Over the next few days, # freedomnia explored the possibilities. But they were going around in circles a bit.
Just the operation itself would require funds they did not have. And then, you would have to know people in the area, have a hospital, a surgeon who wouldn't ask questions ...
The solution ended up coming from Zara. After leaving for Morocco, she had tried to find a normal life. But it was impossible not to think of the Academy and the fact that there were still people there who had asked for nothing.
She had recently contacted # freedomnia to find out if she could help them from outside Europe.
They had exposed their problem to him. Zara had a surgeon uncle. Renowned enough to have a few entrees all over the place. And a family that had the money and were grateful for getting it out of the Academy. Zara's family offered # freedomnia to fund Quentin's surgery.
It was decided that Zara and her uncle would meet Quentin and Erin in Istanbul. There, Zara's uncle would use his influence to gain access to an operating room and staff in a hospital, to be able to operate on Quentin without too many questions being asked.
False papers were prepared for shipment, and the little troop winced as to be unrecognizable. Nightowl and Cherry would stay at HQ.
Early in the morning, Erin and Quentin took the car with Fluke and Omen, two members of # freedomnia who would ensure communication with HQ. It had taken a lot of persuasion for Erin to convince the others to let her go with Quentin. As an implant carrier, she was an asset to # freedomnia. But since # freedomnia's leitmotif was freedom, they didn't stop him from leaving. Erin also reminded them that everyone left Pierre alone, even though he too had an implant ...
The # freedomnia members finally understood, and he was assured that it was not a week away, that Cherry was there anyway, as well as Victor and Alexis.
The road was easy. The Academy may have long arms and the backing of governments, as it was a hidden body, but they could not afford to put an entire country under siege to find fugitives.
Crossing the border was a bit more stressful. But the false papers and disguises did their job, and the little troop found themselves in Turkey. The next day they reached Istanbul. Zara and her uncle were waiting for them in a small hotel in the city center. Quentin didn't speak Turkish, but thanks to Zara's uncle, Fahim, and Erin and her implant, he was able to understand what was being said to him.
They followed Zara's uncle to a small hospital on the outskirts of town, leaving the others at the hotel. There, Zara's uncle was ushered into the headmaster's office. Erin could only see their shadows behind the opaque glass that separated the office from the hallway. She wondered what he was talking about, but eventually they saw Zara's uncle pulling a wad of cash from his pocket, giving it to the Headmaster. Soon after, they left the office. The uncle moved closer to Zara, Erin and Quentin.
— "We have three days," said Fahim.
— What do you mean ?! Quentin replied.
— He can give us three days of peace. With what I gave him, he guaranteed that he could buy the silence of his employees and give me the equipment and a team for the operation. But in three days, he would rather we left the scene. He cannot guarantee that there is no arguing in the hallways and that the fact that we are there will be publicized.
— Three days is short! It could put Quentin in danger of hurrying so much! Erin exclaimed.
"No more than you have been," Quentin replied. You told me that at the Academy, you were out of the hospital in one day.
— Yes, but it's not the same, they knew what they were doing with their implant. We recreated one from scratch with incomplete specifications, and with our knowledge of physiology. But we have no idea what we're really doing ...
— You are a defeatist, Erin. I trust Pierre, who recreated the implant. Alexis and Victor even had a CT scan lately to get the exact spot of the chip. And, I also trust Fahim, who trusts Zara.
— OKAY. "
The operation went well, and Quentin woke up after a day. Erin stayed by his side the whole time, only slipping away to give information about the mission and the state of health to the # freedomnia members who remained at the hotel, who relayed the information to people at HQ. After two days, Quentin was in great shape. Sure enough, Fahim was an ace, and the transaction posed no problems. Quentin looked like he had no after-effects.