Nov 7, 2011


Emma's eyes slowly opened as she remembered where she was, what had happened, and how she felt: pissed the hell off. A flame of rage passed over her as the memories came back. In her mind, she relived watching LeFleur's head burst open and his body dropping to the pavement. The emotions of guilt, sorrow, and, most importantly, rage rushed over her. Emma then felt the need to do... something. She lifted her arms and- something blocked her. She tried again. Nothing. Emma looked down to see that she had been strapped into her hospital bed. “What the hell?!” She violently shook, hoping to break the leather restraints.

“Easy, Emma!” Dr. Lorentz said as he came by her side. “You were trashing about in your sleep, so I tied you down so as not to break your IV or your arm or-”

“Yeah, I get it,” Emma snapped. “Untie me.”

“I can't do that just yet,” Dr. Lorentz adjusted his glasses. “You need to calm down first.”

“Calm down!? You want me to just-”

“Emma,” he sighed patiently. “You're in no condition to do anything. You're on painkillers at the moment, so you won't feel it, but you're too badly hurt to leave your bed.”

“I'll decide that.”

“So long as those restraints are on, no you won't.”

“Dammit, doc!”

“Cursing at me isn't going to help your case,” Dr. Lorentz said. “Part of the reason you're tied down is because I feared this very reaction from you. Emma, you're angry and that isn't going to help you. What you need is to settle down. All this anger and-”

The door to the infirmary suddenly burst open and in rushed Lena and Hank, who carried a limp man on his shoulder. Emma wasn't sure who the man was and could barely see thanks to not being able to turn her body at all. “Doc! We need your help!” Hank exclaimed as he dropped the body onto the nearest bed.

“He ain't breathin'!” Lena cried breathlessly.

Dr. Lorentz sprang into action. He grabbed a few of his diagnostic instruments and started to examine the man. After just a few seconds, “I'm sorry, there is nothing I can do. This man has been dead for what some time. The body is cold, the pupils are- he is gone.”

“But- but he was fine just yesterday! Just today even!” Lena argued.

“How'd he die, doc?”

Dr. Lorentz shook his head, “I cannot immediately tell. It might have been a heart attack or maybe a stroke, but I would have to perform an autopsy to be sure.”

“Do that, please,” Hank said.

“Hey!” Emma called. “What's going on?”

“Oh, gosh, she's awake?” Lena's eyes widened.

“Yes, yes, she is,” Dr. Lorentz replied. “Please, see if you can calm her down, she's been-”

“Emma! Oh, my Emma!” Lena cried as she darted over to her daughter's. “How're you feelin'?”

“Like hell, mom.”

“Sweetie, don't swear- nevermind. I'll bet you do feel like hell,” she took her daughter's hand. “Why are you tied down?”

“Who's that out there?”

“Doc, untie my daughter!”

“Mom! Who's rotting over there?!”

“It's Ivanov, Emma.”

“The Russian guy?”

“Carlyle found him in the guest quarters and, well-”

“Who did it?”

“Nobody, he just-”

“Bullshit!” Emma exclaimed. “I get shot, LeFleur's dead, and now him? No chance in hell that's coincidence, mom.”

“Emma! Watch your mouth!”

“Mom, there's no time for that!” Emma shook her whole body, realizing once again she was tied down. “Doc! You get me out of these restraints right this-”

“Not until you calm down,” Dr. Lorentz once again proved exemplary patience. “You'll wind up hurting yourself and from the way you're going, the restraints won't even prevent that.”

“Dad, you've gotta see it too! Two of our people are dead just like that and-”

“Emma, we'll talk about this later,” Hank said. “It might have been just a heart attack, but you're right. It's a little weird that-”

“Don't shut me out,” Emma argued.

“We aren't shutting you out. Let me finish,” Hank sighed in frustration, mostly at having to throw down the father gauntlet. “There's nothing we can do about it now but wait and see what happens. For now, we got two funerals to plan and a whole month to think about it. Meanwhile, you just need to stay down, rest easy, and get the hell better. Understood?”



“Yes, sir,” Emma grit her teeth. Where was her knife? Emma wondered where her knife was. If she could find her knife, she could cut her restraints and- oh, duh.

“Good,” Hank said, still firmly. He came to his daughter's side and put his hand on her arm. “I need you to do what the doctor says, Emma. We- I need you to get better so we can nip this thing in the bud. You're not getting better so long as you won't cooperate. The doc knows what he's doing and if he says you need to calm down, then you need to calm down. We'll get you up, get you on your feet, and get you kickin' soon. Before long, you'll have your boot back up some zombie's ass. For now, you need to bunker down and heal up. Alright?”

Emma clenched her fist and then let it go. He was right. She hated to admit it, but he was right. “Yeah, dad. Yeah.”

“That's what I like to hear, Emma,” Hank pat her shoulder. “You rest up. We'll check up on you later, okay, kiddo?”

As Hank left, Emma rolled her eyes and said, “Dad, wait.”

“Yeah?” He stopped.

“Don't call me 'kiddo.'”

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