“So what the hell was that?” Tia asked as the West Seneca Crew made their way ashore at Hamburg.
“That,” said Jenny, “is the biggest pain in the ass to ever sail the Great Lakes.”
“What kind of pain is he to you?”
“One of the bigger kind. He doesn’t just live to give people pain, he loves to do it as creatively as possible. Did I mention what he did to our old captain?”
“No, what?” Tia asked.
“He took his right hand and left foot from him. Boarded us, stormed aboard and overwhelmed the crew, then took him aboard their boat while we were covered. He made very quick work of it as he took an axe and with three chops removed the foot and hand. We actually sped the boat straight to the waterfront and got him into an ERC; I actually had the tech at the point of a gun to keep him alive.”
“You stormed a hospital to save his life by threatening the doctor? He was that important to you?”
“OK, first off,” said Jenny, “it was no hospital. Emergency response centers just patch you up and send you on your way, once they make sure they’re paid; you show up without enough money, they’d let you bleed all over the damn floor. And Shaun nearly did because the damn fool didn’t have a credit line app on his cell big enough to cover all the bleeding he was doing.”
“So what happened then?”
“I pulled my piece and rushed them. Maybe he was careless that night, but the guy at the window sent someone out to look at Shaun before he got an approval to pay, and I got in a choke hold on the guy examining Shaun and put my gun to his head. We came to a deal: They fix up Shaun, they get their technician back alive.”
“And would you have killed him if they’d said no?” Tia asked.
“If your friend was going to die over a lack of money because some company had a policy on withholding help unless they got paid, wouldn’t you?”
Tia looked straight into Jenny’s eyes for a moment, then just sighed.
“I’ll tell you one thing,” said Jenny, “the one thing I do kind of admire about Canada, is that they never closed down all their hospitals the way we did over the sake of costs.”
“Oh please. It’s almost a myth about how great our wonderful health care system is that they’ve thrown around down here for ages.”
“Yeah, maybe. But when taxes stopped being collected for health care and some people who used to run fast food restaurants took their business model and came up with emergency care for profit through the ERCs, that kind of put you all that much better off, didn’t it?”
“I suppose,” said Tia. “By the way, the place you threatened with a hostage, that ERC.”
“That wasn’t the one Kate got sent to, was it? I still need to see if she’s all right.”
All content Copyright © 2011 James Ryan