|Trixie||Another day has dawned on the old Gothic-styled church. Somehow, the little fenced community has survived another night without being overrun by the living dead, even with dwindling supplies and ammunition remaining a constant problem. As the perimeter guards walk their weary tread and the gate guards stifle yawns, Trixie Mackenzie walks into the chapel from an anteroom, once more dressed in her impromptu, and now clean, uniform, her armor properly strapped down and her favored pistol at her hip. Ready to face another day. The raccoon-like circles under her eyes suggest just how long those days are. "Another day, another deader," she murmurs, rubbing her eyes wearily.|
|Richard Stadler||The Church itself just gets quieter, at each passing day, as a few more civilians fail to come back from scavenging, or decide to leave in the middle of the night to stake their fortune away from loud survivors who might attract more of the undead. ANd as more and more Guardsman are given to the city. There's been some bad talk, recently. Everyone seems to have come back from the water treatment plant... but not everyone in one piece.
The example of this was sitting at a card table, in front of a a laptop, typing when he can, but mostly grimacing and pausing every so often. THe uniform blouse he wore was one of the older ones, just slightly red at the belly, one hand holding it occassionally, as a handgun rested on the card table next to him. A flip and press of the arrow down the laptop, swallowing in at least two types of fear.
|Ashley Graham|| Ashley's taken it upon herself to be manager of the supplies. Which, now, are kept in a closet by the alter, and which she doesn't leave very often, if at all when she can help it. She steps out from that closet now, holding a mug from the church rectory, and closing the door behind her with her foot. She makes her way across the room toward the Major, setting the mug on the table beside him. It's got about a cup of water in it.
"There's a box of granola bars in there, some oatmeal packs," she explains to the man quietly, generally reporting in. But then Trixie comes in and Ashley lifts her eyes to the woman, giving her a slight sad smile in greeting.
|Trixie||Trixie manages a small smile for Ashley and Major Stadler. "Good morning Sir, Miss Ashley," she says softly, moving to stand with them. "I wish I had any good or useful news. The foraging parties just aren't having a lot of luck out there, when they make it back. Given the supply situation, we may not be able to hold this position for more than a few more days. And within a few more, we'll be too weak to defend ourselves, even if we have the ammo to do it," she pronounces sadly.
Her eyes roam to the Major, noting the faint red stain and the hand clasped to his midsection. "Are you all right, Sir? I know there was a mission last night, but I haven't heard any of the details."
|Richard Stadler||It take a moment for Stadler to respond to it, eyes screwed tightly shut for a moment, face in a grimace as he tries to hold a whimper back. A few long seconds, before his hand carefully moves over to the mug, gripping it, and sipping the hot water. "I... would do a lot of thing. A.... /lot/ of things, for one more coffee. Even a packet of that instant crap." He grates, still sipping the hot water for the simple feel of it, before his hand moves back over to the laptop, finger dragging unsteadily across the trackpad to click the right sheet for the supplies. "How..." Another dry swallow. "How many bars in the box, and how many oatmeal packs left?"
To Trixie, the man just nods. "It was bound to happen, sometime. No new supplies, not a lot of troops for it. The-" He says, before actually giving in to a fit of coughing, racking ones that take him a minute to recover from, and a deep breath. "The brass over there might have thought that breaking a quarentine was unwise." Or that when you're looking at over half a million dead, another 2 or 3 thousand wasn't going to matter much.
Trixie is looked at for a moment, before the hand gripping his midsection fumbles with the blouse buttons, undoing it slightly to pull back and reveal a mess of soaked bandages,ripped and mangled flesh underneath secured with part of the last strip of staples in that industrial staple gun the rectory had.
"No. No, I'm not." He's quiet, after that, not offering much else without prodding.
|Ashley Graham|| "Fifty bars," Ashley reports. "The oatmeal boxes had been opened, maybe twenty five or so," she tells him softly. "No coffee." As if he needed to know that. At least she sounds apologetic when she says it, right? That's helpful.
It isn't until Trixie draws attention to the man's injury that Ashley notices it. She sets her hand on the table so she can peer over at what's happening. And then she wishes she hadn't.
"Jesus!" she sighs, her eyes going wide. "Jesus!" Those big, blue, scared eyes go right to Trixie. "What do we do? What do you need?" Whatever Trixie needs Ashley can go get it!
|Trixie||Trixie nods sadly. "You've done your very best, Sir," she says softly. "We all have. Nobody's ever been through /anything/ like /this/. And we were kept in the dark for entirely too long about it. We had no time to plan or prepare. If we had, things might have been a lot different." She manages a weak smile for Ashley. "Thanks for keeping an eye on that stuff. Leaves our hands free for other things that need doing."
She gasps softly at the sight of Stadler's mangled belly. "Ohmigawd... that's... you need to lie down. Now. On the floor if you have to, but /now/." She's already fumbling with her pack, for the medical kit there. "Ashley, boil some water, in case I need to sterilize anything else. and get a blanket, just in case we need to do anything drastic." She kneels on the floor next to her pack, setting out the medical kit and opening it. "I'm no medic, Sir, but I can tell you that's going to get worse unless it's treated somehow. I'm afraid this is gonna be good, old-fashioned M.A.S.H.-style meatball surgery at best. But it's all we've got."
|Ashley Graham||Ashley runs off to follow Trixie's orders in fetching water, heating it, and bringing blankets. She'll be seeing to that for a few minutes at least, though.|
|Richard Stadler||Stadler actually keeps typing, at the reactions. Tab a few times to get to the right cell, then entering in those mounts. Oatmeal packaets are put down as '22', because he'd rather plan around 'less' than 'more'. "I keep hoping someone will throw in a can of Folgers one supply run, but it never actually happens." He says, a bit of a smile on his face, a savage one on that. BUt he doesn't move to lay down when Trixie point him to it. "I think you're wrong, Sergeant. On a few counts. People have been through this before. Black Plague, for instance. Just not here. It's... hard for us to think of a situation where things aren't going to get better." And then more silence, before he shakes his head again.
"And... like you said, you aren't a medic. You probably have... some First Aid training. Cop and a National Guardsman, I'd imagine you have some of it. Maybe even enough to be dangerous. But you're not a doctor. If you could... replace my bandages, secure the skin, that would be best... but you go digging around in there, trust me, you'll do more harm than good."
|Trixie||"Enough to know that this needs treating from /someone/... and we don't have a doctor," Trixie replies, biting her lip. "I had some training in sports medicine from high school. Basic stuff. Suturing the skin I can do... it won't be pleasant, to be very kind, but I only have a few morphine syrettes left. They'll have to be enough." She gestures to the blanket on the floor. "Better lay down. Even if I do everything right, you're still going to need rest. I'm guessing this happened during last night's mission?"|
|Richard Stadler||Stadler takes a moment, before sighing, and moving to sit down out of the chair, leaning aganist one of the walls. "That's not a lot, but it'll do for something. Save the morphine for someone else." He says, and again, doesn't explain much of a ruling on it. Just moving to grip the wood of a nearby bench as Trixie tries to do what she can to turn the mangled bits of flesh from the wound itself into some semvalance of coherence. "Yes. It did. Among other things. I'll save the after action report for when we get out of here. Just... stitch it up, and get some sleep."
It took a small amount of time, after which Trixie was leaving exhausted, and tired, and Stadler... simply sat there, propped up on the wall, eyes flickering over to the pistol on the table. SOmeone was going to have to do it when the time came, and he still didn't know who.
|Ashley Graham|| Ashley had brought the necessary items and then made herself scarce because ew. There's only so much gore a person can take. She's back now, though, with some fresh water for drinking again. A cup and a half, this time, for the man who just had his guts ripped out and stapled back in.
She moves to kneel beside him, offering over the cup. "How are you feeling?" she asks, solemnly. Because this isn't good at all, for Major Stadler. Not good at all.
|Richard Stadler||Stadler reached for the water that was left. Drinking it down, a bit of a reward from the operation last night. Actual clean, running water... which he pauses at and looks. Remembering the black sludge. Well, not that it matter a lot now. "I'm not dead." He says, simple. "I don't know how long that'll last." He notes. Quiet for a long moment. "You know... I've only been really... hurt bad once before. About a year... year and a half ago, back in Iraq."|
|Ashley Graham|| Ashley sits beside the man then, crossing her legs and letting her hands curl around her knees as she watches him with true and deep concern in her eyes. There's no hiding that the man's in a bad situation. No use lying to pretend it's otherwise.
"What happened in Iraq?" She asks, since he does seem to want to talk about it.
|Richard Stadler||He's silent for a moment, looking ahead, and not at Ashley to his side, as if attempting to bring it into focus. "This is the second one, mind you. I was a... buck Sergeant, in Desert Shield, in '91. Unit Supply Specialist, so I speant most of my time in Saudi Arabia, or Kuwait after the invasion. Speant a lot of it at a desk. Like I was at school, only it was 120 degrees out. Second war, about a year ago, I was a logistics officer." A very small smile. "Still am, if you can beleive it. Moving supplies from one place to another. So we were in a convoy of gear from the Green Zone to Kirkuk. Didn't even make it out of the city before things went wrong. Or... right, depending on how you read the report. Lost a truck due to someone with an RPK hitting the engine block, so we were... there. Stuck in them middle of a road around people looking to kill us."|
|Ashley Graham||Just go ahead and chock Ashley up to being the least helpful in the world when it comes to cheering a sick man up. 'Tell me about that time in Iraq' she says. Now she's kicking herself, at least internally. Externally her face continues to soften with compassion as the man's story continues. She nods, listening, and allows him to go on.|
|Richard Stadler||Stadler continues, looking ahead, reciting. "Not much to tell, at that point. Still... still a blur. I remember being terrified, getting out of the vehicle, Firing bursts toward a window until the clip ran out. Ordered my people behind the trucks, got the reinforcements called... I don't know how it all went down. I really don't. Just what other people tell me. For 20 minutes, 20 long minutes... It was like I was an actual soldier. That's what I heard from a few of the specialists that were there. That I seemed to know what I was doing."
A shake of his head. "Got out of there with a Purple Heart, an Army Commendation. My son talks about them all the time. Like I'm a goddamn war hero, which... I suppose is okay, at his age. Dad told me stories about Vietnam and I thought the same thing. He never sees... maybe his father couldn't have come back, and I yet still..."
He trails off for a moment, lost a bit in his own thoughts.
|Ashley Graham|| Ashley nods as she listens. She's seated, indian style, beside Richard who is recovering, propped up against a wall. The blonde reaches out to set a hand on the man's arm, reassuringly. "He'll think you're a hero doubly so now," she assures him with a smile.
"Leon thinks it's time we go," she informs the man, since Leon isn't here to do it himself. She lowers her hand again. "He has some ideas. But we'll really need to abandon this place soon. Take the vehicles and go, you know?"
|Richard Stadler||Stadler is looking ahead again, another smile on his face, even as his eyes blink from tears. It might be telling that he didn't have a son here. He speaks as if he didn't hear what Ashley said. "That was supposed to be... the time I saw the elephant. My one time in combat so I can say it happened. I had a date of seperation. End of this year. Could have been out, and not feeling like I had a duty to slowly die in this fucking hell." He says, anger tinging his words. "We could have all left."
Another pause. "Time to go. Right. What was your major in Ashley?" He says, asking something of a non-sequiter.
|Ashley Graham||The question seems to surprise her and she blinks those big blue eyes at him. "Political Science," she answers, almost sheepishly. Fat lot of good a degree in that will do you in this situation. "I was going to go to Law School like my father," she says by way of explanation. Because why else would anyone ever major in political science.|
|Richard Stadler||Stadler gives a sharp, chopy nod. "It helps. Managing people is as important as managing anything else. But I might suggest a biology course. Human Physiology, too." He notes, his hand gripping the bench next to him, as he grits his teeth, and forces himself up, gripping his wound tightly, and avoiding pressure on the leg that still had a bullet in it. "One of those creatures did this to me. One of those things with the long, lancing tongue. Placed a claw right through me, and there were others. Everywhere. Something that this virus created." He says, heading over to the table with his laptop, hand moving to the pistol. "I wonder if you know what that means."|
|Ashley Graham|| Ashley watches the man move, holding her hands out to steady him as he rises in case he wants it. But he doesn't, so she just watches him from her place on the floor. Watches him take the weapon, and describe his injury. The blonde goes pale, nodding blankly. "Yes," she says, her tongue darting out to wet her lips.
"That is, I know what it could mean," she continues. "But that's not a guarantee, you know. It likely doesn't happen to everybody, and we don't know if a claw would do it at all. It could very well mean that you're going to be fine. We're going to just have to wait and see, and for all we know you'll heal right up."
|Richard Stadler||Rick's hand remainds on the pistol for a few more moments, covering the Umbrella symbol in the grip, before picking it up... and sliding it into the holster at his waist. "I'm... not so sure." He says, quietly. "There's a chance, given we're all still alive. It's a bloodbourne virus, for the most part, but it's initial release may have been airbourne. Which means that the natural survivors have already recovered from it. Possibly immune due to antigens. God, I hope not carriers. But... we don't have enough people to shoot those who are infected now. I'll be here until it happens, but you, or Leon, or those two cops, one of you needs to be prepared. DO you understand me?"|
|Ashley Graham|| "Carriers?" Remember, folks, that Ashley is a poly sci major. And she's only been that for about six months. But as she understands, she begins to blanch even further. "You mean we leave here and we take it with us, even if we aren't sick," she says, not really asking the question.
Now she's getting dizzy, so she sits back against the wall. "That means that we can't ever leave, can we? Either way we'll be here?" She looks at him and just shakes her head a little. "We won't let you turn into one," she assures the man, in a small voice. But she's still rather shell-shocked about the idea of carriers.
|Richard Stadler||Stadler nods, just slightly, and moves to sit at the table. It was at least somewhere he could have a bit of control, albeit perhaps in the 20 feet space around him. "Correct. Asmyptomatic; the virus is there, but it doesn't show up as present. It's... possbily it would be dormant, or non-infectious... but that's not something that's likely with a normal virus..."
Another pause. "But... this isn't a normal virus. I've seen what it does, and frankly, it should be impossible. We're talking neroctizing flesh to power the rest of the body; brain acivity without a contant blood supply. Hell, everyone at that hospital had enough ketones in their blood you'd think the liver would stop functioning first! And those... transformations. I've had reports of animals catching it. Saw a goddamn gorilla on a scavenging run. It's possible there's a jump to primates, but..."
He looks to Ashley. "None of this makes any sense. None of it. So even if we're not fine, we need to get somewhere with a lab to take samples. Maybe that's where we die, pumped with enough potassium to make it pleasent, but you and I and everyone else needs to get there. All right?"
|Ashley Graham|| Well, now the 18 year old is thoroughly shaken and scared. Her eyes are glassing over. Even though they've lived, they've got to die. It's only safe. So she nods, slowly. "I understand, Major," she says. "I suppose to do that we've got to leave here, though," she offers. "We can go, we just ... need you to say the word."
And then, on her feet, she moves over toward him, wetting her lips again. Her fingers twist nervously together in front of her. "Major, there's something else. About the gorillas you saw. And the man who destroyed the helicopter during the evac." He does know her true identity, after all. "It has a name. It's a bio weapon called Nemesis, designed to target individuals of interest designated by the Corporation. Leaks of information." Like she's leaking right now. Like a sieve. "There's probably more like him."
|Richard Stadler||Stadler looks at the screen of the laptop.. or through it, most likely, as Ashley let's him know they're waiting on the goahead. "It's only a mater of time. The amount of undead here, the... lack of survivors. Cost of the soldiers needing to retake it and what'll happen if we wait... Yes. Yes, we have to get out of here, and we have to get out of here soon. We can try to siphon as much gasoline as we can from the cars that haven't been, stock up on what ammo we can, and try to convoy as a group to Ravensgate. Unless your father wants to send another helicopter into this mess."
A cock of his head. "Nemesis... sounds appropriate enough. We met him again, at the water treatment plant. Was looking for STARS members, which makes me wonder about all the local cops. And you're saying there's... God. Who would make something like that?"
|Ashley Graham|| "The same people who were doing unregistered viral research in the United States," Ashley says with a gesture and a little shrug. "Umbrella Corporation. They're tracking all the uPhones, and targeting specific people. I don't know why they would target STARS but if that's what he was looking for, then it stands to reason that the rest of the information I've heard stands up." She heaves a little sigh, though. Time to go.
"Leon wants to take me back to his apartment," she explains. "I wanted Trixie to come with us. And you too, and Claire. We can't take a lot of people, but that ... well I hope Leon will let those at least come."
|Richard Stadler||There's a blank look toward Ashley as she talked. And paused. "That's... it's not..." He says, pointing at himself. "That's my company. They gave me a job, my wife a job, right out of college. They're the reason we're building a life here. You can't... that's conspriacy talk." He says, in a tone that really doesn't sell it. The company did have an... odd fascination with security. And the guards they'd sometimes brought through the offices...
He shakes his head. "I won't beleive it. I /can't/ beleive it. They manufacture pharmacuticals, for God's sake! The FDA would destroy them, and I was on the goddamn Aqua Cure project! If he has proof, /real/ proof, I want to see it. And... yes. I think it's time we secured this place. I can... stay in touch with the rest of them over on the radio, given that the TV Station is up. When are we going?"
|Ashley Graham|| Ashley shakes her head. "I don't know what kind of proof he has, but he's in a position to know," she assures the Major. She frowns more, though her frown almost looks like an adorable pout. Entirely nonthreatening. "Tomorrow, then, if we can. I imagine that's when Leon will want to leave." She takes a breath, as if trying to work up her courage to make decisions on her own.
"We'll take a vehicle, to get things secured. You all can follow when you're ready," she assures them, so we don't all have to be on at hte same time for some great convoy. "But you'll have to make sure you ride with someone. And that Trixie stays with you, since she's as close to a doctor as we have." Ashley seems to be growing in confidence as he speaks.
|Ares Buchanan||A sharp rapping comes from the door, followed by a muffled, "Howdy, anybody home? I'm in ah bad way out here, was hopin' ta drop this shit off an' leave as soon as possible." Without waiting for an answer the door is cracked open and a man wearing a gas mask peeks his head in.|
|Richard Stadler||Stalder doesn't look like he wholly beleives Ashley... but what she's told him is... somewhat disturbing. "We'll see what we can do, then. To get him and his proof out with the rest of us." He says, moving to stand up, snapping the laptop shut with some finality as he moves to pocket it. "Then we'll see about tomorrow." He says. She was 18, but she might be a good leader one day... if any og them recovered from this. "If I'm still alive then, yes. I'll ride with her. Goddamn it, though, she's not. You /know/ I'm a microbiologist, right? Went to goddamn Harvard? Put on a lab coat over a shirt and tie and people at least seem to ask what you do beyond assuming you shoot people-
Head whipping around as he sees the man with the gas mask enter, gripping the pistol at the holster... before relaxing it. "Drop it off in the closet over there. Then get over here. We're just about to leave, but I can take a look. Ashley, I need..." He says, looking the man over. "We should have some cellophane in the kitchen... maybe some cardboard. Can you get that?
|Ashley Graham||"Well medical doctor, if we're being particular." Ashley is still not above giving it back to the good Major as good as he gives, even if he has a hole in his gut. But her attention is turned to the sound of the door opening, and the man in the gas mask. She peers, but can't tell him from Adam, so she says nothing. Stadler doesn't seem to mind the man's precense, and he does come bearing gifts. "Just set it on the pew for now, I'll go through everything," she tells the man, and with one last look to Stadler she goes to find some cellophane.|
|Ares Buchanan||"Sure thing. Good to see you're still kicking." The man says to Ashley with a nod, removing the mask to reveal himself as Ares Buchanan, the former line-cook of no particular note. As he enters it's pretty obvious that his arm is broken, though he doesn't appear to have any other wounds.
"Fuckin' infected tackled me out ah window. They musta turned a day or two before I showed up. Damn near got bitten." As he talks he heads over to the pew and slings the pack from his shoulder. "Got some goodies for all that trouble though." He begins unloading the church survivors portion of his haul, which includes cans of smoked oysters, a box of granola bars, and even a red tin full of coffee.
|Richard Stadler||Of course, the first thing that Stadler focuses on is the tin of coffee. Staring at it in a way that just might be a little bit creepy if it was any longer. "Well, all of that's much appreciated. And that you're not dead or bitten. Important to keep things as clean as possible if you're to avoid baterial infection." He says, looking over the arm itself. "Doesn't look like it's a very bad break." He says, moving one hand over to his, and another to his upper arm. "Though, if it's going to heal, it needs to set. So... this is going to hurt. So, I'm going to count to three. One-"
And then he yanks back on the man's hand, slamming a palm into the broken bone in a way to get it to line up with it's other end, in a way that makes him wince... though mainly because of that massive gut wound.
|Ares Buchanan||"No you're no-" Ares is cut off mid-sentence by his arm being set. A large fist comes around with unexpected speed, stopping just before slamming into Richard's face. "Sorry about that, reflex." He takes a step or two away so he can unlatch his armor and shrug out of those coveralls, stripping down to a simple white tank top and a pair of black basketball shorts.|
|Ashley Graham||Ashley begins to come back with the celophane, but steps in on the men and their version of 'healing'. Her eyes widen, and she goes pale. The sound of the arm being set is terrifying, and she makes a little sound in disgust before turning and walking out the way she came in.|
|Richard Stadler||Stadler looks to Ashley, sighing. What, did she expect an hour examination and surgery? They needed to get going, and he needed that arm set. Though he /does/ flinch back as that fits comes running toward him. "Yeah, yeah, reflex. That's to be expected. At least you didn't punch me; I'm not doing well as it is." He says, before giving him a bit of a shake of the head. "None of that. I don't have time for more than a cursory examination." He says, using the cardboard they have and the cellophane to start binding the arm tightly to his side, using the cardboard to set it. "That'll keep it secure, but try not to move it around. None of these wounds are going to be healed quickly."|
|Ares Buchanan||"Yeah, I just figured it'd be better to wrap up tha arm itself, rather than my armor." Ares explains, he really doesn't have any other wounds anywhere other than a few visible bruises. "Ain't my first broken arm. You guys headin' to that evacuation tonight? Ain't sure if I'll do that or try an' figure another way out."|
|Richard Stadler||Stadler shakes his head. "I don't know. I don't. I'm going to send the Guard up with them, as many as I can send, and hope... people get out. I don't think we'll get everyone out, but... we have to try." He says, before finally securing it. "That's as best as I can do... I have to get moving. Don't move the arm if you can help it." He says, before gathering his gear, slowly with thei injury. "And don't die!"|
|Ares Buchanan||"Don't plan on it. Y'all take care." Ares offers a wave with his good arm before sliding back into his gear.|