A Simple Twist of Faith





"Mark!" Haleh yelled at the sleeping doctor. "Mark! Get up, GSW at the back door!"

"What?" he slurred.

"Trauma 2, now!"

Mark jerked himself awake and stumbled into the trauma room as a gurney rushed in carrying a cop who had been shot. Doug ran in right after the gurney.

"GSW to the abdomen..." Doris gave the bullet as Mark gloved up. The cop was mumbling as Mark gave orders to the various staff members.

"Whatís his name?" Doug asked Doris.

"Carl Rudy. Heís pretty out of it. Keeps mumbling about some big plan gone awry, wants to talk to his partner," Doris reported as she turned to leave.

"Do I dare ask what happened to his partner?" Doug inquired.

"Heís still at the scene. He was knocked out, but nothing serious." The paramedics collected their stuff and left the trauma room.

"Officer Rudy? Carl?" Mark leant over and asked him. "Do you know where you are?"

"...hospital..," he breathed. "Messed up.....big time."

"Weíre sending you up to surgery to remove the bullet. Youíre stable right now, the wound wasnít too serious. Do you understand?"

Benton bounded into the room before Carl could answer, ready to take him up to surgery, when words slipped out of his mouth that made Peter stop in his tracks.

"Dr. Carter....dead, right?"

The whole room froze for a brief second.

"What?!" Peter gasped, incredulous. He leaned closer to the cop to see if he could get more information out of him. He was delirious, he wasnít thinking straight. But how could he know about Carter?"

"..howdy partner, that you?" the officer mumbled.

"Yeah, Iím here," Peter answered, receiving warning glares from most of the people in the trauma room.

"Weíre.. in deep shit...you know. Couldnít do the job," Carl paused for a minute to collect his breath. "Couldnít even do the job.... we werenít supposed to do in the first place."

"What do you mean?" Peter asked, getting frantic. "What happened to Dr. Carter?"

"Dead. Maybe. Kidnapped, I have no clue..."

"Where.." Peter was about to ask but was sharply cut off by Mark.

"Thatís enough Peter! This man needs to go to surgery. He doesnít know what heís saying."

"I.." Peter protested.

"Now! Iíll call Andersen and see whatís going on."

The patient was wheeled down the hall and into the elevator with a very upset looking Peter Benton beside it. It had been days since heíd seen Carter, and he was starting to worry. What was it the cop had said? Couldnít do the job he wasnít supposed to do? He tried to calm his roiling stomach. Carter was at a safe house under police protection. He was actually safe. Right?

_______________________________

Consciousness slowly descended upon Carter, jerking away the bliss he had felt while unconscious. Behind his eyelids he could see a rhythm of light. Heíd see it coming. At first heíd see darkness, then a light would appear and slowly grow brighter and brighter before it would suddenly disappear. Another light would quickly arrive after though. This soothing pattern was relaxing and he was starting to fall asleep again.

Carter was about to drift off again when he felt a quick jerking movement come from the bed he was lying on. No, not a bed. Something didnít seem quite right. He felt like he was moving. Another jolt forced him to briefly open his eyes and he was momentarily blinded by that light. A streetlight. He was in a car.

He slowly moved his head and took in his surroundings. He was in the back seat of a car with his hands tied behind his back. From what he could tell, there was only the driver in the car with him.

As Carter tried to sit up he elicited a groan as his previous injuries protested. The driver of the car looked into the rearview mirror and saw a pair of confused brown eyes looking back.

"Youíre awake," he mumbled, his voice hoarse.

Carter groaned again, although this time he wasnít sure if it was from pain, or this guys propensity at stating the obvious.

"Who are you?" Carter asked, after clearing his throat.

"Oh I donít think Iím going to tell you that quite yet. But you can refer to me as, well, how Ďbout Mike. It doesnít take a brain surgeon to figure out where that name come from," the driver said, then chuckled at his own bad joke.

"What do you want with me?" Carter decided this guy was definitely off his hinges.

"Itís not a matter of what I want with you. Itís what I want from you."

"Which would be? I donít even know you."

"Donít be so naive Dr. Carter. It doesnít matter if you know me or not, I know more about you. I also know about your, shall we say, well-to-do background."

"You want money," Carter simply stated. He couldnít say he was surprised.

"Score one for the absent minded doctor," the driver chuckled.

"Iím not giving you anything."

Before Carter could react, he was thrown forward with such force the impact with the back of the passenger seat almost knocked him out again. The driver had hit the brakes.

A large hand came from the drivers seat and roughly grabbed his shirt.

"Donít tell me what youíre going to be doing," he growled. "Donít think youíre going to get away. Everyone pays their debts to me, no matter what the cost. Got it?"

Carter weakly nodded. He got a good whiff of alcohol on the guys breath and decided that despite the earlier Ďactí, this guy was definitely dangerous.



Part 9
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