Suited For Danger - Book 2 - Chapter 5

For cripes sake! As if I didn't have enough other shit to worry about, now I gotta deal with guys hitting on me? Understand, I didn't blame the guy for doing that. Actually, I should have expected it, looking the way I did. I just still wasn't used to looking like that, and he caught me on a bad day.

(sort of)

Book Two, Chapter Five

By Catherine Linda Michel

With everything else that had happened to us since this began, this was just one more big thing!

I charged out of the room to the cell where they were still treating Dr. Fine.

“Is he awake yet?” I yelled.

“He's been in and out of consciousness a few times, Donna.” Doc Jamison told me. “I don't know how long it'll be, if ever, til he comes completely out of this to full consciousness. With all the stuff they must've pumped into him over the past couple of weeks, there's just no telling. Hell, he might never come out of it completely! I just don't have the equipment here to even tell me what it was they pumped him full of!”

“Well then, why don't you take him to the hospital where they have the right stuff? I said. With the police on our side now, they can set up a guard over him, and some of us can back them up. We have to get him lucid and talking, Doc! I've got questions I need answers for, and he's the only one who might have them!”

“What do you think, Chief?” Doc Jamison asked. Do you think your men can protect him over there?”

“Well, with a couple of these people, and with the capabilities of their armor, I think we can keep him safe.” He replied.

The Chief got on the phone and talked to someone at the hospital. We could only hear one side of the conversation, but it sounded like it was going well. When the Chief put down the phone he turned to me and said,

“Okay, kid. It's all set up. I explained how it was an emergency that we get this Dr. Fine over there for tests and stuff. I told them that there was a chance that there could be violence, but that my men and you all would be there to keep order and make sure nobody over there got hurt. Can you all do it?”

“We have to do it, Chief. I replied. “You just get him there, and we will take care of the rest. If you could have your men stand watch outside the hospital and inside the emergency area, that would help a lot though. Make sure they know that nobody gets inside without either a legitimate emergency, or identification, and have them search anyone who even looks like they don't belong there, and thanks Chief. Having you on our side makes things a lot easier.”

“Aw hell, kid. It's my pleasure. These scum” and he pointed toward the locked up mercenaries, “have made things a living hell for you and your families, not to mention what they did to me and my officers! We'll get your Dr. over there, and then set up. Can your com units monitor the police frequencies?”

“They sure can, Chief.” I said. Some of us will head over there now, and wait for your guys to deliver Dr. Fine. Penny and I will ride in the vehicle with him, just to make sure nothing goes wrong on the way, okay?”

“That'll work great, Donna. With you two along, I'll feel better about sending my officers into this.”

He got on the radio and called in all officers, whether or not they were off duty. He even called the reserve officers and had them stand ready to come in at a moment's notice. I asked Jim, Terry and Paul to head for the hospital and set things up there, and they took off. Then Penny and I, along with four cops, got Dr. Fine into a police van. We made certain he was comfortable and secure in the back and then we got in. Two of the cops led the way in a patrol car, and two more rode in the front of the van, and all had their weapons ready, including some of the fully automatic weapons that had been confiscated from the mercs.

It was a short trip, and we arrived safely at the hospital. We took Dr. Fine in via a seldom used entrance and whisked him off, following a hospital representative who identified himself as the Director. Penny double checked his ID. And then we followed him to a secure wing of the hospital.

Once we got Dr. Fine safely into a room and got a guard order setup, I breathed a little easier. Doc Jamison said he'd be very busy for the next couple of hours, trying to identify what had been used on Dr. Fine, and he'd let us know when he'd found anything.

“Jeeze, Penny.” I exclaimed, after all the hubbub had died down. Dr. Fine has to wake up! I didn't say anything yet, but just before you came in with food this morning, I found a section in the HUD that had some kind of weird story about some guy and stuff he found in a wrecked UFO, out in the Nevada desert! I can't, for the life of me, figure out why that's in there, but the only thing that makes any sense to me right now, is that it has something to do with these suits! Dr. Fine had told us that the originals had been found in a crashed UFO in Nevada. It's just too coincidental!”

“Can you tell me any more about that story, Donna?” Penny asked.

“I didn't look at it for more than a few minutes, Penny, and then I only skipped through it to get the gist of it. It seems just too weird that, of all things, some story would be stored in the HUD, don't you think? It's almost like it's not a story at all, but a file of some real facts!”

“Well honey, why don't you give it a longer look. We have the time right now, and Jim and I, along with the others and the cops, can keep a close eye on things. Said Penny.

So I laid down and accessed that portion of the HUD again, only to find that file was unavailable! I tried several times, in different ways, but every time I came up against the same result. The file was there, but unavailable! I shut the HUD down, disappointed, but hoping that the answers I needed would be there when Dr. Fine finally woke up. I decided to go ahead and re-charge my suit, even though it'd only been a few hours since I'd last done that. You never know when you're gonna need everything you've got, right?

I found a wall socket and, covered by a chair I moved, I plugged in and sat down in the chair to think. I'd told Penny and the others what I was doing, always keeping in constant touch with them and with the police. Penny decided to re-charge also, so the two of us sat there and just talked small talk while I let my subconscious mind work on the problem of the unavailable file. Jim, Terry and Paul were keeping a close watch on Dr. Fine, Doc Jamison, and the elevator doors leading to the floor we were currently on, so I knew that things were safe for the moment.

After a few hours had passed by, I thought about getting something to eat, since I'd missed breakfast. I told Penny what I was going to do and where I was going, namely the cafeteria, and unplugged, having completely re-charged the suit. I then placed all systems on standby to conserve power, and headed to the elevators to go downstairs to the cafeteria. Paul was there, keeping his watch and I told him what I was up to as well, and that I was gonna bring back coffee and sandwiches for everybody. I was halfway down to the cafeteria when I realized, I didn't have any money! I hadn't had any since this whole damn thing had started, actually.

I was wondering what to do about that when I had another thought. I called the Chief on the radio and explained what I was doing and that I was broke. He, in turn, called the Hospital Administrator who told him that he'd call the cafeteria and have them give me whatever we all needed. 'Well, that was easy.' I thought to myself. I thanked the Chief and continued to the cafeteria.

I decided to sit down while there, and eat alone, planning on doing some thinking while I ate, but I'd only been at the table for a couple of minutes when some guy in scrubs, showed up, clearing his throat.

“Um, hi.” He said. I wonder if you'd mind if I sat here. I noticed you when you came in, and I really wanted to meet you. You're very attractive, you know?”

'Oh wonderful!' I thought to myself. 'I try to get something to eat, and do some thinking and this guy wants to sit with me! Aren't there any empty tables?'

He sat down without being told he could, and proceeded to introduce himself.

“I'm Dr. Jensen, a resident here at the hospital. Are you here visiting, or maybe for some tests?”

I decided not to talk to this guy, hoping he'd take a gentle hint and just go away, but that didn't seem to be working. He just went on and on about himself and the hospital, interspersed with questions about me. I was just about to tell this guy to go somewhere and do something physically impossible to himself when it finally dawned on me what he was doing. He was hitting on me! A guy was hitting on me! I started to get angry, but stopped myself when I realized that all he saw was a good looking female he wanted to get to know and maybe date!

“Look, Doc.” I said. “I'm tired, I'm irritable, and I'm not in the market for a boyfriend. I'm only here to eat and get back upstairs to wait for test results on a friend of mine. If you don't mind, I'd like to be left alone.”

That didn't seem to slow him down though.

“Oh?” He continued. “What floor is your friend on? I might be able to help you get some word quicker.” He didn't even seem to be fazed by my rudeness!

I sighed deeply, a mistake when I thought about it, since it lifted my breasts, and told him again that I just wanted to be left alone.

“Look honey,” he started again. “I only wanted to...” and I stopped him right there.

“Look yourself, Doctor!” I said, angrily. “All I want is to eat and be left alone! Maybe I didn't make that clear before, but I'm making it clear now! Get up and take a hike! I don't want or need your help, and I'm not interested in getting to know you. Is that clear enough?”

He looked at me with hurt looking eyes and said.

“Okay, okay! Jeeze! I just wanted to talk to you and maybe get to know you! I wasn't gonna do anything, you know? I hope your friend comes through okay!” and he got up, grabbed his tray and stalked away to an open table where he slammed his tray down and sat down.

For cripes sake! As if I didn't have enough other shit to worry about, now I gotta deal with guys hitting on me? Understand, I didn't blame the guy for doing that. Actually, I should have expected it, looking the way I did. I just still wasn't used to looking like that, and he caught me on a bad day. Heh. Bad day. I sat there just for a few minutes more, trying to remember if there had been a good day since this whole crazy adventure had begun. 'Nope.' I thought to myself. 'I can't recall one good day since Jerry and I got stuck in these damned suits!'

When I finally got up from the table and went to dump the trash, I looked over at the doctor who'd hit on me, and noticed that he seemed to be having a not-so-good day himself. He looked like he was ready to cry or something, with his face all scrunched up with a pained look on it. I don't know why, to this day, but I felt sorta bad for him. I mean he couldn't possibly have known my situation, or that I was just as male as he was. It was just camouflaged real well by the suit. Finally I had to walk over and say something to him.

“Excuse me, Doc? I just wanted to apologize for chewing you our over there. I've had a bunch of really bad days lately, and I just snapped. You just happened to be the one in the way of that, and I'm sorry.”

He looked up at me from where he was sitting and didn't say anything for a few seconds. Then, finally, he spoke saying,

“Hey, no. It was my fault. I should know better than to try that kind of thing inside the place where I work. It seems like I never meet anyone who is having a good day in here. Every day I have to see people on the worst day they've ever had, and I have to try to heal them, make them better. Sometimes I can...sometimes I can't, and those are the worst. When I have to tell someone that they are going to die...when I have to tell some husband, or wife, Father or Mother, that their loved one isn't gonna make it...well, it just eats me up inside. So I try to take whatever joy I can, in the moment. In your case, I wasn't lying. You are the most beautiful woman I think I've ever seen, and I let that thought dictate what I did. So, if anything, it's me who owes you an apology. Can you forgive me?”

While he was talking, his face and voice got all sincere and hurt sounding and looking. I found myself feeling sorry for this man who, every day, had to try to help sick and injured people get well, or to let down the relatives and loved ones of those he knew wouldn't make it. It kinda made my little problems seem really small, and I sat down opposite him at his table, reaching out to touch his hands which were clasped in front of him, on top of the table.

“Hey.” I began. “I guess I do sorta understand. Why don't we just leave it at this. We both owe the other one an apology. That way everything comes out even, right?”

He looked across the table at me, staring into my eyes. Then he said,

“Beautiful and smart! Also, kind and understanding. A rare find indeed, and yes, I can leave it at both of us owing the other an apology. Can I ask you one other thing?”

I found it difficult to look away. It seemed like I was mesmerized by his eyes and the earnest expression on his face.

“I guess so.” I replied.

He looked down for a second and then back at me.

“I really meant what I said. I do apologize for hitting on you, but in my own defense, you are incredibly lovely. May I make it up to you somehow? Maybe dinner, or dancing, or a movie or something? I swear I'll be a perfect gentleman...please?

I sat there, absolutely baffled! He was hitting on me again! I felt insulted, the same time, I felt...special, somehow, and that freaked me out even more than getting hit on! I pulled my hand back from his and just sat there, not knowing what to say or what to do. Finally I just got up without answering him, and walked away. I was almost out of the cafeteria when I remembered the food and stuff I was supposed to being to the others, and I stopped dead in my tracks. I looked back at the doctor and almost fled the cafeteria, but instead, I went up to the counter, ordered the food and drinks, and waited while they got it ready to go.

I felt, rather than saw, the doctor get up and slowly walk to the trash cans where he dumped his tray. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him look at me for a few, long seconds, and then, with a big sigh, a shrug of his shoulders, and a hurt look on his face, he walked out. I breathed a sigh myself, from relief, but there was something else too. Did I feel disappointed? What the hell?

I was so lost in thought, I was surprised when I heard someone talking to me.

“Miss? Oh miss? Your food is ready. Miss?”

I snapped out of wherever I'd just been, mentally, and, seeing the food all wrapped up, I told the cashier my name and told her that the Director had assured me that the bill would be added to whatever bills my friend ran up while here. She checked a list attached to her register and, verifying that my name was on there, she said,

“Okay, honey. Everything is all set. You can go ahead and take this stuff to your friends.”

She busied herself making a note on her list, and I thanked her, picking up the tray full of food and drinks, my mind a hundred miles away. She must have noticed my pre-occupation because she reached out and touched my arm as I started to leave.

“Honey, it's probably none of my business, but I saw what went on between you and Dr. Howard, and I don't want you to get the wrong idea about him. He's really a sweet guy, but he has been getting more and more withdrawn over the last few weeks. I don't know what's wrong with him, and he never says anything, but he's not the same guy who started work here a couple years ago. I just don't want you to get the wrong idea about him. He's not a lech, or some guy on the make. I think he's just lonely and maybe even getting burned out here. It's a shame really. He's so cute, and such a good doctor. Maybe he just needs a good woman to straighten him out.”

I didn't know what the hell to say to her, or how to answer her. My mind was going a hundred miles an hour, with thoughts chasing each other around, faster than the coyote chasing that damned Road Runner! I just thanked her for her concern and walked away. I walked past the elevator three times before I remembered that it was the one I needed, to get back to the others. What the hell was happening to me? Had I actually agreed with that cashier, that the doctor was cute? My head was spinning, and, when the elevator car stopped at my floor, I got off, balancing the tray full of food and drinks, and wandered down the hallway to the waiting area, where I put the tray down on a table.

“Well, it's about time you got back, Donna!” I heard Penny say. “We're starving and dying of thirst up here,” She giggled.

As pre-occupied as I was, I didn't even respond to what she said. She must have sensed something was wrong, because she got up and came over to me, taking my hands in hers.

“What's wrong, Donna?” she began. “You seem like you're a hundred miles away from here. Did something happen while you were gone? Talk to me, honey.”

I didn't know what the hell to tell her, but finally, it all came flowing out of me, like a dam breaking.

“Oh my God, Penny! I was down there getting the stuff and this guy, some doctor hit on me! I didn't know what to do, and I was mean to him, but then I said I was sorry and he said he was sorry and then he held my hand and asked me out on a date or something and I didn't know what to say or do and I just got up and left, but then I had to go back and get the stuff and then he left like he was all sad or something and then the cashier was telling me who he was and how she was all worried about him, and, and, and, I thought he was cute!!” and at that point, I broke down in tears, shaking all over and very, very scared. “What's happening to me, Penny? I think this suit is turning me gay or something!”

Penny pulled me into her arms and hugged me while I sobbed on her shoulder. She didn't say anything, she just held me and let me cry until I began to wind down, while she made comforting noises in my ear and stroked my hair. When I calmed down a little bit, she led me over to a couch and made me lie down. She knelt down next to the couch and kept stroking my hair and whispering to me.

“Shhh. Shhhh honey. I don't know what's happening either, but I don't think it's something to worry about right now. We have too many other things to worry about. I'm sure that what happened is just a result of the past week or so, and the stress you've been under. Also, because of what you told me about the suit, it might be partly behind this as well, but let's not try to analyze this right now. You need to rest and the rest of us need to stay alert until we can get Dr. Fine awake and somewhere safe. After we get those things done, then maybe we can try to figure this out. For now, try to put it out of your mind and just rest.”

She kept talking to me quietly, and kept stroking my hair until I dropped off into a troubled sleep. What happened after that was told to me by Jim.

Apparently, about three hours after I fell asleep, Doc. Jamison came in and said he'd finally figured out what had been used on Dr. Fine, and he knew how to counteract it. He thought that Dr. Fine might be waking up sometime that evening, and should suffer no ill effects from having been drugged up for so long.

There had also been some kind of commotion when someone tried to gain access to the area we were guarding, and Jim and Paul had to forceably remove two people claiming to be doctors. My friends decided to let me sleep after conferring with Penny and learning what had happened to me, and turned the two supposed doctors over to hospital security. There had been no other incidents and, when I awoke, a few hours after that, they told me the good news about Dr. Fine, and about the two pretenders.

I awoke feeling somewhat better, though the incident in the cafeteria was still in my mind. I told the others that I was okay, but I don't think I was very convincing. Still, they let me take things at my own pace and no one referred to it.

Just for the hell of it, I accessed the HUD again, hoping maybe I'd find some kind of answer there. I flashed through the first few screens, checking for that story I'd seen before, but there was still nothing where it had been. There was something different in another area though. Under a heading that said; “Adaptability Levels,” and in a subheading, I found a file entitled “Hormone Inception and Progress!” What the hell??

It said that hormones had been being introduced into me shortly after the bonding process had taken place...female hormones! It showed a graph that showed me I was right in the middle between male and female, headed to the feminine side, and a timetable that said in 5 more days, I'd be at optimum hormone balance...for a woman!!

FROM THE AUTHOR: I'm reaching a difficult point in this story, and the next part might be a bit longer in getting done. I'm having a few personal problems, related to my HRT and finances, that are getting in the way of writing as well. Please bear with me as I work through this small crisis, and comment, comment, comment...please?

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