What's up everyone. Here is chapter 2 for this story, sorry or the very long wait but please enjoy!
That was the smell that Jack woke up to as he slowly began to regain his consciousness. The first thing he felt as he began to stir into consciousness was that fact that he could not feel left side of his face. When he tried to open his eyes slowly, Jack quickly realised that he could only see out of his right eye. In fact he had to shut them again as the light streaming in from the nearby window blinded him. Keeping his eyes closed and waiting for the spots in his eye to clear, Jack began to remember what had happened. The car crash on his way to the dinner.
"Jack." A voice called out to him.
Opening his good eye slowly, Jack saw that it was his mother who had called his name. Looking at her, Jack could see the worry in her eyes and the faint tear tracks on her face that still lingered.
"What happened?" Jack managed to croak out.
"It okay, it's going to be okay." June assured as she sat next to him.
Opening his eyes slowly, Jack saw that it was his mother who had called out for him. Jack could see the worry in her eyes and the faint trails of tears that still lingered.
"What happened?" Jack managed to croak out.
"You crashed down from the cliff and landed near a river. They rushed you in a chopper but it took a while to find you." June said softly. "Golden hours for nerve damage went by while you were in the car."
"What did they do?" Jack repeated.
Here June swallowed as she looked at the structure holding his hands up. "Eleven stainless steel pins in the bones. Multiple torn ligaments, severe nerve damage to both hands. You were on the table for eleven hours."
"Look at these fixators." Jack pointed out, staring at his bandaged hands.
"No one could have done better." June said.
Turning to look at her, Jack simply said. "I could have."
Jack was getting frustrated.
For the past month he had been trying to find ways to fix his hands, but every examination and procedure had failed. He had asked, during one of his many rehabilitation sessions, if such a case of nerve and bone damage was ever documented. His nurse had told him that he had treated one such patient before.
A man by the name of Jonathan Pangborn had broken his spine and therefore lost his ability to walk due to extensive nerve damage. It was after seeing him a few years later that he saw him walking without any problems at all.
Naturally Jack did not believe so, despite after everything that he had seen and done, and demanded that he see the files. The nurse told him that it would take him a while for him to do so, so while he was waiting for the files, Jack had reached out to the other doctors in the world to see if they had any way of fixing his hands. Unfortunately, many of them did not have any such procedures, and those that did were so expensive that Jack had to sell much of what he owned to pay for them.
Not only did his finances decrease, but so did his day to day schedule. Where normally he would be able to wake up, shower and shave himself clean, now he wasn't able to do so. With his constant shaking hands, Jack could not keep his hands steady enough for him to even shave, making him grow a beard. He could not even cut his own hair, making him look more and more like a homeless man, especially with the clothes he now wore.
Even his own personal life was deteriorating, what with him staying at home constantly trying to find a means to fix his hands. He had heard from Raf wishing him a quick recovery, and his mom also trying to find a way to help him yet also juggle with work. He did not hear much from Fowler, due to his work with the government. In fact, out of everyone, it was Miko who had decided to help him along the road to recovery, and that while she did not know everything about medicine, she did know that the longer he did not get treatment, the shorter his temper got.
He could not even write, or even sign his own signature. Not due to a lack of trying though.
It was during one of these many practices that he was talking another of his fellow doctors while also trying to sign his signature that things finally broke.
"I've looked at all your research and read all of your papers, but it's not going to work." Etienne, a fellow doctor from the hospital said. "I don't think you realise the damage that was caused."
"I understand." Jack said.
"The best have tried and failed Jack." Etienne continued. "What you want from me is impossible Jack. Now I have my own reputation to consider. I can't help you, I'm sorry." He finished before ending the call.
Upset Jack slammed the Ipad down, closing it before sweeping the contents of the table off of it. He suddenly hear the door of his house open and in stepped Miko, carrying a large brown paper bag, as well as her own handbag.
"I take it they answered the same as the rest?" Miko asked as she set the bags on the counter.
Picking up a letter from one of the other hospitals he had contacted, Jack crushed it into a ball and threw it away. "The Hospital had an experimental Machine that could regrow stem cells. It could, in theory, allow the cells in my nerves to connect again. However they said that that even I they tried, the chances of that happening are slim at best." Jack said. "Even Etienne could not help me."
"Jack, maybe it's time you stopped." Miko said, concerned.
"No don't you see Miko." Jack said, standing up. "This is exactly the wrong time to stop because my hands are not getting any BETTER!" Jack yelled.
"But this isn't medicine anymore Jack. This is mania." Miko said, trying to convince her friend.
As Jack stood in front of his window overlooking the city, he begun to rub his wrists slowly. "Life without my work….." Jack began.
"Is still life!" Miko cried out. "There are other ways besides medicine to give your life meaning." She said.
"Like what? Like you?" Jack snapped, turning towards her.
Jack knew that what he had said was wrong, but in his frustration and anger, he simply did not care. He watched as Miko get this look of hurt on her face, before turning into simmering anger.
"This is the part where you apologise." She said simply.
"This is the part where you leave." Jack retorted, turning his back to her.
Jack did not see the hurt and frustration that was clearly on her face as she grabbed her handbag. "Fine. I can't bear to see you this way." She said, turning to walk away.
"Oh why? Because it's hard?" Jack mocked, turning around and chasing after her.
Turning around quickly, grief and sadness clearly on her face. "Yes. Yes it is. It breaks my heart to see you this way."
"No, don't pity me." Jack said.
"I'm not pitying you." Miko denied.
"Oh yeah? So why were your bringing cheese and wine like we're a couple going out on a picnic through the GroundBridge? Guess what Miko? We are NOT a couple! But you just love a good sob story, don't you? Is that what I am to you now?" Jack asked. "Poor Jack Darby! Charity case. He finally needs me after trying so hard to get his attention by risking my life to show much I care for him. Patch him up and send him back into the world, hearts humming. You care SO MUCH don't you!" Jack asked, ending his rant.
Jack and Miko simply stared at each other. One had a look of utter frustration and anger, while the latter was trying very hard not to cry. This went on for a full minute before Miko turned around and walked towards the door. Opening it, she was about to leave when she turned and looked at Jack, who had turned his back to her and was leaning on the window looking down to the streets below.
"Goodbye Jack. April would not have wanted this for you." She said, before turning back and walking out the front door, shutting it behind her.
Meanwhile back inside the house, Jack continued to stare at the street below, before turning back to the counter that held the last envelope for him to open. It was not a letter but instead a large folder that had the hospital's logo. Opening the folder, Jack took out some X-Ray scans of Johnathan Pangborn's Spinal Cord injury. It showed that his C7 and C8 had been injured to the point where he could not walk. Remembering what the nurse said to him about the man walking, he decided to pay the man a visit, I only to know how he had recovered. Luckily the folder came with the address of where Pangborn was currently staying.
Jack watched as a group of men were playing a round of basketball. Walking alongside the fence separating the court from onlookers, Jack watched as Pangborn was indeed using his legs as if he never had any injury in the first place. Even his hands, which was diagnosed with partial paralysis, were in great condition. Jack watched as the game wind down a little and saw Pangborn head for a stack of bags. Quickly making his way over, Jack soon stood in front of Pangborn, separated only by the fence.
"Johnathan Pangborn, C7-C8 Spinal Cord injury. Paralyzed from the mid-chest down with partial paralysis on both his hands." Jack iterated, gaining said man's attention.
"Who are you?" he asked.
"My name is Doctor Jack Darby. I'm a neurosurgeon." Jack introduced himself. "Was a neurosurgeon actually." He amended.
"I remember you." Pangborn said as he stepped up. "Came to your office once. Didn't even get past your assistant."
"You were untreatable." Jack insisted.
"Yeah. No glory for you." Pangborn scoffed, turning around and walking away.
"You came back from a place no one else ever has." Jack cried out. Pangborn turned around to see Jack pull his shaking hands from his pockets. "I'm trying to find my own way back."
Jack looked at Pangborn's expression as he stared at his shaking hands and saw a glimmer of sympathy. Jack did not know if he would help him, not after what he did. He hoped that Pangborn would, but did not hope for the best.
"Hey Pangborn! You playing or not?!" One of the basketball players shouted from the court.
Pangborn simply held up his hand, signalling for them to wait before making his way over to the gate, Jack following. Meeting at the gate, Jack got a closer look at Pangborn to notice his eyes and, for a moment saw into his eyes and saw a swirling orange vortex before it was gone.
"All right." He said. "I'd given up on my body. I thought that my mind was the only thing I had left, I should at least elevate that. So I sat with gurus and sacred women. Strangers carried me to mountain tops to see holy men. And finally I found my teacher, my mind was elevated and my spirit deepened." Pangborn said.
"And somehow your body healed." Jack said.
"Yes." Pangborn agreed, nodding his head. "There were deeper secrets to learn but I didn't have the strength to learn them. So I settled for my miracle and returned home."
And where can I find this teacher?" Jack asked.
"The place you're looking for is called Kamar-Taj, it in a city called Kathmandu, Nepal. But the cost there is high." Pangborn said.
"How much?" Jack asked.
"I'm not talking about money. Good luck." Pangborn smirked before turning around to play another round of basketball, leaving Jack in a world of thought.
It took every last penny and even then some to get a one way ticket to get the cheapest flight to Nepal and then get a ride towards Kathmandu. By the time he reached the city, the only things that Jack had the clothes on his back, a bag filled with his clothes, a shaver, toiletries, and a spare pair of shoes. On his wrist was a Mickey Mouse watch that held a special place in his heart.
As Jack wandered the streets of Kathmandu, he asked the locals about Kamar-Taj, to which they either looked at him confused before walking away, or just pointing him in some random direction.
To put it simply, Jack was lost.
And things seemed to only get worse when he made a wrong turn into an alleyway only to be stopped by three locals that would not be mistaken for street thugs back in America. While Jack would normally be able to defend himself, ever since his injury, he did not believe he could even stop a kid from beating him up. Even then, he swore an oath do no harm anyone as he was a doctor, and even if he wasn't, he would still find another way. Unfortunately, these three knuckleheads did not seem to care.
"Give us your money tourist, and we might let you go." One of the thugs threatened.
"Look guys, I don't have any money." Jack said, trying to dissuade them as they surrounded him.
"Your watch." The same thug said, indicating to the only thing of worth.
"No, not that." Jack pleaded.
The thug, probably the leader, nudged his head upwards. The thug under him pushed him from behind and begun to kick him in the back with the other one joining in while their leader tried to grab his watch. As soon as the watch came loose from his wrist, the three of the thugs were about to escape, only for a strangely dressed man in dark green robes with his hood up took down the three men with ease.
As soon as the three men were taken down, the robed man helped Jack to his feet while also taking the watch from the thug and handing it back to Jack.
"Thank you for helping me sir." Jack thanked as he looked at his watch as to his dismay saw that the hardened glass on the watch face was cracked.
"I believe that you are looking for Kamar-Taj?" The man said in a deep voice as he lowered his hood, showing that it was a man with dark skin and a short cropped hair.
"Do you know where I can find it?" Jack asked.
"Follow me." The man said as he walked out of the alleyway, Jack following just behind him.
The trip did not take long, as the strange man brought him through the streets of Kathmandu, passing by many shops, little temples, and places of worship. As they turned left into another alley, Jack saw the man stop in front of a wooden door that looked as inconspicuous as the wall surrounding it. This of course brought back memories of the Autobots and how they hid inside an old missile silo that was hidden within one of the many mesa that dotted around Jasper.
"Are you sure we're at the right place? That right there looks a bit more Kamar-Tajey." Jack joked.
"We are at the right place." The man replied with a straight face.
"Anything I should know before I head on in?" Jack asked.
"I once stood in your place. And I too, was disrespectful. So a word of advice, forget everything you knew." The man answered, opening the door.
Jack looked at the man confused before turning towards the open door. Turning towards it, Jack took one last look at the street behind him and then towards the door. "I feel like I'm about to have my entire world turned upside down once again." He said before entering the premise.
How did you enjoy it?
Although I am using the Doctor Strange movie as a template, it is still something that i would like to continue. Anyway next chapter is when Jack meets the Ancient One. Anyway, if you enjoyed this chapter, please leave a review.
Remember to have an Awesome Day!