"Mac! congratulations! You are finally nanobot free" Dr. Sandaria beamed at him.
Mac signs in relief, he doesn't have to worry about others controlling his body. He looks over to Riley to see her grinning at him. He is being taken out of the hyberbaric chamber as he hears Dr.sandaria's next words
" Unfortunately, Riley your nanobot count hasn't dropped"
Hearing those words he is tensed. He looks over to Riley , who seems to mirror his look.
Dr. Sandaria, deep in thought, suggests, " well I did see in the reports that Riley's nanobot concentration in blood was double that of Mac. I ignored it on the thought it may be due to the difference in body size , but now I see there's more of it"
"What can I do to get rid of these?" Riley's directs the question at Sandria while others still confused.
"Maybe we can increase the pressure and see what happens" Bozer pipes in.
" But any pressure above 2 will have adverse effects on the body. Brain will have lasting effects such as paralysis, motor disability , cognitive problems, memory loss and death." Mac responds to Bozer's suggestion.
"Well, Riley life will be endangered , so I guess the final decision rests on Riley whether she wants to undergo it or not.Riley? " Russ looks at Riley.
"I have skills that can be used to wreak havoc. I would rather have control over myself than let any random stranger have control of my body. Im ready."
Riley lies down and looks at Dr. Sandaria expectantly.
Dr sandaria begins to increase the pressure.
"Are you ok?" Mac's voice cuts the counting.
" Just a little uncomfy. Nothing much" Riley replies with a smile. "Just a minute and I'll join the nanobots free club."
Mac has this strange feeling in his heart. Worried is an understatement to what he feels right now. Knowing what could go wrong does nothing to calm his errant heartbeat.
He looks at Riley tries to mask his expression of fear. His face is as much as incapable of lying as his words. Riley sees through him.
She looking at his worried expression says" Mac look at me. Relax. It will be ok, soon we'll be together eating greasy pizza and get ready to get your ass hand overed in pinball" Riley tries to uplift him, hiding her own pain behind a smile.
" Your nanobots are decreasing" every ones eyes turn towards the monitor. Which shows 80% nanobot free.
Mac feels a drop of relief in his heart. Riley was going to be ok.
"Something's happening to Riley" Desi's words hit Mac and he turns abruptly to look at Riley.
His heart sinks at the sight.
Riley is seizing. Her limbs move uncontrollably. Her head jerking against the pillow. A trickle of red blood flowing out of her nose.
He rushes to Riley side.
Chapter 2: Dead
Riley loses her life. Others realise the extent of Mac's feelings.
Mac has never felt so helpless in his life except for when he saw his father sacrificed himself. He hits the glass with all he has got , hoping that Riley would respond to his calls. He hope turns into dread as her frantic motions stop and her body goes slack. Head lulls back into the side lifelessly.
Bozer equally tensed tries his best to open the chamber. Pulling the lead as hard as he can.
" Bring her out!!"
" Release the pressure!!"
" Hell! do something?!" Bozer cries as everyone is rushing to the chamber opening.
It's a long wait till the pressure has dropped. This feels like eternity to Mac. His aunt's last goodbye flashes Infront of his eyes. His father's last words" I'll have to do it manually." Echo in his ears. Lasky's desperate choking on the floor of the nuclear plant. He has lost many of his loved ones. It won't come unexpected if he loses Riley too.
The thought of losing Riley, suffocates him, dread clogs up his throat. Suddenly he can't breathe anymore.
He barely registers anything happening in the background. Nurses are moving Riley like a rag doll , onto a surgical table. Her top is being cut open by the medic. Dr. Kim their resident doctor at pheonix , charges the debilitator .
" Charge to 40" she instructs hastily. Before placing the plates on Riley's chest.
Riley's chest heaves up with the shock.
" Charge to 60"
Mac watches numb as the second charge also has no effect on her.
" Charge to 90"
Riley's body jerks violently at the strong current. However, falls back into its lifeless state.
Then Dr. Kim utters the words that makes Mac's world come crushing down.
" Time of death : 15:36"
This jerks Mac out of his trance. He rushes to Riley and bends down to her level , grips her hand firmly.
" No..Riley..no.. don't you dare?!" He screams at her cupping her face harshly.
" Do you hear me Riley?! You promised..you..you were never the one to break your promises remember?!" Tears run freely along his face as his pleas turns desperate.
" I would do anything for you ..just ...come.. back. I'll even let you win at spinball" He somehow manages to utter the words between his uncontrollable sobs.
All watch him with pained expression, helplessly. Desi looks at him. He was rarely the one to display emotions publicly. Watching him crying brutally she could barely fathom the level of pain he is going through. She has seen him at his worse. But nothing could compare to his current state. The ever resilient Mac, whom even the death of his father, mother and aunt could not stop, sounds broken..almost torn.
His silent screams for Riley clearly conveyed the depth of his agony.
"You gave me up so easily.." a silent whisper rings in his ear.
He whips his head to look at Riley, with an expression of shock.
Mac finally realized his feelings for Riley. But is it too late.
Truth to be told, his cynic mind has already pictured a life without Riley. He could see Riley's funeral. The hollowness in his chest choking him, as if he had lost his ability to breathe. His world was crumbling up right Infront of him.
A sudden feeling of anger surged within him. He was not going to give up that easily. Life may have taken his loved ones ruthlessly. Chipping smalls pieces of his heart. Now, it is trying to the entire heart away. And here he was broken and helpless, letting life take its course. Was he going to give her up that easily? In this fleeting moment two things were clear to him. One, Riley is his world. Second, he would not let her go without a fight.
He had fallen into the ground during the entire time. He rose upto his feet. With determination, started chest compressions.
One , two, three .
One, two three
One two three.
One two three.
His efforts were only met with silence. He felt Bozer's hand on his shoulder. As if telling it was time to let her go.
However, Mac continued his motions.
One, two, three.
The sudden strength that seem to arise in him, was fleeting away. His brain supplies ,denial the first stage of grief, that is what he is going through.
A sudden beep , pierces the silence of the room. It is followed by another beep. Then another. Mac turns to look at Riley's monitor to see the flat line is replaced by angles. The beeps became steady indicating the presence of a beating heart.
Russ was the first to react. Nurses who had left the room , to give them privacy, were called back.
All nurses rush to Riley's aid.
A few hours later, Matty is talking to Dr. Kim about Riley's condition.
" In my history of medical career, I have seen miracles happen and lemme tell you this is definitely one of them." Dr. Kim speaks with hint of awe in her voice.
" Well, both of them are tough." Matty replies with pride.
" Riley is suffering from hypoxia, a common effect of cardiac arrest. Apart from that there are no other ailments. If her oxygen saturation increases at this rate, I'm glad to say she would be discharged by evening."
" Excuse my unprofessionalism Matilda, but I had no idea that they were a couple. Last time , I was in tune with the gossips, I heard that Mac was in a relationship with Desi?" Dr.kim's confusion was apparent.
" Well, I'm not supposed to divulge this, but he and desi broke up after the mission with the Indian wedding. As for Mac and Riley, I too root for them"
Meanwhile, the said people were inside the infamous medical of Pheonix. Mac sitting on a chair perpendicular to bed, while Riley lies in the bed with machines beeping all around her. Her nose and mouth covered by an oxygen mask.
Mac is numb. The days events have certainly taken their toll on his. His emotions are everywhere. However, one thing is crystal clear to him, he definitely has feelings for Riley and he wants to pursue them.