Dr. Doolittle személy
Raphael knelt by him. “Thank you.”
Doolittle shook his head. “I didn’t hear that. What did you say?”
Raphael leaned closer. “I said, thank—”
Doolittle grabbed his throat and smashed his head into Raphael’s face. It was the most vicious head butt I had ever seen. Raphael fell back. Doolittle snarled something under his breath and walked away.
Raphael shook his head. Blood gushed from his broken nose.
“If you put up with me, I will put up with whatever you can throw my way,” he said. “Bad days, good days, ‘I’ll cut you if you look at me the wrong way’ days. I’ll take them all.”
I knew I had to say something.
“If you kill her with this after everything I’ve done,” Doolittle said behind me. “You will never leave this swamp.”
Doolittle stopped and looked at me. For a moment he looked stricken, and then he crossed his arms.
“(…) You are my finest work. If I ever go to one of those medmage conferences they keep inviting me to, I will take you with me. Look!” He held his hands out toward me. “Bone dragons, sea demons, rakshasas, and worst of all, our own people, and these magic hands kept her alive through it all. Look at her walk! You can’t even see the limp anymore. As long as you don’t open your mouth, you will appear as a perfect example of a healthy adult female. With your history, they’ll be calling me a miracle worker.”
I snickered. “I promise to keep my mouth shut.”
Doolittle shook his head in mock sorrow. “It’s bad luck to promise impossible things. (…)"
“If the lot of you survives, Curran will flay the skin off your backs,” Doolittle said.
“That’s what I always love about you, Doctor.” Raphael grinned. “You’re a cup-halfway-full kind of guy. All flowers and sunshine.”
“We have to get the Diamond. And Cesare’s head.”
They looked at me.
“Why the head?” Doolittle asked.
“Because it’s easy to carry and I can torture it for a long time.” And I didn’t just say it out loud, did I? I checked their faces. Yep, I did.
“You’ll need seven fighters.”
I made writing motions. Everybody except the doctor looked for a pencil.
“I’ve never seen such a collection of idiots in my whole life.” Doolittle shook his head. “If you participate in this lunacy, y’all will get yourselves killed. Then don’t come crying to me.”
“We need a team name.”
“Hunters,” Raphael said.
“Valiant Knights of the Fur,” Dali said.
“Justice Group,” Jim said. “Since Justice League is taken.”
“Fools.” Doolittle shook his head.
“Fools,” I said into the receiver.
“Lyc-V can do many miraculous things,” Doolittle said. “But it has its limits. The gray color on his body shows the places where the virus died in great numbers. There isn’t enough Lyc-V left in his tissues to heal him. What little remains is keeping him alive, but for how long nobody can say.” He looked into his cup. “They beat him very badly. The bones are shattered and crushed in so many places, I can’t remember them all. And when they were done breaking him, they poured molten silver onto his body. Into his chest.”
I clenched my hands.
“And on his face. And then they dumped him to die in the middle of the street from a moving cart, four blocks from our southern office.”
Doolittle reached behind him and handed me a cotton kitchen towel.
I took it and looked at him.
He gave me a small, kind smile. “It helps to wipe them off,” he said.
I touched my cheek and realized it was wet. I pressed the towel against my face.
“It’s good to cry. No shame in it.”
“Can he be helped?” My voice sounded normal. I just couldn’t stop crying. The pain kept leaking out of my eyes.
Doolittle shook his head.