"How's it look in there?" the doctor asked.
"That other guy ate part of this poor son of a bitch. He's pinned from the waist down including his arms. There's barely a heartbeat. Looks like it might take an hour or so to free him," replied the engineer.
"Best have another dart ready. There's no way of knowing how he'll react, if he survives," a paramedic stated.
At the hospital they kept Luke heavily sedated, and he had tubes going every which way.
"Ever seen anything like this?" asked a nurse named Jewel Handly.
"Nope, and that's a question that will be asked a lot. This guy will go down in the books. Make sure he's kept under. I'm told he gets violent," a doctor ordered.
"All of these wounds. He must have suffered horribly. Do they know how long he was in that cave?" asked Jewel.
"I don't know. From these wounds, I'd guess months. The most amazing part is why are these wounds not infected. Amazing. Simply amazing," the Doctor said as he walked away.
At the cave they kept blasting small portions of rock and chiseling around John. Finally, they freed him.
They couldn't bend his legs, and the upper part of his body had a prestigious quantity of bites and deep scarring, plus the same type of wounds from insect feeding on him as did Luke. The Doctor gave him more injections to keep him tranquilized, and his heart beating.
"Can you imagine being pinned down like that, and somebody eating you?" said one of the deputies.
"Wow. No. Wow. I'm never going to sleep again. Probably won't eat either," added a paramedic.
"As soon as everyone's clear, remove it. I don't want this place to turn into a freak show destination," ordered the Sheriff.
"Consider it done," replied the engineer.
As ordered, the engineer blew the side of the cliff. When the dust had cleared, the cave was gone. However, a dozen or more of the Millennium plants survived, as did most of the insects sheltered in the cracks and crevices.
At the hospital Luke and John shared a room, and were both under heavy sedation
"Do these wounds look less severe to you?" a doctor asked a nurse.
"Hard to tell, but I think they do. Of course, it's only been a day. Could be that first impression phenomenon," replied the nurse.
" Yeah. Could be. How are those tests coming?" asked the doctor.
"I'll check," said the nurse as she walked away.
The doctor noticed a slight tremor in both Luke and John, but didn't think much of it. With the intravenous drip and feeding tube Luke and John were healing rapidly.
By morning Luke was able to open his eyes a bit, and he could hear the noises made by medical equipment and nurses walking in the hallway. He tried to move, but the restraints kept him firmly attached to the bed. He did not understand where he was, or how he got there. Then the hunger hit him like a red-hot ax. He turned his head and seen John. He had no idea who John was, in fact, he had no idea who he was. After a short time, the morphine had him drifting back into a deep sleep. John remained motionless, except for the tremors.
"How's our patient?" asked Jewel as she came on shift.
"Oh, not bad, I guess. They haven't complained. Just change the drips," said the duty nurse.
"My god, these wounds are healing damn fast. Look," Jewel said in astonishment.
The two nurses gazed at Luke and Johns wounds. Some were completely healed.
"I'll be damned," replied the duty nurse.
They both changed the intravenous drips and bandages.
"They, said they were both naked. What the hell were they doing up there?" the duty nurse asked.
"That's what they said. They didn't find any tin cans or food wrappers either," said Jewel.
"Just a couple of crazies I suppose," said the duty nurse.
"I suppose. If they weren't before they probably are now," answered Jewel.
"Morning everyone," said the doctor as he entered the intensive care unit.
" Morning doctor," they all said almost in unison.
The doctor had a set of x-rays with him, and he put them on the light board.
"This is what we think we should do for the guy with leg calcifications. We're going to remove the buildup while he's still under," stated the doctor.
"Can he take more trauma?" asked Jewel.
"They both seem to have remarkable healing capacities. We should take advantage of it now in case it doesn't last," answered the doctor.
"What do they call it? that kind of calcification. Asked a nurse.
"Just calcification. An awfully bad case of calcification. Genetic I suppose," the doctor replied.
That day they operated on John. Each of the Doctors had a theory as to how the calcification occurred, but none guessed right.
After five days in intensive care Luke and John looked physically well, but everyone familiar with their case felt as though there would be severe psychological problems that would take far longer to treat then the physical wounds.
On the third day after John's surgery when Jewel reported for her shift, she noticed Luke arm was not restrained. When she raised his arm to place it in the restraints, he grabbed her arm and took a full bite. Jewel screamed and broke away. Three nurses and a doctor ran to see what was happening.
"Dammit! How did he get loose?" yelled the doctor as they all piled on Luke to get him back in the restraint.
Jewel put a pressure wrap on her arm while the others were wrestling with Luke.
"Put that towel in his mouth," ordered the doctor.
Luke was in a frenzy trying to bite those who were trying to get his arm back in the restraint.
"Got it," replied a nurse.
"Nurse, get that morphine back in there," the doctor ordered as he tightened the leather strap around Luke's arm.
Robert Evan Howard