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Lisbeth Salander and Alexander Zalachenko are flown by helicopter to Sahlgrenska hospital in Göteborg, Sweden very early in the morning.
One doctor takes care of Zalachenko, who has suffered an axe wound to his face.
Salander, who looks like a very dirty teenager, is under the care of Dr. Jonasson. Some smart person used duct tape to bandage the gunshot wounds on Salander's hip and shoulder, stopping the bleeding and keeping out dirt and germs.
Jonasson soon realizes Salander has a bullet in her brain. The nurse also recognizes who Salander is, the chief suspect in a triple murder. Jonasson only cares about saving Salander's life.
It's after 3am and, Mikael Blomkvist is still at Zalachenko's farmhouse outside Göteborg. He's handcuffed and mad, thinking of what went down after he found Salander at the farm. Here's what happened:
While waiting for help police and helicopter, Blomkvist bandaged Salander with the duct tape. He found her Palm Tungsten T3, her house keys, and a passport in the name of Irene Nesser, one of her secret identities, and put them in his laptop case.
Next, Paulsson, a Göteborg policeman, sent two cops to get Ronald Niedermann, a killer who feels no pain. Blomkvist had tied him to a road sign earlier.
Blomkvist called Paulson a moron for not sending more men after Niedermann, and Paulsson arrested Blomkvist for having a gun.
Back in the present, Jonasson successfully removes the bullet and the bone fragments from Salander's brain.
Near Zalachenko's farm, Niedermann kills one police officer and wounds the other, then escapes. Blomkvist is furious and demands to call Inspector Jan Bublanski in Stockholm.
Bublanski calls Inspectors Sonja Modig and Jerker Holmberg, all of whom are working on Salander's case. He briefs them on the new events.
Blomkvist and Criminal Inspector Marcus Erlander of the Göteborg police find evidence that Salander was buried alive at Zalachenko's farm.