The door to the bedroom was sealed shut, locking on the worried friends of the victim lying motionless on the bed. There was no point in upsetting those who had appeared to have enough stress already from the events just to return the victim to this room via helicopter. A keen eye took note of the growing number of people gathering, and it wouldn’t do to have them in the way of proper medicine.
The report in the assistant’s hands was simple report that was to be submitted to the hospital board to make sure that all was well in one of the only home-in professional service, a branch of the newly formed medical board of Midgarian medicine.
Name(s) Cloud K. Strife
List of Injuries: Slit wrists, slit throat, cut chin, cuts on arms, chest, thighs, shoulders from double-bladed weapon, stab wound to right side (possible kidney damage?), lashes on back from rudimentary weapon, two broken ribs on right side (possible lung damage?)
Comments: Unusually low blood pressure but normal heart rhythm, unquestionable mobility despite injuries.
After nervously filling out the report, the female assistant stood up and walked around the blooded blonde on the bed, eyes locking on the twitching finger tips. The doctor was stitching the victim’s wrists up again, but it was disturbing to watch each prink of the needle caused the slightest tremble or twitch of fingers that should have long since lost their life. But no, they moved, thankfully signifying that arteries, muscles and tendons still had all their connections.
She questioned just how the blonde was still alive. The list of injuries, the fact he had been exposed to the environment without medical treatment, and the sheer length of time before treatment… no one could have survived that. Yet, she was forced to believe that it was possible because this man, Cloud Strife, was indeed alive, breathing on his own, fighting to keep body temperature and normal function.
She moved soundless around the bed, making sure to not block out the doctor’s light source. Her fingers moved up to touch the IV drips, squeezing one bag full of saline solution and heavily laced with pain-killers and a mixture of medication to prevent infection. There were four IV bags dripping life back into the blonde’s body, a required restoration of lost liquid, most of which was smeared all over the blonde’s skin. From the bags, she checked the intervenous needle, pushing it deeper into the bulging vein and received a small jerk for her attentions.
“Jezobelle, please wash down his left arm and bandage it up. We needn’t worry the people outside with his stitches, and I dare wonder why the door is still attached to the hinges.” The doctor, a good humoured man of gentle nature, was humbled. She could tell he was for no doctor in the entire world had a record of treating the world’s most famous man.
Jezobelle moved silently to the seat and rooted through the many bags and containers that had been loaded into the room. Disinfectant alcohol and cloths were dumped on the bed, each on just as sterile as the sheet the blonde lay on. She picked one up and turned the blonde’s arm over, revealing carefully stitched wounds, and she rubbed them thoroughly, washing away the reminant of blood and dirt and possible infection. The blonde twitched under her touch, and she pushed his arm back down when it nearly lifted.
There was a soft pleading groan and blooded lips parted and muttered softly. She had to lean close to catch the word but it was definitely a name, one she knew well from all the news stories. He had just muttered, “Tifa.”
“Is he awake, doctor?”
“Of course not. With all the medication he’s on, I’ll be surprised if his neighbours wake up for a month,” the doctor said with a chuckle and finished with the last stitch on the man’s right wrist. She watched him glance up towards the blonde’s pale face, and she had worked with the older man enough to take note of the near silent sigh.
“Are you alright? Perhaps a break, doctor?” She was in the middle of bandaging his left arm up, covering over the rows of stitches that started at wrist and went all the way up the blonde’s shoulder, deep cuts in rows having been sealed up safely.
The doctor said nothing and simply shifted himself to the blonde’s thighs that were covered in blood that still oozed. She sighed and sealed down the bandage before coming around to the other side of the bed to repeat the entire process again with the blonde’s right arm. “Just his legs left?”
“It appears so. Poor boy is worse off on his chest and back than anywhere else, but it’s all a contribution to weakness in his ailing body.” The doctor nodded his wise head while starting on the left leg.
Jezobelle looked at the alarm clock. They had been here for nearly five hours in this room treating this man who should have been dead hours ago but persisted. The doctor had refused breaks muttering something like, ‘our boy didn’t get one when he was strung up, so I won’t have one until he’s back together’.
She knew the task had been daunting for them both. Simply walking in the room and looking at the blonde’s beaten body had nearly been enough to send her from the room in tears. Even the doctor, a man who had seen it all, had looked horrified at the condition of the blonde, and then, she thought she had seen a flash of anger in those old eyes.
But, they had worked non-stop to try and salvage the blonde’s fading life. The entire process had been a fight from the start, from the first prick of the IV needle in search of a sunken vein to the washing of skin to show wound after wound. The blonde’s neck and chest had been the first for stitches, wounds that were the most serious and then they had worked their way outwards to arms and legs. Thankfully, the blonde’s back was in good enough condition to not require many stitches, only a few of the lashes having cut deep enough for the body to be unable to handle without assistance.
Now, five hours later, the blonde lay heavily bandaged. The blonde was nearly unrecognizable, milky white bandages covering the entirety of his chest, back and abdomen, along shoulders, down his arms, around his throat. Soon, there would be more bandages on his legs and across his hips, but he would be back together and on a new fight for recovery.
“Doctor… what are the chances of survival?” She had wanted to ask all afternoon, but she had hesitated over the thought that the blonde could just die before them. She had not wanted to deliver that news to those outside; they appeared to be upset enough as it was… well, the females at least.
She didn’t think the doctor was going to answer her as she secured the last of the bandages on the blonde’s arm. He was probably concentrating very hard on the injury in question, but finally, after several moments, he simply said, “a man like this does not die without losing the fight to his inner demons. His mind will break him before his body will give out.”
Jezobelle didn’t question, but she had to wonder what sort of jargon was suddenly spoken to her. The doctor was not a man to believe in gods or the like, but she thought she heard humbled reverence in his voice. It was not something she had heard often, if at all in her entire time with the doctor. This blonde man was fighting the odds stacked against his survival.
She picked herself up and checked the oxygen mask over the blonde’s nose and mouth, noting that his breathing had not yet evened out as they had expected. The blonde gasped for breath, a harsh sound that made the task sound as hard as it probably was, but he was still drawing breath. The oxygen was helping though, it was clear from the colouration of his lips, no longer blue but a paled pink again. Not well but not dead either.
She moved down to the blonde’s feet soon after, picking up the blooded rag and began to wash down the blonde’s legs, soothing his trembling muscles. She noted his skin was cool, and she got more warm water in hopes of warming him slightly.
How many battles had this man fought? She had to wonder as a foot jerked slightly under weight of the doctor leaning down on the leg to finish stitching. How many men and wild monsters had fallen victim to this man? And most of all… how long had he really been fighting? Did heroes get retirement or did they persist until they were dead, every last drop of fighting spirit drained?
She didn’t know, but, as she worked with the doctor to bandage the blonde’s hips and thighs up after another hour of work, she thought that this blonde had been fighting too many hard battles for just one to handle.
“Doctor, where shall I leave the antibiotics?”
“On the table there, Jezobelle. Make sure you leave the instructions there, and we will come back tonight to check on him and change his bandages.” The doctor was packing up his things, but his old eyes were on the blonde’s pasty white face. “He is infected already…”
Jezobelle looked up from finishing her work, and she looked over at the blonde. She too had seen the redness of the wounds on the blonde’s back, a sign of infection. “He’ll be alright, doctor. He’s survived the worst of it.”
“Not yet… the worst is yet to come for this one,” the doctor replied simply and began to move towards the door.
“What do you mean, doctor?”
The doctor smiled, and Jezobelle couldn’t help but question the expression. “I do believe there are friends outside that will make things more difficult. In their grief, this man will be babied worse than the day he was born screaming into this world.”
“You think he’ll get spoilt?” Jezobelle now shared the doctor’s smile as she too rose to her feet to follow. They would have to leave an ample supply of medical supplies here, but they shifted the bed back against the wall… just one less place the blonde to fall.
"How many stitches?" She picked up the medical report to make note of the treatments that they had administered, looking over to the doctor for an answer. She noted that he was looking at paper and calculating up all the numbers in smeared print. The fact it took him a long time meant that it was a considerable amount, but then, they had been stitching for hours.
The doctor hummed softly and she managed a smile. "It appears he's filled with 562 stitches. I believe that is a new record."
Jezobelle said nothing and simply wrote down the number, not at all pleased with it. That many stitches should not be restricted to one man's body, but they were. But, they did all that they could with the blonde for now.
They covered him with blankets, and she checked the heating pad warming his body again before it came time to inform the friends of Cloud Strife that he was still alive, barely, but alive nonetheless. His fight was not over.
“Doctor, do you think, if he wakes, that he will give my son and autograph?”
“I should think so, but you might have to ask nicely before emptying his bladder an humiliating him.”
“Ah, I will ask before that then.” Jezobelle cast one glance back and pulled open the door for the doctor, following him out into the hall to give the relatively good news. Someone would need to stay with him 24 hours a day, but that didn’t seem like a real problem.