The Littlest Victims


lashirah2_icon.gif brian_icon.gif gillian_icon.gif griffin_icon.gif kaylee2_icon.gif liza_icon.gif


bray_icon.gif hailey_icon.gif juniper_icon.gif justin_icon.gif lucy_icon.gif mala_icon.gif lh_paul_icon.gif

Scene Title The Littlest Victims
Synopsis H5N10 is spreading on Pollepel Island and the adults aren't the only people who need to worry about catching it.
Date February 17, 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.

No young kid likes to go to the doctor, and the Lighthouse Kids are no exceptions. And the infirmary of the castle doesn't even have lollipops or stickers to make the visits more comfortable.

With her hand on the young hispanic boy's shoulder, Gillian makes sure he puts one foot in front of the other and goes the rest of the way into what could become the scariest part of the castle.

More than a few hearty coughs can be heard within, and some so small, followed by soft hiccuping sounds hinting of tears. "Paul makes five," she says, glancing over toward her often present brother. Even when they don't talk much, he never seems to be too far away— at least one of him doesn't seem to be.

Dark eyes have a haunted look, especially as she glances toward one of the many beds, where a young dark skinned girl lays, arms clasping a puppet doll, coughing even as she sleeps. Often one to draw on the happiness of others, Mala had been the first one brought in, carried from her bed, unable to walk to the infirmary on her own.

Lashirah stands near one of the beds, checking tempratures, and helping out as best she can. She hides the wince that the announcement of the 'fifth'. The part of her who has done more post-mortems then living care is very afraid that similar will happen here. Lash has been helping out around the infirmary to keep herself busy, but up until recently it was mostly the kids getting bumps and bruises… when it wasn't a patrol who ran into something more serious.

All that, just served to make this scene more heartbreaking for Lashirah as she looks at the diminishing supply of children's dose ibuprofen. She closes her eyes a moment and whispers something under her breath that someone close might take for an attempt at a prayer, before she forces a thin smile. She won't show the frown, or the tears. Not here. That can wait until she's not in the room with the kids. Right now, they need someone who is brave to look to… and Lash isn't about to drop the ball yet.
ORDER: It is now your pose.

If Liza could have convinced someone to smuggle in lollipops and stickers for infirmary visits, she would have. Really, the petite blonde has done her best to make things comfortable. While some are sleeping, she's got a notepad that's already full of notes as she keeps making lists of things. She's being meticulous. Someone has to be. "We need to clean everything… especially toys. The less germs, the better…" She murmurs. Even still, while some may not look so happy, there's still the hint of a smile on Liza's lips. Someone has to keep spirits up. This is her family now. And Liza Messer never turns her back on family.

The young phaser is pale, his usually tan skin a sallow color and glazed with sweat as he shuffles to the bed Gillian leads him to. "I don't have it! I just have allergies. There's a lot of dust in the castle. That's all it is!" Paul protests, sniffling a little as tears begin to well up in his dark eyes at the prospect of being made to stay in the infirmary.

He turns to follow Gillian's gaze when Mala coughs and he wraps his arms around himself. "I don't wanna be like Georgie," he whispers, and tears roll down his chubby cheeks before he coughs, lifting his arm to cough into his elbow as he'd been instructed — though it's too late to protect the small wards in this infirmary. They've already gotten it. He is the newest victim.

Gloved hands on his hips, Brian's eyes are squarely on Mala for the longest moment. Gillian's twin stands like a silent sentinel over her shoulder, watching the children, his children suffer. Watching Paul move with his sister, Brian is completely still as he goes. Leaning against the wall, Brian watches the room blankly. Voices simply run over his head. It's like they're in another room, they might as well be on another planet. And for the master multi-tasker to be in such a state…

None of it is good. His eyes are completely dry as they follow Paul. The words break through his numbness, his arm twitching some. Perhaps there is a lot of dust in the air. Paul could be totally fine. And then the adult in him reminds him of reality. Which is sad. Blinking causes some moisture to form in his eyes. Winters takes a few steps forward. The mask on his face itching at his stubble. A gloved hand goes to brush through Mala's hair gently.

Griffin has been in the city, lately; now that he's returning to Pollepel for another week, he's brought a nice garbage bag, which he has hefted over his shoulder like some tall, lanky Santa Clause wearing a pair of blue jeans and a black coat. Looks like he's also putting his old Messiah scarf to use, with the fabric wrapped around his face. The last thing he needs right now is to get sick, so the scarf will work as a nice substitute for a face mask.

Look kids, it's Santa Terrorist, come to give you…stuffed animals. Which is what he opens the bag to reveal in the doorway of the clinic. "I heard there's some kids who need some extra love." He's certainly trying, to his credit.

"Three more." Comes a strained voice from the door as Kaylee leads in three more kids. A hand pressed into the middle of a reluctant teenage boy's back, "Bray's been trying to stifle his cough and act like he's not got a fever." She looks fairly worn, long hair pulled up messily on the back of her head. Wearing a dark gray cable knit sweater with a dark red turtle neck and jeans. All a little rumpled at the moment.

Bray is not her only charges, Lucy has a hand tucked into the blonde telepath's hand and Hailey crowds the woman's side, her faithful dog at her side. "Girls don't feel well either." Anyone can give a good guess as to how she found all that out.

This wasn't where Kaylee thought she'd find herself, but when the coughing started… she stayed. Figuring that Joseph would understand. "Rest are settled in as best that can, away from all this."She doesn't have to say how scared they seemed, expect for the younger ones, like Kasha and Emily. Kaylee herself is scared like the rest. She has been through the dreaded flu."

Of all the youngsters who got relocated, Juniper glances up and coughs into a tissue while pushing back further into her small metal bunk. The red head may have been the oldest of the Lighthouse Kids, but she's certainly didn't get out of catching it. She may not have been the first, but unlike some, she came forward when she knew her ability wasn't working.

Mostly because it's how she often got away with missing baths.

"I'm sure Eric and Justin will appreciate that," she says, glancing toward two other bunks. Eric, the littlest of the boys, who once bullied Bai-Chan by giving him spots with his ability, now has a sweat on his forehead and a bleeryness to his eyes. The black boy in the bunk next to him looks better, but quiet. He only got caught cause, for the first time in two years— the kid with the internal GPS got lost in the Castle.

"I asked her to check to make sure they weren't hiding anything," Gillian says with a glance toward Brian, who's wearing a mask, and then toward Paul. Yes, she means 'like Paul.' She's not wearing a mask herself. "I already took all their toys away, the ones who are sick it didn't matter too much…" she glances at Mala's precious doll puppet, a princess from one of Doyle's many stories. "We're going to have to do something about the ones that aren't sick— especially Kasha."

The dog that follow Hailey despite any signs of sickness could barely be called a puppy anymore, but Gillian still grimaces at the sight of her. Hazel may be the sweetest dog on the planet according to Hailey, but that doesn't mean the older woman has to like being around her.

"Hazel won't get sick too, will she?" the blonde asks with a worried look in her pale eyes.

Lashirah says, "Oh hon… Hazel will be fine, I'm sure." She doesn't get into how a dog is very unlikely to catch a human flu. She looks worn at the edges. But there's something in her eyes as she looks at some of the other adults in the room. A steel-hard determination to them. "… Hazel will be just fine… so you can relax and rest so you can get better." Words said with a forced amount of good cheer."

Liza's not out of energy, though, in this case… fighting in some way is what she can do best to help. As she notes Griffin at the door with the toys, she nods to them. She's assuming they're all clean. "We just need to make sure these toys stay in this room." She says, glancing around. She pats her body for her pen, only to realize she's stuck it behind her ear for safekeeping. Whoops. She laughs a moment at herself, looking at her lists. Keeping things clean and germs from spreading is what she's keeping track of. That and actually making lists of things like who's sick and what their temperatures are and the like. She's no doctor, but she's an expert record-keeper, and that'll help in the long run.

Paul swallows, then winces as it hurts his throat. The little boy curls up miserably on his cot and rests his head on the pillow to watch with dark eyes shining with tears as the grown-ups talk about the children and the illness that seems to have gotten its grip on all of them.

"Why'd we all get sick first? Why's it only the kids?" he says quietly, shivering as he pulls the blankets around himself, one tear after another running down his face, spotting the pillowcase.

His eyes swirl in a fog, dripping down to Mala. His lips quivering from behind the mask. His fingers moving through Mala's moist hair smoothly. He watches her emotionlessly before taking a step away. Paul grabs his attention, poking at the numbness that has formed around him. Moving much like a zombie, Brian seems to walk right through the things his sister is saying now..

Seldolm has Paul ever seen Brian sad. Happy and joking, yes. Furious at him, yes. But nothing ever like this. The young man goes to sink to one knee, his eyes meeting Paul's gaze as the single tear leaks out. His hand climbing up to take Paul's hand weakly.

The stuffed animals begin floating out of the garbage bag, each new and relatively untouched by other hands. Griffin, his eyes glowing, probably doesn't look the most inviting person in the world, peering over that red scarf he's using as a face mask while he's in here. "Now, no sharing. Each of you gets your very own to keep while you're in here. I made sure to give all of them really big hugs, so they have a lot of love in them."

So Griffin can be corny at times.

As he speaks, each stuffed animal floats to its own bed, leaving each child with a toy of their own for hugging in a time when they probably desperately need something to cling to.

Leaving Bray where he stands, Kaylee guides the girls to beds. "Glad I looked," she states even if she doesn't like invading thoughts like that normally. There are always exceptions to every rule, even she can agree to that.

As the girls crawl in, she holds up the blankets up for each in turn, tucking them in and brushing a hand over hair. The smile Kaylee gives each is bright and encouraging, even if there is a sadness in her blue eyes. She even pats the foot of Hailey's cot to encourage Hazel to hop up, the dog getting a rub of her ear.

"Where can we take them?" Kaylee asks as she straightens, tucking stray strands of hair behind her ear. "Grand Central is risky cause of the robots… what's the Garden's situation? Do we know yet?" One of the toys is plucked out of the air, with a thankful smile to Griffin, and tucked under the covers with Lucy as if it's sleeping there too.

"It's not just the kids, sweetie," Gillian says to the hispanic boy, grimacing as she glances deeper into the infirmary. There's sheets up for a hint of privacy, but there's still that deep sound of coughing further in. Pulling back, she looks at her twin as she sits down on the bed that Lucy's moved, helping her with the covers and leaving the dog and Hailey to the blonde who can stand dogs. Lucy's already hugging her newest stuffed animal under her arm, even as she coughs into her hand.

"You're going to be okay," Gillian says quietly, looking over at Kaylee for a long moment. "Lots of people were sick last year and they were just fine…"

It's a small attempt to find comfort. It doesn't really work. The kids aren't the only ones hiding symptoms, though. That always present knot in the back of her mind seems to be… gone. Odd how comforting it seemed now that she can't find it.

"There's not that many left who aren't sick, so at least… do you have someplace you can keep them, Brian? Where you're keeping Koshka?" The newest of their Lighthouse Kids, and perhaps one of the lucky ones, for not being on the island.

Lashirah quietly tucks one of the kids in, as she walks to the supply cupboard to doublecheck her mental math, she closes her eyes, trying not to show her mood, as she quietly bites her lip. There WAS something that was potentially possible… but pulling it off would be… a risk. But, as the saying goes, no risk, no reward. She looks over to the others present as she considers her thoughts… but doesn't voice them, not yet.

Paul's hand curls around Brian's and he closes his eyes. He sobs once before trying to bite it back, but that sob brings more coughing and more tears; the coughing fit leads to sobs which leads to more coughing in a cruel and sadistic cycle. When it finally subsides, the little boy curls up into a fetal ball, exhausted and spent.

Hair and forehead damp with sweat, cheeks and pillow damp with tears, his eyes close and he falls asleep rather suddenly — but not before reaching with one hand for the stuffed animal that Griffin had flown to his bed. His face burrows into the soft brown plush fur, and his shoulders rise and fall with the shallow breaths of sleep.

Staring at Paul, his eyes seem to go somewhere else. Something stirs him, bringing him back to reality. Glancing over to Gillian he lets out a distracted murmur. "There's a place. It's not ready for people to stay in it…" He pauses in his speech. "I guess it has to be ready." His eyes go back to the now sleeping Paul, his hand squeezing the boys hand gently. Going to stand up, he releases the hand before looking to Gillian again.

His other hand wanders up, starting to go towards his hair before he realizes that might be a bad idea. Dropping his hand he stares down at Paul once more. He has nothing reassuring to say. Nothing to give other than his presence and touch. Eyes flitting over to Lucy, something gets caught in his throat. Which is unfortunate, because it probably means he'll have to leave. But instead of walking out he casts Gillian a plainly pathetic look.

Staying back to allow the others to attend to the children, Griffin leans against the entryway, his Messiah scarf hiding the frown on his face, though it does nothing to hide the sadness in his eyes. He can only hope that Owain won't be in here next…that would be awful. These kids didn't deserve it. None of the people who have gotten sick deserve it.

Going on Gillian's cue, Kaylee opens her hands in a gesture to draw attention to herself. The telepath's voice is warm, yet kept soft for the other people beyond where the kids were gathered. "Gillian is right." After a mildly suspicious look to Gillian, she turns a little where she can look at all the kids, playing the hope card for them. "I had the flu last year." And here she was, with full control of her ability. To the dismay of some of the kids.

"You won't be alone." Kaylee was mostly, but that was just her situation at the time. "And we're going to do our best to keep you comfortable and before you know it, y'all will be out playing with Hazel and the other dogs."

"I'm sure as long as…" Gillian bited down on her lip to fight back the urge to cough, but it doesn't work out— she ends up clearing her throat to try and hide it. There's only so much her brother can take right now. "As long as the others are kept away from here, they'll be fine."

"Does that mean I won't get to see my brother?" Hailey asks pathetically, as she pulls Hazel in closer. The dog seems to know something is wrong, but still wags her tail and tries to lick the girl.

"You'd think a reprieve from Lance would be a good thing!" Bray says with a grunt as he pinches the bridge of his nose.

"You'll get to see him again soon and you'll wish he would go away again," Gillian tries to assure. It doesn't exactly work, because she's focusing her eyes on a certain rather upset man. "Brian…" There's a grimace. Reassurances aren't her strong suit right now.

"We'll get through this," is what she ends up saying. Somehow.

THere's a pause, before Lashirah smiles, and moves to step out of the ward… and go find some paper and a pencil to draft an idea to give to those who'd been in the Ferry longer, and to voulnteer herself to do something that is borderline stupid. She whispers to herself as she writes "Supplies don't come from nowhere…"

Liza glances gratefully to Griffin's handing out of toys, and she looks sympathetically towards the sick ones. Humming a tune lightly (it sounds like something Disney), she moves to pull out fresh sheets for some of the beds.

It would have to be the kids that drags him out of his pity party. Particularly Bray. A low dry tone emits from behind Brian's mask. "Bray. Stop being a nerd. What did I tell you about words like reprieve?" Winters glances over to Hailey then back to his own sister. His lips tighten behind his mask. Rolling on his heels, he takes a step away from her towards the hallway,

"It's not us I'm worried about."

Griffin watches the scene with a sad look on his face, green eyes traveling over the faces of the sick kids. "You kids make sure you get some rest, and do everything they tell you. In no time, you'll all be right as rain." He tips his head toward the children, swallowing once. Was his voice just cracking a bit? Either way, he's pushing away from the entryway, and making his exit.

He's going to go hug his son.

Hands come down on Bray's shoulders and Kaylee is moving to push the teen towards an empty cot. "Let's get you settled and ignore Brian," she murmurs softly. "Nothing wrong with big words. Means that maybe one day you'll have a much better job then the rest of us." A glance is sent to Brian and Griffin as they retreat.

"Gillian…" Kaylee glances at the other woman. "Don't work too hard." There is a gentle warning to those words, it also tells her that her condition is known. "There is a spare bed over there when you need a rest." Her head nodding to a cot nearby.

"I already sent a note on the boat to tell, Joseph what I found out and that I might be her for awhile." Kaylee gives her a weak smile, "So I'll be here to help."

Sadly, Bray is the nerd of the group, always dreaming of being an astronomer or something of the sort. So he kinda frowns at the mention from Brian— but nods and pulls the sheet up as if that'll keep some of the cold chills he's been hiding at bay. It doesn't work too well. "Do we have to stay in here the whole time? Can't we go back to our old rooms? They're already… contaminated and all that."

"That's up to Megan and the people in charge of the medical stuff," Gillian answers the question, as she runs fingers through Lucy's hair and watches the girl try to settle down. Sleep will do some of them well, or so she hopes.

"You should go get a vaccine, if you haven't already," she says to Kaylee, before glancing around the room. "Then you can come back and help with less worries." It's probably something she's wishing she'd done with her registration card now.

"We'll get through this…" she repeats a second time, as her eyes slide over each of the beds.

Eight little victims. Even if most would protest at being called little.

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