June 28, 4:03 pm
In the eye of a hurricane there is quiet. So it was with the man in the quarantine ward. He wasn’t sick, but it was the only ICU bed for St. John’s Medical that provided the security that Mi5 had demanded for this very special case. In the ward, only approved people were allowed to visit. All of them were Mi5 or specially selected medical staff. They were all emergency room workers, pulled off their regular duties to continue attending to the strangest and most disturbing trauma any of them had witnessed. Speculations ran rampant between the nurses. He was a victim of gang violence. He had been hit by a truck in a targeted hit and run. He was tortured. So many speculations kept flowing, providing the winds of doubt and chaos that buffeted the doctors. They were beside themselves to try and explain how a man who had lost so much blood was surviving, much less healing. Doctor Choprakani had wanted to include her findings in a research paper, only to find it marked “TOP SECRET” and locked behind government red tape. She was fascinated with the fact that the man had no recognizable blood type. His nutritionist was frustrated with the five thousand calorie diet that was barely sustaining the man’s weight. Even those unconnected with the case found themselves caught in the storm of speculation. Who was the man who warranted twenty-four seven armed guards both inside and outside of his room?
But, in the eye of the hurricane, there is peace. Matthew Cox knew nothing of the chaos surrounding him or what chain of events were unfolding as he slept in a medically induced coma. Bandages mummified him: arms and right leg, head, and ribs all supported some form of rigid, supportive gear. The bones weren’t just broken, they were fragmented. And yet they healed. His left leg was covered in lacerations, some bone deep. It too, was mummified. The IV line that gave him medications and fluids was ported into his femoral vein. A feeding tube gave him what nutrition his battered body could take. Again, a baffled gastroenterologist had no explanation for how an organ beaten to bleeding was functional within a week. When he was no longer on Death’s door, the medical coma was slowly lifted. Days of weaning him off of medication eventually produced a tangible result: a flutter of eyelids, a muffled cry of pain, and a wince of a hand.