Michael was reluctant to let them take Andrea from him when the helicopter touched down in an open field outside what looked like a run down secondary school. A support team of at least eight people rushed to the landing site; a stretcher in tow. Michael assumed the pilot had given them warning that one of his passengers was a casualty.
To his surprise, the team latched on to him also. He lost sight of John and Bobby when he found himself being led just feet behind Andrea's stretcher as they traveled through darkly lit corridors; old cork boards and lockers lining the halls. They entered what he assumed was the pharmacy, or some form of sports medical center. Windowed cabinets lined the walls. Two leather bound examination beds dominating the center of the room. Andrea was placed on one while he was asked to sit on the other.
Michael looked over his shoulder continuously to see what they were doing to Andrea, barely listening to the Asian man asking him to remove his clothing. He complied, albeit slowly, to the commands. His attention to Andrea was severed for a moment when he felt a sharp prick on his arm. He gasped and turned to see a needle sliding into his skin. “What is that?” he asked.
“Local anesthetic,” responded the man who, immediately afterward, produced a suture needle; thick blue thread trailing behind it.
Michael hadn't even noticed the bloody gash on his forearm. He wondered when it had been dealt to him. He wondered this only for a short time as his attention once again drifted to Andrea on the other table. They were removing the gauze he packed into her wound, and Michael heard the surgeon's comments.
“Whoever did this saved her life,” he said, showing difficulty in removing the tightly packed material; some of it still white.
Michael smiled, hope rising even higher in his heart. Again his attention was pulled briskly to his arm as the numbed tugging of his flesh was felt. He cringed at the sight of it, his open wound looking more like a badly butchered piece of pork than his own flesh and blood.
Whoever the man tying him back together was, he seemed to know what he was doing. His skilled fingers passed almost effortlessly from threading to piercing the next suture. Before long, the wound was closed and a pair of surgical scissors were used to snip the excess thread.
Michael was about to hop off the bed when the man put his hand on his chest and sat him back down.
“Not done yet Michael. You've got cuts all over.”
It must have been during the van crash. At the thought of it, he sighed and wondered who the driver was. He felt shame and guilt for having left him to burn in the wreckage. He never even checked if the man was still alive. To be fair, he wouldn't have had a chance with the hole Michael had seen in his neck as he slumped out of his seat. Still, regret burdened his mind. Anger and frustration followed suit. Why hadn't he been more vigilant like John and Andrea? Maybe if he had took heed of their obvious worry, he could have spotted the ambush team before they opened fire, and done something or suggested a course of action that could have altered the events that had transpired. He shook his head at himself, doubt filling every crevice in his riddled self-image.
“Alright,” said the man working on him. “You're good to go.”
Michael nodded and noticed John lean in through the doorway, leaving room as others squeezed past him with surgical tools.
“You done with him Chan?” John asked.
The young Asian man nodded. “Yeah, he's going to need to come by for a follow up tomorrow though. I want to make sure nothing gets infected,” he said, looking over his work as he wiped his hands in a rag.
“Alright. Michael, come with me," John said, disappearing beyond the frame of the doorway.
Without speaking, Michael obeyed and slowly stood up off the examination table, the leather creaking as he did so. He looked back at Andrea one more time before he exited the room. She lie on her side, an oxygen cup over her mouth and nose feeding her anesthetic as two masked surgeons deliberated on how to clean out and close up the exit wound just below her right glute.