|Buck Rogers||His skin burns. His blood is fire, and it licks at the severed ends of veins and loose flaps of skin that grace his scarred, hairy chest with a terrible hunger-- a hunger that sizzles, and stings, and fills his body with a dull, aching numbness, interrupted only by momentary pangs of knife-sharp stabbing throbs that trigger another cozy injection of adrenaline. His right arm, holding his chainsaw, sags a little, the shoulder potentially removed from the socket-- that would explain the heavy bruising, which, while he can't see, he can certainly feel. His chest torn to ribbons with gashes deep enough to see bone, his body soaked in blood and guts that aren't all his, his upper leg nursing a bullet wound, and the whole of his upper body a mottled inkstain.. all in all, Buck Rogers looks like a right fucked piece of meat, dragging itself like a wounded predator through the streets of Raccoon City. He makes his way through the blessedly empty park. That's as far as he accepts those that offered to walk with him-- "Fuck off," he good-naturedly chides, mouth split in a broad grin. "I'm fine. Go help the others." He's firm on that point; they do, eventually, fuck off, to tend to their own. He passes beneath the shade of grand old trees, heavy boots crushing a fallen branch beneath them.
He drags himself down a side street branching off the park. There's a fire truck there, its long ladder extended, punched right through the side of a building; a building that seems to have burned-out, judging by the look of its charred husk. But the fire didn't spread, courtesy the large, bucking hose spraying jets of water left and right. It floods the street and washes away the dirt and blood, and Buck's steps become a wet, plopping drum beat.
He turns down an alleyway. He's breathing hard, and his vision blurs, little lightspot fishes swimming before him in the haze. There's a solitary walker; it grabs him, pulls on his injured arm, and the man howls like a fucking animal, stumbling, slamming it into the brick-and-mortar side of the mom and pop shop he's cutting next to, then throwing it the other way against a chainlink fence. It rattles, groans, and he bashes its god damn head in until it stops moving, brain and skull smeared over the handle of his saw.
He makes his way up a hill. He's forgotten his trip; through streets, along catwalks, briefly followed the tracks of a cable car, before branching off down a footpath leading out to this hill. In the distance, he sees the theater, and, near gasping for breath by now, makes his way up. There's a few zombies milling about.. he trudges through the parking lot, crouches near the concrete barrier dividing the lot from the back lot, catches his breath. Spits blood. Clambers his way up on the dumpster in the side alley beneath the second-floor emergency exit he'd dragged over when they first cleared this place out. He climbs his way up, throws a leg over the balcony, rolls onto it. And he lays there, half-leaning, as a handful of the undead paw at the dumpster beneath him, out of reach, groaning and reaching.
Buck Rogers, alpha male, ten times as tough as any of those other bastards... may have been exaggerrating how OK he was. Fuck, that hurts. It's hard to make out the extent of his wounds beneath the armor.. but fuck, it hurts.
|Isabel||It's a long moment before the door onto the balcony opens in response to the massive crash that heralded the team leader's arrival. A pistol barrel emerges first, with a glowing flashlight rigged beneath on a Picatinny rail. Isabel glances down and shrieks in alarm at what she finds. "Buck! Oh, my God... Buck, what happened to you?" she cries, horrified. She holsters the pistol and kneels to get a better look at him.|
|Buck Rogers||Buck reaches up with his good arm and removes his helmet and facemask, tossing it to the side where it clatters noisily and settles. "We got the water back on," he says, gruff voice marked with a breathless rasp. "Don't know if it's any good. Nasty shit in the tanks... and the lake it feeds from. But the tech heads'll worry about that." This close, Isabel can see some of the injuries-- the heavy, massively reinforced ceramic plating that covers Buck's vitals is damaged, chunks of fabric torn, and where the armor has been rent there are deep, bloody gashes in his chest. The rest of him, from head to toe, is utterly covered in blood, with viscera strewn upon him here and there. His face is clean only thanks to the concealing helmet. "Turns out there's more'n zombies out there. We got jumped by these.. things." He inhales, rolls, and with a wince sits himself up, back pressed to the bricks near the emergency door.|
|Isabel||Isabel's breath hisses in as she tried to quiet a gasp of dismay. "Shit..." she murmurs, blushing a little at her own words. Someone had a pretty strict upbringing. "We need to get you inside. Can you stand?" She grimaces as she looks the huge man over, but nonetheless moves to slip under one of his shoulders to help him up. "Oh, you poor, brave, foolish man, I hope this hasn't killed you."|
|Buck Rogers||"A thank you'd suffice just fine, miss," the big fella grunts, releasing his saw. As the small girl tries to help him up, he can't help but laugh at it. He rises to his feet, and then gives her a gentle little push away from him. "Get my gear.. I can walk, just need my hands." He's a little unsteady on his feet, but with a deep, focusing breath, the wobbling stops.. but the limp is there, from where a storm of minigun fire punched through plate and meat to wound his leg. He drives one bloody, gloved fist against the wall and grunts the pain away, growls, slow-stomps his way inside. Beneath the pair, the dead watch.. they'll get bored eventually when the two have faded from all senses. He walks slow, deliberately, keeping his hands free, one almost always on a wall. Walking down the lovely, now-stained hall, he pivots and plows through an unlocked door, leading into a changing room for the cast. There's a wall of mirrors, benches, lockers, and all sorts of discarded items. He plops his big ass down on a bench with enough force to shake the mirrors, and leans forward, breathing strained. "Help me get this off... kinda hard to breathe." The plate carrier's easy enough to unbuckle and slide off his shoulders, and the pads are easy enough to remove. You know, if you didn't have the shit beat out of you.|
|Isabel||"Oh... sorry." Isabel stumbles as she's shoved away, biting her lower lip nervously as Buck turns and makes his way inside, limping heavily. But she hasn't forgotten his instructions. She picks up the heavy saw, struggling with its weight for a moment before she gets the balance right.
As she turns to go inside, she sees the zombies staring fixedly below. She expresses her bottled-up feelings by blowing a defiant raspberry at them, then steps inside, shutting the door firmly behind her.
It's a moment before she catches up with Buck. Setting his saw down just inside the dressing room, she moves to help him get the armor off. Grimacing as her hands find blood on the harness as well at the plates, she fumbles her way through the process, finding buckles by trial and error and setting the protective gear aside, piece by piece. "What did this to you? You look like you were thrown into a room full of cassowaries."
|Buck Rogers|| "Don't know what those are," he says, jaw clenched as the girl strips him, stripping off each piece until he's near-topless. Beneath the heavy, sweltering armor, he dresses light, to minimize overheating-- which means that all he had protecting him once those claws broke through was a torn and now useless wifebeater, hanging off of him at his left shoulder. He grabs it, tears it off, and the damaged fabric lets go entirely. He crushes it into a ball and tosses it in a corner. Once the hardened plates are removed, his chest can fully expand-- he leans back, spine arched, and sucks in a deep, deep breath that sets him almost immediately to coughing, spitting up blood and phlegm. But damn if it wasn't satisfying. There's nothing obscuring the wounds now: the hirsute beast's covered in sweat and blood, every inch of that rock-like body drenched one way or another, the dark hair matted with red and wet. His broad chest is damn near carved in pieces, like someone took a butcher's knife to him, and his right shoulder is clearly dislocated. He's all black and blue and red all over. "Back in the beginning, before the city fell.. S.T.A.R.S. answered an alleged disaster-slash-hostage situation at the zoo. It was a blood bath. We made our way into the aquarium looking for survivors.. found these fucked-up leeches, all swollen like small dogs, poking out of chests and mouths. Wearing people like suits. And in the big tank in the center, some giant fucking thing with tentacles and eyeballs growing out of it."
He inhales again, and scratches next to the wound with jagged fingernails. The slashes itch, and the exposed ribbons of flesh are tender. "What I'm saying is, this virus, it doesn't just kill you, it doesn't just bring you back. Some things.. change. Hell, maybe they all change, eventually. We got attacked by these.. things. Skinless freaks, walk on all fours like a dog, but they're person-sized. All muscle, red and raw and wet, with their brains growing on the outside. They got no fingers, no toes, just these claws, sharp, long. Put a grizzly to shame." He leans his head back against a locker, face flushed red and feverish. "And their tongues. Heh, maybe you'd like 'em, after all."
|Isabel||Isabel draws in a breath, stepping back as Buck tears off his shredded undershirt and fills his lungs. But she doesn't speak until he mentions the strange creatures he's run into, and the things that caused his particular wounds. "What a disgusting thing someone has produced," she murmurs, referring to the virus. "Having the dead walk is bad enough, but creating these bizarre monsters as well..." She huffs her disgust, not even commenting on the tongue remark, though she blushes at the inplication. "I... I must go boil some water. These wounds will have to be cleaned. I'll be back." She whirls and hurries out.|
|Buck Rogers||Buck might be a bit feverish and badly wounded, but he's not dense; he can see how the girl averts her eyes, how she rushes to get out of the room. "Poor girl," he says aloud once she's out of the room, and maybe she can even hear him as she walks through the hall. "Shouldn't have to deal with any of this. Ah, damnit.. maybe I should have let them take a look." He leans his head back again, harder, this time, and shakes the locker, rattling the lock. His good arm lifts, and his hand crosses that wounded chest, fingers sinking into the bad shoulder. He hisses through clenched teeth, and just holds his battered body. Get it out now, he thinks, and then tell her it's not so bad. And don't be a baby when she's cleaning you up.|
|Isabel||If Isabel hears him, she shows no sign of it when she returns a few minutes later, except perhaps for the determined set of her chin. She's brought a bowl of hot water with her, along with hydrogen peroxide and a bunch of clean cloths made from old bedsheets laundered in boiling water. "I'm sorry, Buck... this will probably hurt. I'll be as gentle as I can," she promises, setting the lot down on the next bench, within reach.
Perhaps to distract him from the pain, she begins singing softly as she wets a cloth and begins cleaning him up. "Riding on the /City of New Orleans/... The Illinois Central Monday morning rail..." She does do her best, but there's no painless way to clean up so much torn and battered flesh.
|Buck Rogers|| "Looks worse than it is," Buck declares, rolling his good shoulder and flashing a grin. "Just tired, that's all. I killed two of those things and a bunch of zombies-- it's why my gear's such a mess. They got so much blood, half of this isn't even mine." As the delicate girl wets the cloths, Buck's memory shifts, to childhood scrapes and a mother's affectionate chiding-- most kids can remember the sting of the peroxide, and the foamy bubbling of their cuts as it disinfects. There's a strange sort of dread there, in its way worse than facing the dead; peroxide's a childhood fear. "Alright," he growls, eyes drifting shut, fingers wrapped around the bench and squeezing til they're white-knuckled. He's tough, but come on, it's peroxide... anyone could be forgiven the hissing winces and the occassional 'ah ah ah' or 'ow!'. But he bears it well, albeit not with perfect manly stoicism.
"You've got a pretty voice," he compliments, eyes still closed. He sees the demons of Raccoon City in the dark of his eyelids.
|Isabel||Isabel slowly gets the blood cleaned off of Buck's chest, moving on to his left arm first. "It sounds like you've had a busy night," she murmurs, definitely understating the case. "I hope there won't be many more like this." Despite his closed eyes, he can probably hear the blush in her voice at the compliment. "Thank you... my mother insisted I learn piano, but she loved for me to sing with her. I suppose I learned to keep up."
She sets the cloth aside and wets a new one, wiping away blood and cleaning torn flesh. "It looks like your shoulder is dislocated. I'd better clean your arm before I try to set it."
|Buck Rogers|| There's something intrinsically soothing about a woman's touch to Buck's mind-- the softness of their skin, the lightness of their breath, how they fill up space next to you. Even the nature of the contact does little to diminish its pleasant, meditative properties; oh, sure, it stings, and bubbles, and churns as detritus and debris is cleaned from his myriad cuts, but there's still skin-on-skin contact and a melodious song.
All in all, Buck's smile is more genuine as the treatment advances, the agitation be damned, than it ever was prior. "Haven't seen a piano here," he remarks, "But if I find one out there, I'll bring it in for you." The ache in his shoulder is dull and constant. Whenever he tries to move it, he can feel the socket grinding, and hear the crinkling of joints and bones-- it's a queer sound, and the sensation, while not debilitatingly painful, is uncomfortable. "Sure thing, doc."
|Isabel||"Oh, no! A piano would be such a frivolous thing here and now, in this time and place," Isabel protests, trying to work a little faster. She does have a shoulder to reset. "We can find one later, once we've escaped this city. I do not think I'd have the energy to play it anyway, lately." She smiles a little, looking up at him. "But thank you for thinking of it."
Buck's arm is finally cleaned of blood and dirt. She'll have some bandaging to do for all of him, she knows, but at least she can treat the largest and simplest problem. "Now, to work... perhaps it would be best to look away. Just relax," she says, taking a firm hold at his shoulder and upper arm. She has to climb up on the bench to do it. "Deep breaths... on three. One..." Knowing how people instinctively tense at these moments, she pushes as soon as the first number leaves her mouth. There's an audible *snap* and a sharp pain, but the shoulder is back in place instantly!
|Buck Rogers||"Nah, doll, don't worry your pretty lil head," Buck insists, staring up at the ceiling through closed eyes and resting his head on the closed locker behind his bench. For all the chemicals no doubt flowing through his bloodstream right now, as tightly-wound as he must be without any painkillers, his voice is surprisingly mellow, slow in cadence, a self-amused chest-rumbling mangrowl. Teasing her is a distraction from the discomfort. "I know I saw a piano store on my way up here." He opens one eye when she says to look away-- the suggestion paradoxically making him focus on her with an active awareness he didn't have before. The sight of this girl, this slip of a woman who his arm is practically thicker than, standing up next to him ready to manipulate his joints is absurd. "You can't be--" And she counts, and pushes, and there's a slip-pop feeling and what sounds like snapping bone, and Buck's opposite hand balls into a fist and smashes the lockers, shaking them. "-- FUCK!" He curses, tentatively rolls the shoulder. It's still bruised -- hell, the whole lot of him is -- but it does immediately feel much better than before. "Good job, sweetheart." A pause, and more sincerely. "Thank you."|
|Isabel||Isabel, expecting a reaction but not such a violent one, yelps in dismay, barely keeping her balance on the bench. It's over as quickly as it began, fortunately for her nerves. She sighs as the instant's tension leaves her. "You're welcome... I do like to be useful," she replies, leaning close to touch foreheads with him for a moment before she clambers down. She doesn't dare hug him with his body so gashed up.
She opens the medical bag she's been keeping up since this mess started, pulling out bandages. "This will be slower, but at least it won't hurt so much. Thank you for being so patient about it all." She steps forward once more, this time to wrap up the worst of the wounds. The job isn't done yet, but it's coming along.