Thursday, July 21, 2011

Self-Taught Superheroes, Part Two

(Apologies for the delay in posting--I literally didn't realize it was Thursday until I got up today. This week has been rocketing past! This one's also a little shorter than the last one. The last one was actually longer than I intended it to be, this is more in line with the "normal" length. Anyhow, less talk, more superheroes.)

I probably created a pretty major scene when I came into the room. I mean, soaking wet straight through my costume, mask off, little bits of half-digested tranquilizer in my's no wonder everyone stopped what they were doing and stared at me. "Hummingbird!" Josh cried out as he launched himself out of his chair. His eyes were wide with surprise. (Josh is the only one who calls everyone by their code names, all the time. I'm pretty good about it in public, everyone else is hit or miss. Except Adam, who's miss or miss.)

I waved back in the direction of the dorms. "SusanImeanGaianChampionshe'sinthebathroomshe tookawholebunchofpillsIthinktheguyshewasfightingdidsomethingtoherbrainshepukedmostofthem upallovermebutshe'sstilllookingprettywoozyandshe'stooheavyformetocarryweneedtogetherdown herefastsothatsomeonecangethersomemedicalattention!"

Everyone just kept staring at me for a second or two, until I realized I'd forgotten to talk at a normal speed. "Susan. Upstairs. Sick. Took some pills, lots of pills. I don't think she's dying, but she needs help." I forced each word out at a deliberate pace, putting what felt like an eternity between each word. Even then, I think it probably came out at a machine-gun pace.

But it was slow enough. Josh sprang into flight, cruising through the archway at about fifty miles an hour and already accelerating. (This is why we have no doors at the Academy.) While he was gone, the rest of us made a place for him to set her. Darcshield went to the supply room to get medicine (thankfully one of his four PhDs is in medicine), while I made a mental note that we needed to get our act together and turn some of the space around here into an infirmary. Assuming there wasn't one around here already--that was the problem with appropriating your headquarters from a criminal mastermind instead of building it yourself, nobody knew where the heck anything was.

Josh got back with Susan before Darcshield got back with meds, and he put her down on the floor and did his best to make her comfortable. It was scary seeing her like that--she looked so pale. Normally her skin was a dark green, a kind of a forest green color. But now she was only a shade darker than I was. (Yes, I do have skin the color of mint chocolate chip ice cream. That's just the way the ball bounces when your dad cures your congenital degenerative metabolic condition with an infusion of hummingbird DNA. I guess I'm lucky I didn't grow feathers.) Susan's eyes were open...ish, and she was kind of mumbling, but she was too weak to make any of it out.

It felt like forever before Darcshield got back, and I'm pretty sure that even went for the people who experienced time at normal speed. But he forced some gunk down her throat, and then he sat her up while she puked her guts out again all over the floor (sorry, I'm describing a lot of puking and not much in the way of exciting escapades of superheroism. We do those, too, I promise!) Then he poured some other gunk down her throat that she didn't puke up. "Activated charcoal," he said, in response to people's stares. "It'll bind up the drug, keep anything that's still in her stomach from being absorbed into the bloodstream. There's also a cathartic in there to get her to, um...expel it quicker."

"But when she wakes up," I said. "Will she try again?"

He paused for a long moment. "I don't know," he said at last. "This is physical medicine. We don't have any telepaths on the team, nobody who can tell what he did to her mind. The only person who knows what he did to her, and how to fix it if it needs fixing, is..."

"Him." Josh finished the thought. "The guy who did this to her." He frowned. "Looks like we need to go see a man in a cell."


1 comment: said...

Thanks so much for this post, pretty worthwhile material.