Nurses. Detectives. The normal people. I used to look up to people like these. Now I fear them. I move to the terminal and put in the code for all clear. The nurses have left. The Detective has hung up. For a few brief moments, in my mind at least, ICU 2E is silent.
In my head, there is no sound louder than silence.
I hate the way my mind fills in details, the way my past consistently keeps pace with me. It’s impossible to be in a hospital without remembering the last time I was in a hospital. I look at the people around me. They are injured. I feel a flash of guilt; they are here because of my actions. The guilt grows; these aren’t the first people I’ve put in a hospital. I look down at my arm. The nurses didn’t give my Gauntlet a second glance. They were too distracted to notice it, or perhaps they didn’t care. I look around the room; apart from basic diagnostic machinery, there are no cameras, or recording devices… I could make this better. The patients have a number of different injuries, but I could access their files; they would tell me everything I need to know. I could heal them. I could pay for my mistakes. I could do what real doctors do; I could make people better. I raise my hand, and turn a dial near the wrist…
…and then I think better of it. These patients would be miraculously cured, save for some grey polymer residue. It wouldn’t take people long to figure out I was somehow behind it. The nurses and the detective know my name. Even if they didn’t, my login ID would be all they needed to identify me. The collaborative would no longer be safe… I have the power to heal and cure, quite literally, in my hand. And yet I can’t… no, I can, but I won’t… I look at the patients. They are in too much pain to do anything. Here I stand, able to do great things, and yet I choose not to.
My fellow geniuses, my “peers”, would congratulate me for making the prudent decision, the logical decision, for protecting the greater good. But here, standing with the injured, I cannot help but feel that these people know more of the greater good than we ever will.
From my jacket pocket, I hear a buzzing. Damn. Mezyk’s communicator.
“So, what peerage are you from, and how did you just happen to be standing by my car?”
I decide to return to the car, leaving my peers behind.