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Old 06-10-2017, 11:34 AM   #177
Icelander
 
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Default Camp O'Toole

While Dr. Anderson and Townsend closet themselves off with creepy Nurse McRae, Agent O’Toole busies himself with getting an accurate count of everyone on Jewell Island, their current location and status. There are only 42 patients, which means that the staff is substantially reduced from what it was in the peak operational years of the Manhanock Asylum for the Criminally Insane.

Aside from the Kirkland Plan complex of the asylum itself, there are apartment buildings for the male and female nursing and orderly staff on the grounds, the guard barracks and cottages for medical staff who choose to live on site. There are also several older buildings, not currently in use, two houses that were formerly TB quarantine sites, farm buildings, repair shops, salvage sheds. The power facilities remain in use, but with fairly modern diesel generators having replaced 19th century coal furnaces long ago, require far less effort to maintain.

Jewell Island is close enough to Portland for people to take the ferry home at the end of every day if they want. Most of the non-medical staff do not do this, however, instead electing to stay on the island for up to a week of watches and on-call duty and then having up to a week off duty. There are several doctors and nurses who commute from Portland for all of their duties, but others live in cottages or apartments on Jewell Island.

Of those personnel who have part- or full-time homes on Jewell Island, few live in the main asylum buildings. The two apartment buildings outside the walled grounds of the asylum were originally meant for the male and female nurses, but with the reduced staff, even the orderlies can rent comfortable furnished rooms there. The Chief Administrator, Deputy Warden and the heads of psychiatric and physical medicine all get a furnished cottage on the island as part of their employment package and all of them have chosen to live there.

Whether medical personnel, orderlies, custodial or kitchen staff, few people voluntarily stay on Jewell Island over a weekend unless they have a duty shift or are part of the senior administrative staff. As a result, apart from the guards, only a minimal staff was present on the island for the events of Friday night. Those who had the day shift on Friday were in the apartment buildings during the excitement of the night and only turned up after the shooting and circling helicopters alerted them that anything was out of the ordinary.

Agent O’Toole is not sure he can believe the protestations of various staff that they had absolutely no idea about the increasingly insane behaviour of Deputy Warden Tyrrell, the mounting paranoia and survivalist militia apocalyptic preparations of the guard force or Dr. Cotton’s unethical pseudo-scientific ‘experiments’ slash live-action Brazil remake.

On the other hand, the from what Bob the orderly and others say, Deputy Warden Tyrrell successfully created a climate of fear and distrust on the island over the last few years. If Tyrrell had a way to plausibly threaten the families of anyone considering reporting his behaviour, as Dr. Anderson says that the guard Hayden Avery reported to him, perhaps that goes some way toward explaining how things could get this bad on Jewel Island without Homeland Security becoming aware of it.

Of course, the man responsible for filing reports to the DHS on the Manhanock Guard force, Inspector Kevin Rankin, seemed to have had his brains scrambled pretty thoroughly. Taking a statement from him was pretty much a waste of time. Allegedly, his memory had more holes in it than the plot of Lost. And O’Toole is pretty sure that while Inspector Rankin might be lying to conceal culpability at some point, he’s probably not faking his current sorry state of anxious confusion, profound ignorance of present events and general mental incompetence. Whatever happened to Rankin, it left him a hollowed-out shell.

Hollowed-out shell is also an apt description of Chief Administrator Dr. Vernon Findlay. Catatonic when O’Toole found him, he’s been put to bed in a temporary sick-room after Dr. Anderson ministered to him. Anyone else without serious physical injuries has similarly been found a bed in the main building, leaving the infirmary for Col. Burr, Vicente Berrocal and Agent Banks, as well as those of the Manhanock staff evaluated as critical casualties.

Foremost among those critical casualties are the two guards who were badly burned by flashbangs. Russell Tucker was in the tunnels under Manhanock Asylum when an M84 stun grenade strapped to his chest went off and Frederick Pierce was trying to throw another M84 in the main building when he was shot in the face with a beanbag and subsequently was still holding the flashbang when it exploded. Tucker is badly burnt over his entire upper torso and Pierce will almost certainly lose his hand even if he is lucky enough to live. Both of them are fairly likely to succumb to lethal infections due to the massive third degree burns they suffered.

The others are mainly guards that Chase Taylor violently subdued. From what O’Toole can tell, most suffered only cuts and bruises. One guard lost an eye to a beanbag, however, and three of the guards were beaten much more severely than the others. O’Toole understands why Taylor battered Ethan Ball, the guard on duty when they first came into J Wing to meet patient Bell. The man was a pervert who spent his duty time leering at Taylor’s precious Cherry Bell on that off-the-books surveillance camera and probably raped her every chance he got. As motives for a beating go, that's pretty solid.

O’Toole doesn’t really know what prompted Taylor to cripple Benjamin Hewitt and Harold Lamb in the rear annex of the main building, however. Oh, Hewitt was the guard who originally took them to Bell’s room and O’Toole supposes he might have been slipping the little hoodsie the hot beef injection too, along with half the guard force, but frankly, Hewitt looked too chicken-[excrement] to ever take the initiative in any kind of crime.

If Hewitt had her, then a lot of people on the guard force must have had her before him, and it seems excessive to shatter Hewitt’s knee, crush his nuts and break his jaw over something everybody did. And Lamb was just about the least likely of the guards to have harmed Taylor’s little lust object, but something made Taylor put him in critical care with possible kidney damage and internal bleeding.

O’Toole briefly considered the wisdom of having any kind of interaction with Cherry Bell. Taylor could be counted on to leap to conclusions about anyone spending time with her and he seemed to have a pretty violent way of asserting ownership. Taylor was obviously insanely jealous when he met him coming from J Wing and if he hadn’t been almost dead on his feet, things could have turned unpleasantly physical.

On the other hand, while O’Toole wasn’t any kind of kung-fu-fighting GI Joe, he did grow up in Boston’s Southie and instinctively rebelled against backing down from any threat of a physical altercation, regardless of whether Taylor’s antipathy was based on incorrect assumptions or not. Cherry Bell can contact Vargas. Vargas might consent to meet with her. She might be the last stage of my search. No [fornicating] way some love-crazed PTSD-jockey is gonna [fornicate] that up.

After finishing the list of people on the island, their status and locations, O’Toole confirms that Dr. Anderson and Townsend have vacated the Deputy Warden’s office and again appropriates it as his headquarters. He has a couple of orderlies escort Nurse McRae to the infirmary to get rid of her creepy presence. The drugged patient in the office that Nurse McRae shot full of some drug has also been removed to the infirmary.

The corpse of Dr. Cotton is still there, but has been covered by a sheet. The smell of congealing blood and the brains splashed over the wall is gag-inducing, but no other room has the wide range of surveillance monitors and communications devices that the Deputy Warden’s office boasts. O’Toole picks up the handset for the radio and contacts the former Coast Guard incident commander, now reduced to commanding the perimeter while he waits for Onyx Rain.

Agent O’Toole: “This is O’Toole at Manhanock. What’s the ETA on someone to relieve me here? Over.”
CPT Michael Baroody: “The new Incident Commander is one Curtis J. Ford of the Homeland Security Office of Operations Coordination. I expect you know him better than I, because I don’t know him from Adam. All I know is that he’s flying out to Fort Dix and he’ll be on site before morning. As will the Atlantic Strike Force and a lot of Homeland Security medical personnel. You’re quarantined, Agent O’Toole. As is everyone else on Jewell Island. You lot better start preparing for a camp-out, because you’ll be watching the game there on Sunday. Hell, you might be there for even longer, depending on how much is true of these rumours flying around. I wish you luck, Agent O’Toole. Over.”
O’Toole: “Uh, thanks, sir. I’ve got a doctor telling me that we shouldn’t eat or drink any of the stuff here. What is everyone here going to live on? We’ve got some ninety people already and if there are more coming, what little the snack machines had isn’t going to stretch. Over.”
Baroody: “We’ll be supplying you. Submit a list of your requirements as soon as possible. Over.”
O’Toole: “Will do, sir. Out.”

O’Toole sighs and makes a note to find out about supplies at some point. Then he starts figuring out what guards and orderlies he can trust to make rounds and makes a call to the medical unit to delegate all responsibility there to Dr. Anderson.
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Last edited by Icelander; 06-11-2017 at 08:08 AM.
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