Just an Ordinary Day – Part 5

The exciting conclusion… at least, I hope it’s exciting.

**

A room in the hotel had been set aside for the scientist to work in.  Nearly all of the furnishings had been removed, except for two tables.  One had a microscope set out on it, as well as the large magnifier that Dr. Schneider had mentioned.  There were assorted other items as well.  Most of it was foreign to Alexander.

The second table was covered with a white cloth.  Something was hidden under the cloth, but Alexander thought it resembled the form of a man.  He didn’t understand what Dr. Schneider was doing.  Indeed, he wasn’t sure now that he wanted to know.  A small portion of the cloth had been drawn back to reveal what looked like an arm.

“I need for you to connect some of the circuits,” Dr. Schneider said, as he pulled on gloves.  He settled a cap over his hair and then covered his mouth and nose with a mask.  Turning to Alexander, he said, “You have wear these.”

“Very well,” Alexander said, nodding.  He pulled on a pair of gloves, as well as a cap and face mask.  Then, he moved over to the table to stand beside Dr. Schneider.  His eyes widened when the scientist opened a panel in the arm.  “What…” he breathed.

“It’s an artificial body,” Dr. Schneider said, his voice soft.  “The dry air… humidity would damage the exposed circuitry.  The isolation of the Territories is also helpful for security purposes.”

“Fascinating,” Alexander said.

Dr. Schneider’s eyes twinkled and he stepped over to lift the magnifier off the table.  Settling it in place over the arm, he pointed.  “This is what we need to join,” he said.

It was slow work, partially because Alexander wasn’t familiar with what he was doing.  However, Dr. Schneider was also very careful, pausing between each connection to check things that were well beyond the scope of Alexander’s understanding.

Finally, Dr. Schneider sighed and sealed the panel once again.  He set the magnifier to one side and lifted a small box off the table.  He pressed a few buttons and the arm moved, the hand flexed under the cloth.  “Perfect,” he said, smiling.  He looked over at Alexander and nodded.  “Thank you for the help.”

“A pleasure,” Alexander said, giving him a weak smile.  He was certain that he wouldn’t be allowed to tell the others.  However, he doubted they would have believed him anyway.

The door banged open at that moment and Dr. Schneider threw the cloth over the arm.  He frowned at the large man that strode into the room.  “You can’t be in here,” he said, shaking his head firmly.

“Lucas,” Alexander breathed.  His eyes widened as he realized why the man was there.  Braun wanted a way to live forever.  If magic wasn’t working, perhaps technology would serve his purposes.  Old age couldn’t affect an artificial body.

Dr. Schneider blinked.  “You know him?” he said.

“He’s trouble,” Alexander said, nodding once.

At the same time, Lucas strode forward and tried to grab the body off the table.  Dr. Schneider threw his arms over it protectively.  Alexander thrust out with one hand, striking Lucas in the center of his chest with one hand.

For a moment, the man stumbled back in pain.  That gave Dr. Schneider a chance to slide the table, which Alexander hadn’t noticed was on wheels, out of the way.  Alexander gasped when Lucas surged forward once again.  In the blink of an eye, his gun was in his hand.  He fired and Lucas froze for a moment, then, he dropped to the floor.

“Jakob,” Alexander called.

At nearly the same time, Dr. Schneider called, “Maddie?”

Sam stepped into the room.  “She’s fine,” he said, nodding.  “He just banged her up a bit trying to get past her.”  He looked to Alexander and added, “Jakob’s seeing to her.  He’ll be here in a moment.”

Nodding once, Alexander knelt beside Lucas.  “He’s not dead, but…” he trailed off.  Lucas was unconscious, so Alexander knew that wasn’t good.

“No big loss if he dies, Alex,” Sam said, his voice soft.

“He has a lot to answer for,” Alexander murmured.  At that moment, Jakob stepped into the room.  Alexander stepped back as the healer began working on Lucas.  He turned to Dr. Schneider.  “I can keep an eye on that, if you want to check on your wife,” he said.

Dr. Schneider shivered and then nodded.  He stripped off the cap, mask and gloves.  Then, he hurried out of the room.

“What did Braun want with Dr. Schneider?” Sam asked.  Frowning, he added, “Or was he after you again?”

Grimacing, Alexander shook his head.  “It wasn’t the good doctor that Lucas was sent to retrieve,” he said.  “It wasn’t even me, this time.  He wanted this.”  He waved at the form under the cloth.  Sighing softly, he glanced at the form.  “One day, I fear he will get his wish and… that worries me.”

“We stopped his man here,” Sam said, nodding towards Lucas.  “We’ll stop him too.”

At that moment, Michael arrived and Jakob stood.  “I got him stable,” the healer said, his tone somber.  “Help me get him up to my clinic.”  Nodding, Sam and Michael lifted Lucas off the floor and the three men left the room.

Dr. Schneider and Madeline stepped into the room when they were gone.  “Thank you for protecting Gilbert,” Madeline said.

Chuckling softly, Alexander shrugged.  “Just an ordinary day, ma’am,” he said.

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