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Old 03-20-2017, 03:28 PM   #111
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Default Re: Everything is Awesome

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
  • OOC, there seems to be an unofficial competition between the player of Dr. Dreamweaver (Dr. Michael Anderson) and the Tele-Molestor (Danny O'Toole) for the role of team super-creep and all around worst person in the world. . .
I was wondering what Dr. Anderson had done to earn this reputation?
Quote:
Dr. Anderson amuses himself quite thoroughly running Mrs. York through endless variations of feasts of human flesh, all of which are designed to awaken in her feelings of terror, abhorrence and revulsion at the very idea of consuming it. Human flesh with her face, dreams where she is the main course, enticing meals of human meat which then changes into maggots and rot, flesh which comes to life inside her when being eaten and, of course, flesh which turns out to be that of an accusing and judgmental Agent O’Toole. These latter scenarios appear to be the most effective at terrifying and tormenting Mrs. York.
I understand now. . . Ew.
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:50 AM   #112
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Default Re: Everything is Awesome

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
I was wondering what Dr. Anderson had done to earn this reputation?
Well, there were several other things:
  • In the very first session, Dr. Anderson used his power to detect sleepers and rolled a critical success. He detected a lot of sleeping people, including a terrified, traumatised woman in the tunnels under Manhanock Asylum, having nightmares about the hungry dark and monsters. I don't know exactly how his character was facing at the time, but the evidence suggests that he was detecting Mrs. York, long before O'Toole found her. It might also have been Cindy, the patient that Robert the Orderly was protecting, or even yet another character we haven't rescued. He didn't mention this person to anyone, specifically saying OOC that he knew that Chase Taylor would insist on going to rescue her and thus making everyone's life more complicated. So, really, Dr. Anderson callously left someone in the tunnels way before O'Toole ever did.
  • Dr. Anderson has drained Fatigue Points from every injured person we've encountered. He's a vampire in all but name. OOC, the player is investigating the point cost of Powers that allow him to use the drained Fatigue to power himself.
  • Dr. Anderson has been surreptiously 'testing' his companions, in particular their mental capabilities, willpower and any potential mental powers. He allows Cherry Bell to touch him in order to determine whether or not she can control when she uses her mental powers and also because he's certain that he'll learn more about her powers if she does try than she'll get from him. And he's used his powers to inflict drowsiness over an area when the only people he was certain were within range were Bell and Taylor, it seems mostly to get an idea of how good their mental defences were.*
  • Oh, and his most recent use of his Detect (Sleepers) power has provided him with two rooms where it is likely that the hostages that they are looking for might be kept. One of them explicitly has someone who is angry at O'Toole and is thus very likely to be Burr or Townsend. Is Dr. Anderson telling anyone else about this? No, he is not. Would knowing about it make it more likely that the hostages were rescued? Of course it would.

Granted, some of Dr. Anderson's unwillingness to tell Taylor or anyone else about the things he finds out with his powers is obviously due to the fact that the extent of Dr. Anderson's mastery over sleep and the subconscious is a deep dark secret. Nevertheless, he could always pretend to nap for a while and use his cover story, that he sometimes gets limited flashes of ESP or someting similar while sleeping.

Or, you know, just use the fact that he's the one with Area Knowledge (Manhanock Asylum for the Criminally Insane) to pretend to 'guess' that a given room would be a good place to keep hostages and guide us to where he has detected wounded, sleeping people who are angry at O'Toole!

*Good, it turns out. At least they didn't show any signs of wanting to fall asleep. Unless, of course, that being drowsy made them less able to resist their subconscious desires, as the time when he did this was post #69 'Crash Into Me'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
I understand now. . . Ew.
He doesn't sleep and instead must roam the dreams of others. Which, being an intellectually curious psychiatrist, he uses for 'therapy'. Note that the consent of his patients seems irrelevant to him personally, it's just something he has to worry about in cases where he actually might be personally liable.* If no one will ever find out, he can and obviously will ignore it happily.

He was telling the truth when he was offended at the idea that he'd experiment on children or harm them in any way in post #93 'Rejoice with Me for I have Found My Sheep which Was Lost'. Dr. Anderson loves children.

He just seems to have a rather detached, intellectual, catlike curiousity toward everyone else. You know, Mad Scientist style.

*So far, Dr. Anderson has rolled Law (US Medical) several times to determine how he can best avoid any liability concerns on his adventures. All of these were occasions where he wanted to prevent being held responsible for the possible death or permanent trauma of people he was asked to provide first aid to upon finding them severely injured.
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Old 03-21-2017, 05:50 PM   #113
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Watching the interplay between Bell and Taylor, Dr. Anderson thinks that they’ve got to stop leaving those two alone. They seem to think they’re in a high school version of ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ and it doesn’t seem either of them remembers the ending to that play. O’Toole, having been away from the others for well over an hour, has assumed that these two were some kind of couple from the beginning, anyway. Of course, having them act out relationship drama while armed enemies are hunting them does not please O’Toole one bit. Especially as he’s been made to carry the stretcher with the scary lizard from the tunnels while Bell and Taylor are meant to be covering them.

As soon as Taylor looks away from Cherry Bell in disappointment and starts moving ahead alone, she shoulders her rifle and follows him, doing her best to cover his blind side. Dr. Anderson notices with some interest that she is doing so despite herself and seems angry with herself for not being able to maintain her defiant act. Evidently Ms. Bell has moved on from going along with Taylor’s authority as a sort of game while she manipulates him to actually feeling uncomfortable while trying to defy him.

Dr. Anderson is aware that Ms. Bell’s anti-authoritarian stance is to some degree a pose, of course. Her long illegal detainment may have served to make resentful of the US government and anyone who obviously represents it, like Agent O’Toole or Cam Townsend, but back before all this, Sherilyn Bell was a notably dutiful and respectful subordinate to Dr. Anderson in Project Jade Serenity.

Ms. Bell’s brittle self-image actually makes her very comfortable as a follower to someone she genuinely respects, though she would not easily admit that to others. She also seems to be prone to violently idolizing worldly, confident and forceful older men, which was probably what led her to take part in Raul Vargas’ escape and landed her in Manhanock Asylum. Ms. Bell has never shown any sign of viewing Chase Taylor in any light except that of bumbling teenaged friend, however. Certainly she has never taken him very seriously. Dr. Anderson wonders what could have happened between them in the comparatively short time they were away to change this.

Aware that Ms. Bell’s peculiar psychological weaknesses make her particularly vulnerable to any assertive figure who physically or emotionally abused her, Dr. Anderson is forced to consider that the most plausible explanation for the way they are acting is that an argument between them culminated in physical violence, to which Ms. Bell would sadly be likely to respond with outward defiance, but experience confused feelings of attraction and subordination. On the other hand, having psychologically evaluated Chase Taylor over a period of many months during Project Jade Serenity, Dr. Anderson is unable to imagine any situation where young Taylor would physically assault a woman to enforce his authority.

In any case, Dr. Anderson considers that it is probably a good thing for their survival prospects for Ms. Bell to genuinely acknowledge young Taylor as unambiguously in charge. As long as her defiance remains merely symbolic rebellion, that is. Dr. Anderson is pretty sure that military operations work best when everyone involved is clear on the chain of command. And Taylor certainly seems to be competent enough to qualify as commander.

During Dr. Anderson’s work with the military, he never took much interest in the specialised aspects of the work of the professionals he worked with there and he doesn’t really know how Taylor would compare to other Special Forces personnel who were at Project Jade Serenity, but it seems to be painfully obvious that civilian or reservist security guards are to Green Berets like lapdogs to wolves. If Taylor was more willing to kill the guards he could probably have resolved the situation on Jewell Island by now, ten to one odds or not. Though with O’Toole having rejoined them, Dr. Anderson supposes the odds are more like five to one, now.

Of course, assuming they survive all this, it seems that Ms. Bell resents Taylor for having somehow achieved an ascendancy over her. If she feels that his actions are a betrayal of their friendship, this might make her unable or unwilling to pursue genuine intimacy with him based on their former close friendship. And Dr. Anderson estimates that it will be important to her eventual recovery, if recovery is even possible, for her to be able to interact with someone she perceives as equal and is genuinely fond of for personal reasons. For Ms. Bell to think of Taylor as a replacement for Raul Vargas, dangerous criminal and former Green Beret, would be disastrous to her chances of developing a healthier emotional life and learning to relate to people in a normal way again.

Dr. Anderson is surprised at himself for considering this. Granted, he is supposed to be psychologically evaluating Ms. Bell, but as a potential agent for an intelligence operation, not as his patient. And the life-and-death danger that they face should, in any case, have overridden his assignment. To his astonishment, Dr. Anderson discovers that he actually cares about Ms. Bell’s future happiness, at least in a theoretical kind of way. In fact, he might even be willing to contribute to her chances of having a better life himself, even if doing so should be uncomfortable or risky.

Dr. Anderson immediately rules out her winsome looks as the cause, as he is constantly bombarded with similarly attractive supermodels and actresses in mass media without ever feeling any kind of desire to help them achieve a healthy and rewarding emotional life. No, the most plausible explanation is that Ms. Bell’s gifts from Project Jade Serenity must be affecting him somehow. Either pheromones or some kind of unconscious psychic emanations that make people like her and care for her. Even while he is aware of it, the effect still seems to work on him. How utterly fascinating!

When they get up to the ground level, Taylor scans the area in front of them, leading them to the main hallway of the central buildings. Taylor stops to point his rifle in the direction of the front central building, down the longer corridor that leads all the way to the lobby in front. Dr. Anderson notes that two guards are lying on the hallway behind him, both seriously injured. Taylor points Anderson and O’Toole at a section of wall between two doors on the corridor where they can put the stretcher with Mrs. York down. Then he motions to Dr. Anderson to take a look at the two guards with him.

Dr. Anderson can see that both guards have injuries that require treatment in a fully equipped emergency room. Both of them appear to be unconscious, one of them from head trauma and concussion, but the other from shock. While he’s examining them, Taylor has gathered up the two shotguns they had, removed their duty belts and the extra ammunition. As Taylor is checking the chamber of one Remington 870 shotgun, he notices that Cherry Bell is following him, covering his blind zone. Giving her a grateful smile, he tosses the other shotgun to her, pointing with his rifle in the direction of the front central building.

Taylor [low voice]: “Guards gonna come from there when they gonna come. Ya gots yer own non-lethal first an’ then less-than-lethal with that gun. Rifle only if’n they’s shooting at us for real an’ be sure and tell the news if’n they is. That there sector all yours, ya hear?”

While he talks, Taylor is examining the strange plastic shell loaded in the chamber of the unfired shotgun that Lamb had. It’s different from what he recognises as beanbags rounds in the six shot shell carrier he attaches to his web gear. Not having time to determine what it is, he decides that it is almost certainly some form of advanced baton round. Less lethal than rifle bullet, buckshot or slug, at any rate. Moving the M16A2 in its patrol sling to his back, Taylor grabs the shotgun to use as his primary. He turns to Anderson and O’Toole, pointing at the door where a female voice is still demanding loudly to be let out.

Taylor: “She oughta be alone in there, doc. Hostage, oughta be no threat. O’Toole, go with him in case I’s wrong. I’m fixin’ to take that there door. We’s gonna find them hostages ‘fore Warden Tyrrell gets back from them barracks an’ then we’s gonna jes’ sit pretty up on that there second floor here, soundin’ nice an’ empty, an’ wait fer rescue.”

Taylor heads for the first door to his right. It’s the one he heard silent breathing from, five people or more. It’s also the same room Dr. Anderson detected four sleepers in, but he has not shared that information with anyone. Taking up the keychain with six keys he took from a guard, Taylor starts trying out keys as silently as he can. At the door to the left, Dr. Anderson is also fiddling with a keychain, but unlike Taylor, he checks the shape of the keyhole and compares it to the keys he has. As a result, Dr. Anderson gets his door open first, after Taylor has failed with his first three keys.

A beautiful African-American woman in a nice pantsuit in the process of trying to kick the door down is very surprised to see it open.

Dr. Emma King: “Wha..! Who are you?”
Dr. Anderson: “I am Dr. Michael Anderson. We are here to rescue you.”
King [overjoyed]: “Wait, really? You’re Dr. Anderson? I lov… I mean, I’m a great fan of your work!”
Anderson [hesitates only a second]: “That is very gratifying. Would you mind moving aside so we can get Mrs. York somewhere safe before a firefight erupts?”

Dr. Anderson takes the arm of Dr. King and moves her away from the doorway, to her considerable astonishment, but apparent enjoyment. Then he turns around and helps O'Toole move the stretcher with Mrs. York into the room.
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Last edited by Icelander; 03-23-2017 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 03-22-2017, 10:43 AM   #114
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Default Danger, Danger, High Voltage!

There are six keys on the guard keychain Taylor is trying on the locked door on the right side of the corridor. Naturally, the key he wants is the sixth he tries. Wanting to avoid anyone attacking him purely from fear or nervousness, Taylor addresses the inhabitants softly before opening the door.

Taylor: “Homeland Security. My name is Chase Taylor an’ we’s here to help.”

He doesn’t get any answer and when he opens the door, he can see four hospital beds with men in them and a nurse sitting in a chair by the wall. The magazine she was reading has fallen to the floor and she is cowering against the wall. Taylor recognises three of the men, all guards. Ball has gauze all over his head and leather straps are used to prevent his neck or head from moving, Roy is asleep without any readily apparent injuries and young Summers, from the dining hall, is unconscious with a broken nose, two black eyes and a host of bruises. Taylor raises his eyebrows at that, as Summers was fine when he left the dining hall and O’Toole didn’t mention running into any guards.

The fourth man seems to have the worst injuries. His bed is away from the other patients and judging from the preparations around him, attempts seem to have been made to sterilise as much as possible around him. A tracheotomy has been performed to allow him to breathe and he is going through fluid replacement. His exposed torso reveals horrific burn injuries over much of it. Taylor looks down and mouths a short prayer for the poor man. He carefully avoids aiming his shotgun in the direction of the injured men or their nurse, keeping it pointing downwards.

Taylor [to the nurse]: “I ain’t gonna hurt any o’ y’all. Wait for them Coast Guard boys and they is gonna bring y’all doctors an’ paramedics in a jiffy. Jes’, please, don’t go making any loud noises when I is gone or ya might startle somebody into violence an’ that wouldna end well. Kin I trust ya to be real calm?”
Nurse [surprisingly cooly]: “Sure, Mr. Taylor. No screaming.”
Taylor: “I figure you is lying to me, ma’am. Ain’t nothing I can do about it, neither. Jes’ keep in mind that screamin’ might could get more guards kilt than if’n they is allowed to jes’ give up. It’s over, ma’am. Warden Tyrrell done lost. A show o’ defiance what gets other folk kilt instead o’ you ain’t courage, ma’am. Please let’s try an’ do this as easy as we kin.”

The nurse doesn’t answer, but doesn’t scream immediately once he closes the door again. Taylor locks the door again with the key he used to open it and moves over to the open door that Dr. Anderson and O’Toole went through. Cherry Bell is standing by the door, aiming her shotgun down the long hallway that leads all the way to the lobby of the front central building of Manhanock Asylum, well over a hundred feet away.

Taylor [to Bell]: “You’re doin’ real fine, Lynnie. I kin hear lots o’ people in one of the large areas up ahead here, either the kitchen or dining hall from what I kin recollect o’ what the Doc said. I been hopin’ they is all them hostages, includin’ them folk I came here with. I’s gonna get them out an’ then we go up one floor, defend it until relieved.”

Bell nods jerkily. She’s tense, but appears focused on her job of covering the most likely route that guards could use. She’s crouching by the doorway to the room where the others are talking with Dr. King. A single frowning glance inside the room reveals that Bell might not be overjoyed at having rescued another Damsel in Distress, especially as Dr. King appears to be combining breathless admiration of Dr. Anderson and fetchingly elegant distress well enough for Anderson and O’Toole to have forgotten even the existence of their faithful guardian by the door.

Dr. King: “Oh, I… oh, goodness, you must think I’m such a scatterbrained little fool. I’m Emma King, staff psychologist here at Manhanock. Dr. Emma King, actually, though not really. Not like you, Dr. Anderson. I mean, I did just finish med school, but I still haven’t gotten a residency. Psych residency, obviously, which I am going to do here. Was going to.”
Dr. Anderson: “Quite. Do you mind if I ask what you mean by ‘fan of my work? Do you perhaps mean my novels?”
King: “Novels? No, I mean your articles on the nootropic potential of psychotropic neural pathway stimulation, the physiological basis of pharmacological reinforcement in behavioural conditioning and the hypothesised role of dreaming and REM sleep in cognitive behavioural therapy. And all the others. I believe I’ve read every article where you’re listed as one of the authors. I… uh, hope you don’t mind me saying so, but you’ve been a huge influence on my work. Well, not that I’ve actually done any work, yet, not really. God, I’m babbling! I mean, you’re the reason I went into psychiatry!”
Anderson [drily]: “I see. I was hoping that you had read some of my later work.”
King: “Oooh, are you working on something exciting now? It has been so long since you wrote anything!”
Anderson: “Well, I suppose you could say that I have been keeping busy. I have published quite a number of novels in electronic form. I have high hopes that they will come out in physical form soon. Publishers are interested. Most of my works are in the horror genre, but some are fantasy or thrillers with horror elements.”
[beat, Dr. King looks confused]
O’Toole: “Maybe more relevant to our situation, docs, would be why the [expletive] you’re locked in here, Dr. King?”
King: “Oh. Well, the guards were acting all strange and I objected when they said I couldn’t do my rounds. I demanded to speak with Warden Tyrrell, but he just had them toss me in here. He was very rude and intimidating. I have every intention of reporting him to the Chief Administrator and… and… perhaps even the police.”
Anderson: “I rather think that the police are already involved. We are waiting for the Coast Guard to show up, after Warden Tyrrell seems to have taken over Manhanock Asylum by force. He has kidnapped federal agents and may have killed people. I am afraid that he is still on the loose, along with a number of armed guards and we must take shelter as we wait for help.”
King: “Oh my!”

Dr. King seems very shocked at this news and grabs a hold of Dr. Anderson’s arm for support. In the doorway, Cherry Bell snorts under her breath. While Bell has until now quite liked Emma King, as one of the few people in Manhanock Asylum who were truly kind to her ever since she got there, Bell is discovering that if pressed, she could probably learn to detest Emma pretty quickly. Bitch is only like passably pretty and with all that fancy schooling up North, her la-di-dah Southern Belle shtick just has to be put on. I guess girls who have the vapours need lots of looking after, while just guarding your damn lives with a gun means you can forget all about me.

Taylor moved down the corridor in the other direction from where Bell is covering. He can hear lots of people trying to keep quiet, with a man occasionally whispering threats at them to stop anyone from moving or speaking, in the large area accessed through a door to the left. It’s either the kitchen or dining hall. To the right is a similarly large area, but Taylor can’t hear anyone in there. Taylor stops by the door and can hear two very tense men breathing close to it. He’s pretty sure that they are the guards and the hostages are some twenty feet away from them.

Dynamic entry all by his lonesome is pretty stupid. Using a flashbang would improve his odds, but would also bring every guard remaining on Jewell Island rushing for this location. Taylor quickly goes over his options, including the fact that he knows there are guards on the level above them in the front central building and they are trying to gather the courage to attack. That means Sherilyn has to keep covering their approach, not to mention the possibility of the SRT guards and Warden Tyrrell getting back. And O’Toole doesn’t seem to be cut out for tactical situations and the Doc isn’t trained for them. That leaves speed and violence of action.

Taylor kicks at the lock of the door. It splinters, but doesn’t open, so Taylor follows up with another kick. He is extremely aware that when he goes through the doorway, he will be shot at from close range, so instead of a traditional entry, Taylor dives in. Multiple shots ring out. Taylor is in a huge industrial kitchen. He can see two men, not wearing guard uniforms, holding M9 pistols. One of them is shooting, the other is aiming at him. Taylor emerges from his dive in a crouch with his shotgun aimed at the shooting guard, giving him one round in the solar plexus.

The round that Taylor thought was an advanced baton turns out to be something else. The man is knocked down and immediately goes into terrific convulsions as he is racked by a series of electrical shocks. Whoa, TASER batons! The second man gets a beanbag to the solar plexus, which is followed by a blow with the stock of the shotgun that disarms him of his pistol. Taylor swiftly securers the tased man, with an apologetic glance, before turning to the hostages.

There are more than ten of them, something like 13-14 people, but Taylor cannot spot Townsend, Burr or Berrocal. It seems to be mostly kitchen staff and orderlies. Shouting orders, Taylor communicates that this is a rescue and gets the senior kitchen staff to take command in moving everyone out in the corridor, heading for stairs that lead to the second floor, but wait for others before ascending. As he’s doing so, he hears a desperate voice that makes his heart sink, especially once automatic weapons fire begins in the direction of the front central building.

Bell [screaming]: “Chase! Help!
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Old 03-23-2017, 11:43 AM   #115
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Reacting instantly to Sherilyn Bell‘s cry, Taylor started moving before she finished saying his name. With his shotgun before him, he reaches the kitchen doorway and glances down the length of the corridor to the front central building of Manhanock Asylum. He sees two men dressed in SRT guard tactical outfits over fifty yards away. One of them is firing an M16A2 rifle while the other seems confused. Behind them there are other SRT guards coming up the stairs from outside.

Taylor immediately pulls the trigger of his shotgun, pointing at the firing man, racks the slide on his next step and shoots at the other. Still moving, Taylor grabs a M84 stun grenade from his web gear and throws it long like a football, with all his power. Fifty yards is well over the effective range for beanbag ammunition, even the modern oblong, drag-stabilised variety. The projectiles can reach that far, but by the time they hit, they’ll have too little power for reliable incapacitation, unless they hit something extremely vulnerable. And with the limited accuracy possible with the oblong projectiles, that was unlikely, to say the least.

Taylor hadn’t even stopped for half a second to estimate range, but simply gone with his instinct and tried to shoot for the head of each target, guessing at the elevation and range. With his throw, he has entirely left any cover and is a natural target for the next burst of fire from the guards, but it doesn’t even occur to him that this might be stupid. If they’re aiming at him, they’re not aiming at anyone else. Unfortunately, 50-60 yards is a pretty easy shot with a rifle, for all that it is pretty much impossible with a beanbag round. The guard who’d been firing at Bell transfers his aim at this new, open target.

Taylor has put his throwing hand on the shotgun again and is starting to chamber another round when he sees the first beanbag impact. The guard who’d been about to shoot at him starts to collapse, blood and jelly spraying out from his face as his left eye turns into a bloody mess. Half a second later, the other guard, the confused one, staggers at a hit to his face, his legs swaying under him. Taylor tries to feel satisfaction at the incredible feat of marksmanship, but he is well aware how large a part luck played, and, in any event, feels sick at the thought of having blinded and crippled a man who might be coerced into being there.

Behind the two stricken guards, voices are calling out commands. Taylor can hear someone shout for one team to cover and someone else is shouting to advance. He can also hear the voice of Warden Tyrrell: “…dare hit her! No shooting unless you know…

There wasn’t enough horizontal clearance for the thrown flashbang to follow a proper parabolic trajectory. Taylor had launched it low and fast, but it still hit the ceiling, but the bounce didn’t send it all the way to the ground in front of the injured guards. Instead, the flashbang lands exactly where Taylor had aimed it, five feet behind the two guards. It bounces once and then explodes, just about exactly where the voices of the tactical team had been, just inside the building. The voices turn to screams of pain and confusion.

While rapidly topping up his Remington 870 with beanbag rounds, Taylor blinks in surprise. He’s had time to estimate the distance properly while the flashbang was in the air. Sixty one yards. That’s the yardage of the ‘Miracle in Motown’ Hail Mary pass. Without any room to throw for distance, just a hard, flat trajectory from the roll step. And it hit exactly where he’d imagined it, even though he’d known when he threw it that Aaron Rodgers would probably have trouble with reaching that far without throwing in a proper arc, let alone hitting anything without so much as a second to judge the throw. I ain’t touched a football in over five years. Nor gun, neither, which ain’t gone stopped me from makin’ those two headshots. Sweet Jesus, what did Project Jade Serenity do to me?

Taylor [to former hostages]: “Okay, y’all need to git up them stairs here. Stay in the rear central building, level two, ‘till I or them Coast Guard come. Doc an’ O’Toole, join ‘em with Mrs. York.”

Taylor walks onward toward the men he shot while he speaks. Bell peaks out from the doorway of the room where Dr. Anderson and O’Toole were talking to Dr. King, all of them to all appearances unhurt by the firing. Still focused on possible threats down the corridor, Taylor addresses Bell.

Taylor: “Lynnie, you take ‘em up, point an’ cover. You in charge, you defend ‘em. I think nobody’s up there, but I might could be wrong. There’s still other threats, anyhow. Recollect your training an’ all I said to you. Don’t cross over into the front building. Jes’ keep everybody safe until I or somebody else relieves ya.”
Bell: “Where are you going?”
Taylor: “Takin’ care o’ threats.”
[Taylor looks away from his sights to look Bell in the eye]
Taylor: “It ain’t matter what anybody else say. Whatever doubts you got ‘bout yourself, I got none. I trust you, ‘cause you worth trusting, Lynnie.”

Bell straightens up with her eyes filled with pride. She nods eagerly and moves ahead of the former hostages with a spring in her step, with her Remington 870 shotgun at the ready. Taylor resumes aiming, his heart breaking at the thought that the quick flash of happiness and pride in Sherilyn's eyes is the first he's seen since he got there. Contrasted with the terror he'd seen in her eyes when she talked about this Dr. Cotton and the bitterness when she talked of Warden Tyrrell, it makes him furious. She oughta been happy all her life, but I done failed her an' they've done their best to break her, make her bitter and afraid.

Inside the room, Dr. Anderson tells Emma King sternly to stay behind him as they cross the hallway and then tells O’Toole to grab the other end of the stretcher.

O’Toole: “Can’t we just leave that in here?”
Dr. Anderson [steel in his voice]: “I will not discuss this. You will carry that stretcher or you will regret it the rest of your life.”
O’Toole [picks up the stretcher]: “I only meant that we might need our hands for shooting. It’s not as if carrying a casualty into a firefight is any safer!”

Dr. Anderson seems to be quite energized by the situation and starts to harangue the former hostages as soon as he is into the corridor, ordering them into some semblance of formation so that Cherry Bell can go first and he and O’Toole come after her, in case she runs into anything. Emma King follows Dr. Anderson closely as he shouts commands and moves through the press of people, holding on to his arm with while gazing on him with obvious hero worship. Among the former hostages, the head cook, a heavy-set Hispanic man, orders around his staff with the aplomb of a sergeant.

Taylor moves down the corridor in a combat shuffle, with his shotgun covering corridor where the flashbang went off. He notes that the SRT guards have managed to get to cover, probably in one of the rooms off the side of the corridor. He guesses that they moved to his right, from what he could see. While he glides forward, he can hear noises above, on what he guesses is the third floor of the front central building of Manhanock Asylum. Running men, probably rushing to stairs to come to the aid of the SRT guards. He can also hear a voice, cultured, educated, but with a slight touch of Dixie remaining under the expensively acquired diction.

Southern voice: “Now, Mr. Townsend, as we are once again alone, we might perhaps continue our conversation.”
Townsend: “I won’t say that my superiors might not be interested, but once the authorities get here, what’s to stop…”

Taylor sees a head pop out through a doorway some hundred feet ahead of him. The man is wearing a PASGT helmet and trying to throw something with his right hand. Taylor shoots at the head and as the distance is less than earlier, he is not surprised when the beanbag hits straight on the nose of the guard, causing him to fall inside the room. A tremendous explosion follows. Taylor is relieved to note that it seems to have been a flashbang rather than a fragmentation grenade, but nevertheless shudders to think of what an M84 stun grenade is going to do to a man holding it as it goes off.

Southern voice: “I do not know if that is Warden Tyrrell and his men or tactical teams belonging to your superiors, but in either case, I doubt we have much more time. I’ve memorised all the information most valuable to your people. You won’t get it by searching my files.”

Taylor has crossed the corridor that connects the front central building of Manhanock Asylum to the rear annex he is coming from. He notes that the rooms to either side of the connecting corridor contain huge glass windows, large verandas and Gothic cast iron balconies on the second floor, overlooking the verandas. These face the windows of the second floor of the rear central building, where Sherilyn Bell and the former hostages have gone.

Taylor can hear that ahead of him, on stairs that come down on either side of the corridor from the second floor, men have taken up position. It sounds like one man on each stairway, probably crouching down or sitting, aiming a weapon down into the corridor, waiting to ambush him. The SRT guards couldn’t have made it there this fast, so these are some of the guards or orderlies who were upstairs in the central building before, working up the courage to come downstairs.

Crossing their line of fire is profoundly stupid. It’s also the only way to reach Warden Tyrrell and his men before they regroup from the two flashbangs. Taylor doesn’t have another flashbang on him, but he’s still got an M67 fragmentation grenade. Which would be the appropriate way to deal with these men waiting in ambush. Kill one and confuse the other, gun him down before he recovers.
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Old 03-23-2017, 12:20 PM   #116
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Default Re: It's All Fun and Games, Until Somebody Loses an Eye

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Southern voice:
I bet that's Dr Evil... I mean Dr Cotton.
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Old 03-23-2017, 06:12 PM   #117
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Default Re: It's All Fun and Games, Until Somebody Loses an Eye

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I bet that's Dr Evil... I mean Dr Cotton.
Well, Taylor did notice in the briefing that Dr. Bruce Cotton was born in Jackson, MS, and that Dr. Emma King was born in San Antonio, TX.

He doesn't recall any other senior staff of the hospital being from south of the Mason-Dixie line. Chief Administrator Vernon Findlay is from Milwaukee, WI, Deputy Warden Brad Tyrrell is from Bangor, ME, Inspector Kevin Rankin is from New York and Dr. McKinney, the assistant medical director and staff general practitioner, is from Boston, MA.

There were several other doctors whose names, jobs and birthplaces Taylor didn't pay any attention to, as they didn't seem relevant to visiting Sherilyn Bell and getting her to help them, but he doesn't remember noticing any fellow Southerners.

Of course, if Dr. Cotton is a Doctor of Evil and we know that Dr. Anderson has a degree in Evil Medine, as per his dream 'therapy', that establishes Ivy League schools in the Northeastern US as universities of Evil Medicine. Dr. Anderson went to the Yale School of Medicine and Dr. Cotton is a Harvard man.

More appropriately, perhaps, Manhanock Asylum for the Criminally Insane is the place to do your residency if you want to be a Doctor of Evil. Making us really wonder what the oh-so-innocent little Texas Rose, Dr. Emma King, was doing there.

Note that if it is Dr. Cotton who is talking with Townsend, it looks like he's making him some sort of offer. And Townsend sounds like he's considering it.
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:05 PM   #118
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Default Re: It's All Fun and Games, Until Somebody Loses an Eye

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Making us really wonder what the oh-so-innocent little Texas Rose, Dr. Emma King, was doing there.
Probably hoping to absorb any of Dr McDreamy's left-over vibes from he was there committing unethical research.

Granted she might not know he was engaged in unethical practices as she claims to have been locked in when she refused to side completely with the mutinous King Tyrrell.

Quote:
Note that if it is Dr. Cotton who is talking with Townsend, it looks like he's making him some sort of offer. And Townsend sounds like he's considering it.
The dialogue makes me think it's possible this is why Townsend was there in the first place, secure the research records.
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:12 PM   #119
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Default If You Find Yourself Alone, Riding in the Green Fields with the Sun on Your Face...

Cherry Bell holds the short-barrelled Remington 870 shotgun in front of her as she navigates the stairs up to the second floor of the rear annex to the main building of Manhanock Asylum. All those years ago, when she’d been a soldier… and young, she‘d fired an M16A2 rifle and several types of semi-automatic pistol, but this is the first time she‘s held a shotgun.

‘Beanbag’ projectiles allegedly work completely differently from normal shotgun projectiles, in any case. Cherry should have felt nervous at the idea of having to learn how to use one in a firefight, but instead, she’s elated and confident. So what if I can’t shoot this thing? If anybody tries anything, I’ll make them unable to see me or anything else. That ought to give me long enough to learn.

It’s true that when two guards wearing full tactical gear came down the corridor at once, Bell had only been able to affect one of them before the other started shooting at her, giving her quite a scare. But she’d been able to take cover and Chase had taken both of them out as soon as he heard she was in trouble. And been happy with her performance, said he trusted her. Which, until just minutes ago, Bell never would have thought he even needed to say to her. Chase was her faithful boy puppy, reliably fond of her, not somebody whose approval she should have to seek and value.

Dr. Anderson had said that when he’d been doing his residency at Manhanock Asylum, the second floor of the annex had been a reference library, a part of the patient archives, some interview rooms and a staff lounge and break room. Bell hadn’t spent much time in the main buildings and when she had, it had been in the front one, where both Dr. Cotton and Warden Tyrrell had offices and other workspaces, but from what she had gathered, the staff lounge was still used, but the interview rooms in the rear annex were now used for archives as well.

There are no lights on the stairs and the corridor they emerge on is poorly lit, but there are lights at the end, where the staff lounge is. Bell decides to move everybody there first, before she clears the rest of the area, as having a bunch of untrained and unarmed people moving along with them is bad for security. To that end, she points Dr. Anderson and O’Toole in that direction and just takes a quick scan herself down the corridor, toward the front main building. It annoys her that she doesn’t have anyone to watch her blind side, but then again, if Chase says there isn’t anybody waiting up here, there probably isn’t. When it comes to small unit tactics, he doesn’t seem very puppyish at all.

A shotgun blast and another flashbang roar from downstairs punctuate Bell’s thoughts. O’Toole worries momentarily, but Dr. Anderson and Bell are both supremely confident that this represents Taylor chastising the guards and not vice versa. Dr. Anderson notes that Cherry Bell is trying to guard both the front and rear of the column of fugitives at the same time. He spots two men wearing orderly outfits among the former hostages and instructs them to take over carrying the stretcher with Mrs. York, so that O’Toole, at least, will be able to assist her in securing the area.

The staff lounge is empty, with a television turned to CBS ‘News at 11’, though as it is slightly past midnight, it’s probably a local affiliate showing it an hour late. It’s something about Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch and his alleged conservative credentials or hypothetical lack thereof. Bell turns it off before the talking head can explain further. Aside from a couple of TVs, sofas and a small kitchenette, there is a pool table in the staff rec area. Dr. Anderson asks some of the stronger men among the former hostages to help him turn it over, give them some cover if guards on the outside start shooting through windows. While he’s doing that, Bell and O’Toole move out to clear other rooms.

Bell determined that the two doors at the end of the staff lounge were closed and didn’t give when she pulled at the doorknob. This means she can focus on the other side of the area, up to where it connects with the front central building. She moves out in a credible imitation of a room-clearing commando, actually managing to support O’Toole and cover the area he doesn’t. That is, until O’Toole passes an open door to his left without checking it. Bell tries to give him signals, but he isn’t looking back, so she glances appealingly all the way back to Dr. Anderson, making a hand signal to him which clearly signals that she considers O’Toole mentally deficient. Anderson shrugs back.

Dr. Anderson: “Emma, will you be okay here for a while?”
Dr. Emma King: “I’m a doctor, Michael. I’ll be fine. I can check if anybody is hurt.”

Dr. Anderson moves to see if he can talk to O’Toole, call him back without making too much noise before he wanders all the way through the connecting corridor to the front building, where there might be guards. O’Toole, however, stops suddenly. He’s heard breaking glass in the next room. Without waiting for support, O’Toole leaps through the door to that room, which is dark and with an obvious draft.

---

Taylor is strongly tempted to use the grenade. If the men waiting on the stairs are disciplined and competent, any other method of dealing with them is probably going to get him shot. Which might be acceptable, if painful, for LTL shotgun ammunition, but which would truly suck for anything else. The tactical vest and PASGT helmet Taylor is wearing would stop buckshot, but that still leaves around three-fourths of his body wearing stab-protective armour, clothing or nothing at all, no protection against 00 buckshot. And 5.56x45mm NATO ammunition would blow through him no matter where it hit. It ain’t jes’ you at risk, boy. You’ve got folks relying on you.

Stupid or not stupid, Taylor just can’t do it. The two men aiming down the stairs might not have had any part in anything that happened to Sherilyn. They might be serving Warden Tyrrell out of fear, even because their families were threatened. They might be praying to be spared, to be allowed to surrender to the Coast Guard, for their families to be saved. Taylor is aware that he’s killed men in war who might be no guiltier or more willing to fight than these guards, but… well, maybe young soldiers aren’t the best judges of the sanctity of human life.

Besides, the two men have been waiting there for over two minutes, expecting someone to come into view any second. Real soldiers would still be alert. Security guards, maybe not so much. All it takes is a half second of hesitation. Before he can reconsider, Taylor slides into view with his shotgun at the ready, moving as fast as he can.

With his peripheral vision, he notes the guard to his right adjust the muzzle of his assault rifle slightly. Taylor moves his shotgun to deal with the other one first. That one, however, fat and clumsy, standing in an awkward crouch on the top of the stairs, doesn’t appear to have any fat between his ears. He pulls the trigger of his Remington 870 before Taylor can fire.

The fat guard doesn’t seem to have any trouble with accuracy either. Taylor can feel a blow through his right arm. He grimaces, bracing for pain, but it doesn’t seem to stop him from pulling his own trigger. Taylor’s shotgun was knocked a little out of line, but his beanbag round still hits the fat guard in the ear, spoiling his pumping action.

Noting with part of his mind that some of the shot from the guard’s shotgun missed his neck by about two inches, Taylor can see why the hit to his arm didn’t hurt more. The wooden stock of his Remington is shot through, but not one of the buckshot appears to have hit Taylor. He can only attribute this to divine providence.

Without using his stock, Taylor switches targets and engages the guard on the other side, who still hasn’t started firing his assault rifle. A beanbag round to the jaw knocks that guard clean out. The fat guard wasn’t badly hurt by a beanbag to the ear and Taylor struggles to get up from his slide and ready his shotgun for another shot.

Before he can chamber another round, however, the fat guard stumbles to the side and in trying to regain his balance, falls down the stairs. Tumbling head over heels, the guard somehow manages to hit one of the steps heavily with his pelvis. What could have been just an embarrassing pratfall becomes cause for wincing, as the guard clearly injures his thigh and abdomen on the metal-shod stairs, howling in pain and losing his shotgun in the process.

Taylor manages to end his slide standing up next to the wall to the side of the left stairway. He still hasn’t chambered a round in his Remington when his peripheral vision warns him that there is somebody else in the corridor, coming at him fast. It’s a huge man wearing tactical gear, but instead of a helmet, he’s wearing an old-fashioned guard cap. He’s holding an M14 rifle with a shortened barrel and some kind of close-combat optic, but not in a firing position. Instead, he seems to be using it as a hockey stick to charge Taylor with, wanting to ram him against the wall with it.

Warden Tyrrell, Taylor thinks, before smashing his shotgun stock to meet the charging Warden. Taylor connects under the M14, hitting the floating rib on the right side of the body, hard enough to break the stock of his shotgun, which flies away. The powerful blow doesn’t seem to faze Tyrrell or slow him down any.

Taylor is already off balance, too close to the wall for giving any ground and without any weapon in hand. He’s also badly hurt from a series of hard knocks, being shot and having been on fire. Before Tyrrell hits, Taylor has just a fraction of a second to adjust his stance, try to get under Tyrrell. Taylor grins without any warmth in it. Bring it on.
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Old 03-24-2017, 04:24 AM   #120
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Default Re: If You Find Yourself Alone, Riding in the Green Fields with the Sun on Your Face.

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O’Toole, however, stops suddenly. He’s heard breaking glass in the next room. Without waiting for support, O’Toole leaps through the door to that room, which is dark and with an obvious draft
He's determined to be awesome, isn't he? Shame he doesn't know how.
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