Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Super Red Wheelbarrow
"You're telling me you two are superheroes?" The chief of surgery raised her eyebrow and swirled her coffee cup. There wasn't much left to slosh around. Until I finish this, that was how long she'd agreed to listen.
"No, ma'am. Just super. We haven't done anything heroic yet. But we heard this morning about the case of the undocumented child in need of a transplant. We can save that child."
The chief pressed the cup to her lips. She let the warm liquid roll toward her mouth as she debated. Call psych? Call security? Or listen to more? She had prayed for a miracle. None of the other superheroes had a way to help the child. A few offered to fly the patient elsewhere or fly donor organs to the hospital. But there were no organs to match.
"How would you help?"
"We are Red Wheelbarrow, a partnership of powers. I have perfect mimicry of any activity I observe. Meaning if you let me observe a transplant surgery, I will be able to perform it. Video will work, though first-hand is best. I also have outstanding luck."
"Luck?" The chief sighed as she set her cup down. "That isn't a recognized power."
"It falls under the classification of sixth-sense for immediate danger. Knowing when I'm about to be unlucky is part of it. Give me a true-false test, and I'll get a perfect score by knowing which answers are unlucky. The odds are stacked in my favor all the time. That's how I met my power counterpart."
The one dressed in red, relaxing as a curled up ball on the floor, waved.
"Another one with luck power?" The chief turned her chair, intent on throwing the coffee cup into the trash bin behind her. It was full. The janitorial staff had never failed to empty it before. She mentally swore.
"No, ma'am. SC can regenerate. Also has the power to change blood type."
The chief held up her hands. "No. That's definitely not a recognized power. I have work to do and lives to save. You've taken up enough of my time."
"Your cup isn't empty. We have until you've finished. SC, hand." With blinding speed, a finger was removed and thrown across the room. There was a tiny splash as it landed in the nearly empty cup.
"What have you done!" The chief ran over. She took SC's hand, examining the wound. Another finger grew before her eyes. The chief glared.
"Thank goodness you really do have that power." She returned to her desk.
"The amputated digit is in your cup. You can test it for a blood type. And test SC, who will have a different type in a few minutes from now. The one the child needs."
"If that's true, why would I need you? I have trained surgeons."
"You aren't legally allowed to perform the surgery because of the child's immigration status. But it's unethical to release the patient. Lucky for you, I'm here."
"I can't just let unqualified people perform surgery. Even superheroes."
"Ever try to stop one?"
The chief walked into the scrub room. "Everything is ready. This is all off the books. Officially, this OR is closed for repairs."
"And my red scrub cap?"
"Here. One last question. Why do you call your partnership of powers Red Wheelbarrow?'
"We really like the color red. It's good luck."
"Wheelbarrow races. You can't do those alone. It's a two person effort that requires knowing and accepting each other. Move in sync or fail. Now, if you'll excuse me, we have a life to save."
This flash fiction is a take on Grey's Anatomy Season 15's Gus storyline set in an alternative universe where superheroes are known to exist.