William Laurent strolled down the hall towards his father’s study. His measured pace did not match the rapid beating of his heart. His right hand crept repeatedly to his trouser pocket. Every time his fingers found their treasure, he dropped his hand and a small smile of relief played over his lips. He opened the office door to find his father pacing back and forth, a pendulum that spanned the width of the bay window in the eastern wall. He rapped lightly on the open door to announce his presence.
“Sit down, Will.” Thomas growled. “It’s been almost two weeks and all I hear is the same old tired refrain.” William heard exhaustion in his father’s tone. That worried him. His father was a force of nature, especially when he was on one of his crusades. and saving Nathan had certainly become that.
“We’re sorry, Mr. Laurent, but your son’s injuries are too severe; there’s too much damage; he’s too weak for surgery.” Thomas continued, still not turning from the window as he stopped his pacing. “These so called specialists and experts are so afraid of a malpractice suit that they’re unwilling to do their damn jobs and save your brother, no matter how much money I wave under their noses!” Frustration brought a hint of life to his father’s voice, but it faded quickly.
William sat in chair opposite his father’s desk, “How many more hospitals and doctors are there to contact?”
“None. I’ve searched the continent, most of Europe and Asia, even portions of South America. I’ve even reached out to my contacts in the Pentagon. They all say the same thing, his charts show he’s not an acceptable risk.”
Thomas turned from the window. The change in his face spoke volumes more than his words. Distinguished wrinkles had become deep crags. His father’s eyes were bloodshot and the bags under his eyes were so pronounced, it appeared as if his father had lost a fight with a boxer. Thomas moved from the window and sat heavily into the chair behind his desk. He slouched in his chair, a drastic change from his usually stiff and formal posture. It was obvious the weight he carried, just as was the fact that he wouldn’t be able to bear it longer.
“I’m running out of time, Will. They’ve already had to revive him three times this last week. Your mother is hysterical and refuses to leave his room. Dr. Patterson doesn’t think he’ll last the weekend.” He said softly.
William nodded. The thought of his baby brother dying disturbed him deeply; and, like his father, William had yet to accept it. Nathan was so full of life. It was hard to see him wasting away in a hospital bed.
While his father had contacted every legitimate doctor, surgeon, and hospital available, William had put out his own inquiries among the less savory side of society. Unlike his father, William actually had a lead, such as it was.
“Then it’s a good thing I came today,” William said.
“Why? What have you found?” The desperation in his father’s voice was painful to hear. William couldn’t reconcile this side of his father with the patriarch of one of Port City’s royalty.
“I’ve been in contact with someone who says he can save Nathan.”
William watched his father’s expression change from confusion to guarded hope. He pulled a business card and a small flash drive from his pocket and handed them to his father. “The man calls himself Prometheus. There’s a dossier on the zip drive, as well as copies of our e-mails. The card has a number on it that will only be good for another twenty-four hours or so.”
“What aren’t you telling me?” His father asked as he inserted the flash drive into his laptop.
William grimaced. “He’s not exactly the most reputable of characters as you’ll see in the dossier. His ideas and methods are–unorthodox, to say the least. He’s also a fugitive from the Feds. Apparently, his methods are illegal, and he’s also wanted for questioning in a series of crimes involving various so-called meta-humans.”
William fell silent as his father became absorbed in his laptop and devoured the data on the flash drive. He waited a few minutes before getting up.
“I’ll be in the kitchen if you need me.”
His father grunted in response. William nodded to himself in satisfaction as he closed the study door behind him.