Messes and Those Who Clean Them

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Ghodere
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Messes and Those Who Clean Them

Post by Ghodere » 25 Oct 2017, 01:42

"What a mess," he repeated.

DeCree knelt over the prone form, now cutting away the stained and soaked uniform to reveal a ruin of a torso, all lines between injury and health smeared away with blood. His gloved hands searched the now exposed neck until they found a pulse, which he counted for a few moments before retrieving an autoinjector from his bag and jabbing it into one of the marine's thighs, the spring-loaded needle delivering the Dexaline half an inch beneath the skin, into the musculature.

"He thought he was a big damn hero, or else he wouldn't have done it." He spoke as he tilted back upwards, his eyes taking in the barbarous rips and gashes for some moments before opening a trauma kit and removing a sealed cloth packet, tearing it open so that the packaged saline solution soaked it through. Though the medic was silent, Bronson could see that the mechanical motions of saving a life had become entirely automatic to him, his mind elsewhere and his eyes only halfway focused upon the here and now. There was some time in which that silence hung over them both, the medic quietly working as his mottled pate erratically reflected the cloud-dimmed sunlight.

He had finished his cleaning and retrieved his self-compressing gauze before he continued, "the CLF have a certain kind of makeshift grenade they'll sometimes use, we call it a Three Mile now. You heard of it, kid?"

Bronson nodded. By now the stories had started working their way around. Workers on planets with fission plants would gather up the waste and blend the depleted material in with normal metal shrapnel, creating a weapon noxious beyond words. If the corps had harbored any vestiges of sympathy for the colonists, the spreading news of those monstrous creations had laid them to rest with prejudice.

"So, one of these bounces up next to his squad." Dome was staring at Bronson now, his eyes dark as unrotting swamp-depths, even as one hand spread hydrogel expertly over the wounds below him. "And he thinks he's a hero. A big damn hero. Must have, or else he'd be alive." His hands stop their motion with his voice for a moment, but only a moment. Then he looks back down, and begins applying the gauze.

The clouds are capricious as Dome applies gauze to the gaping gashes and butterfly stitches to the tears, throwing shades and glares over his whitened scalp. At length, nearly finished with his ministrations, he speaks again, abruptly.

"I didn't bring any of those antirad pills they give out. Why would I? Who's going to get irradiated? Might as well bring something that'll help people instead, 'case you get stuck in and there ain't no resupply coming. Everybody says so. Everybody. Even Dommer used to. So I didn't take any. Splints."

Silence a moment, then Bronson started and handed dome the splints he'd been holding. Bronson saw that Dome's hand as he took them was perfectly still, perfectly stable. The corpsman efficiently bound up the section of torso around the broken rib, then leaned up with his penlight to check for proper dilation. Satisfied, he twisted back and gave her two light slaps on the cheek. "Wakey wakey, Piggy, naptime's over." After a moment, a long, low groan escaped the body beneath him.

Bronson frowned. "Dome, why's she called that? She's not- I mean, uh-"

DeCree's eyes were twinkling now, and he let out a cackle. "It ain't quite like that, kid. Miss Peregrine here had an ancestor made a real wise investment in Weyland one point. So when she came on board, it got out that her pocket change coulda bought out the Almayer and every body on board, least 'till daddy cut her off once he figure out what she done signed up for. Ain't that right, lil' Miss Piggybank?"

"Fuck off, swamp-thing." DeCree let out another cackle and turned to rummage through his pack. "And kid, I heard that. You'd best watch that mouth or I'll give you something big, only it'll be black and blue."

Bronson grinned in embarrassment and felt his face turning red as DeCree turned back around with a handful of pills. Before handing it to Piggy, though, his eyes darted down, and, paling slightly- or perhaps the light changed just then, it was impossible to tell- flashed out a hand to pick one particular pill out from the rest before relinquishing the assortment. His battlefield treatment finished, he turned to pack his equipment away, and said, in a voice with only a slightly coarser edge than usual, "take her back to the LZ, kid. She'll be walking by the time you're there."

Bronson nodded, and took the heavy marine over a shoulder. "Get any ideas, kid," Peregrine hissed through clenched teeth, the painkillers clearly not yet taking effect, "and I'll show you my balls're fatter than yours, too." He grinned in embarrassed appeasement and turned to begin the trek, leaving the medic hunched over his lifesaver bag under the shifting sky. It was hard to tell over the wind's low moans, but it seemed to Bronson that as he walked away, he heard DeCree muttering to himself, again, "What a mess."

"What a mess."

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Jenner
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Re: Messes and Those Who Clean Them

Post by Jenner » 30 Oct 2017, 10:21

I love it! But I notice you refer to the wounded marine as both a he and then a she. Was that intentional?
Madison 'Spicey' Delaney

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Ghodere
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Re: Messes and Those Who Clean Them

Post by Ghodere » 30 Oct 2017, 20:36

Jenner wrote:
30 Oct 2017, 10:21
I love it! But I notice you refer to the wounded marine as both a he and then a she. Was that intentional?
Thanks! It's left intentionally vague who he's referring to exactly until the end, but really he's working on the female marine while talking about an earlier case, the one he couldn't save.

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Enceri
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Re: Messes and Those Who Clean Them

Post by Enceri » 31 Oct 2017, 00:55

psh we all know who the hero is amirite

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alekfenrir
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Re: Messes and Those Who Clean Them

Post by alekfenrir » 05 Nov 2017, 12:59

Solid story and a good read!
Athena 'Needle' Aggley -Medic by choice, Marine by mistake.
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