Chapter seven! Whooot! xD It has been a great pleasure of mine to create a story for others to read :] Just to let you all know, my one-shot is still in progress, but I'll inform you when it is done! I also have another story in progress. Hehe, I'm on a roll with my imagination! xD Also, this is kinda like a filler chapter AND its short! Sorry Dx Anyways, enjoy!
Don't Forget About Me
Chapter 7: The Pain of Memories
"Dr. Hoffman!" A yell rang out throughout the hospital as footsteps were heard rushing through the hallway, echoing against the walls to reach the surgeon that the voice was calling for. Robert turned, hearing the call and looked down the long hallway to see his apprentice run up to him and bend over, putting his hands on his knees to catch his breath.
"Doc… Doctor, the Director wants to see you." He said finally, straightening himself up as he dusted his lab coat off in a proud manner.
"I see… Thank you, Greg." Robert said as he turned to head to the Director's office. He walked briskly down the hallway, the young surgeon now out of his sight as he walked into the elevator and waited to get up to the room. Once he heard the 'ding!' sound of the elevator, he walked out, his hand outstretched towards the knob to the door as he opened it, revealing a man inside.
"Director…" He said with a formal bow before he looked up again. "What do you need of me?"
"Don't be so formal, Robert." The man said, the back of his chair facing him. "We are friends, after all." He said as he turned around with a smile on his face.
"I know, Richard… But, we're at work. What is it that you needed?" He asked, allowing a small, nervous smile onto his face.
With that question, Richard's smile was completely wiped off of his face. "Robert, you do know about my wife's condition…correct?" He asked instead, resting his elbows on the desk and rested his chin on his hands.
"Yes… with that unknown disease, correct?" Robert asked, raising an eyebrow. "It is extremely unfortunate. However, what is it about this case you wanted to talk about?"
"I… will assign you to her." He said, letting out a painful breath.
"But, Richard! You can't! I-" Robert began, before Richard interrupted him.
"You're our best surgeon… We can't ask Caduceus… They already have their hands full with that new Influenza." He said, shaking his head.
"I… understand." Robert said, sighing as he turned and walked away, the weight of responsibility heavily resting on his shoulders as he rubbed his forehead, wondering what he would do now…
Robert awoke, rubbing his eyes as the bright sun burned his eyes. He got out of bed and changed into a white shirt and black pants with his white lab coat over his shirt. He absent-mindedly trudged to his bathroom, putting toothpaste on his toothbrush and brushing his teeth as he stared at himself at the mirror. Wrinkles and snowy white hair. "You really are lookin' old, huh, Robert?" He muttered through the toothpaste at himself.
Robert washed his mouth and got out of the bathroom, his dull eyes scanning his empty, dark house. His lonely, lonely house. "And if I don't save her, Richard will have to…" He thought, but shook his head. "No, I shouldn't be thinking like that. I will save her…"
But even he did not believe his own words.
Robert drove to work, though it was dangerous when he was hardly paying attention to reality, to what was happening to his surroundings. Rain pounded against his car, his windshield whipping away the rain. Even with in this dangerous, slippery road and him hardly paying attention, he managed to park his car in the parking lot in front of Hope Hospital… somehow... He walked through the doors, hardly listening to the hushed whispers of his arrival.
He headed directly to a room… Room 248. "Hello, Ms. Anderson." Robert said as he closed the door quietly behind him. She looked at him and smiled weakly. She has had the case of amnesia, but something was odd about it. It wasn't any ordinary amnesia, but rather another problem happening to cause the illness.
"You're scheduled for surgery within a few hours… Do you wish to speak with anyone?" He asked, faking a smile.
"Yes… May I speak… with my husband… Richard?" She asked, her exhausted eyes searching his, a small spark of recognition could be found.
"Of…of course." Robert said, a bit baffled. The moment he walked out, he briskly walked to Richard's office, thinking through what she had just requested from him.
"This doesn't make any sense… How does she remember Richard? I thought all of her memories had been wiped since…" Robert paused, gritting his teeth as he remembered the scene of where she had collapsed.
"Richard!" Robert yelled, startling the Director when he burst through the door with a sudden burst of energy. "She… she remembers you!" He exclaimed, his eyes filled with shock reflecting on his friend.
"What! That's absurd! She shouldn't have remembered…" Richard trailed off, confusion yet a shard of joy within in tone as he looked down.
"That means she's getting better, right?" Robert asked, excitement in his tone, like a little kid who had just discovered something new. "That means the operation will be smooth! We just need to take care of the last of those aneurysms."
"Wait, we can't jump to conclu-" Richard began, but Robert was already heading out, ready to begin the operation. Richard's arm was outstretched towards the open door, where the empty hallways stood before him, and the sounds of Robert's footsteps fading away.
"….. I'm sorry, Robert… My dear Cindy… I'm sorry that I'm too powerless to save you guys from pain… and death…" Richard whispered, tears forming in his eyes as he heavily fell back on the chair, bent over with his head in his hands.
"I'm so sorry…"
"Anesthesia is taking effect." Nurse Fulton said, having no doubt that Robert, being the best surgeon in Hope Hospital and capable of becoming a member of Caduceus, would save this patient.
"Let's begin the operation." Robert said with a calm voice behind his mask.
From the observation room, Greg and Richard watched from where they were, watching as Robert applied antibiotic gel on his wife's forehead and took the scalpel from Nurse Fulton.
"Best of luck, Robert…" Richard said, a slight hint of grief in his whisper. "We don't have a choice... He has to perform the surgery…"
Greg looked at Richard with a puzzled look.
"What are you muttering about, Director Anderson?" The young surgeon asked, his hands in his lab coat's pockets.
"Ah, don't worry about it… Let's just watch the surgery." Richard said with a fake smile.
Robert made an accurate and precise incision on her forehead, soon widening it to reveal one aneurysm. Robert quickly eliminated the aneurysm with ease, injecting the serum, cutting it out, placing it on the tray, connecting them together, then suturing them. An easy and well known process.
Even as after he treated that aneurysm, Robert wasn't stupid enough to close her up just yet. He knew for a fact that if it was just one, tiny little aneurysm, Mrs. Anderson wouldn't have been hospitalized for a while.
Sure enough, more aneurysms had come, larger in number and size. Robert swiftly dealt with them like he had with the others, although it took a little more time. He repeated this process many times until finally, the aneurysms stopped coming altogether. They had waited for a while, and there weren't any detected.
"Looks like it's another victory for you, Dr. Hoffman." Mary said with a smile as she handed him the sutures.
"Yeah… I'm glad it's over." Robert said, but then noticed something off about Mrs. Anderson's vitals. He injected a few syringes, confusion pulsing through his veins like throbbing beats from his heart.
"What the hell is going on!" Robert exclaimed when the vitals dropped, and Mrs. Anderson had gone into cardiac arrest. "Defibrillators!"
"I got them!" Mary exclaimed as she grabbed the defibrillators and literally shoved it into his arms.
"Charging to 200…!" He growled out, rubbing the pads together before putting it down on Mrs. Anderson's chest. Her vitals went back up, and he put syringes to bring them up to fifty.
"What caused that just now…?" Mary asked, her wide, shocked eyes looking over at Robert's stoned-faced expression.
"I don't know… I jumped to conclusion too quickly… Damn it!" He growled, balling his right hand into a fist.
"We're going to find out what's wrong, hand me the ultrasound." Robert said, feel two pair of eyes staring at him from the observation.
"I knew it…" Richard said, his eyes glistening with tears threatening to fall down as he put a hand on his face, rubbing them away as if it were just an itch.
"Knew what, Director? What are you talking about?" Greg asked, raising an eyebrow at him. "You mean, you knew this was going to happen?" He asked, now looking from Robert to Richard and back and forth.
"Not… exactly like this, Greg." Richard said as he exhaled a deep breath that he had not known that he was holding. "I only knew that something wrong was going to happen during this surgery."
"How…?" Greg asked as his eyes turned back to Robert, and see what he would do next.
However, Richard remained silent, not willing to answer his question.
Mary brought the ultrasound over, her heels clicking against the tile loudly as she hurried. Robert was about to use it over Mrs. Anderson's head when a laceration suddenly formed there, causing a sharp gasp to collect from them.
"What is this! How is this possible?" Robert exclaimed, gawking at the laceration that had appeared out of no where. Dr. Hoffman sutured the laceration, but then another one came, but now from a different location.
"What is causing this…?" Mary asked, biting on her lip anxiously as she looked at the machines with Mrs. Anderson's readings to her opened forehead. Robert ignored her words, using the ultrasound over the laceration. It was unsuccessful for a few times until a shadow was seen. "What the… What the hell is that!" He exclaimed, his fear-filled eyes glancing over to Greg and Richard. Richard gritted his teeth, looking away as he rested his arm against the wall, refusing to let them fall… refusing to show his weakness.
"Ngh… What are we supposed to do…?" Robert exclaimed before grabbing a laser and trying it on the shadow that kept moving to improvise. The only thing that happened was Mrs. Anderson's vitals lowering, so he used the scalpel, slicing the shadow. It surfaced, and his hands shook, surprised that something had happened. He tried slicing it again, but this time, nothing happened.
Robert grabbed the laser and chased it with the beam, soon killing it.
"It… worked?" He asked, dumb-founded, as his shaking hands handed the laser back to the tray. But his relief was not yet over. More lacerations formed, and now Robert was at a loss. Instead of saying anything anymore, he simply performed the same thing he had earlier, defeating the two shadows that had come as reinforcements.
When they had stopped coming, he let out a sigh of relief, and began to turn back to hand the laser back.
However, he couldn't be too happy yet.
Larger and more lacerations came at once, making an almost X shaped laceration with another laceration through it.
"What is this!" Robert exclaimed, his eyebrow twitching. He used the ultrasound and found a large version of the shadows he had defeated earlier.
"What did they do, fuse?" He growled, using the same process, but taking longer on it. When it had finally disappeared, he sighed.
"Mary, sutures, please." Robert said, putting a hand out.
"Yes, right aw-" She began, before the heart-beat monitor blared a monotonous sound.
"Crap! She's in cardiac arrest again!" Mary yelled, grabbing the defibrillators and handing them to Robert.
"Charging to 300…!" He said as he rubbed the pads together.
"CLEAR!" He yelled, slamming them onto Mrs. Anderson, who's vitals came back up again. Robert injected syringes, confusion and fear all over his face.
"What is causing this…? She should be fine now!" He said, his shoulders feeling heavy.
Unfortunately, his question was answered immediately. Three triangles with thorns piercing through them.
"Wh… What is this?" Mary asked in a low voice, as if saying it aloud would cause someone to catch this disease.
"Scalpel." Robert said with a slight shake in his voice. Mary obeyed quietly, handing him the medical tool he asked for. He tried cutting around the triangle like a tumor. With that unsuccessful attempt, he tried to drain it. However, it wasn't close to a tumor, so the Powell Procedure couldn't do anything to the weird bumps.
He tried picking them up with the forceps, but it had no affect whatsoever, not even a flinch. The only thing Robert did was lower Mrs. Anderson's vitals, which he quickly tried to bring up with his syringe.
Robert took the forceps and plucked out the thorns, which actually worked. He cut out the triangles and picked them up as well, placing them on the tray. Mrs. Anderson's vitals lowered… and kept lowering as Robert panicked, still doing the same thing as he did earlier.
A white gas emitted from one of them, which Robert did not know what to do with.
"Doctor, if you use your Healing Touch, you can find out what to do!" Mary exclaimed, suddenly remembering he even had it.
Robert nodded before closing his eyes, imagining a very complicated image. An hourglass with the Staff of Asclepius stabbed through it. The image flashed before his eyes, burning into his mind as he opened his eyes, the image still before his eyes.
Immediately, everything slowed down, and Robert stared at the triangular parasite with the thorns.
"A biological weapon made by the government in the past..."
Those words formed in his mind, telling him about the parasite.
"Requires to take out the thorns and cut around the triangle before taking that out as well."
"Yes, I know that, what about that thing!" Robert thought impatiently, now glaring at the white gas.
"A gas that forms more of the triangular parasite if not drained."
Robert quickly grabbed the drain and used it on the gas that moved slowly, since he was still in his Healing Touch form.
However, even in his Healing Touch, the time he took analyzing the data paid a large price. The triangular parasite was… quick. The triangular shapes had already taken over the whole organ, and with each second, Mrs. Anderson's vitals were going down by twenty.
Robert tried to take all the thorns out before cutting the triangles, but the thorns merely reformed, and he had wasted too much time.
Mrs. Anderson's vitals had dropped down to zero, the heartbeat monitor blaring a monotonous, grieving sound.
Robert was taken out of the Healing Touch mode and stared at the lifeless body, the body he was supposed to heal of the disease to let the host continue living her life with her husband.
"I… I have failed…" He whispered, dropping to his knees. "Even with the Healing Touch, I…"
"CINDY!" A loud, grieving yell overpowered his depressed mutter.
Robert looked over at Richard, his fists balled and slamming against the observation room's window. Tears slid down his face as he yelled her name over and over again, as if trying to wake her up.
"NOOO!" He screamed one last time before resting his head against the window and slumping down to the ground, fainting from the shock.
"Director!" Greg exclaimed, already reaching for the doctor. "He fainted!" He informed the other two as he lifted the old man by the arm and put it around his shoulders to support him.
Other surgeon and nurses came to get the body, their eyes sympathetically looking at Robert as he was on his knees, tears silently streaming down his eyes in the agony of his friend's voice and his failure.
A few days later…
"Come in." Richard said, clasping his hands together.
Robert came in, looking worse than he had in the operation room. His shoulder were down, his head bowed, slouching as he came in.
"Director. I… I no longer will stay as the Head Surgeon of Hope Hospital." He said, coming forward as he placed his work identification and a scalpel on his desk.
"Robert, we need you. There are other operation you can do, we just didn't have enough information for this one." Richard said, his eyes widening. "Who will take care of Hope Hospital for me when I leave?"
"Leave? You're leaving?" Robert asked, his eyes widening.
"Yes. To Caduceus. Their former director had died from a fatal gunshot through his heart and have asked me to take his place. You will be Director of Hope Hospital starting tomorrow." Richard said, standing up as he handed his items back.
"I… Fine. But I will no longer perform surgery again." Robert said as he walked out of the room without another word.
"Dr. Hoffman." Greg said, shaking the surgeon's shoulder. "Are you okay? You were just staring at Derek for a while.
"I'm fine. Let us continue the operation." Robert said, holding back the dark memories from happening again to the World Renowned Surgeon.
"Give me the serum." He said as the black serum was placed in his hands. He injected it into the parasite that had slowed down and quickly finished off Triti to help Greg from his misery. Robert injected syringes to bring his vital up and narrowed his eyes.
However, the next thing the surgeons were about to face had them completely off-guard. Who would have known that Asclepius's symbol was behind all these diseases put together with the Apostles?
Total word count: 2950. Bleh, that's all right xD Anyway, sorry it took so long. I was just enjoying my winter break and relaxing xD Well, that's my version of what happened to Dr. Hoffman during 'that incident that told why he never held a scalpel again.' Yeah, I always imagined it like that: failing to cure his best friend's wife. I feel kinda cruel though :X And yes, I wanted to make Dr. Hoffman special with his imaginary image to activate his Healing Touch and WHAT his Healing Touch even was :D Also, from now on, I will [kinda] reply to some reviews on the story down here because my Internet sucks and I can't always reply by private messages xD
Franaticfanafan-TC: No, its not crap advice o: That's very helpful! I'll try to get more detail on their feelings :) Thanks for reading!
TCGeek: Thanks for your concern, and I'm feeling fine now, because, well, we all have to move on, right? Thanks for your compliment, and I know what you mean. Geez, grammar and I don't work together, heh. Yeah, I was re-reading that chapter before I published it, and I was like: "Is this really… possible? Should I really publish this? …Eh, oh well." xD Again, thanks for reading and reviewing ! :] I'm glad to see that you're reading this xD
Indochine Ramera: Haha, thank you! :] I really didn't think that it would be quite… described like that xD I'm really surprised to see that you felt like you were doing the operation! Thank you for your review, I hope to see you reading the next chapter! :]
Sooo, back to the story next chapter! I hope you guys liked this one and will continue to R&R! :) See you in the next chapter!
One more thing. Happy New Years! Whoot, 2011! (: