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Snow and soot combined to make ashen clumps which collected outside of the hall. The flash grenades only caused a fire which the fire robots sought to extinguish. Pandemonium ensued upon the first detonation of the explosives. It appeared as if all of the occupants had exited the premises safely. But there was still no word on Pappy, Preston, and Symphony. Trevor and Saffron Lesane huddled behind a cart which was prepared to issue food items for the banquet after the presentation. Now, it served as an impromptu clinical apparatus to address the scrapes and bruises that some of the laureates and audience members sustained. Though not a physician, or a doctor of any kind, Lesane could identify and administer aid to those with injuries. Lesane dealt with his wife’s ankle, ensuring that it was not sprained or broken. “I think it’s sprained,” he said.
“I’m fine,” Saffron said. “Let’s go find Pappy and the kids.” Lesane sprang to his feet and helped Saffron up as well. From this alleyway where the fire had not spread but still encountered plumes of smoke, the couple journeyed to a great number of the members of the audience. Great throngs huddled in masses. All of them attached to electronic devices, seeking to connect with their loved ones. But nowhere amongst the crowd were the patriarch of the Lesane family and the two members of the Lesane future. Lesane clasped Saffron’s hand and guided them both through the thicket of humanity; all of them searching, a terror stricken in their eyes. Robots buzzed about in the attempts to control the blaze. All the while, Lesane and Saffron were lion and lioness, respectively, searching to preserve their kin.
Just as a window burst due to the advancing inferno, Saffron saw the face of her little girl light up against the snow white sky. “There,” Saffron shouted to Lesane, pointing just over his shoulder. Pappy and Preston shot a glance up and made their way towards the couple. Their reunion would last seconds but remained indelible, profound. Lesane rushed over to his little girl. Pappy and Preston embraced Saffron. “We’ve been right out here, Saff,” Pappy said.
“I know, we just had to find exactly where you were,” Saffron said. Lesane picked up his daughter and wiped the tears from her face. “Pap, are you alright?”
“I expected my heart to explode from my chest when that first grenade went off but I was just quick-minded enough to shield Preston and Shimmy from the blasts.” Police and more fire crews and medical units dispatched to the scene to quell the crowd, dampen the flames, and attend to the injured.
“Alright folks, we’re going to need you to move along here safely, now,” one police officer said to the five members of the Lesane clan. Each of them picked up a gait that lead them to the parking lot where Lesane summoned the Goulding. Upon the vehicle arriving to whisk them back to the compound, Symphony witnessed people being extracted from the fiery scene on stretchers.
“Are they?” Symphony queried.
“We don’t know yet, baby,” Saffron said. With the family out of harm’s way and headed home, all the news reports in the Goulding claimed no deaths as of yet, only a few minor burns and dozens of concussions, scrapes, and mild smoke inhalation.
“Environmovement,” Pappy almost spit out the words.
“I think you’re right, Pappy,” Lesane said. The Goulding glided over the pavement and brought the Lesane’s to their home. None showed signs of injury. They were just shaken up a bit. But their resolve to know exactly who was responsible for such heinous crimes drove them to band together. While the social network sites lit up with gossip, scandals, and conspiracy theories, Trevor Lesane devoted himself to following only credible news outlets. Saffron sifted through the digital words in front of her face and selected only the top-notch sources which would lend an objective perspective. The children involved themselves, too. Preston helped his father filter through all the conjecturing and sought after the true stories. Symphony sat on her grandfather’s lap and scanned through all of the channels to find the reporter with the most precise information. A robot designed specifically to assess injuries looked over the family one-by-one and sent reports to their family physician. When it was Saffron’s turn the robot discovered a possible sprain and potential concussion. “I’m fine,” she said.
“You said that before. You’re getting checked out at the hospital,” Lesane said. He turned to his father and children. “Let’s go to make sure Saffron’s just fine.” He called up the Goulding once more for the quintet to go to the Ilera Hospital in Wilmington. Just as they were exiting the house, Saffron collapsed in the hallway.
“Mommy!” Symphony yelled. Preston rushed to his sister.
“It’s alright, Symphony, that’s why we’re leaving now,” Preston said. Lesane and Pappy lifted Saffron in their arms and carried her to the Goulding. During the trip to the hospital, Lesane overrode the computer system’s speedometer which would in other cases prevent the vehicle from going over the speed limit. This was an emergency. Lesane sent out messages alerting law enforcement that he would drive manually and not obey laws as he drove. He issued a voice command for the Goulding to travel in excess of one hundred miles per hour. Lesane also sent Saffron’s list of drugs that she takes to the hospital. When they reached finally the emergency room, robots rushed to the vehicle with a stretcher. Lesane ran alongside the gurney until he got into the room where a Dr Margala Poole anticipated Saffron’s arrival.
“Mr. Lesane, we can assure you that your wife will receive the most excellent of care. With a cure for concussion that we have found, she should be clear to go in a few hours,” Dr Poole said. Her tone was sincere, direct, and lucid. Dr Poole then asked Lesane to wait in the visitor’s lounge with Pappy, Preston, and Symphony. A robot poured Lesane a cup of coffee, black with no sugar.
In about 45 minutes, Dr Poole emerged from the operating room to inform Lesane of Saffron’s condition.
“Lesanes, Saffron is awake and laughing, and okay. She may need a few moment’s rest, but the concussion has subsided completely with no injury to the brain. You can come see her now.” The Lesanes entered the room and noticed that Saffron was light. She radiated brilliance even in her modest hospital gown and a head covering obscuring her ebony locks. Lesane knelt at the the bedside of his bride. She turned to him and said, “They’re going to get those anarchists.”
“With speed,” Lesane said.