Arriving at the hospital Casey ran to the emergency room. Rushing to the nurse a the admittance desk. The nurse looked up in alarm “are you injured?”
Shaking his head, out of breath from running it took a moment for Casey to respond. Frowning at him the nurse said “come with me.” She led him towards an examining room.
“I’m, I’m not hurt,” he stammered between breaths.
Ignoring him the nurse took out a blood pressure cuff and proceeded to roll Casey’s sleeve up. “You’re covered in blood,” she observed. Looking down at himself he realized for the first time that he had Greg’s blood all over him. He hadn’t given a thought to his appearance when he had left the house. “Your blood pressure is extremely high. Are you on any blood pressure medication?” she asked writing down something on a chart.
Shaking his head “no of course not. My mother just shot my dad and two little brothers. Why wouldn’t my blood pressure be high after that?” He scowled at her, moving to get off the examining table. “This is a waste of my time,” Casey tried to get to his feet as the nurse moved to keep him stationary.
“Calm down sir,” she yelled at him while she attempted to force him to lie down. “With blood pressure as high as yours I can’t let you leave. You could keel over from heart attack.”
“I feel fine,” Casey muttered as his heart hammered in his chest. “You don’t understand I need to know what happened to them?” He grabbed her harm “Do you know how they’re doing? I was told they were brought here?” She hissed in pain as he squeezed her arm. He released her mumbling “sorry.”
Looking at with compassion she absently rubbed her arm “you’re one of William’s kids aren’t you? He was such a good man. I’m sorry.”
“Sorry, you’re sorry!” Casey repeated aloud “oh god … that …. that …. no he can’t be.” Feeling light-headed as the room closed in around him he felt himself slip into darkness. The nurse caught him before he toppled off the examining table. “Doctor Nichols,” she yelled “anyone I need some help in her.”
A tired overworked young doctor came running into the room. He grabbed Casey before the nurse lost her grip “what’s going on here?” he demanded.
The nurse withered under his stern gaze “I …. I kind of, well accidentally told him his father died.”
Scanning through Casey’s chart he scowled up at the nurse “what the hell were you thinking? His blood pressure is dangerously high and you just happen to blurt out his father died. What’s wrong with you?”
The nurse blanched at his words “he was asking about his family … I didn’t think. I was in the ER when William Bennett coded. I … I … told him I was sorry. I didn’t exactly say he died he guessed….”
“You really are stupid aren’t you?” Doctor Nichols said with disdain. He looked down at Casey shaking his head at her stupidity. Glaring at her “you never share patient information with anyone unless directed to do so by the doctor in charge. Do you understand me? Not only did you break hospital policy it was inaccurate as well.” Falling silent he went to a cabinet “I thought you were on desk duty?”
“That’s just wonderful. Your list of errors keep on growing. Get back to where you belong and I better not see you in ER tonight” Turning his back on her he added under his breath “if I had my way she’d be gone.”
She scurried past the doctor mumbling “what about him?”
“Don’t worry about him. I’ll take care of him.” Doctor Nichols sighed glancing at Casey. “I’ll be reporting this incident to your supervisor.” Before she left them room he stopped her “if any of Mr Bennett’s extended family arrive direct them to the VIP waiting room and do not I repeat do not tell them anything. I don’t want you shocking them all to death. I will provide them will the pertinent information regarding their family. If I catch you talking to any of those bubble headed paparazzi I’ll make sure you never work hear again.” He fixed her with a glare “do I make myself clear?”
“Yes doctor,” she mumbled closing the door in tears.
Shaking his head at the nurse and all idiots in general the doctor turned his attention to Casey. He was just beginning to stir, moaning on the examining table. He moved to help Casey sit up while he handed Casey a couple of sedatives to swallow. “What are these?” Casey asked shaking his head to clear it of the muzzy feeling he had.
Nodding Casey swallowed them without question maybe he’ll wake up and all this would be a horrible nightmare. His mind was numb and inside he was shattered. His dad was gone and it was his fault. If it weren’t for him encouraging his dad to take a stand and put an end to the insanity sparked all this. He should have kept his mouth shut. Yeah oblivion would be good for a while.
Several hours later Doctor Nichols found himself walking towards the VIP waiting room. Upon entering the room several pairs of worried, despair filled eyes turned towards him. Sighing this was the worst part of his job. Telling the families the worst news they could ever possibly hear. This was the part where he either raised or dashed their hopes. Looking from one to the other of the young faces bleakly staring back at him he wasn’t sure which was the case in this situation. It wasn’t good no matter how he tried to phrase it in his mind.
“I’m sorry but I requested a black out on information as I didn’t want it leaked to the media before the family had the full story. I do apologize for the delay but it’s been hectic here in the ER tonight,” he tried to appease everyone’s feelings. He knew the wait must have been torture not knowing if they were alive or dead. “Please, why don’t we all sit down and I’ll explain what’s going on.”
Several heads nodded in silence. The young red-head was the last to sit as a young woman with pink highlights tugged on his hand. Grumbling he sat down his displeasure still obvious for all to see. “Gregory Bennett is in stable condition. The bullet entered his side nicking the large intestine. We repaired the damage and he should make a full recovery.”
There was a collective sigh, a lessening of the tension in the room. Doctor Nichols regretted that their relief was going to be short-lived. “Bryan Bennett is in critical condition. He was shot at a closer range than Gregory and the damage is more extensive.”
He stopped as a young green-skinned woman collapsed in the arms of a young man with startling blue eyes. He assumed she must be the other hybrid child William had. The others were silent wearing identical stricken expressions. “It’s a miracle he lived through surgery. I’m sorry the prognosis is not good and he’ll need another miracle to make it through the next 24 hours. If he does he’ll have a 50/50 chance of surviving this. If he does he will never walk again. The bullet lodged in his spine and severed the nerve endings.” Upon hearing this news the other two women in the room burst into sobs and were comforted by their husbands or boyfriends the doctor couldn’t tell which.
Sighing he plowed ahead with the worst. He really hated to be the bearer of bad news but this was the price he had to pay when he decided to become a doctor. He opened his mouth to speak when the red-head spoke up again “what about our dad?” his voice carrying repressed anger that the doctor assumed was his way of coping with grief.
Taking in a deep breath Doctor Nichols said “your father is on life support.”
“Does that mean he’s only alive because the machines are keeping him that way?” the young red-headed girl asked through tears.
“Yes if we took him off the machines he would most certainly die.” He braced himself for the emotional outburst that would surely follow such an announcement. He started to breathe easier as they all continued to stare at him like the news hadn’t quite sunk in yet.
Then the dark-haired young man who was holding the red-headed girl’s hand spoke up “why is he on life support?” His eyes grew large as understanding set in “organ transplants.”
“No absolutely not,” the red-headed male announced. “You’re not dissecting my dad up into little pieces.” The young woman he was with held him close as he collapsed on the floor sobbing.
“His death could do some good,” he tried to persuade “you have a few hours to decide before we take him off life support.” The doctor stood up preparing to leave “I really am sorry for your loss. Please consider donating William’s organs. Maybe some good can come out of this senseless tragedy by giving someone else hope.”
The young man with the light blue eyes followed the doctor out into the hallway “excuse me doctor.”
Turning the doctor stopped waiting for the young man to continue speaking half expecting some angry outburst.
“Do you know what happened to Casey Bennett? We were expecting him to be here waiting for us. No one knows where he is and his girlfriend is becoming concerned as he came to the hospital several hours ago.”
Smiling Doctor Nichols said “he’s ok. He fainted earlier int he ER when one of the nurses inadvertently told him William died. I gave him a sedative to calm him down as his blood pressure was dangerously high. Not unexpected after what he saw. I’ll have him brought to the VIP room as soon as he’s awake and his blood pressure has come down.”
Turning to go back into the room to join the others he stopped “when can we see them?”
“If you mean the young boys I’ll arrange for you each to have brief visits for two at time. With William you can go in and spend as much time as you need to say goodbye.”
After the doctor walked away Shon went back to the waiting room. Everyone looked up in expectation. “Casey’s alright. Evidently he fainted when someone told him dad died.” He sat down beside Evelyn holding her hand “as soon as he’s awake the doctor will have him brought here.”
“We can’t wait that long,” Beverly objected. “Daddy needs help now or … or it’ll to be too late.” She turned her head away and as Adam put a gentle arm around her. “What am I going to do without my daddy? I don’t, I won’t lose him.”
Adam held her as she clung to him. How could he tell her he was opposed to this whole thing. Maybe it was his scientific mind at work. He feared that this would only strengthen the bond between William and the alien. What if there were other side effects? Things they can’t even fathom that could be worse than this down the road. He looked up and found Evelyn staring at him. She nodded with a slight smile. She understood his misgivings. They had discussed them in detail on the flight from Bridgeport to Barnacle Bay.
Sighing Evelyn confronted the group “there may be side effects that we can’t predict if we let the alien transfuse his blood into Dad. Biological changes. We just don’t know enough. Maybe dad wouldn’t even want us to consider this ….”
“No,” she shook his head, “I just think we need to take a step back and consider the big picture.”
“The big picture?” Gene scoffed “I don’t care what the bigger picture is as long as dad is in it.” He prowled around the small room strain and tension vibrating from his taut shoulders.
“I agree with Gene,” Beverly pounced up joining Gene in his circuit around the room. “He’s our dad. We owe him to do whatever it takes to save his life.” She surveyed the room until her eyes locked onto Adam. “You did it with your dad. Going to the future for a cancer cure.”
“That was different. The whole future was in peril.” Adam silently pleaded with her to let the subject drop.
Ignoring him Beverly continued “I don’t see how. The alien said that without dad or Bryan the cure for his people will never be released. Without the cure alien abductions will continue and increase. Eventually destabilize life as we know it. I fail to see how this is any different or less important than the circumstances with your dad.”
“Put that way. I’d have to agree with you.” Adam nodded the future was in peril if they didn’t at least try. It may not work but if it did … shrugging he turned to Evelyn. “We’ll just have to deal with any abnormalities as they come up. My dad will help I’m sure of it.”
“You’re right.” Evelyn looked at Gene “it’s a risk and believe me I’m willing to take it but everyone needed to be aware of the flip side. Plus dad may not like the decision we make. Are you prepared for that?”
Surveying the room everyone nodded. A voice from the doorway startled them “what about me? Don’t I get a say?”
“Casey we didn’t know….” Evelyn began “I’m sorry. Say what you want to say.”
“I know I’m coming into this discussion late. I believe dad would choose to live if given the options we have. Since he can’t make the decision himself we have too. Dad told me once that there was nothing more important to him than his children. Well he still has little ones who need their father. Who of us with children wouldn’t do the same?”
“The we’re all agreed?” Evelyn again waited for someone to object. Everyone was silent, she nodded at them “Agreed we do this.”