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Breed: Thirty-three


  03:22:00 pm, by Nic Wilson   , 1627 words  
Categories: Breed

Breed: Thirty-three

?You're sure these are sterile?? Peter asked, looking at the light reflecting off the scalpel in his hand.
?Freshly stolen from the hospital,? Drake said.
?Stop stalling,? Mikaela said, ?or hand me the knife and get out of my way.?
He sighed. ?I'll do it.? He brushed Mayumi's hair back from her forehead, and made an incision at her hairline. ?This is insane,? he said. ?I'm scalping a Japanese exchange student.?
?That's probably good,? Mikaela said. ?It would seem racist if you were scalping an Indian student.?
He continued the incision down to her temple, then peeled the skin back, exposing Mayumi's skull. ?Ryan?? he asked. A red dot from the pointer attached to Ryan's chair illuminated a spot on her exposed skull. ?Drill,? he said, and held out the scalpel. Mikaela took the blade, and handed him a drill. ?And you're sure this bit is the right size?? he asked, pulling the trigger on the drill long enough to know it was charged up.
?Yes,? Ryan said. ?The implant should be about the diameter of your pinky.?
?You're sure she's out?? Peter asked Tucker. She closed her eyes, then nodded slowly. ?Here goes, then.? He pulled the trigger on the drill, and it whirred to life. It didn't bite into the bone, and instead pulled to to the side. It caught on her skin, and tore a bloody gash above her ear. ?Shit,? Peter said. But already the bloodflow was slowing.
?It's fine,? Mikaela said, and used one of the towels to dab at the wound. With the blood out of the way, he could see that the wound was already healed.
?I guess that was a freebie,? he said. He repositioned the drill on Ryan's red dot.
?Let me help steady it,? Mikaela said.
?Demi might have been useful,? Tucker said.
?Only if necessary. The fewer people here, the less the chance of infection,? Peter said. He locked eyes with Mikaela, standing on the opposite side of the table, the both of them holding steady to the drill. She nodded, and he pulled the trigger. The drill bucked against hem, but they held fast. The bit found a small purchase, and began to tear into it. Shavings of bone started to peel off, into the bit jerked forward, and blood began to bubble out of the hole.
?Tweezers,? Pete said, holding up the drill. Tucker switched out the drill for a set of long tweezers. Then she took a towel and shoved it against Mayumi's cranium, sponging away as much of the blood as she could. Pete peered into the hole. ?Damnit. Didn't see it. Again.? She pushed the towel into Mayumi's skull again. ?Light,? he said to Mikaela, and she shined an LED flashlight where Tucker was pressing. There was only a fraction of a second where the head wound wasn't covered in blood.
?Headwounds are like a fountain,? he said, ?but I think I saw it. Nobody move.? He slipped the tweezers through the hole. ?Damnit,? I brushed it,? he said, because something in the skull was harder than the rest. ?Come on, give me something to grab onto. Damnit,? he retracted the tweezers. ?I don't just want to go jabbing around in the dark.?
Tucker raised an eyebrow at him.
?Found it,? Drake said, teleporting into the room. He held the telescoping rod to Peter.
?Sterile?? he asked.
?Um,? Mikaela nodded for him to follow her to the sink. She used a solution of alcohol and a swab to clean the end of it, then carried it over to Peter.
?You think it will work?? Ryan asked.
?Worth a shot,? Peter said. ?Hard to know if it's metallic enough unless we try.?
Pete lined up the telescoping magnet with the hole in Mayumi's skull like he was playing pool. Then he slowly slid it inside. ?Got it,? he said, when he felt the implant grip to the magnet. He tugged to pull it out, but there was resistance. ?It's caught,? Pete said.
?Of course,? Ryan said. ?It's got an artery fed through it. Or a vein.?
?Vessel's the collective term,? Pete said. ?Veins go to the heart, arteries away from it. But in this case it really could be either, since all they needed was a steady stream.?
?The only way out is through,? Ryan said.
?Heat the coat-hanger,? Pete said.
?Um. We didn't get a coat-hanger.?
?On it,? Drake said, and was gone. He came back a few seconds later. ?Sorry, Kae,? he said. ?Wasn't one in my place or Pete's.?
?S'okay,? she said, ?under the circumstances.?
Drake unraveled the hanger until the hook end was a point several inches long. Mikaela lit a Bunsen burner. ?Get it good and hot. In case we have to cauterize.?
?Wait,? Ryan said. ?I found an article online about electrocauterization. Might give us more control.?
?Tucker, would you bring Demi in from the hall. And her temperature's rising. It might do to have Iago cool her back down.?
?So the gang's all here, anyway?? Demi asked. ?How's she doing??
?She's got an extra skylight,? Pete said. ?Do you have enough control you could zap her brain through it.?
?I thought that might set off the device.?
?It might. But when we pull it out, it's going to tear away a blood vessel. We need you to cauterize it. Or we might, if she can't close it on her own.?
?I could maybe push my fingertip through the hole. Otherwise electricity is fickle. Anybody who's seen lightning knows it doesn't usually just go point A to B in a straight line.?
?Noted,? Pete said. ?Tucker, you're on towels. Mikaela, you've got the light. Iago, be ready. Once that vessel's no longer gushing, we want you to cool her down. It will slow any damage, and give her body a better chance to recover. Everybody ready??
He was answered by a chorus of variations on ?Yes.? He closed his eyes, took in a deep breath, then opened them. ?Cris??
?Still not answering,? Demi said.
?Probably passed out. Patching up the cop seemed to take the wind out of him. Plan B it is.? Pete pulled. The implant pulled against the vessel, then started to give. ?It's tearing the vessel,? Pete said.
?We can tell,? Demi said. Blood bubble out of the hole in Mayumi's skull.
?It's almost,? Pete said, then the rod came out. He could see the tiny metal and plastic implant clinging to the end of the rod. ?Clear.?
Tucker leapt on Mayumi with the towel, pressing it against the headwound. She soaked with the towel, before dodging out of the way. Mikaela leaned forward with the light, blood continued to percolate out of the hole. ?Damn,? Pete said, ?still gushing. Towel.?
Tucker pressed a fresh towel into the wound again, then moved. Blood was still flowing. ?Towel again,? Pete said. ?Then Demi, cauterize it.? She nodded. Tucker pressed another towel against the wound, then stepped out of the way. Demi reached forward, then stopped.
?Damnit, you need to close that artery,? he said.
?Look,? she said. The flow of blood was slowing.
?Towel,? Pete said, and held out his hand. Tucker gave him one, and he soaked up blood. ?Light?? he asked, and waited for Mikaela to get into position before removing it. He could see into the hole, and even make out the vessel. It had two tiny puncture marks, mottled by scar tissue. ?I'll be damned.?
?Hmm?? Ryan asked.
?It was directly built into the vessel. They siphoned flow off; so it tore, but it didn't sever the vessel. And now it's sealed. Her vitals??
?She's stable,? Ryan said.
?We'll need to clean up, while monitoring her. Demi, Iago, you're the two best-suited to putting her back down if she wakes up feral. Peter's going to need to monitor her, as well as being ready with more anesthetic. Drake and I will launder towels and get them back to the fitness center before they open. We can do them at my apartment.?
?You can do a load at my place, too,? Pete said.
?Which reminds me, everybody strip.?
?Okay,? Iago said, and pulled off his shirt.
?I meant everybody who's got blood on them, not everyone who wanted to show off their abs.?
?Oh,? he said, and held his shirt to his chest. He lifted the shirt to slide back over his head.
?You can leave it off, if you want,? Demi said.
?And you can perv later. Drake, how much more teleporting have you got in you??
?I'm not sure. It's taking a toll, but this is already more than I've ever done in a night.?
?Okay. We don't want to overwork you, then. Tucker and I will walk back to my apartment. When we get there we'll call. I'll grab doubles along the way from every mirror we pass. When we're ready, we'll have you teleport Mayumi to us. I should have enough extra mes to handle her until everybody else can catch up on foot.?
?And while we're waiting,? Drake said, ?we can mop up as much blood as possible here, first.? N
?Good idea.?
?What do you need from me?? Ryan asked.
?Keep campus security busy until I can get back with some of my doubles to finish scrubbing the place clean.?
?Like I have been?? he asked slyly.
?I had a suspicion.?
?They've been having phantom alarms on the other side of campus all night. And I've got the cameras for this building looping footage from last night; they have a time-stamp, but not a date-stamp, so they'll never know the difference.?
?Everybody know what they're doing??
?Yep.? Iago said.
?And if my brother's got it, you know everyone else does,? Tucker said with a grin.

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