March 9th 0800
Tracker parked the car they'd used in a parking garage 4 blocks from the Backer Brother's offices.
"Ready?" Tracker asked as he unlocked the door.
"I'm not used to being seen," Eclipse grumbled.
"Come on, live a little," Boomer urged with a grin.
"That's the entire idea behind not being seen."
"Look, we need to get this thing into the open and get them to stop."
"You want them to know that he's back at the office?" Eclipse asked as he shook his head.
"We want to get them all in one place." Tracker stated.
"But you're going to get us all killed."
"Them, yes." Tracker countered. "Us, no."
At that Boomer started chuckling to himself.
"Care to share?" Tracker asked as he looked over at Boomer. Sometimes the man was worse than Mad Rabbit.
"I was just thinking, looks like we're finally going to give Geoff a surprise birthday party."
"Boomer," Tracker stated as he looked at his friend. "No offence man, but next time I have to go somewhere with you guys-- I'm picking Gina."
March 9th 0830
Davy walked back to the waiting area after talking to Gina. Geoff was still delirious, but they had gotten his fever down. At least that was something to tell the others.
As he neared Rico and Rabbit he shook his head. The kid looked so much like Geoff it wasn't funny. He even had the same anxious look Geoff had had when he first arrived at the Wilson household. Nervous, scared and wanting so desperately to be liked, yet some how feeling unworthy of it.
"How is he?" Rabbit asked before anybody else could.
"His fever is down, but he's not out of the woods yet. Joseph," he called as his eyes met Joey's. "Can we get you anything?"
"No sir," Joey answered shyly. "I, if I'd known how you all stick together, I wouldn't have..."
"How could you know?" Davy asked with a touch of anger in his voice. He kicked himself when he saw the hurt look in the kid's eyes. Geoff's eyes. "Its not you," Davy tried to assure him. "Its your family. What they did, what they're doing."
"I know," Joey answered softly, and everyone could hear the guilt in his voice.
"You aren't listening," Davy stated raggedly. "Them, not you. You were trying to protect him. Dammit, you are so much like Geoff I could throttle you."
Joey looked up at him in surprise. "Sir?"
"Joseph," Davy said his name then shook his head. "Geoff, he's always worried about everybody else. He was the outsider for so long, he didn't' want anybody to ever feel that way. He'd act like everything bad that ever happened was his fault, and he was always trying to make up for it. Now its taken him a good 30 years to get over it, and I really don't think I can take another 30 years of that from you."
Joey shook his head in confusion. "Sir?"
"An' will' ya stop calling me sir? Your Geoff's brother, that makes you our brother. Got it?" Davy asked, then added, "I'm Davy," as he offered his hand in friendship.
Joey smiled shyly and took the offered hand. As they shook, he looked Davy in the eyes and whispered. "I'm Joey."
March 9th 0900
Eclipse scanned the video outputs in the security office and shook his head.
"I had no idea the upstairs was just a front," he stated in disbelief.
"That's the idea," Tracker informed him. "From here we can watch for any activity and still remain relatively safe."
"Relatively safe?" Eclipse asked. "You know Tracker, you really need to work on you outlook."
Tracker rewarded him with a slightly evil grin, that made Eclipse shudder. "So how'd you meet the kid?"
"His uncle tried to hire me to take out your friend." Eclipse stated. "I didn't like the setup."
"What did they tell you?" Tracker asked.
"Hmpf, they said he was threatening the kid. Wanted the inheritance for himself." Eclipse replied. "It just didn't add up."
"Well, contrary to what you may think, I do my homework. Geoffrey's got a reputation for siding with the underdog and not caring about the monetary aspects."
"Right, doing your homework," Tracker stated sarcastically. "Except that you were researching a target, not some one to protect."
"That's not the angle I usually take."
"Well, you'll be happy to know that in this exercise, anybody coming through those doors will be fair game," Boomer chimed in.
"Boomer, sometimes, you scare me," Tracker sighed.
0930 Wilson Clinic O.R.
Gina leaned against the wall as the machine continued to filter Geoff's blood. Kenny looked at her and shook his head.
"It should be out of his system by now, but the filters keep picking more up," he groused.
"According to Eclipse, he gave Geoff the spray about 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon. There should be no traces of it left. This whole second bout shouldn't have happened." Gina agreed.
"I've worked on him, you've got this damn machine doubling the effort and there's still more coming."
"A re-dose?" Gina suggested.
"Carrier would have to deliver it on a time released basis," Kenny agreed.
"Full scan should detect it," Gina agreed as she logged into the medical scanner and prepped it for a full scan series. "Clear?" she asked.
"Clear," Kenny announced as he moved around to the other side of the machine.
They watched in silence as the machine probed Geoff with sound waves and magnetic resonance. By the end of the scan, they had their answer.
"Is that what I think it is," Kenny asked as he pointed to the capsule lodged in Geoff's colon.
"Take a look at the area around it," Gina stated. "It's increasing its release rate. In a few hours, It'll be to late to do anything."
"You're going to have to cut it out," Kenny stated as he looked Gina in they eyes.
"Kenny we can't give him any anaesthesia, it would kill him."
"I'll handle the pain, You just worry about cutting that thing out of him before it kills him."
Gina looked at him worriedly then nodded.
"I'll tell the others," Kenny stated as he gave Gina's arm a squeeze. "You prep him."
Gina nodded as Kenny headed towards to door.
"After this, I want to kill something," Kenny stated in a very un-Kenny like way. Gina knew exactly how he felt.
1000 Wilson Clinic Waiting Room
Kenny watched helplessly as Davy got up and put his hand through the wall.
"Feel better?" He asked as Davy stared at him.
"Not really, but I could try again," He answered angrily. "Haven't they done enough to him? When is this going to stop?"
"Davy?" Mad Rabbit called. "You know, I'm supposed to be the insane one here, you're the voice of reason. The voice of reason does not slam its fist through the wall..."
Kenny held his breath as Davy turned on Rabbit. "You want to reason this?" he asked as he waved his fist at Rabbit."
"Davy," Rabbit called. "We're all here. This ain't doing Ten one lick a' good. You want to beat something up, they got a surprise party brewin' in the office. But I know that's not where you want to be. Now, Kenny's going to need some help, cause otherwise, he'd be in there with Gina right now. So lets give the man what he needs and get this show on the road."
Davy sat down and stared at Rabbit in shock. Joey who'd been watching the exchange sat down next to Davy and rested a hand on his shoulder.
Kenny shook his head. His expression was so like Geoff's it was unnerving.
Kenny looked over to Gina and nodded. He was ready. Gina picked up her laser-scalpel and adjusted the beam.
"Ready," Gina commented as she palpitated the area around the capsule.
Together they began the operation. Kenny, working as a sort of anaesthesiologist, and Gina as surgeon.
As Gina made her first incision she could feel the capsule move, almost as if it was dodging her scalpel. "Kenny, its moving," she called worriedly.
"Switch to a regular blade," Kenny urged curtly.
"Switching," Gina answered as she picked up a new blade and made the final incision. "Shit, its deteriorating, let me get the suction in there." As she moved the tube in she made a silent prayer.
"Chromatography reports a slight rise," Kenny informed her as he checked the reading on the equipment. "But its holding steady."
"I want another full scan after I close up here," Gina commented with a sigh of relief as the last remnants of the capsule were sucked out of Geoff's body. "And a full blood work-up."
Kenny nodded in agreement. "Then I want to find who-ever's responsible."
"And give him a taste of his own medicine," Gina growled.
"Amen sister, Amen."
"Who do you think?" Gina asked as she began the chore of closing.
"I don't think its the kid," Kenny answered evenly. "And Eclipse seems to genuinely care."
"Well it had to be somebody. Didn't Boomer mention a Doc?"
"Doc Waters?" Gina asked.
"Doc Waters," Kenny echoed in agreement.
1045 Control Room
"Doc Waters?" Eclipse exclaimed in disgust. "You sure?"
"Not really," Tracker answered tersely. "Could have been you or the kid."
Eclipse shook his head. "Joey, no-- all he'd have to do is sitback and do nothing... let the others take care of Geoff."
"Well that leaves you and the good doctor," Boomer informed him.
"And regardless of my personal feelings," Tracker stated with a slight growl. "I don't think you have it in you. A quick death, face to face sure. But to slowly kill him, not your style."
"Thanks, I think," Eclipse answered. "But I think I'm going to have a long talk with the Doc."
"Let Gina and Kenny deal with it," Boomer stated. "They're not above a little poetic justice."
"You know Boomer," Tracker stated. "Your whole family scares me sometimes."
Boomer just smiled.
Kenny joined the others in the waiting room.
"Did you get it in time?"
"We think so," Kenny answered as he looked at his siblings. "Gina's doing a full work up to be sure, and I need to check in on Duck and Bear.
"When can we see him?" Davy asked anxiously.
"Its still going to be a while," Kenny stated gently. "He's been through a lot the last 24 or so hours. Try and get some rest if you can, its bound to be a long day."
"I'll get some blankets," Rabbit offered as he looked over at Davy and Joey.
"I need to check on Livia," Davy added. "Then I'll rest," he promised and was rewarded with Kenny's best exasperated stare.
"Better call mom too," Kenny suggested.
"Mom?" Davy asked worriedly.
"You can tell her we were too late," Gina stated dejectedly.
Kenny turned and saw the tears in Gina's eyes as she approached them. "We were too fucking late." she sobbed.
"Gina?" Rabbit asked as he looked her in the eyes.
"The capsule itself was poisonous. As it dissolved it bonded itself to the blood. Undetectable at first, and masked by the sedative."
"The filters?" Kenny asked desperately.
Gina shook her head. "They're too small, and bonded to the red blood cells. They're just going to travel slowly through his system, until they reached his heart. There they'll bind with the muscles itself, when enough of the particles bond, the heart will just shut down."
"How long," Davy asked quietly.
"36 hours, tops." Gina answered woodenly.
Kenny took Gina in his arms and held her as the others dealt with the news in their own way.
Rabbit just flopped back in his chair in shock. Joey sat there, the picture of dejection. The worst reaction was Davy who was caught somewhere between screaming and crying and falling to the floor.
They all turned as Davy let out an inarticulate cry of pure dejection. Gina and Kenny moved as one to hold him, but Rabbit just stared at the wall and swallowed.
Joey froze, as he tried to take it all in. He'd managed to save Geoff from one trap, only to deliver him into another. And now the people who loved him would have to be the ones to sit and watch him die. At least the first attack would have been over quickly.
"There has to be something," Davy finally whispered. "Something we can do."
"We can prolong it," Gina answered softly. "We can't stop it."
Then Rabbits eye's lit out and he let out a snort. "Gina, if the blood is bad, replace it."
Gina stopped and stared at Rabbit for a minute. "Transfusion? We'd don't have enough blood available for a full transfusion, and every particle that gets through would weaken the heart."
"How about synthetic?" Kenny offered. "We'd still have to worry about heart damage, but at least he'd live."
"Again, we're prolong it," Gina objected softly. "But the agents, they're already collecting."
"Bio or mechanical?" Kenny asked, a faint glimps of hope flickering in his eyes.
"Bio," Gina answered as the thought started to form in her mind. "Rabbit, your a genius!"
Rabbit turned as Gina gave him a huge hug. "Huh?"
"Forget the blood, we replace the heart," Gina explained.
"The agent effects Bio, we give Geoff a mechanical heart, it can't effect him." Kenny added.
"Can you?" Davy asked almost as if he was afraid to hope.
"Its not a hundred percent," Gina warned. "Heart replacement has a 98% success rate, under the best of circumstances. And these, well, they're less than optimal."
"But he has a chance right?" Davy asked, the desperation in his voice was clear.
"Better than he had before," Kenny answered. "But that's not saying much," he warned.
Davy bit his lip and nodded. "Do it," he ordered pleadingly. "Save him."
"You know we'll do everything we can, you just hang on," Kenny urged. Then he turned to the others. "Rabbit? Joseph?"
Rabbit turned and finally focused on Kenny. "Hold on, hold together... Check," he answered but Kenny could see the pain and worry in his eyes as he turned towards Davy.
"Joseph?" Kenny called to their young guest, but the boy was lost in his own thoughts. "Joseph?" he called again, but there was still no response.
"Joey," Davy called his voice trembling. "Joey?"
Joey turned, Davy's despair mirrored in his own eyes. "I... just,"
"I know," Davy said as he reached out for Joey's hand. "I know."