Chapter – XXIII
Max Hall once again found himself in that all too familiar infirmary. Erik and Robin were there as well, as was Tom, who had returned from his meeting with Dean Smith. Victoria had decided to tag along as well, though Danielle had gone back to her room, claiming she needed a shower to feel human again. Considering the punishing workouts they had been going through in Gym, Danielle was oddly clean already, but nobody gave it much thought in the face of their injured friend.
Of course Peter was the first one down to his sister’s side.
“Please, doctor Miles, let me attend to Catherine. I’ve healed her a bunch of times before, and she’s always responded well.”
Dr. Miles hesitated for a few seconds before answering. “You understand, if I were to allow you to heal your sister, it goes against protocol and proceedure. You know that freshmen healers normally aren’t allowed to treat injured students this early in their careers.” Dr. Miles carefully avoided looking at Robin, who cast a glance aside at an unoccupied bed that went unnoticed by her friends.
“However,” Dr. Miles continued “I suppose that since she’s your sister and you do have experience healing her, I’ll allow it under supervision.”
“Thank you sir.” Peter said. He closed his eyes and took a breath. As soon as he released it, a flash lit the infirmary and Peter stood next to his unconscious sister’s bed in his angelic form.
A glow like the memory of a warm summer’s day radiated from Peter as he gently laid his hand on Cat’s head.
“Dominus in caelo, obsecro, sana vulnera sororis,” Peter said in a resonant baritone. “Pater coelestis , partis vestri gratia cum Catherine.” As the steady stream on latin continued, the warm, soft glow spread from Peter’s hands and over Cat’s prone form. After a few seconds Peter’s massive wings solidified from the corona of light radiating from his back, and curled over her protectively.
Behind Peter, the group of friends felt themselves relaxing. Aching muscles eased their complaining. Shoulders that were unknowingly hunched with quiet tension slowly relaxed.
“What is he saying?” Erik asked, though the question didn’t seem to be directed toward anyone in particular.
“I don’t know. I think it’s Latin.” Tom said. “I mean, I think I think it sounds like Latin. Did you know he spoke Latin?”
“Nope, but apparently he can.” Robin said.
As the litnany of Latin continued, the glow from beneath Peter’s wings intensified to the point where those gathered around had to look away.
A short time later, though everybody around Cat’s bed was transfixed enough by the spectacle of an angel healing her to say how long it took, Peter stepped away from the bed. Though he still looked like the renaissance angelic ideal, he still radiated a soft golden light, but there was a weariness about him.
When he shifted back to his human form, Peter nolonger looked weary. He looked absolutely exhausted. He was paler than he had been before his transformation, his shoulders drooped, and there were shadows under his eyes.
Cat, on the other hand, was resting peacefully, a small smile on her face. The ugly bruises that had marred her skin after the fight were gone, and her formerly shallow breathing was deep and steady.
“The Lord has been merciful,” Peter said “Catherine will need to rest, but she is healed.”
“Aright kiddos,” Dr. Miles said, addressing Max, Tom, Erik, Robin, and Victoria “Time to go. We need to let Catherine rest, and it looks like Peter could use some rest as well.”
The friends said their goodbyes and headed toward the door of the infirmary.
“Thank you, sir. And maybe something to eat as well? Cat was more injured than I thought. I’m starving.” Peter said.
“Fascinating.” Dr. Miles said, the relays and switches in his prodigious mind began ticking of their own accord as he began mulling over the possibilities of Peter’s ability.
“I don’t know what was more impressive, Cat in the fight or Peter’s healing.” Robin said.
“If I hadn’t seen Christina fight, I would have said, Cat, but how do you fight against somebody who’s power can change their power?”
“Damned if I know” Tom hadn’t seen the fight, but an enthusiastic Erik had given him a full recap, complete with color commentary. “I wonder if she’s related to Globe? I saw a special on him once and they speculated that he might have random power. They also said that maybe having random powers drove him crazy.”
“Well, I guess that would explain a lot.” Max said. He may have the only super from a small town, but even he had heard of the traitor Globe. You’d either have to be incredibly sheltered or cut off from civilization to not have heard of Globe. “But about Cat, do you guys think she is going to be okay?”
“Yeah, she’ll be fine. They’re really good at fixing people up in there.” Robin said “After all, they patched you up, Slick, and you were in pretty rough shape when they brought you in.”
Both Tom and Max winced slightly at the memory of their fight on the first day of the HCP.
“That’s not what I meant. I know Dr. Miles would make sure Cat was okay physically. I’m worried… Well… You guys have seen her when we’re playing a game and she loses. How is she going to be when she really got beat?”
“Oh, right.” Erik said. Even as massive as he was, he lived in fear of the diminuative Cat’s rage when the game supposedly cheated. “Yeah, we should probably do something to cheer her up. Any ideas?”
“Well, we could try putting together a gaming night.” Max ventured.
“Nah, if she’s already going to be in a bad mood, I thing games are out.” Robin said. “How about go carts? It would be like a real-life JumpCart game.”
“That could be fun, but that there’s still that ‘losing’ thing. Besides…” he said, his voice trailing off as a slight blush colored his face “I can’t drive.” Glancing around at the incredulous looks on his friends’ faces, Tom. “What? I’m a teleporter from New York City. Why should I bother learning how to drive?”
“Okay, okay.” Robin said, though the glint in her eyes let Tom know it wouldn’t be soon forgotten. “Well, do you have any ideas?”
“We are in college, and it Friday, there’s gotta be a party going on somewhere close.” Tom said.
“A party? Are you sure, I mean, we are trying to be Heros.” Max said “And I’ve heard about gangs kidnapping supers and forcing them to join.”
“Sure, why not? We are in college too, ya know. And I’m sure we could find something close to campus.”
“Well… I guess we’re going to a party.” Robin said. “Anyone know where one is?”
“What did you see?” Helen asked Alex. Classes were done for the day and the two were in Alex’s office, each had an open bottle of beer procured from the mini-fridge hidden in Alex’s desk. He was still rather proud of his custom built door that looked like the drawer fronts that had come on the desk.
“I saw a damn good fight, is what I saw.” Alex responded before taking a swig from his bottle. “They’re both going to be tough to train. Catherine’s big form is a classic strongman, but she needs to learn how to actually fight. That’s a natural fit for Close Combat. Her mass and reach should make close combat double tough. The little dog-thing, that looks more like something for Subtley or Control hero. The senses, stealth, speed, and poison… Having options and flexibility are great, but you have to be able to use the tools for them to be worthwhile. And then there’s Christina…”
After mentioning the volatile freshman his voice simply trailed off.
“Agreed.” Helen said. “At least Catherine is stabile and listens. Christina is one angry bitch, and how the hell are we going to train her? I’ll be stunned if she isn’t the top rank when we split the class, and that means she goes for combat training. But how can we train her when we don’t even know what power she is going to have that day? That’s if we can even teach her once we start letting her hit people in class. I wish she weren’t such a good fighter, so we could put her in Alternative training.”
Helen took a swig of her own. It was one of those craft beers Alex had taken a liking too. She had to admit that it was pretty good, but she probably didn’t want to know where they got pumpkins to brew it in August, or whenever they had to start to have it out in September. She grew up near some farms, and it definitely wasn’t pumpkin season yet.
“With her history, there’s no way she wasn’t going to be a beast. We just have to hope we can channel it.” Alex paused for a short while, his eyes focusing on something in the middle distance. “You know, I think I have an idea on how to train them. It might even help some of the other students as well. Let me think a bit and run it by John.”