Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Watchmen Files // File One // Chapter Twenty Three // Waking Up

Hey everybody!

   Well, today's the day :) Well, not the day, this isn't the end chapter of T.W.F.O. I've got another two coming, I think... to tie up loose ends and all.

   But this chapter isn't one of my best, so just hang with me on this one.

   Anyway, Allons-y!

   For a time, the consistent sound of air coming in through his mouth was all that Mason Kruger could hear or feel as he lay half dormant and half awake.
   He wasn't thinking much, and his body was doing most everything for him. All he knew was that he was alive, whether awake or asleep, he didn't know.
   The thing that finally did wake him was a rather loud and equally obnoxious sound of mechanical beeping. It was consistent, coming once every few seconds.
   He didn't know what it was, but since it was the only thing he could hear (other than himself breathing) it was becoming very irritating very quickly.
   Then, for no apparent reason, he took a deep breath of the warm moist air, and quickly regretted it.
   A shot of pain came from his chest, and he gritted his teeth in response. Ow ow ow ow... he mentally groaned. Not good, definitely not good.
   Taking shallow breaths, he found that the sharp pain didn't go away. It hurt every time he breathed in or out. But it wasn't limited to his chest, Mason's entire body ached as well.
   As he was gaining more consciousness, he could feel more of the pain. Also, he could touch his surroundings: whatever he was laying on was soft, but whatever he was wearing was papery and a bit uncomfortable. Something was strapped to his head from underneath his ears. He also could feel something on his face, which wasn't very comfortable.
   He opened his eyelids a peek, just a slit to observe what it was. But his vision was blurry, and all he could see was a haze of white and blue.
   But soon enough his vision cleared (at least partially, though it was still a bit fuzzy) and he could make out a white paneled ceiling above him, and from the corner of his eye he noted a bag of fluid (an I.V. bag) above a screen. The small monitor had lots of numbers on its screen, as well as a thin, green horizontal line that would spike up every few seconds. Every time it rose, an electronic beep would sound.
   With some difficulty and pain, he turned his head partially sideways to observe more of his surroundings. There was a large window covering the upper half of one wall. It viewed a sky of white, covered in clouds and a city below. There were a few specks of trees and shrubs also, but it was hard to make out what was outside from where he was.
   The inside of the room gave its identity away immediately, with the small tray of medicine, shots, small sharp tools and oddly enough, a rather large red button. The walls were a dark tan, a bit orange looking to his eyes. He felt the soft white covers of the bed he was comfortably lying on with the tips of his fingers.
   Looking down, he found a clear mask strapped onto his face, which he could feel forcing air into his lungs. It covered his mouth, but left his nose exposed. There were two thin tubes injected into each nostril, which was quite uncomfortable and felt very strange. His mouth and throat were also dry, and that caused more discomfort with every breath.
   After glaring at his facial decor for a minute, willing it to get off, he turned his head to the left to get a better look at the hospital room.
   Immediately, he spotted a young man with short caramel colored hair sitting in a chair next to his bed. Conner was reading a book and didn't see Mason's eyes get big at finding him there.
   When he tried to call out to his friend, even in his weak and woozy state, the oxygen mask strapped firmly to his face prevented any sound from coming out. Trying to speak hurt his chest, and the pain was gripping, so he halted that approach.
   Attempting to move his hand to catch Conner's attention, Mason found that his wrists were each held solidly in a metal cuff attached to the bed so he couldn't move them.
   He lay there for some time, helpless, discouraged, and still quite dazed. He watched the monitor as the line sharply escalated, beeping consistently with ever ascent. Then his still waking mind realized that it was monitoring his breathing. Every breath he took, the line would shoot up and a beep would proceed.
   Thinking of no other way to catch the attention of his college, he closed his mouth and held his breath.
   Immediately, the constant up-tick stopped and a warning ping in place of the annoying beep sounded in alert.
   Conner jumped, dropping his book to the cold ground below. He turned to Mason, his gray-green eyes glowing with a sense of urgency.
   Once his attention was grabbed, Mason breathed deeply again, and did his best to cover up the wince of pain with a teenager-like smirk.
   Conner sighed with relief and smiled back, his silence just as reassuring as anything else he could have said.
   After a minute of stillness, he spoke in a hushed tone. "You're going to be alright, Mace." He sniffled, and turned to face the window of a few seconds to gather his emotions. "You almost died," he reminded him without looking back.
   Mason gave a muffled reply, one that couldn't be understood from the oxygen mask covering his mouth.
   "Let me help," Conner chuckled, reaching over, undoing the straps that held it in place and carefully removing it.
   Mason gasped twice, coughed hard, then repeated urgently, "Ava, got to save Ava-"
   "She's okay, I wouldn't forget her." Conner reassured gently. "She is safe and sound with Jason at the moment. I would have stayed with her, but I wanted to make sure you were taken care of," he smiled and patted Mason's shoulder, then continued. "But we still don't know what happened back there."
   Mason winced, recalling the incident on the landing-pad. "It was a set-up. Dominik knew I'd go after Dad, so he waited until I was close enough and fired at me. The elevator door was locked, so I couldn't get away. There were these bright lights, and I couldn't see where I was going, and then there was nothing for me to me to stand on. I fell..." He shuttered at the last sentence, recalling the dreadful feeling of his heart jumping into his throat as he plummeted helplessly to the roof, three stories below.
   "So he got away with Doctor Kruger," Conner accurately guessed, shaking his head. "Sven escaped too, by the way."
   Mason scowled at the thought of that kidnapper at large again. He glanced down, and noticed the state of his friend's hands and wrists. "Conner, your hands!"
   He shrugged and clasped them together, attempting to conceal the damage. "It's fine, they're just scrapes and burns."
   "Those are scars," Mason clarified. "They don't heal, not those ones."
   The door opened, and a new but familiar voice entered the conversation. "Then they will serve as a monument to the day you became a real Watchman."
   The partners smiled as their Sargent came in and took a seat. "Feeling better?"
   "Well, he's alive, and that's better than the alternative," Conner added with a smirk.
   They all laughed, but Mason regretted it and immediately tried to stop. "Don't make me laugh, it hurts..."
   "Well, since I wasn't in on your little fiasco, care to tell?"
   Mason informed Graham about what had happened in as much detail as was needed, with the Sargent only interrupting with a couple of questions here and there, and Conner added something that he had noticed every so often. By the time Mason was finished, he found himself worn out and wanting rest.
   "The board is going to need a full report from you on what happened back there," Graham specified as he took a sip of water.
   Mason nodded wearily in return.
   "I think our hero needs a nap," Conner suggested with a smile.
   "I'm hardly a hero," Mason brushed the complement off, then looked down in shame. "I couldn't save him."
   He felt a hand on his shoulder, and he looked up to see Conner, his eyes full of somber and sadness, but also pity. "Hey, you saved Ava's life. You delivered her from Hydra, you rescued her. When they brought you in for surgery, Ava and I were in the waiting room. She was so scared. But we prayed together, and she told God how grateful she was for you. You are her hero. You saved a life, there was nothing else you could have done for Doctor Kruger."
   "I know, I just..." he paused, choking up, then continued. "... I just wish there was something else I could have done. I was so close."
   "He is in God's hands, Mason. You know that, don't you?"
   Mason nodded, thinking of what he had learned from Conner over the months.
   "God kept you alive. His providence sustained you through this," Conner reasoned.
   "I know," Mason nodded, still deep in thought. "When I was out there... when I fell... I thought I was going to die. I thought it was the end. And I didn't know where I would be going."
   "I do," Conner interjected sadly. "You would have gone to hell. And I would have been broken. To know that you would be there for the rest of eternity..."
   "It's a dangerous job," Graham nodded. "We have the threat of death at our tales every day."
   Conner, recalling what had happened that fateful night, continued, "I prayed that God would keep you alive, to give you time. And He did."
   Mason tried to shake off the feeling of emptiness, and he turned to his friend with truthful, carefully picked words. "Conner, I don't think I'm ready to become a christian. There's just so many questions I have..."
   Conner nodded, but persisted. "I can help with that, if you'll let me."
   "I do want you to. I want to learn more about God."
   Conner's eyes brightened and he smiled widely, his dimples showing vividly. "Really?"
   Mason smirked at Conner's glee, but turned back to seriousness. "Really."
   "Oh that's great! Whatever you want to know, I'll do my best to help you with."
   "And so will I," Graham added confidently, a smile on his face.
   After a few more minutes of talking, there was another knock on the door and a man in a white doctor's coat entered. He was pretty old, bald, wore wire glasses, and was holding a iPad in one hand.
   Graham stood up and introduced the man. "This is Doctor Simon, from the science division of the Watchmen."
   Mason cocked his head, trying to remember if he had seen him before.
   "Yes, we've met," Dr. Simon nodded and pushed his glasses up his nose. "I was the first to test him when he arrived."
   "Oh yeah! I remember," Mason thought of the titanium tests he had received at T. Facility 24.
   "Well, you certainly have been through a lot since we met last," Dr. Simon observed, scanning his device and reading a list from it. "You damaged yourself in the three story fall quite extensively. You bruised your ribcage, broke three ribs, received first degree burns in some places, scared your back extensively-"
   "Okay, okay, that's good," Mason stopped him mid-sentence, not wanting to hear all of the details of what had happened to him. "That sounds painful."
   He half-smiled, and put the iPad down. "Right. Well, if you need anything else, just press that red button on the side-table. Would it be alright if Jason and the little girl come it to visit with you?"
   Mason's eyes brightened. "Of course!"
   Then, with a nod of his head, the doctor exited and left the three of them in the small hospital recovery room.
   Mason watched him go, and sighed deeply. He could have met his hero today, if I had rescued him... I'm so sorry, Dad. But I won't give up, you're still out there, somewhere. And I won't stop searching until I find you. Hydra will not keep you locked up forever, not anymore.

   The hospital hallway was long, doctors and nurses were scattered about, walking to and from their patients. There was a row of chairs against one of the drably painted pinkish walls, but only two of the seats were taken.
   A little girl with a head of messy light brown hair sat up in her chair, watching each nurse as they walked by expectantly. She had been waiting to visit a patient there for a week, and she was sure they would let her in that day. They had to.
   There was a man waiting with her, who slumped down in his chair, playing 'Angry Birds' on his iPad. He had short light brown hair also, and was wearing a dress shirt and tie. His name was Jason Grey, and he was pretty nice to her. She thought he was funny.
   She sighed impatiently, then glanced around again. Spotting the man she was looking for, she jumped up in her seat with excitement. "Doctor Simon! Are you gonna let me in now?"
   The old man smiled and nodded, "He is awake, but very tired, so don't get him excited. He needs rest-"
   "Yea!" She jumped up and down, clapping her hands cheerily. "Don't worry, I'll take good care of him!"
   "Okay, I'll take her to his room," Jason informed the doctor and took Ava's hand in his.
   He lead her to a door marked with a do not enter sign. There were two men posted at either side of the door, each looking huge compared to her small six year old form. But she was brave and asked them for passage.
   Jason showed them his badge and then assured her in, and following close behind her.
   Rushing into the room, she came up to a roll-in bed on the far side of the space. "Mason!"
   "Ava!" Her cousin exclaimed weakly and leaned partially out of the bed, his arms open to her.
   She jumped into his arms, wrapped hers around his neck as he lifted her onto the bed, and gave him a kiss on the cheek. "You're okay!"
   "Of course I am," he smiled, touching her cheek gently. "I'm here."

Not the best place to end a chapter, but there we have it :) I love writing Ava scenes, and there will be lots more of her in the following chapters.

On to announcements....
Ammelia Gabriella posted chapter six of Without Cause this week! Yea!
And Willow is planning for her next chapter, too.
And I will probably post a chapter next Wednesday, I've already started writing it (that's a first...). I think I'll call it Crossroads, or maybe something else along those lines.

 Well, that looks like about everything... have a good week, everybody! :)

 Always Watching,


  1. This chapter was really good! I love Ava scenes too. :) Ava's so cute. :) Can't wait for next week! :)


  2. Darrion, this was really good! Connor is such a good friend! I'm sure you know that already;) Ava is adorable! What Angry Bird? Haha that's hilarious=D Of course Jason would be playing thatXD I can't wait for the next chapter!!! XD =D ;) :)

  3. Yay!! Loved the chapter D. :-) Ava is so cute. <3

  4. Darrion, this is definitely one of your best chapters! It was so good and detailed! I loved it!! I'm so happy for Mason; he's beginning to learn about Christianity!! Yay! Good ol' Conner! And poor Mason! He wanted to save his dad, and he couldn't. :( Well, that's just another story for another time, I suppose! I can't wait for you to finish this book and start on the next one, it's so good! You are a totally talented writer! Good luck! (Ava is adorable, by the way.)


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