“So how is he?” Deron asked.
Dr. DeProspero looked exhausted. When Glen was brought in, Deron had called the Doctor’s emergency line. He had drove in immediately and had spent the last two hours with Glen in the ICU.
“Not good. Not good at all.”
The two of them were in a special waiting area outside the intensive care unit for family and lawful associates. The countless wrappers of gum and candy Deron had gone through while trying not to scream his head off made for quite a pile on the table between them.
“His exertion tonight was so overwrought that I’m afraid that even if his burns heal, he may never feel his hands again. He may regain some slight movement once the muscles repair, but as he stands now I can only recommend total implant replacement.”
“But he won’t able to project through cybernetic hands.”
The doctor tilted his head down towards Deron.
“That may be for the best. Mr…”
“Travis. I took his name,” Deron said, unconsciously rubbing the band on his left hand.
“Right, Mr. Travis, Glen’s current position as a projectionist may not be best suited for him. While he may be proficient beyond what you or I can do with simple parlor tricks, but his continuous injuries do not lend him to continue in the field as a professional. Much like any physical sports athlete of a similar age, it may be best to consider other endeavors.”
“Dr. DeProspero to ward three. Dr. DeProspero to ward three, please,” the hospital intercom speaks said.
DeProspero stood and turned to Deron.
“A nurse or me will be back shortly to give you an update. As I said he is stable and once we’re sure he’s ready you can visit him. It shouldn’t be much longer.”
“Okay. Thank you, Doctor.”
Deron stood up and offered to shake the doctor’s hand. Instead of shaking it, DeProspero cupped it between both of his hands.
“We’re doing everything we can for Glen right now, but soon he’s going to have to make a hard choice. I hope you’ll be there to help him keep his own health in mind.”
“I will. Always.”
“Hey floppy,” Deron said as he stepped into Glen’s unit. He had been moved from the general floor to a private unit in the ICU. The date clothing had been stripped from him, and he was now wearing only a light hospital gown and massaging socks. Two large boxes were strapped to his arms and Deron could see blue liquid inside. The liquid was too opaque to see Glen’s hands and he was thankful for that. Several lines were attached to Glen’s right arm; an IV drip, a line checking his pulse, an energy strip, and a few others. A mask covered his face below his eyes and a clear tube from that lead to a pump next to the side of his bed. Above all the equipment was a triangle pointed down and a rune of the Kahm The-Solace. Seeing that ward against possession gave Deron a certain level of comfort.
“Looks like they’re giving you the good meds.” Deron looked at the IV bag hanging next to Glen.
“Yeah, feels like it. I can’t feel anything.” Glen was weak, but he was breathing strongly.
“That so? Well you had me worried sick.”
Deron reached over and ran his hand over Glen’s forehead. Glen sighed in comfort.
“Well, you feel that.” They both chuckled.
“Did the officer come by yet?” Glen asked.
“He did. I gave a report and he said he’ll be back to take yours once you were up for it. He said to thank you.”
“What did I do?” Glen had closed his eyes as Deron had started to rub his thumb in a light circle on his forehead.
“You got the slinger. Officer Lance said the patrol found the weapon about half a block away with its barrel melted. The mugger threw it away and they said they have prints from it.”
“Hey-hey, go team Travis.”
A nurse pulled back the curtain to the ICU and smiled at Deron.
“Hi there. Just checking his vitals. You are?”
“Okay. Good, glad he’s got someone to take care of him. He’s been a sweetie.”
“Don’t spread rumors. I’m a badass,” Glen said, his eyes now sealed and his breathing becoming light.
“Looks like you’re about to drift off.” The nurse chuckled. “Don’t worry, you can stay with him for a little bit. The doc will be in shortly to give him a review before we send him to a room, but you’re not in the way.”
“Thank you,” Deron said.
“Okay, all checks out. I’ll be with you again in a few minutes. Get some rest, Mr. Badass. You’ll need it for healing.”