A crash sounded somewhere down the hall and Jeb looked up from the scattered papers covering his desk, an alarm began to sound and he frowned getting hastily to his feet. He reached his door, hesitating a moment before opening it a crack. He peered through the space, seeing a flash of movement rush past. It took a second for his mind to generate what he'd seen – Max, escaping – and another long second before his body responded to his mind's shouted command to give chase. He flung open the door and stared along the hall, feeling his stomach sink with dread. She was gone already, her wings whipping around the corner after her as he watched.
God, Max, not that way…
"An ambulance! Somebody call an ambulance!" Jeb turned, jolting back to himself. A young intern stood behind him, shouting in his high panicky voice, for a moment he thought it was Reilly, but as Jeb shook his head the man resolved into one of the nameless faceless lab tech drones.
"Not an ambulance," he said sharply, taking out his cell phone, "What's happened?" he dialed the medical department; someone was injured, no he didn't know how badly, send help quickly. He didn't mention Max's escape. If it was an escape. It only really counted if she made it outside and that might not be easy since he'd last seen her turning straight into the Erasers barracks.
"She broke his wrist and knocked him out, we don't know how bad the damage is, she kicked him pretty hard as well and there's some signs of internal bleeding-"
"W-what? Who?" Jeb was jerked, yet again, from his wandering, Max-centered thoughts to stare at the intern, he'd missed almost all of what the young man had said, he had to stay focused, concentrate.
"It's Reilly, the subject took him down when she made her escape,"
Reilly. She took down Reilly. Jeb's thoughts crystallized and he launched himself forwards, heading for the room Max had so recently occupied. Reilly was hurt. Had the boy said he had internal bleeding? How serious was it? How could he have let this happen?
The doors flew open without him feeling the pressure against his palms. Had he opened them? Who cares? Reilly lay on the floor, still, perfectly still, not moving, was that blood on his lips? His breath caught for a full minute that may have lasted only milliseconds. Reilly took a breath. Jeb breathed again. He was alive. Oh god, he was alive.
Jeb staggered back, from shock? Relief? A fist landing squarely against his jaw? The pain came, accompanied with the noise his mind had silenced, the sirens were still screeching, a flurry of activity was going on just outside these doors.
"You trained them, Jeb," ter Borcht spat at his old friend, "You trained them and look what they've done!"
Jeb swallowed, looking down at Reilly, "Is he okay?" he wanted to look up at ter Borcht, read the man's face for clues, make sure he wasn't lying. He wouldn't lie to save his feelings now, though, he was right, this was Jeb's fault.
"He's better; he regained consciousness for a brief moment but he panicked and tried to move. He passed out, for the best, I think, he shouldn't be moving around until the med team gets here,"
"Did you call one?" A look of horror spread across ter Borcht's face, letting Jeb know that in his alarm he'd forgotten to call for the team, "It's okay, it's okay, I just sent for one," Jeb said quickly, holding up his hands hoping to disperse the other man's sudden fear before it made him do something rash. Like punch a colleague and friend.
Jeb moved cautiously between the two men, moving to crouch by Reilly's side, checking his pulse, making certain that he was breathing evenly. The blood on his lips worried him but there was nothing much he could do, just wait, Jeb hated waiting.
"Your precious flock have killed before, Jeb, if Reilly dies his life is on you,"
Jeb listened to ter Borcht's low threats; he was keeping well back now as if his presence might affect Reilly's chances. More practically he could be making room for the med team to rush in. Jeb should do the same. He looked down at Reilly's pale face, felt the weak flutter to his pulse, and didn't move. Couldn't.
The team rushed in. Jeb was swept back. Hopefully nobody would ask where Max was. Not until he knew Reilly was safe. Until he knew Reilly was safe, he just couldn't care enough to wonder if she made it through the Erasers alive. He met ter Borcht's eyes across the room. His old friend looked how he would expect himself to look, consumed, anxious, scared. He'd learnt something today. Something about ter Borcht and Reilly that he hadn't seen. If only his mind would slow down enough for him to realize what that was.