Unwelcomed Changes

By Mer

Part 20

Federal Prison

Senator Herman had patiently waited and he had finally found the opportunity to implement his escape plan. A new guard had been assigned to his cellblock and he had been all for using that to his advantage. He had known that the young man would be eager to show to his bosses that he could handle the job. He also knew that the young man was na´ve enough to fall for his plan.

Michael had to laugh as he looked back at the prison behind him. It could be hours before they even realized that he was missing. Hours that would get him that much closer to his targets and them that much further away. An evil smile crossed his lips, as he thought about how much fun he would have getting rid of Sam Seaborn and Josh Lyman.

He wondered what would happen when the authorities found out that he had escaped. They would probably think that he had skipped the country and had taken a flight to a country that didn't have an extradition treaty. And they would have every reason to think that because he had his connections leave a fake paper trail for him.

He wondered if his face would be plastered on TV again, and what wonderful names that he would be called by all of the members of the media. Michael had to laugh because he knew that some of the same people who would be criticizing him would silently be congratulating him. Politics is a nasty game, where even the gentlest of people have an enemy list a mile long, and Sam and Josh weren't any different.

His sister, however, she was a lost cause. She locked up in a State Mental Facility and probably would be for the rest of her life. Prison hadn't been good for her and she had flipped out and nearly killed a couple of guards. She had been moved to the mental facility afterwards and Michael had no intention of breaking her out.

Michael wondered about the phrase, "Vengeance is mine," and who had originally coined it, because he would like to call that person a genius. Vengeance most definitely was going to be his, and when it was over his name would be placed in World History books so that students would read about him for years to come.

Georgetown Hospital-Josh's Room

Josh sat up on the bed trying to listen to the show that was playing on the TV but it didn't really make any sense to him without being able to see anything. He wondered if he would ever be able to watch TV again. After Rosslyn he had tried to reassess some of the things that he had taken for granted, and obviously he had neglected to add TV to that list.

His attention was taken away from the TV by the opening of the hospital room door. A deep sense of dread filled him. Josh suddenly wished that he weren't alone to hear the news. Even the sound of Dr. Schwartz's footsteps seemed to imply eminent doom.

"Mr. Lyman." Dr. Schwartz stated tightly.

"Dr. Schwartz, I guess you couldn't resist all of the poking you did on me and you've come back for more. I know you like me but come on, we've only just met." Josh joked, but couldn't see the doctor's un-amused look.

"Did you honestly think that was funny?" Dr. Schwartz asked coldly.

"No, but I was trying to lighten up the mood." Josh replied solemnly, though he wasn't the least bit sorry.

"Your health is not a laughing matter Mr. Lyman. Has the thought that you could die from this crossed your mind at all?" Dr. Schwartz asked.

"Well, considering the fact that I was nearly killed twice in one year by lunatics, I guess a little ol' tumor doesn't scare me as much as it probably should." Josh replied.

"You're right it should scare you. The tests came back negative for cancer." Dr. Schwartz replied.

"I thought that was supposed to be good news." Josh replied.

"Normally it would be but your tumor is on the verge of rupturing." Dr. Schwartz replied ominously.

"That's bad right?" Josh mumbled wishing for the millionth time that he could just melt into the mattress.

"Yes. Mr. Lyman, I'm going to lay out all of the facts right now. If we operate there is a fifty percent chance that you will either be killed or end up a vegetable for the rest of your life, but if the tumor bursts you will most certainly die." Dr. Schwartz replied.

"Can't you shrink it first?" Josh asked.

"I don't think there is enough time or that." Dr. Schwartz replied.

"If I have the surgery will I regain my sight?" Josh asked.

"I don't think so. Your optic nerves have both been severely compromised by the tumor. If you do regain any sight, I would only say it would be a slight improvement over what you have now, and that most likely it would only be in one eye." Dr. Schwartz replied.

"Great." Josh muttered as he laid back against the pillows in defeat.

"With your permission I would like to operate first thing tomorrow morning." Dr. Schwartz replied.

"What happens after the surgery?" Josh asked.

"Assuming all goes well, you will be out of it for awhile and you may have to do some minor occupational therapy to rebuild some of your motor skills." Dr. Schwartz replied.

"Re-do my motor skills?" Josh asked.

"Your speech will probably be affected the most. On average a couple sessions with a speech therapist usually returns the patient back to full strength." Dr. Schwartz replied.

"What are the other risks?" Josh asked.

"Besides death and loss of speech, you could also have a weakened short term memory; and there is also a possibility of paralysis." Dr. Schwartz replied.

"Great." Josh muttered as he sunk back even further.

"Without the surgery you will most certainly die." Dr. Schwartz reminded him.

"How long would I last without the surgery?" Josh asked.

"A few weeks maybe, Mr. Lyman you have to understand that the longer blood gets pumped to your brain the more opportunity the tumor has to swell and to burst." Dr. Schwartz replied.

"Okay, I guess schedule the surgery for tomorrow then." Josh replied half-heartedly.

"Mr. Lyman, if I were you I would make sure that all of your affairs are in order incase the surgery doesn't go well." Dr. Schwartz suggested.

"Do you doubt your skill as a surgeon?" Josh asked but instantly regretted it.

"No, not even the best surgeon can guarantee a positive outcome with your type of surgery." Dr. Schwartz replied, and with a thud of the door, was gone.

Josh closed his eyes a moment and thought about what the doctor had just said. He had a fifty percent chance of survival, and a chance that even if he had survived he wouldn't be the same as he was now. He would take being blind over being a vegetable. A worried tear streaked down his cheek as the hospital room door opened.

"Joshua, it's been awhile hasn't it?" Mandy asked as she came in and sat down next to him.

"Well Madeline there's a voice I prayed I would never hear again." Josh replied as he had swiftly brushed the tear away before she could see it.

"Yeah well I don't go away that easily." Mandy replied.

"I hadn't noticed." Josh mumbled a little too loudly.

"Thanks for your support." Mandy replied.

"Well, you were the one that left the administration, not me." Josh replied with a shrug.

"I didn't feel as if I fit in anymore." Mandy countered.

"Because of your memo, Mandy grow up, everyone was long over that." Josh protested.

"No one stopped me, either." Mandy replied pointedly.

"Excuse me, but I couldn't exactly stop you because I was too busy getting myself shot. Or hadn't you heard about that?" Josh asked angrily, letting his current depressed state fuel him on.

"It wouldn't have made a difference anyway, you wouldn't have stopped me even if you hadn't of been shot." Mandy replied coldly, and for a moment Josh almost believed her venomous words.

"That's bullshit Mandy and you know it. I would have tried to stop you because I was the one that gave you the job offer in the first place." Josh replied.

"Oh yeah an offer which you were so totally thrilled about making." Mandy replied with a roll of her eye's that even in his blinded state Josh knew was there.

"Why are you here now anyway?" Josh asked a little softer.

"I came to check up on you." Mandy replied in a sappy sweet voice that nearly made him gag.

"The only reason you're visiting me is if you have something to gain out of it." Josh countered.

"I want to know if you have any suggestions on how to help Sam?" Mandy asked seriously.

"Why are you asking me, aren't you the one who wants to keep his job?" Josh countered.

"How do you know that?" Mandy asked with a startled voice.

"I know who you really are Mandy, remember." Josh replied.

"I just want to get Toby and everyone else off my back. I made a mistake and I told a reporter about his condition. I need to fix Sam before the story becomes an issue." Mandy replied.

"You need to fix Sam? Mandy he's not a toy that you can take to the repair shop and fix." Josh replied.

"I know. Josh, I'm going to get fired if the story gets out." Mandy pleaded.

"Who did you tell?" Josh asked.

"Katie." Mandy replied.

"Shit Mandy, why didn't you just go and tell Karen Cahill?" Josh moaned.

"Josh." Mandy pleaded.

"Why do you want me to help you keep your job so badly?" Josh asked.

"You think it looks good to be fired from the White House?" Mandy asked.

"Mandy, I'm going to try and diffuse the story, but on Sam's account not yours." Josh stated flatly.

"Thank you." Mandy replied.

"Oh don't thank me, because once C.J. or Toby finds out, believe me when I say that you are as good as dead." Josh replied ominously.

 

 

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