Mission of Mercy (poetlore and dunruffle)

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PoetLore

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Marcus groaned and narrowly managed to remain standing though he was leaning against the wall gasping for air. His eyes fixed on the director with such hatred, until the man spoke of a newscast. Then his attention was riveted to the screen on the wall. Treason? What could they possibly have found...and then it began to speak of him. Where had they found that girl? How did anyone know about those sales? None of it was wrong, he was guilty of all of it, but there should be no record anywhere of any of that. His father had buried it all in the deepest darkest ocean, or destroyed it altogether.

The director then spoke of poking the sleeping dog and his eyes returned to the man, "You expect me to believe this is all your doing? that you have this kind of power?" He shook his head and spat on the floor in his general direction. "You don't own me...you'll see...you will the one groveling at our feet once the Edwards' family allies come for you."

Meanwhile his father was coming to a very different conclusion. There was no escape now, and he had finally crossed the line his wife had often warned him about in the past. She'd always said he would come up against someone with more clout and better connections, but he'd never believed it. He looked at the walls of his cell and sighed. He wasn't going to spend the rest of his life here, that was for sure. He reached into his mouth and wiggled a false tooth. It came free after a few tugs. He pulled a tiny pill from inside it and put it in his mouth and bit down on it. The strong neurotoxin spread quickly though his body, and before anyone knew it he was lying lifeless on the floor of his cell.

Mrs. Edwards was complaining about being detained, but once the gravity of the situation was explained to her,s he was content to be held in the safe house away from her husband's 'friends' and associates. She was well aware that their name was irrevocably compromised and that her husband was not going to emerge from this lily white as he was accustomed to doing. So, she was cooperating with the authorities in every way that she could, throwing her husband and son under every bus that came at them. Was she innocent? No, not in the least. She was part and parcel to everything that happened to protect the family, but she had not threatened the Director, and she had no intention of doing so. Unlike her husband and son, she was aware of when to back away from an enemy and let something go. This was that time. She was going to be given a new identity and any remaining assets of her husband's once it was all liquidated. She was totally content with that arrangement...totally.

Some time later the 'guards' delivered Marcus to the hospital. They lied, oh how they lied, but at least they made it sound like he'd put up a good fight. He was oddly grateful for that, since he didn't want them to think he'd just took this kind of beating without putting up a fight of any kind. He stiffened when the guard put the baton to his neck and fell to the ground.

Point was trying not to laugh. She knew that was completely inappropriate, but damn this was funny. She was smiling and nodding to the guards covering her failing attempt at concealing her laughter behind her hand. They left and she waved. Poking the comm button, "Hey doc...Mr. Moron is back...might wanna come help him."

Cassandra was in her room sending files to Doctor Sechen on Ray's amazing recovery. She wanted to know if he wished to see Ray before she sent him home, or if the detailed information she was sending was enough for him. She'd do either and be glad to continue working with him. She also included that, ad asked if there were any other projects he was working on currently that she could collaborate with him or be of help furthering. She had just hit the send arrow when Point's voice came over the comm. Mr. Moron? OH, Marcus. She sighed and left her desk and saw Point standing over Marcus' twitching body. "What happened??"

Point was just watching him twitch, "Oh...Genius here decided it would be a wise course of action to attack the Director's secretary and then threaten the Director." Her eyes rolled as she looked at Cassandra, "So...how are we going to pick him up?"

Cassandra looked at Jen and the corner of her lips curled up for just a second before her professional face was plastered there again. "I can handle it," she said as she crouched down and slipped her arms under him. "Get a cot," she said as she used the implanted leg to stand with him in her arms. She laid him on the cot and then they pushed him into an empty bay. "Well Marcus, this was one of your more stupid moves." she said to his unconscious form. She stitched him up and wrapped his cracked ribs in a tight fitting brace. His left tibia was broken and after setting it she held it immobile with a a transparent boot. She figured he'd be unconscious for some time, so she began to clean up his secondary wounds when she noticed an odd substance on his hand. She frowned and scanned it with her eye and gasped. She put his hand in an airtight sealed glove and then left him. "Point....strap him in and keep an eye on him..."

Point nodded and gladly strapped him in ..tightly.

Cassandra tapped the tablet but then thought better of it and grabbed the phone. "I need to speak to the director. it is urgent." The secretary sighed but before she could give the standard message Cassandra spoke again. "This is a matter of life and death...for the Director. Put me through."
 

Dunruffle

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With no reply the Secretary hung up. Less than a minute later alarm claxons began to blare as red warning lights flashed overhead. With a booming sound, the doors to the medical wing slammed shut. From beyond the doors, echoes of other blast doors closing went on for a few moments before going silent. The native guard standing by the door put a finger to his ear and after nodding several times went and stood in front of the closed entrance. The normally quiet and pleasant guard now appeared very on edge, he gripped his shotgun tightly and any movement in the lobby was met with a growl and pointed weapon.

After several more minutes of blaring alarms, the wailing speakers turned off with a click. The red flashing lights persisted, adding a surreal strobing effect to the bright clinic. There was a sound of static as the speakers came alive with a synthesized monotone voice. "Code Red, attack has occured inside the base. Stay at your designated posts. Any personnel found outside their designated areas will be killed without warning. If you are in a recreational area, lay down with your hands on your head. Do not move until directed by security personnel. This is not a drill. If you attempt to pass by any guards you will be killed without warning."

The automated message repeated four more times before shutting off with a burst of static. The red warning lights stopped flashing and instead maintained constant a bright red glow. Five minutes slowly went by as the nervous guard eyed Cassandra and Point warily. Suddenly there was a loud knock on the closed doors and the sound of a passcode being entered. The thick metal doors unlocked and slowly slid apart to reveal a squad of heavily armed and armored security officers. "HANDS WHERE I CAN SEE THEM! AGAINST THE WALL NOW!" Before Cassandra or Point could protest, they were yanked away from the operating table and shoved against the nearby metal wall. After a thorough pat down, the two women were escorted into the lobby and forced to sit on the floor. "Keep your eyes on em, the try to run you shoot them." The guards nodded and put their fingers on their triggers as the senior officer went back outside.

Less than a minute later, Harrison was dragged in and shoved to the floor next to Cassandra and Point. A dark purple bruise was already forming on Harrison's jaw where he had been hit by one of the natives. "He us lucky we had orders to take him alive." The senior guard spoke with a tone of disgust, like he was disappointed Harrison had been spared. The sounds of crashing and objects being thrown around emanated from Graves' work area as the supply assistant was dragged from his room and roughly shoved into the group on the floor. Once all the hospital staff had been collected, the group of prisoners was forced to stand against a nearby wall as the sound of massive footsteps came closer.

The source of the heavy footsteps rushed through the entrance and roared in panic. In his arms, Brutus carried Director Valentine protectively as the older man laughed weakly. "Oh calm down Brutus, I will be fine." Seemingly reassured from the Director's voice. Brutus walked further in and carefully set the pale-faced Director on an empty operating table. Coughing wetly, Director Valentine motioned for the staff to be brought over. With gun barrels shoved into their backs, Cassandra and company were made to stand in front of the sickly looking Director. "Well it seems that little cretin managed to..." Director Valentine was interrupted by a coughing fit and cleared his throat. "Anyways, it seems my life is in your hands Doctor. Hopefully you live up to your reputation."
 

PoetLore

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Cassandra heard the alarm and was grateful her call had been taken seriously. She sat nervously on the floor with Point glancing at her watch ever few seconds. Her foot was tapping and her mind was screaming for them to bring the Director to her, or her to the director. Stupid Marcus. This was the most stupid thing he had ever done, and she was not going to save him from the consequences of it. This time Marcus was completely on his own, if he even survived his own attempt on the director's life, which he might not.

Harrison was shoved through the doors and she winced at his face, "You ok?" she asked and her reply was a curt not of his head. She could tell he was a bit put out, so she didn't attempt to speak to him further. Graves was next and she could tell he looked a bit antsy. Well hell, what had HE done? She sighed. Of all the members of her team, graves was the only one that she ever had a problem with as far as breaking rules and being a bit...shady. She kept him though, because he seemed to be able to get things no matter where they were and she was a bit ashamed that she never cared where the stuff came from when it was saving lives. She always gave him a bit of space to be what he was. But here, that wasn't going to fly, and if he'd stupidly helped Marcus, he was on his own as well. To her, that was a step of total rebellion against her personally.

The doors slid open again and a large native was carrying the Director. She shot to her feet quickly and didn't even care that there were guns at her back. "Oh thank God," she said as she quickly moved to his side. "I called as soon as I saw the toxin on Doctor Edwards' hand. She grabbed an air syringe as her eye scanned his lungs. "Sorry..no time to remove my eye..." She pulled a bottle from beneath the table and loaded it into the air gun and held it to his neck. Take as deep a breath as you can..." She watched and then pressed the release button. "She touched his fingertips, "Can you feel that?" she asked, And then his ankles, "How about here?" She was scanning his vitals and his major organs constantly for signs of paralysis. "Thankfully, he didn't touch you...it works far slower if it's airborne." She was watching his chest intently and loaded another bottle of the antidote, "One more time...deep breath..." She instructed and watched for him to inhale and then released another dose. This antidote was a precious commodity, and she only had four vials of it. Hopefully they would be enough. She hadn't given any to Marcus, and had no intention of doing so. She had effectively isolated the toxin in his hand and wrist, which, if he managed to survive, he would likely lose to amputation.

There were thirty minutes of very tense and watchful care and another dose of the antidote before Cassandra let out a cleansing breath, "Normal heart rate and respiration...lungs look as well as they normally do...How are you feeling? Any nausea? Any tingling in your fingers or toes?" Point had been dabbing at his forehead with a cool cloth to keep his temperature down and Harrison had been handing bottles to Cassandra and working the table to keep the director's body positioned to slow the effects of the toxin. Feet up and then down, then arms up and then down. It seemed they'd encountered this before and knew what to do without being instructed. It was easy to see that these three were used to working together and that they each knew their job perfectly.

Graves however was looking a bit pale sitting on the floor in the lobby. He had taken a risk, something he did often and usually without incident. He had a feeling though, that this time, his luck had run out. It had been a very lucrative run, maybe this Director guy could be bought? He could offer a good deal of money for his life...maybe it would work and he could finally go home and enjoy the fruits of his nefarious labors.

In the next bay, Marcus woke up and began thrashing around in his restraints. Point had tied them very tightly, and his movements were only making him more uncomfortable. "What the hell is going on! How DARE you tie me to a bed...!!"

Cassandra groaned loudly, "I have not treated him beyond stitches. Do as you will with him. I will not condone or defend his actions. Nor those of my supply officer if he has aided Doctor Edwards in any way. I must admit that I am aware that Graves has a tendency to bend protocols to get items, and that I largely look the other way because of my need for what he can get to save lives. This however...is inexcusable. We save lives, we do not use things that take them. Also, I will have Harrison permanently attach the mechanism he's developed to my eye, so that no other incidents can occur from this department."

She was going to have a massive period of adjustment to not having the instant diagnosis tool available,but she felt this was necessary.

Harrison frowned, "The scan blocker?" he asked and then turned to the Director, "Before I do that may I have two days to see if I can find another way? I may have accidentally stumbled upon a way to sever the feed back to Doctor Haser without harming Doctor Brandford. May I attempt it?" He had been actively seeking out a way to free Cassandra from Doctor Haser for three years. He was sure his improved implant would function at a higher level and would not cause her the pain that this one did. The two of them had also developed much more precise instruments for working in small spaces, and he was sure he could sever the feed and remove the eye before the fail safe triggered and before there was any damage to her brain. He waited for the Director to reply. He'd do as ordered but he was hoping for a chance.
 

Dunruffle

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During the entire procedure no less than 15 various weapons had been trained on each of the medical staff. Brutus to his credit behaved more like an anxious puppy, nervously pacing in the lobby and occasionally peeking over the heads of everyone to see how is boss was doing. The tension almost palpable as Cassandra and her team worked, luckily none of the guards had twitchy trigger fingers and everyone relaxed once the Director was seemingly cured. The entire time he was being treated, Director Valentine barely made a sound. His piercing stare was more akin to a snake eyeing lunch than anything else. Shaking his head in response to Cassandra's questions, Director Valentine slowly eased himself off the operating table and stood up. Straightening his collar, the unflappable man turned to Cassandra and her team. "Well it seems everything went smoothly all things considered. Captain Sokolov should be here shortly since the crisis is now over. Hopefully there were not to many casualties among the base personnel, you never know how people will react in an emergency."

He was interrupted by Brutus shoving his way to the front and growling happily at the now healthy Director. Giving a rare genuine smile, the older man patted the hulking giant's arm appreciatively. "I am fine now Brutus you can stop fussing." Brutus responded with a series of guttural noises that only Director Valentine seemed to comprehend. "No it is not your fault, stop being hysterical you did your job just fine." Suddenly the hospital entrance doors were slammed open to reveal Natalya. Stalking closer, everyone save the Director shrinked back fearfully upon realizing how angry she was. Natalya was beyond angry, beyond furious, the best adjective to describe her current mood would be pure rage. Crossing the lobby in a flash, Natalya hoisted Graves up by his throat and slammed him against the metal wall. "You...you filthy cowardly scum!" Her bionic eye seemed to glow a hellish red as she tightened her grip on Grave's throat. "You are going to pay for this! I am going to make you wish I killed you right now after I am done with you!" Unceremoniously dropping Graves, Natalya whirled around to glare at Cassandra. Her eyes full of not just anger, but betrayal and hurt. "Consider yourself lucky I do not feel the need to interrogate the rest of your staff. Consider yourself on notice, for I will not let you off easy again." A group of elite guards in their distinctive faceless blank masks marched in and put Graves in handcuffs before roughly escorting away. "Give that sniveling brat whatever medical attention he needs to recover. I dont want him to die just yet." Giving Cassandra a now cold and emotionless glare, Natalya straighted her ruffled uniform and stalked out of the hospital.

The room was silent for a moment until Director Valentine stepped forward and snapped his fingers. "Alright everyone back to your posts. Security leaders, I want a full incident report on my desk in two hours. As for you Doctor Brandford, you have my thanks. But you understand that a thorough investigation will be needed before you and your staff are cleared of any wrongdoing." Not waiting for a reply, Director Valentine leisurely walked out followed by Brutus and shortly after the various guards followed suit.
 

PoetLore

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Cassandra watched closely when the director stood, readying herself to give and steadying hand if necessary. He was made of study stuff it seemed, or he was extremely good at faking it, either way she was relieved. He said Natalya would enter soon and true to his words she seemed to miraculously appear. Her expression was understandable and expected, except for the look Natlaya flashed her way. She felt that look as keenly as if she'd been physically slapped. Tears immediately welled up in her eyes before she could contain the emotions. When they fell to her cheeks she was shocked but they kept coming.

She turned to the director and nodded, "I understand," she managed to croak out as she stood there trying to collect herself.

Harrison almost stopped Natalya before she left but he went to Cassandra instead and moved her, physically moved her to the chair at the desk. "If you move I will tie you to that chair." He went to the bay where Marcus was strapped to the table. His impassive gaze moved to the other man's face and then he leaned very close and whispered for only Marcus and whoever or whatever the Director had listening in, and he HOPED they were listening this time. "You are a worthless sack of gyndl shit under a Kavian slime worm. I am going to heal you, and then I am going to hope to hell Major Sokolov lives up to her reputation and that she tortures you for at least a year for what you have done." He grabbed the last two vials of antidote and injected them both into his arm above the place where his hand was already turning back. Then he grabbed a laser tool and without bothering to numb him or prepare him, Harrison cut off Marcus' hand and wrist.

Marcus stopped screaming when he saw the big man enter. He would have continued to berate Point or Cassandra, but this guy he was afraid of, especially in his current state of helplessness. He knew his charm wouldn't work on him either, so he tried to push his head back into the bed when he leaned close. His whispered words settled into his mind slowly and he realized this was not going to go well for him. before he had a chance to plead for mercy, he was screaming in agony as his hand was slowly severed from his arm. "Damn you! That wasn't necessary...."

Harrison used the heat sealer to close the nubby end of his arm shut, "Yes it was. I was told you treat you, and I have." He left the bay and went to the doors where he knew guards would be posted, "He is healed and ready to be taken to Major Sokolov. Feel free to use the cot since he's already restrained. We have another." He then went back to Cassandra and Point, "Both of you...go to your quarters. I will keep watch out here."

Cassandra began to protest, "But I need you to ..."

Harrison level a look at her and did not blink, just pointed to her room.

Cass realized he wasn't going to take no for an answer so she stood and walked to her room. She sat at her desk and pulled up Grave's files and started to sift through them. Sure enough, there were the ingredients to make the toxin. She felt anger well up inside her. She had worked her whole life to help people, and develop the means to be of use. Her good name and stellar reputation were worth more to her than all the money and acclaim in the universe, and these two men had single handedly smeared both in a matter of weeks. She highlighted the entries and kept looking. She found forty such entries, some for making toxins, some for making explosives, some for creating what she believed to be a nebulizer that could make the toxins airborne out in the open. How many people had Marcus been planning to kill to exact his revenge? She scoured the requisitions again to make sure she didn't miss anything and then sent the files to Natalya. She noted what crates should contain the items in question and add a short and succinct note to the attached files. It read simply, ~This should aid your investigation.~


Point was exhausted and feeling very vulnerable and disappointed in everyone and everything at that moment. She wasn't sure what to make of anyone at the moment, not even Doctor Brandford. Had she known about any of this? Did she knew Graves was part of Marcus' plot? Did she know Marcus was planning to attack the Director? her brows furrowed as she quietly made her way to her room without comment. She grabbed a notepad and wrote in it, pondering her thoughts and suspicions and disappointment. What she wouldn't give for a giant hug from Dante right now. She felt more alone than she ever had since leaving home. Once she finished her journal entry, she grabbed a book and held it to her chest and let everything wash over her as sobs wracked her body.

Cassandra closed the communication and leaned back in her chair and closed her eyes. She was never going to trust anyone again. She was going to have to go over everything with a fine toothed comb and make sure there was anything else she didn't know about going on right under her nose. It was very clear to her at that moment that she had was deeply at fault for allowing Graves so much freedom. She felt a stabbing pain slice through her and she rubbed at her temple. Her brows furrowed as she felt something odd happening. She tapped the intercom, "Harrison...." She managed to say weakly.

Harrison lifted a brow at the intercom and made his way to Cassandra's quarters. The doors slid open and he saw her slouched over in the chair to her desk. He scooped her up and carried her down the hall. He kicked Point's door, "Point..get out here..." he called in a deep loud voice as he laid Cassandra's unconscious form on a cot in an empty bay. He grabbed a scanner and started to move it over her.

Point appeared wiping the tears from her red eyes. She saw Cass on the table and blinked, "What happened?" she asked urgently as she grabbed gloves and readied herself to give Harrison whatever he needed. She had never seen Cassandra like this. What else was going to go wrong today?

Harrison frowned, "That eye is coming out, right now..." He said as he began to get his instruments ready. "Watch her, I'll be right back..." he ran over to his area and grabbed a few of his specialized tools and a prototype as well. he'd been trying to perfect it but there was no time now. He was back in less than two minutes but when he rescanned the area around her eye, he could already see the damage being done. "Damn it to hell..."

They worked for an hour, carefully removing the eye and the burned tissues around the implant. Apparently, something had happened to make Doctor Haser flip his fail safe from his end. Luckily he had surrounded the implant with a second casing some time ago, just in case such a thing occurred. It kept the damage to a minimum, but there was still damage. He implanted some of their artificial tissue to hold his implant in the socket. He had to replace the interface into her brain as well and sealed off Doctor Haser's. He could not remove it without killing Cassandra, but thanks to Sammy's technology for the suit, he found a way to seal it off totally enclosed so it could not hurt her or send any information from her. He covered the eye with a bandage and then wrapped another long one around her head to hold everything in place while the tissues assimilated. He looked at Point, "Keep her sedated...I don't want her to wake up until I say so. Understand?"

Point watched all of this, and gave instruments when asked without comment. She'd watched the Doc operate many times, and Harrison was obviously taking note and developing as a surgeon as well. His hands were large but his surgery was precise and almost dainty in its exactness. She was impressed, and she knew Cassandra would have been proud of him as well. "Understood."

Harrison went to the desk then and sent a message to the Director informing him of Doctor Haser's attempt to kill Cassandra Brandford and his subsequent attempt to save her. He hoped the Director would take this matter into up and somehow find a way to punish the man who had kept Cassandra on such a short leash all these years. He dragged a weary hand through his hair and leaned back in the chair. If they hadn't taken grave's he'd been pummeling the man himself right now for his part in this. And he had NO doubt Graves had a part in all of this. He was almost growling he was so angry, but he needed to stay calm and in control in case there were casualties from this alert.