CHAPTER 21: The End ©
Everything seemed so very white when I tried to open my eyes. The weight of my eyelids seemed too heavy and I closed them again. I think some time had passed because when I opened my eyes a little, it all seemed grey.
"What's going on?" I thought. My thinking processes seemed to be heavier than my eyelids, as if my head was full of molasses, and so I closed my eyes again.
The next time I opened my eyes, it was white again, and I heard a familiar voice.
"Mal-Larci, don't be alarmed. You are at a special facility being treated for your injuries."
I opened my eyes wider and focussed on the speaker. It was Lily. She was seated on a chair next to me.
"You've had surgery to repair a broken ankle," she said.
That explained why my body felt so heavy. It must have be because of the anaesthetic from the surgery. I drifted off and slept some more.
Some time later I woke again, and Bob was in the chair. He looked delighted when he saw I was awake.
"Hey mate," he said. "Good to see you awake. How are you feeling?"
"Head hurts," I managed to rasp.
"Yeah, you banged yourself up pretty good," he said.
"You're lucky! Headquarters in Australia puts a small locator device in your communicators, or we'd never have found you. You were thrown about 500m from the blast," he added.
"Did you catch him?" I asked referring to the bomber, Katzenjammer.
"Nah!" Bob said with a grimace, "The team tracked him down to an apartment building and when they broke in, they found he'd escaped through a tunnel he'd built into the basement."
I was so disappointed. After all of our work, the lunatic was still on the loose.
"Tired," I said.
"Yeah. You go back to sleep and someone will be here when you wake up."
I felt myself slip back into the darkness.
When I awoke, I spotted Marie who was sitting on a small raised platform in my line of vision.
She'd been reading a small magazine, but looked up when I said hello.
"Hey there Mal-Larci," she said.
"Hi," I replied.
I was feeling much better, though my body still felt very heavy. I tried to raise my front paws, but was only able to move them a little under the covers.
"The doctor will be in shortly, and I understand you'll be getting dinner soon as well," Marie said.
Suddenly I realised how hungry I was.
"Good," I croaked.
I heard the door of the room open but had trouble moving my head to see who it was. A woman dressed in a white coat came into my line of vision. She sat down in another chair next to Marie.
"Hello Mal-Larci," she said. "My name is Dr Fletcher and I'm one of the team that's been looking after you."
"You've had an operation to place a pin in your ankle. One of the bones had been broken, and the injury seems to be healing well. You had lots of cuts and bruises but the one injury that has had us all a little worried, is the damage to your spine."
"What does that mean?" I asked.
"At this point we don't know how much long-term damage you will have. All of the tissue along the bottom half of your spine is swollen and we simply don't know if the nerves have been permanently affected," Dr Fletcher added.
"But what does that mean?" I asked.
"We're hoping that when the swelling goes down, everything will be ok, but it's too soon to tell."
"But if the nerves are damaged, how will I be affected?" I asked.
"Let's not jump the gun," she said, "There's no use worrying about that yet."
"Tell me," I demanded. "I want to know."
Sighing she said, "If the nerve damage is bad, you may never use your back legs again. It would also mean that you can't fly."
I was horrified. Tears began to well in my eyes as I asked, "How long before we know?"
"In about two weeks, you should start regaining the feeling from your chest down. After that, it will be just a matter of time," the doctor concluded.
"Never to fly again?" I thought to myself. "Never to walk again?"
What would I do? I couldn't go back to my family like this. Who would look after me?
Softly Marie said, "Mal-Larci don't worry about the future just yet. Whatever happens, Headquarters will look after you."
It's so easy for people to say 'don't worry' but practically impossible to stop worrying when you think that you'll never be normal again.
"Ok," I said. "I think I'd like to sleep now."
Dr Fletcher picked up Marie and they left the room.
It took me a long time to sleep though. Thoughts spun round and round in my head until it became a muddled mess. Then I dropped back into sleep once more.