A Simple Twist of Faith
Yes I finally have another part done. Thanks for
writing (you know who you are) and encouraging me to
finish. This chapter is a little short but the last
one is already in the works.
My apologies to the few people I promised to notify
when this part's posted. My computer had a breakdown
and I lost all your emails and addresses!
The sniper looked through the cross-hairs of his
rifle into the bank. From his vantage point on a
neighbouring roof he could see the phone in the bank,
but no people.
His radio crackled to life and a tinny voice
announced, "You are cleared to take the shot once
Novacek is in view. Over."
"10-4," he replied.
A flash of movement. He turned, steadying his finger
on the trigger, preparing himself mentally and
physically to shoot. Someone moved into view and
answered the phone, but his face was obscured. Was it
Novacek, or a hostage?
A few seconds passed. Suddenly the man turned and
raised his gun, pointing it at someone out of his
view. Novacek had made a deadly mistake.
The sniper took his shot.
Peter froze. For some reason he thought he heard two
gunshots. He kept his eyes on the bank door, praying
that Carter would come walking out. Instead a SWAT
team moved in, weapons raised to secure the building.
"Building secure. Novacek is dead," Peter heard the
crackly announcement a few moments later from an
officer's radio. "We need EMS. A hostage has been
shot. I repeat, a hostage is down."
Peter's heart leapt into this throat.
"Sergeant!" he bellowed. "I'm a doctor! Let me go
in with them!"
The Sergeant thought about it for a second before
nodding his head in Peter's direction. Peter ducked
under the yellow tape and jogged to the paramedics.
He helped carry the gear and entered the building,
fearing the worst.
The fear was tangible. The heat and the smell of
sweat and blood hung in the air, as there were no
windows open to allow ventilation. People were
huddled on the floor; some staring into space, others
being helped out by the SWAT team. Peter's eyes
frantically searched the bank looking for Carter.
His heart stopped and he froze.
Over near the far wall the paramedics were working on
someone who had obviously been shot, and a civilian
whose face he could not see was performing CPR. A
gory smear of blood marred the wall adding to the
horror of the scene in front of him.
When he found his legs he ran over and felt relief
rush through him when he realized the injured man was
a security guard. The relief was short lived when he
saw the shape Carter was in.
Blood stood out in stark contrast against his pale
arms and shirt, bruises covered his face, and there
were tears running down his cheeks.
"He's in v-fib," one of the medics announced.
Jumping into action, Peter grabbed the bag containing
the defibrillator, knelt down beside the injured man,
and charged the paddles.
"250. Clear!" he applied the paddles to the guards
body and watched it convulse with the current.
"No change. 300. Clear!" Again no change.
"He's in asystole!"
Carter immediately started chest compressions. After
numerous attempts to revive the guard, it was obvious
his body had given up the fight. Carter desperately
continued the compressions.
"Come on!" Carter yelled. "Don't you die because of
"Carter," Peter said gently, wondering about what
Carter had just said. "Carter, he's gone."
Peter reached out a hand and grabbed the younger mans
wrist to stop the compressions. "Lets go get you
checked out Carter."
Carter slowly stood up and walked over the where
Novacek's body lay, covered by a plastic body bag. A
red stain evident beneath the body. His initial
feelings, fear, helplessness, were being replaced by
an anger that seemed to some from deep within him.
How many lives had been needlessly destroyed by this
He felt Peter's arm on his elbow, gently guiding him
away from the gruesome scene and out into the bright
street. A large curious crowd had gathered behind the
yellow crime scene tape, hovering like vultures
waiting for an animal to die. Cop cars and other
emergency vehicles were scattered everywhere, and
emergency personnel scurried about performing their
Peter, who had decided the only blood on Carter had
come from the guard, led Carter to his car. He'd
drive him to the hospital as opposed to putting him in
The silence was deafening. Carter stared out the
window watching the city go by, while Peter
concentrated on getting through the traffic. An
unmarked police car carrying two detectives picked by
the Sergeant followed them to the hospital to secure a
statement, among other things from Carter. It was
going to be a very long day.
"How many?" Carter suddenly asked.
"What?" Peter had no idea what Carter was referring
"How many people died because of me?" Carter
Peter was glad Carter asked a question where good
news was the answer. "No one died because of you,
"Yes they did. Michael, the two officers guarding
me, the security guard and Novacek."
"Carter, you did not kill Michael. Novacek did. And
you are definitely not responsible for Novacek. No
one was but himself."
"The two officers," Carter interrupted him. "They
died guarding me. Novacek said..."
"He was lying, Carter," Peter said cutting him off.
"No they're not!" Carter responded vehemently. "I
saw them lying the street! Officer Rudy..."
"Is in the hospital recovering from a GSW to the
abdomen. The other officer was just knocked
unconscious. Don't believe anything Novacek told you.
He knew exactly what buttons to push to upset you."
Carter leaned back against the seat and closed his
eyes, giving in to the call of exhaustion. His mind
was spinning, replaying bits and pieces of the events
over the past couple days. All the terrible feelings
he'd been having threatened to overwhelm him. He was
still reeling with shock over the fact that Craig
Anderson, the man who was supposed to be helping him,
had a hand in this. What was his motivation? The
pain in his head from being hit came back slowly as
the adrenaline started to wear off. Carter couldn't
stop the moan that escaped his lips.
Peter glanced over, worried when he heard Carter
moan. He was glad Carter hadn't tried to hedge out of
being examined. His face looked terrible.
They arrived at the hospital shortly, and as soon as
they entered the hospital they were met by a crowd of
worried co-workers. Mark, quick to see the shape
Carter was in shooed people away, and led Carter,
Peter and the two detectives to an empty exam room.
He gave them some privacy, and decided Anspaugh and
Weaver needed to be notified.
Once Carter was seated on the bed the two detectives
introduced themselves and immediately got his side of
what happened while Peter examined him. Carter
started from the beginning with Michael Benton being
injected with the potassium while Peter listened to
his breathing and checked his pulse. By the time
Peter flashed his penlight into Carter's eyes, Carter
was close to finishing his statement.
"Thank you for your time Dr. Carter. And please
remember this is not your fault. Most victims either
think they're to blame, or they identify with their
attackers. I can recommend some good victims groups
if you're interested."
"That won't be necessary," Carter interjected too
quickly. Peter quirked an eyebrow at him. "I'm
fine." His false smile didn't reach his eyes.
The detectives left and Peter turned to Carter.
"Alright Carter. Off with the shirt."
"I'm fine Dr. Benton. There's no need ..."
Peter gave Carter his 'do as you're told glare' and
Carter silently complied. Peter inwardly winced when
he saw the bruises on Carters chest and back, but they
were starting to fade and there was no new bruising.
"I'm going to send you for a CT. It looks like
you've taken a few blows to the head. Aside from a
few bruises and mild dehydration you're fine."
"I wanted to thank you for doing all this. You've
stuck with me through this entire thing," Carter
admitted while buttoning up his shirt.
Peter hid his embarrassed smile by looking at the
floor. He wasn't good at talking about anything
personal or emotional with people. Especially with
Carter which was unusual because he cared about Carter
more than he was willing to admit.
End part 12