Samita rifled through her pouch, moving things with both hands, and finally coming up with an ACE bandage roll. She turned toward Haley and Haley stared at the roll.
“Are you going to have to set the bone, or will the bandage set it magically?”
Unrolling the bandage, Samita said, “The bandage will do it.”
Haley’s eyes darted down toward where the bone stuck out. “Good. I hope that means it won’t hurt.”
Samita began to wrap the bandage around the wound. “It shouldn’t hurt, but I can’t promise that it won’t feel a little strange.”
Haley blinked as Samita wrapped the second layer of bandage around her arm. She took a deep breath and said. “You weren’t kidding. I felt it go back in.”
“You’re feeling okay now?” I asked. Samita touched the outside end of the bandage, and it stayed in place, despite having no visible reason to do so.
Haley moved her arm. “I can’t tell any difference from normal.”
I looked at the bandage again, and then turned toward Samita. “I thought you said it couldn’t heal anything. Didn’t it keep the damage basically the same?”
Samita shrugged. “If it’s possible to put people back together, it will move pieces back into position. It’s not really healing though. That still takes time.”
“Great,” I looked around the room. “I guess we’ve got to figure out what we do next.”
“Seems pretty obvious,” Sean said. “We find Earthmover and Adam, and we take Adam down and break the spell on Earthmover. Problem solved.”
I looked over at him. He’d put down Cindy even though the ball bearings were still out and in a pile on the floor. “Both you and Haley are hurt. What do you do if the bandages come off?”
“Don’t know.” Sean put his hands in his pockets. “I guess we put them back on again.”
Samita looked up from putting the ACE bandage roll back in the pouch. “That’s not how it works. If it comes off, I have to put it on again, but with a new bandage. I’ve only got enough to replace it once for each of you. After that, I can’t do anything if anyone else gets hurt.”
Sean pointed at Amy. “Didn’t she say she could heal too?”
“I did.” Amy eyed him while giving her spear a twirl in one hand. “I also said that you’d like Samita’s better. Her option leaves you feeling like yourself. My magic keeps you together while the spell feeds off your blood. It works great for me because I steal other people’s energy while I fight, but you’ll feel more drained the longer you go on unless I give you an energy transfusion. And I’m sure that at least one person around here wouldn’t like that.”
Samita faced Amy. “I wouldn’t.”
Amy grinned. “See? She’s standing up on your behalf to save you from addiction to evil magic.”
Vaughn cocked his head to look over at her. “It’s addictive?”
Amy shrugged. “I don’t know. I’ve never tried it on anybody else, but some of the earlier Bloodmaidens acted like they were addicted to battle. Draining people is a rush, and passing it on can’t be much different.”
All in all, it sounded like a good argument for keeping Haley and Sean out of fights.
Haley wasn’t going to like that much.
Cindy broke in. “Paula’s going to be okay, right? It doesn’t look like she’s healing.”
She stood next to where Calvin slept on the floor, seemingly unsure of where to put her hands. At first she’d put them in the pockets of her uniform. Then she crossed her arms over her chest, but as she asked her question, she dropped them, eventually holding them together in front of herself.
Amy’s lips twitched. “Sorry. She’ll be healing a little slower than usual until she gets better. It’ll probably be later today. I haven’t seen very many people who can heal like you all can.”
Cindy nodded, and her eyes settled on Haley. “I’m sorry. I don’t know what I was thinking. I only know that I was angry and needed to get away from all of those metal things. I think that Hunter must have been lying. Those things he had us put on our necks. They could control us.”
“See,” Sean said. “That’s what we’ve got to do. We take out Earthmover, Adam and Hunter.”
Samita held her finger to her lips, and said, “Shhh.”
Then she walked up to Cindy and put a hand on her shoulder. “How did it happen that someone sent you down here?”
Cindy nodded. A tear ran down her cheek, and I wondered if she might be about to cry.
I hoped not.
“Was it Earthmover?” I asked.
“I don’t know about Earthmover,” she said. “I haven’t seen him since he left the cafeteria after dinner, but Earthmover told everyone to listen to Adam and Hunter over the intercom. Adam called us to his room and told us we needed to come down here. He said that things that looked like you and Haley were trying to get into the compound. He said that Hunter had come up with a way for us to communicate, and we should put those things on our necks.”
I nodded. “Did you see any fairies?”
She raised an eyebrow. “What fairies?”