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    zanoGreen
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WARNING: This story contains graphic content such as sex, violence, death, and derogatory slang.  

Imprisoned - 2. The Aftermath

Sorry it took me so long to finish this chapter, life has been crazy. Well anyway I hope you guys enjoy!

Here's the thing about the world we live in, it changes you. I used to be happy, content, never having to worry about dying from a killer virus, being blown up in a war, or worrying about whether I would ever see my fiance again. But if the past decade has taught me anything, it's taught me that I was fortunate with the life I had before everything went to hell.

"Keep pressure on that!" I yelled at a wide eyed young woman, as she held a piece of bloody fabric to a mans leg. The man was writhing around, moaning in pain. I looked wildly around for Cody, there was so much chaos that I couldn't see him.

Where the bonfire was, now lay a smoldering pit with splintered wood. Flaming logs lay scattered across the desert along with the lifeless bodies of the people who were once enjoying a fun party. Screams and yelling were echoing across the desert as people ran in multiple directions.

"Ah, my leg! My leg!" Groaned the man I was tending to. I observed his leg, a piece of splintered wood was sticking out of it, just narrowly missing his femoral artery. He was lucky.

"You'll be fine." I told him splinting off the injury. I looked at the young woman who was assisting me.

"Get him up to the jeeps now, evac should be here any minute." I commanded. She nodded her head and helped me raise the man to his feet who yelped in pain.

I turned and ran to the next wounded person, who lay some 10 feet from where I was originally. It was a woman, probably in her 30's. 3rd degree burns covered her body, her eyes frozen open. I checked for a pulse, nothing. I hung my head for a second then looked up when I heard a war cry. Running towards me was a Rager, holding a hatchet above his head. I pulled out my sidearm and shot him straight between the eyes, he fell to the desert floor with a thud.

"Everyone fall back to the jeeps!" I heard a man yell. There was a loud boom from a grenade that someone threw at the group that was advancing on us.

I looked around while staying crouched to the ground. Most of the people I could see were lifeless. I couldn't help them, especially if I were dead too. I sprang to my feet and began running towards the jeeps some 400 yards away. Explosions went off around me, spraying dirt and sand at me, but I just kept running. An explosion went off close to me knocking me to ground and knocking me out of my senses. My ears were ringing and everything seemed like it was going in slow motion.

"This is it. I'm gonna die." I thought to myself.

I felt a set of arms wrap around my middle and help me to my feet, I slumped against a solid but yet soft and warm surface. I glanced over and a blurry face came into focus, and I recognized the person as Ryan.

"Elliott, are you okay?!" Ryan yelled, concern in his voice.

I nodded my head slightly. "Y-yeah, I'm fine." I stood up straighter, resisting the urge to let myself just be held by this handsome man.

"Okay, now run!" He yelled, grabbing my hand in his and continuing the path I was on towards the jeeps. Shots rang out as people fired towards the group of Ragers that weren't far behind us. I knew once we got to there, we would be safe.

Once we reached the infantry line Ryan let go of my hand and turned to join the line, pulling out his sidearm and assisting with holding back the horde.

I immediately began assessing people. Most of them just had cuts and scraps, but some of them had impalement injuries, blunt force trauma, or were missing entire limbs. I attended to the most critical first, splinting off a man's severed arm to prevent him from bleeding out.

"Ell!" I heard someone yell. I turned to see Riley running towards me, the left side of his face was bloody from a gash he had received.

"Riley!" I yelled jumping up and embracing him in a hug.

"I thought you were a goner, I couldn't find you." Riley said releasing me from his bone crushing bear hug.

"No, no I was in the trees when the first explosion went off." I explained. Riley gave me a confused look.

"What were you doing in the trees?" He asked.

"Nevermind that," I waved my hand. "Where's Cody?" I asked a hint of worry in my voice.

"Over here attending to wounded." Riley said pulling me past the jeeps where wounded were hunkering down until help arrived. Cody was performing a procedure on a man who gushing blood from his leg.

"Cody what have we got?" I asked kneeling across from him.

"Oh Dr. Pierce! Am I glad to see you!" He shouted. "Shrapnel to the femoral artery. I'm trying to stop the bleeding but I can't get it." Cody continued. I looked at the man, he was losing consciousness fast as he lost precious blood out of his leg.

"Slow the bleed, he needs to be able to make it back to medical." I commanded.

"Yes Dr. Pierce." Cody acknowledged.

About 20 yards away a helicopter began to descend on the site. I slapped Cody on the shoulder to get his attention. "Get this man on that chopper and go with him back to medical! I'm gonna round up all the injured that can walk to go back with you!" I shouted.

"What about you?!" Cody asked with worry in his voice.

"Don't worry about me! Worry about these patients!" I commanded. Cody nodded his head and him another burly man, who I recognized as a Nurse, helped the man to his feet and began dragging him across the ground towards the chopper. "If you are injured and can walk, get to the chopper!" I shouted pointing towards the helicopter.

With that half a dozen people began slowly progressing towards the chopper.

I looked around for more wounded but I couldn't spot any. I pulled my gun from my holster and ran back to the infantry line. They were holding the horde back as best as they could, but backup would need to arrive soon or they would overpower us.

"Launching RPG!" I heard Boomers voice yell out, followed by a large explosion in a group of Ragers.

I settled next to Ryan, taking aim at any head that was running towards us. It was odd how Ryan's presence in that moment made me feel calm and at ease. No one had ever had that effect on me besides 2 people. Riley and James.

"Argghhh!" Ryan yelled out, his right side buckling slightly. I could see him reach down for his leg and I followed his arm down to see an arrow sticking out of the front of his thigh.

"Your hit!" I yelled dropping to one knee observing the wound.

"I'm fine, I'm fine!" Ryan growled.

I gripped the hole the arrow made, tearing it apart to get a better look at Ryan's leg. I inspected the wound closely, it looked as though it just hit muscle.

"You'll make it!" I yelled with a smirk. Ryan grinned back and kept firing at the Ragers.

Not even a minute later explosions began to go off in front of us. Laying waste to the last remnants of the Ragers that were advancing on us.

"About goddamn time!" I heard a woman yell as 2 fighter jets screamed overhead.

Everyone, including myself cheered throwing our fists up in the air, glad to be alive. Nothing remained, except the occasional body parts strewn here and there.

Ryan stood there, trying not to put all of his weight on his right leg, arrow still sticking out. He winced slightly at the pain and I quickly ducked under his left arm, wrapping my right arm around his waist. We began walking towards one of the jeeps, while the others searched the area for any remaining Ragers.

"I gotta get you back to medical and get this arrow out of you." I said.

"I can't believe I got stuck by an arrow, how archaic." Ryan laughed slightly.

"Well no one is allowed to have guns in the Republic. Only Police and Military." I explained.

"How sad. In Texas everyone has a gun." Ryan stated.

"Yeah I know, remind me to visit someday." I joked and Ryan chuckled.

We made it to my jeep and I helped Ryan into the back seat, he laid down and I closed the door. I hopped into the driver seat and fired up the jeep, her engine roaring to life.

The drive back was quick and bumpy, but Ryan stayed quiet most of the ride. I checked on him in my review mirror frequently. His perfect chest rising and falling at a gentle pace. I stole the opportunity to look at him more.

His sandy blonde hair was mostly flat and unkempt, curling slightly upward around the ears, which were met by a full beard. His lips looked soft and kissable, I wondered what it would be like to have them pressed against mine. I shook the thought away slightly, not wanting to have that distraction. His skin was an olive complexion, and his arms had veins that were very noticeable. I followed one down his arm until it terminated at his forearm. He had tattoos on his hands, which I was surprised I didn't notice upon our first meeting.

"If your gonna check me out you could always take a picture." Ryan stated.

I jumped startled as his deep drawl broke the silence in the jeep. I was immediately embarrassed that he caught me.

"In your dreams redneck." I retorted back. Ryan just smiled, closing his eyes. That smile, it was killer.

The same two guards as before waved me through the gate, I waved as I passed and they tipped their helmets at me. The base was surprisingly calm, except of course for medical. A chopper took off and headed back in the direction of Hart Park, presumably to pick up the dead that were left behind. I screeched to a halt in front of the medical tent and hopped out of the jeep. I opened the back door and gripped Ryan under the arm to help him onto the ground.

"I got it, I got it." Ryan said in an annoying tone.

"You don't got it, you can barely put weight on it." I stated. Ryan rolled his eyes. "Stop being a stubborn asshole and let me help." I commanded. Ryan shot me a look of surprise.

"Yes sir." He grinned. I ignored him, and we crossed through the threshold of the tent.

It was complete and udder chaos. Doctors and Nurses were scrambling around, trying to take care of patients. I spotted an empty gurney on the other side of the tent and motioned towards it. "Over there." I said pulling Ryan towards the direction of the gurney. He limped along side me and once we got to the gurney he hoisted himself onto it and laid back. I took out my trauma sheers and begun cutting up the leg of Ryan's pants, starting at the leg cuff.

"Whoa whoa what are you doing?!" He asked grabbing my hand.

"I need to be able to visualize the wound." I explained.

"You can't just visualize through the hole that's already there?" Ryan asked, his cheeks were flushed. Was he being shy?

"Do you want to lose your leg?" I asked placing my hands on my hips.

He thought for a second before speaking. "Fine, but no checking me out." He joked.

"Oh I'll fight the urge." I said sarcastically. He chuckled and positioned himself up on his elbows, observing me as I worked. I cut the rest of the way up his pant leg until I got to his upper thigh, I set my trauma sheers to the side and placed my hands on his leg around the arrow. His thigh felt muscular and tight in my hand, it had to have the same circumference as a redwood tree. Light blonde hairs dusted his legs and thigh.

"Your lucky, it looks like it missed any major blood supply." I explained.

I stood up and walked over to a glass medicine cabinet where we kept all of the heavy narcotics. I held my thumb to the lock pad and it gave a cheerful beep as the door popped open slightly. I found a vial that read 'lidocaine' and grabbed it, shoving it into my pocket. I closed the medicine door and waited for a beep to signal it was locked. I walked over to the bedside table next to Ryan and opened the top drawer grabbing a pair of gloves, a needle, and syringe. I pulled the gloves on and opened the package containing the needle and syringe. I held the vial upside down at eye level, sticking the needle into the bottle. Pulling back on the plunger for the syringe, I began to see the clear liquid begin to fill it.

Ryan watched me work the entire time, paying particular interest in the vial.

"What is that?" He asked.

"Lidocaine, its a local anaesthetic. If I give you the right amount it'll block the nerve receptors in your leg so you won't feel any pain." I explained. I pulled the needle out of the vial and pushed any remaining air out of the syringe.

"Is it gonna work?" Ryan said, a nervous tone in his voice.

I looked at him with a grin on my face. "Well if it doesn't then we'll definitely know." I chuckled slightly.

"That's not funny." Ryan said, but his face said otherwise as he fought back a grin.

I sat down on the edge of the gurney and placed a hand on his knee. "It'll be fine." I had a calm expression on my face.

Ryan met my gaze, I could definitely get lost in those eyes. They were like oceans, calm and warm. I cleared my throat and broke the gaze. I held the needle in my right hand and held his leg steady with my other, I began to aim the needle at a patch of skin just to the right of the arrow's entry point when Ryan grabbed my gloved hand.

"Wait." Ryan spoke, a twinge of nervousness in his voice.

"Ryan, I have to do this. If I don't the pain will be worse when I take the arrow out." I explained.

"I know, I know I just," He paused hanging his head. "I get a little anxious with medical procedures." He met my gaze again and had a look of embarrassment on his face.

"Fear of having no control, it's very common." I explained

"That's not the reason why." Ryan stated.

I racked my brain trying to think what kind trauma he had in his past that would make him anxious. He was calm and collected during the gun battle, but when it came to a minor procedure he seemed almost scared.

"Hey. Your gonna be okay." I stated in a confident tone.

Ryan let go of my hand and nodded his head. I picked up where I left off, aiming the needle close to the arrow entry point. I pushed the needle into Ryan's skin and he jumped slightly.

"Sorry." I apologized.

"It's fine." Ryan responded shortly.

"Dr. Pierce!" I heard Cody shout from a couple gurney's over. I looked in his direction, still pushing the lidocaine deep into Ryan's tissue. "You need help over there?" Cody asked.

"No I'm fine, you help the other patients." I ordered. Cody gave me a thumbs up and crossed the room to assist a patient with a head injury.

"Your apprentice?" Ryan asked.

"Yeah, he takes his boards next week." I said. I pulled the needle out of his leg and tossed it in the sharps container attached to the bedside cabinet.

"He's an energetic kid ain't he?" Ryan looked amused, as Cody zipped from gurney to gurney.

"Yeah but he's good." I defended.

"I don't deny it, I'm sure he has a good teacher." Ryan grinned.

"Your so corny." I responded. Ryan just chuckled. I grabbed my trauma sheers and cut the arrow shorter, throwing the tail in the bio-hazard trash. I grabbed a scalpel and began poking the site.

"Can you feel this?" I asked, poking in different areas.

"No." Ryan responded with a surprised expression. "That shit's amazing." He added.

I chuckled slightly. "It's only gonna dull the pain, it's not gonna to get rid of it completely." I explained. "Roll on your side for me." I instructed.

Ryan rolled to his side exposing the back of his muscular thigh. To my relief the arrow had went all the way through, the bloody arrowhead poking through the back shining in the fluorescent light.

I reached into the bedside cabinet, producing a pair of hemostat clamps. I clamped onto the arrow, just below the tip. The clamps clicked as I tightened down, locking the clamps into place.

"This might hurt a little bit." I stated. Ryan balled his fist and looked at me, nodding that he was ready. I pulled hard on the hemostat clamp and the arrow slid out of Ryan's leg in one quick motion.

"Arrgh." Ryan groaned squeezing his eyes shut.

I immediately grabbed handfuls of gauze and pressed down on either side of his leg, attempting to stop the bleed.

"You okay?" I asked. I felt bad for causing him any pain.

Ryan looked at me, nodding his head. "Yeah, I'm fine."

I looked over at a Nurse taking inventory. "Hey Julie, can you grab me a ClotQuick please?" I asked. She looked up from her tablet and nodded, before turning around and disappearing into the supply closet.

"So, come here often?" Ryan joked, a cocky tone in his voice. I just shook my head and grinned. "Why do I feel like there's more to you?" He asked. I knew he was just trying to get to know me, but I wasn't what you would call an open book. I was a closed book, with chains, and a lock with a lost key.

"What you see is what you get." I said in a matter of fact tone.

"Why do I get the impression that is not true?" Ryan peered into my eyes. I swallowed hard, no man has ever made me feel like this. Nervous, but not in a bad dangerous kind of way. I don't know if it was his eyes, his charm, or the fact that he seemed like a genuinely nice guy. But I just wanted to bury my face in chest and let him hold me while I told him my incredibly long, incredibly sad tale.

"Here you go Dr. Pierce." Julie was back, and handed me the stitch kit.

"Oh thank god." I thought to myself in a relieved tone. I wanted to end the awkwardness as soon as possible. I pulled the package open and pulled a smaller pouch out of it. The label read 'ClotQuick', it was a powder that we used on wounds. It immediately clotted the skin and the inside of the wound so it could heal, it was pretty amazing stuff.

"Alright so this might sting, so bare with me." I said.

I removed the gauze and tore the 'ClotQuick' open with my teeth. I poured the contents on Ryan's thigh, first the front side and then the back. It fizzled and bubbled as it worked, leaving a crusty white scab on the top of where the arrow hole once was. The entire time Ryan kept his gaze on me. I could tell he was trying to figure me out.

"Stop it." I said, looking up at him.

"Stop what?" Ryan grinned.

"Staring at me like your trying to read me." I explained annoyingly.

"I don't know what your talking about." Ryan still had a grin on his face. Damnit if he wasn't adorable and handsome.

I began examining Ryan's leg. The ClotQuick appearing to have done a good job.

"How does your leg feel?" I asked.

"I don't know. I think it would feel better if you kissed it maybe?" Ryan smirked.

I rolled my eyes. "Your fine." I stood up and began rounding everything up, tossing it in the bio-hazard bin. Ryan just chuckled and shook his head. He swung his legs out and began to stand up not realizing that his leg was still numb from the lidocaine. His leg gave out and I quickly caught him in my arms, our faces inches apart. I could feel his breath on my lips, it was intoxicating.

Ryan cleared his throat before he spoke. "Thank you, I guess I still got my sea legs." We both chuckled slightly. We just stood there frozen, looking into each others eyes. My arms wrapped around him and him holding onto my waist for support.

"Should I kiss him?" I thought. I could tell Ryan was thinking the same thing. I cleared my throat and spoke up in a low tone. "You need to stay until the lidocaine wears off."

"I can do that." Ryan replied in a low, gruff, southern accent. Was our faces inching closer together?

I jerked myself out of my thoughts. "Here you better sit back down." I said, assisting Ryan back onto the gurney. I was sad to break away from him, his body was warm, comforting, and even though he was muscular, soft.

"Thanks, sorry." Ryan apologized settling back into the gurney.

"That's okay. Just wait for the feeling to come back, once it does let me know and we can get you outta here. Okay?" I explained.

"Yes sir." Ryan replied with a grin. I felt my stomach get butterflies, wow it's been a while since I felt that. I smiled back and turned on my heels, heading in Cody's direction.

"Cody, how are things looking?" I asked. Cody looked up from his tablet and smiled.

"All in all things are looking good. Most of the injuries sustained were minor, with a couple of impalement's mixed in there. The only losses were sustained out in the field." Cody had a cheerful tone in his voice.

I smiled at him. "Good work Cody. Take the rest of the night off, go see Alex." I grinned taking Cody's tablet.

"Alex?" Cody laughed nervously. "Why would I go see Alex?" He asked.

"C'mon dude." I cocked an eyebrow at him. "You don't think I didn't notice you guys at the party tonight?"

Cody blushed. "Is it that obvious?" He asked.

"Yes, yes it is." I laughed. "But I'm happy for you." I added.

"Thanks Dr. Pierce- I mean, Ell." He corrected himself after I gave him a stern look. He flashed a smile at me, turned, and walked out of the tent.

I began flipping through the tablet to see the damage. 6 injured, 20 dead. I hung my head and ran my fingers through my hair. All because people wanted to celebrate my birthday, and looked what came of it. I looked over at Ryan, who looked up at the same time and gave me a grin. I grinned back and closed the tablet, docking it on the charger. I walked over to my desk and took a seat in the old chair, it creaked under my weight. I pulled a glass and a bottle of whiskey out of the bottom drawer. I uncorked the bottle and poured some of the amber liquid into the glass, watching as it sloshed around slightly. I took a drink, letting the liquid slide down my throat, burning as it went down. I relaxed back in my chair and stared up at the ceiling of the tent.

"Happy Birthday Elliott." I thought to myself, and with that I downed the rest of the glass and slammed it on my desk.

Copyright © 2020 zanoGreen; All Rights Reserved.
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Thank you for reading! Please comment below and let me know where you would like to see the story go or what your favorite parts are so far. Please note that this story does not revolve around a killer virus, that's just what sets up the events that lead to the story.

If you enjoyed what you have read, please leave a reaction and/or comment for the author!

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Sorry this chapter is not finished yet. Idk why it keeps trying to publish it when I'm still working in it. Stay tuned guys!

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Outstanding chapter! The story is developing slowly and you are adding additional depth to each of your characters also slowly. There are details and story lines needing to be filled in as the chapters develop. A great premise and excellent writing! I’m definitely looking forward to the next chapter! 😢❤️

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For a CMO, Eli doesn't come across as all that professional.  20 dead and he seemed to spend way to much time and energy on an issue that a nurse could have easily taken care of; get your priorities straight.

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Interesting story so far. Still developing. Editing needs work, still many Sp errors (e.g.  where instead of were). Either original text not in english, or editors using apps that are not doing job. Reading is fundamental. 

 

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