BASILISK: Chimera Book 2, Chapter 11
Damn, I was certain the dosage would be high enough to knock the Chimera out. I started after him, weaving between cots, and then skidded to a stop. Stefan heard it at the same time I did. Half a step behind me, he grabbed my arm and ran, yanking me along with him. He didn’t need to. I was as fast and running over the top of bodies and their various crushed organs didn’t faze me. Stefan, despite his Mob background, flinched slightly but didn’t let it slow him down either. We hit the right wall of the room simultaneous to the semi-tractor trailer crashing through the front of the building. Stefan was knocked to the floor by a falling piece of ceiling. I was thrown forward by the slam of an upended cot against my back.
I’d known the building was structurally unsound by looking at it when we arrived, but I’d underestimated the instability of it. Perfect for an explosion, I’d thought and it was a meth lab. I’d been on the alert for trip wires, any evidence that the lab upstairs would be blown. But that would’ve been a repetitive of the last attempt on our lives…the establishing of a pattern. Patterns were to be avoided; they ignited suspicion in the authorities. Bought and paid for indentured assassins were taught to avoid that. But I knew to listen and watch for other traps as well. I was facing down my own who’d received the same training as I had. The instant I heard the full throttle roar of an engine, I knew. That Stefan knew too didn’t surprise me. The longer we were together, the more I saw how similar our lives had been in the things we’d been taught to do and the things we’d actually done.
It sucked for us both.
It sucked more when the building collapsed on top of us.
* * *
“Get away from him, you son of a bitch. Touch him again, and it’ll be the last thing you ever do.”
Only Stefan could put that much grim promise in the word ever.
Hazy…everything was hazy, lazy, dazy, wavy. No…no z’s in wavy. It was dark and bright and red and dark again. The rapid switch didn’t improve the hazy, lazy, dazy any.
“Sir, we’re trying to help him. He could have a crush injury to his chest. That can be fatal, do you understand? He has a pneumothorax—one of his lungs is deflated. He probably has blood building up around his heart. We have to stabilize him now or he’ll die. You got that? He’ll die. Now get the hell back. Lenny, where the hell are the cops? We need them on this guy.”
Cops. That would be bad. That had the haze fading faster as I felt my adrenaline increasing on its own, doing what a chimera’s body was built to do. I helped it with what I’d learned in the past years. I increased the adrenaline ten-fold. That much would be detrimental and lethal to a human, to me it was fuel accelerating the healing.
“Jesus, he’s going into some serious sinus-tach. What the fuck? Four hundred and fifty beats? Jackie, the cardiac monitor is screwed. Get the back up monitor!”
EMTs, paramedics-any medical personnel, chimeras would not be good for their mental health as we made all their medical knowledge useless. I knitted the hole that had been torn in my lung back together, massive amounts of cells rushing to meet, the three broken ribs would have to wait. I flooded my system with endorphins to dull the pain. There was some small amount of blood around my heart. I had my blood vessels reabsorb it. Opening my eyes, I lifted a hand and pulled the irritating endotracheal tube used to intubate me out of my throat and whacked the EMT on the head with it. It wasn’t very polite of me, as he was trying, in his mind, to save my life, but the only thing he could do was slow the process down, do more harm than good. Stefan knew that, which was why he was threatening to beat the shit out of my would-be angel of mercy.
“No.” He had his arm around my shoulders and was helping, if helping was half-carrying, me to the SUV. Two buildings down. It hadn’t seemed far when we’d parked. It seemed a half a hemisphere walk now. I vaguely noticed his other arm was pointed behind us as he crabbed us along sideways. He was holding his gun on the EMTs. None of them were inclined to die to take me to the hospital for a Snoopy band-aid. “You were hit by a semi and then a building fell on you. You are incapable of doing things the easy way, aren’t you?”
“Hit by a semi and lived.” My grin stretched wider.
“Clipped,” Stefan elaborated. He had no grin or smile.
I ignored him. “I’m indestructible.” The s in indestructible was slurred, but I didn’t mind. I was the king. I told Stefan so. “I’m the king. All hail the king.” I decided I felt too good to walk and gave up. Forget the cops, napping on the sidewalk sounded like a great idea. We were about ten feet from the SUV when I decided that. Stefan half lifted me with one arm and carried me like a sack of potatoes, which was no way to treat the king, the rest of the way while Saul opened the door to the backseat from inside. He put his hands under my shoulders and eased me in while Stefan slammed the door behind me. Saul jumped behind the wheel and Stefan reappeared at the other side of the SUV, climbed in, and lifted my head to rest in his lap.
“Get us the hell out of here, Saul.”
“Yeah, like you had to tell me that, oh great master criminal. Jesus.” I could feel the SUV already moving and moving fast from the screech of tires. “What is it with these damn little psychotics and destroying buildings? I nailed one in the chest as he was coming out the back. He had black hair, about eighteen. I think it was that Peter kid. He came out the second floor window, flipped up over to the roof and then jumped to the next building. Like goddamned Spiderman. He was weaving though. I was going to go after him but then Rome fell. I think you need to juice up your tranq-cure, kid.”
“You’ve no…idea.” The sun through the window sparkled in a thousand colors. I didn’t know there were a thousand colors. “He grew up, same as me. Stronger now. He’s not a rhino anymore. He’s four or five rhinos. Up the dose. Definitely. Up. Up up and away.”
Stefan’s thumb gently peeled back my eyelid. “Been practicing, huh?” I had said that, hadn’t I? Before we’d gone into the pawn shop. “On the healing I’m guessing. Not even chimeras can fix a deflated lung and blood pooling around your heart in minutes. And somehow you’re doped to the gills though I didn’t let that guy give you anything. Your pupils are huge.”