Whatever It Takes





Scene Title Whatever It Takes
Synopsis In the wake of disaster, Marlowe makes for herself a quiet vow.
Date April 30, 2018

Yamagato Fellowship Center

Acrid odors of smoke and metallic blood fill her nostrils, scents penetrating, layering over the back of her tongue and her throat. It keeps taste of bitter bile at bay.

The sounds of bustling activity, calls for supplies and reading vitals mingle with each clatter of crudely formed splints, pole stretchers put together from the wood and fabric on the seats around each victim she can manage to help support the medics with around the hall. It's only been minutes, but with every second counting, she helps. In the back of her mind, the memories of victims of the War join with the fresh sights of her injured peers and dead coworkers.

Her head swirls with the sights of white suits of medical teams, black and blue corporate suits scrambling to get away from the horrors of a destroyed stage. The bomb has left black scorch marks, twisted metal, and splintered wood. And in the midst of it, a broken, bleeding man. White surrounds him, emergency teams desperately trying to stabilize the vitals of one vital soul. Just enough so they can move him. Hachiro Otomo is in critical condition. White, the color of the clouds in heaven. White, the color of death.

Marlowe turns her face away, the terrible sight meeting with an even more terrible, dreadful thought. She doesn't want to witness this man's death. Her heart beats fast with the hope that he'll live. He has to.

Her turn takes her to another equally as horrific moment. Three or so rows back from the stage, head covered by Monica's suit jacket laid atop his mangled form. The president of Yamagato Industries' New York branch lies dead. The medical teams have moved from him to the survivors, working hard to keep their pulses beating.

Mr. Egami, for all that she had heard about the man but never met outside of passing works, was a good man. A loyal man. So much so that he died supporting the ambitious dreams of the company he served. He must have had the loudest applause of them all. His eyes were, she muses, clear in the vision of where the company was headed. New York, Seattle, then the rest of the country. Now, their dreams to rebuild the Safe Zone into a glorious vision seem far away, clouded by fear as opaque as the smoke-filled air.

Was this the ultimate reward for loyalty?

She approaches the cooling body, stopping before she steps into the still gleaming puddle of blood pooled around him. A hollow assessment crosses the threshold of her mental capacity. Saisho's sacrifice to protect its creator kept Hachiro alive. President Egami had no such armor. He was exposed to the worst of the explosive device. She can see the bits of ivory rib bone slicked with deep red through the holes of the man's shredded shirt. Marlowe's breath hitches. She steps into the blood puddle, kneels in it. Her one good hand reaches over, brushing lightly against the fabric of the shirt. Dark irises bloom with the color of molten gold. Blue sparks jump beneath her fingers as she draws across the man's torso.

The mended white button down fabric quickly stains red.

She moves to the nearby seats, drawing upon singed, stained fabric, undoing and redoing the material as she slides across the row. All around her, the blue-white bolts of energy dance and weave a long, narrow sheet. In moments, the woman returns to Egami's side. The sheet joins Monica's blazer jacket to cover the remains of the president's corpse.

Fingers lift, brushing across her upper lip to draw away with the wet feeling of blood trickling down from a nostril.

Activity at the stage draws brown eyes back to it. The swarm of medics prep to do what she'd yelled at security specialist Mott not to do: Move Hachiro. The sight triggers the protective instinct once more. She lurches forward, and her legs wobble. She pauses to steady herself, teeth grit and jaw tense with the painful, energy-grinding throb of her dislocated shoulder reminding her of her own brush with the bomb.

But. They're moving him. She forces her uninjured legs to move with the team. One of the medics is saying something, a hand reaching to touch the arm she cradles close. She flinches away, shouts a sharp rebuke she'll remember to apologize for later, and scurries after the rolling stretcher.

Later, she'll also remember the pain of her shoulder being snapped back into place like one of the plastic action figures she played with as a child.

Hours later

Yamagato Building

The steady electronic beeps of the hospital equipment are a welcome sound to counteract the oppressive silence of the private suite. Eyelids heavy, form slouched forward, Marlowe shakes herself awake with a startled huff. The man resting in the hospital bed before her, however, is not awake. And may not be for a while. Her gaze moves from his paled but calm features down to the section of the blanket that should rise higher than it does. The leg that should be there, gone. Brows knit together, her gaze dips away as she sucks in a ragged breath.

Her mind enters a silent vow.

The woman exhales slowly, calmness returning in her focus. The beeping monitors continue at a steady, musical beat. She reaches into her pocket and pulls out a newly issued phone. She had demanded it from tech in case of another emergency or if the worst news was to be given on Hachiro's status. All her information stored through the cloud was already downloaded into the device.

She scrolls with a thumb, flicking in light upward motion until she finds what she wants. She presses play, and looks back to the resting man with a fond smile pushing through her worry.

"You're going to dance again, Hachiro. I'll make sure of it."

"Whatever you need from me," she whispers softly, "Nandemo hitsuyou na mono. Subete wo okonau."

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