I slathered some more healing paste on the hamburger that used to be Derek’s chest. I was surprised they had even managed to get him back to lab in that state. Ah, there was some premature healing, probably from a stimpack or two. That explained it. Still, I frowned at their story. “She shot three gargants?”
Derek nodded, though it clearly pained him. “With darts loaded with that calciophage stuff you and Clarke cooked up, yes.”
I rolled my eyes. “That stupid…I didn’t have anything to do with that. It’s a horrible invention. Too dangerous to use effectively. Akane, hand me that gauze, would you? Thanks.”
“It seemed to work against the gargants,” Adam pointed out.
I snorted. “And if you had been dealing with iron-heart gargants, they wouldn’t have even noticed. But that’s not what I mean. It gets into the air, then into your lungs, and kills everyone in the area.”
Adam blanched and covered his mouth. Akane giggled, and even Derek managed to crack a smile.
“Ah…but you don’t have to worry,” I assured him. “You’d be dead by now if you had gotten any in you.”
He lowered his hand sheepishly. “Of…course.” He looked around, desperately seeking to change the subject. “Where’s that red girl? Robyn, right?”
“She left a while ago,” I explained, as I added a few more bandages to Derek. “Said she felt useless.” I heard the click of heels. “Speaking of useless…”
Lizzy walked into the room.
She was wearing black. Lots of black. Black heels with straps that went up to her thigh, black shorts that reached down to the straps, and a marvelous black corset, with a dark shawl wrapped around it all.
I practically had to use my full weight to keep Derek on the table. I don’t know what the idiot was planning to do—hug her, probably—but he was hardly in any shape to do it.
“Hello,” I greeted her neutrally. “Didn’t you say you were bringing Ling with you?”
Lizzy cocked her head in confusion (and I felt Derek’s heart rate speed up), before nodding. “Ah, right. Yes, but she wanted to spend time with her ave friend. Make sure he’s doing all right, I suppose.”
“Fair enough,” I said slowly, searching for the proper words. An awkward silence fell as my hands worked.
After a very long few minutes, I finished bandaging Derek, and I had no good reason to remain silent. I made sure to fix her with a steely gaze first, though. I may not be as intimidating as Derek, but it’s not something you want to be on the receiving end of. “Did you rescue these three morons from gargants earlier?”
She blinked, her jaw working silently for a moment before speaking. “You…know about that?”
I frowned. “Where’d you get the calciophage, Lizzy?”
She shrugged a little helplessly. “Well, you know…Clarke is not always good at keeping track of things…”
I sighed. That idiot. He had to be doing it on purpose. No one could be that stupid. “Of course. But that stuff is dangerous. Don’t use it again.”
This could mean serious trouble, and not just because of the calciophage. Lizzy was not a killer, not a fighter, and not even an athlete. If she tried to get in the middle of this mess with the Composer, she would be destroyed, in more ways than one. We needed to make sure nothing came of this. I made a mental note to speak to the others about it once Lizzy left the room.
Before the uncomfortable silence could fall again, Adam spoke. “Well, I for one am thankful for the rescue.”
“Yeah,” Akane agreed. “Dōmo arigatōgozaimashita.”
Derek couldn’t say much (I had bandaged him a little too tight), but grunted in agreement.
Lizzy just smiled with those perfect teeth of hers, her golden eyes glittering. “This…is too much. You have nothing to thank me for.”
Behind the Scenes (scene 78)
Shooort. But this wasn’t really all that important, just shows Derek healing, and explains why Lizzy isn’t suddenly going to join the Paladins.
Extra update Wednesday.