Her throat tightened as she surged forward again, breath rasping in her own ears and blocking out all other sounds. The space between seemed to melt away in the span of a heartbeat, the Svastii woman falling heavily to her knees and rolling her partner's battered and badly bleeding body onto her back. One of the Capital Security officers was barking something, shouting out orders, but the only thing Lane could hear in her head was the hollow rush of her breathing and the frantic-paced thumping of her heart in her chest. She had to live, dammit! She tore away at the stiff layer of the other fallen officer's flak vest, the lower end shredded and made useless by the grenade's close-quarters detonation.
So much blood, richly crimson fluid pouring out of the woman's exposed mess of intestine and muscle laying open to the dry city air. Lane pressed her hands against the bleeding mass as best she could, blinking back tears that threatened to wash away her vision as she felt her partner's life slipping between her fingers to join the puddle even then starting to seep into the marble flagstones. "Someone help me, she's dying! Please I need some help here!" She managed to croak out of her dry throat, her hands slipping from Avery's abdomen.
Someone behind her, and to her left, heaved and wretched noisily as the contents of their stomach were brought back up; she couldn't smell it, her nose filled with the scent of hot blood on the ground. Someone else shoved a wad of cloth, someone's shirt or jacket, on top of her hands, and Kitali Lane gratefully pressed the makeshift bundle against her partner's wounds. She didn't care whose it was, who was running around half naked now; all that mattered was stopping Avery's bleeding! She could see others, security officers most likely, working on the criminal, trying to stabilize him as well. She wanted to snarl at them, snap and bare her vicious teeth and make them let him die, but she held her tongue. Even if the bastard lived, he'd still go to Hell; Innsfield wasn't exactly a state-run resort, after all.
She could see the circle of onlooker's feet moving, letting new people in, the blue-clothed legs of the paramedics. A dark skinned hand pressed two fingers expertly against Siline's neck, and Lane had to again repress the urge to snap at this person, to bite at what almost looked to her distraught mind like a choking attempt. "Unsteady, weak pulse, shallow breathing; Essina above she's almost as bad as the other one!"
White gloved hands covered hers on the officer's stomach, pulling the Svastii's away and adding a mass of thick bleached white gauze to the shirt. "Keep pressure on it ma'am, we're going to move her now, okay?"
The rush to get to the Municipal Hospital was short, frantic and a complete blur for Officer Lane, her hands pressing the mass of gauze and shirt against her best friend's wounds. The doors slammed open almost before the ambulance had swayed to a halt, technicians and nurses pouring into the tight space, prepping Avery for moving into an operating room. Kitali found herself left behind as they rushed, the swinging double doors of the emergency trauma room almost smacking her in her short, blunt snout as they closed in her face. She pressed her face helplessly against the plastic window in the door, watching helplessly as the doctors and nurses worked at a fever pitch.
"Ma'am? Excuse me, you can't stay here." Another blue shirted trauma technician gently tugged at the officer's elbow, gently but insistently trying to pull the Svastii away from the trauma room door and the grisly scene within.
"What? Oh, right..." Lane absently ran one bloody hand across the top of her bare and leathery head, staring blankly at first the tech, then her other still dripping hand. He nodded in understanding, taking her elbow more firmly in his fingers. "Come on ma'am, washroom's this way. I'm sure the doctors are doing their best and trying their hardest."
The blaring alarms and rushing press of people surrounding the trauma ward blurred away as Lane pushed into the washroom, leaning heavily on the door to keep from collapsing from exhaustion and grief right there on the floor. Blindly she lurched forward, clapping her hands on the sides of the sink to support herself and dragging her head upright to look in the mirror; all she could see was the blood on her trembling hands and smeared on her face and head. "My God... I killed her. I have her blood on my hands I killed her..."
She tried to speak again in that harsh whisper, her jaw working but her throat closed with grief and exhaustion so tightly that she could barely breathe, rasping against the lump closing off her air supply. The world tunnelled around her, vision blacking at the edges as she spun collapsing to the floor-
"No! I did not kill her!" Lane shot upright in her bed, icy sweat beading on her bare skin and making the light sheet stick to her body. Her breath came in ragged gasps, but even as she tried to figure out where she was she could feel it coming back under control. "I didn't kill my partner..."
Home. She was in her own bed, her own apartment.