|Poncho|| In the wake of the recent bombings, the Saint Louis hospital has been packed to overflowing with rescuees. The array of injuries needing treatment have ran the gambit from severe contusions and fractures, to third degree burns and radiation poisoning. Also, a bad case of the flue seems to have chosen just this moment to hit, which isn't making things any easier.
The noise of crying children and raised voices drifts in through the open door of one treatment room in particular, where a man sits atop the paper-lined table, slumped forward with his forearms braced atop his knees. If he were standing, he might be a tallish man, say six feet or so. But one thing he is not, is young. His skin his light but weathered, chest and forearms thick with brown hair gone heavily to grey. Stripped to the waste as he is, with only a pair of tattered old jeans and hiking boots on, much of his leanly muscled body is on display.
He has a lot of scars, both old and new. Several blotchy bruises mar his torso, one bad bruise is blooming on the left side of his head, and his skin is pale, features sunken with sickness and or malnutrition. But despite all that he stares fixedly ahead, grey eyes alert and cold, posture tense. He looks like nothing so much as a caged animal, waiting for some unsuspecting prey to wander into his lare and be devoured.
|Emma||This sparks a lot of memories in Emma. She remembers Racoon pre outbreak. All the sounds are similar, and it tugs at her soul. Still there is no time to waste crying over hell, because there is work to be done. The lass is wearing scrubs, her hair put back and held in place by a pencil. The mass of people are being dealt with as quick as possible.
As rooms are filling fast, those who can are sent home post explosion and exam. This young Scottish woman is escorting a family out, relieved that they will be fine. But it isn't a second later till a nurse shoves a clip board in her hand and motions to the room Poncho is in. His chart is examined quick, so that a frown.
|Isabel||Out of place here, Isabel Welsh is making her way down the hall, trying to find a friend.
At least the friend is easy enough to find, after a few glances. It takes her three to recognize the redhead in scrubs as the Emma she knows. Sighing in relief, she moves in her direction.
Getting there isn't as easy as seeing Emma, not in this crowded halls. She has to dodge several rushing personnel and a loaded gurney being pushed at (hopefully not literally) breakneck speed before she comes up next to the doctor. "Emma?" she asks hopefully, biting her lip nervously.
It /could/ be a case of mistaken identity, after all...
|Poncho||The chart in Emma's hands has a number of odd facts that her overworked mind might or might not latch on to. The name provided is one 'John Doe,' and he is apparently in his 50s, half starved, exhausted, but vigorous. The rest of the information provided seems to suggest he was stuck in one of the buildings near to the recently exploded umbrella base. Possible radiation poisoning, multiple contusions. Likely a mild concussion. But that is all the info available. There's just too much work to be done, and not enough people to do it.|
|Emma||Another guy, another avoidance of name. Her head shakes, a little annoyed and frustrated. It means medical history won't be able to be found. Yet it is his decision, and thus accepted. Hearing her name and looking up Emma spies Isabel. Her lip is healing from being split, the scratch marks fading. "Oy, yer alright!" Relieved she nods for her to fallow, walking backwards to the patients room. "How - how ya doing?" Asks the Scottish lass.
Then she turns to look into the room, and spies Poncho. Even if she doesn't know the man, she remembers him from the mission. And was lead to assume he didn't make it out alive. "Blimey." She mutters, walking further into the room.
|Isabel||"Mostly," Isabel replies, her smile a bit wan but sincere all the same. Maybe she's been put through the wringer in other ways, but physically she's little more than scuffed up a bit. "I'm good. And it looks like your lip's coming along nicely," she adds, relieved.
She pauses uncertainly outside the door, peeking in at the patient in question. "Oh... are you all right?" she asks aloud, wincing as she realizes what a stupid question that is: This is a hospital! No one who is all right would come here!
|Poncho|| Though when Emma first met Poncho he was wearing full body armor and a gas mask, with a little thought it isn't difficult to make the logical leap that this John Doe might be that man. The unnamed man with the shotgun had certainly sounded and acted older. He also shared this man's sense of danger, a sort of presence that speaks of violence even without motion. That masked man had gotten shot in the side of the head, right where this one's bruise is, and his right leg, even while seated, seems rather stiff. The masked man did have a heavy limp.
It must be the same man. The man Emma saw execute two terrorists at point blank range. The man that apparently stayed behind in a monster-filled building while it went up in a nuclear explosion.
Mr. Martin, also known as Poncho, AKA John Doe, lifts his empty grey eyes and focuses them on Emma's pretty face. There is no warmth there. No change to his mild scowl of an expression. The closest thing to a greeting he offers is the loud series of crackling pops that sound off from his back and shoulders as he straightens from his slouch. All the while those icy eyes track the redhead's progress, greying brow slightly furrowed over his pale, sunken face.
When the second girl speaks up, his laser focus flicks to her. She receives just as unfriendly a look while the mysterious murderer processes what she said, her wince, the clear mental strain that clings to her.
"Came to see my daughter." The haggard old warrior deadpans, eyes slowly shifting back to Emma. "Adopted." His voice is quiet and hoarse, as if infrequently used, and only reinforces his battered image.
|Emma||Emma has a grace about her, the dancers sort. Her big grey-green eyes are fixed upon Poncho, studying him closely, listening to the sounds he makes, eyeing the marks on his body. By comparison her nature is gentle, yet there is a lack of life in own gaze, as if it were being beaten back some.
"Okay." Says the lass in her scottish accent. Having heard every excuse in the book it seems, she simply doesn't believe it. But it won't stop her from treating someone. "Readin' yer chart here Mr. Doe, seems like yav been through 'nough ta warrent a full body xray, an if I'm reading this right we are gonna give ya an IV ta treat other ailments ya got. We will also be givin' ya IV nutrients, an' checkin' for concussion, -just- in case. Yer alo on - on bed rest."
There is a look over her shoulder to Isabel, with a smile. "I'm he - healin', physically. Ya mind hangin' 'round?"
|Isabel||Isabel, for her part, is also looking at the older man quizzically. She has much of Emma's gentleness about her, and though her eyes are sharp some of the confidence is lacking. She has some of the same spiritually battered look, as well. But she has the sense to keep silent while the medical professional works.
Emma's words bring a smile to her face. "I can stay for a bit. I owe you an explanation anyway."
|Poncho|| The old man's expression does not change, dead eyes shifting from one lass to the other, hairy-knuckled hands curling into loose fists as he listens to Emma's response. Once she has finished, however, he lets out a derisive snort.
"No." He replies, raspy baritone hard as rusty steel, "No time. You got pills for the radiation, give me that. You got pain killers that wont' knock me on my ass, give me them. I'll eat my vegetables and all that shit later."
Apparently thinking his words are the end of it, the scarred, battered old ass hole begins to slip off of the table, booted feet hitting the floor with soft thumps. He has to lean slightly to his left, favoring his right leg, but he seems intent on turning away from his company to reach for the dirty grey shirt and jacket piled at the head of the examination table.
In some ways, Mr. John is clearly acting ridiculous. But in others, maybe he isn't. Though cold, jagged and harsh, the look in his own eyes is not unlike their own. Just, further. More broken. Pushed over the edge they now stand upon. How might they act after they fall?
|Emma||"There - there is no need for ya ta explain anythin'." Emma says to Isabel, with a small smile. "Just stay close'n safe." That is the main worry for her friend.
Looking back to Poncho brows lift as he stands, assuming he has made his point and will leave. It didn't go unnoticed, the way his eyes are. A pang of fear grips her, is this what she is becoming? Suddenly much of what she had heard said to her makes sense, that inward stare says enough that something clicked in her head. Blinking and shaking her head some, the lass steps forward.
"No." Speaks the woman gently. "Ya - ya leave here, it's without treatment. See, I care. Care that yer okay, an' it'll eat me alive knowin' ya left in yer state with the chance of gettin' worse. I'm gonna be here ta make sure yer better, an' ask no questions either. Yer not gonna be alone in gettin' better, or hell feelin' alone. Now ya can walk out that door, or let someone who gives a crap about ya - someone who doesn't even know ya, a chance, ta help ya feel better. And stronger, so ya can tackle any demons yer feelin' tha need ta fight. 'cus yer not gonna win any in this state anyway."
|Isabel||"I'll try, promise," Isabel says, nodding emphatically. Maybe it's not needed, but Emma's going to get that explanation anyway, if she has anything to say about it.
And then Poncho opens his mouth.
"/Radiation/? Sir, you definitely need care and medication," Isabel exclaims, before she can stop herself. Blushing, she claps a hand over her mouth and leaves the speeches to Emma. But her blue eyes are determined as she peers over her fingers at the two.
|Poncho|| The reaction of both girls combined is enough to stop Mr. Doe in his tracks, his scarred, hair-dusted back turned to them and dirty shirt hanging from one hand. Muscles jump and twitch beneath his leathery skin, shoulders visibly tensing as he falls into internal debate.
Slowly, deliberately, the wasted man turns to level a chilly stare down at Emma, his haggard face fixed in a mask of cool neutrality. It is a face seen in cops and soldiers when they need to lock it down. An expression meant to cut out the empathy most people project and replace it instead with stony impassivity. To let people know that they are currently not a fellow human, they are an authority figure.
"Nice speech, kid." the aging man replies, his hoarse voice cutting through the noise of humanity that rushes through the door and attempts to sully this touching moment. "But I ain't got time for hallmark nonsense. Now listen." Taking a single step forward, the cold-eyed man flicks his shirt in a little arc, indicating both Emma and Isabel, "I got places to be. I got god damned monsters to slay. What I ain't got is time to pussy foot around in this shitty ass hospital listening' to people scream and carry on. Now. Do you got what I need, or not?"
Again he directs his brittle , ice-cold eyes between the two. There is a dangerous emptiness there, a simple disregard for the gentler things in life.
"Just do it, kid. I ain't got many years left in me, and I probly ain't gonna live out the night. Just need something to get me through."
The words are almost a plea. As much of one as he can produce, anyway.
|Emma||Now Emma is unwavering - not that she is trying to ignore Isabel, but her focus is on Poncho. She doesn't flinch when he steps forward either. "What - what monsters? Creatures like, oh, zombies'n ones with brains'n no eyes?" This is truth, she knows these exist, but is unaware if he does. And if he does, well it may seem odd that some random girl knows them! "Yer gonna die, ya'know. If ya keep goin' like this. Mentally, physiclly, ya name it. An' how can ya defeat anythin' if yer - yer dead. Now -sit- an I will get ya as - as strong as I can so ya can keep fightin'. Pushin' doesn't make ya tough, willin' ta do what's right for yerself is much harder." Then she nods to the bed.|
|Isabel||"Brains and no eyes..." Isabel recalls, shivering. She falls silent again, letting Emma wage her one-woman war with a bad case of suicidal tendencies.|
|Poncho|| Zombies with no eyes? Could Mr. Doe know about such monsters? He certainly doesn't blink when they are mentioned, showing no real reaction of any kind. he simply stands there, staring down into Emma's large, determined eyes. A wasted wreck of a human being, if such can still be called human at all.
The moment stretches, with the shaggy-headed old man staring down unblinkingly. He could leave. he could reject her order for him to sit. He could keep on as he is. Maybe rob a drug store, or any number of other actions. But as the weight of the gazes from both girls bares down upon him, something of his old self flashes through his mind.
His own daughter would have said the same thing. Told him to stop being such a grump. Mothered him. She was always the care giver out of the two of them. Sure he tried, but, she had the gift for it. She probably could have raised herself.
The old man's eyes blink, once.
Averting his gaze, Mr. Doe steps back and slides onto the examination table. he says nothing, but he does settle his shirt down across his right knee and wait, apparently lost in his own thoughts. Caught in a world only he can see. As he stares off into space, the edges of his hard mask crumples, eyes and mouth wrinkling at the corners with grief. He doesn't seem to notice.
|Emma||Only on the edges of her senses does Emma hear Isabel, and turn slightly to look at her, questioning. Then her attention is back to Poncho,eyes watching the change. She is just that type, the nutering kind soul. So stepping forward, if allowed, a hand would be put on his arm. It's a form of support, saying more than words, to help comfort him and show he is not alone.
"I'll- I'll do my best ta make sure yer out as soon as - as possible. We will start an IV, nutrients'n stuff for radiation, it'll work faster than pills. An with it, painkillers, tha more rest ya get, the quicker yet back out there kickin' ass." With that is a quick supportive smile, even if it hurts with her split lip. "I'll go get tha orders placed, so we can start right away."e
|Isabel||Isabel does see the change, but what she sees more than anything else is the further change in the old man's eyes and lips. She hesitates, then steps fully into the room, making her way to the side of the examination table.
And quietly slips her hand into his, squeezing it gently, supportively. It's her own form of support.
|Poncho|| Though the touch of not one, but two hands is offered, the aging man twitches away from both. The action is on reflex, quick and impersonal, and it causes his expression to once more harden.
Glancing down at the girls he gives them a cold stare, walling himself off from their offered sympathy. But, he is here. He is staying. he will be treated.
Perhaps that is all that can be hoped for.