This week’s scene of Boot Camp.
Act 5 Scene 1
Frei chewed her empty polystyrene coffee cup as she listened to the updates from Fitzpatrick and Spokes all while pacing up and down the small corridor in a small but well-equipped hidden medical clinic. “Status update, Agent Fitzpatrick,” Fitzpatrick fired off like she couldn’t identify him. “We’ve secured the local base… thanks to Marney… but we’ve sustained a lot of casualties, Ma’am.” He cleared his throat. “Nearly everyone who attended training has been accounted for apart from Lorelei. Marney has sustained major wounds to her left leg retrieving five team members under extremely heavy fire. She managed to clear an entire area single-handedly.” Frei sank her teeth into the polystyrene. “Why was Marney doing a Black?” “Because I was over the other side of the base trying to take out their heavy guns, ma’am.” Fitzpatrick let out a wheezed sigh. “Where were all the other officers?” Frei glanced up at a door as two nurses wandered out chatting to each other. “We took heavy fire, ma’am.” Fitzpatrick cleared his throat again. “Too heavy.” Frei closed her eyes and sank her teeth into the cup further. “Status on Marney?” “Smudge has her on his table. He’s confident he can stop the bleeding.” Fitzpatrick sounded annoyed about it but then the CIG medical surgeon was usually curt and wry about performing surgery. Frei glanced along the quiet corridor… thankfully Aeron had a far more positive surgeon. “I want you to return to the CIG base and I want a full debrief on why I’ve got more names to stick on the memorial wall.” “Ma’am,” Fitzpatrick mumbled. “I want to see Marney, tell her she’s another Black then give her a medal.” Frei managed to prize her teeth off the cup enough to make her words coherent. “Tell Smudge that if she can’t walk, I’ll make him replace her on the front line.” She cut the line before Fitzpatrick could say a word and looked around. There were still no medical staff in sight so she sighed and dialled Spokes. “Tell me she has a hangover and she’s sleeping it off,” she fired into the mouthpiece and placed her teeth to the cup again. “I only lie to women who want to know where I am,” Spokes fired back in his usual arrogant, gum-chewing, way. “I don’t take messages for Black.” “Then learn,” Frei muttered. “I don’t want to tell you ‘cause you’ll give me earache.” Spokes let out a long groan. “I just need it strapped, enough of the prodding.” “Sir, you need stitches,” someone said back. “Tell me or I’ll give you more stitches,” Frei snapped, lips still on the rim of her cup and eyes on the theatre door. Spokes grunted again. “Your unsub took out a chopper, pinned us down and was taking pot shots at the locals.” He yelped then grunted then yelped. “Can you give me a shot?” “I’m trying to,” someone said. “But there’s a lot of blood, Sir.” “Bucher?” Frei stared at the door to the theatre. She should have headed straight to Renee but the weather made it only possible to get Aeron to her surgeon. “Yeah. Guy is as ugly as he sounded.” Spokes yelped again then whined. “Renee knew it was him.” “Did you keep her out of the way?” Frei nibbled at the other side of the cup, resuming her pacing. “No, she headed up the roof and bought us time to join her… she shot a lot of bullets into the floor.” Spokes whined then yelped then gave a long groan. “It hurts more than when my ex-wife took my rifle to my ass.” “Renee is okay?” Frei held her breath. “Yeah… well… I haven’t ever seen her so shaken and she didn’t shoot.” Spokes yelped again. “He’s gotten to her alright.” Frei glanced at the theatre door again. “Did you get him?” “No, guy hot-footed while Renee stood there frozen,” Spokes said with a hard choked yelp. “Are you stopping the bleeding?” “I’m trying,” the medic fired back at him. Frei ripped a chunk out of her cup. “You need to retire her,” he said in a sad tone. “She couldn’t aim at him or tackle him, she can’t move or see properly.” He grunted then squealed. “It hurts.” “I’ve stopped the bleeding. I just need to get the stitches in.” The medic sounded young and as though they were panicking. “I’m not retiring her.” Frei glared at the wall opposite. “And I have no idea why stemming bleeding is making you squeal.” A slender hand took the cell off her. “May I assist in some way?” Frei switched her earpiece to “conference mode,” cup still dangling from her lips. “Sure, you a medic?” Spokes asked, forgetting his squealing with the sound of an eloquent female voice. “I am a surgeon,” Susan said as though he should know and he was inept for not knowing. “Have your medic provide a video feed.” Frei chewed on her cup as Susan held onto her hand and fired medical instructions into the phone in her usual calm manner. Spokes’ leg had stopped bleeding was stitched and protected quickly even when, from the screen, it looked like Spokes would need it amputated. “I don’t know who you are but I am going to take you to dinner if you ever visit the base,” Spokes said with a relieved and charming grin. “I’ll settle for thank you,” Susan said, locking her fingers with Frei’s out of sight then she handed over the phone. “Would you like to speak to him?” “No.” Frei chewed her cup again and ripped another chunk out. “Tell Black to get back to base and should she get any ideas on helping anyone along the way, I’ll make Smudge do surgery on her.” She cut the line. Susan raised her fine blonde eyebrow. “Smudge?” “He’s the surgeon for my team.” She held Susan’s intelligent eyes. “Which is why when I want a proper surgeon, I come to you.” Susan beamed. “You get full marks for that.” She leaned forward and pressed her mouth to the other side of the cup. “Polystyrene is not healthy.” “Neither is carrying Aeron.” Frei shrugged then straightened her back. Susan placed her teeth on the cup, tugged it off Frei and placed it in the bin. “No, I’ll need to take a look at you.” “Can you tell me how Aeron is first?” she mumbled and hoped it didn’t sound like an order. “Of course,” Susan clicked her fingers. “I knew I’d come out her for something.” She shook her head and nodded to the chair in the waiting room. “Exactly, I always forget what I’m doing.” Frei squeezed her hand. “Aeron?” Susan turned and blinked. “Unconscious but stable. It will take a few weeks to manage the effect that hyperthermia had on her body.” She tapped her lip with her free finger then nodded to the doorhandle. “Quite, she has sustained further damage… the experiments were triggered by the cold.” “Can you reset that?” Frei chewed on her lip wanting to find another cup. “Yes.” Susan eyed her like she should know that. “I would like dinner with you instead of your friend.” Frei cocked her head. “I intend to provide dinner and my company.” “Good. You always rush off,” Susan said with a sigh then blinked a few times at the wall. “Aeron needs rest and to remain here. I won’t let her be moved until I’m happy.” Frei leaned in and kissed her. “Then I will provide dinner and company until you are.” Susan beamed then blinked then tapped her finger to her lip. “I came out here to tell you something.” “How Aeron is?” Frei smiled and tugged her closer ignoring the nurses peeking out from a room. “No.” Susan rubbed at her head then smiled and clicked her fingers. “That was right. I love you.” Frei stared. “You do?” Susan nodded. “Yes. Can we have dinner now? I’m hungry and I need to check on Aeron’s test results.” “Yes.” Frei followed her down the corridor and paused next to Aeron’s room. The door was ajar enough to see that Aeron had an oxygen mask on linked to a machine being run by a nurse pumping a clamp with her foot. “She blows electrics.” Susan paused, eyed Aeron then nodded. “Yes, my staff will be very active until she wakes up.” Frei wanted to stay nearby but her own body twinged from carrying Aeron so far. “Better than boot camp, I guess.” “I have no idea.” Susan put her hand on Frei’s back. “I need to take a look at you.” “I was making dinner and keeping you company… look at it another time.” Frei smiled at her and tried to lead her away but Susan tutted. “I’m looking at you first.” Susan clicked her fingers. “That’s what I was trying to remember.” Frei pursed her lips. “I preferred you saying that you loved me.” “Did I say that?” Susan tugged her into another examination room and shut the door. “I didn’t realise I’d told you how I felt.” “You haven’t before,” Frei mumbled and sat on the bed. “Hmm.” Susan tapped her finger to her lip. “Well, I do.” Frei stared at her again. “Even in the state I’m in?” “Yes.” Susan lifted up her top. “You look courageous with a gash on your cheek.” Frei managed a sad chuckle. “I meant—” “My memory isn’t that bad,” Susan said and placed her hands to her back, examining her spine. “I think.” Frei winced. “No, you still know how to find where it hurts.” Susan kissed her sore spine and Frei raised her eyebrows. “That is… a new examination technique.” “I’m your girlfriend. It’s a practiced method.” Susan jabbed a sharp needle into her back then kissed the spot again. “It will help.” Frei winced then smiled. “You help.” Susan pulled her off the bed then beamed at her. “Thank you.” “For what?” Frei followed her out of the room, trying to tug down her top as Susan dragged her along the corridor. “For coming to see me,” Susan said and nodded to the nurses on their way past. “And bringing Aeron. I would like her to recover fully and you need me for that. I don’t like the sound of Smudge or whatever his name was… or was he the one who couldn’t stitch?” Frei followed along as Susan began bickering with the doorframe about how Aeron couldn’t stitch and smiled. In spite of all the stress she couldn’t help it. Susan loved her and it eased her far better than any injection.