Comfortably Numb

OOC: Joint Post between Turk and Blitzen

The infirmary might have been across campus, but London made good time. She jogged part of the way and was lucky enough to catch a ride for the remainder. It was a familiar sight to the sports medicine student, who often accompanied Hockey club members to be treated for minor puck related injuries. Entering the building, she scanned the area for a familiar face.

The university had never had much in the way of medical professionals, med students stayed for a few biology courses, maybe did a run through in the infirmary, and then completed their degrees at more prestigious universities and programs. But one person always remained a constant. Only one person was there at every game, every club sports event, every opportunity where some sprained knee might arise. That person was Wendy Sheppard, and as London entered the building she waved her over toward her front desk beyond the entrance to the gym, “Well hey there Ms. Calling! Didn’t expect you back so soon!” She got up from her chair and began making her way around the entrance desk. She was a portly nurse of a woman, but her step was one of joy and light as a feather in her natural environment of sterilized floors and sweat stained people.

“Hi, Ms. Sheppard, I didn’t expect to be back so soon either, but I’m looking for someone, I heard they were hurt in the Sports storage facility yesterday or so?”

“Darling you start calling me Ms. and I’m going to think you intend something you’ll regret. But you mean little Chuck? Poor thing that he is.” she clicks her tongue and shakes her head at the thought, “Why you asking after him? I didn’t think you two knew each other?”

“I just wanted to follow up, check on him and make sure he’s okay.” London bluffed as a reply. “Is he up for visitors?”

“Really? Well you know I can’t say no to you after all you’ve done here sweety.” She motioned with her head toward the door, “He’s in room 2B, just head right on in and I’ll let you two catch up. Let me know if you need anything.” It was clear the previous semester busting her ass at all those club sports games had paid off, at least in Wendy’s eyes.

The door into the hallway of the infirmary was painfully sterile. White tile floors and white walls were only broken by the bright fluorescent light. The smell was perhaps the most painfully clean, as if there was an overabundance of nothing in the air that caused the mind to fill in the gap. Fortunately for London room 2B, true to what one might expect of its name, was relatively close to the entrance, about 3 doors down the hallway. Walking along both 1a and 1b were vacant, but 2a was closed shut with a DO NOT DISTURB sign currently hung on the door knob.

London took a deep breath, not certain what she’d find, and double tapped on the door. “Chuck?” She asked in a lowered voice.

Within, a figure was propped up to a bed in what was a near full lower body cast. A leg was suspended in the air. The faint sound of a heart monitor filled the room as a soft breathing filled the silence. Chuck seemed to be the only one in the darkened room, but with a room this small and depressing, it was certainly enough. “H….he…...hello?”

“Hey, hi --” London replied, entering the room. “You don’t know me, but I’m London, London Calling and I was hoping you could tell me what happened?”

Chuck turned his head slowly, and with what appeared with a great deal of pain, “Y...you don’t….it’s….” He clearly had trouble breathing and speaking was simply more than could be managed.

“Shhh, hey, it’s okay, I just want to help, and if I know who it was, I can maybe stop it from happening to anyone else.”

His eyes, as strained from pain and lack of complete rest as they were, went wide. “N..nnooo..nooooooo…..the ba….the baaa…..the baaaattttttt……” Suddenly he rocketed from his own bed and reaches toward London, his face was bruised and bloodied nearly beyond recognition. How he could even see London was a mystery to her let alone bring air in, and yet he screamed, “STAY AWAY, OR THEY’LL BREAK YOU, THE BAT...THE BAT...IT’LL BREAK YOU TOO….GOOO….GOOO J…..” As quickly as the burst of energy came from the broken Chuck, it quickly left as well as he crumpled to the side of his bed exhausted and drained of near any life but the the heaving of his breaths.

London held both hands up, a confused expression crossing her face. “Those baseball playing douche bags?”

Chuck laid back into his bed, eyes glancing up into the ceiling, unresponsive but continuing to mutter near incomprehensibly. “B...ba….b….ba….” He tried to raise a hand again, but could barely find enough strength. The heaving of his chest died down again and he fell to unconsciousness

London placed a comforting hand on his shoulder. Whatever it was that got at him messed him up more than physically. She stayed for another few minutes before beginning to make her way out the door. Before she could though; the darkness of the room crept in on her and she heard the voice from the shed before come through but much clearer now.

“It won’t stop unless you do something. Chuck here got the worst of it and he wasn’t even a target. You need to stop this, we need to speak soon.” The voice dictated. It’s tone was more casual than one might expect of mental voices but still certainly a strange development.

"Stop what?" She asked, her heart pounding in her chest. "Who are you? Why me? What can I stop?" I'm crazy, I must be crazy, unless my roommate… with her rules and frigid temperatures and weird experiments. I breathed in spores or something, and this is a hallucination.

“Afraid you’re not crazy, it’s just a bit bizarre I give you though.” The voice continued, “and in regards to what? Just look behind you, that’s because he just happened to get in their way. Imagine what would happen if he had something they wanted.”

“Who are ‘they’? What is it they want?”

The silence the hangs in the air for a moment had to be interpreted as a pause by the voice, what the reason behind it was remained a mystery however. But quickly though it returned, “I’ve said too much in the open already, I can speak more at another time. For now you need to know that they’re not done and I need your help. The sports lockers are their targets and you can get it….” another moment of what might have been hesitation, “Tonight...I can’t make you do this but…”

“Sports lockers, I don’t… know what I can do to, but I’ll be there, so no one else ends up like Chuck.” She decided.

There was no more voice after that, and the only sound that London could make out was the ambient whine of old fluorescent lights and the continued wheezing of Chuck on the bed behind her. London was alone, though she already had been before as well.

London tiptoed out of the room, leaving Chuck to rest. She had a lot to think about, consider, and prepare for. It appeared as though this year would be anything but ordinary.

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