Something told me someone needed my help. Call it instinct, or a danger sense, or a well-trained neural network performing helpful vector completions distributed through hidden layers of connected neurons in response to some set of inputs into the system. Labels aren’t important right now. I checked to make sure Adrian would be okay if I left him for a minute, then I dashed off.
When I entered the room, she had sharp metal and suffocating pillows pressed into Erin’s mouth, and Erin choked, and coughed, and cried around them. Erin reached up to try to force her assailant’s hands away, to free herself. “It’s okay, it’ll be over soon,” the masked stranger whispered, forcing Erin to breathe more gas as she grabbed a syringe and plunged it into Erin’s mouth.
Erin cried more, and fought, and succeeded in forcing a gloved hand away from her face. Her enemy hesitated for the briefest moment, and Erin took advantage of the uncertainty. She wrested control of her mouth back, and used her tongue to free her airway, sitting up and reaching for me as I made my way through the door.
“I can’t breathe!” she protested, and reached for me.
I turned to the woman in the chair. “That’s enough. We’re done.”
“But she…” she started to say. I didn’t let her finish, “No. We’re done.”
And that’s how I saved Erin from the dental hygienist who was trying to apply sealant to her molars. That kid needs to learn how to breathe through her nose.