Happy Birthday, you're dead

(or a funny thing happened to Geoff on his way to a surprise birthday party.)

Part 7.


1400 Medical - Geoff's room.

Jenny looked up as Davy and Joey entered the room.

"Hey Davy, thought you'd show up here," She stated as she stood up and offered her hand to Joey. "Heard a lot about you," she said as he shyly took her hand.

Davy watched Joey and shook his head. It never ceased to amaze him how like his brother he really was.

"Tell you what," Jenny commented. "I'm going to get us all something to eat, cause if I know my big brother, he hasn't had anything since this whole thing began, and he probably didn't think of offering you anything."

Davy bowed his head at his sister's mock chiding. "Make yourselves comfortable," she added, then left the room.

"That's Jenny," Davy stated as the door closed behind her.

"How many of you are there?" Joey asked in disbelief.

"At last count, I'd say there are about 57," Davy answered, then laughed at Joey's expression. "Let me explain about Momma Wilson, she never could say 'no' to a kid in need. Geoff was the first in a long line of adoptions."

"I'm really glad he ended up in your family," Joey stated.

Davy blushed at the gratitude and relief in Joey's eyes. "He's a good man," Davy agreed. "I'm just glad you turned out like you did."

Joey ducked his head away and turned towards Geoff. "Tell me about him," he asked softly.

"What do you want to know?"

"The truth," Joey stated. "All my life, all I've heard was what an abomination he was, what a... I don't even want to think about it."

Davy looked at Joey and nodded. "The first ten years weren't too pretty," Davy warned him. "Geoff never really talked about it much. We tried to act like it never happened, but you could see it. He was afraid for a long time. Afraid of breaking some unwritten rule and have everything taken away from him. Afraid of being the monster his dad claimed he was."

Joey bit his lip and nodded, encouraging Davy to go on.

"Your dad nearly killed him when he was ten," Davy started. "That's when he came to live with us. Tore us all up to see what he'd done, and Geoff, he acted like it was all his fault. Geoff's like that, takes everything on himself. Anyway he got settled in and things were a lot better after that, for all of us," he assured Joey.

"I mean, before long, there wasn't anything Geoff and I couldn't handle between the two of us. Mom was worried a lot at first, about how I'd handle not being an only child. How I'd take to him, how he'd take to me. But you couldn't look at Geoff back then without wanting to protect him. Turns out, a lot of the time, he was the one doing the protecting."

"Why'd you call him 'Ten?' Joey asked.


"Back in the tunnels, you called him 'Ten.'"

"Tendown," Davy explained. "Geoff, Derrick and me, we served in the military together. Tendown was he call sign, cause he was always only ten minutes down from where you were."

"What were you called?" Joey asked softly.

"Corndog," Davy answered with a head shake. "Geoff tagged me with that one and it stuck." Davy stopped as he thought of all the things they'd been through together. About Geoff and Derrick, their time in the military, the missions that almost got them killed, the setup that had cost them all so dearly. Then he though about what had happened over the last few hours and bowed his head.

"Davy?" Joey called softly.

"So much," Davy whispered. "We've been through so much." Davy tried to control himself, but the words just came out. "I don't think I could take losing him, I know I can't." Joey rested his hand on Davy's shoulder and nodded. What Davy hadn't told him in words were made clear by his inability to say more.

His brother was indeed a good man, and perhaps more importantly, had a lot of people who cared about him, he had family.

They sat in silence for a few minutes until the inter-comm sounded. "Davy," a woman's voice called.

"Liv' you alright?" Davy asked worriedly.

"I'm fine, and I have a copy of the will and the rider. I think you should take a look."

"I'm in Geoff's room, can you bring a copy by?" he asked.

"You got it," Livia answered then added,"You eat anything yet?"

"See the hastles I have to put up with?" Davy whispered to Joey.

"What was that?"

"Jenny's already getting me food," Davy answered with a chuckle. "You have any troubles getting the docs?"

"Do I ever?" Livia asked smuggly.

"Aside from an occasional paper cut, no." Davy admitted.

"I'll bring them to you," she promised.

Joey watched as Davy turned off the inter-comm and looked around the room. "Tomorrow's his birthday," Davy said as he looked over at Geoff. "Almost didn't make it." He refrained from pointing out that he might not make it. Davy knew he couldn't take that.

"How old will he be?" Joey asked.

"It'll be our 40th," Davy answered without thinking. "Forty years," he added in disbelief.

"How about you?" Davy asked as he forced himself out of his revery.

"I'll be eighteen next month." Joey answered.

"You know, Geoff and I signed up for the military on our eighteenth birthday. Biggest, best mistake of our lives."

"My dad always wanted me to carry on in the family business," Joey stated quietly. "Said that I had a responsibility to my family. Now my mother," he added, and Davy could hear the change in his voice. "Mom always said I had a responsibility to myself, to find my path and follow it. Course, she'd never say that around my father."

Davy chuckled. "I can believe that. Edwin Mays could be a very intimidating man."

"You met him?" Joey asked in surprise.

"Once," Davy admitted. "When we were twelve, my folks finalized the adoption. Mr. Mays was there with his lawyer to sign the papers and make it very clear that he owed them nothing. I was so scared of him, until I saw Geoff. It took every bit of will on his part to come to that meeting and even sit in the same room as the man. After that I was too angry to be afraid."

Joey nodded, and knew Davy was speaking from the heart.

1500 medical - Geoff's room.

Davy turned the page and began re-reading the second page of the will.

"Davy," Livia chided. "If I'd known it would keep you from eating, I wouldn't have brought the papers down, till after you'd eaten."

"I'm eating, I'm eating," he objected as he pointed to his sandwich.

"One bite, in one hour does not constitute eating."

"Jenny help," Davy pleaded as he looked to her for support.

"I'm with her," Jenny told him as she took the papers away. "Eat!"

Joe watched the exchange and laughed as Davy picked up his sandwich and took a healthy bite. "See, I'm eating..."

"Davy," Jenny groused at him. "I've got one brother recovering from major surgery, another that's locked himself in ISO and refuses to leave until Tracker's okay. Gina's out cold in room 4 and Kenny had to be carried out of surgery. You know if somebody really wanted to take us out, all they'd have to do is leave you all to your own devices."

"What about Bear and Duck?" Davy asked as he stuffed the rest of the sandwich into his mouth.

"Oh, yeah, another batch of overdoers.." Jenny groused, then smiled. "Bear's starting to come around, Ducks still out cold, but she's finally stable."

Davy nodded and then reached for the papers. "I'm done eating now mom, can I have them back."

Jenny looked at him and shook her head. "You're an ulcer waiting to happen," she warned as she handed him the papers.

"I'll keep that in mind," Davy answered as he flipped back to page two.

Joey chuckled out loud, and regretted it immediately.

"And you," Jenny stated as she turned on him. "Don't encourage him, he's too old and set in his ways, but you're not too old yet!"

"Take it easy on the kid, Jen," Davy chided as he noticed the shocked look on Joey's face. "Don't worry Joey, we take some getting used to."

1530 - ISO

Rabbit pulled the needle out and lined it up with the three that he'd already administered. When he finished, he checked Tracker's pulse. Tracker didn't move. He just stared up at the ceiling through unseeing eyes, oblivious to the entire process.

"Come on man," Rabbit urged. "Come on."

Tracker's expression remained blank as he talked to him.

Rabbit checked his watch and sighed. '10 and a half hours left,' he told himself. He sat back down and started shuffling the deck.

"Why are you doing this?" he heard Tracker groan.

"Tracker?" he called, but then he realized that Tracker wasn't talking to him.

Rabbit got up and moved closer to Tracker. "Tracker," he called, "Its me, Derrick."

Tracker turned his head and shook it. His eyes were no longer blank, but filled with pain. Then he screamed.

No matter how much he had prepared himself for this, Rabbit knew that he had absolutely no idea how Tracker would react to any of this. Like Tommy had warned him, there were times when Tracker was clear and normal, and others, like now, where he was anything but.

Rabbit went back to the report confirmed his suspicions. It wasn't the toxin that was causing the reaction, but rather the serum. "Aw shit Tracker," he swore as he realized that the only way to save Tracker's life was to put him through this ordeal. '20 more doses of hell to deliver to a friend.' he thought to himself.

Derrick ran his hand through his hair and let out a scream of his own.

1600 - Control room.

Eclipse turned as the door behind him opened. It was Rico returning with some much needed food.

"Any changes?" he asked as he passed a tray to Boomer, and another to Eclipse.

"Not a peep," Boomer commented. "Any news?"

Rico shook his head. "Tracker and Rabbit are in ISO until 0200, Geoff's out of surgery. Davy's called a board meeting for 2100, other than that things are quiet."

Boomer looked over at Eclipse and nodded. "You may want to take a nap while you can," he suggested. "No telling when things are going to go active again."

Eclipse nodded and tried to get more comfortable in the chair. Boomer just shook his head. "Rico, will you take him to one of the barracks?"

Eclipse looked at them and shook his head. "Barracks?"

"What, you think we're all a bunch of fanatics around here? Go get some sleep."

With that, Boomer turned back to the surveillance monitors.

1700 - Medical, Iso until.

Rabbit ran a hand through his hair as he finished administering the serum to Tracker and lined up the needle with the others. Seven doses down. He looked over at Tracker who smiled back at him.

"I like the blue ones," Tracker told him matter of factly.

"That's good," Rabbit stated as he took Tracker's pulse. "Just steer clear of the yellow ones," he added. He had no idea what they were talking about.

Suddenly Tracker looked at him and gasped. "Rabbit?" he asked softly.

"Hey Tracker, welcome back," he said as he noticed Tracker's eyes had fixed on him.

"How bad has it been?" he asked softly.

"Well, lets just say, you shouldn't give up your day job," Rabbit suggested.

Tracker looked at him and smiled. "Very funny," he said.

Rabbit started to smile, but then he saw the pain in Tracker's eyes before a sound even escaped his lips. This time he didn't scream, but the agony was echoed in his breathing.

"Just hold on," he urged. "I'll see you through this man, but ya' gotta hang on."

17 more doses to go. Rabbit closed his eyes and waited for the urge to scream to pass.

Copyright 1998 - M.T. Decker

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