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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Biblically Dark

Chapter 9 (v.1) - Chapter Nine

Submitted: August 10, 2018

Reads: 85

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Submitted: August 10, 2018




He appeared on the white tile ground of the Coelum Infirmary, smack in the middle of the empty hallway. His pool of blood had traveled with him, along with the key that was still lodged deep into his neck. His eyes had fogged over and were staring blankly at nothing. He was the perfect image of death. 

curae was the first to find him. She had just turned the corner when she stumbled upon his figure.

Instances such as death were rare in Coelum, so the young woman stood transfixed, not quite sure what to do. She looked around until her eyes fixated on a co-worker of hers who was much older and more experienced. Beckoning her over, she pointed out the body.

Immediately, the older of the two pulled out a communications device: a piece of equipment in the shape of a plain silver sphere. 

"How long has he been here?" This question was asked by the older woman. 

"I don't know," they younger stuttered. She could not take her eyes off the body. "I just... came across him. Patricia, am I going to get in trouble?" 

"Nonsense. You haven't touched him." Patricia held the sphere close to her mouth and spoke clearly, "Contact Medicus." 

A small circle on top of the silver sphere lit up bright white and began to flash. The two curaes did not have to wait long for the light to stop blinking. The minute it did, a man's voice echoed from the silver equipment. 

"Curae Patricia, how can I help you?" The voice was cheerful and welcoming. 

"Good evening, Medicus. A body was found in one of our sick wards. He appears to be a ducibus."

Silence. Then, "Where are you?" The voice was graver now. 

"Third floor. The man's just in front of the elevators." 

"I'll be there shortly." The light blinked off and Patricia replaced the sphere back in her pocket. She looked to her colleague whose eyes were still fixed on the ducibus

Patricia placed an arm on her shoulder. "Are you okay, Amanda?"

Amanda nodded her head slowly. Her eyes never left the body. "Is he... dead?" 

Patricia studied the man. He was on his side, his arms sprawled out in front of him. The parts of the silver key that were not in his neck or covered in blood glistened menacingly in the bright light. She sighed, "I guess we'll have to see." 

The elevator doors opened just then. A man in light grey pants and a white coat stepped out. His hair was slicked back and the black strands gave way to some gray. 

"That was quick," Patricia remarked, stepping forward to join the Medicus closer to the dead body. 

"I came as quickly as I could," he half-mindedly responded in a quiet tone. He crouched down next to the body and examined the key protruding towards the ceiling. 

Amand and Patricia watched quietly. 

After some studying, the Medicus gingerly pulled the key out to the ducibus' neck and placed it on the floor. With the same hand he placed his palm over the hole in the man's neck. A white light glowed beneath it and both curaes watched, mystified, as the blood on the ground and around the corners of the ducibus' mouth began to recede back into his body. 

The Medicus finally removed his hand from the ducibus' neck, showcasing the perfectly smooth skin. Not a trace of what had happened was left. Not even a speck of blood on his white uniform. 

All of them - the Medicus and the two curaes - waited in silence. It only took a few seconds for the ducibus to shoot up into a sitting position, gasping for air. His eyes were still slightly glazed over but some color was returning to them. 

The Medicus grabbed the ducibus' shoulder firmly to keep him from moving too much. The ducibus looked to the man next to him and blinked hard. Finally he spoke. 

"Raphael?" His voice was weak and raspy. He collapsed back to the ground, the only thing slowing his fall: Raphael's firm grip. 

"Is that room empty?" Raphael questioned Patricia, gesturing toward a door directly adjacent to the elevator. 

Patricia nodded. 

Raphael slipped his arms underneath the back of the ducibus' knees and arms and lifted him off the ground. The half conscious man grunted in discomfort. Patricia hurried to open the door for the two men. 

Raphael entered the small, air-conditioned room sideways so as not to bang the ducibus' feet or head against the wall. He placed him carefully onto the bed in the middle of the room. 

"Thank you, Patricia," Raphael said, turning back toward the door. "You may return to the other patients." 

Patricia nodded her head, responding respectfully with, "Yes, Medicus," before returning to the hallway and closing the door behind her. Seeing Amanda still frozen to the spot, she guided her toward the food court for some water. 

Inside the room, Raphael was working the ducibus' long, white trench coat off his arms. Finally pulling it off, he laid the ducibus back down and hung his coat on the door. 

The man's breathing was heavy, and he stared blankly up at the ceiling, as if his eyes were still dead. 

Raphael pulled up a chair next to the bed. "What your name?" he asked. 

"Charles," the man labored, wincing at the use of his voice. 

"Where were you stationed?" 

"Infernum." As if remembering the events that had occured there, his hand shot up to touch his neck gingerly. "Wha-?" 

"You're in the Infirmary. You appeared here in the hallway. Do you remember?" 

The ducibus' hand relaxed as he shook his head. "I was... I was dead.

Raphael's lips formed a small smile. "Not quite. Lucky for you, whoever stabbed you wasn't a blood relative."

Charles scoffed, "No one in my family would condemn themselves to Infernum.

Raphael leaned forward. "'Condemn' meaning...?"

"...becoming one of those black smothered slime balls in the pit." Charles scrunched his face in anger. 

"So you remember what happened?" Raphael pressed. 

Charles looked to Raphael, slightly annoyed. "You mean remember having my throat impaled by my own key? Yeah. I think it's pretty well imprinted into my mind." 

Raphael looked down, "Sorry, but any death that occurs I have to report to Praeceptorem." 

The ducibus seemed to straighten in his bed at the sound of his commander's name. "You could just ask."

Raphael returned his gaze to the man in front of him. "Tell me, Charles. Tell me exactly what happened." 

© Copyright 2019 P.J. Bomre. All rights reserved.


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