Chapter 22: Men Down
Alex stood up from her position underneath the table she was drilling for the wirings of her computer, when she heard Jose shouting from outside. She pushed herself up, wiping her hands on a rag, before opening the tent and looking around… and colliding directly against Jose. She fell on her ass to the ground, while Jose merely stumbled backwards.
"Oh! Sorry, Miss Alex!" Jose said as she looked up, just as Vaas went over to them, grinning at the sight of Alex on her ass. "You just sorta… popped up."
"Fine. Blame me. You're the one running like the devil is behind you." Alex muttered as she groaned, and Vaas laughed harder as he bent over and looked at Alex, "You okay, hermana?"
She looked up at Vaas and grinned bitterly, "Yeah, I'm just peachy, Vaas. I just thought it would be nice to sit around and enjoy the day." She seethed as she rubbed her butt, wincing.
Vaas grinned again as he held out a hand, and Alex took it, and the pirate pulled her up, looking all over at her, seeing her pants dirty. She reached back and started patting her pants clean, and Vaas did the same, patting down her legs. As his hands got higher, reaching up to Alex's butt, she smacked his hand away, earning a scowl from him.
"I can clean that part, Vaas." She told him, scowling at him, but the scowl in his face disappeared, and it was replaced with a grin. He raised his hands in mock surrender as he grinned at her, "Just wanted to make sure that part of yours is okay, hermana."
"Don't concern yourself, Vaas." Alex said as she finished patting her rear, before looking up at Vaas, "My butt is fine… and it is none of your business."
Vaas blinked, and laughed again at her, grabbing her around the waist and making her collide to his body, and she stared defiantly up to his bright green eyes, "It IS my business, hermana… because I want to be the one to hurt it before anything else does."
She rolled her eyes and smacked at his chest, and he let go of her, "Personally, I think Jose has a more important thing to say than my bruised assets." She turned towards Jose, and Vaas stood to her back, wrapping his arms around her upper chest and waist. She rolled her eyes as the pirate looked at Jose over her shoulder, "You were saying, Jose?"
Jose blinked, looking at them. Alex stood with her hands on her hips, looking annoyed, while Vaas' arms wrapped around her, his face grinning at him from her shoulder. He shook his head, "Vaas… we got five men down with a really nasty case of fever. One of them is even bleeding."
At this, Vaas separated from her, standing beside her as Alex blinked in shock, "Has the doctor been around?" Vaas asked, his brows knit in fury.
"No, I'm afraid not. Dr. Earnhardt's pretty busy. I heard there's been a fever outbreak in Hoyt's camp, too." Jose said, "He's probably attending to that."
Vaas turned around and put his hands on his hips, gritting his teeth furiously. Alex could see the rage in him, boiling inside, and she turned to Jose. "Take me to them, Jose."
Jose blinked as he looked at her, before looking at Vaas. The pirate lord looked at her hard, staring at her, before nodding at him. Jose nodded back, "Follow me, Miss Alex."
The man led Alex off into one of the tents, with Vaas following behind them. He opened up the flap to reveal five men on the cots, and some of his soldiers tending to them. One of them was bleeding already through the nose, with his buddy cleaning his face every so often.
At the sight of her, the men put their hands on their pistols, only to see that Vaas was directly behind her. The pirate lord waved a hand, and the men relaxed as Alex bent over the bleeding man.
She reached out a hand, and placed it on the man's forehead, her eyes softening with pity. "How long has this been going on?"
"Several days, Miss Alex." Jose answered as Alex looked back at Vaas, "Vaas. Where was that tablet computer I had? Give it to me."
Vaas reached behind him, taking the tablet from his back, and gave it to her. She settled down on the floor on her knees, tapping at the tablet, and Vaas bend behind her to see what she was doing. He saw that she was connecting using her GPRS and was starting to use the InterNet, "What are you doing, hermana?"
"When I was in the Philippines…" She said slowly, looking at the screen of her tablet, "I heard about a sickness carried by mosquitoes. I just want to make sure that I get the symptoms right."
The men watched as Alex looked over her tablet and the man, scrolling through it with her finger, her brows knit in concentration. He watched as she gently took the men's arms, looking at them, shushing them gently when they moan out in pain. He smirked to himself at the thought that a woman would be gentle with a bunch of blood thirsty murderers. He continued to watch her, liking the look of genuine worry on her face. Finally, she straightened.
"I know what it is." She said, looking up at Vaas as she stood up. She raised her tablet to Vaas, "Its dengue fever… well, I'm not sure, but we can't really do any testing on them unless there's a doctor around. But we can do something to help them."
Vaas and his men looked down at her, surprised, before the pirate lord nodded, "What do you want, amiga?"
"I need lots of aloe vera." Alex said as she left the tent, walking outside. Jose and Vaas followed her, along with some of the men. "As many as you can gather. I want them cleaned and the pulp from them put in bottles. We're going to have them drink it. See if you can find a doctor who has a stock of vitamin C. And eggs, lots of them. I want them boiled and fed to the men."
Vaas and the men looked at each other, unsure of what to do, and it angered Alex. "Your men are dying and you're just standing there? MOVE, MOTHERFUCKERS!"
The men blinked before they dispersed, and Vaas scowled at her as she put her hands on her hips. She reached out an arm and pulled at Jose. "Jose, I want lots of towels, cold water and ice. We have to get the men's fever down, too."
"Okay." The man said, running towards the kitchen, leaving her with Vaas, who was still scowling at her. She blinked and looked up at him, "What are you scowling at, Vaas?"
The pirate shrugged, "Hermana, if I were you, I'd shoot them in the head. They're worthless to me."
Alex rolled her eyes, "Vaas, a bullet costs more than frigging aloe vera or medicines. Are you really that cold to let your men die?"
Vaas leaned forward, bringing his face to hers, and she shivered. He had a murderous look in his eyes and she swallowed, putting her brave face again. "Yes. I am."
Alex blinked at the sincerity of Vaas's answer, which showed that he really was ready to kill his men. His blood thirst made her angry, and she pushed at him, surprising the pirate lord, and she seethed at him, "You may kill people, Vaas. But I, unfortunately, am not that heartless. I don't care if they're fucking murderers, rapists and drug addicts. They are people in need of help, and I'll help them if I can."
The pirate lord scoffed, "They'll kill you when I order them to, hermana."
"Then they'll kill me. End of story." Alex said, striding back towards the tent, and the pirate watched her walk away. "But I won't let them die this way. Not if I can stop it."
Alex strode back angrily to the sick men's tent, and Vaas watched her. Her profile from the back was just as pleasing to his eyes as her profile up front, with her hips curving to an ample rear and long slim legs. He grinned to himself at the thought of having her in bed, before he headed back to his hut.