Do No Harm [Closed]

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Annasiel
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Do No Harm [Closed]

Post by Annasiel » Sun Aug 02, 2020 2:35 am

9 months, 2 weeks, and 6 days.

It was enough time for a lot of things. Enough time for a baby to go from sex to birth. Enough time for first stage colon cancer, untreated, to metastasize across the entire lymphatic system. And, in the case of one young girl trapped in the middle of space, enough time to come up with a plan. More than enough time, in fact. The first vestiges of a plan started coming together immediately after learning about Hector's fate from the goatee'd weirdo that called himself Terminus. He said he was a friend of Hector, just like they were. He said he knew about them from Hector. He shepherded them from the workshop, where they'd been hiding for weeks, to more comfortable rooms, complete with proper beds, lots of space to move, and entertainment.

He also locked the door every time he left.

It was only a matter of time before he turned them over to the feds, wasn't it? Only a matter of time before he realized who they really were. Serial killers. No, worse - terrorists, enemies of the state, sure to get the death sentence the moment they set foot on Earth. Sure, they'd have a mock trial, sure, they'd have a mock jury, but their fates were sealed up in some FBI manila envelope somewhere, ready to be slipped to the judge with a wink and a pat on the back. No, she wasn't safe here, not with a man who she couldn't trust, a man who didn't trust her. He wouldn't even let her near Hector's body, wherever the fuck it was. Probably some hospital back at Earth. Braindead and nonresponsive, he'd said, and left it at that. Fucking idiot. She'd fixed braindead and nonresponsive before.

It was then that she decided she had to escape. Just herself - Talia would be safe as long as Eliza was missing, and even safer if she didn't know where or why she'd left. Bringing her along just risked her getting in trouble too.

Seven months in, she began.

It took two weeks to break through the skin of her wrist. It was along existing scar lines, where the skin was rough and weak, but she had to be subtle about it, so Terminus or Talia didn't notice what was going on. Bit by bit, she wore away the skin, staunching the blood against a blanket in her lap, keeping her entire arm in the blanket once the wound grew too large to easily hide against her leg. Eventually, the white-pink tip of her ulnar styloid peaked through the red mush, and thus began the second stage of her plan.

It took only a week, this time, though she was a bit reckless. With a butter knife from the kitchen, she began to whittle away at the bone every night, forming it into as sharp a point she could manage. Once this was done, she shoved the knife down the slit, sawing away at a few choice tendons that - by her estimate - would redirect the angular momentum of her elbow hinge down the shaft of her forearm. When the final one snapped, she felt the entire length of muscle tense, wound up tight and hard beneath the skin. Her fist clenched tight, she hurried through the final day, wasting time until the cover of night.

When Talia was finally asleep, Eliza slipped out of the covers and slipped into the main room, careful to close the door behind her - then, with a double-take, decided to bundle up pillows from the couch at the crack below the door. She approached her target - the front entrance of their living quarters - and pressed the point of her ulna against the far edge of the door. The door itself was electronic but the latching mechanism, obviously, was mechanical, and as such, was subject to mechanical forces. The mechanical force in question was approximately 3,000 Newtons of force - driven at an angle to the latch - directed from her tense arm directly into the whittled bone.

CRACK.

The tip of the bone snapped as it hit the metal, hard, the sound echoing throughout the room. Eliza froze, listening for any hint of Talia getting up. A minute passed. Another. When no one came, she quickly wrapped the blanket around her arm, tight, staunching the new flow of blood from her decidedly ruined wrist. She pushed against the door, and with a bit of effort, it slid open. Smiling to herself, she slipped through the crack, letting the door close behind her with a click.

Good. The latch wasn't broken. Even more reason for Talia to not get in trouble.

When she had first made the plan, she hadn't expected the bulk of it to be spent getting her bearings on the station, but the place was simply massive. On one hand, that was good - less chance for Terminus to find her, if he decided to check in on them. On the other hand, it meant it was hellish trying to find a way off. Thankfully, there was no shortage of supplies. She managed to sneak into a restaurant kitchen, borrowing some distilled water, salt, and a turkey baster to keep her heart beating. Even with the saline, she still felt the telltale throbbing ache of a stalling heart while resting in a maintenance tunnel. Careful use of a lighting wire put an end to that, jump-starting her it back into its regular rhythm. All in all, she spent nearly a month lurking in the backspaces of the station, only coming out when she was sure she couldn't easily be seen. The place was always crowded, but - a dirty, ragged girl with a bloody blanket wrapped around one arm wasn't exactly the sort of thing people ignored.

Eventually, she found exactly what she needed. Some sort of open port, filled with spaceships docking and leaving. From there, it was just a matter of finding someone who spoke English, and then a matter of finding one who was easily persuaded by the most innocent face she could manage.

"Alright, alright. Just -" the green-skinned man rubbed at the back of his neck, eyes shifting around the port. "Are you sure you don't want me to go getcha security?"

Eliza threw the most terrified expression she could manage. She didn't need to say why she was avoiding security. She just needed to look hurt, scared, and frantic, then let the implication take care of the rest. The man finally, begrudgingly, assented.

"Fine. Fine. I'm heading out that way anyway. Just - you better not be in no trouble. Don't want that coming back to me."

She nodded, offering a quick, fleeting smile and a one-armed hug. He seemed surprised by the latter - they often did. Naive idiots were all cut from the same cloth. He ushered her into the ship, and from there, it was only a few weeks to Earth.

--

She stood in front of the metal doorway. The metal hexagonal doorway - like some sort of industrial beehive in the middle of the desert. This had to be the place Hector told her about. If it wasn't, she wasn't exactly in the best shape to keep walking - one arm hung broken, limp and useless, bone still protruding from the tip. It had stopped bleeding, but annoyingly, the telltale red stripes of a blood infection had worked their way up to her elbow. If untreated, she was going to have to amputate, which would've been a major inconvenience. The desert sun hadn't exactly been kind to her pale skin, leaving her bright red on the back of her neck and edges of her face. She'd tried to use the blanket to keep the worst of it off her, but again, it would be just her luck if she had to deal with melanoma on top of everything else. Finally, the least dangerous, but still incredibly annoying - her shoes had fallen apart during the walk, and she hadn't bothered to find another one. As it was, her toes were poking through holes in her socks, and she was pretty sure at least one of her soles was bleeding.

Taking a deep breath, she reached out her good hand, paused, then knocked.
I look in the water and fear what I see
I know it's no stranger but I know it's not me
My life is a lie that was uttered in jest
If I can't change at all, let me rest

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illirica
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Re: Do No Harm [Closed]

Post by illirica » Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:09 pm

There was a once-enemy outside the door.

Teja wondered if this was going to be some sort of theme. This opponent, though, was in the guise of a young girl. Younger than Manaria, even - but that didn’t mean that she wasn’t capable of atrocity. Eliza Blaine had been responsible for numerous deaths, when she’d worked with Alpha’s Pack. It had been Hector who had brought her in. He’d taken her to Terminal to say her good-byes before her execution.

He’d almost killed her.

He hadn’t, though - he’d pulled back, at the last, one remnant of humanity that he hadn’t yet given over. She wondered if there would be anything left of that, when he awoke - if he ever did.

It hurt to think about.

Most things did these days, though, so what was one more? AMPERE’s door slid open, untouched. Teja wasn’t worried about protection. There was relatively little here of value, and if it came to it, she could run enough lightning through the facility to take down a demi-god.

Somehow, there was a part of her that felt that would be easier to deal with than whatever this was going to be. Simpler, anyway. The girl in the doorway was nothing if not a complexity. She was also injured, which Teja thought was likely at least partially deliberate, designed to invoke sympathy. Possibly this was all a trap, and Blaine was about to release another chemical agent.

Or possibly she was just a hurt kid.

Teja flicked an update through to the Society with the habit of thought, appraising them of the situation but requesting they let her deal with it for now - mostly because if Teja did have to electrify the place, it would be better if there weren’t any others there - but if she needed backup, they would be alerted.

Another thought flicked open a supply cabinet - medical this time, not technological. Bandages, splints, ointments, IV lines and saline packs. Eliza would, by all accounts, know what to do with them. One more thought, less charitable, set an electrical field crackling around the worktable that Teja still thought of as Hector’s. Most likely he was why Eliza was here, but there wasn’t anyone that Teja trusted with him these days.

Not a single person.

“You might as well come in, Eliza.”
Her voice was through the system, non-directional. A whisper in the machine, a murmur in the atmosphere. Omnipresent, static.

“It is still ‘just Eliza,’ isn’t it?”

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Annasiel
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Re: Do No Harm [Closed]

Post by Annasiel » Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:57 pm

She honestly hadn't been expecting a response.

Why should she? She barely knew the lady, let alone trusted her, and she was pretty sure Teja felt the same towards her. If Eliza was in her place, she would've locked down the entire place, called the cops in, and washed her hands of the problem. She could still do that. This entire thing could be a trap, a way to let her guard down, before trapping her inside the giant metal beehive and leaving her to the law.

Still, Eliza entered. She had to - for Talia. It wasn't like she could just go find Tyler, Zulu, or Alpha. It wasn't like any of them cared, even if she could find them. They'd all abandoned her. Left her alone without even saying goodbye.

Hector did too.

But she couldn't be angry at that. Well, she could, but not all proper angry. He had a reason. He was hurt. As much as she wanted to scream and break things and shout about how unfair it was, it wasn't his fault.

And Teja - well, she knew Hector trusted Teja, so Eliza trusted her too.

"Uh... thanks," Eliza muttered, stepping into the open door. She glanced around for any sign of speakers or cameras. "It's just Eliza. Yeah. Just me."

The room inside was larger than she'd expected. When she saw the beehive exterior, she'd imagined thin, winding corridors spiraling on the inside. Instead, a wide, open space greeted her, filled with various cabinets and tables. It looked like - well - it looked like a lab, which it kinda was, she guessed. Her eyes caught the one open cabinet, and she made a beeline for it, rummaging through the medical supplies. She picked up one of the saline packs and grimaced.

"Got any AB+? I'm seriously diluted right now. Feel like shit."

Tossing the pack to the side, she picked up the bandages and a packet of antiseptic and set to work on properly dressing her arm. It wouldn't fix the infection, but it would stop anything else from going wrong. Probably. Things really seemed to have a way of going wrong regardless of how she planned them.

Cinching the wrappings tight, she again glanced around the room.

"Are you - gonna come out at all?" A faint hint of annoyance in her voice. "It's really fucking awkward talking to an empty room, y'know. Do you know how hard it was to find you? And now that I'm here, I just get - fucking nobody. Like, seriously, why is it every time I need someone they're not even there?!"

She paused.

"Sorry. That was mean. That was mean, right? I'm still getting - the hang of this."
I look in the water and fear what I see
I know it's no stranger but I know it's not me
My life is a lie that was uttered in jest
If I can't change at all, let me rest

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illirica
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Re: Do No Harm [Closed]

Post by illirica » Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:56 pm

As she’d suspected, Eliza knew her way around medical supplies. The distraction proved worthy, because it gave Teja a few more minutes to prepare herself for this - whatever this was. Eliza’s hands were steady, confident, certain - a marked difference from everything else she appeared to be. There was anger in her voice, and frustration, and contrition, and confusion. A lot of things, probably more than Eliza herself understood.

Still getting the hang of this, indeed.

A door on the far side of the lab slid open with the same whisper of magnetism as all the others, silent to almost any but herself. Teja stepped through, carefully, a cane bearing some of her weight for the time being: an annoyance. She wasn’t really supposed to be walking yet, but medical professionals always overestimated. Her leg was bandaged, but she hadn’t bothered with the brace. Compensating for the ionic flow was a hindrance.

She didn’t know what Eliza had been expecting: the last time they’d met, Teja had been in partial Valence Shell gear, relying on IONMASK to keep her eyes away from Talia Tchakev’s. This time, she was in a short-sleeved dress that would have fit perfectly back in the 1950s, dark green and pattered with yellow asters. Her hair was damp, dripping down the back of her dress onto the sword she carried, which was... also damp, more so than the hair would have accounted for.

“I wasn’t expecting company.”
A mild rebuke, as far as rebukes went. Teja crossed the room, carefully, obviously more concerned with future attacks than any current injury. Eliza wouldn’t strike right now, though, she didn’t think. She’d wait, and strike later. Teja moved to open another cabinet, not too far from the one Eliza had already been through, the chill of refrigerated air escaping briefly into the room.

“I don’t have AB positive. I have O-negative like a sensible person.”
She hooked a packet and took it out, sealing the cabinet once more and setting the packet down on a table. Eliza didn’t seem like she’d want to take it from Teja’s hand. For her part, Teja sat down on one of the lab stools and waited patiently until Eliza got the packet hooked up and started the flow before adding, conversationally,
“It used to be mine.”
.

Maybe it wasn’t kind to nettle the girl for a reaction, but if Eliza was going to be here, she could deal with a little provocation. The comment aside, there was no difference between Teja’s blood and anyone else’s - whatever it was that made her Capacitor ceased to function as soon as it was no longer part of her body or contained within it. She didn’t want to hurt anyone by accident, after all - but she did want to see how Eliza reacted, and whether she’d respond to the next question with the truth.

“Why are you here, Eliza?”

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