Zen glanced over at Chaos. “I don’t understand what any of this has to do with that woman and her daughter turning anthropomorphic?” Chaos grinned. “Just consider this some backstory. You need to see the leadup to understand. Be patient, Sister. You’re supposed to be the calm one.”
Zen lifted her chin in indignation. “I am calm. I just calmly asked you a question. You’re always so full of mischief, I just don’t know what you are doing from moment to moment.” Chaos giggled, his mischief glinting in his eyes, even more so than usual. Zen stole another handful of his popcorn in response, though he didn’t protest this time, instead, he took another handful himself, and both of them returned their attention to what was happening on Earth.
The doctor let out a long sigh of relief once Luke was under sedation. “Now that is one load of anger that boy is carrying.” Buford nodded in agreement but added. “Seems like he’s got good cause though. They all do.” The doctor couldn’t really argue that, so set to work on Luke, and after stripping Luke’s shorts off he took a good look at his leg finally. Though Mike appeared to have the more severe injuries in general, Luke’s were the most recent and dire, and now the doctor’s attention was drawn to Luke’s thigh which had been covered by his shorts. “Oh, my goodness. This is bad. I may not be able to save his leg. It’s infected bad and gangrene is setting in from the looks of it. I honestly don’t know how he was able to stand on the limb, let alone walk or bear the pain of it. The cut is deep to the bone…”
Jarrel quickly and forcefully interjected. “NO!” Both Doc and Buford startled at the shout. “Jarrel. I need to…” Doc started to explain. Jarrel adamantly shook his head, however. “No! I promised that I would keep the boys safe while they were under, and if you take Luke’s leg, then he will see that as an attack and the ultimate betrayal, and he won’t ever come to trust anyone. Taking his leg is something that you need to discuss openly with him when he’s conscious. Just clean the wound and treat it as best you can for now.”
The doctor frowned. “Jarrel. It’s bad…” Jarrel shook his head again. “I know, but I won’t let you take his leg doctor. This is not negotiable, and this is not me being insane, but speaking as a therapist. You will do more damage taking his leg under the current agreement that has been made for him to go under sedation then his uncle has done to him over the past five years… mentally speaking. Trust me on that.” The doctor sighed. “Alright. I’ll clean the wound as best I can and cut out the dead tissue and suture it, and then pray.”
It took some time to clean Luke’s wound and do the surgery, but the doctor and Buford finally settled him on a bed next to his brothers; the small clinic able to treat up to six people if need be in a small recovery room area. “Well, they’re clean and fed…”
Jarrel interjected, “Mike hasn’t eaten yet.” The doctor remembering, said. “Oh yes, that’s right. I think I’m going to put them all on IV’s while they sleep; get some nutrition into them all. I’m going to keep them out for the rest of the day and night to let them recuperate, then allow them to wake on their own in the morning. They need the rest.”
Jarrel pulled up a chair to where he could watch over the boys. The Doc watched a moment. “You know. You can go home and get some rest, Jarrel. I’m home all day. No one’s going to come in here…” Jarrel shook his head. “I made a promise, Doc.” The doctor sighed and shook his head. “Alright. You hungry? I’m going to get cleaned up and make some lunch. Bufe?” Buford nodded. “That would be appreciated, but I’ll only grab a quick bite–a sandwich–and then I need to go give the town an update of what is going on. I can see them out on the street now and staring at the clinic. It’s only a matter of time before they try to force their way in here.” Doc nodded. “Alright, well go make yourself a sandwich then. It’s going to be a few moments for me to get cleaned up and set up the IVs.”
Buford and the Doc then both left the recovery room, heading in different directions, leaving Jarrel to watch over the boys.
By the time the Doc was done with the boys, Aberly and the Sheriff had finally reached the small cabin in the woods. It had taken them a good six hours on ATV to find it and the dogs were exhausted. If not for Aberly’s unique nature and insistence on continuing on, the Sheriff would have given up as the dogs could no longer detect the boy’s scent from three days earlier. Aberly, however, could, though of course, no one in town knew the truth about the old man, of what he really was… a werebear, and bears had a sense of smell that was keener than even a bloodhound.
“Ah, I can see a connection now,” Zen said to Chaos. “Aberly is already somewhat of an anthropomorphic creature.” Chaos glanced over and nodded. “Yes, but there’s more to come, and stop stealing my popcorn,” he added as Zen took another handful but the command only served to propel her to take a second handful with her other hand; now holding two handfuls of the popcorn. Chaos didn’t get angry, however, but instead giggled again and turned to watch the show.