matapam (pamuphoff) wrote,

_Maze of Worlds_ part 5

Chapter Four

The town on the far side of the gate was . . . actually recognizable as the setting of a lot of movies. Except dirtier and full of men and vehicles of every shape and size.

"We need to get off the main road and find someplace to hide." Kit followed the truck ahead for three blocks, then turned right.

Henry tugged at a window, figured out how to open it . . . "Wow . . . we really can breathe the outside air." He craned his head, looking up. "Uh . . . no roof is going to take some getting used to."

"Look at all the people!" Jane winced and leaned away from her injured leg.

Tansy climbed over seats and nodded at the women in the first seats. "What we need is a doctor. Susan's still bleeding, and Jane's still got a bullet in her leg."

George nodded. "I've never seen real wounds. Just in the movies and books when the Oners attacked. Or the Fallen Mutants, or the Disco assassins."

Kit nodded, "I guess you guys always got the stuff that reinforced their propaganda."

Tansy snorted. "We swiped books from the men's rooms, when they took us there. Those books were really interesting, especially where the Earth soldiers were rescuing girls from the Oner sex slavers."

"They kind of got that turned around, didn't they?" Kit turned another random corner . . . pointed. "Quick Care Clinic. That sounds medical . . . right?"


Kit pulled up around the side and hoped that made them less visible. "I want most of you to stay here."

Reluctant nods.

Tansy gulped. "I'll take them in . . . talk about the horrible mine guards that rapped up and then tried to kill us."

Kit nodded. "Because they were the bosses two favorites. And they were afraid of their bosses. Something like that."

"You'd better come, and think at them."

"Yeah." Kit hesitated, then pocketed the keys and opened the door.

Susan and Jane climbed to their feet, whimpering, moving carefully. Susan with arms wrapped around the ribs, Jane hopping on one leg, grabbing anything handy, and once down, Tansy.

You don't see me, you don't see me, you don't see me.

Kit opened the door of the clinic and held it as Tansy helped Jane through the door.

He could see the receptionist's eyes widen.

"We don't treat serious injuries, here. You look like you need to go to the hospital!"

KIt stared at her. No, this isn't that bad. That her straight back to a treatment room.

"Well . . . maybe it isn't that bad, bring her right through here and the doctor will decide if she needs more than we can do here."

And Susan too. Brusied a rib, Honey?

"And . . . Susan? Too?" The receptionist shook her head. "Bruised a rib, Hon . . . Miss?"

She disappeared, and the door next to her window opened. "Come right in here . . . Oh!" she scampered down to a door on the left. "Dr. Ben? You have patients!" She scampered back and opened doors on the right.

You don't see me, you don't see me, you don't see me.

Kit squeezed past them, glancing quickly into rooms with not much stuff . . . He cracked open the last door. Ah yes, the serious medical stuff.

He started at Dr. Ben, who looked pretty damned young.

Put Susan in room three. I'll take an Xray.

"Put Susan in room three. I'll take an Xray."

The receptionist looked surprised, but opened room three.

Kit squeezed back against the emergency exit to get out of the way of the parade . . . Looked up at the alarm, and as soon as the others were out of sight, popped off the case and removed the battery. Case back on, battery in pocket.

He stepped into room three.

". . . been shot!"

Tansy nodded. "Two of the mine guards . . . and they knew we'd tell the boss, and they thought . . . and the police have the hospital staked out . . ."

You don't see me, you don't see me, you don't see me.

I'd believe anything of those brutes they've hired for guards!

The receptionist's lips firmed. "I'd believe anything of those brutes they've hired for guards!"

I'm trained. I've got the equipment, I can do this.

"I'm trained. I've got the equipment, I can do this." The Doctor turned to the glass fronted cabinet with the Octopus Surgical Robot.. "The bullet fragmented when it hit the rib, so there's no deep damage. But I need to remove the fragments . . ."

He moved to look at the Xray screen. "And these little bone bits, the big one we can glue in place . . ."

He swung a panel out from the wall that started tapping. Lights lit on the arms of the robot.

Dr. Ben grabbed scissors and started cutting away at the makeshift bandages and Susan's shirt.

You don't see me, you don't see me, you don't see me.

Kit backed away as the doctor started muttering about the sterile field lamp and anesthesia . . . the arms of the robot moved down . . .

He watched the doctor, tense and worried.

It's what I'm trained to do. I'm good at this.

And as the doctor relaxed and steered the robot, Kit was relieved to see that the doctor was, in fact, good at it.

Then it was Jane's turn, and that was even faster.

You don't see me, you don't see me, you don't see me.

And with a little mental prodding they rolled the two women out the back door and helped them get into the bus.

And were sent back to clean up . . . with a suggestion that by tomorrow they'd forget all about.

Kit drove carefully away. Not wanting to jostle anyone.

"That went well, now let's see if we can buy lunch and fuel."

Tansy and Ian swapped glances. "Buy?"

Kit choked. "You guys have never had to pay for anything in your lives, have you?"

Shaken heads. "There was stuff in the books, I didn't really understand what was going on . . ." Tansy bit her lip. "So, tell us all about it."


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