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He moved to her bedside. Turning to Lensherr, he asked what her condition was.

Lensherr displayed no sign of welcome, no sign of recognition. He continued to examine her, answering Charles as a doctor might answer an over-concerned relation's irritating questions.

" Physically, she has done well. Her original wounds have healed rather swiftly."

It was an answer that caused Charles' eyebrow to rise a little. He set about asking another question, but before he could, Gabrielle's eyes suddenly opened themselves, and sensing some threat to her, either real or imaginary, began to thrash about wildly, struggling madly in the grip of an invisible foe. Limbs flailing insanely, undeterred by pain or sensation, she lashed out at those who attempted to approach her, eyes inhumanly large, the whites showing the network of vessels lying beneath their surface. Blank and unseeing, it was a ghastly sight.

At this close range, Charles too, suffered from her attack. He saw, sensed, shared the turmoil within her mind - her madness and terror. The imagery, the emotions invaded his own, became their shared nightmare, in their overwhelming vividness and intensity...

Fire... flames licking at my/her skin... bombs, grinning madly, explode into people... people running, fleeing... then exploding again, arms legs heads flying everywhere... someone running, arm torn away, dangling by the blood... blood washing over the ground... I'm/she's drowning in it... the soldiers coming coming coming... tearing away my/her clothes... "Help! Somebody help!"...

Staggered, fighting to retain control, Charles fell back, suddenly sitting on the next bed, hand tightly clenching the bed's metal stand, digging his nails into himself, drawing blood. But the pain soothed him more than anything else, for it allowed him to think of other things, and not drown in the screams of the terrified girl before him.

Blocking out the images as well as he could, he got up from the bed, shaking, the blood freely trickling down his fingers. Lensherr stared at him, as if in accusation of cowardice before the puny struggles of a single woman.

Cold, hard, he turned to the bed. " Hold her down," he ordered. " We shall have to administer a full dosage of morphine." He turned to the tray of medical supplies.

Before Charles could digest, let alone react, to the surprising order, the four nurses had pounced on their patient. Grabbing her four limbs, they pinned her to the bed. Gabrielle screamed in the face of this oppression, jerking her body of side to side in a futile effort to free herself. But she was still weak, and her opposition was only met by the determination of her captors, and their force.


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