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 A Long Time Coming - Super

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FoxFireAlchemist
Dark Ducklett Priestess
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Posts : 1695
Poké : 12858
Join date : 2012-07-29
Age : 22
Location : Location, Location.

PostSubject: A Long Time Coming - Super   Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:29 am

I was prepared for a lot of things when I got myself involved in this mess. I was prepared for guns, and I was prepared for violence. I was prepared to do anything to take back what was mine, and I was more than welcomed death at the penalty if I failed. As far as I was concerned, those were the risks and I'd earned the consequences.

What actually happened, though... threw me for a loop.

It was 3:13 AM, with my target time window rapidly approaching. I had just finished navigating the maze of traps and guards set up by the men holding my files hostage. Seems everybody and their grandma wants in on the genetic enhancement business these days, so they come looking for scraps­. I wasn’t exactly shocked by it; I never really knew vultures to be picky scavengers. I had a simple solution for simple problems like this: get to the other side of the street and wait for this big exchange to happen, then make some dirty feathers fly. That was my exact plan when I pulled myself up to that rooftop and positioned myself adjacent to the office where they were going to exchange my research off to some foreign asshole. It was all well and good, until gunshots started to ring out in the office about ten minutes too early. I was completely bewildered, but I had to get over there and intervene before everything was lost.

There were four visible toughs in the room when I crashed through the glass wall, which was strange. I had been expecting five. All of them were already confused, shouting at each other, looking at the wall, looking at me; basically doing everything but what they were supposed to be doing. That was great for me. They went down to the assault rifle fire far faster than I had originally anticipated, which was fantastic for me. This.... had been far too easy for two months of planning. I immediately suspected a setup, but nothing changed as I crouched in the silence of the room. No footsteps, no men jumping out of walls screaming, and no knockout gas… just the silence. Clearly, something had screwed them up; but what was that something?

As I walked around the table to grab the briefcase with my stuff in it, I got my answer.

I found this other vigilante with a ski mask and a fedora just sitting there, dying against a wall. He had a PI gettup that would have been pretty sick, were it not soaked in blood. Probably around my age, if I had to guess. Based on what I had experienced up to this point I could only guess that he'd gotten himself caught by the guards; maybe he had slipped up or maybe he didn't know about the extra guard swap these hired guns used every hour. The missing fifth fucker that got him was already dead, but in the state Mr. “lone ranger” was in he wasn't far behind.

There was a good minute where we just stared each other down, before I realized I didn't have time for that shit if I wanted to save him AND get out before the reinforcements could pull up. I pulled the toolbox off my back and approached him wordlessly. Probably a mistake, in hindsight.

He started squirming away from me like a dying animal still clinging to life. He tried to threaten me with his handgun, choking out a stilted "Back off" through the pain he was causing himself. The effort was forcing more blood out of a ghastly wound I could see with more and more clarity as I got closer. The way it spurted out of his shoulder told me he was sporting a damaged artery. I put the hand that wasn't holding my massive tool kit up in warning.

"Woah, woah, calm down! I'm going to help you," I called out, grabbing the assault rifle off my back and setting it slowly and gently on the floor as a show of goodwill. "I can't remove these, they're attached to my suit," I explained further, gesturing to the two grappling guns at my hips. He did not budge, his pistol still aimed at my head. I watched him the whole time, counting his breaths in the back of my head to try and keep myself calm. They were fast and slight, and I could just tell he was working himself into a panic. A panic that would kill him.
"Come on now," I reasoned a little more forcefully, "we both know that your artery's clipped. Any more of that and you're not long for this world." I saw him wince at that, likely thinking of the people that would miss him when he was gone. The gun fell a little bit, now pointed at my leg. I took a few cautious steps forward, pausing for a moment.

"You don't have a lot to lose," I added pointedly, pleading for him to just let up already.

He really had to fight to put the pistol down and let me over to him. He exhibited a kind of hyperparanoia that only manifests with PTSD and other serious anxiety disorders. I wouldn't have put him past having one. I opened my kit and expanded it so that everything was readily disposed to me. He looked over at it warily, despite my insistence that they were all medical grade supplies. He let me continue nevertheless, but not without making me warn him to relax again under the same threat of death imminent death.

With the floodlight on my shoulder on I cut his clothes away and began examining his wound. As I did his story became clearer and clearer to me. Only one bullet, entry and exit wound. I recognized the jagged pattern his torn flesh formed as the signature of an assault-caliber "rending round," a bullet with jagged teeth that was designed to do as much residual damage as possible in the hopes of just such an outcome. They were slow, cruel killers that I was unfortunately well-acquainted with. I had taken a few myself in critical areas back in my military days; they were behind my switch from “active-duty nurse” to “active-duty researcher”. On the bright side, the bullet had missed his bones and internal organs. That said, he had no shortage of muscle damage and, more urgently, a clipped subclavian. Thankfully, a clipped subclavian is not a severed subclavian, which would have been 100 times more impossible to treat in the field. Considering the circumstances, I deemed he could get by with just the reconstruction of his artery if he had an emergency transfusion.

I could feel him twinge as I reached into his flesh and pinched his artery shut manually while I grabbed a small clamp. My heart fell a bit despite the focus I was trying to maintain. The feeling of being that close to death that somebody had to reach in and physically hold the blood inside of you... No matter how many times I see it, it will never be a scenario I can fully stomach. Nobody deserves to have to live through that, let alone die like that. However, that was the situation we were in regardless of how I felt about it. There was no changing it, either – I’m no super. All I could do was just what I did best. I clamped the artery and pulled out a pre-loaded anesthetic needle with something to numb the surrounding muscle.

Of course, he stopped me.

"No needles," he rasped sternly, "No injections."

The expression behind my helmet was incredulous. "Don't be stupid," I insisted. "It's Lidocaine, barely enough to numb you. It comes from a reputable hospital; it-"

"No," he spat. "I can't trust what you say."

I could hardly process his stubborn insistence. "You want me to re-construct your artery and shoulder with NO anesthesia? Is that what I'm hearing?"

He didn't budge, and I didn't have time to keep arguing about it. I made my frustration known through a rough growl, giving him one last chance to pick the smart option. His expressionless mask did nothing to alleviate the disdain I felt emanating from him; in fact, it made him seem more dismissive. Begrudgingly, I relented under the pressure, and set the syringe back in the case. I pulled out a plastic mouth guard in its place, just a neutral-colored cylinder no more than 5 inches in length and thick enough to prevent the jaw from shattering it. The least I could do at this point was ensure that he didn't pulverize his teeth while I worked.

"Open," I instructed, not bothering to even address his mask as I had already wasted enough time on fruitless endeavors. I could tell by the way his jaw shifted under the fabric that he had obeyed, and I shoved the bar into the place where I approximated his mouth was. He bit down, suspending the mouth guard in the black void of fabric that was his face. There was no doubt he needed it while I opened up the wound a smidge more with a scalpel so that I could better access the damage. The spacers I inserted to keep him open probably didn’t feel too good, either. They were nothing compared to what he was going to experience next, though. With an access point open, it was time to fix the most pressing of the man's wounds. I pulled out my cauterizer and warned simply, "I'm gonna burn your artery now - Deep breath on my mark."

I really wanted to emphasize how much pain he was about to put himself through, but I chose to take the high road and just count to three instead of rubbing it in. I heard more than enough regret to sate me in the screams that followed.

Thankfully, I got his subclavian closed without too many complications. One little leak sprung up after I finished the first pass, but another go-over saw it completely fixed in a matter of seconds. A few stitches closed the muscle around it, and then it was just a matter of repairing the outer muscle and skin. He spit out the mouth guard around this time and refused it when I offered it back. It seemed the pain of the sutures was pale in comparison to what he had just experienced, or perhaps the area was numb from the blood loss and adrenaline. I couldn’t help but be the slightest bit impressed. He was an idiot, but he stayed very still throughout everything - even despite the soul-crushing levels of pain he had to have been experiencing. He had absolutely inhuman grit to back up that dangerous persistence. I complimented him as such.

"I've had to do things like this before," he grunted back.

"Cauterizing your arteries?"

"Well, not to that extent... just stitching. You know."

"That sounds sanitary." I quipped.

"I take all necessary health precautions," he mumbled back.

"I take it that means an ambulance is out of question?"

"Yes. No ambulances, no hospitals. None of that."

I rolled my eyes, not that he could see it. "And how are you planning on getting home? Who's going to check to make sure that artery stays closed?"

"I'll figure something out. I have a car," he grunts dismissively while trying to stand up before I'm done. So god damn stubborn; he was going to be the death of me. The death of both of us, really. I quickly moved to stop him before he tore out the stitches or hurt himself more.

In that instant, the pistol was back out and aimed before I even had time to blink. I felt my heart leap into my throat. I had completely put this possibility out of my mind; but sure, it made sense that a jumpy man with minimal trust in me would jump to retaliate like that. Still, there had been some part of me that had gotten comfortable, or maybe a better word would be secure. (In hindsight, the fact that I was that secure around an unpredictable stranger validates a lot of things people have said about me.) I didn’t even have the time to choke out a "n-uh" before my ears were ringing and the barrel of his gun was smoking.

Somehow, despite what should have been an obvious end, I wasn’t dead. Or maybe we had both died at the same time, and purgatory was just an eternity with a half-dead crazy man. I was willing to believe either as I stared blankly into the man’s mask, but the corpse that fell onto my back directly after that was pretty definitive proof of the former. I turned around and could only stare at the goon who had nearly offed me in shock, until the sound of the man coughing startled me out of it.

“I don’t know about you-” he wheezed.

I whirled my head back around to face him.

“-but I’d rather be in pain and alive, than numb with us dead.”

I had nothing for that. He was being a cocky shit and he knew it; I could hear it in that small twist of humor that somehow bled into his weak voice. …Maybe that was a poor choice of words, but it was true nonetheless. I could almost feel his coy smirk as he began to keel over into unconsciousness in front of me.

“Holy shit,” I sputtered to only myself now as I reached out to catch him, trying to prevent his limp body from contorting in a way that would pop his stitches – or worse, his weak subclavian. “Oh, god, really?” I asked the unconscious man. “And you want to drive a car??” Of course, he gave no answer. I sighed heavily into the fresh silence and huffed out a “dafty cunt” at a man who could not hear it. It still felt good.

This situation was getting more and more unstable in ways that I couldn’t handle on the fly like this. The backup guns were imminent, and with each passing second I could feel the bullets they were going to plug me and this man with. The sutures were mostly set, but he still needed blood and fluids. Not to mention all the emancipated blood was getting dry and sticky and disgusting and the disgusting feeling was decidedly not helping. I looked around helplessly as I tried to come up with options. I was completely overwhelmed with everything going on; but honestly, how does one properly treat this whole backwards comedy of a situation? What was I supposed to do???

---

Back in my apartment; a quarter to eight.

I was still in full gear, much to my body’s dismay. If I had had the time I would have changed and been knocking back rye bourbon and flavored vodka until I was blue in the face in commemoration of the absolute feat I had just pulled. Instead, I was sitting at the edge of my bathtub, watching vigil over a freshly disrobed, partially tied up unconscious man while blood dripped from my arm into his via a vein-to-vein drip bag.
In any other circumstance, at least half of that statement would have been hilariously kinky to me. At that particular moment, however, I was still trying to process how the fuck I had managed to get myself here.
It started back in the haze that followed my heist, in which I deemed it acceptable to bring an anxious and unpredictable stranger back to my personal apartment. On arriving there, I had to figure out where to put him. My first and obvious thought was to set him up in my bed, which would have been a safe and comfortable place for him to rest up. The only issue was the dried blood and filth he was covered it, which was gonna have to be removed in order to keep his very delicate wounds from being infected. There was no reason to make myself move him twice, so into the tub he went. The clothes also had to come off, being that they were also filthy and covered with whatever was on the floor of that abandoned office besides rats. It was fine, I had to do a load of laundry anyways. The actual act of removing the clothes, however, was entirely unpleasant. I’m used to the smell of gore, so I can tolerate it fine. In combination with the sticky red mess making the fabrics stick to his skin… It was enough to make me curl my nose a bit, at least. Poor guy couldn’t help it, but he was grody. I left him his mask and his undies so he’d at least have his dignity if he woke up before I could dress him. That reminded me that he would inevitably wake up. He wouldn’t stay calmly unconscious forever; he would wake up in a foreign place and probably panic and fight and rip his wounds open. It gave me a headache and it hadn’t even happened yet. Not to worry, I just continued the ongoing trend of absolutely great ideas by grabbing whatever tethers I had on hand and using them to tie his arms to his torso. “Perfectly logical, right?” I reasoned with myself. That way, if he did decide to have a good morning panic attack, he wouldn’t go and put himself back into a high-risk situation. Those had been my thoughts at the time, at least, disregarding the fact that waking up tied up would only increase his likelihood of fighting. It was the best I could do, though; Imperfect problems beget imperfect solutions.

And that was the line of thought that had perched me on my bathtub, chugging gatorade so I wouldn’t dehydrate while giving the man blood.

Fortunately for him, it had been a while since I had last shot myself up. The level of synthetic adrenaline in my blood was relatively low (for me, anyways), so the worst he’d probably experience was an earlier wake up call and some heart flutters. Unfortunately for me, it had been a while since I had last shot myself up. I was starting to get the headaches and the shakes and the sweats of an oncoming withdrawal. I couldn’t take anything until he was sufficiently hydrated, so in an effort to keep myself from becoming a cranky cunt I started counting the scars on his body. There were plenty of all different kinds to keep me occupied; a bullet scar here, a knife slash there, shrapnel scars all over his feet and legs. Seemed he was no stranger to scraps.

I found myself softening just a little bit as I looked him over. His skin alone told a deeper story than anyone’s words could, with all those scars spelling out a very long legacy of violence. He had marks in all stages of healing, from old and white to fresh and pink. It made me a bit sad for him, as I pondered what he had been through over the years. I could empathize with the struggles and sorrows of working alone. Though, I acknowledged that I had only found him alone. I had no idea if he really worked alone.

It crossed my mind soon after that he may well have been at odds with me; he had been at my heist after all. In fact, it was around that time that I started to feel nervous about that very possibility. I still had no idea why he may have wanted my stuff; why he was willing to face five armed men to get to it. I felt the hair on the back of my neck prickle just a bit as I considered the possibility that I’d been followed. Only a senseless moron would bring that kind of person into their home, possibly allowing other adversaries on to the trail.

It wasn’t enough to make me want to turn him away, though. Perhaps it was reckless self-endangerment. It was definitely due at least in part to the fact that I had lost all interest in whether I ultimately lived or died. But as I was sitting there considering all the possibilities, I couldn’t help but remind myself that there was just as much a chance of him being an innocent as there was of him being an enemy. He could just as easily be someone giving his all to pursue something that he believed in, and there was just as much of a chance of that thing was something beneficial as there was of that thing being something harmful. In fact, there were probably equal parts of everything in him. Quite frankly, I knew that regardless of the outcome, I wasn’t willing to let him suffer or die because I was afraid of him posing a threat to me.

It wasn’t something I could say about every single person I had crossed paths with, I realized. I didn’t think anything of shooting the men who had stolen my documents; it had been necessary to further the end of retrieving the hospital records. Why had that been different? Well, they had personally slighted me by attacking Brigantia, I supposed. But it was the fact that it was Brigantia, specifically; they could have stolen my tv or my beanbag chairs and I just would have bought new ones. Stealing my personal things like pictures or books would have upset me deeply, but I wouldn’t kill over that. So it wasn’t personal things specifically that was the root of my desensitization…

Before I could really get into analyzing any further, the timer on my phone signaled me to disconnect the blood transfusion and start him on fluids. I gratefully removed the line from my arm and hooked it up to the IV bag currently hanging from the towel rack, professional procedure be damned. Not that I wasn’t thoroughly enjoying my time with the unconscious masked man. He had a lot of interesting things to say. Jokes aside, sitting on the edge of the tub any longer was going to cause my leg to fall off. I was STARVING. Worst of all, my suit was downright crispy inside from all of the dried fluids.

I was worried about his condition, but at this rate I was going to pass out. As long as he was off of death’s doorstep, a little self-care was PRIORITY NUMERO UNO.

_________________




Å͙͍̳̣͙͕̎b̵͉͔̺̱͍̹̼̋̈a̧̯̱͓̝̰n̟̖̈́ͯd̡̫͇̤̙̹̻̈õ̶͙̆́ͨ̀̃ͥn̟̖̪͍̤̋ͅ ̜̦̠̔̾á̛͖͎̥͎̭͑̽ļ̭͎͙͕̗̽ͯ̅l̩ ̢͖̲͎̤̲ͤͭ̈͛̑̃ḧͩͦ̆ͣ͏̤̭̱̳̮o̫̦̱͇͂ͨp̴̱eͥ̐̍͛ͥ,͍͔̼̜̜͇ ̙͙͂ͪ̇ͭ̎͝y̴̬̒͌͑ͅe̹̟͍͓ ̥̈́͜w͈̝̞̦̘͖̯͗ͤ̊̿ͣ͒ḧ̨͂͊̅̆o̫̜̰ͣ̅̎̊̈̍́ ̴̠̺ͩ͆ͫͣͭͤ̓ͅe̡̳̩̟͓ñ̥̥̹̜t͔̩̜̃ͦ̋ͣė͙̳̯̣̼̈́ͅr̿̓́ ̈͑҉̫̘̠̱͎̰T̵̘̘̗̺͓͍̦ͤ̒̇ͮH̰̺̰̲̦̖͖͚́̄ͮ̋͝Ệ̫͕͂͝ ̢̹͔͖̗̟̣̬͖̔ͯ̑̽C̫̯͓̥͎͌̓ͬ́ͤ͋̾ͭ̚̕͝Ű̮̟̖̝͙̉ͬ̇R̰̣̰͐͛̀̾̂̊͂̚͢͟͞Ṛ̻̟̱̥̗͎̜̓̊͑̄̊͢E̢̖̬̫̤ͦ̇́͑̓̍̎N̵̮̺̬̣͇͚ͧ̅̀͞T͕̹͕͓̝͕̀ͧͭͤ̍ͪ͟ ̱͍̬̘̖̄ͯͬ͑͊ͣͥͦ͘͢͢P̢͓͓͕̦͎̝̮͛ͪͅL̢̬͔͚̦͚̮̒̆͗͛O̸̧̟̻̞ͣ͊ͮ̏T̺̻͖̲̞́ͬ͐̒ͤ̿̀

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