The idea behind this story came from the imagination of superfreak330. When she told me her idea my mind immediately began to whirl with all the possibilities and I couldn't stop thinking about it until I worked out the story line. I think that it will be a fun story to tell. The two of us will be co-authoring this adventure together. I hope that you will enjoy it too. Please give us your feedback.
I want to express that I am not a doctor nor do I play one on TV so all medical knowledge here was learned over the internet, TV, and a few doctors that I know. So, sorry if I got something wrong.
Alex Seymour removed her surgical mask as she walked out of the ER treatment room. Matt, a fellow first year resident, came jogging up to her with a medical student following close behind and asked, "So what is the great Doctor Alex's diagnoses for the patient?"
"It's what you thought, ATS," Alex replied as she started to head down the hall towards the locker rooms.
The medical student looked up at Matt and asked, "ATS?"
Matt took her by the arm and led her in the direction that Alex was headed and answered, "Acute Thespian Syndrome." The med student still had a puzzled look on her face. Matt breathed a frustrated sigh and said, "The patient was faking the illness." He then left the student standing there as he ran after Alex.
"Alex, wait up," he said as he caught up with her. "Dr. Roberts told to tell you that you can't leave yet. They just got a call that a multi-car crash is headed in with a pedestrian injured in the process."
"Aaaagh, you have got to be kidding me! I have been here for sixteen hours! How could I possibly help anyone if I am so exhausted I could fall asleep on them?"
"It's just another lovely day in the city of Angels. The first ambulance isn't due in for another five minutes. Go chug some coffee," Matt said as he headed back down the hall.
Alex ran to the break room poured a cup of coffee, threw some ice in it, and quickly drank it. She then hurried to the ambulance bay just as the first two ambulances pulled in. Dr. Roberts ordered her and Matt to take the second ambulance while he took the first.
The doors of the ambulance swung open as the two doctors approached it. The paramedic started to give the status, "Female, approximately twenty-five, hit by one of the cars in the crash. She was thrown twenty feet and landed on her left side. She has slow, shallow breath sounds coming from the left lung. Her left leg is splinted due to what looks like a fracture of the femur. Her blood pressure and pulse are elevated. She has been in and out of consciousness during the ride, but when she is awake she makes no sense at all. She was talking about potions and spells."
They wheeled the patient into a treatment room. "What?" Alex asked.
The EMT snickered and said, "She was talking about potions and spells."
"Huh, well it sounds like she could have a left subdural hematoma and left tention pneumothothorax. The subdural hematoma could explain the weird ranting. Okay on my count let's move her. One, two, three" and they slid the woman onto the gurney.
Alex lifted her lids and used a penlight to check her eyes. "Pupils are fixed and dilated." The woman had the most unique shade of yellow-green eyes she had ever seen. "Okay, I want to get an x-ray of the lung and a CT head scan A-sap. Call neurology and pulmonology for a consult."
Alex continued to work on the patient until she was stable and her vitals were good. Eventually, the woman regained consciousness and opened her eyes. She looked at Alex and there was fear there. Alex bent over and said, "It's going to be okay. I promise. I am Dr. Alexandria Seymour. You were in an accident, but we have you stable and we are running some test to make sure that there isn't any internal bleeding."
The woman shook her head and mumbled, "No, I can heal myself. Please just let me go."
Alex looked at the nurse and said, "Let's give her 6 milligrams of morphine."
The nurse did as instructed and administrated the drug into the woman's intravenous line. The woman's eyes widened as she watched the fluid go into her IV and shook her head again.
Alex leaned over and gently stroked her hair, "It's going to be okay. I promise this will help calm you and eliminate any pain you are in." She smiled at the woman trying to reassure her. As the morphine entered the woman's blood stream her eyes became heavy and she drifted off to sleep.
After another two hours with the woman they finally sent her up for surgery and Alex went to her locker, quickly striped out her scrubs into clean clothes and headed for her Venice Beach apartment where she fell into bed exhausted. She glanced at the clock and groaned when she saw it read 2:13 am. She was supposed to go to her dad's gym in the morning to workout.
Her cell phone buzzed on the nightstand over and over again. She ignored it the first few times it went off. Today was her first day off in over a month. She was not going into the hospital, but when it rang for the fifth time in a row she groped for it without lifting her head off the pillow. She looked at the caller ID – it was Matt. She hit the talk button. "This better be good," she mumbled into the line.
Matt was so excited about something she could barely make out what he was rambling on about, "Oh my God, Lex, you aren't going to believe this, but that woman from the accident last night has disappeared!"
Alex sat up in bed, "What?"
"When she came out of surgery early this morning, she was in the recovery room. The nurses took their time as they woke her up. Once she was awake and fully alert, she asked for some ice chips - they left her for about five minutes. When they came back her bed was completely empty -the IV's and tubes just dangling there! No one saw her leave. It's like she just vanished into thin air!"
"That's crazy. How in the hell does a patient just disappear?" Alex questioned.
"I don't know, but the hospital administration is freaking out about being sued," Matt retorted.
"Wow," Alex said as she ran her fingers through her black wavy hair. "How did her surgery go?" Alex asked.
"It went fine. You were correct in your diagnose and they were able to get the bleeding in the brain to stop. Good call by the way," Matt replied.
Alex glanced over at the clock it was 9:45 am. "Thanks Matt for the call. I appreciate the heads up. I'm sure I will be questioned when I get there tomorrow."
"Well, if you don't want your day off ruined I wouldn't answer your phone without looking at the caller ID. They may want answers from you before tomorrow," Matt said.
"Will do, thanks for the heads up. I gotta run. I am headed to workout at my dad's gym."
"Tell 'The Brain Surgeon' that his number one fan said hi," Matt said.
"Matt, I doubt he even knows who you are." Alex joked.
"Aaah, you wound me. I've only known you since our first year of med school. I would hope that your father would remember the person that got you through school."
"R-r-r-ight, why would he remember the boy who rode my coat tails all to graduation," she said as she yawned. "Look I got go. Talk to you tomorrow."
"Okay, later," Matt said and she hung up before he could say anything else. Alex quickly showered, threw on some workout clothes and headed to the gym.
She walked into the gym and several people called out to her as she walked by and she nodded and waved. Her father had been the Mixed Martial Arts champion for five years in a row until a serious head injury took Brandon 'The Brain Surgeon' Seymour permanently out of competition. He now ran his own gym and personally managed several fighters.
She went over to a punching bag and began to workout on it in order to loosen up her muscles. Her father came up and stood behind the bag and held it for her. "Thanks Dad," she huffed as she punched and kicked the bag.
"So since you got here late you are going to have to spar against Julie," her dad said.
Alex groaned, "She hates me."
"Well, if you didn't kick her arse every time you stepped into the ring maybe she wouldn't hate you," her father retorted.
"Just think how much satisfaction she will get when she finally beats me," Alex grunted as she gave a round house kick to the bag.
"So what are your plans for this afternoon?" Brandon asked his daughter.
"Mom forgot to cancel my fencing lessons so now I'm stuck doing that on my day off," Alex complained.
"Your mom is just trying to give you the same education that she had growing up," he replied.
"But fencing lessons, Dad, really? When am I ever going to use that? At least broadsword lessons would have been a more interesting way to spend the last five years."
Brandon laughed, "That's my little tom boy. Fencing forces you to be focused, resilient, and you learn to improvise all attributes you can use in the real world. Besides, you enjoyed the equestrian lessons and you have to be the most lingual doctor at the hospital since you speak French, Italian, and Spanish."
"Don't get me wrong Dad, I do appreciate everything that mom has done, but now that I am working seventy hours a week I really need some down time. Will you please talk to her?"
"Yes, I will, but aren't you still bartending?" Alex nodded. "Then why don't you drop that too?"
"Cause I enjoy it. It's nice to hear everyone else's problems and not have to worry about solving them before the end of my shift. It's relaxing."
"My dear, you have a strange definition of relaxing, you spar in a MMA cage and bartend. Have you ever thought about taking a book to the beach to relax?"
"Nah, that sounds so boring. Okay, I think I am loosened up. Let's roll," Alex said.
Alex entered the fighting cage and nodded to Julie as way to acknowledge another fighter, but for whatever reason, Julie took it as an insult. The fight started off slow. Alex circled out of Julie's range, but it wasn't long before the girls began to throw combinations back and forth. They started with punches but soon switched to head kicks. Julie was a little more effective with her hands, Alex would give her that, but Alex was determined to win and soon regained control by landing a few well placed strikes against Julie's left arm and chest.
Now thoroughly pissed, Julie rushed in with a quick flurry of punches and kicks that dropped Alex to the mat. Julie continued her vengeful assault from above while Alex scrambled to defend.
"Is that all you've got, bitch?" Julie scoffed.
"Not even close," Alex smirked, as she quickly wrapped her legs around her opponent and flipped the other woman over onto her side. She used the time it took for Julie to recover to get back to her feet.
In order to defend herself, Alex kept her fists high during exchange, and she soon landed a right hook that dropped Julie to the canvas. Julie bounced back up and threw a combination punch in which she lead with her left fist and followed it up quickly with a right cross; if the fight remained standing Alex was sure Julie would be able to seriously hurt her. 'Just can't let that happen,' she thought.
Alex made sure Julie never got another good punch off as she took the other woman down against the cage. Julie held on tight for a few minutes, but when her grip gave out Alex was able to climb on top of her for a mount and threw a few punches. As Julie rolled over onto her stomach to turn away from the blows, she left her back wide open for attack which allowed Alex to wrap her arm around her throat and choke her. Unable to breathe, Julie finally gave up and tapped out.
"Good match," Alex smiled as she stood up and offered her hand to her opponent.
"Whatever!" Julie spat as she pushed away the offered help and stood on her own. Alex shrugged it off as she walked over to where she left her water bottle.
"Jeeze, what has her panties in a wad!" she chuckled to herself. She removed the top off her water, Alex was just about to take a sip when she heard a loud noise. "What the-?" She turned in time to see Julie as she barreled towards her, she felt the collision of their bodies and then everything suddenly went black.
Alex shook her head back and forth as she smelled the strong odor of smelling salts. She opened her eyes and saw her Dad's worried expression as he waved the salts under her nose again. "I'm awake Dad," she moaned.
"Are you okay to sit up?" He asked.
"Yes," she said as she struggled to her elbows. "Mmmm, my head," she said as she grabbed the side of her forehead. How the hell did she end up on her back on the mat? The last thing she remembered was hearing a loud scream when she turned and saw Julie running at her.
"What happened?" Alex mumbled.
"Julie took a cheap shot at you after you had taken your sparring helmet off. She connected with the side of your head. You have been out for five minutes, Alexa. I think you should go to the hospital and have them look at you."
"I'll be fine. Besides, I am a doctor, I know what symptoms to look for if I have a concussion. Now, will you please help me up?" she said as she reached for her father's hand.
He pulled her up and into his arms. He gave her big hug and said, "You had me worried there, Lex. Please don't do that to me again. I don't think my heart can take it."
"I promise, Dad. I think I am going to go home and rest before my shift tonight at the bar. Can you please call Mom and tell her what happened and have her cancel my fencing lessons?"
"Yes, I will call your mom. You go take care of yourself," he said as he kissed her forehead.
This had to be the longest shift ever. She normally enjoyed bartending, but she had been battling a headache all day and she couldn't wait for the night to end. The bar had been pretty busy when the Chargers football game had been on, but now there were only a few customers left. One of her customers sat in a dark corner all by herself. She drank Perrier mineral water all night, she spoke very little and she never made direct eye contact with Alex. The whole thing was a little creepy. Alex had a sense that she knew her from somewhere, but couldn't place where.
Finally, at five to midnight there were only three customers left and Alex made last call. The woman with the Perrier asked for her bill. Alex brought it to her and headed back to take care of another customer who was ready to close out their bill. When she went back to the table to collect from the woman she was nowhere in sight. She had left a twenty dollar bill which more than covered her tab, but she also left an old, ancient looking book on the table. Alex checked the bathroom to see if anyone was in there, but it was empty. She grabbed the book and walked out the door to see if she could see her on the street. The street was empty, but she heard the sound of an owl hoot as she went back inside.
She took the book with her when she went home that night. It looked valuable and she didn't trust leaving it at the bar. She took a couple more Advil, hopped into her bed, stretched out her legs and pulled the ancient book out of her backpack. She tossed her backpack towards the end of the bed and one of the straps looped around her foot. She tried to kick it off, but it wouldn't un-loop around her. 'Screw it,' she thought. 'I am too tired to move.'
She leaned back against her pillows and turned her attention the diary. The book was bound in leather that was in surprisingly good condition for as old as it looked. She opened it and examined the old yellow parchment, it looked like it was part diary and part of it was instructions for making different types of potions and spells. Spells… yes that is why she looked familiar- she looked just like the woman from the accident, but it couldn't be. Even if that woman managed to get herself out of the hospital she would have been in no condition to sit in a bar all night.
Alex turned to the beginning of the diary and started to read. It read like a fantasy novel. Maybe it was a movie script and not a diary because it talked about a country named Ferelden, it mentioned mages, magic, dragons, some heinous creatures called darkspawn and defeating an Archdemon. What the hell is an Archdemon? Yes, this had to be a movie script, but why was it in such ancient looking book. She stayed up the rest of the night reading this fascinating tale. It ended with the King driving a sword through the Archdemon's heart. 'This is going to be a good movie! I can't wait to see it!'
As Alex closed the book a loose piece of parchment fell out and she grabbed it before it hit the floor. She read the text out loud:
In this place and in this hour,
We call upon the ancient power,
Open the door through time and place,
Create a portal to another space.
Suddenly her eyes began to feel very heavy and as they closed she thought she saw a flash of light, but she was so tired that sleep over took her before she could really even think about it.
Alex found she was in a place that looked desolate and bleak. Everything here had a hazy look to it -almost as if it was out of focus. She was standing on a path that led towards a purple doorway and as she started towards the door she stumbled over something. She looked down and saw her backpack looped around her foot. She picked it up, put it on and continued towards the gateway. She touched the door and it began to shimmer, she stepped closer to the door and put her hand thorough it - nothing happened so she stepped over the threshold and appeared on the other side. There was a woman standing a short distance away. The woman had dark hair pulled- up, she wore a very revealing shirt with dark pants and was carrying a staff. Alex slowly approached her, but as she drew closer to her she realized she recognized the woman from the hospital.
"Hello," Alex said tentatively.
"Hello,_ Alex. My name is Morrigan," the woman replied.
"How do you know my nickname?"
"I heard several people in the tavern call you that."
"Oh, right," Alex looked around and said, "This is the strangest dream I have ever had."
"This is the Fade. It is portal between dreams and reality," Morrigan said. "You are here because you are about to be given a choice."
"What kind of choice?" Alex asked.
"I take it that you read the book that I left for you?" Morrigan inquired.
"Yes, it was very interesting. Is it a script for a movie?"
Morrigan laughed, "No it's a diary of events that took place in the land that I come from."
Alex raised an eye brow, "The land that you come from? Don't you come from the same land that I do?"
"No, I come from Ferelden. It is a world that exists simultaneously with your world, but in another dimension."
Alex laughed again, "This really is a good dream. So while I'm dreaming can I visit this other dimension?"
"No, while in the Fade you are in a dream state, but once you enter a portal to another world you are physically a part of that world," Morrigan replied.
Alex looked at her for a moment and then replied, "You're serious?" Morrigan nodded. "How is that even possible?"
Morrigan conjured up a piece of paper and began to fold it back and forth so that it looked like a fan. Then she said, "Imagine each one of these folds as another dimensions or world. All of these worlds are living concurrently with each other, overlapping each other, but never coming into contact with each other. There are thousands of worlds out there and the Fade is the portal that leads to these other worlds."
"And why are you here?" Alex asked.
"I am your guide while you are in the Fade."
"Are you alive or a spirit?"
"Here in the Fade I am a spirit. When I enter a dimension I take on a physical form," Morrigan replied.
"And if you would have died in our world…?"
"I would have ceased to exist."
Alex smiled slightly. "Huh, so we did save your life."
Morrigan nodded, "Yes, you did. I was too weak to heal myself. Your assistance saved me. That is why I am offering you this once in life time opportunity. You read about Ferelden and I sense that you find my world fascinating."
Alex nodded as she said, "There is a old world romantic quality to it that I find charming. Plus the whole handsome King saving the world makes it even more enticing."
"Would you like to go and visit?"
"Will I be able to come back?"
"Yes, you will," Morrigan assured.
Alex thought about it for a moment and then said okay. Morrigan led her to a portal and said, "When you are ready, step through, my friend."
Alex took a deep breath and stepped through the portal.