“ ‘Last guy’? Should I ask, or do I even want to know?” Oprea gave a shake of her head, baffled at how this man interacted with other people. She was a tiny bit glad she was in the Medical Department, and not some lackey researcher running around worried that the next time they forget to refill the coffee will be the last time they forget anything. “But what I meant by going slow, is, well, you don’t need to run into danger, what’s the phrase, ‘with guns blazing’. You can handle things in a calm, concise manner, and that means your ankle wouldn’t be bleeding like a dead lamb.” She gave a little flick to his leg, away from the injury itself, just because she could.
She checked, rechecked, and then triple checked the bandages, not liking the fact that she could already see blood blooming through the white fabric. She’d needed to get him to the infirmary quickly, and that may just have meant tapping into some hidden strength (she hoped she had) and carrying him there. Or at the very least, dragging him.
Her hands were bloody due to dealing with the wound, as bloody wounds are wont to do, and she wiped them on her skirt before answering his question. “If your ankle does go cold or numb, if I don’t fix the bandages properly, there is a scary possibility that we may need to remove your ankle. But,” She waved her hands, not wanting to freak Kondraki out (that’d be amusing to see), “That’s only if there’s a risk of infection. If we get to the infirmary quickly, you won’t need to worry about that.” Speaking of the infirmary, Oprea still had no idea how to get him from Point A to Point B.
"Not really much to the story," Kondraki said, watching her work to clean up the blood, only to have more immediately replace it. That was probably worrying. "Little asshole was fucking around and one of ‘em took his foot off, so I shot him. Can’t have people fucking up the simplest of containment procedures, can I? I got a site to run."
He watched as she finished bandaging, wincing as the blood spotted the white almost instantly.
"I didn’t really run in guns blazing with this," he said defensively. "It was a standard check up and the little bastard caught me by surprise. Yeah, I gave it a kick, but you can’t really tell me to play it cool when something’s trying to eat me."
He was starting to feel slightly light-headed, and didn’t like to think about how far away the infirmary seemed at this point. Luckily, what she was saying seemed to snap him back into some awareness, and he stared at her.
"Wait, what do you mean, may need to remove it? You’re gonna have to be a bit more specific because if that’s the case I’m gonna tell you right now that I meant what I said about gratuitous Scip abuse.” He concentrated for a moment, trying to work out if his ankle felt numb or if it was just paranoia. “You need to be a little clearer, doc, you can’t just drop that on me.”
"Yeah, think I vaguely remember that," Kondraki said, managing a brief grin. "You need to be more careful around desks, Cleffie, I’ve heard they can be killing machines."
From the way he could still get a lungful of air, Kondraki thought he was all right in terms of any potential lung damage. The injured rib was probably cracked rather than completely snapped, which meant he could likely get away without a trip to the infirmary. Just as well, really - he didn’t think he could swallow enough pride to show up at the infirmary with Clef helping him even if he had all the time in the world.
"I’m fine," he said, bracing his hands on the floor and taking another deep breath. "Just making sure I didn’t have a punctured lung to deal with, as well." With more difficulty and pain in his chest than he’d like to admit, Kondraki managed to push himself to his feet, using the wall as a support. He was unsteady on his feet, but at least Clef couldn’t stare down at him like that any more.
"Maybe you should train the D-class wranglers a little better, then," he said, slightly bitter. "I don’t want to have to waste the whole fucking set before they’ve even got to work."
“Oh I know, just one little trip and CRACK,” He punctuated the sound by smacking the back of his hand on his palm to create a loud sound. “Your neck is broken and you’re laying on the floor paralyzed! Its very scary, would not recommend..”
Still watching Kondraki the man just chuckled to himself. So maybe the other wasn’t as hurt as he once thought…it was probably not very comfort for the doctor either way. Even if nothing is was BROKEN it was obvious the other would be in pain for a few days if not a week or so.
One shouldn’t be happy about their coworker being hurt but somehow that lesson didn’t seem to stick in Clef’s mind as he grinned wider at the other.
“You’re not fine, glad you can walk.” he added cackling softly and moving in closer just to make the poor other man a little more uncomfortable. “I will make note of that, isn’t a GOOD thing we have strong D-Class? Even if they…ah…cause a little…mischief?”
He managed to stifle the jump that came from the sudden noise, though not quickly enough to avoid it sending another sharp pain through his chest that forced the air out of him for several seconds. He glared at Clef without explanation, forcing his breathing to cooperate again.
"Yeah, sounds real tragic, I feel for you," he said, rolling his eyes. The only tragedy here was that he couldn’t do it again, but he guessed he shouldn’t go too hard on himself with a cracked rib. There was always time later.
"And not really," he said, carefully trying to test his weight away from the wall, and not having much luck yet. He could feel the bruises beginning to flare up along his back, where he’d met the wall with unexpected force. "They’re here to do a job, not beat us up and decide that the next logical course of action should be a mutiny."
Kondraki glanced up, only now realising just how close Clef had edged. “Is there any reason you seem to be forgetting that personal space is a thing in polite company, Cleffie?”
She hadn’t expected to find Kondraki, but somehow finding him sitting there under the vent didn’t come as much of a surprise. Rights shrugged, walking over to where he sat and leaning against the wall across from him.
"We’re gonna be starting up again soon," she said. "I think I heard someone mention having something to say about misplaced finances, so I’m sure you’ll want to be there for that." She wasn’t sure if that was a jab at just how boring that meeting was, or at Kondraki for all the collatoral damage.
Rights checked her watch, then looked down the hall. Not many people around here, given how remote and out of the way it was. For someone who didn’t work here, Kondraki sure did seem to have a knack for finding the places ideal for a smoke or a break.
"I won’t say anything," she said. "But really, you should put that out so we can get back. We don’t really want to be too late, now."
Once he finished his cigarette and got up, Rights led the way back to the elevator so they could get back to the right floor and return for an afternoon of meetings and discussions. The whole thing felt like a bureaucratic farce, but no one had yet figured out a more efficient way to bring these issues to the table.
"Fucking joy to the world," Kondraki muttered. "Finances sounds exactly like what we should all be bothering ourselves with. Don’t we pay people to do the books? Seems like they’re the ones we should be watching."
There was no getting away from the inevitable, and all too soon Kondraki found himself weaving his way through the people in the halls, heading back to what he knew was an afternoon of hell. They were lucky to get the elevator to themselves for at least a brief while, and Kondraki appreciated every second that there were less than five people in his immediate vicinity.
"I swear, every time I come back here, the site populations seems to have doubled," he said. "What we need is another containment breach or something, thin out the crowd -"
The alarm cut him off, deafeningly loud in the small elevator, and Kondraki instinctively ducked, looking behind him and up slightly at the offending speaker on the wall.
"Fucking hell!" he yelled over it, as the elevator shuddered to a stop on the next floor and opened its doors. "Is this some kind of a fucking joke? I didn’t god damn mean it." He could barely hear himself think over the alarm, and he stumbled out into the hallway, where it was still loud but at least not right behind him in a cramped space. "Come on, let’s get outta here before they decide it’s all because I’m at Site 19 again."
"No - no, come on,” Rights groaned. She slapped him around the side of the face again, hoping to keep him conscious and with her for at least as long as it took to get him down to the infirmary. With any luck they’d be able to send someone out to bring him back, but she wasn’t counting on it; being site head only got a person so far when a huge chunk of the floor was caved in and the number of injuries was probably staggering.
The bleeding didn’t look good, that much was an understatement; there was a lot of it, and even if she knew that head injuries always looked worse than they were, there was only so far that she could kid herself. Part of the ceiling looked to have fallen on him; nothing that happened was going to be good at this point.
"Just wait a moment," she muttered, dialing the infirmary. With any luck she’d be able to get through, but she didn’t doubt that with the crisis they had on hand, the chance that she’d have to deal with Kondraki by herself wasn’t looking too impossible.
"It doesn’t look like I can get through," she said to him, trying not too think about the termination attempts he’d been subject to.
If he’d been even slightly more aware of what was going on for more than five seconds, Kondraki would have probably been getting angry at the constant slapping. All he could manage at the moment was a slight groan, and it was an effort to open his eyes. He didn’t even remember closing them.
He squinted, being able to just make out where the ceiling should have been. It was difficult to work out just what had happened, considering his vision still wouldn’t focus and his glasses were smeared with blood, but he could see enough to work out that a large chunk of it was missing, and seemed to be scattered on the floor around him.
Her words sent a shock of panic through him and for a moment he couldn’t work out why, and then he managed to make the connection between that and the phone in her hand, and he almost shook his head until even the slightest attempt reminded him that he couldn’t.
"Don’t tell ‘em it’s me," he said, and now he could literally feel how the words ran together. "Dunno who’s listening -" He broke off at a particularly bad surge of nausea, briefly convinced he was actually going to throw up, but it receded just in time. "Shit, this is bad," he muttered. He was usually back on his feet by now, but instead he found himself barely able to feel his legs.
Yeh… i have a phd.. a phucking huge dong lmao….
The meeting had already gone on for far too long, and when Kondraki thought that there was still the entire afternoon to go, he didn’t know how he was going to deal with it. There was a certain tedium that came with off site meetings that he knew he’d never quite get used to; they reminded him of high school classes he’d dreaded, if he were completely honest.
He’d ducked down an empty side hallway that was short and seemed to consist of just a few store cupboards, and it was here that he’d placed himself under one of the air circulation vents and taken a quick cigarette break. Every so often, he’d glance over his shoulder, making sure no one caught him - there weren’t many people who could tell him to stop, but if Gears or Bright caught him smoking in an unauthorised place again, he’d probably never hear the last of it.
So far, no one seemed to be paying him any attention. He was glad for it, because he really needed this damn cigarette. Site 19 had a habit of putting him on edge, and he couldn’t really blame himself when he thought about what had happened the last time he was here. Admittedly, the time before that had been a little more fun, but he couldn’t shake the irrational feeling that the building itself resented him for it.
He was almost done with his cigarette when he heard movement behind him, and he spun around guiltily, already trying to make up an excuse that would no doubt be bullshit. When he saw it was Rights, he gave an audible sigh of relief.
"I’m nearly done," he said, taking anther quick drag. "You won’t squeal on me, right?"
The man- yet another researcher for the complex under 05 command- began unpacking a box to fit his new office with personal paraphernalia. The room was layered in a dull green paint job and a grey carpet that was dotted with stains of the previous owner- but hell most of them looked like coffee. Of course, as you expect he set the usual along the top of his new desk, a few framed documents noting his excellence in his fields, along with several loose file dockets tucked into bent orange folders, up until the man came to the center piece of his collection; neatly nestled along a wall of the box.
He pulled out a small shriveled animal, tacked onto a base by metal rods that dissipated into its torso. It was one of those ugly Fiji mermaid creations, expertly crafted together by someone from a taxidermy dehydrated monkey and some kind of fat bodied fish- it looked eerie but obviously a fake to anyone who wasn’t a complete numb-skull. Though Episitia looked at it like an old friend, muttering something to himself along the lines of ‘guess we moved again’ before sighing and placing it along the bookshelf off the the side- just at such a height to be staring down anyone who entered the room- a strategy by the researcher to try and unnerve passers by for shits and giggles. Then again… given what goes on here… a fake, taxidermy mermaids gaping, toothy maw probably wouldn’t be enough.
He hummed, sitting at the edge of his desk as he looked through a few photos pulled haphazardly from atop a small metal canister that not rested on his desk; the man readjusting his self-sewn labcoat idly.
Usually, Kondraki didn’t make it a habit to go out of his way to personally harass newbies. Most people on site would make a job of that themselves, at least until the new person had proven themselves worthy of being left un-harassed. Kondraki made exceptions, however, for someone who’d seemed to have spent the last chunk of their Foundation career playing musical sites.
It didn’t take him long to find the office, considering he’d assigned it himself, and he didn’t bother knocking as he let himself in. The first thing he noticed was a rather grotesque creature staring him down from the bookshelf, ugly enough that it got an eyebrow raise out of him.
"You wanna be careful no one pulls a weapon on that damn thing and calls a containment breach," he said, entering the room properly and looking around. It reminded him much of the kind of office he’d had back when he was a Level Three - just enough to work in, but nothing very glamorous. "Sorry about all the stains. Last guy couldn’t hack the job and blew his brains out all over the carpet. Or I’m pulling your leg and he just transferred. You’ll never know."
Regardless of the origin of the stains, Kondraki thought he could do without the musty smell in this place. How long had it been since someone had used it? He decided to remedy the problem by lighting up a cigarette, which he did before he spoke again.
"So, who are you, then? C’mon, tell me about yourself, how you like long walks on the beach, yadda yadda yadda."
It was indeed useful that Thrax could communicate with the man, but once he was fed, it would become that much easier.. he could focus on making text for the other to read. Then, communication could go both ways. But, for now, he was too hungry. He originally came here for the pizza he smelled, but anything would be fine, really. He wasn’t picky.
Once Kondraki mentioned chicken, he bolted up from his position in the corner and looked at the man expectantly; the anticipation of food had pushed fear from his mind, at least for the moment. Both of the fox’s tails wagged behind him, and he stared at the other with a tilted head again, more curious expectation than fear and anxiety in his expression, now. He desperately wanted to explain to the other, through any means that pizza would be fine, but Thrax wouldn’t be able to as long as his stomach distracted him.
His excitement slowly sunk at the other speaking about the delays, though. Understandable, and he was still quite terrified behind this distraction; he’d probably still be lashing out at people that came too close out of fear. There was quite a discord between the two emotions here, a huge desire to do anything necessary to eat and a fear and frustration at everyone around him for being imprisoned. His tails stopped, and he shook his head ‘no’ at the other, to at least express that he wouldn’t mind waiting. The fox didn’t have much of a choice, after all. A few moments later, his mind went back to food and his tails started wagging in anticipation once again.
"God damn, why do you gotta be so cute?" Kondraki asked, shaking his head slightly. It was probably a bad thing that he was thinking that over a potential Scip, but it was a little difficult not to. "Anyway, gimme a minute, and I’ll go send someone to sort that out."
It didn’t take him long to rope a few of the lower-level researchers into going to the relevant people, and then all he would have to do is wait for them to show up and hope the fox creature didn’t decide to go full Keter on everyone’s ass as soon as the door was opened briefly. Of course, there was the chance that it could go full Keter on just the D-class, but Kondraki thought that was preferable.
When he had bossed everyone around as much as he could, he ducked back towards the cell, just to make sure there had been no unexpected escape attempts or anything else that was going to make his day even more difficult. It seemed he was in luck in that respect.
"All right, that’s that getting sorted," he explained. "Though I have to give you a few tips, mainly don’t try anything funny. I’m hoping you won’t, considering you just want the food, but still, usual rules apply. Don’t try to get out, no attacking the D-class, let’s just all behave ourselves here, yeah?"
He couldn’t help but feel a little apprehensive. Yeah, the thing was cute, but he could name several cute things in this place that would gladly rip his head off at any given opportunity. Plus there was the fact that this wasn’t even a classified Scip yet - the thing had just wandered in, somehow, to what was perhaps one of the most high security buildings in the damn world. So far, it all seemed too easy, and he was wondering if things would stay so calm once they got the door open.
Her thumb rubbed slow circles in his shoulder where she was still holding to him, an unconscious movement Rights didn’t even realize she was doing. She kept scanning his head and face for injuries, trying to see where the source of all the blood was. From the looks of it, the wound was on his scalp, under a tear in the hat he was wearing.
"Come on, try not to move too much," Rights said.. "There was a breach, and everything’s fine now, but there was some intense structural damage. I think something fell and knocked you out - and cut your head too, by the looks of it. Do you remember anything?"
She sat back on her heels and dug into her pocket to grab her phone. Her hand stayed on his shoulder as both a preventive measure to make sure he didn’t try and move any more, and as a precaution for if he should start passing out again
"I need to call for help - don’t you start passing out, all right?"
Now that she mentioned it, that made a little more sense. It hurt to even think, but when he did manage it for more than a few seconds, he could vaguely remember something along those lines. He still wasn’t completely sure what had happened to leave him sprawled on the floor with a headache that could rival even his worst hangovers, but at least what he could remember added up.
"Great," he said, his voice slurred. "Even m’own site’s trying t’kill me."
He tried moving his arm again, and this time got it as far as his face before he had to give up. His hand thudded back to the floor, though not before it had touched some of the blood covering him. Kondraki blinked slowly, moving his fingers as the blood cooled on them.
"That don’t look good," he said, forcing his eyes to focus on her. "M’just gonna sleep a couple seconds, promise."
"Arm wrestling André the Giant it is, then. Ye’ll wanna get an ice pack fuir that - luckily it wasn’t out long, but the last thing ye want is swelling tae pull it right back out again. Some kinda anti-inflammatory, while yuir at it."
He didn’t get punched in the head for it - and frankly, he’d half been expecting it, dubious reassurances or not, considering his boss wasn’t exactly the most stable person on the compound. The question made him wince, however. Of course he’d asked. Bran wasn’t in the medical field nor was he prone to athleticism, yet he hadn’t even pretended to not know what he was doing. That would make anyone curious.
"Ehh, well," the Scot stood, brushing himself off and trying perhaps a little too hard to keep his voice casual. "Long story short, my Da’s an asshole and Mum was running out o’ stories tae tell the ER."
"That’s good, we’ll go with that. I was gonna suggest shark punching, but that’ll do."
Kondraki took a few deep breaths, trying to force the rest of the discomfort away. He was going to be paying for it for a few days to come, if not the next week, and he wasn’t happy about it. Any little inconvenience could cost him everything in this place.
"Sounds like "asshole" would be putting it lightly," he said, cautiously turning his head to squint at the bruising. It looked pretty bad, and there was definitely some swelling there that he knew would only get worse. "Still, life lessons, I guess. Always pays to know shit like that in this job. Especially when some bastard decides to inconvenience the head fucker in charge because he can’t deal with a few guns."