Sons of Sparta - A Story of the Spartans, Book 3
(inspired by the story 'Spartan' parts 1 through 4)
Note: All credit for the creation of the Spartans and Amazons, as well as the Spartan mythos belongs to the author 'CF', to whom I owe special thanks for his allowing me to write about these incredible people.
It was several months later when traffic moved out of the way of the ambulance, which sped along, its sirens blaring as the lights flashed. Twenty eight year old Henry Danielson was in the back of the emergency response vehicle, making sure everything was ready.
"Henry!" his work partner and fellow paramedic Craig shouted from the front seat shouted. "Hard right!"
"Ready!" Henry called out, holding on tight and making sure his footing was secure as the g-forces tried to throw him to his left when the ambulance made a hard right turn at the next intersection. It was up to the Spartan to keep himself from being injured... The last thing the situation needed was to transport -another- injured person to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. "Where are we going?" he asked, realizing that he had no clue as to where the scene of the accident was. They had rushed to leave as quickly as possible once they'd gotten the dispatch call and all Henry could tell was that they were heading Northwest.
"Corner of Aldar Lane and Forty Third Avenue Northwest," Craig shouted back to him.
*THE TEMPLE!!!* Henry thought in shock and sent up a desperate, fervent prayer to Lord Apollo that no one he knew was hurt... Or worse.
The ambulance reached the scene and Henry grabbed the kit, then burst out the back of the ambulance, closing the door behind himself. As he hurried to where the crowd was densest, he cast a panicked glace to the temple entrance and saw his father Sam standing there, looking nervous. Sam saw Henry and cast a quick wave to his eldest son, who returned it curtly and returned his focus to his work. Henry felt his panic fade somewhat. If it was anyone they knew, then surely Dad Sam would be much closer to the victim then he was.
Henry and Craig reached the victim, a man who looked to be in his late Spartan teens or mid human twenties sprawled on his back in the middle of the street. Henry winced at the bad angles of the left leg and arm and knew there were fractures. He noted the pale skin and average physique under the clothes. "He's human," he said to his partner, bristling slightly at the word but hating the term coworker more.
They went to work quickly. "What happened," Craig asked one of the police officers.
"Witnesses say he walked out into the street and got struck by a car."
"No, man!" another human man said. "He walked out into the street, something hit him and sent him flying, then the car hit him before he landed!"
"What do you mean 'something'? What hit him?"
"I don't know, but whatever it was, it was invisible!" the human explained.
"What kind of nonsense...? Are you on drugs, boy?" the cop accused hostilely.
"I saw it too!" a woman protested. "It was like some invisible person tried to shove him out of the way, or something!"
"Yeah right," the cop grumbled. "Wackos!" he muttered under his breath.
Meanwhile, Henry and Craig went to work on the victim, trying to assess the situation. Craig held the man's wrist to check for a pulse. "Oh shit!" he exclaimed quietly as he held it.
"No pulse?" Henry asked, looking worried as he examined the injuries to the arm and leg.
"What?" Craig asked in a distracted manner. "Oh, uh... Yeah, he's got a pulse... But it's weak."
"What is it, then?"
"It... It's nothing," Craig said weakly. "How's his head?"
Henry carefully examined the neck and found nothing broken. He checked the head itself, which rested on its right side. There was a small amount of blood there from where the head had hit the asphalt. He carefully lifted the head and felt underneath it through the latex gloves he was wearing. "I think there's a minor skull fracture."
"Pupil response?" Craig asked.
Henry turned the head so that the man was facing upwards... And felt the world dissolve away as he stared into the prone face of the human. The man was clean-shaven and had a slightly large nose with wide nostrils which still looked rather well proportioned for his face and full lips with short, dark brown hair.
"--HENRY!" Craig shouted his coworker's name a second time to get his attention. "Pupil response!"
"Uh-... Right!" Henry said with effort, trying to snap out of it. He pulled out his penlight, opened the eye and stared at it for a moment, entranced by the beauty of the green eyes of the man. They were different from the deep green that ran in his family. These eyes were a moss green that faded into an orange-tinted brown around the pupils. He forced himself back to his task with effort, feeling a thread of fear when he noted that the pupils were unresponsive to light.
They worked quickly before Craig brought the stretcher and they transported the victim into the ambulance, secured him inside and drove off, rushing him to the hospital. As they drove, Henry stayed by the human's side knowing only one thing...
This man HAD to live... No matter what...
Henry paced back and forth in the waiting room, his mind a storm of chaos. He had waited all night and into the next day to find out the fate of the human... It was a good thing that this was his day off. Deep down inside, he already knew the truth as to what had happened, but couldn't bring himself to admit it. He was experiencing so many different emotions that he felt like he was going insane. Fear was one of the main emotions, but it felt like it was split in two in its focus. Half of his fear was for the human, who was currently being operated on. The other half, however, was at just how strongly Henry felt for him.
*It can't be! I'm... I'm just imagining it... That has to be it...* Henry refused to accept the possibility that was before him. Restless, he paced back and forth for hours before finally collapsing into a chair to rest as he waited. Rising when the doctor came out, looking very tired, the Spartan hurried over to him. "Dr. Northwell?" he asked eagerly. "How is he?"
The human doctor paused and looked at him with raised eyebrows. "You know him?"
"Well... Sort of," Henry hedged, feeling awkward.
"Well," the man sighed. "It was pretty touchy there for awhile." He listed the broken bones and injuries to Henry, who paled, slightly. There were a good many fractures in the arm, leg and ribs. There had indeed been a minor skull fracture, but CAT scans showed no signs of brain damage. None of the major organs had been damaged, which baffled the doctor immensely. The man was now being moved to recovery. "At least we were able to resuscitate him," the human finished.
Henry felt a trickle of ice run down his spine. "You mean...?"
"His heart stopped midway through, but we were able to bring him back from the brink. All we can do now is wait to see when he'll regain consciousness."
"How soon can I see him?"
"Give them another hour to make sure he's settled into recovery properly, then you can see him. I can't promise he'll come around anytime soon, but you can see him anyways."
"Thanks, Doctor," Henry said, sitting back down to wait...
Henry entered room four zero two over an hour later and felt his sadness increase at what he saw. The man's left arm and leg were in casts and the torso was bound to prevent movement. An IV ran to the right arm at the inside of the elbow, and a heart monitor was clamped to his index finger. The head was wrapped in bandages and a breathing mask strapped over his mouth. There was the steady beep of the EKG and the rhythmic hiss of the breathing apparatus as the human's chest rose and fell steadily.
Henry gently pulled a chair over to the right side of the bed and sat down, then timidly reached for the prone figure's hand, making sure not to disturb the heart monitor on the finger. He found a temporary ID bracket on the man's wrist and twisted the plastic strap around until he could make out the name... 'John Williams', it read.
*Same last name as Granddad David,* Henry thought with interest. That wasn't so strange, as Williams was a fairly common last name. *Good thing we call my baby brother Will all the time, or things'll get confusing.* Suddenly realizing the direction his thoughts were turning, Henry shoved that all away, then paused as he realized that he'd been stroking the inside of the wrist with his thumb as he was holding it. He stopped when he felt an odd distortion in the skin and curious, turned the wrist over gently to see what it was.
The bottom went out of his stomach in horror as he stared at the skin, his face going pale. Shocked, he looked over to the other wrist, but couldn't tell as the cast was in the way. He didn't need to see the wrist to know what was there. The evidence was unmistakable. He pulled away in horror, feeling like he was going to throw up. He staggered to his feet and backed away, his hands over his mouth to stifle the sob that tried to fight its way out of his throat.
He turned and ran from the room, experiencing a terror and shock beyond anything he had ever felt before. He was dimly aware of someone calling out to him as he fled with tears in his eyes, but he didn't stop running. He nearly bowled over an orderly as he went, but didn't stop to apologize. He reached the stairs and hurled himself down them as fast as he could. He reached the parking lot, scrambled into his Mini and drove away as fast as he safely could, sobbing as he went and pausing only once on the way home to stop at a liquor store...
Sam was worried for the man who had been hurt outside the temple and had come to the hospital to check on him. He'd tried to call Henry to find out what was happening, but his son refused to answer his cell phone. Worried as much for his oldest boy as for the stranger, Sam hurried to the hospital and went to the ER reception desk. "Hi," he said to the human woman sitting there in her nurse's uniform. "There was a man who got struck by a car yesterday and was brought here. I was wondering what happened to him."
"Are you family?"
"No, no. It's just that he was hurt outside of the temple where I work and I was curious as to whether he was okay or not."
"Temple?" the woman asked slowly, then looked at Sam more closely. "Are you Henry Danielson's Dad Sam?"
He smiled lightly. "Yeah, that's me."
"Oh... Well... It's not procedure, but I suppose it wouldn't hurt. He's in room four oh two. The elevators are over there," she said, pointing the way.
"Thanks," Sam said, then took the car up to the fourth floor and followed the signs that guided him.
He was passing the nurse's station when he overheard the woman nurse call out to a Dr. Northwell. "We have a problem with the patient in four oh two," she said, making the Spartan priest slow down as he walked when he heard the familiar room number.
"What is it?" the human doctor asked with concern in his voice.
"Look," the nurse said, holding up a clipboard and pointing to something on it.
"'Do not resuscitate'," the man read slowly. "Fuck," he muttered. "The last thing we need is a lawsuit. How the hell did this get missed?"
"I don't know," the nurse replied in a low tone. "What do we do?"
The human thought for a moment. "Okay... We say nothing. Maybe he won't press charges. Don't mention it unless he does, okay?"
Sam resumed walking, feeling stunned. The human hadn't wanted to be revived? Confused, he walked onwards.
He was about four doors away when he saw Henry burst from the room he was heading for, looking hysterical. "Henry?" he called out, feeling shocked both that his son was here, as well as the look of deep pain on his boy's face. Henry turned and hurried away down the hallway. "HENRY!" Sam called out, but his child ignored him. Sam hurried after his son who bolted around a corner. By the time Sam reached it, Henry was gone.
Feeling worried and confused, Sam went back to the patient's room and entered, gasping in shock at what he saw. The human was half covered in bandages and casts and hooked up to a respirator and EKG. Slowly, the priest walked forward and stopped by the side of the prone figure. As he gazed at the man, he felt a shock of recognition. This man had been coming to the temple a lot over the last few months. He had never taken any major part in services, always staying at the back of the gathering of worshippers, yet had spent a large amount of his free time in the altar chamber. The human had never prayed outside of the services he had attended, however and Sam, wanting to respect the man's privacy, had given him space.
He reached down to take the man's hand to try to comfort the unconscious human and froze in shock as he saw the upturned wrist...
And the old, horizontal scar that ran across it...