Hitchcockian Epilogues


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Scene Title Hitchcockian Epilogues
Synopsis Three victims of When Birds Attack gather in the infirmary for an evening of insomnia.
Date January 15, 2011

Bannerman's Castle: Infirmary

The infirmary is a paradoxical room in that it sees more use than the people who work and volunteer there would probably like. Unlike the wooden cots in the castle's living quarters, the beds here are made of metal, lightweight and foldable in case furniture needs to be rearranged in the event of an emergency. Strung up sheets provide patients in severe and critical condition with some privacy, even if this privacy is so flimsy that it can easily be stripped away by someone simply lifting the fabric, but most of the cots here are dressed in their linens only and are visible from anywhere in the room.

At the back is a set of double doors that leads into a storage area where additional bedding, medicine and supplies are kept, and these doors are almost always closed and fastened with a heavy padlock to discourage the theft of painkillers and other prescription drugs that the infirmary is in possession of.

The infirmary's low ceiling is outfitted with cheap incandescent lighting and is one of the only rooms in the castle where electricity is available courtesy of its generators.

Benji's face might not be so pretty in the future. Or maybe any scars that will come from the stitching up of the more gentleman like of the group who'd been on the boat will just make him that more appealing to those who find him such. Abigail's finest stitches went into him, taking her time and care down in the infirmary. Her own cheek cleaned up and taped closed with some butterfly bandages, Nora had been the next person to get medical attention while Benji was laid out on a cot, keeping all in close quarters.

Warmth came quickly once they were inside, off the boat, out of the elements and in a room where heat could be radiated as safely as possible. Nora got some super glue for her few wounds that weren't bad enough for stitches but could use a little help. The infirmary remains fairly quiet in terms of other people present and supplies are husbanded carefully by the EMT.

"You awake Benji?" They can't let him sleep, not so soon, not for a while, so conversation is the name of the game as Abigail carefully seperates some of Nora's hair to find the claw and beak wounds so that she can douse them, clean them and give Nora a clean bill of health. "How many birds do you think that was?"

With a sharp suck of breath through teeth, Nora winces at the cold sting of the antiseptic on her scalp. She can't help keep watch on Benji's eyes, to watch for them falling closed, but she can help with the chatter.

"Too many," is her best gauge, since she couldn't see the flock to count. "Do you think it was someone … governmental or someone else, more vigilante types?" Like Humanis First, maybe, though she doesn't want to say that name again, not until she can ask Brian or have one of the others ask Brian what that was about.

Her hand curls around Benji's, squeezing it to assess Benji's wakefulness if he doesn't speak.

"If it was the government, it would have been more than birds, wouldn't it? They wouldn't have let us get away," she murmurs. "But if even one bird followed us…"

Benji is currently unsure which he wants to be, asleep or awake — most people know the basic rules of what you should do and should not do after a head injury, after all, but the infirmary and being in it is reasonably miserable. Fingertips pick cautious around where needle and thread were applied above bruised eyebrow, huddled as small as he can get, propped to recline on the rickety metal cot. His eyes heavily hooded above shadows, and he drops his hand, turns his head against pillow to regard the configuration of Abigail and Nora.

His hand is cold and loose in Nora's, but not so slack that it implies unconsciousness. He starts to speak, and the words tip slurrily, almost foreign, if no language Abigail can immediately identify when it's mumbled as it is. A wince crosses his face, and he tries again, with a more simple approach:


That hand that crept to check the stitches gets Abigail's middle finger and thumb flicking them away. "No touching. You'll dirty it. Don't make me put mittens on you like they do for newborns" She's possibly teasing, possibly not. Either way, her blue eyes divert back to Nora's scalp and the cotton ball in hand as she gently works from inside to out with the cuts.

"She wouldn't have done that. I thought so at first, I thought maybe she'd finally lost it. But I don't think so anymore. Gabriel said he didn't sense anyone around us, but I know Eileen's range is good." Switched out for another cotton swab, fresh rubbing alcohol and under-her-breath apologies to Nora for the continued irritation and pain.

"There was another person on the island who had something to do with birds, he was a… penguin? Maybe him. Maybe something to do with shirley or.. I don't know, I'm not a mind reader or a bird reader." Abigail wrinkles her nose, what freckles she has shifting up, pulling away from Nora. "There, I'm done torturing you. You're as good as I'm going to get you. Superglue will break down over time and you shouldn't scar"

She pushes her stool away, gather the used supplies into one small area to divide them between what can be cleaned and used again and what can't. "We have some birds still alive though and they're being held so that when Eileen makes it back, she can maybe… talk to them, see what they can tell her" Eileen, bird interrogator. "But I don't hold much hope"

"Thanks," Nora says, reaching up to pat at her head, brows knitting together with more worry. Her teeth tug at her lower lip thoughtfully, and she shakes her head. "Brian was on the phone with Eileen, unless he was lying. Or unless… unless someone was possessing Eileen or something, but, God, I don't even want to think about that."

She heaves a sigh, pulling her feet up onto the chair she sits in, curling into it miserably. "Can… can a bird tell her anything useful? I mean, if who ever was making them act that way isn't controlling its mind anymore, does a bird have enough of a brain to say anything of value? We're talking pigeons, not like African Grey parrots, right? I don't … I don't think I know any animal telepaths. I don't know how that works." She pauses for a moment. "Aside from Eileen of course, but I haven't really had one on one talks with her, you know?"

Obediently, Benji locks that wandering hand around the frame of the cot, eyes shutting again, although the small wrinkle developed in his brow shows that he's still listening, concentrating. At the news that they still have a couple of the birds in 'custody', as it were, he huffs a protesting exhale, but it's washed out under dialogue about African Grey parrots. His slightly watery pale eyed stare, currently reduced by squint, seeks out Abby's face.

"Dangerous," he points out, tone mild. His tone is generally mild anyway, and it's only due to the quiet confines of their surroundings that he can be heard at all, especially with that mumble softening the edges of consonants, drawing along vowels. "Telepaths, or— spies. You should probably kill them." Hopefully he doesn't mean kill telepaths, seeing as he's already been marked as one, but the flappy critters themselves.

"I'd imagine that being an avian telepathist, that she'd speak to it-" Abigail taps her temple to indicate conversation in that way, as opposed to verbal with the bird. "I have yet to actually see her talk to a bird with her mouth. Not even Pila when she visited me. Only Eileen, or even Gabriel might be able to tell us anything, or if that.. penguin one is around somewhere maybe" Maybe.

Abby looks down to Benji, reaching over to peer into his eye's, rest a hand on his shoulder. "They're in a box, with a blanket over it, small holes for air and down in the bowels of the castle. no ones to go near them. What the rest of council wants to do with them, I'll let them decide. But do you both really think we should just put them out of their misery?"

At Benji's words, Nora's brows dip. "I don't know. What… what if they can tell whoever's controlling them where we are somehow? I don't know how birds work. Like… can they tell where they are, even if they're in a box, through some sort of avian intuition? Like, you know, pigeons… carrier pigeons, can always find their ways home? 'Cause yeah, then they'd be dangerous, like Benji says."

She rests her chin on her knees, her own eyes closing with weariness, before they open again with some determination. Benji's not allowed to sleep, so she can't sleep either. "I don't know. Is it better to risk that, or let Eileen talk to them? Because there's always more birds out there, if someone's trying to hurt us with them." Thousands upon thousands of birds.

Benji doesn't quite relax at Abby's reassurance, but he does shut his mouth when she asks for their opinions, taking a breath and letting it out with deliberation to relax himself. His hand gives Nora's a small squeeze, for all that his palm is unpleasantly clammy and fingernails mildly ragged from habitual nibbles. "Mrs. Caliban, I'm not my— I'm not thinking very straight," he concedes, blinking eyes deliberately so as not to drift away, especially as Abby squares her own blue-eyed stare on his.

Pupils are doing what they should, for all that some damp leakiness makes the world blurry. "So I don't really anything. I trust you. Your decisions."

"But these birds actually acted under a … compulsion, or something. The other birds out there" She gestures towards a wall despite there being no light at all that shines in through non-existent windows. "Which means these ones, if they were under a compulsion, had contact with someone or something may have answers that a random jaybird or cardinal in the woods won't"

Patrols will be more wary, Kendall will be asked to go out more to provide the coverage needed so that they're not seen and hopefully prevent any other re-occurance should there, lord forbid it, be another" Abigail reaches over, adjusting Nora's hair, sweeping some stray strands to the side. "Nora, I can get a cot for you, park you beside Benji here. You need some rest. I can keep an eye on him and after you've had a few hours, we can trade if you like"

Mrs. Caliban. That earns Benji a smile. "You're pretty much the only person to call me that. Everyone keeps calling me Beauchamp. But please, i've stitched you up, call me Abby, Abigail. Even Nun if you like and don't you worry none about you not thinking straight. I know quite a few who'd say that right now, you're thinking more straight than I am"

Nora would argue, but she's too busy yawning, though she tries to stifle it and cover it with her free hand. When she finally finishes, she shakes her head. "As long as he needs to be awake, I can stay awake too," she protests.

"Besides, you should rest. You've been stitching us up, cleaning us up. You can rest. Maybe Hannah or someone else can sit with us, since I'm not very good at keeping an 'eye on him' at the present time. But I can try and poke him when I think he might be asleep with the best of 'em."

Her hand reaches up to rub at her eyes as she speaks, wincing a little at the still-bruised eye from her and Abby's sparring session. "Fucking birds."

There's a small smile at Abby's offer of her less formal name, one that broadens a little at Nora's assertion that she can poke him as need be. "Medical procedure," he muses, hand up to rub at his face, avoiding the scratches that now mar it before curling that hand into a fist, place against his chest. As someone nicknamed Benji and rather insistent on it, chances are Abby will get her wish after all, although he doesn't repeat it back to her, just settles comfier against the cot's incline and—

Allows the two women to figure out who gets to indulge in insomnia with him. After wrangling the likes of Howard, now turned loose anyway, the break from being a control freak is one Benji can enjoy, even if it takes a cracked skull to do it.

"Long as you don't put the base of your palm into his nose to wake him up" It's a weak joke, inside joke. Abigail's been tight-lipped about how she came about to having the splint across her nose. "I'll go find Hannah, she can come sit with you two then, but if anything seems odd or he drifts off, you come and get me" Because it might be the difference between Benji just drifting off to sleep on his own, or a need to rush him to the mainland and chance a hospital. "I'll get some painkillers out, for both of you, if you end up needing them." She could use some rest as well. Some advil of her own. "I'll be back, with Hannah to kick your butts and make you both rest."

"Yours is the only nose I've ever accidentally broken, I'll have you know," Nora says with a small smile. How many nose she's deliberately broken is not commented on, but there's been at least one other broken nose in sparring sessions with the teenager.

"Thanks, Abby," she says softly, fingers tracing idly at Benji's fingers, smirking that his nails feel like they're in as bad a shape as her own, for all the tsks he's given her. "Sleep well."

She scooches her chair a little closer to Benji's cot. "So. What scintillating conversation is going to keep you awake and enthralled?" she says playfully.

There's a soft and understated but no less very honest and relieved 'yay' at the news about painkillers, from Benji, before he turns to look at Nora at the sound of her chair scraping in. He turns to huddle on his side, spare arm folded beneath his head. "Anything that isn't very serious," he invites, allowing his eyes to close while there's no one around to see better than Nora and correct him. For now. But he remains awake, voice hushed and hand attentively holding Nora's.

"Or I may have to reconsider the pros and cons of a coma."

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