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Old 04-06-2017, 05:00 AM   #131
Icelander
 
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Default Feelin' Just Fine All Numb

Dr. Anderson was relieved when he saw Cherry Bell turn her forward stagger into a pirouette when the camo-painted, bare-chested maniac Derek stabbed her in the back. She didn’t appear too badly hurt and got free from Derek’s grasp as she even finished her twirl with her rifle presented toward him. Anderson moved closer to Derek and looked for an opportunity to cut him with his scalpel as Danny O’Toole came running to join them. Aiming for sinews in Derek’s knife arm, Dr. Anderson flicked out his scalpel as Derek stalked closer to Bell, seemingly ignoring everyone else while remaining intent on his original prey.

Derek easily deflected Dr. Anderson’s strike and grabbed for the barrel of Bell’s rifle with his left hand. As he did, he stumbled on an empty bottle on the floor and lost his balance. Bell fired as soon as Derek moved toward her and while her reflexive dodge from his grapple moved the muzzle of her rifle upward during the burst, the first round was fired on target, perfect centre mass with 5.56x45mm FMJ military issue at a range of about three feet.

Anderson and O’Toole are both uncomfortably close to the line of fire and Anderson feels sharp pain from the concussion of the weapon’s discharge on his eardrums, but given that the weapon was not pointed directly at them, perhaps shooting was an acceptable risk. Dr. Anderson is not sure whether a trained soldier would have done so in this situation, but it is not outside the realm of possibility. O’Toole curses loudly at the shooting and dodges further to the side.

Derek fell backward, still holding the knife. As he flops down on the ground without losing his grip on it, Bell fires another burst, this one aimed carefully at his head. Dr. Anderson is left in no doubt that Derek is dead when he sees blood and brains splatter from the back of his head.

Only a few seconds pass before they hear Taylor jump through a window in the library fifty feet down the corridor and he comes rushing up to join them. After ascertaining that everyone is safe and anxiously examining Bell’s cut tactical vest, Taylor and Bell exchange a few words. Dr. Anderson can tell that Bell was scared at her near-death experience and is relieved that Taylor has arrived, but seems angry at herself for feeling that way, which she channels into anger at Taylor for being concerned about her. Bell doesn’t show any reaction to having killed a man, but Dr. Anderson doesn’t consider that unusual, as even if she experienced regret or shock, it is very common in trained soldiers for such emotions to be side-lined during action and only experienced afterward.

Taylor cocked his head as if he’d heard something from the corridor that ends in the front central building and at his gestured command, Dr. Anderson takes cover with Bell as Taylor readies a flashbang while peeking around the corner from the rec center down the corridor. Dr. Anderson uses the time to start ministering to Emma King, still lying on the floor in a faint. He starts by finding something to place under her head as a pillow. Bell appears to interpret the gestures from Taylor and a single significant glance as an order to continue to defend the rear annex. She backs up a few steps to be able to cover the corridor with her rifle, aiming past Taylor’s left shoulder.

Taylor can still hear the conversation on the third floor of the front central building, but vital as that may be, he’s more interested in the man dressed as an SRT guard and holding a precision rifle. Taylor confirms that he is among the guard force when he spots the Manhanock Security tags on his shirt under the tactical vest and even recognises him from the headset he’s wearing as the guard who was lying on top of the main building with a scoped rifle aimed at the barracks earlier.

[the presumed] Dr. Cotton: “Are we agreed, then?”

The man apparently hears or sees something that worries him inside the staff break area, as he jumps to the side to take cover. As soon as he does, Taylor throws the flashbang at the spot where he disappeared and runs after it, hoping to reach the man while he’s still stunned.

Townsend: “Well, for my part, it sounds okay…”

O’Toole also takes cover at Taylor’s command, but after a moment, he apparently feels that he must assert his position as the senior (only) federal law enforcement officer among the people opposing Warden Tyrrell and his mutinous guard force, which probably makes O’Toole the technical on-scene commander in any potential review of events. When O’Toole sees Taylor throw the flashbang ahead and run down the corridor, O’Toole hesitates for a while and then peeks after him.

Townsend: “…but I’ve got to talk to my superiors.”

The corridor is decently lit and O’Toole can see where the flashbang lands around a hundred feet away, but if someone was there, when Taylor threw, he’s gone now, probably taken cover where the corridor narrows as it passes between the two buildings, the front central building of Manhanock Asylum and the rear annex where the rescued hostages are.

Dr. Cotton: “Well, be my guest. We ha…”

An explosion of enormous power drowns out the conversation, which only Taylor had been able to follow at any rate, as the men talking are two windows and a hundred feet away from the rec room. O’Toole can see that Taylor is no more than thirty feet from where the explosion went off and without a pause, keeps running toward the small smoke cloud that formed. Seeing that no one was going to be shooting down the corridor, O’Toole runs after him with baton in one hand and Mace can in the other.

Dr. Cotton: “…amenities here. Talk to anybody you please on the radio.”

Taylor reaches the guard while he is still reeling from a flashbang exploding within five feet of him. Grabbing the rifle, Taylor slams the guard backwards into a wall and then tries to sweep his legs out from under him. Maybe Taylor was too close to the flashbang himself or maybe he just underestimated how tired and hurt he is, as the intended graceful Bando sweep turns into an awkward sprawl as the guard gets free and runs away with his rifle held at port arms. At least momentarily blinded by the explosion, however, the guard runs smack into the wall on the other side of the corridor and staggers backwards.

Cotton: “McRae, give him a dose.”

As O’Toole hurries to catch up, Taylor puts his legs into the air while balanced on his upper back and tries to acrobatically leap to his feet. He seems to be lacking the strength to do so, however, and ends up clumsily on his backside, flailing for balance. If the guard hadn’t been reeling from running into a wall, even a partially blind man would have been able to land a telling blow on Taylor.

Cotton: “Just wait a spell, Mr. Townsend…”

As it is, however, the guard manages to take several steps away from Taylor before can stand up. Once up, Taylor chases down the guard, tackles him and disarms him of his rifle. Taylor avoids an ineffectual punch and attempts to transition to the guard’s rear to establish a choke hold. Even with the guard blinded and mostly defenceless, however, he struggles wildly and Taylor slams into the wall, falling down again.

Cotton: “…the interference will cease in moment.”

O’Toole runs up and sprays the Mace at the guard’s face, sending him into a coughing fit and further damaging his vision. This affords Taylor the opportunity to stand up again, while O’Toole hits the guard in the leg with his baton. Swaying a little, Taylor uses a knee and both arms to secure the arms of the guard. He can hear Townsend introduce himself to the Coast Guard on the radio upstairs, trying to get a signal or reach them. After his run through the corridor, the sounds are very close. Just up the stairs to the side of him and then it seems to be the first office to the right. Taylor hands O’Toole some flexicuffs.

Taylor: “You goin’ to be all right here?”
O’Toole [grunting]: “Where the hell are you going?”
Taylor: “I figure there’s something I need to take care of. Try an’ don’t hurt him none.”

O’Toole nods while he batters the guard’s right arm with his baton and grabs the cuffs from Taylor. Upstairs, Townsend is trying to tell the Coast Guard that some of the guards are willing to negotiate for the freedom of the hostages and that before any assault, they should check with his boss, Director Vani Gujarat of the DHS. Taylor starts to move up the stairs, drawing his M9 pistol into a two-handed firing grip.

As he reaches the third floor, Taylor does a quick sweep for threats. He sees no one and cannot hear anyone closer than the office to his right. There is someone making a scritching sound elsewhere on the floor, probably writing with pencil on paper, but it’s at least fifty feet off. There doesn’t seem to be anyone else on the floor than the six to eight people Taylor can hear breathing in the office to his right and whoever is writing on the other side of the floor.

Someone takes two steps, something small clatters on the floor of the office and there is a gasp, followed by a gurgle and a slowing in the breathing of one of the people. Townsend keeps talking, but now Taylor can hear a dispatcher from the Coast Guard replying, asking for his name.

Taylor tries the doorknob with one hand and on finding it is unlocked, throws open the door, entering with his pistol ahead of him.
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Old 04-06-2017, 03:58 PM   #132
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Default Re: Feelin' Just Fine All Numb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Maybe Taylor was too close to the flashbang himself or maybe he just underestimated how tired and hurt he is, as the intended graceful Bando sweep turns into an awkward sprawl . . .
Protected Sense, for vision and hearing, but no re-rolls for winning a Tactics contest?
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Old 04-06-2017, 04:50 PM   #133
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Default Re: Feelin' Just Fine All Numb

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Aha, I thought he seemed to have stepped up a notch there.
It's also a consequence of Chase Taylor being primarily designed as a tactical shooter and him finally deciding to shoot someone. He's good at martial arts, but with guns, he's an actual superhero. He can basically shoot two to three people in the head per second, limited only by the mechanical accuracy of the weapon.

The Tactics re-rolls were used for things that wouldn't have been required if he'd been using the M16A2 or even the M9 pistol, like having the guards fail HT checks when hit by beanbags and on not dying when he dove into the line of fire from two guards because he wasn't willing to use a grenade (that took three out of five re-rolls and one use of Luck).

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Protected Sense, for vision and hearing, but no re-rolls for winning a Tactics contest?
Still the same tactical operation going on as before, so the five re-rolls from before were it and he used all of them.

He only has Perk-level Protected Hearing and Vision, but he has HT 14 and Very Fit. And as the flashbang was around 30 feet away from him and not in a direct line of sight (slight narrowing of the corridor made an alcove where the guard was taking cover), so the HT checks were pretty easy to make for him.

As for why he failed so badly... well, I rolled an 18 (Sweep), a 15 (Acrobatic Stand) and an 18 (grappling check). But his cumulative wounds, fatigue and hours of extreme stress provide an excellent in-story explanation for it. Not to mention his psychological trauma from what he regards as a profoundly wrong act, i.e. doing his best to kill someone from motives of anger, vengeance and to prevent them from revealing information.
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Last edited by Icelander; 04-06-2017 at 05:07 PM.
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Old 04-07-2017, 06:22 AM   #134
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Default The Good Shepherd

When Taylor bursts in the door, a nurse freezes and drops the empty syringe she is holding next to the patient she injected. The unconscious Special Agent Banks and Colonel Burr lie on couches. Vicente Berrocal’s wheelchair is in a corner with him strapped into it, unconscious, possibly drugged. Cam Townsend is sitting at the desk talking into the radio and behind him, a clean-cut man with dark hair and glasses is standing. Both of them look at the door when Taylor bursts in.

Taylor: "Freeze! Drop the syringe, ma'am. Hands up, y'all."
Dr. Cotton: "Now, there's no need..."
Taylor: “Dr. Bruce Cotton?”
Cotton: "Yes, I am.”
Taylor: “It’s over, Dr. Cotton. Warden Tyrrell ain’t in control no more. Would them guards in the towers obey you?”
Townsend: “Taylor, we’ve reached an agree…”
Taylor [interjecting]: “Ain’t got time to argue. Any moment now, the Coast Guard is gonna take out them towers as the first step of assaulting this here place. If’n they do, everybody in them is gonna die. Dr. Cotton, can you get them guards to surrender?”
Cotton: “I can but try, my good man.”

Dr. Cotton moves to the desk and fiddles with the controls for the intercom and radio. Townsend moves aside, while looking askance at Taylor and the pistol he is still pointing at Dr. Cotton.

Townsend: “There really isn’t any need for…”
Taylor: “There’s every need, sir. Lives are still at stake an’ we ain’t safe yet. Dr. Cotton, you’d best start talkin’ now.”
Cotton: “Certainly.”

Dr. Cotton starts talking in a smooth, mellifluous voice. There is a curious musical quality to his speech, with certain words emphasised in a staccato rhythm. Every intercom and radio on Jewell Island carries his message. When Cherry Bell hears it, she freezes in terror, closes her eyes and starts mouthing denials. Then she starts running. Dr. Anderson look up from placing Emma King on a couch and with a quick interjection to some orderlies to take care of her, he runs after Bell down the corridor in the direction of the main building.

Cotton: “Officers, I would like to state that you have acted courageously in the defence of Manhanock. I royally salute your efforts, but now is the time to give up arms and give up. This exercise gets top marks, but do the right thing and surrender."
Taylor [sharply]: “That’s enough, ya low down copperhead snake in the grass! Step away from the desk, now!”
Townsend: “Taylor, what the hell…!”

Taylor has taken a step closer to Dr. Cotton and has his finger on the trigger of his M9. No one in the room doubts that he’s a fraction of a second away from firing if Cotton doesn’t comply immediately. Shocked, Dr. Cotton stumbles backward, with his hands in his air.

Cotton: “What is this about, friend? There’s no need for this at all.”
Taylor: “Ain’t a real good time to play dumb, Dr. Cotton. That there were a code phrase or somethin’ like it. Tyrrell call himself a King an' his men Knights. You'd be what, a Jester? Tryin’ to get ever'body might could testify ‘bout your crimes kilt?”
Cotton: “I don’t know what you think you know or who you think you are, but…”
Taylor [interrupting]: “I been strivin’ real hard, Dr. Cotton, strivin’ to be the Good Shepherd. I'ma a-feared that in my heart, though, I’ma real tempted to be the avenger of blood.”
Cotton: “What are y… Oh, my God!”
Taylor: “An’ I don’t know if’n that would be such a bad thing, neither. When somebody like you, Dr. Cotton, preys on the innocent and defenceless, falling on them like a wolf in the fold, ain’t the shepherd right to take up rod and staff? Don’t justice require a sword in the hands of God’s servants, somebody to execute His wrath upon the evildoer?”
Cotton: “This is ridiculous, I’ve made an arrangement with your superiors!”
Townsend: “Taylor, this man is cooperating with us. He’s very important to our plans! You can’t shoot him!”
Taylor: “Doncha know, Dr. Cotton, that what you done, it is evil? Preyin’ on somebody so completely powerless, no friends, no family, nobody to protect her at all. Jes’ false reports an’ secret deals bein’ used to take away her voice. An’ then you done got your filthy hands on her. Somebody who were supposed to be in your care! You gonna tell me how that’s right, Dr. Cotton? How you ain’t evil at all?”
Cotton [scared]: “You can’t do anything to me! I’ve made a deal! Townsend, call him to order!”
Townsend: “Taylor, I’m ordering you to lower your gun, right now.”
Taylor: “I’d sure like it if’n I could believe I was chosen to deliver vengeance to ya. But I cain’t do that. I ain’t God’s messenger. I’ma jes’ a sinner, Dr. Cotton, like you. I… I ain’t big enough to forgive ya. But I ain’t gonna judge you, neither. Judgment ain’t no job for the fallible an’ the sinful. My preacher, he done said that vengeance, it belong to the Lord.”

Taylor lowers his gun. Dr. Cotton breathes out in relief and Townsend wipes sweat of his brow. Dr. Cotton starts to turn to Townsend, his face still pale with fear, but rapidly filling with rage. Faster than either Cotton or Townsend can follow, Taylor brings his M9 pistol back into line and fires three times rapidly, the reports blending together into one sound. Three 9mm bullets hit Dr. Cotton between the eyes before he registers motion. Cotton's brains splatter the wall behind him and he is dead before he hits the ground.

Taylor: “I’ma jes’ here to fetch ya to Him.”

Horrified at the noise, blood and gore, Townsend jumps away from the falling Dr. Cotton. He looks at Taylor in incoherent fury.

Townsend: “Do you know what you’ve done!”
Taylor: “I reckon I jes’ done committed a murder.”

Townsend notices that Taylor is still holding his gun. Looking around the room, Townsend notices that everyone except him and the nurse who gave the man strapped down in a chair a shot is heavily medicated and not conscious. And judging from the glassy stare and vacant demeanour of the nurse, she might not be entirely there. Which might make Townsend the only witness.

Taylor notices that Townsend is staring at the pistol he’s got in his hand, pointing at the floor. With a contemptuous shrug, Taylor engages the safety and drops it to the ground, where it clatters loudly. Then he moves to the desk and takes the two grenades that still hang on his tactical gear off, placing them on the desk.

As he does so, Cherry Bell comes running in the room. She’s got an M16A2 rifle hanging on a patrol sling, but she doesn’t seem to notice that it’s there. Instead, she runs to the bloody corpse of Dr. Cotton, screaming in incoherent fury. She kicks the body again and again, screaming wordless hatred. Dr. Anderson follows her inside, moving to restrain her. He takes her in his arms, speaking her name comfortingly, as if to a child. Cherry Bell looks up with a stricken expression.

Bell: “Why can’t I remember his name?”

Taylor doesn’t look in Bell’s direction. He can see Dr. Anderson leading her unresistingly to a chair in the corner and asking about a sheet to cover the body, but doesn’t show any evidence that he hears him. Instead, he simply starts walking out of the room.

Townsend: “Where the hell do you think you’re going?”
Taylor [flatly, tiredly]: “Back downstairs. Ain’t all them guards surrendered, last I done checked. If’n we don’t want more people dying when them Coastie boys get here, I better secure everybody. You might could talk to your boss an’ get a line for the incident commander, update everybody on our status. Oh, an’ Doc, I could use some help downstairs. Some real bad wounds there. Warden Tyrrell were still breathing when I left him, but it ain’t no thanks to me if’n he still is. Real bad head injury, probably needs urgent care.”
Dr. Anderson [while holding Bell]: “I am sorry, Taylor, but as you can see, I have duties here as well.”
Taylor: “Whatever, Doc. Join me when ya kin. I’ll try an’ send O’Toole up here to do anythin’ that don’t require a for-real medical degree, if’n ya think it’d make it easier for ya to get free.”

Without waiting for an answer, Taylor walks off. Dr. Anderson looks after him with a worried look on his face, but then focuses on attending to Sherilyn Bell. As they were running there, he noticed her reacting very strangely to Dr. Cotton’s speech in the intercom, staggering and almost falling down near the end of it. Ms. Bell is clearly upset, but she is also exhibiting peculiar symptoms that might indicate a dreamlike state or an altered state of consciousness.

Dr. Anderson: “Ms.Bell, do you know where you are? And what you are doing here?”
Bell [crying]: “Sure. I’m in Warden Tyrrell’s office. I was… am… I…”
Dr. Anderson: “Who were you angry at, Ms. Bell?”
Bell [downcast]: “I don’t know. I… can’t remember. Somebody real bad.”
Dr. Anderson: “Who is primary physician, Ms. Bell?”
Bell: “Doctor… uh, Doctor… I don’t know. I don’t understand!”
Dr. Anderson: “It is quite all right, Ms. Bell. I believe that I understand and there is no need for you to do anything at the moment other than relax and recover.”

Dr. Anderson can see that the nurse in the room, Nurse McRae according to her nametag, who is still standing still with glassy eyes, is further evidence of his theory. Nurse McRae exhibits all the signs of someone who has been subjected to drug-enhanced hypnotism. Hypnotism has a number of legitimate clinical uses in psychiatry, but is far from as effective as usually portrayed in the movies.

Certain psychotropic drugs, however, could engender exceptional susceptibility to mental suggestion and theoretically allow a skilled hypnotism to put the subject in a dream-like state. It was, in fact, something Dr. Anderson had done some research on in his first years at Manhanock Asylum.
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Last edited by Icelander; 05-05-2017 at 03:45 AM.
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Old 04-10-2017, 07:31 PM   #135
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Default Calling Dr. Anderson

Taylor leaves the spare magazines on his tactical gear and the duty belt with baton and Mace on Warden Tyrrell’s desk, next to the two M67 grenades. All he retains on his SRT issue gear is the first aid kit they scrounged in the guard barracks. He’s not carrying any weapons, except the M67 he used to make an improvised incendiary device in the barracks and then re-safed after he disabled the bomb and stuck in his pants pocket, and that only because he’s forgotten about it for the moment. Despite shedding all that weight, Taylor walks slowly and stiffly as he leaves, like a tired old man.

Taylor first goes down the corridor on the third floor where he’d hear the weird scritching sound. He finds it hard to care about anything, but he’s still not going to leave potential threats where they can surprise the defenceless people in Tyrrell’s former office. From what Taylor can remember, the sound came from a direction which leads him to a door marked ‘Dr. C. McKinney’. There’s no scritching sound anymore, but there is somebody breathing in there. Taylor knocks and then opens the door. Inside is a distinguished grey-haired man in late middle-age, sitting at a desk and looking vaguely confused. Taylor addresses him in an affectless voice.

Taylor: “Sir, would ya be Dr. McKinney?”
Dr. McKinney: “Yes?”
Taylor: “You got a weapon?”
McKinney: “Certainly not!”
Taylor: “What you been doing in here? You with Dr. Cotton?”
McKinney: “Who? I’m a physician here! Who are you?”
Taylor: “Sir, there’s gone an’ been a situation. I’m gonna have to ask you to come with me.”
McKinney: “What do you mean? What’s been happening?”
Taylor: “Manhanock Asylum done got put under direct Homeland Security administration. Jes’ come to Warden Tyrrell’s office, Mr. Townsend will explain everythin’.”
McKinney: “Well, I suppose…”

Taylor guides Dr. McKinney to the door of the Deputy Warden’s office and points him at the door, without going with him there. Then he just walks away again. As Taylor comes to the stairway down to the second floor, Taylor slows down and calls out to O’Toole. O’Toole replies, whereupon Taylor identifies himself and walks down the stairs.

O’Toole has handcuffed the SRT sharpshooter he was struggling with when Taylor left. Judging from the dishevelled look of both men and the bruises beginning to show on the guard, it took considerable doing and O’Toole seems to have used his Mace spray and baton pretty freely. Taylor’s voice sounds drained, like he’s reciting his words in a daze.

Taylor: “We’ve done took charge of Manhanock until them Coasties arrive, which I guess makes you in charge. Townsend’s in Warden Tyrrell’s office, to the right, he’ll brief you. There’s a funny ole boy there, too, a Dr. McKinney, don’t know if’n he a hostage, on Tyrrell’s side or jes’ confused. You might wanna do a sweep of the rest o’ them rooms up there too, they ain’t all cleared. The guards is all supposed to be surrendered, but ya wanna be careful.”
O’Toole: “Uh, okay. What are you going to do?”
Taylor: “Try an’ keep anybody else from dying. Some bad injuries there down on first. I cain’t do nothing ‘bout brain trauma, but I might could help them guards who were too close to the flashbang. That second time, I’s meaning. Send Doc Anderson down if’n ya kin, soon as he agrees to come. Maybe you can fetch him some help from the staff room, Dr. King or some orderlies or something.”
O’Toole: “Taylor, what happened to your weapons? Want to borrow a pistol, at least?”
Taylor: “Ain’t gonna need one. I’m done with killin’.”

Without waiting for an answer, Taylor goes to the next stairwell, leading down to the first floor. O’Toole is clearly not happy about being left with a responsibility for everything and the possibility of having to secure rooms without assistance from Taylor, but can’t exactly demand that the convicted felon pick up a gun to carry when the Coast Guard arrives.

Taylor checks the unconscious guard at the top of the stairs and finds his breathing steady. This one took a beanbag to the face and seems to be still unconscious from it, but there’s no evidence of major trauma. A concussion, probably, but no fracture in the skull is evident and probably no major intracranial bleeding or he’d be dying or dead already. After he’s satisfied that the guard is probably going to live until proper medical help gets there, Taylor cuffs him with flexicuffs and leaves him lying on the side, so guard won’t drown in his own vomit if he gets nauseous.

Moving down to the main corridor on the first floor, Taylor can see that the fat guard who pretended to be unconscious is having some kind of seizure. As his injuries were to the body, Taylor doesn’t believe this is related to head trauma, so he figures it must be a pre-existing condition. Without knowing more, any treatment would be useless, so Taylor just turns the guard on his the side, kicks away the shotgun lying close to him and removes the pistol from his belt, tossing it away. Having done his best to clear away stuff that could hurt the guard, Taylor looks for something to use as a pillow, but doesn’t find anything.

Taylor checks into the next room, where he left the black gentleman in SRT gear cuffed next to the unconscious Warden Tyrrell. Taylor notes that the flexicuffs are loose on the floor, but the SRT guard doesn’t seem to be a threat, as he’s having the same kind of seizure as the fat one in the corridor. Taylor quickly repeats the process he performed in the corridor, removing any potentially dangerous items from the patient and placing him on his side.

Warden Tyrrell seems to be still breathing, but from the shallowness of the breathing, he’s in severe shock. As he clearly has a fractured skull in multiple places and very likely acute intracranial haemorrhaging, Taylor doubts that any assistance can be rendered without a qualified physician in attendance to diagnose and at least the resources of an air ambulance. Of course, it may well be that nothing short of an operating room and a full team of neurosurgeons can help Tyrrell, as his fractured skull looks disfigured in a way that suggests widespread trauma to the brain.

With a grimace, Taylor leaves the room, tossing the guns into the next one. He moves down the corridor to look for the room where the flashbang went off. He can see the two guards he hit with the beanbags at extreme range, both of them still unconscious. One has a ruined eye, which Taylor notes with a flash of guilt, but he figures that anything he does is more likely to do harm than help. He’s not fully trained as an 18D, Special Forces Medic, just cross-trained in basic battlefield first aid. Better to leave anything surgical to real doctors. Walking on, Taylor can hear someone talking in a low voice ahead, evidently trying to sooth someone in pain.

Taylor: “I’m from Homeland Security. There’s been an incident an’ Manhanock Asylum is under direct federal control. The Coast Guard has formed a perimeter an’ will be sending in paramedics. Can y'all use some help until then?”
Guard: “Yes, please! I need help with my friend here! He’s badly burned, but I don’t know what happened… or why I’m in here. Where’s the Warden?”
Taylor: “Warden Tyrrell done been removed from command. He gone an' took hostages, attacked federal agents an’ the like.”
Guard: “What? That’s crazy!”
Taylor: “Sure is.”

Taylor enters a room where a flashbang has clearly gone off. Two men are still there, one, an African-American in his thirties, is ineffectively trying to administer some help to the other, a slightly overweight bald white male in his late forties, who is lying on the floor badly burned, with one hand a horrible black and red ruin. Taylor kneels by the side of the burned man and takes out his first aid kit.

Taylor: “Agent O’Toole is in charge of the scene now, but if’n you cain’t find him, Mr. Townsend is a lawyer with Homeland Security an’ kin tell you everything. He in the Deputy Warden’s office now. Onliest thing is, I’m a-gonna have to ask ya to leave yer weapons here. Cain’t have anybody armed but federal agents on duty, now.”
Guard: “Oh, okay. I understand. It’s just, do I have to go to speak with them now?”
Taylor: “Wanna stay here with Fred?”
Guard: “Yeah.”
Taylor: “Ain’t a problem. I’ma gonna need the help, anyhow. What’s yer name?”
Whittaker: “Pat… Patrick Whittaker.”
Taylor: “Right pleased to make yer acquintance, Pat. Chase Taylor.”
Whittaker: “Are you okay, Taylor? You look kind of messed up…”
Taylor: “Let’s worry about Fred, Pat. He’s going into shock an’ that’s real bad. We gotta get a handle on that an’ then we gotta get him into a clean infirmary with all them fixings.”

Taylor looks around for a phone and finds one on the wall. He presses a number for the Deputy Wardens office and gets a dial tone. The phone connects and Taylor can even hear it ringing upstairs, but nobody answers. Three rings, four, five
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Last edited by Icelander; 05-16-2017 at 05:23 AM.
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:29 AM   #136
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Dr. Anderson pats Cherry Bell‘s back and strokes her hair as she cries. Townsend is speaking into the radio and a telephone in rapid succession, arguing with the Coast Guard that no men are to be landed on Jewell Island until after his boss has spoken with the incident commander and speaking with someone from Onyx Rain on the phone about possible measures to contain the incident. Townsend is quite accomplished at circumlocution and while the unnamed party on the other side appears to follow him, Dr. Anderson is unsure what measures have been proposed, let alone accepted.

As his eyes pass over the messily dead Dr. Cotton, Dr. Anderson considers that the body should probably be decently covered, to avoid further upsetting anyone. He addresses the nurse still standing there frozen.

Dr. Anderson: “Nurse McRae, could you find a sheet to cover the body?”
Nurse McRae [robotically]: “I could.”

McRae makes no move to do so and the mechanical intonation of her voice serves to confirm Dr. Anderson’s earlier deduction. Abandoning, for the moment, attempts at communicating with McRae, Dr. Anderson instead speaks to Bell in a gentle voice.

Dr. Anderson: “Ms. Bell, do you remember the events of today?”
Cherry Bell [sniffles]: “Uhhh… sure. You and Chase and these other guys came to visit me. You wanted my help to talk Raul into something to do with the government. I agreed to help, but Warden Tyrrell and the guards didn’t want to let me go, so we been running all night from them. Except Chase, I guess, he’s been beating them up and I’ve been helping him.”
Anderson: “Yes, good. You remember Warden Tyrrell, who had been keeping you here. Do you remember anyone else responsible for keeping you here, someone who was not merely a subordinate of the Deputy Warden?”
Bell: “I… there’s another man, but I can’t remember anything about him. Just… just a dark shape in my memories, standing behind me or Tyrrell. Why can’t I remember, Mr. M?”
Anderson: “I believe that some of your memories have been subjected to a hypnotic block while you were in a susceptible state, Ms. Bell, most likely induced through chemical means. The code phrase you just heard activated this mental block. With time I should be able to help you recover access to any lost memories, but it will require work.”
Bell: “It doesn’t sound like they were good memories.”
Anderson: “No, Ms. Bell. Some of them were most assuredly not. And… I do not suppose there is any question of testimony being required for a trial process for Dr. Cotton. Nevertheless, blocking off bad memories, consciously, subconsciously or with chemical help, might not suffice to render them unable to damage your psyche. But all of that is for the future. For now, are you feeling okay?”
Bell: “I feel… empty. I don’t even know why I was crying… and screaming? My throat is raw, but I don’t remember screaming. I guess… I guess I’m okay, Mr. M.”
Anderson: “With Taylor gone, there is no one here with any kind of training or equipment if some guards should not have surrendered. Could you possibly stand guard at the door with your rifle?”
Bell [smiling through drying tears]: “Sure, Mr. M. I’ll protect you and all these other men from the scary guards.”

Dr. Anderson looks around the room, at the drugged Banks, Berrocal and Burr lying on sickrooms and a couch, as well as the unnamed mental patient that the nurse dosed lolling strapped into his chair, the glassy eyed nurse standing by him, apparently unaware of her surroundings, and the distinctly non-combatant Townsend speaking into the radio.

Anderson: “Thank you, my dear.”

Townsend looks up and sees that Cherry Bell is still armed with an M16A2 assault rifle and is taking up a guard position on the door. He frowns at this, but Dr. Anderson forestalls any objection.

Dr. Anderson: “If anyone arrives who is hostile to us, I certainly could not shoot them, even if I were to carry a gun. Could you?”
Townsend: “Er, perhaps not. But Dr. Cotton told the guards to surrender before that maniac shot him!”
Anderson: “And you are willing to bet our lives that not one person did not hear this or is not willing to obey it?
Townsend: “If you insist, but I’m holding you responsible for what she does with that gun, Dr. Anderson.”

As Townsend goes back to talking on the radio, Dr. Anderson makes a quick circuit of the room, checking the drugged and wounded men for vital signs or symptoms that indicate a need for emergency treatment. As far as he can tell, those who have serious injuries, like Burr, have been stabilised already and without knowing what drugs they have been given, there is not much he can do about any of them. Dr. Anderson spots the empty vial on the floor, which Nurse McRae apparently dropped after dosing her patient. While pretending to check Burr’s pulse, Dr. Anderson palms it and sneaks it into a pocket.

Checking that neither Bell nor Townsend are looking in his direction, Dr. Anderson next checks on the patient drugged by Nurse McRae. He uses the opportunity to check McRae’s pockets and comes up with a full vial which looks identical to the empty one on the floor. With surprising dexterity, Dr. Anderson makes that full vial disappear into a pocket as deftly as the empty one did. As he does, Dr. Anderson hears voices in the corridor outside.

O’Toole: “Banks? Townsend? Dr. Anderson? Are you there?”
Townsend: “In here!”

Townsend stands up from the radio equipment after excusing himself to the Coast Guard operator. O’Toole comes into view just outside the room, accompanying a respectable older gentleman, dressed as a doctor. Before Townsend speaks, he closes the door and drags O’Toole away a few steps down the corridor, perhaps to try to prevent Cherry Bell from hearing what they are talking about. If so, it doesn’t work all that well, as Dr. Anderson can follow their speech even through the door and Bell probably can as well.

O’Toole: “Taylor found this guy, says his name is McKinney. McKinney says he’s a doctor and claims he doesn’t remember any hostage crisis, but I think he’s lying through his teeth, the sneaky [fornicating] [noun indicating doubtful parentage]!”
Townsend: “That is Dr. McKinney, Assistant Medical Director and Chief of Non-Psychiatric Medicine at Manhanock Asylum for the Criminally Insane.”
O’Toole: “I’m not [fornicating] blind. I know he looks like his damned picture in the files! I meant he was lying about not remembering, Townsend.”
Townsend: “Well, never mind what he remembers. Somebody else will take statements from everybody, let them worry about who is lying and who is telling the truth. You’ve got more important things to worry about. You’ve got to arrest Taylor!”
O’Toole: “What?! Oh, hell, no!”
Townsend: “He committed a murder! Right in front of my eyes! He killed a very important source.”
O’Toole: “Yeah, you can tell it to the guys who take statements later. Right now, there’s just me and I don’t [fornicating] feel like trying to arrest the kung-fu-fighting former Green Beret with only my [male member] for back-up!”
Townsend: “He’s no longer armed, Agent O’Toole. He left all his weapons in here. You’ve got a rifle, pistol, baton and even grenades.”
O’Toole: “[Excrement]! That’s wicked pissah! You mean all the weapons the trained guard force here had? Before the unarmed GI Joe American Ninja, that you want me to arrest alone, beat them all to [fornication] and took all the weapons away from them? Don’t be a [slang for penis], Townsend. I’m the only agent on the island who can walk and we’ve got a [fornication] ton of problems without making new ones. There’s plenty of wounded. We haven’t accounted for all the hostiles yet. And, yeah, there’s a fire in C Wing. Should probably have [fornicating] led with that.”
Townsend: “I… uh…”
O’Toole: “C’mon, until we can ask the former hostages if the doctor here has [fornicating] hooves and a tail, let’s just assume he might possibly be dangerous and one of us can watch him at all times. And we should probably get someone to check on that fire. But first I’ve got to clear the rest of the third floor here, so we don’t get [fornicating] blindsided.”

While the conversation in the hall was going on, Dr. Anderson had looked around for a clean vial or specimen jar. He doesn’t find any, but it turns out that Deputy Warden Brad Tyrrell was a hobbyist. He made model ships inside bottles. There is a lot of small tools, miniature rigging and tiny nautical objects of all sorts on his desk. Dr. Anderson manages to find an empty bottle of a size he likes in short order. Using a tool from his first aid kit, Dr. Anderson kneels down and scoops substantial quantities of the deceased Dr. Cotton’s brain tissue into the empty bottle.

Dr. Anderson is still doing this as the door opens and Townsend, accompanied by Dr. McKinney, steps into the office. They stare at him, in shock and horror. The phone rings, but no one reacts to answer it.

Dr. Anderson: “I needed some tissue samples. For science.”

Dr. Anderson closes the glass bottle and moves slowly to a miniature fridge in the office. He opens it and places the brains-in-a-bottle on the top shelf. Idly, he also takes out a can of Coca Cola and puts it in a pouch on his tactical gear for later.

Dr. Anderson: “Is anyone going to answer that phone?”

Townsend grabs the phone and answers, seemingly halfway between shock and anger. As he hears the voice on the other end, anger wins out and he turns to Dr. Anderson.

Townsend [coldly]: “It’s for you, Doctor.”
Dr. Anderson: “Yes. Dr. Anderson speaking.”
Taylor: “Yeah, doc, you figure you gonna be much longer? I could really use ya here, I’ve got one burn victim inna critical condition, lots of concussions an’ some strange seizures, one eye trauma an’ the Warden still got his intracranial haemorrhaging, if'n he even still alive. I need a crash kit an’ a real doc.”
__________________
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Last edited by Icelander; 01-27-2018 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 04-15-2017, 01:43 PM   #137
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Default Action Heroes Never Have to do Triage

While on the phone with Taylor, Dr. Anderson looks around him, at the wounded or drugged people from Homeland Security, the still shaken Cherry Bell, the confused Dr. McKinney and the furious Townsend.

Dr. Anderson: “I still have patients up here, Taylor.”
Taylor: “Ya figure any o’ them gonna die in the next few minutes, doc?”
Anderson: “Perhaps not, but you would hardly wish me to leave Ms. Bell unattended. I suspect Mr. Townsend would demand I disarm her if I proposed to leave her up here.”

Townsend nods an empathic affirmative at that. Bell doesn’t seem to care that’s she’s the subject of the conversation, but from the way she grips the pistol grip of her M16A2 while pointedly ignoring everyone, the prospect of disarming her is not inviting. Taylor squeezes the phone and momentarily looks away from Pat Whittaker, who is laying out stuff from the first aid kit Taylor brought. Then he raises the handset to his face again, voice carefully uninflected.

Taylor: “I suppose you might could take her with ya, doc. If’n she’s still out of it, she might as well be useless down here as upstairs, an’ if she’s not, she oughta be able to hold gauze an’ wipe packets.”
Anderson: “I am sure Ms. Bell can be of great assistance to us.”
Taylor: “Y’all best hurry up now.”

Dr. Anderson looks enquiringly at Cherry Bell. She shrugs and steps out to accompany him. As she does, Agent O’Toole arrives in the doorway again.

O’Toole: “Doc! There’s something really [fornication]-ed up going on here! I found a guy who’s just staring out a window, won’t respond to anything I do. It’s some wicked freaky [excrement], for real! Just stares out like he’s in another world, or something.”
Dr. Anderson: “Did this person look like he was in immediate danger?”
O’Toole: “I don’t know. I think it’s the [fornicating] Warden. I mean, the Administrator formerly known as the Warden. He’s in a corner office where it says ‘Chief Administrator’ and ‘Dr. Vernon Findlay’ on the door.”
Anderson: “Well, if he is calm and his condition is stable, I will be right by to evaluate him after I deal with those with immediate life-threatening injuries.”
O’Toole: “Yeah, yeah, sure, doc. Hey, if you pass by the former hostages, maybe you could try and find someone to take care of [excrement] like the fire in C Wing?”
Anderson: “I will mention it.”
O’Toole: “Hey, no pressure. The [fornicating] building is only on [fornicating] fire! I’m sure I can deal with it while also clearing this floor, providing security to our wounded, talking to the [fornicating] Coasties and doing other [excrement] no one else seems to be doing, like disarming all the guards.”
Anderson: “Excellent. I will send anyone who volunteers to help directly to you.”

As O’Toole covers his face and goes to the security system controls to check if the sprinklers in C Wing work, Dr. Anderson and Cherry Bell walk down to the second floor of the front central building before going down the corridor to the rear building, where most of the former hostages are still in the staff room. Townsend and Dr. McKinney walk with them and while Dr. Anderson fetches his crash kit, Dr. McKinney asks if anybody is injured.

Anderson checks on Emma King and on seeing her much improved, asks her to help McKinney and any orderlies in preparing an OR in the infirmary for a burn victim and seeing about moving any other injured people to a real medical facility. Anderson also asks anyone who wants to help, but doesn’t have medical training to report to Agent O’Toole.

After this, Anderson and Bell walk back the corridor and once they are in the front building, to the stairs that lead down to the first floor. Anderson takes a look at the SRT guard who was carrying a precision rifle and the guard who took a beanbag to the face while at the top of the stairs. Both are conscious and appear out of immediate danger. O’Toole has cuffed them both and Dr. Anderson decides that he can leave them while he goes downstairs to check on more serious injuries.

The fleshy guard lying at the base of the other stairs that lead down to the corridor seems to be conscious as well, but he’s been placed in a sideways position and apparently suffered a seizure. From what Dr. Anderson can tell, the seizure has passed and the vital signs are strong, but the man is very confused.

Guard Marty Simpson: “Who are you? What happened?”
Dr. Anderson: “Relax. I am Dr. Anderson. You have had a bad fall down the stairs and might have broken some bones. I am going to give you a painkiller before we try to move you.”
Simpson: “Anderson? Are you a doctor at Manhanock?”
Anderson: “I was. Now I am with Homeland Security. What is the last thing you remember, Mr. [reads name tag] Simpson?”
Simpson: “Uh, it’s all sort of a blur. I guess, my rounds? Or maybe going to bed? What day is it?”
Anderson [while injecting morphine]: “Friday, the third of February.”
Simpson: “Oh, then I don’t remember today at all. Or yesterday. Anyway, I’m supposed to be off duty this weekend, should have left this morning on the ferry…”
Anderson: “Try not to worry. Temporary confusion and memory loss is common when you have suffered a bad fall. Just relax and I will let you know when we are ready to get you on a stretcher.”
Simpson: “Thanks, doc. That’s much better, you know. Real great stuff, that painkiller.”

Dr. Anderson notices that two other guards lying in the corridor have regained consciousness. One of them is holding his head and groaning, but the other is making a whimpering noise as he tentatively feels around his face and the ruin of his destroyed eye. Anderson grabs his wrist before he touches the gore-filled eyehole or the exposed nerves hanging from it.

Dr. Anderson: “Take care there. You might risk an infection if you touch it.”
Guard Walker: “Whaz tha… Oww! Where’s Warden Tyrrell?”
Anderson: “No longer in command. May I see your eye?”
Walker: “You’re that doctor we were looking for. Are you… are you one of them?”
Anderson: “I am Dr. Anderson. What do you mean by ‘them'?”
Walker: “You know, lizard people!”
Anderson: “I am not, Mr. Walker. I just want to clean your wound and prevent an infection. I can also give you a painkiller, if you want. I would strongly recommend one before I treat you.”
Walker: “Sure. I’m captured either way, aren’t I?”
Anderson: “I am not certain how that works. So far, no one seems to be under arrest. Warden Tyrrell’s actions were criminal, certainly, but I am not interested in finding out who was forced or tricked to help him and who helped him willingly and knowingly. I am just trying to treat the injured.”

At this point, Walker spots Cherry Bell at Dr. Anderson’s side. He recoils in fear and raises a hand to protect himself.

Walker: “Get her away from me!”
Anderson: “She was going to help me, but if you do not wish her to touch you, she will not. Ms. Bell, if you would perhaps help Mr. Taylor instead?”

Cherry Bell takes some supplies out of the crash cart and goes over to Taylor and Patrick Whittaker, who are treating the mercifully unconscious guard, Fred Pierce, the one holding a flashbang when it went off. Whittaker stares at her in some confusion. Taylor is focused on what he is doing, cutting away burnt fabric from Pierce’s blackened flesh, and does not look at Bell.

Whittaker: “Hey, wait, aren’t you a patient here? What are you doing with weapons?”
Cherry Bell: “I’m not your stupid patient anymore and I can…”
Taylor [interrupting]: “Ms. Bell done been moved by order of Homeland Security an’ she ain’t a patient at Manhanock no more. She had to use them weapons for self-defence, but she gonna put them back jes’ as soon as ever’thing’s secure.”
Whittaker: “Are you sure that’s safe, man?”
Taylor: “Ma’am, wouldya be willin’ to lay down yer rifle while ya help us treat Fred here?”
Bell: “Damn it, Chase, I ain’t some stranger old lady!”
Taylor: “Okay. Sherilyn, couldya please lay down the rifle now? It’ll be in the way anyhow.”

Cherry Bell angrily loosens her patrol sling and almost throws her assault rifle down. Angry or not, she proves to be an adequate assistant and Taylor manages to stabilise Fred Pierce and ready him for transport. Dr. Anderson has finished with Walker’s eye by then and determined that the man next to him is not badly injured.

Taylor: “That’ll be all I kin do for him, doc. I figure he needs surgery an’ the other burnt guard in the sickroom over yonder too.”
Dr. Anderson: “Dr. McKinney is supposed to be arranging for orderlies to transport anyone who needs it to the infirmary, where we are going to prepare an OR.”
Taylor: “How’s Tyrrell?”
Dr. Anderson: “Well, I have not gotten to him yet.”
Taylor: “Aww, crud. He’s over yonder [points], in that there room. I guess you ain’t comin’ with me, then.”
Anderson: “Where are you going?”
Taylor: “Find all them people who done hid under G Wing. Them tunnels ain’t safe nohow.”
Anderson: “You might be right that the tunnels are not safe, but you are not in any condition to keep running around like this.”
Taylor: “Who else is gonna, doc?”
Anderson: “At least take Ms. Bell with you.”
Whittaker: “I’ll help. I mean, if I’m allowed to.”
Taylor: “Sure, you can help, Pat. Can he come with us or is there somethin’ more pressin’, doc?”
Anderson: “Well, Agent O’Toole did mention a fire…”
Taylor: “Lord Almighty. We ain’t done nothin’ ‘bout that yet? Okay, Pat, there’s a fire in C Wing. Find volunteers to put it out an’ check in with O’Toole upstairs.”

Taylor instructs Dr. Anderson, Pat Whittaker and Bell in setting their radios to a new frequency for their use. He tells Anderson that if he needs medical assistance for any of the people down in the tunnels, he’ll call him on that frequency, which should be passed on to O’Toole, but not mentioned to anybody else. Then Taylor looks at Bell, strapping her weapon on her again and checking the magazine.

Taylor: “You comin’?”
Bell: “I guess.”
__________________
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Last edited by Icelander; 05-02-2017 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 04-17-2017, 04:19 PM   #138
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Cherry Bell and Chase Taylor step outside of the front central building of Manhanock Asylum. Taylor expected to see armed guards outside the main entrance, sharpshooters for the SRT team, but evidently, Warden Tyrrell had been in too much of a hurry to detail anyone off for overwatch. Taylor can spot a man outside the barracks some three football fields away, limping on a bad leg. He’s got a large rifle with a scope, but isn’t looking through it.

It’s after midnight and while the night is clear, it hasn’t snowed for almost two weeks, so the frozen ground is shades of brown. No chance that anyone with normal vision can spot two people walking from a thousand feet away. Cherry Bell doesn’t even glance in the direction of the barracks and Taylor doesn’t think it serves any purpose to tell her about the guard.

Whether it’s the shock of Dr. Cotton’s death, a sense of anti-climax or some side-effect of hypnotic suggestion that has upset Bell and caused her to abandon her usual flirtatious, airheaded act, it hasn’t altered her uncanny physical grace. While she seems stressed and tired, she still moves swiftly, with perfect assurance, almost soundlessly, like a predatory cat. She’s holding her assault rifle ready to engage any threat. By contrast, Taylor shuffles along with painful, leaden steps, with no weapon at the ready, appearing neither alert nor capable of much exertion.

As they move past the corner of the building they exited, they can see G Wing up ahead. Taylor clears his throat and speaks in a low voice. He doesn’t look at Bell and his voice is flat, uninflected.

Taylor: “Sherilyn… You okay?”
Bell: “I’m fine.”
Taylor: “Upstairs, ya done said you couldn’t recollect Dr. Cotton’s name. That really so?”
Bell: “I guess I can’t remember some things. Like who that dead guy was or why I was angry at him.”
Taylor: “Dr. Cotton were your doctor for the last five years or so. You don’t recollect nothin’ ‘bout him?”
Bell: “Not really.”
Taylor: “What about all that stuff he made you do? You don’t recollect none of it, neither?”
Bell: “I don’t really know, do I? If you want to know, do I remember him doing stuff like abusing me, [screwing] me, then no! I don’t remember anything like that. And I’m pretty sure I don’t want to. So maybe just stop asking! I’m really fine not knowing that stuff.”
Taylor: “I’ma talkin’ about him forcing you to use your powers on them guards. Do you recollect doing that?”
Bell: “Yeah, I guess I do. I just don’t remember him being there. I remember scenes… you know, with like, somebody else present, except I can’t see them clearly. This guy, I guess. When I try to remember better, I still can’t see him. He’s just like this shadow, standing behind me.”
Taylor: “What about today? You recollect today an’ all what’s happened?”
Bell: “Yeah, Chase. I don’t think I forgot anything except that nasty guy, probably because that’s what he wanted to happen.”
Taylor: “But you’s still clear on what to tell folk who ask about today an’ the rest o’ your stay here? So nobody is gonna figure out about your talents?”
Bell: “Yes! Damnit, Chase, I know better than to tell people anything about my [fornicating] mind-control powers! We already talked about it and I already agreed not to mention it!”
Taylor: “Ain’t that simple, Sherilyn. They’s gonna interview everybody an’ if’n you tell a story that don’t match what they hear from them others, well, they’s gonna be suspicious. You gonna have to go over your story with Doc Anderson an’ figure what everybody else will be saying, make sure you match up with that.”
Bell: “I’ve lied before, you know.”
Taylor: “Never ‘bout anything this important, Sherilyn. They is gonna be real suspicious an’ there’s a lot of guards who might could tell them stuff about you that’s gonna need to be explained.”
Bell: “Well, if you really want to help me, why dontcha do something about those guards, before they talk?”
Taylor: “Naw, Sherilyn. That ain’t gonna happen.”
Bell: “Oh, so you can kill some guy whose name I can’t recall so he won’t talk, but when I tell you about others who are a danger to me, you suddenly can’t help. [fornication], Chase, I thought you were a man!”
Taylor: “I guess I ain’t your idea of a man, then.”

They’ve reached the door on the G Wing building and Taylor uses a key from his guard keyring to open it. With Cherry Bell in the lead, they move through the lobby, into a central corridor and to the stairwell down to the cellar. When they’ve made it down the stairs and are confident that no threats are lurking down there, Taylor moves to the door that leads to the tunnels.

Taylor: “Sherilyn, you don’t like them tunnels all that much an’ you cain’t see down there like I can, ain’t that right?”
Bell: “I guess not.”
Taylor: “Would you happen to care one way or the other if’n them folks down there get hurt?”
Bell: “You know I don’t.”
Taylor: “Then I reckon you ain’t got much reason to be here. I only needed backup in case there were some guards on the way an’ there don’t seem to be any. Might could be a good idea if’n you when to Doc Anderson an’ them others, see about getting’ your story straight afore them Coasties or somebody else comes along asking questions. An' maybe get some rest.”

Cherry Bell looks at Taylor for a while, but if there was anything she wanted to say, she thinks better of it. Taylor, usually able to read every micro-expression of those he speaks with, does not seem to pay any attention to her.

Bell: “Fine. Sure. Whatever. Could have saved me the trip.”
Taylor: “You mind Doc Anderson real good an’ don’t underestimate them folks at Onyx Rain. Take care now, Sherilyn.”

Taylor walks into the darkened tunnels beyond the blast doors, still unarmed, stiff and tired. He’s heading for the Mens’ Room, where Bob the Orderly and the patient he was with, Cindy, were hiding before they met them earlier this evening. If they are lucky, Bob will still be there with the other oderlies and the low-security patients from I Wing. Cherry Bell watches him disappear into the darkness and then scoffs, turning away.

The tunnels are almost completely dark, but there’s enough dim light getting in somehow for Taylor to get around. Faint sounds indicate the presence of life in the tunnels, rats and insects and suchlike. There’s also a lingering odour Taylor will never ignore again, the acrid smell of rodent urine. Listening carefully for breathing or footsteps, Taylor reaches for his radio and flicks it over to Channel 16.

Taylor: “Bob? You there? I'ma coming to fetch y’all.”
Bob: “Who’s that?”

Taylor can hear Bob speaking less than a hundred feet away and a second or two of listening confirms that he’s surrounded by a crowd of people trying to be quiet. Taylor keeps walking as he talks into the radio.

Taylor: “It’s Chase Taylor. Warden Tyrrell ain’t in charge no more an’ it’s safe upstairs, but I reckon it ain’t so safe down here, nohow. I’m right around the corner, jes’ now.”

Through the fog of fatigue, Taylor can hear more than just the breathing of the people in the Mens’ Room. There is also a lot of tiny clicking or scratching sounds, what Taylor fears are probably extremely small claws hitting a stone surface as rats move around. He can even identify a mass of small creatures breathing in unison, no more than a hundred and fifty feet down a corridor. And they are moving toward them. As Taylor comes to the door, he can see Bob’s anxious face peering out.

Bob: “Thank God, it is you!”
Taylor: “I don’t wanna alarm nobody, but you get ever’body to that blast door right now!”
Bob: “Right. Okay, people, we’re leaving. Everybody grab their buddies and let’s walk, chop, chop!”

Taylor helps Bob and the other orderlies count off patients for some ten seconds, but listening to the ominous sounds of tiny paws and lungs moving closer, Taylor realises that the huge mass of rats he hears will be upon them well before they can walk to the blast door. He moves out into the corridor between the refugees and the rats. Looking back at the line of refugees, Taylor addresses Bob.

Taylor: “I’ma sorry to scare them, but you gotta make ‘em run, Bob. Run to that blast door an’ lock it after you when you get there.”
Bob: “But…”
Taylor: “There’s rats following. You want them rats to get out?”
Bob: “Then run with us. We can all make it!”
Taylor: “Ain’t no time to argue, Bob. You run an’ you save them folks!”

Taylor’s last command is delivered in more or less the same monotone voice he’s been speaking with since Dr. Cotton’s death, but it’s delivered with such absolute certainty of purpose that Robert quickly obeys without even stopping to wonder why. He shouts at the patients and other orderlies to run, get to the cellar doors as fast as they can. Only two of them have flashlights, the orderly leading them and Bob at the rear, but as it is a direct route down the corridor, they manage to get all the people shuffling in the same direction without leaving anyone behind.

Taylor moves in the opposite direction, toward the oncoming horde of rats. At first, he tries to convey non-aggression through his idea of rat body language, but when it becomes clear to him that the tide of black fur is going to rush past him, he jumps to block the first runners with a leg, stamping in front of them and frightening some of them back.

The corridor is not all that wide, but it’s wide enough so that the rats can pass if they are willing to take casualties and the horde regroups into a two-pronged formation. Reaching into his pocket, Taylor takes out the M67 grenade he recovered from the barrack kitchen. Lifting it up so that all the rats can see, Taylor takes another step toward the rats.

Taylor: “Listen up, you rat sons of biscuits! You lot know what this is? I’ll jes' bet you do.”
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Last edited by Icelander; 05-22-2017 at 03:54 AM.
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:19 AM   #139
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Default Nobody Remembers Nuthin'

The guard, Patrick Whittaker, nods goodbyes and jogs for the stairs, eager to get to grips with the fire in C Wing. With a sigh, Dr. Michael Anderson turns away from Chase Taylor and Cherry Bell as they leave the main building of Manhanock Asylum. Ms. Bell is almost certainly not in a fit mental state for any kind of challenging activity and Dr. Anderson considers ordering her to come back with him instead, but given that Chase Taylor seems to be a wreck both physically and mentally, it would probably be even worse to let him go alone.

Well, the boy is in love with her, or experiencing a very convincing facsimile thereof, and being adored seems to be important to her. They could be good for each other. Even as he tries to convince himself, Anderson is pretty sure that leaving them alone together is a bad idea, but he can’t really see an alternative. Taylor just committed murder for Bell, so at the very least, they’ll need to synch up their stories. And they are the only two people who have any chance of being able to fetch the refugees from the tunnels under the asylum and after what Dr. Anderson has seen there, that’s not a place anyone should be left in.

Anderson runs a hand through his wavy curls, clearing them away from his face, as he finally goes to check the room where Taylor said the Deputy Warden, Brad Tyrrell, would be found. As he walks down the corridor, Dr. Anderson hopes that Taylor was right about the extent of injuries that Warden Tyrrell had suffered, as Anderson has no desire to encounter the man responsible for several hectic hours of terrifying violence if he is at all capable of posing further threat to anyone. Dr. Anderson is wearing tactical gear and carrying a loaded pistol, but he has no illusions about his ability to shoot his fellow men. Better by far if Warden Tyrrell is already incapacitated.

Stepping through a door into a small room or a side corridor, Dr. Anderson immediately recognises an outhouse smell. He can spot two men, one of them lying on the ground, the other awkwardly propped up by the wall, fumbling at a radio on the shoulder of his tactical gear. The man trying to use the radio is African-American and he seems either concussed or very confused.

Dr. Anderson: “I am Dr. Anderson. May I help you?”
Rankin: “Uh… what’s happening? What am I doing here?”
Dr. Anderson: “There has been an incident. The DHS has direct administration of the island for the duration of the emergency.”
Rankin: “You’ve got to help Brad... uh, Warden Tyrrell.”
Anderson: “He is, of course, not my patient, but I will check his vitals, as long as it is understood that I do not thereby assume any liability in treating him. Emergency medicine is not my field and I note for the record that the equipment and conditions are grossly inadequate for any medical treatment.”

Dr. Anderson moves to the second man, lying prone on the floor in a pool of blood around his head. There is a strong odour of urine and faeces emanating from the prone man, which Dr. Anderson guesses results from the voiding of the bowels concurrent with unconsciousness from head trauma. There is significant deformation of the skull, which is broken in at least two places.

Dr. Anderson examines the man carefully, well enough to confirm identification as Deputy Warden Tyrrell and to determine that there is no pulse. This is a source of some relief to Dr. Anderson, as he’d been dreading Tyrrell recovering somehow and attacking everyone around him like a blood-crazed fighting dog coming to after a lost bout. Privately, Dr. Anderson is fairly confident that Tyrrell died of intracranial haemorrhaging caused by repeated blunt force trauma to the head, but he is careful not to make any unnecessary pronouncements.

Anderson: “There is nothing I can do for him. Is there anything I can help you with, Mr….?”
Rankin: “Uh, I’m Inspector Kevin Rankin. What do you mean incident? What happened to Brad? Why are we wearing tactical gear?”
Anderson: “It is probably best if you come with me upstairs and speak with Agent O’Toole or Mr. Townsend.”

Leading a mystified and subdued Inspector Rankin, Dr. Anderson climbs the stairs, passing a cuffed and bruised guard on the second floor. When Rankin wants to stop and free the guard, Dr. Anderson instructs him to continue with him up the next flight of stairs, to the third floor, where they run into Agent O’Toole.

O’Toole: “Thank [fornication]! You’re here, doc. You gonna take a look at that [fornicating] freaky guy over here?”
Anderson: “Chief Administrator Findlay?”
O’Toole: “[Excrement], if he isn’t [fornicating] Findlay, he’s got wicked brass sitting in his fancy [fornicating] chair in his goddamned office.”
Anderson: “To be sure. If you and Mr. Townsend could perhaps take care of Inspector Rankin in the meantime? It seems Mr. Rankin is having some trouble remembering recent events. Fill him in, will you?”
O’Toole: “Well, [excrement], that’s one thing this madhouse’s got in common with Southie. When the cops start clearing up after a to-do, nobody remembers nuthin’!”
Anderson: “You should use your best judgment whether any of them can be trusted, Agent O’Toole, but medically, I consider it quite possible that they are telling the truth. From what I can tell, Dr. Cotton has been drugging people and hypnotizing them while they were in a suggestible state.”
O’Toole: “What, like [fornicating] Jedi Mind Tricks?”
Anderson: “In some cases, no doubt. Let us hope Inspector Rankin was not abused in that fashion.”

After showing Agent O’Toole the radio channel that Taylor set aside for their use, Dr. Anderson walks to the luxurious corner office where the Chief Administrator of Manhanock Asylum for the Criminally Insane works. Knocking politely, Dr. Anderson lets himself in when there is no reply. Inside the room, a slightly overweight, suit-clad man sits staring blankly out a window. Anderson asks if he is Dr. Vernon Findlay.

Not receiving any answer, Dr. Anderson examines the man carefully. He concludes that the blank-faced man is in a trance with strong similarities to a drug-induced hypnotic state. Dr. Anderson starts to speak in a soothing, rhythmic tone of voice, aiming to emulate the original hypnotist.

Anderson: “You will tell me your name.”
Dr. Findlay [flat voice]: “Vernon Findlay.”
Anderson: “Good. Has anything out of the ordinary occurred today, Dr. Findlay?”
Findlay [reciting mechanically]: “Nothing out of the ordinary has occurred. Manhanock Asylum endeavours to provide a secure and welcoming home for patients. Our commitment to safety is matched by our commitment to the physical and mental welfare of our charges."
Anderson: “Naturally. What is the last thing you remember, Dr. Findlay?”
Findlay: “Making my rounds.”
Anderson: “Who were the doctors who had the evening shift?”
Findlay: “I don’t remember.”
Anderson: “Were you aware of Dr. Cotton’s experiments with hypnotism?”
Findlay: “…”
Anderson: “Do you remember Dr. Bruce Cotton?”
Findlay: “No.”
Anderson: “Sigh. Dr. Cotton is a psychiatrist here at Manhanock Asylum. You will tell me what his duties and responsibilities are.”
Findlay: “No doctor by that name has ever worked here.”
Anderson: “Please recite for me the names and specialities of all doctors at Manhanock Asylum for the Criminally Insane.”

With a mechanical voice, Dr. Findlay recites the name and specialities of nine doctors, including himself as Chief of Medicine, McKinney as Chief of Physical Medicine and Emma King as an applicant for a psychiatric residency, but makes no mention of the Chief of Psychiatric Medicine, Dr. Cotton.

Anderson: “Do you recollect a patient by the name of Sherilyn Bell?”
Findlay: “Yes.”
Anderson: “Who is her primary physician?”
Findlay: “Dr. Emma King.”
Anderson: “Dr. King is a clinical psychologist who just finished medical school. She cannot be a primary physician yet. Who was Ms. Bell’s former primary physician?”
Findlay: “Dr. Frank Henderson.”
Anderson: “Very good. And when Dr. Henderson retired in 2012, did you hire someone to replace him as Chief of Psychiatric Medicine?”
Findlay: “…Yes.”
Anderson: “Who?”
Findlay: “I can’t remember.”
Anderson: “Did a Dr. Bruce Cotton apply for the job?”
Findlay: “Yes.”
Anderson: “Did you hire Dr. Cotton?”
Findlay: “I can’t remember.”
Anderson: “When you make your rounds, do you personally check on Ms. Bell’s.”
Findlay: “No.”
Anderson: “Who does?”
Findlay: “Her primary.”
Anderson: “Dr. Henderson is no longer her primary. Dr. King is not a psychiatrist here yet. You will tell me who checks on Ms. Bell when the rounds are made.”
Findlay: “The man. I don’t remember his name or his face.”
Anderson: “Try to remember. Is his name Dr. Cotton?”
Findlay: “Yes, Dr. Bruce Cotton.”

Exhausted and bored with dragging answers from the Chief Administrator, Dr. Anderson leans back to take a quick break. It’s obvious that Dr. Findlay has blocked out all memories having to do with Dr. Cotton, probably due to hypnotic suggestion, but as he has just demonstrated, it is possible to access those memories. Unfortunately, there’s probably no way to do so without leading the subject so much so that his testimony would never be admissible as any kind of evidence.

Frowning, Dr. Anderson takes a look at his watch. Taylor and Bell have been gone for quite a while and they were going to contact him once they had gotten the people out, so he could treat any of them who needed it. Anderson takes out the radio and calls on the channel set aside for their use.

Dr. Anderson: “Taylor, come in, Taylor.”
Taylor: "Hey, doc."
Anderson: "Did you get them out?"
Taylor: "Yeah, sure. Don't worry none 'bout them."
Anderson: "Where are you?"
Taylor: "I'ma right where I'm supposed to be."
Anderson: "Are you okay? You sound a little strange."
Taylor: "I'm jes' fine, doc."
__________________
Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Last edited by Icelander; 12-06-2017 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 05-02-2017, 02:55 PM   #140
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: Project Jade Serenity [Supers/Technothriller]

... and Dr Anderson isn't sure of that at all. You are doing a splendid job of these write-ups. What is O'Toole's player up to all this time? Does he just prefer to watch?
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