Lawrence Gustafsen scanned his monitors. After working for Special Delivery for a few months, he developed a habit of checking every few seconds instead of relying on alarms.
“A half hour before my shift is over,” Lawrence said as he glanced at the digital read out of his shift time. “Nothing crazy, please.”
His current readout had only Flash Mob on mission. Flash Mob’s status was stable and not even close to trouble. Out of reflex, Lawrence pulled up the map of Flash Mob’s current location.
“Downtown on the Northside. Close to the projects.” Lawrence’s lips moved as he mentally calculated the number of hops he would need. “Two should work.”
Lawrence shifted to move his lunch cooler to the top of the desk. Next, he checked the mini-fridge’s stock of beverages and snacks. “Need to make a run tomorrow or so.” Closing the fridge his computer monitor blinked.
Flash Mob Status Critical. Then the beeping kicked in.
Lawrence stood and moved his bulk from his workstation. A quick tap on his wrist panel and he said, “EMT Lawrence Gustafsen responding to alarm for Flash Mob.” As he entered the walkway, he disappeared.
Lawrence appeared over the Hines building. He tumbled a few feet, then disappeared again.
Reappearing on the top of the building, Lawrence lurched as his momentum carried him a step. “OK. Not close to the projects. In the projects.”
Lawrence’s wrist panel showed a general location of himself and his patient. He followed the map and moved through the door.
Taking a step on the landing, Lawrence saw a body. He moved closer and his map reflected he was on top of his patient. His wrist panel map updated, and he found a string of his patients.
“What,” Lawrence’s loud voice echoed in the switch-back stairwell.
Leaning down, Lawrence checked pulse and general condition. He saw another body on the next landing. Staring over the hand rail, he saw more bodies on the stairs, another landing, and one or two draped over the railing. Each body dressed like the ones near him.
“Uh…control,” Lawrence said, holding a finger to his earbud. “I have multiple…Uh…bodies.”
“EMT, this is control,” the rapid speech of the voice of control said. “Clarify.”
“I have,” Lawrence pointed to the bodies he could see, “25 bodies. They all show on my monitor and they are all dressed as Flash Mob.”
“Then bring them in,” the voice of control said.
“They are all showing critical status.”
“Move fast.” The sound in Lawrence’s ear went quiet.
Lawrence checked on the closest body. He saw a wound on the leg and shoulder. Moving to the next body, Lawrence saw that both arms were broken. Over the next five bodies, Lawrence noted different wounds on different body parts. After ten bodies, Lawrence noticed none of them was dead, but some were close.
“I need to get these guys to a hospital,” Lawrence said as he grabbed two arms.
Disappearing, he reappeared on the roof of the building and placed the bodies on the gravel. Going as fast as he could, he repeated this process until all 34 bodies were on the roof. Lawrence managed to lay each person so that they were touching the next person. Once all the bodies were situated, he contacted control.
“I have the bodies ready for transport. Notify Angel of Mercy. Large group in coming.” Lawrence squatted and gripped a hand.
“Understood EMT. Good luck,” the practiced voice of control went quiet.
“Here goes everything,” Lawrence breathed out and shut his eyes.
Lawrence disappeared from the dilapidated building’s roof. In rapid succession, so did each of the Flash Mob bodies.
He reappeared, several miles away and a few of the bodies appeared over him. Falling, he watched as the train of bodies appeared over him. After ten seconds, the last one appeared.
“Oh man!” Lawrence screamed as he closed his eyes again and repeated the process.
It took Lawrence nine more jumps to reach his destination. He appeared over the hospital and shouted over his earbud, “YOU’RE GONNA NEED MORE GURNEYS!”
Disappearing again, he reappeared next to several gurneys. In turn, each body appeared over a gurney. An attendant moved the bed away as fast as they could. As one was removed, another took it’s place.
Sweat beaded on Lawrence’s face. “Come on. Hurry up.”
Every one of the bodies landed on a gurney. As the last one appeared, Lawrence caught himself on a nearby orderly.
“I’m EMT,” Lawrence huffed, “Lawrence,” more huffing, “damn my name is long.”
“Hey,” the orderly smiled at him. “We got it from here. Just sign.”
Lawrence reached forward with a sweaty hand and scribbled his name.
Putting a hand to his ear, Lawrence said, “Control. Patient delivered. Call me a cab.” Lawrence plopped down on the curb to wait.