[READING] [V & A Shipping] Chapter 82 & 83
Joey tried to scream, but the gag prevented him from doing so. He twisted and fought his bonds to no avail. June also thrashed in her seat trying to get free and get to Vic. He could feel her trying to break free.
Dexter, after the first blindingly fast kick, kicked Hector a second time. Joey had taken one of those kicks and it had knocked him out. Hector looked to be affected, but he didn’t go down. He took blow after blow from Dexter.
Dexter kicked and knocked Hector through the balcony doors. A final kick and Hector flew over the railing. No scream ever came. Hector just slipped over the railing and disappeared.
Vic groaned. This prompted June to begin her thrashing once again. Dexter darted over to June and untied her hands. She stood up and promptly fell back down into her seat. Dexter next untied her legs. She untied her gag as she hurried over to Vic.
Joey felt his bonds slacken and he pulled at his gag. Once his feet were free, he rushed to June’s side.
“Check on Argmon. He was shot.”
Joey didn’t question, he just reacted. Even when he heard June say, “Hold on Vic. I’m going to call a doctor. Hold on, oh God please hold on.”
A wash of sorrow erupted from June and flooded onto Joey, nearly knocking him to the floor next to Argmon.
The big dog-thing had taken a hit, that much Joey could make out, but with all the blood, it was difficult to tell where. Argmon still breathed, but lay in a massive pool of his own blood.
Joey finally figured out what wasn’t right about Argmon. The shot from the blaster had taken his two left arms. They had been blown away in an explosion of blood. Joey gagged, then vomited behind the door.
“Joey! How’s Argmon? A medical crew is on its way. They’ll be arriving at the balcony any minute. Joey?”
Joey felt much better after throwing up. He looked over Argmon’s wounds. As best he could tell, the blaster had cauterized the destroyed limbs. The only blood must have been from the destruction of the limbs.
“Argmon? Argmon?” Joey nudged the Shathar. “Argmon, wake up.”
Argmon’s throat rattled, but he didn’t move. The big guy would live, Joey felt certain of that.
“He’s going to be okay, but he lost two arms.”
“What?” she screamed and ran into the room. “Dammit, where’s that medical car?”
She disappeared. Joey didn’t know what to do next. He couldn’t lift Argmon. He had no medical training at all. He felt helpless.
Sirens filled the air and bright green and yellow lights flashed about the room. Joey backed out of the way as four heavily muscled men entered the room and in a matter of two minutes, strapped both Vic and Argmon onto stretchers and disappeared back out the balcony, leaving June, Dexter, and he alone in the wrecked rooms.
“What happened?” Joey asked, still staring out the broken balcony doors.
“I heard them say they need to pick up one more down below. That must be Hector. Dex, I think we all owe you our lives.”
“Eep. Eep. Eep.”
“Don’t be modest.”
“Eep? Eep? Eep?”
“I’m sure Vic and Argmon will be fine. They’re in good hands now. Vic lost a lot of blood…”
“Argmon too. Look at it all.”
Joey wrapped his arms around June and hugged her, fighting back tears as he did. No matter how strong June sounded, her fear radiated out from her. When she started crying, he did too.
When they broke apart, June called the front desk. New rooms were found and all three went to the same room. Dexter took the couch while June and Joey took the bed. They’d exchanged their robes for pajamas, but that didn’t matter. Sleep didn’t return.
When the sun did finally peek up, all three got up without a word and got ready. June phoned and found out where Vic and Argmon had been taken, so they left the hotel and took a cab to the hospital.
Vic had been put into intensive care for a severed artery and punctured lung, but Argmon was released. His left side where the two arms were missing had been bandaged. Argmon not only looked tired, he looked downright beat. They returned to the hotel with him, not being able to get in to see Vic.
June and Joey talked about Earth and the differences between their times. They didn’t laugh or joke, but spoke in somber tones about Earth.
It wasn’t until the following day that they were allowed to see Vic, and only then for a brief time. And even then, only June had been allowed to go inside. All the while Argmon stood with his head pressed against the door as if he’d be able to commune with Vic through the door somehow.
“So when do you get out of here?” June fought to keep her emotions in check. She could feel Vic’s pain deep in his gut. She didn’t want to make him talk a lot, but she needed to know a few things.
“Soon.” Vic coughed.
“Can I bring you anything? Anything special you want when you get out?”
His voice came out low and strained as he spoke. “A beer…and a smoke.”
“That’s so like you.” She didn’t want to beat around the bush any longer. “Vic, your dad, he’s dead.”
Vic closed his eyes and nodded. “I kind of figured that must’ve happened if all of you were still alive. How’s Argmon?”
“Well, your dad shot off two of his arms.” Vic winced at this news as if he’d lost the arms. “The Chancellor said there may be hope for prosthetics being that they were sheared off cleanly and if he would accept them, the city would present them as a gift.”
“Argmon’s not one to take charity.” Vic coughed again. “You don’t have a smoke on you, do you?”
“Vic, we need to talk about the business. About the shipping.”
“Yes, we do, but here isn’t the place and this isn’t the time. We all need to talk together when I’m doing better. The doc said my lung is nearly healed, just some excess fluid or some such thing. I’ll be out of here tomorrow.”
“I think that’s a great idea. Tomorrow. With everyone. We can have dinner and talk. As a team, not a crew.”
“Miss, I’m afraid your time is up,” a mechanized voice said.
“I’m going to miss Tootsie,” replied Vic and he closed his eyes.
June took his hand and gave it a quick kiss before leaving.
Back in the waiting area she let the others know Vic would be out the next day. They adjourned to the hotel, dined, and slept. During breakfast, Vic arrived.
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