"One, two three, four....That's it, deep breaths". A soft voice, gentle like the feather of a dove lightly caressing your skin. "Your doing grea-....check his pulse.. no.." Another voice, younger, urgent...cut in yelling something about falling blood pressure and a sky rocketing heart rate...none of that mattered though, he thought. Wherever he was felt cold and was cloaked in obsidian darkness, as if dipped in a pool of ice. The sound of metallic clacking, electronic beeping, and the sharp staccato slap of leather shoes on tile floor echoed dully in his ears.
That's when the pain began to kick in, he could hear his heart throbbing in his ears. The wounds on his face burning hotter than a branding iron, matching the pitched ache of the rest of his body. He groaned and twitched away from the people prodding him, blood rushing to where he was cut and punctured by shrapnel.
His eyes began to flutter before they snapped open, his hues were glassy as marbles. On his left eye his sclera (white part of the eye) was crimson red from the burst of a blood vessel. One of the doctors noticed and shouted something about 'Subconjunctival Hemorrhaging'. Another shouted back, as he began to tugging at his medical restraints, to put him under anesthetics so that they could get him into surgery.
Mikhail howled in pain as shock set in and nurses rushed around, one of the doctors holding him down as another pressed a mask over his nose and mouth letting him inhale the 'PROPOFOL' (an anesthetic used pre-surgery) . As the marine tried to thrash and fight, his movements became sluggish and less forceful. What the doctors didn't seem to understand was his utter confusion, where were his friends? Where was Hayes, McCormick, and Thomas? What about the what happened after they left base...the convoy ride, all of it was blank in his mind as though it had suddenly been erased. Why... why was...he here....
His body slumped unconscious, allowing the hospital staff a moment of respite to wipe the the sweat from their brows as they prepped for surgery.
"We want to ask you some questions... is that alright?" the man in the stark ivory coat asked smoothly. His eyes were a brilliant cast of Jade, reflecting brilliant intelligence. The man must have had at least one doctorate under his belt, Mikhail thought, distracting himself from the sterile smell of the room, Along the lack of color, excluding the sky blue hospital gown he wore, the black pen that the Jade eyed men was using to take notes, and the brilliant sunny yellow note pad.
"My name is Doctor Jameson, would you state your name for the record." The doctor asked kindly, pressing a voice recorder in case they were needed for later evaluations or cross reference with his notes. Mikhail shifted in his chair, his hand rubbing his shaved scalp out of habit, letting his fingers drift over the bandaging on his face. The dull throb of blood under the stitches made him narrow his eyes slightly.
"My name is Nickolas Alexander Mikhail, but...everyone just calls me Mikhail..." he trailed off. His voice was rough, tired, and suspicious. He'd been told that this was just a preliminary exam to check that he was mentally safe to go back to work but he knew that was bullshit. The doctor nodded and gave a reassuring smile, scratching notes onto the paper.
"Alright Mikhail...I'm going to ask you a few questions is that alright? Now they may not seem to pertain to anything that is currently happening to you but this is to test how your personality has been affected due to your...." the doctor made a face as if trying to decide the right word to use that wouldn't trigger an undesired reaction from the Marine. Mikhail snorted and narrowed his eyes irritatedly,brows dipping while he raised his head.
"Go ahead Doc, say it." he growled, his blue hues flashing like lightning gathering on the horizon. Jameson coughed, looking over his shoulder to the camera watching them... while the doctor knew who was behind that lens, he knew that this...'patient' wouldn't. Clearing his throat Jamerson scratched something real quick and underlined it heavily and swiftly.
"Hm, well after your fire team was caught an IED explosion we need to be sure that your-" Mikhail nodded with a knowing smile causing the doctor to stop and pull out his file with the questionare on it. "Ready?" Mikhail nodded, his expression seemed to be much easier now. The angry lines in his face mixed with the stitches, bandages, and hemorrhage in his eye made him imposing, without mentioning his stature, tattoos, or musculature. "Very well. Do facts...Illustrate Principles or Speak for themselves?"
"Illustrate principles.." Mikhail said without hesitation, no emotion flickering across his face. The doctor began to write as he continued the questioning.
"In company do you... Initiate conversation or wait to be approached?" The doctor pulled a pair of glasses, bifocals from his pocket and looked to the Marine. This time he seemed to think, slightly tilting his head though his eyes never moved to show that he was using eye accessing cues. These were normal directions that eyes shift to subconsciously access information stored inside the brain. Most commonly being down and to the left or down to show understanding and inner dialogue with ones' self.
"Technically, according to your answer I'd wait to be approached. I like to watch other people or my fellow marines converse, it allows me to gather useful and worthless information. I'm all the more wiser but when I talk with others... its mostly just 'What's up or how are you... Isn't the weather great...' something inconsequential." He said, a slight tug on his lips, showing the hint of a smile. Jameson's eyes widened a little at the thoughtful answer looking between his notes and the soldier before him.
It did say in his file that he had some college but he had no inclination that he was a very intellectual and learned individual. Feeling a bit more comfortable, he let his shoulders relax and scratched the back of his neck. "Interesting." he commented and continued. "Which is more of a compliment...that you are a very sentimental person or more of a logical person?"
"Logical..." he said a bit unsteadily before Mikhail nodded more reassured. "Yes, logical. If Im constantly ruled by my emotions, say on the battlefield, that's not going to help my fellow Marines. I need to think; 'How many of the enemy are their, how far away are they, what weapons are they using, how can i adjust fire to eliminate them?'...all of that running through my mind in a matter of seconds and the decisions both I and my comrades make can be the difference between victory and failure...between life and death."
Jameson opened his mouth to say something when he heard a knock at the door, his face shifted to a confused expression, while Mikhail seemed to grow a bit anxious. Moving to the door, the doctor cracked it a bit, nodding his head a few times before shaking his head twice. "Yes, of course...Thank you." He said and sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose before returning to his seat.
"Something not going your way?" Mikhail asked, genuinely curious.
"You could say that." Jameson said, running a hand through his greying hair. "It seems that my boss wants to speak with you... He thinks your fit as a fiddle." The last few words were a bit sarcastic but Mikhail disreguarded that. "Am I going to go back to my unit?" he asked, trying to hide the eagerness in his voice. Jameson collected his materials and began to walk to the door, before he left he looked over his shoulder. "To be honest, I'm not sure, but I think that my boss has a better job offer for you..." With that Doctor Jameson left the room, hitting end on the voice recorder, pocketing the device.
Mikhail sat and waited in the room for what seemed like an eternity, he shifted in the chair, sighing before he heard the door knob click. A tall, politician looking man, walked into the room, taking his seat where the doctor once sat. Setting his elbows on his knees he leaned forward.
"Tell me son," the man said with a fox-like smile on his face. "how would like to serve your country....without all the bureaucratic mess?"
Mikhail raised an eyebrow. "I'm listening," he said evenly.