It was an hour before Kenspeckle had finished the surgery, and even then the patient was just out of the critical zone, but he'd survive. He'd have to take a long time to recover, but he'd make it.
China had been a help, making symbols on all the equipment, making them work on other things while Kenspeckle worked on another part.
He sat down, exhausted, as China brought Skulduggery and and the girl in.
"Kenspeckle, this is NJ. NJ Maverick, this is Kenpesckle Grouse.", Skulduggery introduced.
"If you don't mind, I'd like to speak to Gepard alone.", Skuldggery said as Kenspeckle and NJ shook hands.
"No problem.", NJ smiled.
"Maybe you can tell China and Kenspeckle what you told me.", Skulduggery smiled back. At least, NJ thought he was smiling.
As they left, Skulduggery pulled up a chair next to the operating table.
He took a small brown bottle about the size of his fist, and uncorked it. He put it under Gepard's small nose for a moment, and let himself take in the boy's features.
He had short black hair, gelled up into a Mohican. His ears, small, held Urban glasses. His mouth twitched, showing perfect white teeth.
The boy coughed and Skulduggery withdrew his small brown bottle of Smelling Sauce, and spoke to the boy.
"Gepard," he said.
The boy weakly nodded.
"Are you alright?"
He nodded again.
"I know I shouldn't do this, but here," Skulduggery said, picking a little black ball off the table next to him, and giving it to Gepard, "Eat it."
Unwillingly, Gepard ate it. He moaned for a minute, then he sat up and smiled.
"Hiiiiiiiii," he said lovingly.
"Hi. Tell me, where did you learn your magic?"
Gepard got off the table, and started skipping around the room.
"Oh, okay. Go ahead talking skeleton man."
Skulduggery did not look impressed. "I need you tell me where you learned your powers."
"Well, they just came."
"What do you mean they just came?"
"Well, one day in primary school, I got mad. The weather changed, the skies went dark, thunder rumbled. We were about to go in when I got pushed. That's when the lightning struck. I was a murderer from the age ten. Isn't that lovely?"
"Oh.. Must be hard. But, you can't just get powers out of nowhere. You have to practice and practice! First thing, you need to actually know about magic. Did you know about magic?"
"Didn't have a clue. Thought I was a freak. After a little while, I began to master the elements, along with lightning, but I only use it in special circumstances. It's too dangerous."
"Okay.. About your friend. Why wouldn't she tell me she's a Dark Angel?"
"She doesn't trust people. Their are hunters out there. They can be anyone, she has to be wary."
"Okay, I see. You going to leave now?"
"Goodbye," Gepard said, walking to the door and out into the hall. NJ was sitting by herself. China and Kenspeckle must have gone somewhere else.
"Let's go," Gepard said.
"Okay," NJ replied.
They walked out of the old cinema together, but when they got outside, NJ faced Gepard and said:
"I'm sorry, but I'm leaving. I can't be around you anymore, you'll just get hurt again."
Gepard tried to protest, but NJ's black wings, which were normally covered, tore through the back of her top and she took off into the sky.