[Snowpocalypse] Recovery Room (H 5.4, R 5.4, S 5.4)

edited May 2014 in Snowpocalypse
To Rossi:

I'm curious, Rossi. After throwing on your gear to head out, you had an opportunity to grab one of Stinky's dog sleds, or, if you were willing to take one of them down, you could've taken one of the Skegs rides. You had to get there as quick as possible, and without a car, it was really your only good choices. So what did you take? Also, Jester insisted on coming with you, hobbling along and refusing to let you go off with out him. What was it that Jester said or did that convinced you to bring him along?

The early rays of dawn are peeking over the horizon when you come back home. The sky is a dark red and the place is quiet. Very little of Benton Harbor looks the way you remember it, Rossi. The dock has fallen under the weight of the ice. St Joe's hostel burned to the ground. A two story school that was converted into a flophouse, made of brick and steel, burned and collapsed, only black soot-covered ruins where it once stood. Most of the roadways and streets are covered with piled up and frozen-over junk, a slap-dash, desperate attempt to wall off the remaining bits of humanity here. Yeah, Benton Harbor's seen better days.

You've had to skirt around to find an approach to your dad's clinic. It sits nestled among a smooth white patch of snow and ice, completely separate from the rest of the town even though its in the middle of it. There are a few guards watching the entrances. But everyone knows the "whole town" would fight for your dad. He's helped so many of them, saving lives and healing the sick. Or so they believe.

Of course you know better. He culls the weak, coddles the powerful, takes from those who have no influence, gives to those who keep his clinic well stocked. He was teaching you how to follow in his footsteps. Even though he wanted to pass it along to a son, he didn't have a son. You were "the next best thing".

How are you getting in there, Rossi?


  • Seeing as the Skegs owe Jester four and a half toes, I think lending Jester and me a ride would be a good first shot at reparations. If they don't come looking for it, maybe I'll even let the whole thing slide! ... Maybe.

    I swear I rode that sled harder than any of those fucking skegs ever have in their lives. I told Jester I didn't want him to come along for his own safety... I was frantic, red in the face, and crying about how I didn't want him to have anything to do with that horrible fucking place. I made him promise never to ask me to go back. I made him swear he wouldn't listen to my "father's" lies. My father is Jester's antithesis — and I know Jester thinks he can change the world, but this man is not worth saving.

    I warned Jester I may kill the sick bastard — even if I don't have to. I don't know if he saw the indecision in my eyes — the fear of becoming the man himself — but if he hurt Silica, I won't be able to stop myself.

    I stowed the sled out near the old harbor near some high drifts, and carefully make my way through the burned out remains of the prison that was my childhood home. I'm geared up with my shotgun out, and I'm taking the route I took when I left this place all those years ago... I'd committed it to memory, so I could walk it in white-out snow if I had to. It's a little harder going in reverse, but with any luck we'll get to the basement window on the far-side of the clinic before anyone can notice us.
  • edited May 2014
    To Silica:

    Father made you scrub up, taking you by the back of the neck and physically walking you to the sinks. He shoved you against them and growled his instructions for you to prep. As you did, he went back into the operating theater and gave Hadden another, stronger dose of the anesthetic, "enough to keep him immobile, but not so much he can't see, feel or talk". You knew in the pit of your stomach that he was going to torture Hadden, then carve out his organs and samples to use for those who need it in Benton Harbor. It's what your dad calls "the immortality plan", since you never actually die, at least some of you lives on. And on. There are people made up of several generations of Bentonites, all thanks to your father.

    You could have just run, Silica. But you didn't, did you? Why didn't you run?

    Hands still dripping wet, you walked back to the doorway looking in on your father and Hadden. "Amber, would you like first cut?" Your father asks as he holds the scalpel at Hadden's breastbone.

    What do you do?

    To Hadden:

    Still strapped to the gurney, Silica's father gave you some sedative that sapped all your strength. Your body refuses to answer your desperate calls. He walked Silica out to force her to wash up for the surgery, then as she did, he spent some time talking Silica through the incisions he plans on making. He is going to cut you into little pieces, Hadden.

    "Don't worry, Hadden," the good doctor says, "You'll be able to help sooo many people this way. There's a young girl who can use a portion of your liver. A guard who needs a new heart. One of our propane refiners' lungs are giving out. It's all... for the best, you see?"

    You know people, Hadden. He's goading you. He wants your fear, your desperate pleas for mercy, for salvation, maybe just for a quick death. He's not going to give you any of that.

    What do you do?
  • edited May 2014

    It's been a hellish reminder of where I came from. Walking around the clinic like a dead thing, following him. Those moments he leaves me though, I lose it... break down, cry, often a hand against the wall or on the edge of the sink, like now. But I try not to show my tears, wiping at my eyes like that'll do much good.

    I didn't run because... Hadden. How could I? He's the first man that fucking gave a shit about me in forever as more than a cold pussy... first one I... I like back too. Is like the right word? Does it matter? I can't leave him to die like this. No fucking way...

    I keep looking around for a way... if only I were stronger I could carry him, or help him walk, or something... overpower my father... I keep thinking. Can I do that to him? How I made that guy shoot himself? Could I?

    Truth is I'm afraid to try, what if his mind is too strong for me. I can't even fuckin' look at him without losing my shit.

    I take a breath, scared, as I see the scalpel against Hadden's flesh, I shake my head, "n...no..." I so seldom tell him no. He's not asking, he's telling. "You don't have to do this... f... father, you don't have to."
  • edited May 2014
    From Hadden:

    Not like this. I'm not done!

    This guy's totally out of his mind. And he can't count. That's like three people. How many more across all of Chi-Town do I help live every day? Plus another life not yet here...

    But this asshole... He wants to see fear? Obviously nobody ever tied him down before. I'm not going to give him the satisfaction, the jerk. "What about you, Doc? Who's gonna cut you open when time you need a new heart?" He's so short-sighted, really. I miss Poke suddenly. Is this who we're left with?

    And Silica... she's like a wisp of her self. She says a few words and there's a bit of her back in the here and now. I'm on those blue blue eyes. I try to urge her. C'mon, Silica, you're stronger that this! Where's your fire, icewalker?
  • edited May 2014

    I stand in the doorway, hands wet and dripping on the slickened floor. I cringe as Hadden talks back to Father. He doesn't like that at all, right? But... Hadden doesn't understand. He must hate me... he let me escape back there, and he ends up here, I show up and predictably again make things worse... father knows he matters to me now. Hadden must be dissappointed, worse...

    But when I raise my head to look at him. Hadden... I see the life in his eyes. He's always looking at me. He's still looking at me... with hope.

    He's got words for me which he can't just say, doesn't he? I look back and it's like someone's slapped me to wake me from a bad dream. I nod to Hadden, almost imperceptible.

    The fuck is wrong with you Silica? Are you still a fuckin' little kid afraid of your father?

    I meet Hadden's eye... try to find my fire. Find it for his sake. I ball up a fist and smack myself on the thigh, hard, few times. Wake the fuck up.

    "Hadden I'm here. Somehow we gonna get'cha out of this!"

    I walk slowly forward towards them. I gotta do somethin.
  • To Rossi:

    Jester didn't say he was "okay with it" when you said you might kill your father, but he didn't object, either. Not out loud. You know in your heart he doesn't want you to do a thing with such finality, but he kept quiet.

    As for the Skeg's sled, just so we're clear, that was not you stealing it without trouble. I'll let you choose - did you take Harm while the Skeg shot at you driving off or did you take them down quick and hard and take the sled?

    Anyway, you're following your old escape route, passing in the dim morning light the places of your childhood. On one wall you still see crayon markings that Silica drew. She was so proud. At least until your father saw them. He was furious, beat both of you over it, actually. Silica, well "Amber", for drawing it, you for letting her do it.

    You're almost out of the small home when you hear the mewling cry of a babe. A baby, somewhere in the house. Sounds like it is coming from his bedroom. Nobody is getting up to tend to the child. It doesn't sound like a newborn, more like maybe a toddler?

    Jester touches your arm, silently asking if you're going to leave the child behind.

    What do you do?
  • To Hadden and Silica:

    Silica, your father responds curtly, "Yes, Amber. This is what we do. We will take from Hadden whatever we need." He notices your hesitation, and angrily says, "Stop standing there gawking, child! Get here and assist. I would hate to ruin him."

    With a mockingly affectionate hand to your head, Hadden, he looks down and says, "Don't you worry, Hadden. Amber here will fix my heart when I need it. You've brought her back to me. I should thank you, really. Which is why I'll make you immortal." He pushes the scalpel into your flesh, drawing a line down your chest, peeling several layers of dermis. Blood wells up in the line, and it hurts like a hundred paper cuts.

    What do you do?
  • Silica

    His blood. Hadden's blood. There's two forces at work here. Father... and Hadden. My past.... and what my future will be. Have these past years on my own been a lie? Is my name still Amber?

    I clench my fists tight at my sides and force myself to speak. I can't let this happen.

    "That's not my name," I say, my voice trembling but if I don't say something... Hadden...

    I take a step closer, swallowing hard as I see the blood flow across his chest

    "And you're not gonna fucking do this! " I manage to sound pretty cool... though probably not as cool as I imagine
  • So I shot the fuckers. Yay.

    I turn when Jester touches my arm, and look at him — with those big soft eyes — knowing he wants me to go in there, and help whatever kid that man's fucking stolen from some doubtlessly unfortunate woman. I shake my head, and answer as quietly as I can. "Silica is in trouble, Jester... If you want to help that kid, then dealing with that asshole — wherever the fuck he is — is your only option."
  • To Silica:

    Your father looks up at you, shock in his eyes, quickly replaced by anger. He puts the scalpel down on the metal tray he'd moved beside Hadden. It clatters on the metal and echoes against the tiles. "Oh... that is IT, Amber..."

    With long strides, he moves around the gurney towards you, raising a hand and striking you with a backhand across your face. His wedding band connects with your cheek, and it smarts. "You are a disease, Amber. I had hoped you could learn how to use the talent I bred into you, but you're just a foul-mouthed junkie whore, aren't you?"

    He looms over you, Silica. "Now get over there, and help me finish this operation, or so help me, I will slice you open next."

    It sounds like he just gave you a command, Silica.

    What do you do?
  • edited May 2014
    To Rossi:

    Jester nods, understanding your meaning. He doesn't like it, but he follows you. You hustle out of the house, leaving the squalling child behind, Jester at your back.

    I know you can make it to the basement window, Rossi. You know the score. But will anyone notice you? Any patients? Any of the few guards? That sounds like you're Acting Under Fire to stay hidden.

    Or... you can obviate the roll if you want to Read A Sitch.

    Your call. What do you do?
  • edited May 2014

    A childish shriek of fear as he strikes me and I fall with the blow, spinning to one side and down on one knee.

    But just as quickly I cry, "no fuckin' way you piece of shit!" and before I can think I rise and swipe a hand out at him. Lashing out with my wicked sharp nails.

    But... his voice, his presence... what do the dice say MC. Do I have the strength?
  • Silica:

    Here's the Harm for that.
    (Rolled: 2d6+1. Rolls: 5, 3. Total: 9)
  • It hurts, Silica. You can try to strike back, but like you said, the backhand knocked you to the ground. He's standing over you.

    What do you do?
  • edited May 2014

    Yeah fuck him! I turn to swipe at him but he steps over me like he used to and I hesitate. The little scared girl inside me trembling. My face stings and the floor smells of decades of blood and cleanser.

    I can't quite meet his eye. It stings... everything this man has done to me. I know Hadden can hear me.... I say, "he's twice the man you ever fuckin' were. Everybody loves him..."

    Silica... where's your fire? Hadden's here... he needs you.

    Then yeah, I'm gonna spin out from under him, turn, slash the fucker bloody with my claws...

    Well that's how it goes in my head...
  • It sounds like you're trying to Seize your own freedom by Force here, Silica. He's certainly going to be harming you in exchange.

    Let's see how this goes.
  • Seize by force:
    (Rolled: 2d6-2. Rolls: 6, 3. Total: 7)
  • Wow did not expect that!

    I take definite hold (so will hopefully not be irrationally afraid of him)
    I suffer little harm. Hell I'm quick, right?
  • From Hadden

    Fuck, that hurts.

    I got some words to throw back, but they're gone, replaced by a line of whitehot pain, sharp and stinging. I know I hiss in a breath, my eyes wide as I feel it, and you can't help but try and move away... worse 'cause I can't move much.

    A few thoughts flash all at once- something about the drugs I'm on, something about how foolish he really is to carve up someone aware, something about Silica, something about Oakley being gone, and my mom being sad, and wondering about Em-Six-Teen and Squirrel and Never Summer missing me, weirdly. My mind's coping with the pain by looking at different things... I still owe Arbor... Gaaaaaah.

    No blood, big boy, that costs extra...
  • edited May 2014
    To Silica:

    He kicks you hard in the ribs after you hit the ground, but you slash him with your nails across his forearm when he reaches down to grab you by the hair. Three long lines of blood well up on his forearm and he falls back a couple steps, grabbing his arm angrily.

    Your father paces back and forth, fuming, "Everyone will love him here, Amber. In fact, he'll be in several of them. Now get your worthless self up and attend me."

    The fear is still there, a bit. But you fight past it this time, don't you? His commands no longer harm you, Silica. You're finally able to find your fire.

    He's going to kick you again any minute now, you're sure of it.

    What do you do?
  • From Hadden:

    A little delirious with a rush of endorphins, I let out a tiny giggle, and my mouth starts to run. "They do love me when I'm in them, don't they? Didn't think you cared, Doc. Want some?"
  • I'm just going to go for it... I'd rather these people not see me going in, but I don't have time to fuck around if Silica's in trouble... I just need to get in.
  • OOC: AUF to get into the clinic. roll+cool.
    (Rolled: 2d6+1. Rolls: 2, 3. Total: 6)
  • Silica

    He looks down at me, kicks me, I don't fuckin' care...

    I don't fucking care. He's just another piece of shit asshole like the rest of 'em. The hell have I been so fucking afraid of all these years? I ain't a kid any more you fucker. Yeah he's bigger, stronger, what the fuck ever... but ain't everyone in this fuckin' world?

    I actually smile up at this asshole. He kicks me hard in the ribs and it just makes me laugh. "Hah! You ain't nothin, you piece of shit! That all you can do, huh?" He kicks me again, makes me take a sharp breath, hold in a painful little whine of a sound. "You run up on on me an' feel big huh? Think you the only fucker ever made me hurt?" I shout up at him as he kicks me again.... his blood drippin down his arm to his wrist.

    "I can make you bleed too, fucker!"

    I relish the pain, the freedom to feel it, to hurt instead of fear.

    So sweet.
  • To Hadden:

    You're watching this go down. Silica's father kicking her, her fire coming back as she laughs and screams at him.
  • From Hadden:

    "Big man, kicking a body who's down. Your bedside manner sucks, Doc." I laugh a little crazy. "Ain't nobody love you enough gonna stitch you together! Neither of them!" Rossi gonna kill me if I don't bring Silica home. I giggle again. I wonder which part she'd want?
  • To Rossi:

    You make it to the one slightly ajar basement window on the far side of the clinic, Jester at your back. As you're working the window open and slipping in first, Jester's holding the window open for you so you can drop the six feet to the basement floor. You grab the ledge and drop down, coming down quiet behind some old gurneys and used medical equipment just shoved here. Lots of of snow and ice here, that window just never did close right.

    As Jester is slipping through the window, you hear a man's voice call out from behind him, "Hey! The Hell are you?" He sounds familiar, Rossi, someone you know, a local. Squint. What was the last thing you said to Squint before you left?

    He shines a flashlight at the window, catching Jester right as he's trying to get through the window above you. Jester tries to duck out of the way, falling through awkwardly to land solidly on his left shoulder. He rolls with it, groaning, trying to get up. "Keep going. I'm... I'm right behind you." He's slipping on the ice, trying to get up, but even in this dark basement, you can see the grimace on his face.

    Jester is going to slow you down, Rossi. Somewhere in the clinic above, you can hear Silica's shrill voice as she's screaming, "I can make you bleed too, fucker!"

    What do you do?
  • What was the last thing I said to Squint? I believe it was, "don't you dare touch me you fucking pervert!"

    Silica's words have me on edge... Is she bleeding? Did he fucking hurt her? ... It sounds like she's giving as good as she got at least. I can't just leave Jester here. I pause, torn, and make my way back to the window, pressing my back against the wall — hopefully out of sight — and raise a finger to my mouth to silence Jester...

    I'm going to fuck this asshole up the minute he comes anywhere near here.
  • To Rossi:

    Jester scoots back against the wall with you. He's gritting his teeth and panting from the jog here and the pain of the fall. You see the flashlight beam above you, bobbing as Squint comes running up. He shines it in, scanning the place, then you hear him say, "We got raiders in the basement, I saw two of them!"

    What do you do?

    To Silica and Hadden:

    The doctor walks quickly back to Hadden, reaching to pick up the scalpel, then turns to place it at Hadden's neck, "Amber. Stop." He's panting, his wounded forearm bleeding big drops of fresh blood onto the tile.

    What do you do?
  • From Hadden:

    I don't move.
  • I jump out and point my shotgun up at the flashlight. I just hope it's near that fucker's head, because I'm pulling the trigger on him.
  • To Rossi:

    He has a gun out, too, of course. He's not stupid, thinks you're raiders. He isn't wrong, is he? You see just past the white light, right into his eyes.

    Let's see you Act Under Fire to get the drop on him.
  • Silica

    As he goes to Hadden I half-rise, but then he flashes his scalpel to his neck and there's no hesitation, he can fuck me up all he fuckin' wants but he just crossed a fucking razor wire red line in my head.

    "Drop the fuckin' blade and back off!" the room bursts into brilliant light in my eyes, my brain piercing his... it's like I'm everywhere in the room at once, an echo of rage in my ears... I wonder if I just screamed aloud.
  • Brain whisper:
    (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 5, 5. Total: 12)
  • OOC: AUF again. roll+cool.
    (Rolled: 2d6+1. Rolls: 4, 5. Total: 10)
  • To Rossi:

    You're quicker than he was by a hair. You fire up through the window, catch him in the chest and neck, send him falling backwards before he gets a shot off. The blast is thunderous, and glass shatters and falls down around you like sharp sleet.

    You grab up Jester and he hobbles after you as you head for the only place that makes sense, the only place where your dad would torture Silica - the operating theater. Taking two stairs at a time, knowing Jester is falling behind, but slowing just enough so he can hope to catch up, you stalk the halls. The moaning sound of patients left to whither seep through locked doors, Rossi. This is the place you left. The place you escaped.

    With a solid kick, you open the double doors into the operating theater to see your father, in his surgery get-up, a scalpel held to Hadden's throat. Hadden, laying there on the gurney, strapped and helpless, bleeding, eyes wide.

    And your sister, Silica, staring at your father, the lights above illuminating her like some terrible demon. She's bleeding, her nose, her mouth, one eye swollen. But she's standing up, glowering at your father.

    To Hadden and Silica:

    Somewhere below you hear gunfire, but Silica's father doesn't flinch, scalpel still at Hadden's throat. For long moments, he pushes back at you Silica, you feel his mind trying to overcome, to assert authority. You hear him think about trying to cut Hadden's throat, just to spite you, to shock you until you lose your nerve.

    Then the double doors, to your escape that you didn't take, they burst open. Your sister, Rosie, she's there, as that masked man. Shotgun in hand, she's here, somehow you know you summoned her.

    To All:

    The good doctor uses the moment of surprise to make his move. He flexes his wrist and blood wells up on Hadden's neck.

    Then it happens. Like a marionette with its strings suddenly and irrevocably cut, his body spasms, and his head snaps back. He drops the scalpel, then falls to a knee. Then, he passes out, his ears bleeding bright red blood onto his nice white tile.

    What do you do?
  • Hey Hadden. That's 3 Harm.
    (Rolled: 2d6+3 . Rolls: 4, 4. Total: 11)
  • I think you pass out the pain and loss of blood, Hadden.
  • Silica

    "Fuck, no!" I cry out, rising the rest of the way to dash across the room to Hadden. I look at Rossi for a second, this look on my face... I think of Footie, how she was gone in an instant... a friend. Now Hadden? Now...

    I hit the side of the bed, throwing my hands onto Hadden's chest, covering the bleeding wound with a hand. But I'm almost out of control here... I turn to where Father's fallen. "You piece of shit!" Hot-hot blood seems between my fingers.

    I know what I need to do. Father himself taught me... pressure, keep pressure on the wound... I cover one hand with the other, looking at Hadden's face, "you still fuckin' with me Haddie? Come on... no fuckin' way..."

    Just slow the bleeding... slow the bleeding, think...
  • edited May 2014
    Hell. Fucking. No.

    I hobble over to where that son of a bitch's unconscious body is laying, put the shotgun to the back of his head, and put a shell into his brain — a passing action, like I didn't even need to give it much thought. Then I drop the gun, and bolt for Hadden, screaming, "Jessie, get a fucking needle and thread or something!"

    This is bad. This is very fucking bad. I look to Silica, putting a hand on her shoulder, "let me get in there! I need to try something, and we need to get out of here... Can you keep his fucking thugs away from us?"
  • Silica

    My hands pressed hard against Hadden's bloody wound I turn to look at Rosie, her face through that mask.

    "Th... thugs?" I look towards the door, still swinging slightly from when she kicked it in. I'm not moving these fuckin' hands for nothing.

    I shake my head, mouth slightly open like I'm searching for words, "the fuck are you gonna do?"

    She might just have to shove me out of the way, or put her hands right in there with mine... something.
  • I'm reaching for Silica's hands, trying to get them off Hadden's neck so I can do something useful for a change... "Silica! Fucking let go! I'm gunna try and fix him like I fixed Jester and Arbor — watch the fucking door, or it won't fucking matter what I do!"
  • edited May 2014

    There's something in Rosie's voice. She slides her hands onto my wrist and up to my hands, urging me to let up. I can't imagine what the fuck she's gonna do but, "ok... ok.... you came back..."

    I swallow hard and gently remove my hands, one, then the other... the blood begins to flow again.

    I step back, out of her way, my hands filthy with Hadden's life... for the first time I see what happened to our father. I don't look for more than a second, feeling suddenly a little sick, I gasp and hold my breath.

    But not knowing what else to do I crouch down to pick up Rosie's discarded shotgun. I raise it uncomfortably to my shoulder to cover the door. Never so much as held a shotgun before.

    "I got this..."
  • edited May 2014
    With Silica gone, I throw my hands into the mess without a second thought and push myself into that frame of mind I was in when I fixed up people before... "Hang tight Hadden. Stay with me, OK? We're here for you!"
  • Do it, Rossi.
  • OOC: Healing Touch. roll+weird. +1XP.
    (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 3, 6. Total: 11)
  • To Rossi:

    The wound on Hadden's neck closes slightly, turning from a gaping maw to a grim smile. The bloodflow slows to a trickle. He'll live, but he's messed up bad. There's enough stock around here that you might be able to change that, Rossi... if you had time.

    To Silica:

    You're holding Rosie's shotgun, and Jester is beside you. His right arm hangs limply at his side, and he's got a revolver in his left that he's holding with a shaky hand. He looks over at you, asks with a nervous voice, "Hey Silica, you okay?" You know he's expecting your normal answer.

    You hear the heavy thud thud thud of men running down the hallway towards you.

    What do you do?
  • Silica

    Wonder if he can see my hand shakin' or not. I try not to look away from the door, has my normal answer ever been more appropriate? Wouldn't want to disappoint him.

    "Never," I answer, but the normalcy of it is some small bit of comfort. Without looking at him I add, "you're more jacked up every time I see ya, Jesta..." Last time it was his foot.

    Jester... I got something I need to tell him... fuck. No concentrate. Look down the sights.

    I shout, "first one..." but it comes out as a pitiful little too-high chirp. I take a short, sharp breath. Everything hurts but I can't feel it right now...

    Hadden... the fuck is she doin? You ok? Rossi should handle this shit right here... I don't dare turn to look.

    Again I try to sound bad-ass... not quite getting there, "first one opens that fuckin' door gettin' clipped!"
  • Hey Silica, it sounds like maybe you're Going Aggro here. Let's see if you can pull it off.
  • First time for everything!
    (Rolled: 2d6-2. Rolls: 2, 5. Total: 5)
  • edited May 2014
    Yeah, Silica, that doesn't work for shit.

    The double doors burst open, and you're just close enough to the door to make good with your promise to clip them. When the buckshot spews out of that little hand cannon, your wrist snaps back and the gun drops to the floor, out of reach.

    This was what you just shot:

    But you caught both of them good - center mass on both Ollie and Anya. You remember Anya, right? Father told you she was carrying your mother's heart. Nothing goes to waste in Benton, of course. She's about your age.

    No wait, check that. Was about your age. She's knocked back by the shot, her sidearm falls to the ground and there's a red mist, no lie, a red mist that hangs in the air for a moment before gravity claims it and it falls to the ground.

    The other guy, Ollie, he's chewed up, too, little red dots across the side of his face, in his chest and arms. But he doesn't quite fall. Instead, Ollie's momentum carries him forward a few more steps, he keeps trying to get a bead on you with his pistol.

    That's when Jester starts pulling the trigger on his revolver as fast as he can. He misses the first three shots by a country mile, but his hands adjust and the last two shots catch Ollie in the cheek and right in his tobacco-stained teeth.

    Ollie falls hard. Then Jester keeps pulling the trigger, the hammer clicking like mad on empty chambers. He's frozen in some awkward firing stance, staring ahead blankly. Those two guards are dying fast.

    What do you do?
  • To Hadden:

    You wake, air filling your lungs. Your neck hurts like hell and you are still strapped down. Rossi is standing over you, touching you. She smells clean, believe it or not. You notice that. And she has her father's eyes. You notice that, too.
  • From Hadden:

    Sounds, noises. Smells. Only bits and pieces, none of it shimmery, just a muffled sinking restful blackness that hurt. Not as scary as a cave-in, but just as black and final.

    Rossi? Really? I'm not dead, or I could move, right?

    But she smells like clean woman girl, and her eyes... "Rossi?" I almost cringe at my voice. "Pretend I said something really clever." She can my eyes want to cry, but the drugs are messing me up some. I feel my pupils are too big.
  • edited May 2014

    The gun throws itself over my head out of my blood-slick hands. A painful curse and a yelp of surprise as the poor fuckers fall back dying. Maybe I knew them once but it don't fuckin' matter now. This place got nothin' for me... never had.

    Jester's losing his shit, fuck... I'm losing my shit. The gun... I stop, frozen for a moment, listening to hear if anyone else is coming. I don't think so... this place never had too many people. I touch Jester on the wrist, snap him out of whatever shit he's got in his head. "Come on, we gotta bail, Jesta..."

    I turn back to where Rossi stands over Hadden, "whatever your'e fuckin' doing..." I stop mid sentence, it looks like the blood's slowed... stopped? "The fuck? Rosie did you?"

    But I don't need to hear a word.... he's gonna be ok right? I wipe a hand across my moist eyes, Hadden's blood slick across one cheek. Then I hear his voice, weak... but it's him.

    "Hadden..." little more than a whisper, may hands shake and everything hurts... but he's still here.

    I go to the bed, my knees weak I lean against Rosie, a hand on her shoulder and my head against her arm... I can barely stand.

    "Hadden... fuck I'm sorry..."
  • edited May 2014
    I lift my hands off Hadden's neck, trying to ignore the gunfire behind me, and note the wound's still there... Fuck. That's not good enough. I put a hand on his shoulder, and whisper, "Shh — relax Hadden. Try not to move. Silica saved your ass, but you're not out of the woods yet. We're gunna get you out of here, OK?"

    I don't have anything to say when Silica asks what I did... So I don't answer. I opt to undo Hadden's straps instead; but that's when Silica leans on me, and I tense up... I look down at her to make sure she's alright before telling myself to relax. She's just freaked out over Hadden. I look back over my shoulder to see how Jester's doing while Silica has her moment with Hadden... That's all we really have right now, a second to collect ourselves before we bolt.

    "Jessie," I whisper, "c'mon. Help me get Hadden up."
  • From Hadden:

    She said sorry? Maybe I am dead. There's a memory of a smile on my face.

    My fingers won't work to reach for them, maybe a little twitch?

    "Is he still here?" Not fearful, asking what the what. Watching the sisters. Worried for them. "Are yall okay? Jester?" I look for him, a little spacey. I blink slow, which feels good.

    There's some really interesting patterns in the ceiling tiles... the dots almost line up.
  • Jester lowers his hand when you urge him to, Silica. But he doesn't move from his spot, instead looking with glassy eyes at the two bodies, the ones who never had anything for you.

    Rossi, you call his name, and Jester doesn't flinch, like he doesn't even hear you. He's standing there holding a revolver, one he'd picked up somewhere, never used before. You may not have even known it was loaded. You heard him fire it, even though you pushed it out, you know he did, emptied the damn thing.
  • ... Shit...

    I ease Silica off me, and guide her hand down to the bed where Hadden's laying. Then I make my way over to Jester and put a hand on his shoulder as I step into his field of view. "Jessie," I whisper softly, "I know what you're going through... Ok? I've been there. You just saved all our lives."
  • To Rossi:

    Jester stiffens when you touch his shoulder, but he doesn't shy away. Then you're in his field of vision, and he looks up, into your eyes for a fleeting moment, then away. He hovers on the edge of tears for a moment as you're talking to him.

    To all:

    Suddenly, Jester pushes away from you, Rossi, "I'm..." He takes a few quick steps, away from all of you, towards the prep room, then he vomits on the floor. Empties his stomach violently, and you hear it splatter against the tile floor and he doubles over, gasping after it's over, hands on his knees, sobbing.

    You don't hear anyone else rushing here. But those gunshots rang out in the night. It's only a matter of time before someone arrives, maybe Solace, surely many others.
  • I follow him back, step for step, when he pushes away from me, and I gently put a hand on his back as he wretches... Nothing about this kind of life is glamorous — but if that was seriously the first time Jester's ever killed someone, then he's had a fantastically lucky life. I crouch down beside him, and rub his back supportively... "Shh, it's OK... It's going to be OK."

    I turn and look back to Silica, "If you can swing it, we've got a ski-do sitting out by the docks. You guys should get a move on. I'll sort things out here."
  • Silica

    Rosie leaves me with Hadden, I lean on the table, the cool metal feels warm to my touch. I gently touch his neck... a glance at Rosie and nod. She did this.

    "We got wheels," I reply to my sister. "Come on let's get the fuck out." All of us.

    "Can you walk?" I ask Hadden, ready to help him. Amazing if he can.
  • edited May 2014
    From Hadden:

    I'm slow, but I'm moving. I nod at Silica, but it makes me feel light-headed the room moves a little wrong. I'm weirdly fucking hungry. My brain fixates on the different touches of both sisters in the same place on my neck, cool and warm and gentle and forceful... and their touches elsewhere. I

    A few breaths above a mutter, "Uhnph, I could eat a bear... Gotta get the ride home, it's loaded with trade jingle... where's my crap they stole?" My mom gave me one of those pistols. I don't even know what I'm grabbing onto. Silica? My neck? The table? I want to run and jump and dance and GTFO this crappy place.

    I see the corpses on the floor, Jester, the weapons... I go a little pale. "Oh."
  • edited May 2014
    To Rossi:

    "You've..." Jester whispers when he's able to take a breath without heaving. "You've been here?" He looks up at you for a moment, then away again. you know he means the "here" of having killed and this overwhelming pit in his stomach, not the physical space of "here", this operating theater, with your dead father.
  • I look back to Silica and nod in agreement... But I can't just expect Jester to come down off of this, and perform. I carefully brush Jester's bangs to one side, and wipe some of the sweat off of his forehead before noticing my hands are caked with blood... It's funny, I didn't even give it a second thought when I jumped in to help Hadden. Normally I'd be fucking hurling on the floor next to Jester by now.

    "Yup," I answer calmly, "when I was 6." I reach into my pocket and pull out a handkerchief to clean Jester's face. "I did it because I was scared to death, and it fucked me right the hell up... Sometimes, you'll find out that fear was well founded — other times, you won't ever know for sure — but you hate yourself a little more every time you do it." I take a finger and gently pull his gaze onto me, "so don't do it any more than you have to, OK?"
  • To Rossi:

    Jester's eyes meet yours for a bit longer. He nods when you ask him to minimize carnage. His eyes flick over to your father's corpse. With a hoarse whisper, he asks, "Was that... him?"
  • Silica

    I'm looking at Hadden, trying not to think of what's on the cold floor behind me. He turns to look and I touch the side of his face, turning him back to mine.

    "Let's get the fuck out," I nod, face close to his like I'll just lose it if I look around. I just wanna look into his eyes.

    I say a little louder, "Rosie we good? Lets's get our shit and burn."
  • I nod to Jester's question, knowing who he's looking at without even needing to check. "Keep in mind that when your foot was acting up, I was ready to come in here and beg him to fix you... You do what you need to do for the people you love." I look back at Silica, trying to be patient, "Fine..."

    I turn back to Jester and in a low whisper add, "c'mon... Let's get the fuck out of this place. I can't let my husband suffer like this..."
  • From Hadden:

    Those blue blue eyes. Pulls me up some. Gotta move. I blink, hard. Push down the exhaustion. "Yes indeed."

    Where is my shirt and jacket and go-bag? Maybe Solace left 'em under the gurney. At least I got my boots.
  • To All:

    You all get up, grab Hadden's stuff from the storage locker in the prep room so he can put on some clothes. It's too damn cold.

    The four of you Head out into the early morning snowfall, with the people of Benton coming towards the clinic. This will be interesting...

    --END SCENE--
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