Disclaimer and other things, see part one. You might need a rope. Yes, I know this is the last part... But it will still leave you hanging.
The Keeper's Lab
"Oh my God! What happened?" Claire asked, as Bobby ran into the Keep with Darien in his arms. Alex was a few steps behind him.
"He passed out. Had some kind of attack." Alex replied.
"Put him on the chair." Claire said, pointing at the old counteragent chair which Darien hated so much. She grabbed her blood pressure kit and stethoscope.
"It was almost like quicksilver madness." Hobbes said, "But different in a way."
Claire checked Darien's pulse, then she started to take his blood pressure, placing the stethoscope under his shirt by his heart. She counted the heart beats per minute then looked at Bobby. "I should have known."
"No one could have, Keep."
"No, you don't understand. He was in here this morning. He mentioned something about the quicksilver madness, said that he had felt something kind of like it. I offered to do some tests, he refused."
"Will he be okay?" Alex asked.
"I'm not sure."
The Official's Office
"Well?" The Official asked.
"Sir, you remember Simon Cole, right?"
"Of course I do, he was the first gland host."
Claire resisted the urge to slap the Official for the little bit of care he seemed to show or human life. "Well, as I am sure you remember, the gland had a malfunction, he went permanently invisible. Same with Arnaud. And with Darien the gland's malfunction was quicksilver madness."
"Where are you going with this, Claire?"
"I'm getting there." She responded, "You see sir, we have never known the gland without some malfunction or the other. With Simon and Arnaud the gland wouldn't shut off the quicksilver. It just kept flowing and flowing, almost recycling itself. They couldn't quicksilver objects or things of any kind, which caused the quicksilver to stay in their blood system.
"With Darien it's different, when quicksilver built in his system he went crazy, kind of a way to reproduce new quicksilver and get rid of the old. I'm not sure how to explain it. But the quicksilver had a release somehow. Now, with nothing to break it down in his blood, something like the counteragent, it just built up. Causing a block in his skull. Kind of like a blood clot, but with quicksilver instead."
Claire handing an X-Ray to the Official. "I don't see anything unusual."
"That's just it, the gland isn't there."
The Official looked at the X-Ray again, "Well, where is it? It couldn't have just dissipated." He said with concern.
"No, it didn't. It's invisible." She handed the Official another X-Ray, this one showing the gland. "Half the time you can see it, half the time not. There is a quicksilver clot there, every now and then it lets out some quicksilver and then whatever that touches turns invisible."
"I don't understand." Eberts said, "I thought the quicksilver was supposed to break down in Mr. Fawkes system after a certain amount of hours?"
"It was. But the ingredients from the suicide gene stopped that from happening."
"Has there been any change in his progress?"
"Nothing sir, I'm not even sure what it is. I mean, he's there, but he's not. It's not quite a coma, but he's not in a vegetative state either. It is almost
like he is paralyzed. Completely. I mean, he can't move, can't blink, talk, respond to anything. But he's there."
"I don't know, he just is. If you ask him a question then he'll respond with a shallow breath sound. It's unlike anything I have ever seen."
"What do you mean by a shallow breath sound?'"
"Just what it sounds like, a shallow breath, a kind of raspiness. I don't really know how to explain it. But I am sure it is his way of communicating with us."
"It doesn't make any sense Doctor." Eberts replied, "With the attack Miss Monroe said he had he seems to be lucky he is even alive."
"That's true. From my tests it seems that the lack of oxygen to his brain might have had something to do with his paralyzed type state. But I'm not even sure about that."
"Is there anyway to fix it?"
"From what I can tell, no. I have been running tests all morning. I even gave him a shot of the old counteragent. It seems the recipe for the suicide gene and the counteragent can't coexist. I would try thinning his blood, but that wouldn't help at all because it's not his blood that needs to be thinned. It's the quicksilver. So far everything I can think of could only do more harm then good."
"Does the gland still work?"
Claire sighed, "The gland seems to be in perfect condition. It's the quicksilver that is messed up."
"Remove the gland."
Claire's head snapped up and she looked in the Official's eyes. "I can't believe you just said that, sir."
"I don't care what you can and can't believe. It's an order. Remove the gland or I will have someone else do it!"
"You can't just decide whether or not Darien should live or die."
"Who's talking about Mr. Fawkes living or dying?"
"Sir, you know as well as I do the taking the gland out might kill Darien!"
"Might, Claire. That doesn't mean it will."
"You can't possible believe that?"
"I am giving you 24 hours. Either the gland is out of Darien's head by then or I send someone to do it. But no matter what, it is getting removed."
"Claire, are you in here?" Eberts asked, walking into lab 3. Claire was sitting in a chair next the Darien's bed. She was holding his hand, her head resting against the edge of the bed. "Doctor?" Eberts said. He tapped her on the shoulder to wake her up.
Claire's eyes fluttered opened and she was greeting by the sight of Eberts standing in front of her. She looked at Darien and then back at Eberts. She let go of Darien's hand and stood up. "What is it?" She asked.
"I may have a solution."
"Yes, you remember Adam Reese, right?"
"Of course, how could I not?"
"Well, you see, I don't know if you knew but..." Eberts looked around nervously. "I was the one that hid him. The Official had no idea. I think I can do the same for Mr. Fawkes."
"Do you really think that would work? I'm sure if Darien ends up missing he'll check everywhere, even your home."
"Do you have a better idea?"
"I wish I did, but what do we have to lose? I guess we should go talk to Alex and Bobby about it."
Lab 3, Darien's POV
Darien could hear people talking, but he couldn't make out what they were saying. He recognized them. They were his friends. He tried to respond, but nothing happened. He couldn't open his eyes. They felt so heavy! What was wrong? He remembered... Remembered the pain. What was it? Was this all a dream? Some nightmare? No, it was too real. The pain was too real.
A voice broke through the haze, it was Claire. "Darien, I need you to wake up. We all do. Please Darien." He felt something wet drop on his hand. Was
she crying? I am trying, Claire.' he replied. Only in his head, she didn't hear him. Why couldn't she hear him? What was wrong? Why was it so dark? Darien couldn't move. He tried, but nothing happened.
He heard the door open. Where was he? That voice, he knew it too. It was Alex. "Anything change?"
"No, he's still the same. Alex, he has so much to live for. Why did this happen?"
"Sometimes bad things happen to good people. Fawkes just happened to be one of them. Eberts and Hobbes are getting ready to set our plan in motion. Come on, we should be there."
What plan?' Darien asked, but still he couldn't hear his own voice. Only thoughts. He heard the door open and close. Claire and Alex were gone. He was alone. He didn't want to be alone. He wanted them to come back, wanted to hear them talk to him. Wanted someone to talk to him.
"Are we ready?" Eberts asked, stepping into the lab where they were keeping Darien.
"Yeah, as soon as you are. Hobbes has everything ready out back."
The lab door opened, "Ahem!" The voice of the Official came. All eyes turned his way. "And what are we doing?"
"Just visiting Fawkes, sir." Alex was the first to speak.
"All of you?"
"Umm, yes sir. We thought it would be good for him to hear familiar voices." Eberts said.
"Is that so? Do you mind telling me why Agent Hobbes is behind the building in his van, engine running, just sitting there?"
"I can explain," Claire said. She looked around the room and met the Official's eyes. "He was bringing supplies for the operation." She closed her eyes and swallowed. "I was just about to prep Darien for the surgery. We were saying a goodbye. Just in case..."
The Official gave her a nod, then he walked away. Claire wasn't sure whether to break down and cry or to stop him and yell at the top of her lungs. Before the Official left he turned back around and said. "Don't even think about what you were thinking. I have known the whole time. Even if you made it out of here with him, I have guards at each of your homes and any place I could think of that you might have taken him. It's a lost cause."
"I can't do it, Bobby. I can't kill him. I can't even operate on him. And that's the only other option we have left."
"Hey," Hobbes said, placing his hand on her shoulder. "You are the only chance he has. I trust you with my life. I knew he does too." A single tear slipped down her cheek and Bobby wiped it away with his thumb. "It will be alright, Claire. I don't want this to happen either, but there is nothing we can do now. God knows we've tried. It's not up to us anymore. It never
"I know, but I just feel so responsible. I offered to take tests. I offered to try to find the problem. I should have done more."
"You couldn't have." He said, placing his hand on her cheek. She leaned into his touch, and at that moment all things that had to do with fishing off the company pier' went right out the window. Bobby kissed Claire softly, "You did all you could. Don't forget that."
Claire sighed. She didn't want to do this. She wanted no part in it, actually. But the Official had given her no choice. She could have just quit. She still wasn't sure why she didn't. But Hobbes was there reminding her that if there was any chance of Darien surviving after the harvest of the gland that it would be her. The Official would have it done no matter what. But at least Claire would try to keep him alive.
Hobbes had shaved Darien's head, he was in lab 4... Awaiting surgery. He was on a misuse type chair, so she could work on his head. She looked at the scalpel on the metal tray the Official had sent in. She would do the surgery alone. She didn't trust anyone else with Darien's safety. Darien's safety. She laughed at the thought. Removing the gland had a 95% failure rate. It was the farthest thing from safe.
She picked up a needle she had prepared earlier in her lab. Removing the cap she placed the needle in position by Darien's neck.
Lab 4, Darien's POV
Unbeknown to Claire Darien's eyes flutters open. He had finally broke through... After trying and trying, he finally made it out of the darkness that had been surrounding him. He started to focus, colors coming into view. He didn't care what colors they were, that looked beautiful. Darien was about speak,to tell Claire it was okay; but he felt a sharp object pierce his skin. He closed his eyes against the pain. Seconds later he was out cold.
Claire picked up the scalpel, ready to remove the gland. She tried to steady both her hands and heart. There would be no turning back. Darien hadn't awoke and she had to do her duty. The scalpel cut across flesh.
Normally, I'd have a quote, something to say; but what can be said? I fought a good fight and am proud of it. The quote from Dag Hammarskjold I referred to earlier, well, let's just say, the choices we make now effect our lives forever. I can think about the what ifs', or the how comes'. But what would I gain? If I had known that all this would happen I would have said my peace.
I would have told Bobby that I loved him as a brother. Told Claire thank you for being there for me. For helping me and not giving upon me. I would have told Alex I was sorry for the way we started off. That she did make a difference in my life and I would have liked to have been friends. I would have even told Eberts that he was kind of cool. That I gained some respect for him after the whole Adam Reese thing.
Maybe I would have even told the Official that even though he was a heartless jerk, he was like a father to me. And that I understood why he did what he did.Maybe I still can. But before this happened I had the opportunity to tell them. So I have a question, why didn't I?
Am I evil, or am I evil? Hey, like I said, I prefer tragedy for an ending. And this is the end, my friends. Hope you all liked this little piece of work. I wrote it as fast as I could. Hoping no one else would come up with this idea...