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Learning to Stand :: Chapter Twelve ::

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An hour later Wednesday evening March 26 ? 6:20 P.M. MDT Lobby of Denver Health, Denver, CO

Against doctors? orders, and any kind of reason, Alex agreed to walk the two hundred yards between the ICU and the exit. Of course she was laying down when she made that agreement. Raz rolled her out in a wheelchair to the edge of the hospital atrium. They argued back and forth about her walking until, frustrated, she stood up ready to walk.

And passed out from the pain.

When she woke up, Max was there. He had dressed her in her digital fatigues. With Max?s help, she was able to stand, get ready and walk a little bit. Only her twin knew that, for Alex, the pain of letting anyone down was much worse than any amount of physical pain.

Everyone expected her to be fine. She would be fine.

Coming in, Troy popped her beret on her head and they were off across the atrium. Dressed in identical digital fatigues and a beret, Max led the way, Raz walked behind her and White Boy held the rear position. They walked casually, trying to look like a group of soldiers leaving a shift.

They were near the front of the hospital when they were joined by the Jakker and four US Air Force soldiers. Without saying a word, the soldiers joined the group. Zack came to walk beside Alex.

Across the atrium, Alex saw the backs of the Fort Carson battalion and a sea of photographers and videographers. Her stomach gripped with anxiety. She stumbled then stopped walking.

Glancing to the side, she saw Vince Hutchins with five fellow Navy SEALs waiting for them. She smiled at Vince and he winked at her. The SEALs mixed in with the Air Force and Army soldiers.

?Ready?? Max asked.