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  #176  
Unread 2nd of July, 2004, 18:08
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South Manhattan Medical Dispatch Center
6:32 pm, January 13th 2010.

“Okay. Tell me again... how did you get that lodged up there?”

Duty nurse Kara Pontelli didn’t look at the man as she said this. Instead, she kept her eyes fixed on the buzzing monitor, staring at the list of available staff without seeing it. Mostly, she was trying to stop herself laughing or crying at the man in front of the reception desk.

“I...uh... uh... I... uh... was doing the, um, the, some chores... cleaning up the uh...”

“Naked?” Kara wondered if she’d remembered to throw away the tray for the microwave lasagna she’d had for lunch

“Uh, ahhhh, yeah... nak....um...” The man was looked really uncomfortable, standing there in a dressing gown clutching his crotch, eyes watering.

“...and you tripped and fell onto the pipe cleaner? And it got lodged in your urethra?”

The man had the good grace to look utterly humiliated for himself. The coffee tasted like warmed up plastic excrement tonight. And then, Kara Pontelli realized she didn’t give a damn. Not about the coffee. Not about the sad pervert clutching his damaged organ in front of her. Not about that man with whiplash who’d been in a car crash earlier that afternoon. Not about the homeless guy with the cuts - maybe self inflicted, maybe not. Well, she amended that mentally - she cared a little about him. They’d know by the morning if he was going to pull through. Then, one way or another, he would no longer be beneficiary of Kara Pontelli’s very limited supply of compassion.

“Emergency room four, just down the hall, second on t he left. There’ll be... someone to see you shortly.” David, maybe. That prick could use some misery duty. Now get the hell out of my waiting room.

The man shuffled off, still holding himself and whimpering with each step. Kara looked at the grayish dregs in the bottom of her cup, and wondered if getting another one would make her want to kill herself.

And then, the universe imploded in the emergency center waiting room.

Two men, inverse silhouettes of light appeared. A linked line of chairs flew across the room, bending itself into a Moebius-pretzel, and one of the plastic pot plants toppled over. Kara felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. Jesus. So it’s not a metaphor. The ball of light washed over everything in the room, making the lights dangling from the ceiling shake and pop, dimming out. Only the crackling radiance of the two figures and the pale blue of the monitor illuminated Kara’s features.

The brightness resolves. There s slight click as the man’s soft shows hit the grimy tiles of the medical center’s floor. A healthy, ordinary looking guy, carrying another in his arms; a slender young man... a tattered bullet proof vest peeking out from under his suit...

Damn, he’s a mess. Someone took a wrench to his face; definitely cavity shock somewhere on the body. Damn, wait, first things first.

”What the hell is this?” the nurse screamed at Quantum.

She never did get that coffee.

Quantum & Osprey

All this ‘porting is really taking it out of you. The more jumps you make, the longer each jump, the more tired you get; and your body is still under the impression it should being held at -60 degrees Celsius at thirty atmospheres of pressure in a gel medium. You’ll be paying for it in the morning, your spine, meninges, intestines, eardrums and, for some reason, toenails are telling you.

Before the traceries of violet lightning have died away, the compact, dark woman in scrubs is yelling at you.

You’re in the right place, anyway. You saw the sign just down the street as you ‘ported along the bus lane. Now you just need to get this... Osprey... some medical attention. And a top quality dentist.

Last edited by Dirigible; 2nd of July, 2004 at 18:11.
  #177  
Unread 2nd of July, 2004, 20:06
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Bolt, the Mechanic, Wreck

The ‘copters come down with immaculate timing.

Jerry O’Malley, channeling some vast, cosmic criminal zeitgeist, actually had the nerve to say “You’ll never get the charges to stick, you feckers...”, before Wreck convinced him to shut up. He didn’t even have to kick the gangster that hard. Maybe it wasn’t O’Malley’s fault, exactly; he had been slapped around by someone who can crush bricks in his fist. Hamlet, on the other hand, knows exactly how much trouble he’s in, and keeps schtumm. Both men kneel quietly, their hands bound with plastic cuffs provided by the Mechanic.

Wreck leans against the back of the BMW, working the knots out of his muscles and keeping a baleful eye on the two hoods. Occassionally, he glances across at where Bolt and the Mechanic are kneeling and standing over the broken body of Actinic. Guilt isn’t an emotion Wreck is used to feeling; everyone who got in his way is down; shouldn’t he be happy?

Bolt presses the tarpaulin around the girl. It’s dirty, but so’s the floor. Nothing you can do about that now. Unlike Wreck, Bolt feels... pretty good. There was violence, and it cut through the doubt. There was... is... pain, and it cut through the self-pity. But in a small way, there was triumph. And suddenly everything... doesn’t seem so bad. Of course, in a little while he’s going to start feeling guilty for feeling good that Osprey and this stupid kid were put in a critical condition... but that’s later.

The Mechanic watches the girl with something like sympathy writ on his features. A few commands routed through the laptop, and the drones have quieted down, falling back into hibernation mode.

“Mechanic...” Stone’s voice comes clearly through the comlink. “I’m sorry someone’s... been keeping me out of the loop. That man Quantum, yes he’s a teleporter, and yes he’s on our side. I’m not sure where they brought him in from... could be anywhere, given his power.”

Rotors, comming in low.

If this was a movie, the score would swell dramatically here.

Wreck looks up to the ceiling. The greasy light glints on his white, muscle-rimmed eyes and sets off the rough lines of his face.

Bolt stands, moving faster than any camera can follow. His face is calm but ready.

The Mechanic turns, coat flaring behind and around him as shards of glass fall like glittering daggers.

The ‘copter’s blades cast down sheets of wind that fall like hammers on the already broken skylights. The rest of the panes break and fall, scattering on the concrete and the dislodged pile of crates. Spotlights arc down like sodium-yellow knives.

Through the front door, you here hard-soled shoes tapping on the floor, even over the deafening roar of the ‘copters. As you all squint in the harsh light, the form of three men can be made out. Two in bulky urban combat gear, looking like SWAT troopers, MP-5’s angled downwards but ready for use. Between then a meter ahead walks a tall, gaunt man with cold, pale skin and dead eyes. Bolt recognizes him; but even for the other two Centinels, suffice to say it’s not love at first sight.

The reptilian-looking man surveys the room. He raises his gloved hand and gestures sharply. The SWAt men dart intot he room, a dozen more of them jogging out of the darkness made impeneterable by the lights that fall on you. The armed men spread out throgh the warehouse, rounding up the captured and unconscious members of the Hammer’s group. The gaunt man makes his way towards Bolt and the Mechanic; behind him come a pair of nervous loooking paramedics, not unusual except for the red and black Cenurion armbands they wear. It makes them look uncomfortably like the SS.

Over by Wreck, two men grab each of the bound mafiosos, and start to drag them out of the warehouse.

The gaunt man kneels by Actinic’s body, gently peeling the tarpaulin back for her arm. He presses his fingers into her wrist, measuring the pulse and lifts her dark, blood-stained arm to my face.

sniff, sniff

“Good... still alive...” he murmurs. And the way he says it tells you, unquestionably, that his gladness has nothing to do with her wellbeing. He stands, and the paramedics close in.

“You are to be commended.” His soft vice rasps, barely audible as the ‘copters howl. “You took a difficult task and performed... adequately.” His eys glint in the bright light. Dead-looking.
  #178  
Unread 3rd of July, 2004, 05:37
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Originally Posted by Dirigible The brightness resolves. There s slight click as the man’s soft shows hit the grimy tiles of the medical center’s floor. A healthy, ordinary looking guy, carrying another in his arms; a slender young man... a tattered bullet proof vest peeking out from under his suit...

”What the hell is this?” the nurse screamed at Quantum.
Quantum steps back involuntarily at the nurse's outburst. He's been in medical facilities enough to know not to piss off the nurse. Trying to keep his voice level, and put at least a modicum of authority into it, he gives her the simplest answer he can think of on short notice.

"Centinels, ma'am. Ran into trouble. One wounded; Osprey here needs help. Can I get a bed for him?" Involuntarily, he glances around and realizes that he's taken out several lights and made a mess of some chairs. Damn. And I really need to sit down. "Sorry about the lights -- I'll make sure the damage gets paid for." Likely, they'll take it out of my check. Guess that's the way it happens.
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  #179  
Unread 6th of July, 2004, 21:15
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The Mechanic
The laptop hums quietly under Robert's arm as he quickly asesses the Centinels strongarm squad that just entered the warehouse. The Man in the suit, that seems awfully reptilian, is looking over the downed meta who Viscid reffered to as Actinic.
"Well... if she's still kicking I'm going to make sure she stays that way. Step aside.." He says striding over and kneeling at the womans side.. pulling new tools, pressure injectors and vials from impact resistant compartments within his armor.
Right... Basic medical... Biology... lets' see what we can do here.
he thinks to himself as he examines the woman more closely... looking for specifics. Another vial and syringe take a blood sample and stow it away for later examination...

OOC: Medicine check: Taking 20... Using gadgets to do some minor repairs (don't have book with me.. leave attribute used to DM at the moment.) Then keeping an eye on her till Paramedics get here... or a med squad from the Centinels.
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  #180  
Unread 9th of July, 2004, 02:31
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Bolt

Ryan instinctively takes a few steps away from the reptilian-looking man, from the look on his face its clear that he doesn't like this man. "Yea, thanks for the compliment... I think."

"So, is she going to be ok?" He asks Robert as he tends to the woman, "she looks pretty young to be in this line of business." a sharp pain in his stomache reminds him that he has been hurt as well.
  #181  
Unread 10th of July, 2004, 16:56
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Quantum

The nurse mouths the word Centinels after you say it. Her eyes flick to the computer monitor, or perhaps the pile of papers and PostIts next to it, and she stands stiffly for a moment, then takes half a step towards the phone.

“No, dammit.” She stops, and pushes her way out form behind the reception desk, scraping a hand through her dark, wavy hair. She gets close enough to see Osprey, then looks up at Quantum. “GSW? And it looks like someone from Thug Eye For The Straight Guy decided to redecorate his face.” Her joke sounds extraordinarily callous, but maybe that’s a survival mechanism that comes with the job.

“Emergency ward’s this way..” she turns and jogs down a hall, glancing back over her shoulder at Quantum. “Put him on here...” pulling a trolley from a side room and wheeling out.

Mechanic & Bolt

The roar of the ‘copters settles into a soft hum as they land somewhere nearby, giving your ringing ears a break.

The paramedics Mr. Reptile brought with him seem to have the situation well in hand, without your help. They gentle lever the girl’s crumpled body onto a stretcher and lift it smoothly up with the aid of hydraulics. As one of the paramedics and SWAT men wheel her out towards the waiting ambulance, the other looks sharply at Bolt.

“What was that? Are you injured, too?” It sounds almost like an accusation, as if you did it deliberately to make his life harder.

Meanwhile, Mr. Reptile is a few paces away, studying the pile of weapons crates with his arms folded. If his face shows an expression, it is like an art expert surveying the newly restored Mona Lisa.
  #182  
Unread 11th of July, 2004, 08:01
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Wreck

Adequately. Wreck stops just short of bristling at the remark. To be truthful, things had very nearly gone to hell. Viscid in his lungs, Ospey being slapped around like, well, how Wreck had hit the girl. And that damned teleporter, what exactly happened with him anyway?

His eyes stray to the young woman being tended by Bolt and the medics. He hadn't meant to hit her that hard. Why'd she get in his way? She practically asked for it.

He tries to rationalize, tries to dog the unaccustomed guilt, and succeeds, if only a little. She was one the wrong side, that's all, and she sure as hell would've done the same to Wreck had she been given the chance. Kill or be killed, or in this case, wreck or be Wrecked.

She was god damned stupid for going after me. Why didn't she hit the gear head? He'd go down quicker than a 29th street girl.

"Screw this," he says to no one in particular and lifts off the ground, using his flight to escape from the scene, if not his feelings.

High above the city he tries to find solace, tries to find reward in the ten grand he's to receive. The thought of that money does make him feel better, and a smile begins to form on his face. Maybe he'd hit girls like that every day so long as he got ten g's for it.

Wreck soars back to the Centinel Building, eager to collect for a honest day's work.
  #183  
Unread 11th of July, 2004, 12:58
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Quantum

Quantum carefully lays Osprey on the gurney, and hastily steps out of the way as an orderly wheels it down the hall. Another one walks alongside, clipboard in hand, asking questions. The procession soon turns a corner, leaving Quantum standing in the hall.

Suddenly, he's struck with an intense feeling of déjà vu. Against his will, his mind dredges up three-year old memories of this very hospital, this same emergency ward, this hallway.

His body, crushed and battered, lying on a gurney. An orderly taking notes from his drivers' license, while another attaches sensors, a breathing-tube, an IV drip. The words critical condition work their way through a haze of unconsciousness.

Rewind.

Sitting behind the wheel of his Freightliner, tooling down Interstate 90 with a trailer full of furniture. Four car-lengths ahead, someone slams on the brakes, and is struck by the car behind him. Everything in his path suddenly screeches to a metal-grinding halt, and he's going too fast to be able to react. Reflexes kick in automatically, however, and he attempts to swerve.

The sound of the fifth wheel snapping was like a pistol-shot to the base of the spine. The sudden jarring swings the cab sharply to the left -- for a moment, he can see straight across the opposite lanes -- but the cab's forward momentum carries on.

The rapid swing to the left changes to spinning, rolling over, crashing into ashphalt. The cab lands on its side, bounces onto its top, and comes down on its other side, where one of the stopped cars deflects it. It smashes into pavement again, this time face-down, and the windshield shatters into a spray of glass pellets.

Rewin--

--with an effort, Quantum shakes himself out of his reverie. No. Things have changed. Times are different now. I'm different now. Woodenly, he walks out of the ER, barely noting his surroundings.

Once outside, he cranes his head back, taking deep breaths. It seems to help; his head clears, and the trauma of the past gets put back in its customary place. Thinking more clearly, he walks out into the parking lot; reaching a clear stretch of pavement, he draws on hidden reserves, calling a sphere of reality-warping energies around him.

As the globe of power forms, he utilizes one of the properties Dr. Chen had stumbled upon -- the laws of physics don't cross the threshold. Force, mass, inertia, all stop when they reach the edge of the circle. And when mass is no longer an issue, gravity becomes something to watch from a distance. Ergo, anything within the sphere is only subject to gravity within its confines... and there isn't enough mass within it to have a gravitational field. Some of the specifics are still lost on Quantum, but the end result is easy enough -- he can make the sphere go wherever he wants, and it takes him along for the ride. Simply put, he can fly.

Slowly at first, he lifts off the ground, floating like a soap-bubble or that good witch from The Wizard of Oz. Once he's clear of the cars and minivans, he wills the sphere to move laterally, and it immediately launches itself across the lot. He doesn't even notice the acceleration, nor does he lurch to the side when he takes a 90-degree turn.

Drifting in the center of the sphere as it gains altitude, he fishes the PDA he was given, calling up a map of the city. The Centinel headquarters blinks a cheery yellow circle in the corner, and he aims himself in that direction.

Time to get some answers. I need to know what the hell's going on.
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