“We can’t deal with that right now, we need to get on repair and cleanup immediately.” Daf said over the Com as she stood up from her prone position and scanned the woods in front of her. There was no movement she could discern, not even a slight breeze blew to disturb the vegetation.
Daf turned towards the south wall and eyed everyone still standing in place. Even her husband, Dom, stood silently staring down at Mattie. He was too far way to see his features clearly, but Daf suspected his expression held a mix of everyone else’s. Some were shocked, some were scared, and others showed concern.
“Hey, guys, I get it. Whatever just happened was freaky as hell, but it didn’t hurt any of us. We’re all fine, only the Orcs were hit by it. We need to take care of cleanup and repair A-S-A-P. If they come back and those bodies are still on the south wall, they’ll march right in on top of us. We don’t know if any damage has been done to any of the other walls. I promise we’ll look into this and give everyone an update, but I need you all to get a move on now. Okay?”
There were several slow nods before everyone began moving about to begin their duties. Daf saw Ty and Dom carrying Mattie off the wall and suspected they were heading towards triage, so she took off and met up with them at the door.
“She’s still out. Are you going to do some science today?” Dom asked with a wink at Daf as they entered triage.
“It came from her, right?” Daf asked with a gesture towards Mattie. “I didn’t see from my position, but timing after her shout, the fact that she’s out cold with no apparent wound, and the way you are looking at her tells me it did.” Daf nodded soberly as he laid Mattie down on a bed.
“Oh my god, did you guys see that pink glow?” Kat began, but before anyone else could speak Cayla was quick to insert her questions as well.
“Is that some new Orc thing? Like, are we gonna die now? Did it give us cancer?”
Daf laughed, and shook her head. “We don’t need to panic or overreact right now. All I know is it came from Mattie.”
“What do you think it is?” Ty asked awkwardly from next to Mattie’s bed.
“I won’t know until I do some tests. First thing I need is some of her blood, though. It’s the least invasive test I can do, so I’ll get some while she’s still out.” Daf said, pulling a syringe from a drawer she walked over to Mattie.
“Do you have any suspicions? A wild guess?”
“I don’t do wild guesses, Ty.” Daf replied as she quickly took two small vials of Mattie’s blood. “I promise, once I have something concrete, everyone will know. I’m going to take these over to my lab. I’ll let you know if I need anything else. Can you let me know when she wakes up?”
“Sure.” Ty sat down in a chair next to Mattie’s bed. “I’ll just hang here and keep an eye on her.”
Daf nodded and headed towards the door with Dom. “If anything…different happens, let me know that too.”
“Oh, wait!” Kat called out and Daf and Dom turned towards her. “What kind of different?”
“Did something happen?” Daf asked, perking up and staring hard at Kat.
“Well, not me, but Jonathan…for a few days now he’s been crazy staticky.”
“I’m not sure how that’s different?” Dom said in confusion.
“Okay, I know it sounds mundane, but it’s weird because it’s like the later in the day it gets the more static popping he creates. And it doesn’t matter what he’s walking on, touching, or anything. I don’t know, maybe it’s nothing, but maybe it isn’t?”
“Maybe, but I can check into it later after I-” a loud boom from outside stopped Daf mid-sentence. They all looked at each other with wide eyes before dashing out the door.
Even Ty rushed out, heading towards the sound. For a moment he paused and felt awkward about leaving Mattie alone, but she seemed fine so he continued after the others. Once outside Ty saw the others rushing towards the northern wall so he took off jogging in that direction.
As he got closer Ty could hear someone shouting, almost hysterical, from outside the wall. After a few moments Ty realized it was Jonathan, and he quickened his pace. What the hell happened? Did the Orcs come back? Fear tightened his gut but he sprinted on. Luckily the doorway that would take them outside was on this wall, so it wasn’t long before Ty was cautiously peeking around the door checking for Orcs. When he saw none, he stepped out and paused after only a few steps.
Before Ty, Jonathan stood with a silvery white glow surrounding him. The glow shuddered and sparked out, reminding Ty of electricity or a lightning bolt. Behind Jonathan lay Warrick, unmoving and with dark burn marks on his body that appeared to have smoke rising from them. Jonathan continued to shout in a panic and he held his hands up in front of him whenever someone tried to step closer.
“No, no, don’t come near! Fuck, I don’t know what happened! He just…Warrick…” Jonathan’s voice trailed off as he stared fearfully at his brother. “Is he…can anyone check if he’s alright?”
“I’ll check him.” Daf called out and quickly darted around Jonathan and was at Warrick’s side in moments. Her hands hovered over him for a moment before checking for a pulse. “He’s alive, but we need to get him into triage quickly. I need Dom and someone else to come get Warrick. Jonathan, can you tell me what happened?”
“I don’t know!” Jonathan wailed as tears glistened in his eyes, eyes that were locked onto the prone figure of his brother. Dom gestured at Ty and they hurried over and began gently positioning Warrick before lifting him.
“It’s okay, Jonathan. I need you to calm down, just breathe, and when you’re ready tell me what happened.” Daf spoke soothingly as Dom and Ty hefted Warrick up and began walking carefully towards triage.
“Calm!? How can I calm down? LOOK AT ME!” Jonathan’s voice grew and volume as his panic increased. The more agitated he became, the more erratic the glow around him became. Daf realized Jonathan’s emotions affecting it. She didn’t know how, but she knew if they didn’t get him to calm down soon more people may be injured.
Daf caugh Kat’s eye and gestured towards Jonathan and mouthed ‘calm him, please’ to her. Kat nodded before looking back at her husband. She noted the increasingly erratic, and expanding, light around him.
“Baby, hey, look at me.” Kat said softly and Jonathan’s agonized gaze met hers. “I need you to look at yourself. Look at the light on you. It’s getting worse. You need to calm down. If you don’t calm down, we don’t know what will happen. Just breathe, okay?”
Jonathan looked down at his hands and Kat saw him start to shake more for a few moments before he closed his eyes and took a few deep breaths. His hands slowly stilled and after a few more breaths the light began to calm and then fade as well. Finally, the light was completely gone and Jonathan slowly opened his eyes and looked at Kat.
“Great job, baby.” Kat grinned at Jonathan. “Now, Daf needs to know what happened so she can treat Warrick.”
“I really don’t know. We were dragging the Orc bodies to a pile over there,” Jonathan gestured behind him. “And Warrick was joking about our being out in the open, vulnerable, and that there were probably more Orcs coming. It started to freak me out more and more as he talked, and when I heard a snapping noise from the trees I just lost it. I told Warrick he was on his own, I was going back inside, and when he grabbed my arm I heard this loud boom and then he was on the ground.” Jonathan’s voice hitched on the last word as anguish built within him again. “Is he going to be okay?”
“I’ll need to examine him, but I’ll do my best. Thank you, I’m going to head to triage. Dom and Ty should almost be there by now. Jonathan, you and Kat go rest, everyone else get back to your duties.” Daf said before heading to triage.
She arrived right as Ty and Dom were setting Warrick down on one of their operating tables.
“I think I’ve reached my limit of carrying unconscious people today, man.” Ty said to Dom, neither of them noticing Daf entering the room.
“I don’t know what’s happening here, but yeah, I’d like everyone else to stay erect for the rest of the day.” Dom replied with a sigh.
Before Daf could reach the table, Warrick began to spasm and shudder on the table.
“Jesus Christ, what’s happening!?” Ty said as he reached out and held Warrick’s shoulders down on the table.
“I think he was electrocuted. Just keep holding him down, I need to check his heart rate. Dom, I need his chest free.” Dom nodded and ripped Warrick’s shirt down the center, and Daf quickly began placing sensors on his chest and forehead.
The monitor next to the table came alive, beeping and displaying Warrick’s vitals.
“Fuck, his heart beat is erratic.” Daf studdied a few more numbers on the screen when a loud, prolounged beep sounded from the machine. “He’s going into arrest!” Daf ran over to a cabinet and threw it open. “Someone start CPR!”
Without second thought, Ty began chest compressions on Warrick, even though panic coursed through him. Warrick and Jonathan were his closest friends. Losing either one of them would tear a wound through him that he wasn’t sure would ever heal, and so as he worked Ty focused on two things. CPR, and the chant of “Don’t die, don’t die, don’t die” that repeated in his head.
Daf turned around and froze, her eyes wide as she stared at Ty. A beautiful, mesmerizing, golden glow surrounded him and was slowly spreading out along Warrick’s body. As she watched, Warrick was covered in the glow and his burns began to fade.
Ty noticed the glow around the same time as the burn on Warrick’s chest, next to where Ty was doing chest compressions, disappeared. Ty followed the glow up his arms and back down to Warrick’s chest. The shock stilled his hands, performing CPR completely forgotten. The elongated beep from the machine broke, and started a steady, even rhythm as the glow began to fade.
Ty looked around at Daf and Dom as they stared at him in surprise. No one spoke for several moments, until Ty decided to break the silence.
“Well shit, that’s better than a bandaid, right?”