Ben Carson felt terrible.
It was a special kind of terrible, though. The kind where his head throbbed, every vein in his body pulsed out, and the only release he could get was that he was going numb from the blood loss.
He had been in many surgeries over the years, but it was obviously never with him on the receiving end. He now knew how it must feel to go through one of his famous brain splices without any anesthetic. He no longer wished to be called Science Man, after all this. He realized that Ben was good enough for him.
With all the strength he had in him, he hobbled over the rubble and inched towards some debris that shook once every few moments. It had to be someone else… Ben could no longer feel his left leg and his right leg was ripe with searing pain at everything he touched, so he had to drag himself anywhere he wanted to go.
The sky was a dark, dark shade of gray, but there was no rain. Ben felt so hot, though… It was just too warm…
He reached out at the shaking debris and touched it… but he couldn’t move it. He didn’t feel strong enough.
“Is there anyone on the other side?” he whispered.
After a second, the debris shook again. “Yes,” the voice, one of a distinct deep southern inclination called out. “It’s me, Jeb!. Is that you, Ben?”
Jeb! laughed from the other side of the debris. Ben wasn’t sure why, but he too began to laugh.
“He got you too, huh?” Jeb! asked, finally.
“It wasn’t my finest moment…”
Ben Carson propped himself against the wall of debris separating them and sat his head back. That way he could see the sky, and hoped for further rain.
“Do you think you can help me get out of this?” Jeb! asked. “I don’t have the strength… I think I lost an arm, too…”
“Nope.” Ben laughed softly. “I already tried. I don’t have it in me.”
“Well, if this is how it ends, then….”
They sat in silence for several moments. Everything around them was quiet. The remains of buildings were calm, never shaking or rattling. The rumbles of the ground had long since stopped. If only Ben could get a drink…
“Do you think….” Ben began. “Do you think we could have stopped it if we tried harder?”
“I don’t know,” Jeb! said. “Maybe the Trumpnado was inevitable. It sure looked like that to the people in Charleston.”
“I just hope nobody else got as hurt as us…”
Jeb sniffed. “I said so many things about Marco… I wish I never did. I never told him how much I cared about him.”
“Don’t worry, Jeb!; we’re getting out of this one eventually,” Ben said. “We just have to wait on some help.”
“Help ain’t coming. It would’ve already been here if it was. Everyone moved onto Nevada.”
Ben sat quietly for a moment. “Maybe. Maybe.”
“You’re… a good friend, Ben.”
“Likewise, Jeb!. You’d have been my running mate for sure.”
The silence lasted longer than usual. Ben’s vision became blurry. He really wanted some water. So badly. The Trumpnado came and went, but the clouds stayed. It had to mean water. Ben studied enough science to know this. Or… did he?
“Jeb!? Are you still there?”
It was fine. Ben just needed to wait a little while longer. His arms grew numb as well, but he knew they were still there. If only he could lift them towards that bright light, he could cover his eyes… It was really hurting his vision.
He had to keep trying, or else he would