57 Hospital Talk
"Miss Torno, do you mind if I speak with Rick alone for a moment? It won't take long. I just need to debrief him before he's released from the hospital."
"Wait." Rickie called, as she turned towards the door, "Wait until I'm able to leave and I'll drive you home. Please." He couldn't stop the pleading tone. Meaghan gave a jerky nod and all but rushed from the room. Rickie cursed under his breath and laid back down on the bed as the door closed behind her. The director made a dismissive gesture.
"Once she knows you just got a scratch, she will feel better. I just wanted to go over what we found tonight."
Rickie let the words wash over him.
The body of the sniper, John, was recovered on the helipad, along with a T91 Chinese-made assault rifle, and a M77B pistol. He had died from a self-inflicted gunshot after sustaining multiple injuries from other weapons. There was no identification on him; the cabin he and Ani used yielded few clues and little forensic evidence. Both the BKN and the STAR agents determined that their belongings had been moved to a getaway boat prior to their actions on the tower.
Ani had disappeared into the night in the extremist's boat. Other APMM vessels were scouring the waters with little success. Although Ani was wounded during her fight with Rick, she still managed to shoot the STAR boat pilot in the shoulder and thigh before making her escape. A "Be On Lookout" (BOLO) had been issued, so there was little left to do besides wait for a sighting.
Specialised bomb technicians were currently combing through the remains of the explosive device, which Ani had managed to partially activate before being discovered and forced to flee. Luckily, the only damage was to several layers of casing around the subsea freshwater aquifer, which would be relatively easy to repair. The drilling was delayed by a matter of months, but no permanent damage was done to either the platform or the seafloor. No other explosive devices or sabotage had been found.
Although Rickie felt fine physically, he was exhausted mentally, unable stop thinking about the scene in his room. After giving his statement to the Director, he waited for Meaghan to return. The only person that showed up, though, was JoAnne. She carried a colorful paper bag into the room and plunked it down on the hospital couch.
"I brought you a change of clothes, since you're too stubborn to stay in the hospital for another day. I've picked up your medicines and have already signed your discharge papers, so we can go home any time you are ready."
"Where is Meaghan? Is she still here?" He fiercely demanded, eliciting a disapproving look from JoAnne.
"She's at the cafeteria, having tea with Cynthia. Why are you yelling?"
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"I'm not! I'm just…" Rickie threw his head back in frustration, striking the headboard.
JoAnne smiled evilly at his grunt of pain, but her expression sobered as she saw the play of emotions across his face. More gently, she asked, "Okay, what happened between you and Meg?"