Lab Rat part 46

Posted: March 3, 2011 in Fiction, Test Subject

He grunts and scrambles in. I watch helplessly as he checks her pulse, and tears open her shirt. There’s a bullet wound just below the sternum. Blood is pumping out slowly and rhythmically. It’s my fault. I mean, yeah, Johnson shot her, but I told her to stop him. Some hero I am. The driver lifts her up onto the gurney. “Kid, you gotta help.” I look back at the unconscious agent on the street. The sun is pooling light in the east.

“Shit,” I mutter. I jump up into the ambulance and pull the doors closed behind me. “What do I do?” I ask the driver.

“Do you know where the nearest hospital is?”

“Dude I don’t even know where I am.”

“God damn it. Okay.” I watch as he takes a deep breath. He blinks for a second. He’s visibly calmer suddenly. “I’m driving. You are going to do exactly what I tell you to. Can you handle that?” I nod. He climbs into the cab. “Make sure she’s strapped down.” I hear a click, and the sirens start wailing. I strap down the wounded paramedic. The driver starts trying to walk me through stopping the bleeding. I listen and inject appropriate ‘okays’ and ‘got its.’ Meanwhile, I pop the cartridge with the regenerative goo in it out of my injector. He asks about her vitals. I read the numbers off of the heart monitor. He swears again.

I dig a clean syringe out of the paramedic’s bag. The driver is still talking and I’m still not listening. This isn’t television. He really thought he could walk me through this from the driver’s seat? I stab the needle of the syringe into the cartridge seal fill it. I roll up the dying woman’s sleeve. I hesitate. The way my night has gone, I may need this stuff pretty soon. I look at her face. I don’t know why I’m stalling. This isn’t even a choice. I find a vein in her forearm and stab the needle in. I watch her.

“Are you listening kid?” The driver’s yelling. Oops. The woman stiffens and her back arches off of the gurney. Her fists clench and she strains against the webbing that holds her down. I remember my first time fondly, but it still didn’t feel good.

“Yeah. She’s doing better.” The heart monitor’s chirp speeds, then slows again. The tiny hole in her arm closes. I watch as the blood crusts over at the bullet hole. After a second, the scab buckles and opens again. The slug pushes its way out backward and falls off of her. The hole closes again and I watch skin creep over the wound and seal itself shut. No scar. “She’s stable.”

“How would you know?” The driver looks back. His partner’s breathing has smoothed out. She’s asleep.

“See that?” I wipe her stomach clear. “Just a bad sucker punch.” He looks back to the road. “Johnson missed!” I click the empty cartridge back into the injector and check the chambers. Four left. Two with no labels.

I read The Hunger Games. I was told it was a good book. I was not misled. I really enjoyed it. I thought the end was perfect, except for one thing. In HUGE text were the words “END OF BOOK ONE.” Way to ruin the mood. Let’s say for the sake of argument that I get Test Subject or whatever it ends up being called published. Let’s say there are more books, and it turns into a series. There will never be an “end of book one,” or a “to be continued.” I promise.

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