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"Dr. Strand will see you now, concerning your friend's condition." The nurse behind the desk told Risha. "Through the glass doors and take your first left." The older woman indicated a set of doors to her immediate right, marked ICU and Patient Recovery.
Risha lifted her head from her hands and practically jumped out of the chair. There would be time to deal with her own issues later. Wiping stray tears from her eyes, she nodded gratefully to the woman and made her way over to the glass doors, following the nurses directions as indicated.
His eyes closed as he lay still, feigning sleep within the dank hovel of his cage, Tetsuo’s enhanced senses detected traces of footfalls approximately four meters away, nearing his position. The sterile scent of amonia. The young man took pains not to let his smile show, prayed it meant what he thought, the doctors were back, back to pay him a visit. Herein lay his chance for freedom. And there would be bloodthirsty reckoning, rest assured, he would make let his
lineage be shown…and thus a new age would come to pass. As last in line of the clan of the Celestial Blade, he would smite these defilers who dared alter the vital flow of Chi, tried to subvert a sacred destiny for their own petty machinations. Gai-jin fools, by the Gods he would make them pay. Chi was a way of life, a quintessential pattern in the balance of cosmic struggle. To tamper with such a delicate balance was certain to invoke the wrath of not only his ancestors, but the universal life force itself. Humanity would never understand, with their narrow-minded pursuits of greed and debauchery, unless the race was made to understand. And he was just the one to teach them, Tetsuo thought with a slight smirk, which faded quickly to an unassuming, blank exp-
ression as with a slight creaking of hinges, the door to his cubicle was opened.
"Careful now." A male doctor’s voice whispered, resonating in the confined space. "Subject’s file marks him as capable of extreme violence."
"He’s heavily sedated." Another voice remarked with a hint of skepticism. "One thousand cc’s of Narcolepsim would knock out Genghis Khan himself, I’m not worried."
"You read his file, Stafford? This one’s potential makes the Mongolian warlord look like a patsy, in terms of his potential."
"Intriguing, Dr. Voight. Nevertheless, forgive me if I’m skeptical."
Footfalls grew closer to his form, Tetsuo remained still. Not yet, closer, he waited, closer, a few more paces…
"All I’m saying is this one requires maximum caution, you recall what he did to Dr. Kestrel’sright arm?" Traces of irritation surfaced in Voight’s reply.
"Fractured in seven places, yes I’m quite aware." Stafford exhaled.
"Nevertheless, he represents a prime specimen. He survived after all, the seventh out of four hundred." The intern reached down and took hold of Tetsuo’s arm, attempting to take the young man’s pulse…
In a hair’s breath instant his dark eyes snapped open as the Celestial Blade warrior launcheda Mae Tobi geri jump front kick at Stafford’s left flank, bolting upright as Tetsuo’s form erupted in a flurry of motion, pure muscle reflex memory ensuing. Parts of his mind hazed blearily from sedation, though his chakras aligned with a rushed adrenal sensation, as he sprang from the cot one hand broke free from the doctor’s grasp, as his other hand struck a sharp, edged blow to the temple of Stafford’s head. A swift crunch of bone into grey matter resonated in the space of the cell as the intern’s body collapsed to the floor.
Nigel Voight took a reflexive step back as an instant later Tetsuo was on his feet. Eyes the shade of gunmetal regarded the Nugenica scientist in a grave-cold fashion. "Two options. Be my ticket to freedom or I paint this cell with your blood. Five seconds." He growled, readying his lean frame in a cat-stance, focusing his vital energies to prepare a swift vital point strike at the bridge of Voight’s nose, aiming sharply upward toward the brain stem.
"No need for threats." Voight held up his hands in a passive gesture. "It appears I have no choice upon the matter."
"Ironic, I've known that feeling." Tetsuo gnashed his teeth together. "Your heart beats now only at my bidding." His hand arced upward to grasp his enemy’s throat. "I will have my freedom, above all. Are we clear on that?"
"Most assuredly." The doctor managed, in a slight gasp for breath.
"Then you’ll understand, as a hostage, if I have my share of questions." In a simple, calculated step Tetsuo was behind Voight, gripping the doctor’s pencil-thin neck in a headlock. "But I’m sure you’ll answer them happily, on our way out of this hole."
Leaning one hand tentatively against the open doorway of Dani’s room, Risha bit her lip and looked down at her scuffed black combat boots, telling herself the image before her of her best friend, prone and comatose on the hospital bed with IV drips hooked to one arm and electrodes attached to her forehead, wires everywhere and surrounded by life support machinery, was only a temporary thing. Dani would bounce back within no time, she had to…
Looking up, she turned to cast a cautious-eyed gaze at Dr. Strand, a robust man who looked to be in his forties. "What can you tell me?"
Dr. Strand sighed, glancing at the medical chart in his hands. "I’m afraid it’s difficult to draw any conclusions in the early stages, save for this makes the seventh report of this syndrome’s outbreak in the last twenty-four hours." He scratched his head. "Miss St. Blanc’s body appears to be going through severe trauma on a cellular level, hence its physical regression into a comatose
state. Blood samples and tissue analysis are being run as we speak, but it may be several hours or even days before anything can be determined."
The young native woman gripped the door frame for support as the sensation of a sudden sharp jab to the stomach coursed over her, along with a stark tingling sensation, as certain words kept turning over in mental repetition. Outbreak. Syndrome. Comatose. Inconclusive. Risha ran a hand through her hair as waves of anxiety coupled by nausea bore down upon her system.
"S-seven cases?" She managed numbly.
"Seven reported cases citywide. Those are only the ones documented that made it to the hospitals. I don’t mean to alarm you, Miss Morningstar, but-" Strand paused, choosing his words carefully as he noted her expression. "It’s too early to say for sure. I may have to ask your permission to run a few tests on you as well, since you may have been exposed."
Tests? No friggin way! Warning alarms sounded in her brain. "I-I have to go, Doctor. I really need some air, I’m sorry." Jolting up like a soldier called for duty, Risha brushed past the physician and vaulted down the hall, through a pair of glass doors, toward the waiting room and the outside parking lot.