"What do you mean they can't get in? She's restrained isn't she?"
"Yes, doctor, she-"
"Then what's the problem?" She glares at the EMT. Everyone around her is incompetent.
"The door. It's the door, Ma'am. It won't open."
"So the door is stuck?" She heaves an impatient sigh. "Well why not call one of the maintenance men to-"
"No, Doctor," The EMT goes pale as he recognizes his mistake. Nobody interrupts this doctor. He begins to trip over his words at once. "n-no. I'm sorry. I mean, yes, we've called a maintenance man. The-the…the door. It-it is not stuck." He holds his hands out hopelessly. "It just…will not open. When she was unconscious, the Attending on duty came and went as he pleased…but now…it will not open."
"What has changed?"
He hesitates. "N-n-nothing has changed," he stammers, "Except that the patient is conscious."
"You've contradicted yourself," She says coldly, and when he looks at her, confused, she goes on. "'Nothing has changed…something has changed.'" She watches his face for comprehension, "Clarity of language. They obviously did not teach it to you in school, but I require it in all my conversations."
He is speechless for a moment, and then, "All that has changed is the consciousness of the patient. And that the door will not open."
She looks at him sharply, but doesn't challenge him. "And the patient?" she asks, starting to walk again and he jumps to follow at once.
"Caucasian female, mid to late twenties, undernourished. Blood pressure low in the field, heart rate erratic. Three broken ribs and a broken wrist. Several superficial lacerations, and bruising. Pulled unconscious from the wreckage almost fifty two minutes after the explosion."
"What are the extent of her burns?"
"…There are none, Doctor," the EMT responds, and when she stops walking, he stops too, looking up into her face. She thinks he looks like a mouse that has just crawled over the paw of a lion. She flicks her eyes to the name tag pinned to his chest. "Andrew," she says, and if possible he goes a little paler. They have many names for her, around the hospital: Ice Queen, Frigid, Barracuda…Queen of the dead.
She narrows her eyes, "Not one burn?"
He trembles. She loves it. "No ma'am."
"She was pulled from the 11th street explosion?"
She looks at him. He will not meet her eyes.
"We're talking about the 11th street compound? The one that's been on the news for two weeks. The one that has resulted in thirteen police deaths and countless injuries to come through my ER…The 11th street compound that blew up seventy…" she looks at her watch, "seven minutes ago? That is the wreckage you pulled this woman from?"
"Well, n-not me, Doctor…I just…" But her eyes flash and he realizes that he's taken her words too literally. "Yes," he tries again, "That wreckage."
"And she has not one burn on her anywhere?" This man is an idiot. Why do they continue to send her incompetent fools? Can anyone be an EMT these days?
"No, Doctor, not one burn on her…Anywhere."
They've been walking and talking, and as they round the corner to the observation room where the patient is being kept, they find several nurses and two men with giant tool belts, running around in a flurry of activity.
"We'll break the glass if we have to," someone is saying, "Then we'll send in a team. If she can do that to the room…"
"That was Fucking amazing…she's the god damn incredible hulk…."
"I'm not goin in there. Not without a tranq gun and a hockey mask…"
The doctor heaves another sigh, speeding up. Honestly. "What is going on?" she asks one of the nurses who goes to rush by her.
"The patient has slipped her restraints. She destroyed the room, removing her IV in the process. She is bleeding! No one can get through the door. The maintenance men can't even get the screws out to take it off its hinges," she cries as she runs by.
"What?" The doctor is immediately livid. "Honestly," out loud this time, as she pushes past another nurse and makes her way to the observation room. "Is everyone, everywhere just completely incompetent? Who did her restraints? Why in the hell was she able to-"
But the scene that meets her eyes makes her stop short. Looking through the giant glass window she sees the woman, back to her, standing among a scene of total devastation.
Everything that is not nailed to the floor has been disrupted. The IV drip, the tray of silver instruments, all the items that rested on the desk in the corner, and, most impressively, the hospital bed itself, are overturned and scattered. The room looks like a hurricane has blown through it. Destruction is not the proper term for this scene.
"How did she…" for the second time, the doctor finds herself speechless as she takes in the patient.
She is tall, and quite thin, although the muscles in her arms and calves indicate that she is not as undernourished as the EMT led her to believe. And if she was strong enough to overturn that bed…
And with three broken ribs…
Her hair is long and dark and unruly, and facing away like that, the doctor can see that it falls past her shoulder blades.
Her arms hang limp by her sides, and she stands, perfectly still, facing the opposite wall. The doctor watches her shoulders rise and fall slowly.
One of her arms is incased in a black plaster cast, and the other - the doctor sees now that this is what has been causing the real concern - is dripping blood steadily onto the tiled ground. She must have pulled the IV out lengthwise.
There is a loud crunch next to her, making her jump, and she turns to see that one of the maintenance men has kicked the observation room door in his frustration.
"C'mon, you fucker," he growls, oblivious to her presence, "It doesn't make any fahking sense." He kicks it again, and the door pushes open about three inches and then slams shut again. The doctor frowns as the man looks at her, eyebrows up.
"It's like something's pushing at it from the other side, right?"
She does not answer, but looks back into the observation room at the other side of the wooden door. There is nothing there.
She looks back at the woman, still facing away, as the maintenance man kicks the door again. This time it does not budge, but the woman's arm shoots up, just after the hard thunk of his boot on the door, and she puts it against the wall, like she's bracing herself.
"Stop," She says to the man, although she does not immediately know why. She moves forward, and puts her hand against the glass.
[No. No. NO!]
Her breathing goes quick and shallow and she pulls her hand away from the glass like she's been burned, letting out a yelp. She staggers backwards.
"Doctor?" A nurse comes up beside her. "Are you alright?"
The doctor looks down at the young woman, trying to find the right answer. She doesn't see that the woman in the observation room as turned around.
"I…yes…I am," she says, trying to refocus herself. Too many hours on the job, the stress of the casualties and injuries from the explosion. Of course she's having moments of…
"Did you hurt yourself? You look…scared." The nurse is young, probably new or she would know not to press.
But…yes. Her overwhelming feeling just now had been of fear. Terror actually, if she is going to follow her own rules about language clarity. She had felt…terror.
But not her own.
She looks at the nurse again, to reassure her that she is indeed fine, but the young woman has gone pale. She is staring over the doctors shoulder, and when she turns around, she has to work quickly to keep herself from crying out again.
The woman has turned around. She has come right up to the window, and she has put her un-casted hand, her bleeding one, up against the window, in the same spot where the doctor's was just a moment ago.
"She is creepy." The nurse says, turning away, but the doctor steps back up to the window.
Facing her, staring at her intently, the doctor takes in two deep brown eyes and a strong, angular jawline, bruised and nicked with miniscule cuts. She examines the long delicate neck and the collarbone, down to where it disappears beneath the hospital gown.
She looks, unaware that she is being examined as well. Her brow furrows as she realizes that the EMT from earlier, what had his name been…Adam? He was right. There is not one burn on her that the doctor can see.
"Miraculous," she breathes, though she knows she will eventually find the actual reason for this phenomenon. The woman behind the glass shifts, making her look back up at her face.
Their eyes meet. Wide deep brown. Narrow confused green.
Something pulls at the doctor's mind. Niggling, like she's forgotten something quite important. When asked to describe it later, the precision of language will fail the doctor so completely, that all she will say is, it felt as though she were knocking on the back of my brain.
She puts her hand on the door of the observation room, gently, and although she will deny this, even to herself for months afterward, she thinks just one thought.
Let me in.
The door pushes in at her touch.
Tumblr says post this. It's a multi. Fifteen Chapters. I hope that if you read this and you say...oh yeah, I know where this is going and I think it's stupid, you will change your mind, like some of you did with The Moment, and JGMAR. I try to take things somewhere new...and I try to keep the writing decent and engaging, even if the subject matter is not something you would normally pick up...I...i don't know. I urge you to give this a chance.
Or you know..don't.
I'm not the boss of you.