“Where is she?” Michael yelled. “Where is she?” His teeth were gritted as he grabbed on to a nearby person. “Where's Andrea? Tell me now!” The man stared at him, his eyes giant, the innocent stare of a terrified man.
“I don't know,” he muttered, but Michael was already asking someone else in the same gritted voice.
“Where is she?” he yelled to another person in the hall, dropping the first man on to the floor.
Again, with just as much fervor, Michael latched on to another man. This one's eyes contorted with surprised anger.
“Let go of me,” yelled the man, knocking Michael's arms away from him and bringing his fists up in a defensive stance.
Michael, enraged, swiped at him like some animal brought to blows simply from the posturing.
The man protected himself and returned a hook to the ribs.
Michael, in his psychotic state, didn't protect himself and buckled over from the force of the strangers punch. He grunted, gritted his teeth even tighter and speared the man at the hips.
They collapsed to the floor of the hallway.
Michael straddled atop the man who defended a series of clumsy haymakers.
The man snatched one arm and slapped his palm into Michael's throat, which forced him to recoil. He pushed Michael right over on to his side and then wedged his foot against Michael's neck, all the while keeping his hands clasped like a vice on his wrist.
Michael couldn't breath as his head was torqued unnaturally against his shoulder.
The man popped up on to one knee, keeping his other leg locked against Michael's throat. He then stood, and had the opportunity if he wished it, to put every single ounce of his one hundred and ninety pounds onto Michael's throat and crush his life into nonexistence.
Michael coughed and gurgled, his mind blurring from the lack of blood. He fell into a stupor and could barely perceive the world as it turned and whirled in his distorted vision.
Unbeknownst to Michael during the short period of incapacitation due to the blood choke, John had ordered the man to release him and was raising him to his feet.
“What the hell's wrong with you?” John asked, lowering himself to look up into Michael's face as his head hunched over. “Hey, I'm talking to you,” John said, propping his head upright with one hand.
Michael's eyes rolled into the back of his head, his face covered in sweat from the scuffle.
“Michael.” John said, letting his head go to snap his fingers.
Michael's head dropped again when the support left, but he reacted to the sound by trying to raise it again.
John finally made proper eye contact and shook his head. “Jesus man, you're going to get yourself killed acting like that. I don't know how it was in the early two thousands, but people know how to fight these days. They don't just let themselves get pushed around. What the hell were you thinking?”
“Where's Andrea?” Michael asked again, his words slow and slurred as he peered at John from below his down turned brow; his iris' barely breaking through his eyebrows.
“She's upstairs, in recovery you fucking dumbass,” John quipped. “I'll take you, if you promise not to act like a territorial primate.”
Michael took a few deep breaths, realizing his stupidity. He nodded. “Deal,” he said, turning with John who was still partially supporting him.
They moved through a small crowd that had gathered during the short fight; a few people consoling the defender who was still in shock from the whole ordeal.
John brought Michael up a few flights of stairs in the taller wing of the building. They could have taken the elevator as Andrea had done after surgery, but it was specifically designated for medical purposes; so they walked.
When they reached the top floor, Michael was pretty near recovered. He stopped at the top of the stairs and wiped sweat from his brow. “I don't know what's going on with me John. I'm losing it.”
“If I remember your bio properly, you're a chain smoking alcoholic with suicidal tendencies and a short temper. So far you're fitting the bill pretty much on the money. Don't feel too bad, these guys are used to violence. You didn't faze him any more than he will be in a few days when he goes out on patrol and gets shot at.”
Michael shook his head and laughed. “Yeah, because that's what I want to be, the guy that scares people as much as a firefight.”
“Don't kid yourself, you didn't scare him. Ugh, that was a bad example,” John said, cocking his head back in frustration. “Look, the point is you don't have to worry about it. He's fine, you're fine … well, other than the boot print on your throat, but yeah you're fine.”
Michael laughed again, and walked through the doorway of the stairwell landing and into the corridor. “Which room?” he asked.
“Down the hall, third on the right. I'll leave you alone.” John said, an odd smirk on his lips.
Michael nodded to him and waved as he continued down the hall, eager to see Andrea again.