The medical bay was quiet. Joe had tried to wake up but couldn't over come the grogginess. His vitals were all good. He was still bleeding a bit from his back and thigh. The wounds would eventually clot. Thankfully, Nambu regularly made the team bank their own blood. Joe had received two units in surgery. His body was still readjusting.
" Hello, everyone." Nambu stated as he entered and headed for Joe's bed.
Ashley went over to greet him.
" Hai.,Dr. Nambu." Ashley stated.
" How's our Condor?"
Ashley handed Nambu Joe's chart. Nambu leafed through as Ashley filled in the rest.
" He tried waking up an hour ago. He could barely focus on me. I told him just to go back to sleep."
" Good Idea. We gave him a massive amount of anesthesia. It will take a while for even him to burn through it. Did you give him something for his stomach? "
" Yes, sir."
" Thank you. He probably needed it."
" Hakase!" Jinpei called.
Nambu turned around to find the rest of the team coming into the medical bay. Jinpei was the only one dressed in his civvies. Ryu, Ken and Jun had just woken up. Hair disheveled and carrying their pillows and blankets. Jinpei ran to Joe's bed and started waving a hand in front of his face.
Nambu walked over to Jun, Ryu and Ken.
" Did you three sleep well?" Nambu asked.
Nambu got a collective " Hai."
" Do you want me to fill you in on what we did to Joe now? Or wait till you shower and wake up?" Nambu asked with a smile on his face.
" Hey, sis." Jinpei waved from Joe's bedside.
Jun gave a quick wave back.
" You might as well tell us now." Jun said with a sigh.
" Joe ani. You awake?" Jinpei said quietly while holding Joe's hand.
" Jinpei, Joe can't fully wake up yet." Ashley offered.
" Why, Ashley?" Jun asked.
" We had to use a lot of anesthesia on him." Ashley answered.
" Even with that he, kind of, woke up in the middle of surgery." Nambu offered.
" Scary." Ken said with a shiver.
" I need to apologize to Joe when he wakes up." Ashley said while blushing.
" You will do no such thing. You were doing your job. He will understand. If he even remembers." Nambu said.
At the questioning looks from the team, Nambu continued.
" Joe has a bruised amygdala. Gashes on his shoulder and back and..." Nambu stopped and covered Jinpei's eyes. " ...this." Nambu pulled back the sheet.
Ken and Ryu had the same reaction. They both curled up and immediately had sympathy pains for their brother.
" What?" Jinpei wined.
" Trust me. You don't want to see this." Jun said.
" The wound is in his thigh. It just looks really bad. I pulled three metal shards from it." Ashley said.
That uncurled Ken and Ryu, a bit. Nambu pulled the sheet back over Joe and released Jinpei.
" Is that what you were doing when he woke up?" Jun asked.
Ashley blushed and nodded. Jun came over and gave her a hug.
" R&D is working on improvements to your helmets and added protection in other areas." Nambu offered.
" I hope so." Ken and Ryu said together.
" Team, you better get ready. I'm sure that Mole Tank will be back." Nambu said.
" Bye, Joe ani. Feel better." Jinpei said as he touched his lips to Joe's cheek.
" Runt germs." Joe said sleepily.
The team gathered around his bed. Joe got his eyes half open and smiled at them.
Nambu took this opportunity to see how Joe was feeling.
" Joe are you in any pain?"
" IIe, Hakase."
" How is your stomach?"
The sound that came out of Joe's mouth indicated that his stomach wasn't doing to great. Nambu figured out that Joe's digestive tract was still sleeping.
" Joe I'll get you some ginger. It always makes my stomach feel better." Jinpei happily said.
Joe grabbed Jinpei's hand and quietly said; " Can't eat yet. But thanks."
Jinpei looked lost and a bit upset. Ashley walked over with a cup and some small sponges.
" Jinpei. Take these over to the sink and put cold water on them. Joe can suck on these."
" Thanks Ashley."
Jinpei hurried over to the sink.
" Good move, Ashley." Jun said with a smile.
Jinpei ran back to Joe's bed and gently started wetting Joe's lips and mouth.
" You feel better Joe ani?"
" Yes, thanks Jinpei. Where is my puppy?" Joe said with a smile.
"I washed her. Then she slept in the bed with me. Then we got up and I took her for a walk." Jinpei paused and pointed to the coral reef above them. " She was chasing a few crabs around. One of them almost got her nose. I told her she wouldn't like that. Then I came inside and Casey in the lab said he would take care of her till we were off the mission."
Joe tried his best to follow Jinpei's rapid explanation through his drug haze. Everyone else just had a smile on their faces. All of them had long ago gotten used to Jinpei's rapid fire speech. The more excited he got the faster his speech was.
" Thank you for looking out for her, Jinpei. I owe you one, runt." Joe said through a smirk.
" Anytime, Joe ani." Jinpei said as he gave Joe a half hug.
Joe looked ready to drop back into sleep. So Nambu decided to get Joe some quiet.
" Ok, team. Let us get ready and let Joe go back to sleep." Nambu said.
"Kick that mole's ass for me." Joe said.
" No problem, bro." Ken said.
Nambu watched them leave. He leaned over Joe's bed and started whispering to him.
" Joe, I'm going with the team."
Joe eyes tried to open wide but couldn't.
" I'm just getting a bit of cabin fever. I'll be just fine. Anyway what we pulled out of you was that whisker metal. I want to run a few scans before we destroy that mole. Ok?"
Joe's expression calmed and he closed his eyes. Nambu kissed the top of his head.
" So don't give the girls any trouble." Nambu said through a smile.
" Me, never." Joe whispered as he fell back into sleep.
( And Daddy is going to bring you Katse's head on a silver platter.) Nambu thought as he turned to go.
" Dr. Nambu?"
" Nani, Ashley."
" Why did you put the focus on Joe's thigh wound when his head wound is the important one?"
" If I made a big deal of his head wound, everyone would fret and worry. That would make Joe start manifesting symptoms to fit the injury."
" Just like when med students seem to get every disease in the book." Ashley offered.
" Exactly. Now we can now safely see what changes he goes through. I hope he avoids most of them. He is horrible about telling anybody that he is hurting."
" I'm sure if we keep an eye on him he won't be able to hide much."
" I truly hope your right Ashley. "
" Or he can actually start telling you what is wrong." Ashley said with a grin.
Nambu started quietly laughing.
" You believe in miracles, don't you? Berg Katse will surrender first."
" Your right, Doctor."
Nambu left to get ready to battle the mole.
Katse, being a light sleeper, was up by 2 pm. He felt good. His commanders were ready for him with damage reports,death tolls and buildings destroyed.
" What is the target for tonight, sire?" the mole commander asked.
" How about the oil refinery just outside Utoland? I'm in the mood a bonfire." Katse said as he sipped his tea.
" Very good, sire. I will make the preparations." the Commander said with a bow.
Katse was in the mood for a good fight. As much as he despised the KNT, he actually enjoyed their battles. They were excellent advisories. Katse once read that a warrior's true potential can only be achieved when fighting an equally great enemy. Those children had proved themselves to be that great enemy.
Katse hoped he had the advantage. They would be one psychotic Condor short. He wanted to give Sosai this victory. Then came the drudgery of claiming the Earth for Gallactor. Katse moaned thinking of all the bureaucratic bs it would take.
Oh well, when one is ruler of a planet, you can always give the paperwork to others.
Katse smiled to himself and went to prepare his mecha.
5:30 pm Crescent Coral base Command Center
" Dr. Nambu the earthquakes have started again."
" Has anyone spotted the mole yet?"
" Not yet."
" It is probably the mole again. Give the order to launch, Hakase."
" Are you all ready?" Nambu asked his team.
" Hai, Hakase." they answered in unison.
" Dr. Nambu! The mole has been spotted heading for the oil refinery."
" Launch, the God Phoenix. I pray for your success." Nambu said.
The team saluted him and left for the God Phoenix's bay. It was a 5 minute trip. They all boarded. The team nearly jumped out of their birdstyles when Nambu emerged from the medial bay and stated:
" Hi, team. I'm coming with you."
They all looked a bit confused but stated:
" Hai, Hakase."