The title for this chapter came from the Gershwin song of the same name. I wrote this chapter to Jean Louisa Kelly's performance of this song.
The puppy hopped on the bed and sat next to Jinpei.
" We are going to go to sleep." Jinpei said as he yawned.
The puppy answered with her own yawn and stretch. Jinpei scratched behind her ears as she settled down with her tail smacking the comforter.
" When we wake up, Hakase will have Joe ani all fixed up."
Jinpei looked the puppy in the face and continued.
"Joe ani is a great guy. He is going to love you girl. He may act all mean but he really isn't. He can occasionally be a jerk but I guess we all can. He needs a girl to love and take care of. I'm hoping that is you."
Jinpei meant everything he said. Joe would drive him nuts but Jinpei always knew Joe would always be there whenever Jinpei needed him. Jinpei and the puppy crashed into a deep sleep quickly. Jinpei was secure in the knowledge that Hakase would make everything right.
"Should we try and look in?" Ken said as he made up one of the couches into a bed.
" We should find out what's going on." Jun quickly answered.
Ken and Jun started for the door.
" Wait." Ryu said holding up his hand to stop them. At their questioning looks Ryu continued.
" I want to know too but, should we?"
" I don't understand." Ken shot back.
" If we look through that little window all we are going to see is Hakase, the doctors and nurses covered with Joe's blood. With no reference point as to why. Or what's going on. I don't know about you two but my imagination will just run with it. I won't be able to sleep. We still need to deal with that mecha."
Ken and Jun looked at Ryu. He was dressed as they all were, shorts and tee shirts. They were convinced by Ryu's beautiful,open expression and the fact that he looked like a bear ready to hibernate.
" Your right Ryu." Ken said with a stretch. " Anyway, I haven't slept in over 24 hours." Ken stopped to yawn. " Hakase will tell us what's going on when he can."
Ken laid down and got settled on the couch. He still wanted to look but he had to trust Hakase. They all got comfortable and slowly drifted off to sleep.
Katse had been watching the tape of the attack for thirty minutes now. He came to one conclusion. If the Condor wasn't dead, then he was surely incapacitated for the foreseeable future. Katse wanted,no,needed to tell Sosai what had happened. Katse left his quarters with some,hopefully, good news for Sosai.
"Sara, Kathy and Susan I want you to help the research and development lab figure out what went wrong with Joe's helmet. Do you have the metal chip?"
" Yes, Dr. Nambu." All three ladies answered. They then took off for the lab.
" That was smooth Kozaburou." Dr. Snee said with a smile.
Nambu lowered his head and laughed.
" Shut up Harry. I am not going to have three women who start giggling every time Joe is around in here when we have to strip him."
"Don't you trust their professionalism, Kozaburou?" Barb asked with a hint of concern. After all they were her trainees.
"I think they are all bright, intelligent, thoughtful young ladies, Barb. I just don't want to tempt their....hormones. Anyway give them some time to be around him they have only been here a month. They will get over it. Ashley did with Ryu." Nambu stated smiling at one of the nurses in the room.
Ashley smiled and gave a quick bow to Nambu.
"Nicely put." Dr. Snee replied with a smile.
"Ok let's see where the rest of this blood is coming from." Barb said as she handed out three pairs of cutters.
Nambu was still holding the missile fragment waiting for the proper CAT scans to return. He watched as every scrap of fabric was removed from Joe's body. Nambu immediately saw two gashes that needed at least ten stitches to close them. One on Joe's upper left arm and one across his back.
" Oh my God." Ashley gasped.
" What Ash?" Barbara asked.
Barbara came around to Joe's feet and went three shades of white. There was a growing pool of blood coming from Joe's upper right thigh. Both women ran in opposite directions and started gathering supplies.
" Well don't keep it a secret. What do you see?" Nambu asked.
Harry stopped cleaning Joe's back wound and went to see. Harry instinctively winced and curled up a little.
" Kozaburou, another missile fragment either lodged itself high in Joe's thigh or..."
Barbara and Ashley pushed Harry aside to access the wound.
" Kozaburou, hold his head still because we have to shift him a bit." Barbara stated.
Her and Ashley pulled Joe's legs apart as far as they would go. They then immediately attacked the wound.
" you won't have to worry about any little Condors running about." Harry finished.
Nambu had a blank expression on his face. Inside he was screaming. He closed his eyes and tried to focus.
"Barb?" Nambu asked quietly.
He got no answer. Nambu opened his eyes to see the two women searching for the wound and any metal fragments. Nambu could feel his hands trembling.
"Where is that CAT scan?" Nambu asked to the room.
" I'll find out." Harry said.
Ashley and Barb were swabbing blood and going inch by inch over Joe's right thigh and groin.
"Ow. I think I found something metal." Barb said pulling her hands apart. "Ash, get in there."
Ashley carefully felt for the metal shard. It was where Joe's right thigh and groin came together. Barb carefully held Joe aside as Ashley went in.
"Got it." Ashley said going in with tweezers.
Nambu saw and felt Joe's head twitch.
" Don't move! Anyone." Nambu screamed.
Barb and Ashley stopped moving their hands but Joe's thigh kept twitching.
" He isn't all the way under. " Nambu whispered.
The two anesthetists and one anesthesiologist were doing the best they could. Joe was very hard to put under and keep under. The best they could normally do was have him slurring. Joe's system just burned through anesthesia.
" They are bringing the CAT scans now." Harry said as he pulled Joe's eyes open.
Joe's gaze followed his pen light very slowly. The anesthesia team started readjusting Joe's med drips.
" Joe you have to just hold still. You have a metal fragment that we need to get out. If you understand, squeeze Dr. Snee's hand." Nambu said quietly.
Joe's right hand twitched closed. Ashley pulled out a two centimeter metal shard and searched the wound for more. Barb could feel Joe's thigh twitching like mad.
" Sorry Joe, honey. I promise to stop man-handling you as soon as I can." Barbara said through a smile.
Nambu leaned in to Joe's ear and quietly said:" Now is not the time to play shy."
Nambu's and Barb's words had the desired effect. The tension left Joe's body which slowed the bleeding and twitching. Joe's mouth was attempting a smile.
" We will put you all the way under as soon as we get your drips right." Nambu said to Joe's face.
Just then two doctors rushed in holding pictures of Joe's brain.
" Dr.Nambu we have the CAT scans."
"Where is this metal touching his brain?" Nambu asked knowing the weight the answer held.
Harry took the scans and placed them on a screen that Nambu could see. The metal was resting next to his amygdala. Not puncturing it. A bruised amygdala was a lot better brain injury than Nambu was expecting. Joe's head flopped in his hands.
"I think he is out, finally." Nambu stated.
Harry opened Joe's eyes to find they were rolled back.
" He is in la, la land. So, let's get this fragment out of his head and these wounds stitched up." Nambu, happily, stated.
" Hai!, Nambu."