To The Rescue


caspian_icon.gif keira_icon.gif

Scene Title To The Rescue
Synopsis Caspian comes through for Keira.
Date May 10, 2018

Abandoned Warehouse

It’s begun raining, the air still cooling from the precipitation and calm weather of the previous day — something that certainly is not so appealing when one is lying broken and bloodied among their dead employees in the back alley behind an old abandoned warehouse-style grocery store. It does at least wash away some of the blood that has caked over her pretty features, marred by the black void that looms where her left eye used to be.

She would have probably gotten up and made her way out of here on her own, but then there’s the problem of her broken back. The actual place where her lumbar spine is broken feels like she is laying in a river of lava in just that spot, and it’s doing all kinds of wonky shit, with her legs mostly numb but also tingling like fire, and the rest of her back is tingling to such an extreme that it feels like her skin is just…bugs. Everything is pain for the most part, and while she wants to writhe in agony, she wisely doesn’t move — not that she can really do much of that right now.

When she woke up, she cried a lot. Nobody was around to hear her being weak, so she just kind of went for it. Who wouldn’t cry if they woke up with a broken back and a missing eye? She got it all out of her system, and now she’s staring up at the sky with her one eye, trying not to shiver from the slight chill in the air combined with being rained on. She was never good at being the damsel in distress — she hates asking for help, but she’s done it anyhow.

All she wanted was to dole out a little bit of justice. Lash out for those who couldn’t lash out any more, as a way to make up for the small amount of work that she did for Humanis First. That’s a deep, dark secret that only a few people know about, and it’s one she may spend the rest of her life trying to make up for — though if today is any indication, her life will be a short one.

Here’s hoping that help she called for arrives soon.

It's late in the evening - or early in the morning, depending on the point of view, when Caspian’s phone rumbles. He was up and dressed in comfortable, dark clothes already, his shoes off but not much else, ready to go. Relaxing after a day of work but not falling asleep, watching the clock. Keira was doing something dangerous and had involved him - telling him the barest details by his insistence and including an ominous warning. If he hadn't heard from her by a certain time, she was in trouble and he needed to come and find her.

On Staten Island. A place he did not usually go for myriad reasons.

As the clock eased past the appointed time, Caspian sighed and pulled himself to his feet. A glock was tucked into a holster inside his jacket, a folding knife was tucked into his pants pocket, some cash and a bit of gold jewelry was taken for various reasons, and his ID was put somewhere it wouldn't be snatched along with his phone. A pair of gloves, too, just in case fingerprints aren't a good idea. A quick note was left for the LHK’s. “Gone to Staten to help a friend.” and then he was off.

It didn't take much time on the early morning streets to get to the edge of the safe zone, and with his mastery of platforms of force, he was able to get past the lonely guard shack without too much trouble, going right through thanks to the guard sleeping while watching a rerun of some 80’s sitcom.

He's through the gate and on the way to Staten proper when the the text message comes in. Four tiny letters from the number Keira gave him. ‘Help.’ It takes a second for him to fish out the phone from where he tucked it, but the message was clear. He stares at it for a few seconds, wordless,typing in a response. ‘Coming. Where?’, before tucking it back where it was, safe in an inside pocket. Keira is in trouble and is in bad enough trouble to where she has to ask for his help getting out of it. He calls the number and it dumps directly to voicemail, the recording giving an address in a dispassionate voice.

He hopes he can help.

There’s no answer to his text, but the address leads to an old abandoned warehouse that was once a supermarket. A man hangs partially off the side of the roof, his gun dangling uselessly from his neck.

The warehouse itself is empty, save for a chair and some discarded rope. Going further in, the back door is hanging wide open; going through this door leads to the back alley, and the horrific scene that played out not too long ago. Three men, all dead from some blade attack; and then, Keira, laying on her back.

She looks pretty awful, laying in a position that wouldn’t normally be possible if not for a broken back. She stares up at the sky, blood still caked to her left cheek, and the closed eye itself looks…deflated.

It looks like she is in a lot of pain.

This is not what he expected to find. Not at all. Sure, he was expecting to get her out of a jam, but as he approached he abandoned address, things started to get a little uncomfortable. The sight of a body hanging from the edge of the roof, obviously dead, had him drawing his pistol with one hand, his shield going up with the other as he entered the building. The place, thankfully, was clear, but the damage leading to a chair and a rope led him to the alleyway and the carnage left behind.

Not a word is said as Caspian surveys the scene. He didn't take a vehicle in and, judging from the way the bodies are strewn about, it's a reasonable expectation that none of these guys will need it. He's still careful, approaching with his shield held up to deflect fire from above, kneeling down to feel for a pulse in Keira’s neck.

It's weak, but it's there.

“Keira? It's Cas….” he brushes a hand against her hair, making sure to pull the gloves on before any sort of skin to skin contact occurs. “We need to move you. Can you hear me?” His shield comes down, his hand resting on the ground next to her, a thin layer of force sliding beneath her, acting as a sort of table for her to rest on.

It's a complicated thing he does, but the force thickens, protrusions coming up around her body to hold it firmly, keeping her neck absolutely still in the off chance she has neck injuries too. Thankfully, the van door is open, the soft chime of the keys signaling their location in the ignition, meaning he doesn't have to search far. “Gonna borrow your van, Keira. Hope you don't mind. Hold on.” With a soft grunt he lifts the field and carries the injured Keira to the back of the van, sliding her in after bodily shoving anything else inside the van out of the way.

She’s been slipping in and out of consciousness since she was discarded like a broken toy, intermittently staring up at the sky and crying while wondering if she’ll die out here. She meant well, dammit. Yeah, she got a little cruel about shit, but he did lynch people. She just had to play around, didn’t she? She could have just driven the fucker to SESA like she intended and let them deal with it.

She should have done that, but she was stupid, and now she’s paying the price for it. Her legs are numb right now, and she just plain doesn’t have a left eye any more. Her eye socket is on fire, nerves that have never in her nearly 35 years of life hitting air. It feels like someone is just…constantly blasting sand into her eye socket.

It’s during one of her awake moments that Caspian comes to her, touching her neck with the gloved hand, talking to her with that soothing voice of his. And then, he’s using that wonderful ability of his, lifting her up without moving her. She takes a few whimpering breaths, pain making it hard to get a good lungful of air, reaching for Caspian without actually moving to touch him.

“Back’s broken…” She closes her eye, clenching her hands into fists — it’s one of the only things she can do that doesn’t send agony shooting through her entire body. “Hospital in the Safe Zone. Need negation…need to talk to SESA.”

She lets out a strangled sob; maybe she won’t die today after all. Caspian is her knight in shining armor, come to save her when she needs him the most. She’s not sure what entirely prompted her to ask him for help over everyone else, but in this moment, she’s extremely glad she trusted him.

When Keira is placed in the van, she's not in the floor proper. It's more like she's floating above it on a rigid plank of force that confirms to her body. “Yeah.” He says softly, giving her another touch above the break, closing the door of the van after extending his force through the driver’s door, keeping it active while he climbs into the driver's seat. A twist of the key starts the van’s engine, the V8 misfiring on two cylinders. He does a quick check of things that may matter, like, gas. Sure, there are a million warning lights on the dash, one tire is low, and it probably needs oil, but aside from those problems? This thing has less than a quarter tank to get through the boonies to the hospital.

“We’ll get you there.” Caspian kicks the van into gear with a grind of synchronizers failing, starting to slowly drive, not wanting to push the battered van too hard. They need to put as much distance between them and whatever did this to Keira as quickly and as anonymously as possible. Thank god she didn't decide to paint a logo or something on the side.

“So….”. He says, steering around a burned out car, stripped to the frame of anything useful. “When are we going to head back to Cabo? I'm sure you've got a few bikinis stored up that I haven't seen.” Keep her talking….keep her awake. Don't let her think about her injuries or what they mean. If she passes out or panics, it would not be good for her prognosis. A broken back is survivable. She might even be able to walk again if his stabilization worked and the break didn't send a wedge of bone into her spine.

Distance to the safe zone border? Three miles.

Distance to the safe zone hospital? Six miles.

Let's go.

The van, once owned by the deceased Tim, was supposed to take Danko to SESA; instead, it’s taking Tim’s boss to the hospital, while Tim lays in an old back alley behind a former supermarket. If she gets out of this alright, she’ll come give her boys the proper burial they deserve.

They didn’t deserve to die. They were just doing what she paid them to do, and they died for it. Why do people always kill the hired help? She’s sure they would have turned tail and ran if given the chance — and she wouldn’t have held it against them.

Whoever did this is going to pay. Keira may be a criminal, she may capitalize on the weak parts of society, but she’s not a bad person. And she’ll make sure the person who would cry an ocean of tears for a piece of shit like Emile Danko will suffer.

Her remaining blue eye stares up at the ceiling, teeth gritting against the pain. “How ‘bout as soon as I can walk again, we take a trip down there?” The beaches will be nice, but she’s got something else in mind for a trip to her old stomping grounds.

The injuries she has obtained tonight are on her mind, of course — she could be paralyzed, and very well might be if the tingling numbness in her legs is any indication. She’s definitely never getting her eye back — maybe she can persuade Ray to use his fancy tech people to make her a new one.

“Danko is real. I had him.”

The van rocks gently as Caspian motors along well-worn tracks in the city, feet and hands of people clearing the way as they go. Being in a van does attract a little attention, since vehicles at this early morning are kind of an anachronism. Movement out of the right window leads Caspian to take a left, off the route he walked in on and toward a gang checkpoint.

Why he brought the gold.

And bad things happen in the places outside of the safe zone. It's cruel and unfeeling. The way the bodies were left and the savagery that they were shown meant that this was a message. Do not mess with us or this could happen to you. Keira just was lucky enough to be the lone survivor left over to tell the story, but perhaps unlucky for Danko….Keira was left alive.

“You had him. Emile Danko, scourge of Humanis First and other stuff. Back from the dead.” Caspian grumbles and thumbs off the safety of his pistol, leaving it tucked on his seat, a small shield of force covering the drifer’s door as he slows for a checkpoint, the window rolling down. “Tell me all about it if we make it through this. The last thing I want to do is shoot this guy down. Stay quiet. Be miserable. I don't know if this thing could survive a shot or two, even though we could.” Maybe.

“You new here, ese?” The goon at the makeshift checkpoint slurs. “Wha’choo got in the back?”

“Just going to the zone, to the hospital.” Caspian responds, offering a small wad of bills. The implication? Take it and let us go.

Keira lifts her one-eyed gaze up, toward Caspian and the open window. She can’t see much, but she knows that she should definitely stay quiet and avoid bringing any attention to herself.

So she stays silent. Instead, she glares at the ceiling of the work van, her eye socket on fire, pain radiating through her body from her broken back. She may be in the worst pain she’s ever been in in her entire life, but she’s still that tough-ass bitch who will fuck you up.

Oh, and she’s going to fuck Danko up.

One silver lining is that when she took Danko’s things, she stashed them. His weapons that have his handprints all over them, his hoodie, those are in her possession. She’s sure those forensic assholes can do something with those, just in case SESA doesn’t believe her.

The only thought in relation to her injuries that she’s having, right now, is that now she has a distinguishing characteristic that might make the anonymity of her ability much more difficult to achieve. She’ll just have to carry sunglasses around until she can figure something else out.

This fucking sucks.

At least she's alive. And the fact that she still feels her feet? She's lucky in that regard. Assuming things go well with the doctors, she may have to put up with a cast for a while, won't be able to bend over, but will be able to walk. Or surgery. Or something.

Caspian presses the bills into the guard’s hand, nodding. “We cool?”

The guard looks at the cash - considerably more than he's getting from the guy paying him to be here. “Yeah, senor. We cool.” Pushing the bills into his pocket, he whistles by putting two fingers into his mouth. At the signal, a car is rolled out of the street and, with a motion, Caspian and his charge are sent on their way to the hospital.

“I'd offer you a drink for the pain, but the Doctors, when we get there, probably are going to want to start working on you right away.” The Wall looms closer, the van bouncing over ruts, very nearly getting stuck once, Keira staying rock solid as they approach another checkpoint - this one official.

This checkpoint takes a little time. More time than either of them are comfortable with. Even with Keira injured, the guards still check for contraband, check Caspian’s ID, look over the injured Keira briefly, and finally, mercifully, they're let through, a call going ahead to the hospital.

The roads here are easier. Smoother. Little better than what is outside since these are maintained, but still, there are bumps. “Almost there…” he says, looking back at the woman on the plinth of force, taking a left, a right, and a straight shot down a Main Street to the front doors of the hospital. A gurney and an orderly - bored looking - is there waiting, taking a few steps back when the van slides to a stop in front of them.

“Her back is broken, her eye is messed up. She needs help.” Caspian is out of the van before it even stops rolling, the back coming out, Keira floating out and over to the gurney. “I'm immobilizing her, so get a neck brace and a back board or something….please. Hurry!” He slumps a little. “She needs SESA and negation. She’s a shapeshifter. C’mon….help her.”

The orderly looks shocked, shouting out for a doctor. Luckily, two of them hear and descend on the immobile Keira along with some RN’s, pushing her through the electric doors and into the emergency room.

The doctors call out as Keira's clothes are clipped and her neck and spine are stabilized. “Possible fracture in the L5 vertebrae, major ocular trauma…lets get her into the ER. Sir, sir? What happened?” A nurse is talking to Caspian with a notepad.

“Wish I knew.” He responds truthfully, watching as a dose of negation is pushed into Keira’s arm, her form flashing to the big Hispanic orderly for a second before the drugs take hold. “From what she said, there was an encounter in the badlands that didn't end up well for her. Don't know much more than that.

“Are you family?”

“Close. We're good friends.” Caspian responds. “One of the few I've got left from before.”

Keira’s half out by the time they arrive at the hospital, drifting as the pain and blood loss gets to be a little bit too much. She stirs, however, when suddenly she’s being brought into the ER. “Nnnn…no skin to—”

She’s about to protest when the orderly brushes his skin against hers, and the shift happens. And it hurts when her entire shape, wounded spine included, shifts. And so she screams — first in the man’s voice, fading into her own voice as the negation drugs push her back into her normal form.

She never thought she would be so glad to be negated — to just be a normal human for a little bit.

It does, however, prompt her to lose consciousness, all of this being just a little bit too much for her to handle right now.

She’ll probably end up in emergency surgery — she’s probably a pretty good candidate for a kyphoplasty with the injury inflicted on her by the FRONTLINE power armor.

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