The brief whisk of the night wind hit Alex as she walked into the hospital, Briar Arkhans. The very hospital's name she had on her black scrubs along with her name. The young ED doctor walked into the ER with the head nurse, Carrey, greeting her to which she gave a small smile.
The hospital was the first hospital she joined. The pay was good and the place was a really good hospital. Within her first year there she had slowly made a name for herself, building a name in the hospital.
"Good evening, Doctor Renis." Doctor Miller said as she walked into the doctor lounge, getting her hospital id and stethoscope from the locker and putting her bag inside.
"Good evening to you too, Doctor Miller." She said sipping on her coffee.
"Doctor Renis, Doctor Miller, walk-in, gunshot wound," Carrey said a few hours into their shift as a few men pushed a gurney into the ED along with a few nurses.
"Givatti Kharko, late 20s, got shot in the left lower back and left side of the chest by accident. No exit wound, unconscious. Heart rate 111. Sats 98. BP 102 over 68. Nothing administered" Rena, the nurse, replied.
"Get him in trauma 2," Alex said as they moved him onto the trauma bay.
"Ok, transfer on my count 1,2,3." And they transferred him onto the bed in the trauma bay, moving the body.
"Hook up to the monitors. Monitor blood gas, vital signs, blood gases, CXR, ECG. Order for a wound culture and CBC, chest and pelvis X-ray. Start a line and give him 0.5mg of morphine." She said.
"Doctor Renis, do we have an exit wound?"
"No, but I see blood running down his right thigh and left elbow. An X-ray will show us more." She replied as the nurse put the X-ray protective clothing on her.
"All clear?" Doctor Miller yelled as the machine took the patient's X-ray.
"Bullet one in the left thigh and bullet two exit wound in the right elbow. Page trauma surgeon on call. Tell OR we are coming in." She said looking at the X-ray.
"Doctor Renis, heart rate is dropping." A nurse said as his heart rate went down to 0 as the machines beeped.
"Cardiac arrest. We have a code blue." She yelled.
"Code blue. Trauma." She yelled as the code blue team came in and started compressions.
"We have to intubate." She said and the nurse handed her an intubation tube.
"I am in." She said and attached the balloon cuff to the tube helping him to breathe.
"Another milligram of epi," Alex said as she started the next shift of compressions.
"Charging at 200," She said placing the defibrillator on the patient.
"All clear." She yelled as she shocked him, the electricity passing through the patient making his chest rise then go back down.
"Sinus rhythm. We are going to the OR." She said and moved him to the OR.
"He doesn't have much chance of making it. He lost too much blood and he was also shot in the chest." Doctor Miller said.
"Do we have anyone we can call for him?" Alex asked as they left the OR.
"Carrey said that there were a few men for him in the ED waiting for him." Doctor Miller replied.
Inside, Alex knew this was about something else. He did not just get shot by accident. This was just one victim of a gang shoot-out. Though they would try to hide it, the tattoo on his right elbow gave away the fact that he was in the mafia world.
. . .
"Do I have anyone for Givatti Kharko?" Carrey asked, standing in the waiting room.
"Yes, you do." A young man in his late 20s said, standing up, towering over Carrey. His hair was disheveled and his face looked tired. The grey blazer and black shirt fit him perfectly, covered in a few splatters of blood. A few others along with him stood up with him.
"Can I have a name?" She asked.
"Neil DelreStephano," He said and the nurse's face glimmered with recognition and surprise.
"The doctor wants to talk to you. Please follow me" Carrey said getting over her surprise and switching back to her professional outlook.
He wondered what the doctor wanted to say. He had been waiting for hours now. Gavatti was someone important to him. No, not because he cared. Because he was an informer who had vital information with him. It might have been a terrible coincidence that he tried to escape and was caught in a mafia war.
Yes, he was mafia king. One of the most ruthless in the mafia world. He would have killed Gavatti for betraying him, for acting like he was trusting but now he needed him. The information he holds was important and he had to stay alive if he needed to know what the other mafia knew.
He followed the nurse into the ED as he entered a room with dim lighting and two doctors sitting across one end of the table discussing treatment plans that Neil could not make much sense of. The young female doctor slowly raised her head as she slowly noticed his presence. She looked radiant though she was tired. Her auburn hair was tied in a ponytail behind her head and her face had a certain glow to her face.
"Please take a seat, Mister..." She trailed off.
"DelreStephano." He said.
"Mister DelreStephano, please take a seat. I am Doctor Renis, ED doctor, and this Doctor Miller, attending in trauma surgery." She said.
"Mister Kharko had been shot in the chest and lower back. He had lost a lot of blood by the time he had come in and he had a respiratory arrest and cardiac arrest before we sent him to surgery, meaning he had stopped breathing and did not have a pulse. Though surgery is still in progress, there is not much chance that he will survive. Either he will go into a coma or he will die. I am sorry." She said.
"You have one job here and that is to save him. Do it." Neil said, anger seething through his body.
"Mister DelreStephano, I understand you are hurt but there is not much we can do." She said.
"You are going to save him and I don't care what is the cost." He said.
"Mister Stephano, please understand-" She said but her words were replaced by silence and gasps of Doctor Miller and Carrey as he placed a gun on her forehead.
"I don't care a damn if he dies. But he can't die without giving me what I want from him. You do as I say or get killed." He said.
"Call security." Doctor Miller said.
"I doubt what your 'security' can do. Your security won't be able to do much when at the end she is going to die if she does not listen to me" He said.
"And I doubt you will be able to do much harm. Put the gun down." She said, not even a glimmer of fear in her eyes.
"Mister Stephano, unfortunately, what I am saying is a fact. You need him for something but I am treating him as my patient. There are some things beyond our control." She said.
"Don't test me. I don't need a crap of an explanation. Treat him, make him better, he gives me what I want then kill him." He said, putting the gun down.
"Sir, I am not here to treat a person the way you like then kill him. As I said, these are chances, chances that are relatively high and that is why we talked to you about them. He has chances of survival but he will be in a coma." She said and her pager went off.
"Doctor Miller, we have to go to the post-operative unit. Now." She yelled, opening the door and running out with Doctor Miller and Carrey following her.
Neil sat there and thought over his actions. He had killed many people in the most merciless and ruthless ways possible but this time he felt wrong. For his own selfish intent, he had put a doctor's life under a gun and she did not even know the full picture. For once he felt bad about doing what he did. But as though changing back, he shook his thoughts and went back to normal, leaving the room and going back to the waiting area.
. . .
"Time of 23:12. Call the post-death team," Alex said as they lost strings of his life, the monitors showing no values as his body had no movement, the nurses went out getting the papers ready for both doctors to sign.
"Investigation must be put up. What did the police say?" She asked.
"They are investigating what happened. No shootouts were reported yet. They are coming in to interrogate the men to know more." Doctor Miller said.
"Then we will have to inform them." She said, signing the documents that would officially finalize his death.
"Do you want to take that risk?" He asked.
"We have seen a lot of these, Doctor Miller. We treat a lot of mafia and gang men. We have had guns pointed at our heads and life threats all the time. This is just one of those instances." She said.
"I am surprised that you are not surprised by all this. Even senior doctors have a hard time with things like this." He said.
"We work in a hospital which centered around all this." She replied.
"Now time to deliver the bad news." She said, taking the elevator to the ground floor with Doctor Miller.
"Carrey, can you ask Mister Kharko's bystander to come into the bystander's meeting room?" She asked as she entered the ED.
"Sure thing," Carrey said.
"We have bad news to deliver." She said with a sigh, entering the bystander's meeting room.
"Incoming, Doctor Miller, car crash, you are in treatment bay 2," Carrey yelled.
"Sorry Doctor Renis." He said apologetically.
"Don't worry about it. Go." She said.
"It seems like I have bad news to deliver. Really bad news." She said to herself as Doctor Miller left.
In the ED, Alex was said to be a rock. She would never show how she felt. She remained unfazed by the most gruesome situations. But every time she would lose a patient by inevitable circumstances, she would go through a rollercoaster of emotions inside, and delivering the news to their loved ones was never the best part and the hardest part was she knew this cycle would never end. Hopes and dreams crushed, grief and sorrow taking their place.
But now, she had an arrogant jerk to deal with who only wanted her patient for something he wanted. She knew this was surely going to be harder than usual. Much, much harder.
"Mister DelreStephano, please take a seat." She said politely.
"So, is Gavtti conscious or is he in a coma?" He asked.
"Mister DelreStephano, we could not save him. He passed away ten minutes ago." She said and a glimmer of surprise went across is his face before he closed his eyes and took a deep breath, as though trying to compose himself.
"So, what's next?" He asked.
"Well, PD has come in for investigation, so they will have an autopsy done and the rest will be according to them. We have the death certificate made now." She replied.
"PD is investigating?" He asked.
"Yes, since this was a gunshot case which killed Mister Kharko, PD has taken over the investigation." She replied.
"Great." He muttered under his breath.
"Mister Stephano, is there anything you would like to say?" She asked.
"Nothing you should be worried about Doctor Renis." He replied.
"I hope that is the case, Mister DelreStephano. One of our nurses will assist you through the hospital procedures and someone from PD will be here to interrogate you about what happened. I am sorry for your loss. I will be taking your leave now." She said, getting up.
"Yes?" She said, turning.
"You are a really brave person." He said.
"And why would you say that, Mister DelreStephano?" She asked with a raised brow.
"Not everyone can stay calm with a gun pointed on the head." He replied.
"And not all people point guns at people for invalid reasons. You can't go around pointing guns at people's heads." She said.
"I know that now. I am not good with sorry's so I hope you don't expect an apology from me." He said.
"Though I did expect an apology, I can say you are not the one to apologize. But, it would not hurt to say a sorry, if it was someone else." She said.
"But you being brave is not going help you always." He said.
"And your attitude is not going to help every single time. You can't go around pointing guns at people for no reason and the only reason why you dare to do it is because of that attitude of yours. I hope there will be someone to crush it." She said, annoyance laced in her voice.
"And who will that be?" He said with a smirk.
"Anyone but me." She said.
"You know, your attitude is also the only reason why you did not have a bullet between your eyes." He said in his deep voice, sending shivers to Alex's spine. It was not that she was scared, something inside her shifted.
"I would like to see you try. I hope someone saves you from your attitude. I will be leaving now." She said, opening the door and leaving the room as the man looked at her in clear surprise. He was beyond impressed, it takes more than a certain level of courage to have the end of a gun and not quiver.
Alex had seen people with attitude through her life, but he had one hell of an attitude and she hated that with passion.
Or did she?