Bedside Manner


amato_icon.gif kazimir_icon.gif

Scene Title Bedside Manner
Synopsis Amato returns to Kazimir, injured, and his wounds are tended to with efficiency.
Date October 17, 2008

Eagle Electric

The most notable business collapse in Queens was that of Eagle Electric, a major manufacturer based out of Long Island City for decades, comprised of acres of warehouses and manufacturing plants designed to produce electronic components to suit all sorts of needs. The western warehouse of the Eagle Electric lot is an enormous and foreboding red-painted building made entirely from sheets of ridged steel. Amidst the grass growing up through the cracks in the pavement and the burned out cars in the parking lot, it seems just as uninhabited as the rest of the area. A large and ruined sign at the top of the office and manufacturing building prominently reads, "Eagle Electric—Perfection Is Not An Accident."

Though it is a proverb, it is one that Amato Salucci does not know. He is aware, however, of the rising sun in the east, just as he is aware of the fatigue that has seeped into his very bones. It threatens to throw his shadowing, pale, and shaking form into the light, or at least out of the veil the waning darkness provides. Clutching his left shoulder with on gloved hand, Amato stumbles into the abandoned warehouse of Eagle Electric, and nearly into a stack of pallets. He winces, his ashen face contorted by the unmistakable bought against pain.

"Look," the man breathes, his voice barely above a whisper as he drops to his knees and nearly touches his forehead to the floor. "Look upon my affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins."

Like a gargoyle on its perch, Kazimir has resigned himself to the high-backed and shrouded chair upon the palettes that dominate the empty freight area on the far end of the warehouse from the entrance. One hand holds his brow, elbow resting upon the arm of the chair as if to support his head. The other hand sits idly on the cane laid out across his lap. Amato has come to understand that Kazimir does not — or perhaps can not — sleep, instead he simply sits in silent thought, always aware, always awake; even at times when he wishes the respite and obliviousness of slumber could take him.

The sound of Amato dropping to his knees brings no reaction, but the fullness of his voice finally rouses the gargoyle from his stillness, head lifting just enough for blue eyes to peer across the back of his hand at the genuflecting servant. He says nothing, a silent stare that moves to linger on the droplets of blood collection on the floor by his lowered shoulder. "How did you come to be wounded?" The rough and gravley sound of Kazimir's voice cuts thorugh the warehouse, and the weariness in his voice is clear. It has been a long night.

There really shouldn't be any reason for Amato not to expect Kazimir in the warehouse, but perhaps it is because his own night has been far longer than it perhaps should have been that he is startled when the older man's voice cuts through the early morning air. Amato lifts his head, his face still wearing that anguished mask.

"I could not outrun the demon's blow, though he was distracted by the…the…" Amato's usually smooth and easy way with words is fractured by pain, and he actually bows his head again as he tries to regain some semblance of composure. Tears streak his lined face when he lifts it again. "Demsky was swallowed by the hell of hell, though likely lives, through the aid the demon and the woman."

Kazimir's head raises the moment Amato mentions the detective, his eyes growing wide as he rises from the chair. His eyes drift to one of the dingy and cracked windows near the warehouse's back entrance, as if inspecting something there, where there is nothing. He looks back to Amato, dawning understanding coming over his face, "He is alive." There's a certainty in his tone of voice, one that he does not use without reason. "What of the woman, the police officer you were charged with?" Hard-soled shoes clack against the concrete floor, and Kazimir is quickly clearing the distance between himself and Amato, tucking his cane under one arm. "What good has come of all of this? Of this injury that must now be tended to? Has it been worth the effort?" His tone is decisively indicative of his hope that it has been.

"I caused no harm," Amato says in a softer voice, as if to convince himself or some higher being that need only be whispered to of the statement's truth. And in a way, Amato took the necessary precautions to ensure that any harm that came to any person entering Sea View hospital either in his 'care' or as as result of his actions would only become injured through faults of their own. Struggling. Refusing to eat. Not watching their step. It's an easy enough claim to make, especially when factoring in the ends of Amato's efforts.

Bowing his head, Amato adopts that slightly more pious posture once again as he speaks a verse, a prayer, a statement of factual events, as far as he sees them. "I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee." A slow, strained smile that fights against the pervading pain curls onto Amato's lips, loosening his tongue. "She, at least, is afraid." Was afraid? "A seed has been planted, and given aid by God's own hand in destroying the /pestilence/ of man beneath their representative's feet. They will not find my footsteps. And if they correctly interpret the signs and wonders presented to them by The Almighty, they will prove themselves fools by continuing their pursuit."

Kazimir's brows furrow together, staring down at Amato with a level of concerned uncertainty. "If humanity is guilty of anything, it is blind persistance." His tone there is not bitter, but perhaps half-hearted pride, "You have not seen as much as I have, so I cannot fault you for your perspective. I worry this will only embolden them…" He looks down to Amato again, then waves one hand in the air, "Stand up, you're letting blood run to your injury." Kazimir motions towards the back of the warehouse where several long tables for sorting and packing freight lay in disuse. "Climb up onto the table, and take off your shirt."

He doesn't wait for the order to be followed, moving again immediately away from Amato and between the towering stacks of cloth shrouded crates, disappearing from sight alone, the sounds of his footfalls still echoing as he heads in the opposite direction of the tables, then stops. Only then there is the sound of metal clanking, clattering, and creaking hinges.

As much as his shoulder hurts, being off his feet after such a long retreat was a relief to some degree; however, Amato cannot argue with the wisdom of his master, be it concerning his health or his actions. As he gets to his feet and makes his way in a tired limp of sorts to the tables at the far end of the vast room, Kazimir Volken's Conscience can only replay those words and try to sort out all the possibilities they inspire.

When he finally reaches the tables, Amato carefully removes his gloved hand before his gloves themselves. Then he peels off his coat with a wince, followed by suitjacket, vest, tie, then finally his shirt. Beneath it, the pious once would-be priest retains a now bloodstained, sleeveless undershirt. The wound is such that the bones of his shoulder are unharmed - only the meaty curve on the outside of the joint.

It takes a long time for Kazimir to return to the tables, time where Amato is left along in the unheated and all too spacious warehouse, a chill strong enough in the air to let his breath be seen. By the time Kazimir does return, it is with a pair of gray metal boxes marked with the symbol of a red cross. They're old and dented, having seen much use over time. "Back before I did the work I do now…" Rarely does Kazimir have an anecdote, but the moment seems fitting, "I worked for some very cruel people, very misguided people." He sets the metal cases down on the table, each rattling when they are dropped. "But there was a certain efficiency to their cruelty, one that even now I can't help but appreciate. The almost mechanical nature with which they were able to put aside their humanity…"

Laying his cane down on the table, Kazimir reaches into his jacket to remove his leather gloves, donning one slowly. "I learned a great deal about anatomy with them, about the way the human body works. Terrible things, the kinds of things that you can't unsee, the things that haunt dreams for the rest of your life…" The other glove is then pulled on tightly, "That is how we learned, by trial and error. How many skulls could a single bullet from a Luger penetrate before stopping. We lined up the prisoners one in front of the other and found out." His head cocks to the side, one hand moving to open the latch on the closest box, "Now a days they call it empyrical evidence. It is a flowery way to describe what we did."

The metal box is opened, revealing a host of innocuous first-aid supplies; gauze pads, medical tape, disinfectants and cotton sabs, along with steel tweezers and bandages. "I remember once, we found a man who could regenerate. We spent days dissecting him, seeing how fast his limbs could regrow. Would they grow back if we cauterized the wound shut, would they grow back if we submerged the limb in sulfuric acid. Could the detatched limbs be attached to another host who had lost a limb — You'd be surprised on the answer to that one." Taking one of the cotton swabs and a bottle of disinfectant, Kazimir begins the process of pouring the clear and foaming liquid over the infected areas. "I had my fair share of injuries I had to sew up. But I wasn't trained as a field medic, we weren't overly concerned with the survivability of our patients, or their comfort like the field doctors were." The bottle and swabs are set down on the table, the cotton having soaked up much of the blood that had dried around the wounds.

"You've got buckshot in your shoulder. Tiny pellets of metal made to scatter under the flesh." His hand moves for the second box, undoing the latch with a loud click, and when it opens what it reveals is anything but innocuous. There are three scalpels, a small butane torch, a pair of vice grips and a length of rubber hose, along with a scrubbing pad and a syringe, along with unlabeled bottles of clear liquid. "I'm going to extract the pellets from beneath your skin, disinfect the area, and then sew you shut. It's going to hurt." His hand reaches for the long metal tweezers in the other box, "This should serve as a lesson in putting yourself in the path of injury."

October 16th: So Little Time

Previously in this storyline…
Then Pharaoh Called

Next in this storyline…
Phase Two

October 17th: Two For Tea
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