Donald Davenport blinked to clear his vision. When that didn't work he furiously rubbed the heels of his hands into his eyes, but that only caused negative sunspots to cloud his sight. Wearily he sank into one of the stools in front of the mission console, put his head down on his folded arms and closed his eyes.
I just need a minute to rest. I'll get back to work in a minute.
Giving his body a chance to rest did not mean Davenport's mind stopped racing. He couldn't help but replay all of the things that had happened, like watching that one part in a horror movie that scares you the most, but you can't look away. He knew he couldn't stay focused on that or he'd never get anything done, so he switched tracks and tried to calculate how long it had been since this nightmare began. Focusing on what he'd been able to accomplish in the aftermath of Douglas' invasion made him feel calmer and regain a little sense of control.
The first hour after Douglas had been taken away by Davenport Industry security was more than a little frightening with a side order of creepy. It had taken Eddie nearly that long to reboot the power to the main console and run a systems check. The lab was lit by emergency lights, but even they were spotty because Adam and Chase had caused so much damage when they were fighting. Every once in a while a display that was clinging to life would short out in a shower of sparks that would then leave another pocket of shadows in the lab. The dim lighting was reflected in the somber mood of everyone working to assess the damage; even Leo worked quip-free, with an increasingly concerned frown on his face.
Donald ran multiple diagnostics on Chase with the equipment that was available - there wasn't much that hadn't been destroyed in the battle between the boys – while he waited for replacements to be delivered from Davenport Industries. There was no telling how much damage the energy blast from Adam had caused, or how lasting the injury might be. In that first hour Chase lay still as a statue on the cot Bree wrestled in from storage. It was very, very strange to see Chase laid out in that way; it was so different from the way he normally slept in his capsule.
Little by little equipment came in from the warehouses in that second hour. Everything was delivered to the storage unit outside of the lab where he kept the "smart" car and golf carts. At first Bree and Leo struggled to move everything in on their own. Davenport was so caught up in trying to assess Chase's bionics, trying to get any sort of reading that made sense that he didn't realize Adam was still sitting on the floor in front of Chase's capsule, in front of the open door. It wasn't until Leo dropped the end of the machine he was carrying on his foot and let out a yelp that Donald looked up and yelled in exasperation, "Adam! Why aren't you helping them?"
When he heard his name, Adam's head snapped up. Every muscle in his body bunched and he looked like he was ready to rise, but he didn't get up off the floor. Donald's stomach lurched when he realized that the reason Adam didn't move was that no one had given him a direct order. Asking 'why aren't you helping' is not the same as ordering "help them". Even with the remote in his hand, Adam was not in control of his own bionics because he couldn't give himself the order to help out.
Leo and Bree looked dismayed as they came to the same conclusion as Davenport. Bree's bottom lip trembled. Adam waited on the precipice of springing into action. Donald put the scanner he was holding down next to Chase. He wiped his hand down his face as he approached Adam.
"Adam, I'm so sorry…I didn't realize…"
Davenport crouched down next to his oldest son much like he had earlier. Adam's dark eyes met his, pleading for release. "I don't have what I need to help you yet…" He waved his hand toward the storage doors. Then he threw a glance over his shoulder at the cot where Chase lay immobile. "Chase is still unstable…"
Davenport looked back at Adam. He knew he had to choose his words carefully; though Douglas' remote was on the lowest setting, it was still influencing Adam. "I want you to help Bree and Leo bring in the equipment." Adam jumped to his feet, relief evident on his face that he could finally do something.
"Adam," Donald continued. He waited until the tall boy looked back at him. He held his left hand over Adam's right which still held the remote control. "You can speak for yourself. You give yourself the orders you need to. Do you understand?"
Adam heaved a grateful sigh. "Yeah. Thanks, Mr. Davenport." Adam stuck the remote in the pocket where he usually kept his granola bars and jogged over to join Bree and Leo.
Once Adam joined the others moving equipment, they were up and running more quickly. Little by little the technology came back on line. Inch by inch progress was being made. But all the technology in the world couldn't make Chase wake up. The minutes went by at a crawl as Chase remained unresponsive.
In the third hour, the lights came back on; Davenport almost wished they hadn't. It wasn't the damage in the lab that was so troubling to see, it was the damage they had done to each other. Physically, Adam was in the best shape – even fighting Chase in full on Commando Mode, Adam had the advantage of height, strength and the ability to use his heat vision from a distance. Adam was sporting some bloody knuckles and that was about it. Bree, on the other hand, had a very impressive black eye and bruising that covered most of the right side of her face from the temple down her cheek. Leo found an extremely large slab of steak in the fridge in the kitchen that Bree was holding against her face to keep the swelling down. Occasionally she had to swat Adam away when he leaned in to take a bite. But Chase was the hardest to look at.
In the harsh fluorescent lights of the lab, Chase's skin had a waxy pallor. He had a bruise and a lump rising on his left temple from where he'd had a high impact collision with a wall. His left ear was bloody too. The worst bruising though, was the black and purple ring around Chase's throat; the imprint of Adam's thumb above Chase's Adam's apple led to an unbroken ring of bruising around his neck until it ended in four, individual fingerprint shaped marks. Davenport resisted the urge to kiss Leo's feet when he arrived with ice packs to minimize the swelling; they had the added benefit of hiding the worst of Chase's injuries.
Another hour passed. Adam and Bree parked themselves at the main console. Adam swung restlessly on one of the stools, his eyes always on Chase who was only a few feet away. Bree, sat unusually still, sitting up on the counter in Chase's favorite spot; like Adam she kept her eyes on their youngest brother. Leo was surprisingly helpful doing small jobs to keep himself busy, and he didn't cause anything else to explode which was a minor miracle all by itself.
More equipment arrived, more diagnostics were run. Time should've moved faster, but it didn't.
Davenport rubbed his bleary eyes as the information on the screen wavered. He heard a soft sigh behind him and Bree cried out, "What's wrong? What is he doing?"
Davenport whirled and didn't immediately notice anything wrong. Adam and Bree were on their feet looking at Chase who had rolled over to face them. It took Donald a minute to figure it out.
Chase rolled over to face them.
Davenport's face lit up in a grin and he caught Leo's eye. Leo was wearing an equally hopeful expression. But Bree was still distressed. "Is he supposed to do that?"
Davenport swiftly walked around the cot near Chase's head since Adam and Bree were huddled down by his feet.
"It's okay, Bree," Davenport reassured her. "He just rolled over in his sleep." Donald chuckled to himself and laid his left hand on Chase's head. He gently ran his fingers through Chase's hair and readjusted an ice pack that had been dislodged when Chase moved. "It's normal. It's totally normal."
Adam and Bree had no idea how relieved Chase's completely mundane act of rolling over in his sleep made Donald feel. At the very least, the energy blast from Adam had not permanently impacted Chase's muscle function. And even though he wasn't in his capsule, his body was doing it's best to heal itself by sending Chase down into a natural, deep sleep. It was the best thing that happened all day.
That very small movement from Chase relaxed something in all of them. Davenport felt secure enough to send the other three upstairs to eat and get some sleep. Adam looked like he might protest, and Donald was extremely reluctant to override any command Adam gave to himself, but Bree convinced him it was for the best. Donald tried not to hear the part where Bree promised Adam he could cook the steak she'd been holding on her face to eat for dinner.
That had been hours ago. Five or six…maybe more. Chase was still sleeping and Donald was still working. This night was just the beginning. Donald Davenport knew that the fallout had barely begun.