“Whot’s going on Kid? Cain’t see in this light.”
“It’s … it’s Thor,” I said reeling in shock.
“What’r ya waiting fer? Get over there. Don’t let that ol’ sawbones get to him.”
“Not Richards ya dingaling … Nona. The one ya call the gargoyle. She’s been after him since the first time she laid eyes on him and she'd love to play doctor with him. She’s on her broom and coming this way ter take care of the militia whot’s got shot. Now stop flapping yer jaws and get over there afore she takes yer spot.”
I "got" if for no other reason than to avoid what his words seemed to mean.
Thor had regained consciousness before I reached him and as Richards’ uncharacteristic snarling indicated, he wasn’t being the least bit cooperative.
I stepped in. “Thor!” I bellowed loud enough to upset the birds roosting on the I-beams. “Good, I have your attention finally. If you don’t mind Richards I will take advantage of this rare opportunity and dump you on your head to knock some sense into you.”
He started snarling and snapping his opinion of that idea, the medical community in general, and made sure his opinioin of me came through in the wake of the blast. Then a wicked idea entered my head. Something must have shown on my face because Richards said, “Forget it Rocky. I’m ethically opposed to tying my patients down even when they deserve it.”
“Would I do that? No, no I would not.” There was a subtle emphasis on “I” that caused Richards’ eyes to widen briefly and then he bit his lip to keep from laughing. I continued, “Oh no. I just owe Thor too much … way too much.”
Thor didn’t know what was coming his way but he didn’t appear inclined to wait around to find out. “Just patch me up so I can get back out there. We’re in the middle of a battle!”
“Mop up,” I told him.
“Kid …,” he growled.
“We’re in the middle of mopping up. The mob was defeated. The pirates stopped. Our grain is secure. And the militia is gathering the stragglers and dealing with the injured. The battle is over. You don't need to get straight back out there.”
Thor turned to Richards and through gritted teeth said, “Patch … me … up … now.”
Regardless of Thor’s belief in his own invincibility he looked like he’d taken a pounding. Alfonso had been one of the guys to bring Thor in so I asked him what had happened.
“Some happy sap with an M20 was blowing things up. Took out a position that was giving us cover. After things calmed down we rushed to see if we could dig out any survivors. Somebody moved the wrong thing and a wall finished its falling right on top of Thor.”
Thoughtfully I said, “In other words it took a building falling on him to slow him down.”
“And don’t you forget it Kid. Whatever you’re planning for revenge you better be digging your grave at the same time.”
I had to grin. “Of course … but this is going to be worth it. However, if I were you I’d back up a few feet, the fireworks should be spectacular.”
I stepped outside to give the impression that I had been bluffing and was just trying to get out of somebody calling me on it. Peeking back in I saw that even Thor had fallen for the move and slowed his insistence that Richards hurry up. Then I spotted her heading towards me with a full head of steam. “Rocky! Might have known I’d find you in the middle of this mess. I was told some of our people are over here.”
I put a hang dog face on. This woman may have known of me but she really didn’t know me, know me. I figured I could pull my own trick play. “Sure are.”
“High casualty rate?” she asked quietly.
“Naw. Don’t think so.”
Irritated she asked, “The why the devil do you have that look on your face? You scared me to death. We’re victorious. It was a total route.”
I sighed pitifully. “It’s … it’s Thor. A wall fell on him. And …” I stopped and looked around pretending to see if anyone was listening. “Well, our medic isn’t a medical doctor, but a shrink and I don’t know if he’s got what it takes to examine Thor thoroughly the way he needs it. Thor’s our boss. We have to do what he says and you know how he can be.”
Her feathers were practically standing on end. “I sure do. Where is he? Inside?” She brushed passed me without waiting for an answer.
Once again the warehouse door banging open startled everyone. Thor saw who it was and started scrambling to get up but he really was hurt whether he admitted it or not. I felt guilty for all of a quarter second because of that. She was on him and practically ripping his clothes off before anyone knew what was coming. Her bellowed, “Don’t be such a baby Big Boy. You don’t have anything I haven’t already seen.” Adding icing to my triple layer cake.
I scooted around the edge of the crowd to tell Evans I was going to take care of our gear and that I’d be back later.
Evans shook his head but couldn’t help a tired smile, “Better make that a long while. The look I saw Thor send in your direction promised death, dismemberment, and disemboweling … not necessarily in that order.”
I nodded and then headed towards the exit again. I don’t know what imp took over but if I was going to die, I wanted to go out with a bang. I walked over near enough to say something to Nona but not near enough for Thor to throw anything at me.
“Nona, he looks so bad. I bet he needs stitches.”
“Don’t tell me my business,” she humphed at me. “Don’t worry, I’m going to check him thoroughly and if he needs them he’ll get them. I put stitches in people all the time. Now get out of my light.”
“Yes ma’am,” I said politely. “I just really owe Thor so much.”
Then I skedaddled before I busted out laughing. Alfonso caught my arm and whispered, “I’ll tell the others to plan your funeral.”
“Put on my tombstone I died happy.”