Jump to content

Defenders: Unexpected Reactions: Chapter 13


Recommended Posts

Just a little snippet...


Ok, not-so-little a snippet.


Andy and a doctor, talking about helping Eric...




 "If we could?" Andy asked, shrugging the man's hand off his shoulder.  "You *will* help him," Andy tried to make it an order, but somehow it still came out a question.

Doctor Bearnt shook his head.  "We've done what we can.  I'm keeping an eye on him to make sure he doesn't wake up before we're ready, but my official opinion is that we won't be able to stabilize him without months of work.  Months that just won't be possible.  The government pays BEST a lot of money, but there comes a point when you have to cut your losses."

"Doctor-" Night Whisper said urgently.

"No," Doctor Bearnt cut him off.  "He needs to know.  Sooner or later he'll learn the things you don't want brought up.  Do you want him pissed off because we lied to him?"

"What things?" Andy asked, taking a step back, pressing his butt against Eric's bed.

"You can explain, Doctor," Night Whisper said tersely, angrily stepping away.

"What things?"  Andy repeated his demand.

Doctor Bearnt took a deep breath.  "Andy, do you get an allowance?"

Andy blinked at the change of subject.  "Huh?"

"Do you get an allowance?  It's a simple question, and I promise I'll explain how it relates."

Andy frowned.  "Well, actually, no.  My parent's..."  Andy sighed.  "They already had to pay a lot for my medical bills."

Doctor Bearnt winced.  "Oh, sorry," he apologized.  "I didn't think it through, I guess.  OK, lets try this from another direction.  Are you familiar with what a budget is?"

Andy nodded instantly.  "Yeah.  We had to budget everything to pay for my bills."

"Alright then, that gives us a starting point.  And while we're talking anyways, why don't you take your shirt off and come over here?" Doctor Bearnt asked.  "I may as well give you some treatment while we talk."

Frowning, Andy went ahead and shucked his shirt off and walked over to the doctor, who pulled him up onto a bed and began to run him through various stretches and exercises.  "A budget is, at its most basic level, a plan to spend a certain amount of money on certain things.  You set money aside for medical bills, groceries, and the like.  If you're smart, your income is larger than your budget and you save some money," Doctor Bearnt resumed.

"But that's a budget for people like you and me.  The same basic idea applies to a government, just on a larger scale," Doctor Bearnt continued.  "A government has so much money to spend, and it has to spend it on hundreds of different things.  So much money to build and maintain roads, so much money on schools, so much money on police officers."

"What does this have to do with Eric?" Andy demanded.

"BEST has a budget too.  The government has provided BEST with a certain amount of money, and told BEST that it has to make that money cover various things," Doctor Bearnt shrugged.  "BEST has money to deal with accidents, BEST has money to deal with new augmentations emerging, BEST has money for medical bills, BEST has money for training.  But it's still a budget; can you spend more money on groceries than your budget allows?"

"No," Andy shrugged, making a face.  "We had to eat a lot of tuna instead," he added unhappily.

Doctor Bearnt echoed the face.  "I don't like tuna either," he added in an almost conspiratorial whisper.  "Anyway, just like you couldn't spend too much on groceries, BEST can't spend too much on anyone one thing.  They have to leave enough money in the bank to handle other emergencies."

"Think about the amount of damage Eric caused to the restroom, and how much damage the fight across the grounds did.  BEST has to pay to fix all that," Doctor Bearnt explained gently.  "If Eric wakes up and smashes his way out of the room, BEST has to pay for that.  BEST even has to pay for the nurses that apply the medicine, and the medicine that's keeping him asleep.  It probably doesn't seem like that much right now, and honestly it isn't if you look at it in isolation."

"The problem becomes how do we treat Eric, how do we make him better.  Unless we keep Fred on hand, we don't dare let him wake up.  So, if we try to put him in a mental hospital, we have to keep Fred and someone like Nurse Summers on hand there to keep him under control."

Andy shrugged.  "OK, how does that connect to budgets?"

"Making Fred and Nurse Summers stay there would be expensive.  They both pull very healthy salaries," Doctor Bearnt explained.  "On top of that, they both do very important jobs already.  Nurse Summers is frequently called into various local hospitals when a surgery is needed, but more traditional sedatives might be dangerous.  Fred is one of the best agents we have at helping a new augment who needs to learn control, helping them to control their powers until they get into a location where it's safe for accidents to occur."

Andy wasn't stupid.  "So if they keep both of them with Eric, other people can get hurt."

"Other people might even die," Doctor Bearnt nodded sadly.  "With enough cash, you could probably find other augments who could do the job, and repair the damage when a mistake gets made.  But we were discussing budgets."

"They don't have enough money," Andy said, horrified.  "That's the problem, isn't it?  The government can't afford to do it."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...