Fortress woke up in bed. It was odd because last thing he remembered was Keeper shooting him into the atmosphere via a makeshift rocket. He tried to move but realised his hands were bound to the bedrails. He sighed and as he was about to engage his telekinesis, a nurse walked into the room. She looked about mid-forties, black hair, possibly Latino heritage.
“Afternoon. You’ve just come out of major surgery, so the doctor has advised you not to use your powers at the moment.”
“Powers?” Fortress deflected as if he didn’t have any. “What do you mean?”
The nurse walked forward to check his drip. She smelt of disinfectant and lilac. “This is the Christopher Thomas Specialised Person Clinic in Nova Scotia. We are set up purely to help those individuals who are above the curve.”
“Sounds like a home for retar...” Fortress stopped as the nurse glared at him.
“My daughter has Down’s Syndrome,” she stated as she noted medical info on his chart. “She’s got the mental capacity of a six year old.”
“I’m sorry,” Fortress tried to back track out of the hole he’d dug himself into.
“You’re sorry she has Down Syndrome?” She folded her arms and glared.
“No, yes, I mean that...well...”
The nurse watched him flummox his words before smiling and patting his hand. “Choose your words better. The doctor will be around soon.”
Fortress wanted to just up and leave but the ache his side from the stabbing Kard gave him reminded him why he was lying in a hospital bed. He hated hospitals. It was in a hospital that he found out he had powers after someone shot him in the head with a radioactive bullet. He hadn’t thought about the incident in ages but stays in hospital brought it back every time. Fortress shifted his weight and sat up.
“I recommend lying prone.” A voice said from the doorway. Standing there with a clipboard, white coat and stethoscope was a young woman who could’ve been Keeper if he was a young girl. “Please don’t stare, it’s rude.”
“You look just li...”
“I know,” she groaned as she entered the room closing the door behind her.
Fortress was baffled by the woman. “I’m Fortress.” He blurted out.
“I know,” was the sarcastic reply. “Can I ask why Fortress?”
“I didn’t catch your name?”
“My hypotheses is that judging by your age, skin colour...”
She continued, ignoring his perceived slight of his race. “...height, time in the military, and education level, you picked it because it sounded cool. Am I right?”
Fortress’ eyes widened; partially from embarrassment, the rest from anger. His telekinesis flipped open the restraints and he wobbled out of bed.
“Don’t be embarrassed, it’s more common than you know.” She went to his side and caught him before he fell in the floor. “Easy, you’ve sustained a severe trauma to your kidney. I have patched it up but it’s nowhere near healed. But do whatever you feel is right.”
“You sound just like him,” Fortress commented. “Is that why he sent me here? Because you’re him and he’s you?”
“Seems you’ve gotten all your knowledge of cloning from science fiction,” she smirked. “You need rest, that’s both a medical fact and my diagnosis.”
“Got a first name?”
“I do,” she replied spinning on her heels and leaving the room. “Get back in bed!”
The door clicked behind her indicating that it was locked. Fortress started to get up, but a vortex of vertigo and nausea washed over him.
“I hate hospitals.” He grumbled as he let the morphine course through his veins. “Should undo...the...restr....”
US Ambassador to Mexico, Roberta K Landing, sat outside the office of the Mexican President. He was currently on the phone to the US President about Miguel Camarena, the cartel baron who had been thrown through the skylight of the US Consulate in Guadalajara. This incident had ruffled some feathers.
Roberta looked up to see a young slender man in a brown suit standing nearby. “Yes?”
“My name is Diego Luis Francisco Madrazo, legal consul for Mr. Camarena,” he said efficiently.
“I don’t think I can speak to…”
“My president is speaking to your president about WHEN you are handing Mr. Camarena back to us.” He smiled a smile you see on real estate agents and used car salesmen. “I was just checking to see if Miguel is…”
“This is off the record?” Roberta asked as she stood up. Diego nodded. “I’m going to need a verbal confirmation just in case you are recording.”
“Si, this is off the record.”
“You will get that bloated sack back when we’re good and ready!” Roberta stated. “He is on US soil…”
“No, actually! The US consulate is considered US soil by both our governments.”
“Please, senorita, don’t make this any harder than it is.”
“Are you threatening me?” Roberta stepped closer to him. Diego held his hands up and walked backwards.
“At least you can’t say you weren’t warned.” He said ominously as he walked away.