see disclaimer chapter 1
The two men didn't even have to tell Sonja what had happened, she saw more
and more of it in her mind as the car flew across the small farm road at highly illegal speeds.
"Aren't you listening!?" the man screamed again, staring at her with a hysterical sort of panic burning in his eyes.
"Um, please, tell me exactly what happened" she said, forcing herself to ignore the images playing in her mind.
He started again, obviously distraught that she hadn't been paying attention. "We're here on a shoot. You know, making a movie." Sonja nodded. Everyone in town knew that a big time movie company had paid one of the farmers a hefty sum for them use his place for some film.
"Well, we were doing scenes out in the field behind Reggie Parker's place. The actors were up on a platform, doing promo shots in their costumes between takes." The man choked up again, wringing his hands. "George was goofing around like he always does. But something went wrong. I think there was a patch of dew or something on the platform. He slipped, and...and he fell." The man swallowed hard and tried to regain his composure. "There were some support stakes from the tents leaning against the platform. He fell onto one. I saw it, everyone did. I saw him fall, and the point of the stake drove up...his...side." The man broke again, having to gasp for breath a few times before continuing.
"We had to pull him off the stake. There was blood everywhere. George passed
out. The EMT is sick and not on the set today, and we were too afraid to move him. You're our only hope." The man closed his eyes and turned back around. "If he's not already dead..there was so much blood," he whispered.
Sonja completely understood, the Stevenson clinic was the only medical facility within a two-hour drive and the EMTs in the area were notoriously inattentive.
Suddenly, the car made a hard left and started bouncing down the dirt road Sonja knew led to the Parker's place. Within a few more minutes the car once again turned on two wheels into the lot then screeched to a stop. Sonja jumped out and ran towards the crowd of people. There must have been a crush of 70 or 80 bodies hovering around that one area. The man that had been driving yelled from his car that the doctor was here. The entire mass of people turned to see the woman running towards them and instantly parted to let her through. Sonja quickly made it to where a small circle had been cleared and got her first look at the patient.
The man was on the ground, on his stomach, with his head resting on the lap of a young looking woman who was holding a large towel down the length of his back. The woman was sobbing and had on thick stage make-up with long black streaks of mascara running down her cheeks. Sonja set her bag in the grass, then gently removed the woman's hands and the blood-soaked towel from the man's back.
Someone had cut away the shirt so that the towel had been applying direct pressure to his wound. The man didn't make a sound as she lifted the blood-heavy towel from his body. Sonja's heart jumped at what she saw. There was a long gouge up the right side of the man's back, about two inches deep and four inches wide, from his buttock to halfway up his rib cage. Blood was pooled in the wound and spilling all over his body, onto the woman and the ground. The gouge up his side was like a huge upside-down 'V' shaped wedge of his body had been peeled away. Tell-tale blue and white splotches of exposed bone and the dark, pulsing red of ripped muscles and organs showed through the lips of the wound. But that wasn't what made the doctor's heart drop to the bottom of her stomach.
The gouge seemed to disappear under his ribs and, as Sonja crouched over to
get a better look, it was obvious that whatever had scraped all the way up his back had then dove internally. There was a hole the size of a golf ball where Sonja could see right into his chest cavity and into his lung. It looked like, as the object had sliced into his body, that it had also mangled his kidneys and some other organs.
"How long ago did he do this?" she asked, reaching for her stethoscope.
"I don't know, maybe a half hour?" the woman replied shakily. The man's chest barely moved up and down, so she knew he was breathing but very shallowly. Sonja first tried getting a pulse from his wrist, but she couldn't feel anything. She put her stethoscope to his back, too afraid to roll him over to search for a heartbeat. With a thankful breath she heard a very faint, very slow beat. The man was barely alive. Sonja could tell from the pool of red she was sitting in that he had lost way too much blood. Even counting some bad farming accidents, she had never seen anything so horrific.
Sonja looked up at the woman who had been joined by another older man, obviously the one in charge. "I'm sorry, but there is not much I can do without moving him back to the clinic." She looked down at the man again. "Unfortunately, he 's in shock and he needs lots of blood right now. I don't think he would make the trip." Even as she said the words, she hated herself for them. She knew what had to be done. The two people looked at her, horrified.
She knew the man had lost too much blood to make it much longer and that even if he did live that the excessively dirtied wound and punctured organs would cut his odds even more, much less transferring him to the clinic in his state. Sonja knew for a fact that he wouldn't survive, she had always been able to instinctively understand what was going on in people's bodies, and this wasn't the first time she wished that her mutant ability didn't reveal so much to her. She knew that no matter what she did now, there was no way any sort of modern medicine could put this man back together.
Sonja had promised herself that she would never, ever do what she was about to. She had refused to risk the wonderful life she now had. In her past, whenever she had used her powers on other people, it had done nothing but bring her pain and make her life go haywire. Sonja was still unsure but, deep in her soul, she knew that nobody else could save the man and she would never forgive herself for just letting him die. She looked up at the couple, who was staring at her dumbly.
"What do you mean, he can't make it? Is he going to die here, like this?" the man asked in a high-pitched voice. She looked directly into his eyes, searching his mind and mentally invoked him to clam down and listen carefully to what she had to say. He nodded his head and visibly relaxed.
"There is something I can do," she said, making herself as comfortable as she could on the ground next to the half-dead man. "Are you able to make decisions for this man's well-being?" she asked. The older man nodded. "Well, then, you're going to have to give me complete freedom with his treatment, do you understand?" Again the man nodded. The woman looked confusedly at the doctor. Sonja made motions for the woman to move away.
"Please, give me a little more space," Sonja instructed. The entire crowd took two or three more steps back. Under her breath she whispered, "Please, don't be afraid."
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