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[Azure] Emergencies


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Everyone sorted themselves into various vehicles and caravaned the dozen blocks or so north to Hospital Hill as the sun began to dip below the horizon. Light, artificial and welcoming, greeted them at the ER entrance. Cars were quickly unpacked of supplies and the brightly lit waiting room of the ER was quickly converted into an impromptu camping ground. The hallways they could see down from the ER were more dimly lit, usually only one in three of the large overhead florescent lights shining, but they still dispelled the deeper shadows. Without someone on the other side or a staff badge to open the lock, the actual ER was closed to them while the power was still going. The large building was quiet, silent except for the humming power of the generators. If anyone was here, they weren't in the ER.

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Krystal's pot roast was plugged in to keep it warm, while eating supplies were raided from the small coffee-and-microwave kiosk. Dinner was served in Styrofoam bowls with plastic sporks; the normalcy and comfort of eating lapsed them all into quiet conversation, mostly rounds of introductions. The four animals had taken their leave of their humans briefly once they'd arrived, but quickly returned for their own shares in dinner. Tulpa laid down just outside of the automatic door sensor once his belly was full; Resa made a careful approach to him and eventually curled up just a few inches from him, joining him in watching the outside with a wary eye. Fraz stuck close to Krystal, but he watched the doors inside with the same alertness as the other two. Only Sheba seemed unconcerned, eating her dinner and then settling in next to Kylie for a nap.

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Khris broke the quiet conversation, addressing the group as a whole. "So....I need to make a raid on the pharmacy and see if they have my meds in stock. Anyone else here need meds of some kind? Insulin? My stuff is just pills, but if anyone needs stuff that's refrigerated or something, we'll need to figure that out." She glanced over at the closed set of doors that led further into the hospital. "And, um, I'd really like to not go alone. I'll wait until morning if no one wants to go with me right now - I've got enough meds right now to last a couple of weeks - but I really don't want to deal with this if it's long term on top of my own crazy."

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At Eric's startled look and slight lean away from her, she clarified, "I'm bipolar, mostly depressive, not manic very often. And I have PTSD and social anxiety, not that I think those two are really going to come up much anymore if most the world's gone poof. I'm not dangerous-crazy, I'll just get maudlin and bitchy if I run out of my meds." She tilted her head in thought and added, "Unless magic-makeover here cured my brain chemistry, but I don't think I'm quite that lucky or the gods are quite that nice, so I'm still banking that my head's still a bit off."

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She stood up and started to throw away her bowl and spork, then thought better of it and cleaned them both off with a napkin before setting them on her suitcase. She turned back to them and shrugged, motioning towards the interior of the hospital, "So, any volunteers?"

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Tejah kept close to Bili and Lili as they settled into the hospital. Tejah didn’t like the building already; it felt too enclosed to her. She wished they would go outside and be out in the open air. She had no way of vocalizing that request.

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With little else to do, she edged over by the big dog with the woman and tried to make friends. Fraz wasn’t overly friendly, but Tejah was allowed to pet her. There was a comfort in digging her hands into the big dog’s coat and letting the fur engulf her fingers. Fraz seemed to appreciate it too, her tongue lolling out after a few minutes of scratching.

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When the conversation started, Tejah watched the speakers closely. She listened carefully, too, trying to piece words and intentions into something she could understand.

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“I’ll go,” Bili said, shrugging. “Better than sitting here, waiting for full dark.” The mention of the coming night pulled everyone’s eyes out the front doors to the darkening sky. “Besides… I feel we should at least check the neonatal and children’s ward, before we do much else. If people need to be tended to or rescued, we should do it there.”

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Lamenting that there hadn't been much pot roast to go round - let alone being any leftovers - Krystal awkwardly washed the crock pot in a drinking fountain down the hallway, where she could still make out the lobby, watching Fraz's eyes narrow as the pink-haired woman pet him. But it wasn't like she could have expected the impossible and realized she'd need enough for such a disparate group of people instead of just her and Ian.

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When Khris made her announcement and request, Krystal turned around, stretching as she reached up to tie her hair in a pony-tail and ignored Eric's interested stare - thanks to a relatively mild case of precocious puberty, she'd been enduring such looks since she was eleven.

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Considering her boyfriend suffered from social issues and delusional episodes, Khris' predicament hardly made Krystal recoil or grow wary. Indeed, she well knew the great improvement the right meds could make.

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Krystal glanced toward the front doors when Bili mentioned the fall of night, and shivered. She had her own issues. And while she wasn't afraid of the dark, with the day they'd been having and the... things people had claimed to see, it was behind closed eyes that her own issues would rear their head.

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She just really hated taking sleeping pills, just because she had prone to nightmares and night terrors since puberty. They made her hazy and feel like shit, which was why she didn't have any with her. But she was pretty sure she'd need a zolpidem or diazepam to get some sleep tonight.

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"I'll go too," Krystal offered. At a few raised brows, Krystal shrugged. "My boyfriend takes meds too, so I have a bit of experience. I want to make sure I have some of his meds, in case - when - I find him."

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No real need to explain her true reasons for wanting to go. She dealt with it herself since she was a pre-teen, she'd deal with it herself now too. No excuses.

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As she passed Fraz to join Khris and Bili, Krystal gave her a scratch under the muzzle. Fraz quivered, turning to eye her mistress and then one petting her. Krystal chuckled. "Stay, Fraz," Krystal said, easing her dog's anxiety, and giving Tejah a reassuring grin as she pulled out her jumbled keychain. "I'll be okay."

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"If you need any more, I can go too," Lily offered weakly. "But, I don't know medicines or anything, and I wouldn't be much help if you find anyone, or anything. I'd just be another pair of hands" She shrugged.

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"Guess I should start learning how to do something useful with my life after all. Somehow I don't think my dad would be surprised it took the end of the world for that to get through my skull."

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Helena could already tell that she and Bili were going to butt heads, and often. It was possible that she was just trying to make the best of a bad situation now that they were already there, but she hadn't been interested in looking for others at the hospital earlier. It reminded the out-of-towner that she knew nothing whatsoever about these people, or how their actions were informed by their own self-interest. Ugh. Ben, she knew, would tell her that she was being paranoid, and they all needed each other right now; she conceded, silently, that it was true, but the entire experience had her feeling somewhat peevish.

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"Is there a medical emergency?" the doctor asked succinctly as she stood, her crisp tone swinging all eyes involuntarily in her direction. "If no one is immediately in need of medication, then I see no reason to send a group of people with no medical background and incredibly limited familiarity with drug interactions, side effects, and so on plundering a pharmacy. Yes," she continued, lifting a hand to temporarily stave off argument, "supplies are needed. The last thing I want right now, though, is an entire group of people self-medicating in a crisis situation, particularly when the prevailing theme seems to be, rightly or wrongly, dissociation from the laws of reality."

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Brilliant, Lena. Let's call them all ignorant and crazy. Well done. Did they teach you that in medical school, or is alienating people a skill you picked up on your own?

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You know, Ben, this isn't why I'm divorcing you, but it's definitely a contributing factor.

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Ouch.

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She sighed, pausing, and then added somewhat more diplomatically, "The drugs aren't going anywhere, and no one needs them right now. It's almost dark, and everyone is exhausted. As I told Krystal earlier, I wanted to see if there's anyone who needs help. To me, that's more important than looking for meds that will keep until the morning. If, by some chance, there's no one else here, or no one at least that needs immediate care, I will be more than happy to help people get what they need from the pharmacy after a good nights' sleep, assuming it's not locked down. I'm just not comfortable focusing on raiding the place for supplies we don't have to have at this exact moment when someone could be sick or dying elsewhere in the building." By the time she'd finished talking, all traces of annoyance in Helena's voice and expression had gradually bled away, replaced by a measure of the concern that was omnipresent in her mind: None of them were ill, or injured, which was a blessing, but somebody else might be. She raked a hand back through her hair, wishing she'd thought to look for a rubber band or clip before she'd left her parents' house, and somewhat nervously resolved to go on her own if the others insisted on heading to the pharmacy first.

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"This doesn't have to be an 'either or' thing," Lily suggests. "There's enough of us to do both. I'll go with you, doctor. Bili and Khris and whoever can get the medicine. It's just...before we go...is there a PA system in the hospital that works? Maybe we could broadcast to all the rooms, telling people to buzz the front desk if they need help. That won't get everyone, but it'd give us a place to start looking. This is a big hospital. A lot of room to cover if we go door to door."

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She looked at the front desk.

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"And we'll need flashlights. Anyone going away from here."

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“No, the doc’s right.” Bili had been frowning through most of Helena’s comments, making it look like another fight was forthcoming. “The supplies can wait, and while we could split into two groups to go looking for stuff, I don’t think we should. We still really don’t have any idea what’s going on or what those things in the bathroom were. We don’t know if any more of them are out there, or if they’re here. In short, we have a whole lot of ‘don’t knows’ and I’d like to be excessively careful until we do know.”

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Bili stood and stretched easily, unintentionally showing off her athleticism. Eric noted though it was clear that Krystal was still his favorite. “And the doc’s right that people take precedence over stuff. So if we want to go exploring, we need to check for people.”

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As she’d spoken, Bili had grabbed the flashlight she’d kept from the station and moved behind the front desk. A half-eaten bagel and a mug of cold coffee showed that there had been someone in the chair this morning. Bili was more concerned about the shadows underneath; she checked the underside of the desk carefully to make sure nothing was there. She was a little spooked and it showed in her small starts and the way she moved the flashlight in erratic jumps.

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Once she thought the desk was safe, she began to examine the setup. “Damn, it’s a phone set up, I hate these things. Do you guys thing that it’s the button labeled ‘S-P-K-R’ or ‘I-C-M’?”

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"I'd guess I-C-M, for the intercom," Krystal suggested. "The other's probably to be heard just here in the emergency room." She gave Bili a nod in agreement. "One group looking for...Remainders." She frowned at the name. And keeping an eye out for meds... "And the rest stay here at our... basecamp I guess it is. Tell anyone who hears over the intercom to come here."

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As Krystal strode forward, flicking the flashlight on her key-chain on and off, she gave Helena a hooded glance in passing. The doctor's concern for any possible patients - or others - remaining was admirable, and yes, she had said she would help, but she didn't like be told - or thought of - as ignorant.

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She listened to her doctor, she read all she could. Krystal knew what meds worked for her, and which didn't, and what doses to take - she had no plans to grab anything that just looked like it would do the job. When you were raised by a single mother - who try as she might, wasn't the pinnacle of reliability and responsibility - and then moved out at sixteen, you became self-reliant before you were taken advantage of. She learned that quick, after she was ripped off by a mechanic repairing her Dodge Charger.

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"If we're gonna go looking, let's get going. The sooner we start, the sooner we can get back." Her annoyance with the doctor fading with her growing anxiety for the night to come, Krystal gave Helena a tight smile as she handed her a hair-clip from her purse. "You got a floor-plan back there, Bili? Where do we start looking, Doc, for those who need the most help, that we can help?"

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"I'll need thyroid medicine, I only have about a week or so left. And allergy meds. But yeah, it can wait till morning or till you guys get back, if you're are going to go search for survivors first. There shouldn't be anything we need that isn't located there, and those of us on medications probably know exactly what we've been taking. Besides, the pharmacy is right down the hall." She pointed up at one of the signs, indicating the closeness of the location. "We should also grab some antibiotics and stuff, in case something happens and we don't have access anymore. You never know." She turned to Khris with a slight shrug, and what her friend recognized as her slightly-irritated-but-concealing-it expression. The blonde doctor was pissing her off a bit with all her assumptions, and she didn't feel inclined to go wandering around an abandoned hospital with her at the moment, since she wouldn't exactly be very helpful, even if they did find someone.

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"I think we should wait here, keep searching the internet while it's still up, see if anyone else is posting on these sites I found.. hey, Krystal, right? Hold up, I think I have a better idea." She rummaged through her purse, then grabbed her cell phone. She shuffled through a couple of apps till she found her flashlight app, then flicked it on and pointed it forward. They were right next to the gift shop, and she stood up and walked into it. Within a couple minutes she walked back out, carrying two boxes of identical baby monitors from the overpriced last-minute gift ideas section of the gift shop.

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"Here.. why don't you take one of these instead? I mean, you won't be able to turn this part off, we'll be hearing everything that's going on, but if you get into any trouble that might not be bad thing - better than fumbling around in the shadows, trying to find an intercom speaker button you don't know how to work, right? This one says it can transmit from parent to baby too, so we'll be able to check in on you and make sure everything's going okay." She pulled them out of the box, pulled off the plastic, and popped in some batteries that she had also grabbed from the gift shop. She held one out to Bili, who happened to be standing closest, and pressed the button on the parent unit she was holding to test it. "Hello, hello?"

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Her voice echoed out from the baby receiver that she'd handed Bili, and she nodded at the noise. "There."

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"Hospitals use magnetic latch locks on their pharmacies." Adam said calmly. "Basically what that means is that even with the power out there is still a very heavy door, with a very secure bolted lock standing between you and the controlled substances. There is also a very big and very locked safe. The safe runs off an internal battery, no doubt, but the combination I'm sure is not written on the wall. Pharmacies are designed, even in the state of emergency, to keep you out of them. This isn't a movie, so banging on it with a fire extinguisher probably won't do the trick."

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With that he turned and began setting out empty backpacks he'd swiped off the Wal-Mart truck and was sorting through the large store of supplies they'd gathered. "Best of luck ladies, I'll begin sorting through or supplies and making everyone survival kits."

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The room fell into a moment of silence as each person took in the words that had been spoken and debated what to do. Khris took a deep breath to try to calm herself down. Helena was right - kinda bitchy and rude about it in Khris' opinion - but still right, and so was Adam. She cleared her throat and offered, "Well, we should see if we can find some badges or we aren't going to be able to get in places like the ER or the maternity ward, unless people are there and able to open the doors from the other side."

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Eric stood up and scooted closer to Krystal and Bili. "Well, if the sergeant is going to stay here, I think I'll go with you ladies." Krystal's curves-in-all-right-places probably played a large part in that decision, but he also sounded just the slightly annoying level of protective he-man so as not to come off completely lecherous.

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As people sorted themselves out, they ended up in even groups: Adam, Tejah, Mathis, Kylie and Khris opting to hold down the front room 'fort' and get the supplies sorted while Helena, Krystal, Bili, Eric, and Lily searched through the halls for badges and any other souls wandering the hospital. The sun had set outside, pretty greys and purples painting the sky outside the windows.

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Front Room

Khris sidled over to Adam and became a second set of hands for him as he meted out supplies into survival kits for each person. She motioned Tejah over, trying to engage the skittish foreign woman by naming things as she and Adam packed them, hoping to help her learn English that much quicker. Things were terrifying enough when you could understand what people were saying around you; Khris shuddered as she imagined what it would be like to be surrounded by people she didn't know and couldn't understand after a day like this. There were worse things than some glow-in-the-dark magic makeover, she decided.

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Kylie kept the baby monitor close at hand and took up residence next to the phone. Between the monitor and the intercom system across the phones, hopefully they'd be able to stay in contact and respond if the explorers got into any trouble.

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Mathis watched Adam and Khris for a few minutes, trying to find a way to be useful. Nothing really came to mind, so he took his coat off and balled it into a lumpy pillow; he tried to tetris the armed chairs into something like a bed, but gave up after a few frustrated tries and ended up just laying out on the floor. Despite, or perhaps because of, the stress and strangeness of the day, he was asleep within minutes.

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Deeper in the Hospital

The hallways were shadowed blues and greys; the signs were lit by red emergency lights, letters reflecting the light back so that they were easily readable. They reached the first split in the halls: to the left was radiology and labs, to the right was the main lobby and offices beyond that, and continuing straight were general surgery and the ICU, with the maternity ward further down. Each direction was equally well-lit in the hallways, but they could see down to the darkened main lobby on the right.

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Eric glanced down each direction, then turned to Helena. "Well, doc, which way do you want to go?"

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Lily looked down the hall each way, and thought out loud as she sometimes did.

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"Seems like that way might have people who're too hurt to move themselves," with a nod towards the ICU, "But the offices might be where people who are just scared and hiding out might go."

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Deeper

“Straight. The people in their offices can keep hiding.” Bili waved down a hallway. “As the doc said, we’re here to help and it’s not like we can help if we don’t go there.”

“If we raid the offices, we might find a few more bodies to help us,” Eric pointed out quickly.

“So we go through the offices and find the people too chicken-shit to help themselves or their loved ones, and we ask them pretty-please to help us?” Bili’s scorn was clear in her tone. “If they couldn’t find the stones to leave the room, why do we think they’ll be of any help?”

“Hey, that’s really harsh.” Eric squared with her. “Just because people are afraid doesn’t make them worthless.”

“I didn’t say they were without worth,” Bili grumbled. “I just don’t think we can trust them ot have our backs.”

Front Room

Tejah repeated the words softly as she stuffed the backpacks with things. “Grah-no-la. Bot-tiled wah-ter. Band-aids.” In her head, she reviewed the words in English and Arabic. When they were done, she went behind the desk and found paper and pencil and brought it back to the strange woman. Smiling, Tejah pointed to the backpacks, then to the paper, and mimed writing something. Her expression was hopeful.

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"I think she's right," Lily said. "People could die while we look for someone who might be there, because they might help us. Meanwhile, we have a doctor and some hands right now. We can definitely help them. Gotta go with the definitely first...we'll deal with the maybe once we've done that."

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sheba was still curled up with Jimmy, who was petting her. He had picked up a magazine that now lay open and unread on his lap as he stared off into space, trying to wrap his mind around what was going on. Resa finally abandoned her post, hopped up on the desk next to Kylie and laid down, eyes closed for a brief catnap.

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After listening to the chatter over the baby monitor for a few minutes, Kylie picked up her iPhone and began to scroll through some internet pages she'd visited before. It was small, and web-browsing on a phone screen was never as efficient. So after a couple minutes, she flipped over to the wi-fi setting of her phone on a hunch, and waiting as it scanned for local hotspots. It picked up on a St. Luke's guest access network, so she went over and dug through her and Khris's stuff. She pulled out the laptop that the other woman was never without, pulled it out of the case, and plugged it in behind the desk. "Khris, hon, there's a guest network here that seems to be working okay, so I'm gonna use your laptop if you don't mind. Hit the internet for a bit, see what I can figure out. If anyone has any ideas about what to search for, let me know."

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Jimmy's head perked up, and he stood up too, eliciting a mew of protest from the calico-colored cat as she hopped down onto the floor. "Yeah, good idea - I'll help. Two web browsers are better than one."

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He pulled out his own laptop, an apple-green shell-covered Macbook Pro covered in random anime and music stickers, and Kylie grinned, the corner of her mouth lifting a little wryly at him. "You're a Mac guy, huh?"

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"Yeah, I got it for Christmas a couple years ago, I can use it to do some pretty cool stuff mixing my music, post videos on YouTube, that kind of stuff, you know? I've got a pretty good following." He opened it up and sat back down, pressing the power button so that it would start up.

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Kylie nodded and her smile became encouraging, as she tried not to let her worry show through too much. It didn't seem like there were many people left to care about YouTube videos anymore, and this kid's talents seemed about as useful as hers were for surviving the end of the world, or whatever this was. "That's awesome. You'll have to show me a video some time. Anyway, glad I'm not the only Mac lover around here. Mine was too big to haul around, I have an iMac with the big twenty-seven inch screen."

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He let out a low whistle, obviously impressed in that way that teenage boys usually were by a big, bad-ass version of whatever they were into, whether it was cars or computers. "That's pretty sweet - you a graphic artist or something?"

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"No, not a graphic artist. Interior design, actually. I'm a bit of a traditional artist too, but it's more of a hobby, and I use standard mediums for that. Pen or pencil and paper, mostly. The screen size was nice for drafting though, and that's part of why I got it..." Across the room, Khris let out a snort of amusement, and Kylie rolled her eyes in response. "But mostly, it's because I just prefer Apple stuff, always have.. and I really wanted the twenty-seven inch. I was playing a lot of WoW at the time, and let me tell you.. it looked awesome."

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As they talked they googled, each doing their best to find anything from people who had posted after all of this went down. Kylie grabbed a piece of paper and began jotting notes, names and locations or anything else that might relate to their current predicament or help them find any of the others who had been left behind.

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Mala, if you want me to do any kind of a roll for research, just let me know.

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Helena grimaced, rubbing her temples; the headache that had been lurking around the edges of her skull all day had apparently had enough of just throbbing ominously once in a while. As much as she'd have loved to just grab some ibuprofen from her purse, though, she resisted the temptation. It was just a headache, after all, and they might actually need it later.

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"I say we head for the ICU, see if there's anyone who needs attention, and then the NICU and Maternity. Those are the most critical areas to start off. Any other patients should still be fine by the time we finish making the rounds."

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Peering into the dim stillness of the hallway ahead of them, she took a deep breath and unsnapped the catch on her holster. They hadn't seen any evidence of looters or anything dangerous so far, but... Just in case.

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Front Room

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While Adam finished up the packs, Khris took the paper and pen and made crude little sketches of things, writing down the words that went with them, including "paper" and "pencil". On their computers, Kylie and Jimmy found the internet a stop-and-go process. Many site were already down, the power cut the servers they were stored on, most likely. Some of the blogs were still going, though, and the comments sections had become impromptu chat forums. The number of posters back and forth had dropped dramatically over the last two hours and those that were left were quickly abandoning the vestiges of "internet stranger security" and posting up phone numbers and addresses, looking for others near them. So far, the closest people Jimmy or Kylie could find were a clutch of students in Manhattan, Kansas at the Kansas State University.

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Kylie found herself rubbing her eyes after a bit and realized that she'd been squinting at the monitor. The room had gotten dim at some point and it was hard to read the text on screen anymore. The lights were still on, but it was as if a black fog was every so slowly - and perfectly evenly - filling up the room. Across from her, Jimmy was also squinting at the rectangle of light that made up his screen, and Khris and Tejah were barely inches apart now as they went back and forth over the piece of paper and added little pictures and words to it. At some point, Adam must have finished the packs; he was leaning up against a support beam when Kylie saw him again, eyes closed and apparently asleep.

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  • 1 month later...

Deeper

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Every flicker of the emergency lights - meaning the normal lights, but only about every third set down the hallway - sent people tensing or even jumping. The further into the hospital they went, the more often they heard odd noises, clicks and rattles from the air ducts that could just be the air conditioner attempting to turn on but also sounded disturbingly like scraping noises. No monsters jumped out of closets or rooms on their way to the ICU, though, so whatever had happened in the police station seemed confined to there for now.

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The doors to the ICU presented the same challenge that the doors to the ER had: RFID locks still held quite firmly shut by their magnetic bars and the emergency power. Very dimly from the other side, the group could make out what must be a cacophony of alarms sounding in the rooms beyond.

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She'd just finished a message herself regarding their location after responding to the Kansas University people. That might be something to consider, if they couldn't figure out what was going on. She clicked on the button to post her message, and then closed the laptop.

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"Hey. Hey guys - everybody. Is it dark in here to anybody? Like.. weird dark?"

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Jimmy glanced up then, looking around. It took him a moment to realize the darkness wasn't the result of lights going out, that something else strange might be happening. "Yeah, it's.. weird. Like it's foggy, or something."

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"Jimmy, wake him up," she directed with a motion towards Mathis. She made her way out from behind the desk and towards the cop. She kneeled down next to Adam, not touching him yet. He'd mentioned something about amnesia, and she didn't know if he had some sort of PTSD or something, so she didn't want to startle him. "Sergeant. Sergeant Bristow, wake up."

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Lily found herself drifting closer and closer to the others in the group as they went, and watching the ceilings and walls more than the floor. She had gruesome images of snakey things bursting from the light fixtures and grabbing someone before sucking them back up out of sight. Spitting a bloody skeleton back down might thereafter take place.

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She'd watched entirely too many cheesy horror movies growing up.

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At the sight of the locked doors she shook her head.

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"That can't be right. There must be some way to open them. What if people got trapped behind doors like that?" Lily went over to the barred portal and started hunting for some manual control or switch or something that might turn off the locks.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Krystal had the opposite reaction, stiffly refusing to huddle up with the others as they moved down the halls. Even if she was... concerned - and she wasn't saying she was, those were perfectly normal noises in the ducts, they were! - she wasn't about to admit it and be seen as she stupid chick with big tits in every cheesy horror movie ever.

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Though she was starting to regret leaving Fraz behind with the others.

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Krystal frowned at the obstinate doors, stubbornly trying them despite little hope they would open. And she was right, they rattled, but held, locks still engaged. The short, curvy woman glared at the doors, a hand on her hip, as if her disapproval alone would make the doors open.

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"If power were cut to the locks, they'd probably disengage as a safety feature," Krystal responded to Lily's query, giving the double doors a look over. "But I'll need a lot more than my Swiss Army Knife to do that. On the other hand..."

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The red-head pointed at the red rectangle of the fire alarm next to the doors. "... tripping the alarm should do the same, if we want to deal the siren for who knows how long. Normally, you need the fire department or a special key and know where the control panel is to turn it off."

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Krystal suppressed a shiver, arms wrapped tight around herself. With the siren ringing, they wouldn't get any sleep, and if there were anything... unnatural like Lily and Bili claimed they saw and what she thought she saw, they wouldn't hear them coming. Hearing each other would be hard enough.

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"I don't think that's a good idea," Krystal said, glancing over her should back the way they came. "We should head back and check the offices. Not necessarily for people who may be hiding there," she added with a nod at Bili, "but we'd have a better chance of finding a badge there, either in someone's possession or laying around on a labcoat or desk or something."

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  • 3 weeks later...

It was a weird sort of rest. Adam didn't remember when exactly he fell asleep or the last thing he was doing right before, only that he was working on the survival packs then suddenly Jimmy was shaking him back into consciousness. Groggy and slow Adam came to, unsure of his surroundings as he thoguht of exactly what put him under.

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"Tulpa?" He said lazily, and there he was, raising his head and looking at Adam with the 'what? time to do stuff?' lazy look dogs tend to get. He looked to Kylie, wiping the sleep from the bridge of his nose. "What's up? Sorry, I guess I fell asleep..."

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  • 3 weeks later...

She shook her head dismissively at his apology as he awoke. "It's no problem, it's just.. it's getting dark in here. Not like dark from the outdoors, but dark in here, even though the lights are still on."

,,

Jimmy, meanwhile, had made his way over to Mathis. He'd tried to wake him up quietly, it didn't seem to be working, and the teenage boy's voice took on a louder, more urgent tone. "Hey man, wake up! Come on, you've got to get up!" He grabbed his arm harder and shook him, but nothing he did would make the bookish-looking man stir.

,,

"Kylie, it's not working, he won't wake up. This is freaky!" He stood up and backed away as Kylie stood, hurrying over and taking his place in front of the unconscious lawyer.

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She didn't have much in the way of medical training, but she looked him over briefly. His eyes were moving rapidly under his eyelids, dream-like, and she pressed her fingertips into his neck as if searching for a pulse. She obviously felt one, for she renewed the attempts to wake him by slapping her hand several times lightly against his cheek, trying to conceal her own climbing sense of panic as best she could, her voice firm and loud as she spoke in an attempt to pierce through whatever kind of trance he seemed to be under. "Mathis - MATHIS. WAKE UP."

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In a final attempt, she pulled back her hand and slapped him - firmly - across the side of the face. Still, other than the sharp movement of his head from the impact, and the continued flicker of his eyes beneath his eyelids, he didn't stir. She stood up, shrugging helplessly and looking a bit freaked out. "He's alive, but I don't know what's going on. It's like he's dreaming, and he just won't wake up."

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Per+Aware Roll: Jasmyne *rolls* 5d10: 5+8+7+1+1 = 2 suxx

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"Leave him be then." Adam said calmly, standing up with a tired grunt. "Things are weird enough without us accidentally hurting own while trying to rouse them."

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He stood up and looked about. Just as Kylie said things were dimming despite the light, like the darkness was choking every bit of light they had. His hand was on his sidearm as he looked around. "Alright, Mrs. Kendrick, the important thing here is to not panic. We're awake and we're alert, that's important. Keep close your friend if he's not waking, in case he starts to come to. I'm going to have a look around, I won't go far."

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He clicked his tongue twice and Tulpa was at his side ready to go. "We'll stay within sight, don't worry."

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Adam and Tulpa began walking a small perimeter around their camp site. All the while they were never more that a few meters away and occasionally Adam looked back to Kylie and offered her a reassuring smile or smirk.

,,

1 succ on Awareness

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