A Special Agent Emily Dahill Story
Note to readers: I’ve included the English translation of the French so you don’t have to worry about translating.
As the grayness deepened into that dreaded all encompassing blackness, a distant voice sounded an alarm. How far? 2 inches or twenty feet? She couldn’t tell. All she knew, the speaker wasn’t American.
Maybe Iraqi? No.
Again the voice called out. Not to her, that she knew. Maybe, to the prisoner. Through the fog she heard scuffling feet.
Yes. The prisoner.
Chris, rapidement. Vite. Les soldats américains seront ici dans une minute.
(Chris, quickly. Hurry. The American soldiers will be here in a minute.)
The sound of gunfire. Friend and foe were the last her ears took in.
Cordite. The last smell.
A blinding white light pierced through her skull. Damn, guess I’m dead after all.
Darkness, but more of the gray returned. Her mind froze in panic.
“Sir, she needs her rest,” a young female voice said.
“Idiot, she’d been in a coma for three days. Did it every occur to your little pea brain that light might stimulate her senses,” a gruffly familiar voice said, almost to the point of yelling,
“Sir, you have to be patient. Give her time. Her MRI and EEG are all normal. She’ll wake when she’s ready.” The female, had lowered her voice so not to disturb the patient.
“I don’t give a damn. I want to speak with her doctor.” The gruff voice demanded.
“Yes Sir. If you’ll come with me I’ll get him.” the soft voice said, obviously frustrated.
Footsteps echoed about in her mind then the bright light returned.
Grayness, this time, didn’t return.
Slowly, the fog lifted from Sergeant Emily Dahill’s brain.
Hospital. But where?
She tried to move but her right arm and shoulder felt heavy. She had the same feeling on her left leg. Casts. When she tried to move her left arm, a pin prick stopped her.
Inch by agonizing inch she became mindful of the pain in her body. What else hurt. What didn’t. Just about everything hurt, she realized. She raised her eyelids, thankful they didn’t hurt.
She felt something in her throat which made her gag. Without thinking she reached up and yanked. Relieved, she drew in a breath of fresh, antiseptic tasting air.
“Guess I’m not dead after all. That’s a relief. I think.” Even mumbling she heard a graveled rawness in her voice.
Then, she moved her head so she could get a better view of where she was. Mistake.
She felt as if her head was going to split open, the pain so great. By millimeters she resettled her head back on the pillow. No sooner was she sort of pain-free comfortable, a door beyond her vision, opened. With extreme care she looked toward the sound. Her eyes beheld a man with a little more gray around the temples than she’d last seen. “Hi Dad. What you doin’ here?” her voice just above a whisper.
As he stepped back into the hospital room housing his comatose and battered daughter, Special Agent Thaddeus Dahill, (ret.) couldn’t believe his eyes. Not five minutes ago his baby was lying on sheets almost as white as her skin. A tube in her throat to help her breath. Eyes closed showing pain.
Now, her color was almost the light tan she loved and the tube that had help keep her alive was gripped firmly in her hand. He couldn’t miss the beginnings of a twinkle in her eye, the one that wasn’t still swollen shut, that is. If he wasn’t mistaken he thought he saw that mischievous smile she was known for develop on her lips.
“Ah, ah, hi,” Thaddeus said, his voice trembled with ecstatic emotion. He looked like he was going to say something but was pushed aside by a doctor looking type. A very unhappy nurse at his heels.
The doctor didn’t apologize as he stormed up to Emily’s bed. “You can’t take that breathing tube out. I have to do that.” He started to reach for it when she slipped the tube under the sheets.
Emily glowered at him as she struggled to breathe. “Don’t even think it. You try to stick it back in me I’ll stick it in you where the sun don’t shine. Now back off.” Her voice slightly less gravelly but firm.
Stunned, the doctor stood at her bedside, his mouth hanging open as he tried to form the simplest of thoughts. Before he knew what happened he was unceremoniously pushed out of the way.
Thaddeus looked at the doctor, now sprawled in a chair. “Trust me doc, she’d do it too, even in her condition.” He paused to look at the angelic face of his daughter. “Pissed and ready to kill.”
Thaddeus looked deep in his daughters eyes. He could see she had a lot of questions. He turned back to the nurse, who didn’t know who to help or what to do. “Two coffees, large and black. Either Columbian or Sumatra. And make sure it’s fresh. Not that hours old stuff I smelled by the station,” he snapped. He then turned to the slowly recovering doctor, “You go find someone who needs your help. Everything’s fine here.”
Both were about to protest weakly when Thaddeus pointed to the door. “Go.” His voice leaving no room for arguing or discussion.
Once alone with his daughter, he filled her in on the events of the past three days. He couldn’t help but feel the same disappointment as she when he told her Aziz had escaped.
He was relieved to see she was happy that she’d be flown home in the next day or so, now that she was awake. What made the news even better, he’d pulled a few strings, they’d be going back in a private plane. When asked who’s plane, he didn’t answer as he didn’t need to because just then the answer walked through the door, two cups of coffee in her hands.
“Mine,” Alison Bosch pleasingly announced. Her husband of three weeks trailing in her wake carried two more. She handed one to Emily while Richard gave one to Thaddeus.
“As long as it’s not a helicopter. I never want to ride in one of those death machines again for as long as I live.”
Emily beamed, well as best she could under the circumstances, a smile at her two new visitors. Then, she looked around like something or more precisely someone was missing.
“She’s home with the kids. Tried to get her to come but you know how new mother’s are. Hate leaving the little ones,” Alison said with a smile.
Emily looked first at her dad then Alison and Richard, “So when can I get out of here?”
“Now, if I had a choice,” the doctor said as he barged into the room, “but I want you here for another twenty-four hours. And since you’ve got a ride home you won’t have to wait. The next transport isn’t scheduled until next week.” He turned and left.
No sooner had the door slammed on the doctor then a sound froze Emily. Fear flashed in her eyes. Those with her shared a look of understanding. They’d heard the high pitched whine of twin turbine engines. A Black Hawk landing.