Chapter 16 - Aaron
Aaron sat in a cold metal chair bolted to the floor in the center of the room, staring at his dying father.
The room had been in chaos for long after the brief spurt of fighting, and Aaron had almost killed a man. He’d shot two guards, but he’d only hit them out of sheer luck. Thankfully, by that same luck, the bullets had missed all the important places, or so Ellie had informed him. He wasn’t sure he’d be able to cope with killing someone.
They’d taken the weapons of the five men and locked the guards in the infirmary after Ellie had treated their wounds. Tari claimed there’d been a sixth guard in the room, but he’d apparently run away in the chaos. Good for him. Maybe Aaron would have killed him, he thought glumly.
As for his father, Aaron couldn’t muster the energy to care. Ellie was trying her hardest, but she only had basic first-aid training from her grandfather, and she couldn’t do much about a bullet wound to the chest.
So now Elliot Bryce, the distant father Aaron had missed and hated since he was twelve, was finally dying. Not that Aaron wished death on him, but in a way it was fitting that the man who faked his death, rather poorly, to join the Council, would die when the Council did.
Ara was nowhere to be found. Her crutches were laying by Aaron’s feet, a good couple yards from his dying father, gasping and bleeding on the ground. If he was being honest with himself, he was more afraid that this girl he’d practically just met was really gone than he was sad for the half-stranger who took a bullet for him.
“Aaron,” his father rasped, barely audible.
Aaron stood up and walked over to him, trying to keep his face neutral. His father must finally be ready to give him the “I’m dying” speech.
“You can save me.” Aaron recoiled in surprise.
“You have a bullet wound that probably punctured a lung or something, and you think I can save you?” He wasn’t too sure about the anatomy of what he’d just said, or even if that was where the bullet was. If that wasn’t a testament of his medical inexpertise, he wasn’t sure what was.
“Shut up, fool. I don’t have time for idiocy. You can send me to the sub-plane.” He paused for breath, gasping. “Like I did for Sitara. She would have died-” He coughed. “She would have died in that burning building if it wasn’t for me. You can save me… like I save her.”
Aaron scowled. Now if his father died, it would really be his fault.
“Before you say no-” Aaron perked up. He’d been about to say yes, but he was intrigued by what his father had to say. “I can bring her back. Sitara. She’s in the sub-plane now, but I have some of the serum that will temporarily bring her back. The same stuff I gave you in gas form in the phone-dispenser contraption.”
“All right. What do you need me to do?”