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Casualties

 
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Raye
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:12 pm    Post subject: Casualties Reply with quote


The shifting through the shadows had been almost instantaneous. The demonically fueled magics allowed the young man to bypass the chaos with his two passengers. The man, while shorter than him, was heavier in his armor. The woman was starting to show signs of distress in the first jump.

Being cautious, he came to a rest in the Scathachian Sanctuary. The shadows shielded them from prying eyes as he set the armored form to the ground with a growl. The woman forced herself through her own discomfort, taking on a serious mask. The demon knew she was also disabled herself, having seen her crawling through the rumble.



The doctor struggled to reach the fallen warrior. "Spartan!" She continued to call him by what she perceived to be his street name. She continued to try to reach him, while pleading with the young demon. "Please, I'm a doctor. I need to make sure he's ok!"

The demon complied immediately by setting her down at Spartan's side. She immediately flipped her cyber-eyes into scan mode, only to be inhibited by the armor. "Spartan, can you hear me. omae?" She sounded concerned. "Spartan I need you to open the armor." She did as much as she could before the armor got in the way...

... which was very little.

She couldn't afford to waste time. She looked up to the young man standing over her. "Please... I need you to watch over us." She didn't explain before she went limp, by jacking into Batten's network wirelessly. She had the connections chipped into her head so she would not need a PADD or a deck.

A little nine-tailed icon sped along the connection, searching for Edward's signal. ~Come on omae, where are you?~ She thought as she sped through the gateways in the security system. Leo had gotten her clearance to as much as he could as a department head.

The little spite transmitted an urgent SOS directly to Edward.

~Edward, this is Dr Ibaraki. Spartan is down. I need to bypass his armor.~ The little sprite dancing nervously. ~I need advanced life support to the Hospice stat. It's not good.~

*Omae = Friend
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It wasn't Ed that responded to the summons - he was a little busy at that moment.

What popped up in front of the kitsune-construct was another construct - a golden, petitely curved female with a cool, detached manner that looked upon the icon of Dr. Raye Ibaraki with an imperious expression.

The AI scanned the icon, and for a long moment it seemed as if nothing were going to happen. Finally, though, her soft, sultry voice resounded. In this place the power of that program could be felt in each syllable.

"Dr. Raye Ibaraki - Department Head, Medical and Cybernetics division - access, approved. Protocol: Spartan. Vital Status: Unconcious - severe nervous system and cardiovascular trauma, and cerebral damage. Deactivating Spartan Combat Exoskeleton for medical treatment."

----------

In the Sanctuary, the red-and-gold armor - now blackened and showing numerous minor dents from the multiple impacts of weapons fire, both from small arms and heavy weapons - came alive. The armor plates moved, began to retract towards the back of the suit in sections, revealing a thick black covering that resembled a futuristic, technical sort of musculature, which first rippled, then shrank back as though becoming almost liquid in structure, until it reformed into a long, thick black duster wrapped around the form of Batten's chief of security as he had been seen at the Mabon festivities.

There didn't seem to be much in the way of surface damage - a few bruises, for the most part - but the young man was unconscious, his breathing spastic, his muscles still twitching slightly as though he had received a heavy jolt of electricity.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's dark now.

And cold.

Faintly he can feel...something...moving.

Somewhere.

How did he get here?

Where is he?

...who is he?

He doesn't remember...it doesn't seem important.

But it does, too. Somehow, it does seem important.

That he knows who he is...but there is nothing for him, here, to grasp on to.

But the more he thinks on it, the less important it seems.

Because out there is pain. Out there is danger and death.

In here...in here, he's safe.

In here, there's nothing to fear, no reason to fear.

Perhaps he'll stay a while...

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, she was not looking to get on the bad side of that. Looked worse than the nastiest Black IC on the market.

"Dr. Raye Ibaraki - Department Head, Medical and Cybernetics division - access, approved. Protocol: Spartan. Vital Status: Unconcious - severe nervous system and cardiovascular trauma, and cerebral damage. Deactivating Spartan Combat Exoskeleton for medical treatment."

"Frag." She swore and jacked out of the feed and back into her body. The young demon's eyes widened in amazement as the doctor woke up as the armor completed it's change.

"I need you to keep this to yourself. I'll not have anyone endangering others by sharing this information." The doctor was adamant as she went to work on triaging Leo. The young demon just nodded and faded into the shadows.

She used the link to share the data with the AI, "What's the status on that Life support?" She needed the equipment to get to real work. She herself was not going anywhere.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If nothing else, the AI was efficient - upon registering the vitals of the Batten Industries security chief she had sent a message to both the security and medical divisions, apprising them of the situation.

They had mobilized immediately - everyone knew the man they called either Leo or the Chief, and he was well-liked. Even as the AI was filling Raye in on the finer points of what was going on, a Batten Industries cargo truck pulled up outside, and personnel began unloading equipment - everything she would need, enough to outfit a major ER and operating room.

Leading the detail was the big, slow-voiced man everyone called Big Mike, and he wasted no time barking out orders to everyone in a loud voice reminiscent of a drill sergeant as soon as they came in and he saw the man unconscious. "All right, everyone get this stuff set up! This is the chief here! ON THE DOUBLE!"

They wasted no time at all - within minutes the room their chief was in had been set up and put together. It took Big Mike a few more minutes to convince everyone else to get outside, save for a man or two in case the Doc needed any help...
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

She was gratefully for the efficiency of the men, even to the point of bringing her a chair. She nodded to Big Mike and directed the men that remained.

"You and you, Get a backboard under him." She was just as efficiency, working on prepping the heart monitors and the IV. "Careful, careful. He's suffered severe trauma to his CNS... I don't want him ending up like me."

She worked quickly, just as efficiently in getting Leo stabilized. She was going to need advance diagnostic facilities in order to determine the full extent of the injuries.

For now, she made do with the portable X-ray to determine the most immediate concerns.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once it was certain he was stabilized, all but one security guard would depart. All of them had looks of worry and sadness on their faces - Leo was well-liked among his men, and they weren't being told much other than he had been attacked in the marketplace. The prognosis wasn't the best, either - the Chief had been subjected to a heavy dose of electricity, three or four times the amount it would take to kill an ordinary man, and they were told the coma could last hours, days, weeks...even months or years.

X-rays and other diagnostic tools would show little enough. Some time later an EEG machine and an EKG machine would be brought in, but they would be as little help as the X-ray machine - there were no broken bones, and other than being in a coma both the EKG and EEG would show him to be normal and healthy.

But still, he slept.

And would for the next two days.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The following takes place just before the events written about in In Extremis.

He's been here, in the dark, for a while.

Just...floating.

It's very calm, peaceful...restful.

For some reason he had the impression he hadn't had much rest lately.

It begins subtly, at first. Like a tug.

Or someone calling him from very far away.

A familiar voice...and yet not a voice at all.

For a moment there's regret. It's been so nice here, floating in the dark.

Briefly, a part of him wonders if this is what it's like, being born.

Waiting, floating in the dark, until the time comes.

How long has he been here?

Days? Minutes? Months? Hours?

He couldn't say, wouldn't lay bets on any amount of time. There is no time, here, in this place.

But there is something new, now. A glimmer of light.

The call, the pull, is coming from that direction.

there's no fear, only a kind of sadness that he has to leave.

Yes, he has to go. It's time.

He moves towards the light.


His eyes opened onto dim light playing across the ceiling above him. Not electric light - this had a wavering, flickering quality he associated immediately with candles. His eyes moved to look around the room, slowly - the muscles in his neck felt stiff, as if they hadn't been used in a while - looking at the surroundings. Utilitarian lines, white and taupe paint on the walls, gauzy white curtains.

He tested his feet first, and felt a sharp thrill of fear for a moment until he felt his toes move under the blanket. His arms came next, and as he moved the left he felt something tug at his skin. Lifting his head, he looked down and found there was an IV drip inserted.

With a faint frown, he realized he was in a hospital...or at least, some sort of medical facility. But why?

He tried to remember, and found that he couldn't. He had no idea how he got here.

For that matter, he had no idea where here was.

He hears the sound of paper, a page being turned, and he glanced to the right. Sitting there was a portly, balding man with glasses on, reading a newspaper that called itself the Rhy'din Post.

"Wh...where am I...?" he asked in a rusty, cracking voice.

The man looked up in surprise, followed by what was clearly amazement and no small amount of joy mingled with relief as he set the newspaper aside and stood, walking over to the bed. "Chief! Thank God, you're awake! How ya feelin', kid?"

He frowned at the man, confused. Had he just been called Chief? Chief of what? But as soon as the man asked how he was feeling, the response came almost automatically. "Thirsty..."

The portly man nodded with a grin and turned to the nightstand, picking up a silver pitcher and pouring some water into a glass. "Yeah, I guess you must be," the man said as he turned and held the glass out, speaking in an accent that was identified vaguely with New York, he remembered. Somehow. "You've been out of it for two days, laying there in a coma."

Two days? Was that all? For some reason it had felt like a lifetime to him. Taking the water, he brought the cup to his lips for a sip...and suddenly he was drinking in greedy gulps, barely pausing to breathe between them, until the glass was drained. His stomach cramped slightly from the sudden influx, but accepted the gift on a trial basis as he caught his breath, looking around again before returning his gaze to the portly man, looking him over a moment. He wasn't sure how he knew, but he felt he could trust this man. "Where am I?" he asked again.

The portly man arched an eyebrow at that, but his answer came immediately. "You're at the Sanctuary Hospice...when you wouldn't wake up after the attack, this was where Dr. Ibaraki brought you."

Sounds Japanese, he thought. How did he know that? He's sure he's never heard of this doctor, never met him. Or maybe it was a she. Though the way the man said the name, it seemed he should. Next question. "And who are you?"

That got a raise of both eyebrows from the man, a look of concern coming across his features. "I'm Jason...Jason Tatopolous. Your deputy, don't you remember?" The look of concern deepened to worry as the man looked into his eyes. "How much do you remember, Chief?"

He frowned again, thinking, then shook his head as he came up with a blank. "I...don't remember anything..."

The look of worry deepened on the portly man's - Jason's - face. "Do...do you remember your name?" he asked.

He hadn't thought to try remembering that...but as he searched his memory, it suddenly occurred to him that he didn't. He knew he was in a hospital room, knew that the man had been reading a newspaper, that Ibaraki was a Japanese name and the man's accent was from New York. But...

...he couldn't remember his name.

For Jason, the look of frustrated distress on his boss' face, along with his silence, was more than enough of an answer. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out the half-dollar sized black disc communicator and tapped the center of it. "Diana, this is Jason Tatopolous. Please send a message to Dr. Ibaraki...tell her that Leo's awake and we need her back at the Sanctuary as soon as possible."
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

She had been in the Inn with Katt, when she got the news on two fronts.

One front, there was little she could do about. While she was talking with Katt she sent a message to Diana.

~Keep me appraised of Edward's condition. If he takes a turn from the worse, come get me.~

"What..are you going to do?" Katt had asked when they had received the news...

"Ed's under the best possible care, if I'm needed, the physician will call. Check on Leo." It had been a white lie but then Katt did not know she was the only physician they had.

"Can I come?" Katt had asked.

"Being pushed will be easier than navigating things, personally." Was her way of saying yes. Truthfully. She would move faster if she was pushed. She didn't think of a car and the hospice was just across the river from the Inn.

When they arrived at the Hospice she stopped just outside the room Leo was in. "Kat, can you wait here? I want to examine him first to make sure he is up to visitors."
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raye's sudden one-sided vocal communication (at least to Katt's ears) with the A.I. was completely baffling and when she had been told of both the wounded Edward and the awakening Leo, she didn't know what to do with herself.

A flare of worry over Edward's health..

An overwhelming wealth of relief that Leo was awake..

She didn't now if she was coming or going. So when Raye allowed her to tag along the first thing she wanted to do was help!

Wheeling Raye was a task all in itself. Making sure she didn't rush off with Raye and frighten the poor woman. Anxiety was a horrible thing and it left her on nerves end.

It only grew when they arrived in front of the door to Leo's room and she was requested to..wait? An unsure sound escaped the back of her throat as she looked at Raye. She was tired of sitting on her hands but in the end she numbly she nodded to Raye. What was more important to her was Leo's condition.

"Sure thing. If I can do anything just let me know." The handles to the wheelchair was released and she stepped back, scratching at one of her arms to keep her hands occupied. She passed a tiny smile to Raye, trying to encourage and assure the woman as she took a spot on the opposite wall to the door.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

She nodded and knocked on the door for Deputy Chief Tatopolous to admit her. The orders from Edward were rather strict, which was a relief. She did not want any hostiles taking it upon themselves to take advantage of the situation.

She stopped a moment to confine with Jason and get a bit of an idea of the situation. Jason told her what he did find out and it took her everything she had not to frown. It would not do to worry Leo overly much.

She rolled up to Leo's bedside and smiled warmly. In a lot of ways she was relieved he was awake and responding. The Memory loss was troubling.

"Good evening, Leo." She started quietly while the cyber-eyes assessed his vitals and condition. "Deputy Chief Tatopoulous has told me what is going on. I am Dr Ibaraki but you can call me Raye." Of course she had to wonder what the reaction would be to seeing his doctor in a wheelchair herself.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the time the doctor arrived he has managed to get himself into a sitting position, more or less, and had taken a more detailed look around the room. The closet had been left open, and in it he could see a long, black duster that looked unusually thick in places, along with a pair of jeans and a shirt that might've been silk. And boots. Most interesting of all, though, was a shoulder harness with a gun in the holster.

A single glance at the black carbonized finish of the weapon told him that the model was an IMI Desert Eagle Mk. XIX...though how he knew that was beyond him. Unconsciously, he flexed his right hand as he looked at it. There was an undeniable feeling of familiarity as his eyes looked over the pistol, and he was pretty sure the gun was his, even though he couldn't remember ever having held it.

Looking at himself in the hospital johnny he was clad in, then back to the clothing, he was sure it would all fit him - the coat, pants, shirt, even the shoulder harness.

When the doctor wheeled herself in and introduced herself, referring to the man who had identified himself as Jason as a deputy chief, his first thought was that he must have been a cop, or some other kind of law enforcement officer...but thinking about it, it didn't make sense. He knew some articles of law, sure, and there was even the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice) that rattled through his head...but while the thought wasn't at all an unpleasant one, it didn't feel right.

At the very least, though, he was sure he wasn't a criminal.

The doctor, like Jason, didn't appear familiar to him at all, as he looked her over, a fact that didn't frustrate him as much as it did in Tatopoulous' case, with the easy, familiar way the man spoke to him. After all, with the way she introduced herself, he could very well have never met before.

Leo? My name is...Leo.

It wasn't so bad, as names went, he guessed. At least he knew what his name was now, but like everything else, it was unfamiliar.

Settling his eyes on the doctor, he gave her a neutral nod. "Well, since he told you, maybe you can tell me a few things, doctor. Like what happened to me that landed me in the hospital, where exactly I am, and who I am."
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

She was running the diagnostic scans on him with her eyes. She had to be sure the shape he was in. He took a rather hard jolt during the fight, of which she had witnessed.

"You were in a very ... vicious fight trying to rescue a very good friend of ours." She had to keep it professional, though she wasn't at all cold. "We had been at a local festival and our friend was accosted by... someone we all knew."

She was trying not to display the anger at the events that lead up to the this conversation. "The where is easy enough. This city is known as Rhydin. It is... what you might call a pan-dimensional crossroads." She explained gently... warmly.

"As to who you are." She knew this was never easy. "Your name is Leo Heracleides. You work for Batten Industries here in Rhydin as the Chief of Security." Again trying to be a gentle as possible. At least it is good news, it wasn't criminal.

"I am the department Head for Medical and Cybernetics with Batten... And well, we are friends." She made it sound like friends was all they were too.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

None of it sounds familiar. Not a bit.

The name...Lord, was it horrible! Heracleides? Geez...where was that name from? It was a hideous name, and for the life of him he can't imagine anyone ever calling him by it. Small wonder Jason called him Chief - it fit better, went with the job the doctor had described to him.

And...he wasn't just anyone found in a dark alley somewhere with total memory loss...but the head of security for a whole company. And if it was one with a medical and cybernetics division, it had to be at least a company that wasn't some mom-and-pop outfit.

And, it seemed, he was the type that would throw himself into a fight to help someone else. That had cost him, it seemed, in ways he didn't understand - and, he thought, might well never remember.

Briefly, it occurred to him to wonder who it had been that he had plunged into a fight to save.

But try as he might, he couldn't remember - nothing came to him at all, not even a flash of something familiar. Even his name didn't sound familiar when the doctor said it - she might as well have called him John Doe, or James Smith.

He got up and walked over to a full-length mirror next to the closet, taking a look at himself.

The face staring back at him was a stranger. there was nothing familiar to be seen there at all - it could have been any other face in the world and it wouldn't have been any more familiar.

At least he wasn't bad looking, he supposed...but that didn't help his memory either. With a sigh he closed his eyes and bowed his head slightly, frowning.

"I...I need some time alone, please...to...adjust." He didn't look up or around, just shook his head to himself as he spoke in a softer tone. "Please go."

He didn't move again until the door closed behind the last person, and only when it did would he go and sit on the bed, facing towards the window.

No identity...no clue...what do I do now...?
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The next day

He knocked on the door, but there was no response. He'd been informed of Leo's condition by Diana who - by means of the on-demand armor deployment system disguised as his duster - was monitoring the room. Fortunately by the time anyone other than Raye and the young man that had brought her and Leo here had shown up, Diana had deactivated the armor - to anyone but them, the duster was just a duster.

He knocked again. Thanks to his own recent experimental project he no longer needed such a system, and that project had been an unqualified success - better even than he had imagined it would be, in truth.

When he got no answer after the second knock, he pushed open the door and went in. There he found the young man sitting on the edge of the bed with his back to the door, staring towards the window.

Ed walked over, setting the briefcase on the table before he found himself a place to sit and settled there.

"Afternoon, Leo. Ah gotta say, ya look pretty good fer a man dat went t'rough what you did."

It was a long moment before the young man looked from the window towards him. He still had that same oddly piercing look that made you feel like you were being X-rayed...the same intensity of expression, the same thoughtful air of waiting for whatever came next, the same presence about him.

And yet he could tell that Leo didn't recognize him, had no clue who it was talking to him. Granted, he didn't look much like the head of a company, dressed in a No Fear t-shirt and blue jeans, lounging in a chair in this cozy little hospice. "Ah'm Ed Batten, Leo. Yer boss...well, if ya decide ya still wanna work fer me."

Leo seemed to think on that for a moment, then nodded to Ed as he spoke. "Nice to meet you, Ed...uh...again, I guess." A hint of a smile tugged at his features. "Is that the Bayou I hear in your voice there?"

Now it was Ed's turn to grin. The Doc's analysis had indeed been correct - Leo didn't have any personal memories, but as far as knowledge went the man seemed very much intact. "Yeah, dat's right, mon ami."

Leo nodded, the grin fading slightly as he shook his head and looked away. "Not sure how I know that, but I do." Another shrug came as he looked back to Ed again. "So...they tell me I was injured in the line of duty?"

The Playboy nodded, suppressing the urge to frown. It made sense that he hadn't been told everything - that had been the doctor's judgment call, of course, and there was sound reasoning behind it. Best not to lay too much on the man's mind until they knew the extent of the damage.

But with things going the way they were now, they were running out of time - and Ed needed Leo back.

Not just Leo...but the Spartan as well.

"Yeah, dat's right...in a manner of speakin'." He fixed his security chief with his own piercing stare. "An' it was a damn fool t'ing t'do. Ya don't 'member it, but you an' Ah had a talk not long b'fore dis whole fiasco 'bout how yer heart was gon' get ya in trouble, an' it did...de lucky t'ing is ya were...protected in de process...an' a good t'ing, too, else ya might've ended up dead 'stead'a jawin' wit' me an' not r'memberin' yer own name."

He gestured to the briefcase laying on the table. "Got some stuff fer ya t'read dere - yer personnel file, all de info anyone anywhere has on ya. Don' know if it'll help ya or not, but at de least it'll help ya make an informed decision on whet'er or not yer gon' keep yer life goin' in de direction it has been, or if ya'd rat'er pursue a diff'rent one."

Ed stood, looking around the room. "Ah c'n jus' 'magine dat bein' stuck here in dis li'l room's gotten a bit tiresome for ya...so Ah'm havin' ya released. Ah t'ink yer all right t'go home, and dere'll be a car an' driver waitin' t'take ya dere soon's yer outta here."

Leo nodded, his features thoughtful as he reflected on what Ed had said to him for a moment before he spoke up again. "And...if I decide that I'd rather go a different way?"

Ed chuckled, shrugging. "T'tell ya de trut', Ah'm kinda bankin' on ya not choosin' dat...more 'cause Ah'd rat'er not lose ya, for reasons dat'll become obvious after ya look everyt'in' over. But if ya do...dat's yer right, an' Ah imagine Ah'll find some'ne to take yer place eventually." Turning for the door, he paused with his hand on the knob, speaking over his shoulder. "Dat won't be easy at all...yer one o'de best men Ah've had de pleasure of workin' wit'. But it's up to you."

With that he turned the doorknob and stepped out into the hall, leaving Leo to his thoughts.
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The secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment is to live dangerously.

- Friedrich Nietzche
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