Master PC – Mind Magi
Chapter Thirty-Four – Hospital Visit
I called Cicely to pass on what I had found out about Master PC’s influence over the Dragons and the progress being made to counter the issue. Afterwards, I decided to pay a visit to Russ in the hospital.
Knowing that the speed Dragon had attacked only because he wasn’t in control of himself, I felt even more responsible for his condition. Meg, however, pointed out a problem.
“Steven is at the hospital watching over him. He’s not going to let you get near him Lord Setton.”
“Then I’ll have to get close enough to remove the program’s influence.”
Meg shook her head. “He specializes in not being touched. I’ve sparred with him several times before this started. I couldn’t lay a hand on him.”
“Then we need to fool him into thinking that Ral’s not a threat,” Sally suggested.
“How?” Meg asked.
I ran with Sally’s idea. “You’ve been trying to catch me. Fine, you’ve caught me.”
Meg was confused. “Are you suggesting that I go with you to the hospital?”
I nodded. “And I’ll act as though you have my hands bound behind me. He should drop any defenses he has, and once I’m close enough I’ll be able to grab him and do what I need to do.”
Meg shook her head. “He’ll see it coming. You just don’t understand the depth of his skills.”
“Then tell me. I’m familiar with his mind weaponry and illusions.”
“He can hear thoughts too,” she said.
I grinned. “I forgot about that.”
“Why are you grinning?” Meg asked.
“I can hear the thoughts of my girls. I know how to keep my thoughts from them. This should be very similar. All I have to do is focus on thoughts of escape. It’ll help give the impression that I am bound and your prisoner.”
Meg still had doubts but time was running short. Charlotte was still working on the software to help her crack the passwords and the midnight deadline Whisper had told me about weighed heavily in my mind. Most of the day was gone and the sun would be setting in the next hour. We had to move.
Finally, Meg agreed to try. Charlotte and Chloe stayed to work on the programs and Sally was going to be waiting in the car for Meg and me.
On the way to the hospital, I had Meg call Steven. He seemed glad to hear that I had been caught. Meg even improvised saying she had broken both of my arms in the process, hence our trip to the hospital. I could hear Steven laughing on the other end of the line.
When we arrived, Steven was waiting for us in the emergency room lounge. Sally stayed in the car to have it ready in case we had to run.
I did my best to look defeated and occasionally thought about how I might escape. Steven ate it up.
He walked up to us, grinning like a school yard bully. “Good work Sever. I’ve seen what he’s done to the others. You have got to tell me what happened, and don’t leave out a single detail.” He looked me over like I was some piece of artwork Meg was presenting.
For her part, Meg played up the attitude she had before I had freed her from the program. “It wasn’t that hard. A two-by-four does wonders even to assholes like him,” she said as she pushed me toward a seat with her foot.
I stumbled and fell onto the couch, crying out because I had landed on my arm. Meg hadn’t made a move to help me up, but Steven did.
As fast as a rattlesnake strike, I clamped my hands to his head. His look of surprise was a touch satisfying. Before he could put up any defenses, I poured my power into him, wiping away Master PC’s influence. Immediately, I followed up with the same immunity to the program.
Steven reeled back and I helped direct him to the couch. He shook his head, looked around the room wildly and finally found clarity.
Meg knelt in front of him. “Steven, how are you feeling?”
He looked at her and recognition set in. “Sever… What the hell was that?” He looked over at me and along with confusion; I felt a touch of anger.
“Are there any thoughts or impulses screaming through your head?” I asked.
That threw him, almost as my attack. He seemed to think about it, shaking his head, and then said, “No. My head’s clear for the first time in days.”
I nodded, certain he was okay. “Where do they have Russ? I need to help him and heal him.”
Steven looked at me for a moment. “You’re serious. You can heal him.”
The statement confirmed Meg’s point of Steven’s ability to scan surface thoughts. It was the first thing I had thought of once I was sure Steven wasn’t going to attack.
I nodded and stood up. “And we don’t have much time. Whatever is going on is supposed to conclude at midnight.”
Steven got up. “How do you know that?”
“I have my own resources,” I answered. “Please, we need to go.” I held out my hand indicating Steven to lead the way.
Meg and I followed him through the hospital. I had half expected there to be a guard posted at Russ’s door but there wasn’t.
Inside, monitors beeped and lit up the room with displays. Streetlights shone in on Russ where he lay. In the dim light, he looked horrible. There were no tubes feeding into his mouth though, which meant he was breathing on his own.
I felt bad, not for what I had done, but the fact that I had to do it.
I went around and stood next to him. Steven grabbed a clipboard that was hanging next to the door. Meg was slowest to approach, looking horrified by Russ’s appearance.
After a moment I asked Steven, “What does the chart say?”
He handed me the clipboard. “According to this, they had done emergency surgery to open his rib cage so his lungs and heart had room enough to move.”
I hadn’t hurt him as badly as I had thought, but I had done enough. His ribs had collapsed and the muscles covering them were heavily bruised. Like the front end of a car in an accident, they had taken the brunt of the impact and spared his internal organs.
I handed the clipboard back to Steven and very gently placed one hand on Russ’s forehead while resting my other hand on his chest. He felt like so much paper under my touch.
“I’m sorry Russ,” I murmured as I closed my eyes and focused on what I had to do.
My powers understood. It wasn’t an effort so much as the complexity to heal him, purge all Master PC commands and make him immune to any additional commands later. All of this passed into him quietly.
Another memory flashed through my mind. Part of me wanted to ignore it, another part watched in morbid fascination and a third part begged for something that would give me more information about the events surrounding my birth.
Someone was accusing me of manipulating someone else during an investigation. I knew what they were talking about but also knew I had to focus on what I was really doing, healing Russ. The memory ended.
After everything that had happened over the last day and a half, I expected myself to start craving replenishment after using my powers so many times. Not only did I feel relatively normal, but an understanding came over me. I was complete. Adding Sally to my family filled gaps I had in my power resources. Other Mind Magi didn’t have to worry about issues like mine because their abilities were more simplified than mine.
Something in the collective memories I had gained had helped with this understanding. To a degree it was confusing, but I didn’t dwell on it.
Russ’s breathing picked up and he started coughing. He opened his eyes and looked around at the rest of us. A certain level of panic set in and I helped to calm him.
The door opened and a nurse rushed in. She stopped the instant she saw the rest of us. Then she looked at Russ, who looked back at her, and asked, “What is going on here?”
It dawned on me that healing Russ may have triggered alarms through the monitors. That’s what drew the nurse and possibly more who were still rushing our way.
Steven approached the nurse.
She looked up at him and began to back away. When she stopped but continued to stare at Steven, I understood. He was adjusting her memories to keep the situation normal.
I looked at Russ. “We’ll find a doctor and send him your way so he can get you checked over and out of here.”
“But… what’s going on?” he asked.
“I don’t have enough time to explain right now, but I can show you…” I said, offering my hand.
“I can share memories.”
He nodded and accepted.
Once my recent memories had been passed along, Steven said, “We have to go. More are on their way.”
Russ started getting out of bed. I shook my head at him. “I want a doctor to check and make sure there’s nothing else wrong in case I missed something.”
“But I feel great. I don’t remember ever feeling this good,” he retorted.
“Patience Russ,” Meg said. “Do what Lord Setton suggests. He’s trying to stop this from happening to others and the least we can do is respect that.”
Russ nodded and sat back in bed.
As the rest of us headed for the door, Russ asked, “Don’t you know who’s doing all of this?”
I looked back and shook my head. “No. I don’t.”
Steven, Meg and I left at that point, passing other nurses who were rushing back the other way in the halls. I had accomplished what I set out to do and felt one step closer to resolving the overall issue. However, Russ’s question nagged me. Who was behind this? What would anyone have to gain from doing what they had done?”
If I was honest with myself, I didn’t know the Mind Magi society well enough to answer that question. Even if I took the time to go through the memories I had gained, it would take too long. However, I knew one person who knew a lot and wouldn’t need hours to remember. I had to get to him next. I had to free him and his family so that he could assist the rest of us, rather than helping those masterminding this.
Michael was next on my list.