Pitch Black

by Brooder

8:20 PM


            Brooder watched Jess work on the patients.  Sandy stayed near.  She was able to give some help when Jess needed it.  Brooder stayed back.  He knew standard military first aid, but anything more complicated than setting a bone was beyond him.

            Jess must have been asked a question over her radio because she looked at Brooder and Sandy.

            "You guys mind hanging around for a little while?"  she asked.

            "No," Sandy immediately replied.  "I'm a registered nurse.  I'm not much help with the datajack, but I do know how to deliver a baby."

            Jess nodded, then looked at Brooder.

            "First aid only," he said.  "My training was directed in other fields.  But I'll help Sandy when I can."

            "Can't ask for more," Jess replied.  "Negative dispatch.  First responder on site is trained in military first aid.  Also accompanied by registered nurse.  We should be able to handle it until the truck gets here."

            Brooder thought about how he could help.  He really didn't want to have to help deliver a baby.  But he was sure there was a way he could help Jess work on the man.

            "Wait!" he exclaimed, startling Jess and Sandy.  "What do you need for a neutral plug on this guy?  I have patch cables and some tools in my bag.  Falco had wanted me to pick them up while I was out."

            Without waiting for an answer, Brooder ran to the Blitzen and grabbed his bag.  As he walked back to the ladies, he was digging through it, looking for the cables and plugs he'd bought earlier that day.  Leave it to Falco to want to build his own equipment.  This was one time Brooder was glad he had to buy all this junk.

            "You know something, Lieutenant, you may just save this man's life," Jess stated, smiling.

            Brooder dumped the equipment that he had on the ground.  Jess rummaged through the equipment, setting aside a cable here and a plug there.  After a few moments searching, however, she looked disappointed.

            "We're missing a few parts," she said, eyes fading for a second while she accessed her chip.  "We still need a power supply and a transfer protocol that will block the jack from sending him any information."

            Brooder frowned.  Nothing matched what they needed.  And things just got worse.

            As Brooder looked up, he noticed the driver had started convulsing.  Without a thought, the stuck his gloved hand into the man's mouth.  What resulted was a severe bite deep into his flesh.

            "Seizure," Jess said as she stepped next to the man.  "And I can't tranq him.  Not with the data jack and his injuries."

            "What's wrong with, Thomas?" came a question from the backseat.

            Brooder and Jess looked into the back seat to see the driver's wife still sitting there.  In the excitement to save Thomas' life, the had forgotten she was still back there.

            "He's having a seizure from his injuries," Sandy answered, allowing the other two to stabilize the man.  "The damage to his datajack is causing electrical impulses to affect his brain.  The paramedic and Phillip are working on stopping the short from doing further damage."

            "Sandy," Brooder said quietly.  "Move her out of the car.  She should be ok.  Make her comfortable."

            "Right," Sandy answered.  "Come on…You know, I don't even know your name."

            "It's Tamara," the woman answered.  Then looking at Brooder and Jess, "Please help him.  He's all I've got."

            "We'll try, hun," Jess answered.  "I promise."

            While Sandy moved Tamara to a nearby bench, Jess took a bite stick from her bag and placed it in Thomas' mouth.

            "So, where are we going to get the rest of the pieces for the plug?"

            Jess frowned.  Brooder could tell she had an answer, but that it wasn't a preferable one.  He watched as she pulled a pocket secretary from her jacket.

            "Right here," she said.  "Most of these have an interface for deckers.  I've used it myself a few times."

            Using the toolkit from Brooder's bag, Jess began the task of dismantling the pocket secretary for parts.

            "This was my personal one," she mumbled to herself.  "They'd better reimburse me for it."

            Brooder chuckled.  He stood with Thomas as Jess worked.  She had the diagrams for what they needed.  At least he could watch over Thomas and make sure he didn't hurt himself during the seizure.  It also gave him a chance to look over Tamara.  He watched Sandy talk to her.  Sandy  knew what she was doing, that much was obvious.  And hopefully, the baby would wait for the ambulance.

            Thinking about the ambulance, Brooder checked his watch.  Based on what the dispatcher had said, it was at least another 15 minutes before it would reach them.  Brooder felt confident that the baby would wait, but he was still very worried about Thomas. 

Hurry up, Jess, he thought to himself.  This guy can't have much longer.

As if reading his mind, Jess stood up.

"I think I've got it," she said.  "But I need to test it first.  Last thing I need is for it to fry his brain."

Brooder suddenly had a bad feeling.  Something was not right.  He couldn't know for sure, but he had had this feeling before and knew better than to ignore it.  He began to scan the area, looking for something dangerous.

It only took a moment to notice the trouble.  Not far from their location, a large number of people were gathering.  From what he could tell, they were gang members.  And he could also see two different gang identifiers, which meant even more trouble.

"You might want to hold for a minute, Jess," Brooder said.  "Looks like we might have another problem."  He nodded toward the gathering.

Jess turned to see what Brooder was talking about.  Her face immediately fell when she recognized the rival gangs.

"Aw frip."

Copyright 2002 - R. James.

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