wonder_city: (Default)
[personal profile] wonder_city
At Present Low, But Will Soon Be Better

Ira's attention was snatched away from the chase by Jeshri's sudden lurch of dismay. He looked through her eyes and saw Brandon shored up against the river wall.

Brandon smiled briefly, wiping at the corner of his mouth. He tried to rise (a second time, apparently, according to Jeshri), but fell back against the wall. Tried again and failed again. He frowned and focused on the remaining group. "Hurts," he said, not very loudly.

Tom walked over quickly. "Did you hit your head?" he asked, crouching down next to his housemate.

"Uh," Brandon said, licking his lips. "I don't know?" He tried to reach up to touch the back of his head, but winced and dropped his hand to his side. "Hurts."

"What hurts?" Eartha said, standing a few feet from him.

"Um," Brandon said, trying a deep breath and making a pained noise. "Chest."

"He hit him in the chest," Jeshri said, reaching into her pocket and producing a cell phone.

"That won't work," Lizzie said to her, pointing at the phone.

Jeshri gave her a brief smile as the screen lit up under her fingertips. "Hardened. I work with electricity, remember?" She dialed and put the phone to her ear.

Brandon was frowning again, looking perplexed. "Can't... breathe right," he said between short breaths.

"He probably broke your ribs, dude," Tom said. "It's gonna hurt."

Brandon touched his chest vaguely, and his fingers caught in the strings of his hoodie. He wrenched them free impatiently. "Hurts," he said again. "A lot."

Jeshri was talking to the 911 operator. "Yes, supervillain combat at Staybird Park. No, he's run away toward town. We have an injured person here, though."

Ira looked at Brandon through Tom's eyes. He didn't like the ghastly grey color of Brandon's face, even allowing for the sodium vapor lamplight. Or the way Brandon's eyes were rolling. He's passing out, he said through the link. Try laying him back flat, son.

Tom needed Lizzie's help to stretch Brandon out on the chilly concrete. They bore with gritted teeth Brandon's pathetic hisses and whimpers, and Lizzie pulled off her own hoodie to drape over Brandon.

"Shock?" Tom said.

"Looks like it to me," Eartha said, peering. "I'll go to the front of the park to meet the ambulance." She zipped off, cautiously, in the direction the battle had gone. Meteor's head was not visible in the distance.

Oh, yes, Ira thought. He's in shock. Ira replayed what he'd seen of the blow through his memory. Oh, yes. Just like McMullin.

Can either of you take a pulse? he said into the link.

Lizzie said, Yes, I just finished my CPR cert at the Y. She knelt next to Brandon and fumbled for the pulse in his wrist.

Brandon was gasping for breath, short shallow inhalations through his teeth. His eyes were open, but slitted. "Thought he was my bro," he mumbled.

"He wasn't," Tom said, more than a little bitterly.

Jeshri knelt down and actually took Brandon's hand. "The ambulance is on its way."

I can barely feel his pulse, Lizzie said into the link.

The harsh panting suddenly stopped. "The fuck?" Tom said, only just barely stopped by Ira from unadvisedly shaking the man on the ground. "Brandon? Brandon?"

"He's not breathing," Jeshri said, eyes wide. "What can we do? We've got to do something!"

Mouth to mouth, Ira said, keeping the subsequent thought of for all the good it will do to himself. When none of the kids moved, he said, more urgently, Mouth to mouth, Lizzie. No compressions, I think.

Lizzie shoved Tom out of the way peremptorily and lurched forward. She carefully cleared Brandon's airway and started breathing for him.

In the distance, there was a faint wail of a siren.

"Just like McMullin," Ira said out loud at the table, rubbing his face. Watson looked at him, and he said, "Seen it before, in Korea. Corporal McMullin was hit by a boulder thrown by one of the bulletproofs on the other side. When they opened up his chest, he was full of blood."

Watson looked down at her phone. "Ambulance is 2 minutes away."

Ira looked back through the link, at the woman breathing for the man on the ground, another woman standing by worried, the man on his knees watching, all so very young. He hadn't felt this helpless since the Platinum Protector had died in his arms of a gut punch that not only pasted her insides but severed her spine. He drank his coffee and wished for something stronger. To toast McMullin, perhaps.


Note from the Author:

Want the next happenings from Simon & co? Ten comments by Thursday morning gets it for you!

Vote for WCS!

Date: 2011-09-20 03:28 pm (UTC)
finch: (Default)
From: [personal profile] finch
Oh god, tell me I'm not teary over Brandon of all people...

Date: 2011-09-20 04:15 pm (UTC)
kore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore


Date: 2011-09-22 03:48 pm (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx

Date: 2011-09-22 03:47 pm (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
Biggest compliment of the day! I managed to make people teary over a hated character! :)

Date: 2011-09-22 04:15 pm (UTC)
finch: (Default)
From: [personal profile] finch
I think it's because you did such a good job of showing everyone else's reactions to it, especially Ira's.

Date: 2011-09-20 04:15 pm (UTC)
kore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore

Date: 2011-09-20 05:06 pm (UTC)
the_rck: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_rck
You made me feel sorry for Brandon. That's evil.

Thanks for writing!

Date: 2011-09-22 03:48 pm (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
I am an EVIL writer!

Date: 2011-09-20 06:02 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Heh. High time there was some realistic damage in superhero fiction. When superman - who can flatten a freaking battleship - punches someone who can maybe lift a tank, the logical result is that the guy who just got punched with a thousand times his own strength will resemble a rather messy roadkill.

Ditto for when the difference is smaller. Someone who can lift a couple of tons that gets punched by someone who can lift fifty tons is comparable to your average car being run over by a 50-ton truck.

Date: 2011-09-22 03:49 pm (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
That's the thing! The thing that makes me crazy! I can stretch my disbelief to a certain extent, but when Superdickery hauls off and punches someone, they should be pulp.

Date: 2011-09-20 06:40 pm (UTC)
contrarywise: Glowing green trees along a road (Default)
From: [personal profile] contrarywise
Oh man, now I feel sorry for Brandon. The kid's a stupid ass, but he doesn't deserve to die for it.

Good man, Ira! I'm glad he was there to help and remind the kids on the ground of what to do. If his actions don't save Brandon's life, at least they've given him a chance.

Can't wait for the next installment!

Date: 2011-09-20 07:29 pm (UTC)
kore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore
IRA <333

Date: 2011-09-22 03:50 pm (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
Ira's got that background as a medic (though I didn't mention it specifically). I'm not modeling Ira's personality on my dad at all, but I admit that Dad's stories of being a medic during the Korean War were part of my decision here. (Dad never ended up in Korea proper, fortunately.)

Date: 2011-09-20 07:37 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I am NOT teary-eyed over Brandon. Sometimes idiots get what's coming to them. But, fortunately for him, medical technology has come a long long way since Korea. Especially trauma care.

Also, I love the way this town has paras everywhere, most of them - like Eartha - minding their own ordinary business, most of the time.

Date: 2011-09-22 03:51 pm (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
Not everyone has the wherewithal to become a superhero OR a supervillain. Most people with powers, it seems to me, would just try to get through their day-to-day, you know?

Date: 2011-09-20 10:24 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Also not crying over Brandon. Not that his particular brand of assitude is a capital crime exactly, but fortunes of war, yanno? One of the good guys non-villains has to buy it, better him than anyone else present.

Date: 2011-09-20 10:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] interleaper.livejournal.com
...the above was me, for the purposes of counting unique commenters.

Date: 2011-09-22 03:51 pm (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
Fortunes of para warfare, particularly.

Date: 2011-09-21 01:59 am (UTC)
sbearbergman: a photo of my head and shoulders, dressed in a navy suit and bright blue shirt, face turned partly away (Default)
From: [personal profile] sbearbergman
I'm not teary over Brandon, either. I just seem to be...allergic to something here.

Date: 2011-09-22 03:51 pm (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx

Date: 2011-09-21 08:22 pm (UTC)
glinda_w: photo of my piano, with a vase of lilacs next to the metronome and my grandmother's chime clock, poster over it (Default)
From: [personal profile] glinda_w
Aphasic today, so no actual, y'know, sense in this comment.

--g, apologetic

Date: 2011-09-22 03:52 pm (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
No problem!

Date: 2011-09-22 11:02 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Ugh, can't believe I missed this. Brandon and Lizzie are KISSING. Yeah, OK, Lizzie is actually doing mout-to-mouth but if Brandon survives and remembers I doubt he'll let it go like that. :)

Date: 2011-09-22 03:52 pm (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
Oh, he certainly wouldn't.

Date: 2012-01-28 09:10 am (UTC)
the_leaky_pen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_leaky_pen
And then Lizzie will regret rescuing him. Sucks to be a good guy sometimes. :D


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