Hank and Lena waited for Paul to return with stretchers and the expressions common to worried parents. The Holdsworth's doctor, Dr. Ernst Lorentz, waited as well. Even more members of the crew worked the ship's cranes in order to pull Paul, and then the cargo containers, up. After the containers were stowed, Paul would board the Holdsworth via the ship's rear boarding ramp. The lower storage decks were already full, leaving the deck the only place to store cargo.
“Paul's steady,” One of the crewmen said. “Pulling up the first container now.” Liam, Emma, and at least most of those sent on Paul would be atop said container.
“I'll bet you a day off that Emma's more injured than Liam,” Hank dared. They had only been told they they were injured, not exactly how.
“Oh, you're so on!” Lena challenged. “There is bound to be a day coming when Liam finally manages to-”
“You know, this is kinda sick,” Hank said. “We're betting on our kids being injured.”
“Bah,” Lena shrugged. “They're adults now, Hank. We can bet on adult injuries, right?”
“Now that our babies are all grown up, I guess we can stand to profit from their misfortune.”
“Right on,” they shook hands as the first container finally emerged. Soon, they noticed that Emma was sitting with Liam's head resting on her lap, obviously in agony. Obviously, Liam was, in fact, more severely injured. “Yes!” Lena beamed.
Hank clenched his fists, “Dammit!”
The sickbay on the Holdsworth was not large or particularly glamorous by modern standards, however it was actually one of the world's better medical wards in 2036. The reason for this was Dr. Ernst Lorentz, one of the few remaining professionally-trained surgeons. Lorentz liked the idea of sailing around the world with a team of good-hearted buccaneers with plenty of work to do. Someone always found some way or another to be injured and, more than often than one might expect, they would also need surgery.
“Well,” Dr. Lorentz said to Hank and Lena in his heavily German-accented voice, “I am afraid your son is going to need surgery for his Achilles tendon.”
“Hey, I'm right here, doc,” Liam said.
“How long will he be out of out it?” Hank asked.
“Not too long,” Dr. Lorentz replied. “I expect he will be close to peak efficiency by the time we reach Lisbon. I must tell you, the crew is very excited about finally having this cable business finished.”
“I'll just bet,” Hank said. “What about my daughter? When can I have her back?”
Dr. Lorentz took some bandages off the shelf and walked over to where Emma was laying. Her boots and tactical vest were off, revealing her more form-fitting clothing. She was in the best of shapes, but one could hardly notice that with that look on her face: the one that told everyone in the room about her feeling towards doctors and their offices.“Be still while I put these on.”
“You really need that?” Emma rolled her eyes.
“Ja,” Lorentz insisted as he grabbed her calf. “Now, be still and this will be over soon.”
“Fine,” Emma sighed.
“Emma should be alright in a few days,” Lorentz said. “She makes the sprain sound much worse than it is. She kills hundreds of zombies, but is such a baby when it comes to getting little boo-boos.”
“Ha! You hear that Emma?” Liam laughed. “The doctor called you a baby!”
“Oh, shut the hell up!” Emma shot back. “At least I don't need surgery!”
“Hey!” Lena cut in. “Why can't I ever get you two to stop fighting?”
Emma muttered, “Well, he started-”
“Emma,” Lena slowly ordered, “Shut up.”
“Yes, ma'am,” Emma grunted as Lorentz finished tying her bandage. She would swear that he put it on too tight on purpose.
Lorentz finished, stood, brushed off his hands and delicately told Emma, “Try to keep this elevated as much as possible and definitely stay off it. Though I know you'll probably just ignore my advice anyway.”
“You got that right,” Emma told him as she pulled herself off of the bed. “I'm gonna go clean up from the op and then I'll shower or take a nap or something. In other words, if you need me... find someone else,” Emma told her parents as she hobbled out of the infirmary.
“She's such a delight,” Lorentz sighed as he returned to Liam. To the youngest Mitchell sibling he said, “You're going to be a bit of trickier case. Fixing up your Achilles won't be too hard, but you'll have to put in extra effort to let it heal.”
“Don't worry, doc, I don't plan on pushing myself anyway,” Liam sighed. “Not like I push myself when my foot works.”
“True,” Lorentz said. “I'll scrub up and get started right away.” He turned back to the parents, “Could you excuse us? I'm afraid you can't watch the surgery... I do hate it when people look over my shoulder.”
“Of course, doctor,” Hank said as he and Lena turned and left. “If you need something, just holler.”
“Ja, will do!” With a creepy smile, he turned back to Liam, “Well, now, let's get you cut open!”