couldn't manage it. Instead, he tried to concentrate on what needed to be done next. "Maybe we'd better alert the doctors? Brooklyn will need that tube and infusions out of him before he turns to stone."
Angela glanced at Brooklyn. "I guess so," she replied. "But one of us should stay with Brooklyn…"
Before either of them could say more, they heard familiar voices of people approaching the infirmary.
"We can't do anymore tonight anyway," came Elisa's voice.
"I know!" Goliath answered in fury, clearly fighting the urge to roar. "That's exactly the problem! Brooklyn is badly hurt, the ones responsible are walking free, and there is nothing I can do about it!"
"They're back," Broadway whispered to Angela.
Angela sighed in relief, though hearing Goliath dwell on revenge did little to obliviate her anger at him.
Outside the door to the infirmary, Elisa grasped Goliath's hand, trying to force him to look at her. "Matt and I will still carry on the search during the day. It's not over yet."
"If the police catch the Quarrymen, I still won't be able to deal with them as they deserve!" Goliath seemed no longer able to stop himself from raising his voice.
"And if you do get the chance, then what?" Elisa retorted, feeling her own patience wearing thin now. "You'll kill them for gargoyle justice? That's only going to add to the public's negative impression of you!"
"While the human justice system will, at best, have the Quarrymen arrested for vandalism, they will not look at what they've done as attempted murder, simply because their victim was a gargoyle!" Goliath shouted back. "The public's opinion of us will prevent justice being done to us either way! It no longer matters…!"
"It does!" Elisa insisted. "Methods matter in doing justice, Goliath! The public's fear of you will do more damage than their reluctance to do you justice! If the Quarrymen become legal…"
At this point, Angela interrupted, opening the door to the infirmary, glaring at Goliath and Elisa. "We heard you coming," she said, in a voice forced calm.
Broadway quickly joined her, placing a hand on her shoulder. "Angela…" he whispered.
Goliath instantly faced his daughter. "Is Brooklyn all right?"
"About time you asked!" Angela snarled, her temper rising. "I was wondering when you'd stop yelling and check on him!"
Elisa looked rather abashed by her words, but Goliath was unrelenting. "Angela, answer me!" he snapped at her.
Angela looked momentarily mutinous, but Broadway quickly intervened. "Brooklyn's going to be okay," he said. "But he's still intubated, we need the doctors to get the tube out of him before sunrise."
"Yes," Elisa agreed, still looking a little ashamed. "I'll alert Dr. Sato. There isn't much time."
"He's probably watching the monitor in another room," Broadway told her.
Elisa nodded and left.
Goliath then entered the infirmary. Angela made to follow him, still furious, but Broadway held her back.
"What?" Angela asked, trying to retrain herself from lashing out at Broadway.
"Angela," Broadway whispered, not wishing Goliath to hear him. "I know you're mad at Goliath right now, but please don't fight with him tonight."
"He shouldn't have gone!" Angela hissed, her voice shaking slightly.
"I know," Broadway told her. "But if Goliath's this angry, you don't want to make it worse."
"He's obsessed!" Angela answered heatedly. "You didn't see Brooklyn's face when my father left him with Xanatos's employees! He seemed so upset…"
"I'm worried Brooklyn will be more upset if he hears you and Goliath fighting," Broadway replied. "I don't know if it's true, but I heard patients can still hear when they're put under. Even if he won't remember it, Brooklyn doesn't need more to be upset about tonight."
Angela glanced at Broadway, blinking back tears. She then turned her gaze back into the infirmary. Goliath was sitting beside Brooklyn with his head bowed, one hand on Brooklyn's shoulder.
"All right," Angela said softly. "I'll let this go for now, for Brooklyn's sake."
Broadway gave her a weak smile and placed his arm around her as they returned to the infirmary.
When Elisa found Dr. Sato, he seemed to have just finished a discussion with two young doctors who were watching the monitor with him.
"Elisa!" Dr. Sato greeted her, clearly relieved she had returned to the castle.
"Dr. Sato, Broadway told me Brooklyn's surgery went well," Elisa told him, glancing uneasily at the young doctors she didn't know, a man and a woman.
"Yes," Dr. Sato replied. "Still, I was hoping we could talk for a moment."
"What's wrong?" Elisa asked in concern. "Is there something still wrong with Brooklyn?"
Dr Sato hesitated. "If the sun is supposed to heal him, physically he should be fine by tonight."
Elisa registered his use of the word physically, but the matter of the sun quickly brought her mind back to why she was searching for Dr. Sato. "Brooklyn will need to be extubated before he turns to stone," she said.
"Yes, the anesthesiologist is preparing his equipment right now," Dr. Sato replied. He gestured towards the younger doctors. "My trainees will assist him."
"Yes, we were just on our way," the young male doctor replied.
"Thank you, Dr…?" Elisa began.
"Dr. Greene," the young man answered, placing a cap on his honey brown hair. He gestured towards his companion. "This is Dr. Grey."
"Hello," Dr. Grey smiled as she and Dr. Greene left the room.
Elisa now faced Dr. Sato. "Are you sure we can trust them?"
Dr. Sato nodded. "I know the matter of the gargoyles' safety is very delicate, but I had no choice but to bring them. Mr. Burnett contacted me moments after you did, to tell me Xanatos will bring in some of his employees to assist me, but there were no other doctors among them. I had no hope of performing this operation alone, so I had to choose some trustworthy doctors to assist me."
"You hired them?" Elisa asked.
"Dr. Grey and Dr. Greene are excellent doctors," Dr. Sato told her. "And I know they are sympathetic towards the gargoyles. They have been condemning the Quarrymen for their cruelty since they first heard of them on the news."
"And they treated Brooklyn well?" Elisa asked. "Like they treat human patients?"
"Yes," Dr. Sato replied, now looking a little worried. "That's another matter I wanted to discuss with you… something I've been concerned about tonight." He hesitated for a moment. "I wasn't sure whether or not Brooklyn meant to give me his consent."
Elisa looked a little taken aback. "What do you mean?" she asked.
"Before we started the surgery, Brooklyn was trying to resist us. He looked like he might have fought us if he could."
"What?" Elisa asked, shocked by this news. "Why would he do that?"
"He was probably scared," Dr. Sato answered. "It happens sometimes, but since this was an emergency, I couldn't take the time to evaluate if he was competent."
"Competent?" Elisa asked.
"Medical ethics state a competent adult has the right to refuse treatment, and forcing such a patient to undergo surgery against their will is considered assault," Dr. Sato explained. "In emergency situations, when there is doubt about a patient's competence, saving their life has a higher priority than respecting their wishes. But I wasn't sure how Brooklyn should be treated in this case. He is young, and if his refusal was due to panic…"
"Something's strange here," Elisa replied. "Brooklyn is perfectly capable of understanding his situation, and is not prone to panic attacks or hysterics. And he knows he can trust you. So why would he raise objection to essential treatment?"
"I cannot answer that," Dr. Sato told her. "That concerned me as well, but I'm also worried about Brooklyn's reaction when he realizes we had performed the operation against his will."
Elisa shook her head. "Brooklyn isn't going to hold any grudges against you for saving his life," she reassured the doctor. "He must have been afraid of letting the other doctors near him."
"He doesn't trust strangers," Dr. Sato stated.
"He doesn't know you hired the doctors," Elisa explained. "Xanatos hired the rest of the staff, after all, and Brooklyn doesn't trust Xanatos."
"But he's staying at Xanatos's place," Dr. Sato said, bemused.
"It's complicated," Elisa replied. "The gargoyles see the castle as their home. But Xanatos has done things in the past, I can't blame Brooklyn for not trusting him. The truth is, I don't trust Xanatos any more than Brooklyn does."
"So you think that's why Brooklyn objected to the operation?" Dr. Sato asked.
"Probably," Elisa replied, looking worried. "Anyway, I also needed to ask you if when you operated, you found a bullet?"
"Yes," Dr. Sato replied. "I can get it for you with a report if you need one."
"That might help," Elisa told him. "If we're ever going to catch the Quarrymen, I could use any details you can give me."
Dr. Sato nodded and headed for the desk near the monitor. He pulled out a file and a plastic bag, inside of which was a bullet that had been washed clean.
"Thanks," Elisa said wearily.
Dr. Sato smiled. "It's been a long night for you, hasn't it?" he asked.
Elisa stifled a yawn. "Very."
"Well, Brooklyn is out of danger now, and he'll turn to stone soon," Dr. Sato said as he began to pack his bag. "Get some rest. I'll be back to check on Brooklyn tomorrow night."
Dr. Sato left, leaving Elisa with her thoughts. After hearing Dr. Sato's story, her first thought was that she wanted to tell Goliath about Brooklyn's refusal to have the surgery, but she knew that would be a dangerous move that night. Goliath was too preoccupied with catching the Quarrymen. But Broadway and Angela have been with Brooklyn since he came out of surgery. Perhaps they knew something.
When Elisa joined the gargoyles in the infirmary, she was relieved to see Brooklyn was already extubated, and seemed to be stable. His clothes were placed beside his bed, and he had been disconnected from the infusions.
"It's almost dawn," Elisa heard Goliath tell Broadway and Angela. "I will make sure the strangers have left."
As Goliath passed by Elisa on his way out of the infirmary, she threw him an uneasy glance. She did not like withholding information from him, yet she knew adding to Goliath's worries and anger that night was the worse option. She entered the infirmary, and sat on a chair beside Brooklyn's bed, opposite Broadway and Angela. Bronx leaned against her and she stroked his head.
"Did everything go all right?" Elisa asked. "When the doctors were here?"
"Yeah," Broadway answered. "We kept a close watch on them. They didn't seem happy about it."
"I thought not," Elisa said softly. She glanced at Angela and noticed she still seemed angry. "Look, I'm sorry about what happened out there. I know you guys were worried, and…"
"I know you didn't want to leave tonight," Angela cut her off. "Why did you ask about the doctors?"
Elisa paused, but decided against pursuing the subject of Angela's anger at Goliath. "Dr. Sato told me something that happened before Brooklyn's surgery… and it got me a little worried."
"What?" Angela asked, her concern outweighing her anger.
"He said Brooklyn seemed to object to the surgery," Elisa replied. "He seemed to think he was scared to let the doctors near him."
Broadway and Angela exchanged significant looks.
"You know something about this?" Elisa asked.
Angela turned back to Elisa. "We thought someone must have treated him badly," she said. "Look at his face," she gestured toward the bruise under Brooklyn's eye. "That didn't happen at the meat plant."
"And Angela mentioned she didn't like the people who took Brooklyn to the OR," Broadway said.
Elisa groaned. "Some night Brooklyn's having."
"Should we tell Goliath?" Broadway asked uncertainly.
"No," Elisa and Angela replied, almost simultaneously.
Angela faced Broadway. "You've seen what my father's like tonight, if you thought confronting him was bad…"
"And anyway, we don't know exactly who is responsible for hurting Brooklyn," Elisa added. "In the state Goliath's in, he's liable to attack the first person he suspects. The doctors aren't clear of the castle yet. What if they are innocent?"
Broadway glanced back at Brooklyn. "Then I guess we'll have to wait until tonight," he said. "Brooklyn will probably have all the answers then. Who attacked him at the plant, and who hurt him in the OR."
"Yes," Elisa agreed. "Maybe by tonight, Goliath will be in a better state to deal with this."
Broadway turned his gaze back to Brooklyn. "If someone's done anything to him, should we check him for more injuries? If Dr. Sato is still close…"
"I don't think that's a good idea," Elisa replied. "Brooklyn shouldn't be moved right now."
"And the sun will come up any moment," Angela told Broadway. "Brooklyn will recover from whatever's been done to him."
Broadway nodded, satisfied with this reasoning. He grabbed Angela's hand, and she leaned against him, still watching Brooklyn in apprehension.
Elisa now turned her full attention to Brooklyn's face. After spending most of the night trying to find out who had put him through such an ordeal, Elisa hadn't, until that moment, given much thought to how the experience must have affected Brooklyn. Now that he was disconnected from the infusion, he seemed to be in pain. But Elisa knew it would be over very soon.
"Just a bit longer," she whispered softly.
She shut her eyes, trying to relax her mind from the strain of the night. She opened them at the sound of familiar crackles she had become accustomed to hearing at dawn. Sure enough, the gargoyles around her had turned to stone. She glanced at Brooklyn again. He appeared to have turned to stone while still in pain, he might just have been regaining consciousness. Surely that meant he was indeed out of danger.
Elisa sighed, her exhaustion and frustration now mingled with relief. With an enormous effort, she pushed herself out of her seat and left the infirmary.
An hour after dawn, David Xanatos headed for the infirmary. He was a little surprised to find Goliath outside, frozen in stone. Was there a reason he was not inside with the other gargoyles? Next Xanatos checked inside the infirmary. Brooklyn was lying in a bed. Broadway, Angela and Bronx were sleeping beside him.
At this point Owen joined him.
"Looks like he made it through the night," Xanatos told Owen.
"Yes," Owen replied. "Dr. Sato seemed pleased with the results of the surgery."
"That was a close call, though," Xanatos added, frowning. "Those Quarrymen came very close to finishing off the gargoyles, even before Brooklyn was shot. Well, at least this way we know the security system works."
"I fear the danger from last night's events has not yet passed," Owen said.
"I know," Xanatos replied. "We haven't seen the last of the Quarrymen. I knew we were bound to confront them, sooner or later. Still, at least the gargoyles know now that they will need to rely on the security in the castle to survive."
"Mr. Xanatos, I fear your plan to keep the gargoyles believing their safety rests with you may be more difficult to achieve after last night," Owen told him.
"Why?" Xanatos asked. "I realize they weren't happy I invited my employees to treat Brooklyn, but he was saved, after all."
"Yes, but it will be Dr. Sato they will credit for saving Brooklyn," Owen replied. "Their encounter with your employees was, I'm afraid, not a positive experience for them. When I showed the doctors into the operating room, it appeared your employees were somewhat… less than gentle when preparing Brooklyn for surgery."
"Less than gentle?" Xanatos repeated, frowning still. "You mean, they tortured him."
"It looks that way," Owen replied. "I have seen some bruises on Brooklyn that were not there when he returned to the castle, and from his reaction to me I gather he holds you responsible."
"Hmmm…" Xanatos mulled this over. "We'll need to keep a close watch on them, from now on." He glanced at Goliath's stony figure. "Looks like we'll have some confrontation with Goliath tonight. We'd better make sure we're ready."