The Wall Starts to Crack (For Connal)

The place one goes to wash up. In total, there are 20 showers and 36 lockers; more than enough. The lockers centerpiece the stall-showers, which only have a curtain to protect from prying eyes. Same as the bathroom, this is unisex.

The Wall Starts to Crack (For Connal)

Postby Rufus Schmitz » Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:08 pm

Rufus had wheeled in, a somber look on his face which was a rare emotion the medic wore. Placing his things down, he works his way off the wheelchair careful till he rested on the floor. He leaves a opened letter on the seat before removing the rest of his uniform off and that new medical blanket off his lap. Now uncovered, he drags himself into his preferred shower stall, closing the curtain almost all the way to conceal himself... and his tail.

It takes some strength on his part to reach for the handles but as soon as hot water splashed over his head causing the naturally spiked hair to flatten down on his head, does Rufus relax. As he sits there, watching the water drain down the center, he forgets to remove his glasses. Quietly, he reaches out, placing them in the breast pocket of his coat before returning back inside the safety of his shower stall. Doing so, it leaves his curtain open just a tad giving it a opportunity to see the 'crippled' doctor's secret.

Nevertheless, Rufus returns to starring down at the drain, the hot water dripping down his face concealed a few escaping tears. That's when he loses it. If anyone heard the small sobs, they probably thought they had died and gone to the afterlife. Rufus never cried, it was unheard of that the medic who's reputation at Swamp Rats was solitude and strife to others... to see the blond down and weep over something was something unheard of. The cause of this small emotional drop laid written on the letter on his wheelchair, covered by his vest from any steam but a pinch of paper still peeked through.

Should one read this letter it would be written as followed:

"Dear R. Schmitz,

It's Leroy, from Harvest. I know it's been a long time and I've been told you finally got out of that freezing meat locker of ColdFront. The team misses ya, our current Medic doesn't have the guts like you did way back when. Prefers to hide behind Heavy and stick to healing. Anyways... sending this letter because it concerns David.

He's dead. Killed in a train wreck on his transfer way to Granary. Doc I'm so sorry. I know you two were close and he was like the only friend you ever made...

Hope Swamprat is alright, never heard of it on the map but hopefully it won't disappoint you battle wise. At least it beats freezing yer nuts off.

Yer old Teammate,

Leroy, Harvest RED Pyro."
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Re: The Wall Starts to Crack (For Connal)

Postby Connal Reid » Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:40 pm

The only thing Connal had gotten for his troubles in trying to again find that mountain of books, was muddy. No matter how many times he went out exploring, the swamp still was a very confusing place. Too much of it looked the same, and since most of the landmarks were living, it was easy for things to shift and change around. At least he managed to scrape enough much off his boots and some of his pants to not go dripping it all over the inside of the base.

It was a little surprising to hear one of the showers already running. In all his time at Swamp Rat, he had never crossed paths with anyone in the showers. So the sounds of someone crying came as even more of a surprise. For a moment, the Pyro thought it might be Josif, but no, that was the wrong voice. "Boss...?" he called out, realizing it was Rufus. Despite the awkwardness of the situation, Connal went ahead and started to strip off the wet and muddy clothes, his reason being that it was just going to be worse if he didn't even do what he came here to do. Besides, being naked was better than wet clothes.
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Re: The Wall Starts to Crack (For Connal)

Postby Rufus Schmitz » Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:47 pm

Sniffling, Rufus paused for a long moment after hearing a voice. He blinks a few times, unsure if he was hearing things. Leaning up against one of the shower walls, he watches the water rain down from the shower. He sighs out, still depressed before speaking out, testing the air.

"Vho's zhere?! I vant to be alone unless you're taking a stall as vell." He calls out, tail starts to curl in slightly. As he does so, he watches a small fresh stream of red swirl down the drain. These sores and cuts just didn't seem to stop, did they? In fact, he forgot about the fact his medical blanket hanging off the chair contained fresh blood stains as well as some on the seat of the chair and a few smeared droplets leading into the showers...
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Re: The Wall Starts to Crack (For Connal)

Postby Connal Reid » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:07 pm

As Connal got further into the showers, the wheelchair erased any doubt as to who might have been crying even before Rufus spoke up again. What caught his attention, even more than essentially being told to get lost, was the little bits of blood. Crying and bloody? That... That wasn't good. "Are, uh... you okay?" Yes, because that sounded very intelligent. Totally nothing he would be told to fuck off for. The Pyro stood there, toes wiggling a bit, unsure what he should do. Maybe if he knew the Medic a bit better... This is probably why he should seek out and talk to the others a bit more. Perhaps even try to create a reason for them to spend time together as a group, that hopefully wouldn't go like the Halloween party had.
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Re: The Wall Starts to Crack (For Connal)

Postby Rufus Schmitz » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:16 pm

"Just leave me be.. I don't vant any pity." He states, but his voice was weak. Not strong and stubborn as usual that Rufus was known for. He places a hand to one of the split skin cuts near his hip, wincing some at it's sting. Why weren't they healing? He's used nearly a box of disinfect wipes on his tail to no avail it seems. With a frown, he leans forward some, allowing the water to mist over near him.

"Bitte... I just vant to be alone."

Now THAT was off, Rufus never said please, English or German to anyone unless it was a mocking tone. This, was no mocking tone, this tone sounded like something broke inside the man.
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Re: The Wall Starts to Crack (For Connal)

Postby Connal Reid » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:29 pm

Now this was a problem. He was used to people acting angry when they were upset, not just... sad. This wasn't something he knew how to handle. "You sure...?" he asked. After a moment, he quickly added, "I mean, I gotta take my own shower, anyway, so I'll still be here, an' it's kinda... I dunno." It's weird, just say it. No one can cry in peace if they know someone else is around, and it's not like Connal would be able to just take a shower without a care in the world now that he knew someone was hurt and upset. With a slight slouch in his shoulders, the Pyro asked, "No one's been messin' with ya, have they?"
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Re: The Wall Starts to Crack (For Connal)

Postby Rufus Schmitz » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:36 pm

Rufus huffed, rolling his eyes at that question. "Nein... no one has." He answers, still looking at the shower head. "Fine... take your shower. I care not." He adds. His hands ball up into fists, weak ones at that. Now his body slightly shivered. Not from cold obviously being under a hot shower, but just from the frustration and shock he just received.

He stretches out a bit, the tip of one of his tail flukes barely peeks out from under the shower curtain. "If it means so much to you... you vill find ze answers on mein chair." Rufus spoke, not realizing the tiny piece of tail poking out.
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Re: The Wall Starts to Crack (For Connal)

Postby Connal Reid » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:58 pm

The tone Rufus used made Connal feel a bit stupid at asking. What was he supposed to think about someone bleeding and crying in the shower? Hearing the part about his chair, he looked down, noticing more than just the paper. Was that some kind of tail? He hadn't known Rufus was a hybrid. Not thinking much of it, the Pyro turned his attention back to the paper, and picked it up to read through it. "Oh... I'm sorry, man. I know what that's like." Even if he hadn't admitted it to anyone, yet. "Although... It's kinda funny that you didn't wanna give your name up earlier, an' here you're on a first name basis with these guys." After setting the letter back down, he added, "Bet they all knew what was under the blanket right away, too, huh? Or did that happen later?"
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Re: The Wall Starts to Crack (For Connal)

Postby Rufus Schmitz » Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:06 am

"What are you talking about?!" He snaps, tail curling back in. "It vas mein first job so I didn't go over ze rules fully. But even still... zhey vere ze best team I fought alongside vith." He states.

Seeing Connal was further poking at some sort of subject he was hinting at, Rufus managed to poke his head out, face looking absolutely miserable. "Vhat are going on about? Nein... zhey not know of mein... injured legs." He states. "Zhat happened towards ze end of my tour vith Coldfront before being sent here." He adds on, forgetting being on the floor meant the curtain didn't close behind him, giving Connal a peek at something dark pink and covered in red marks. Obviously hiding something and it was time for it to be known.
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Re: The Wall Starts to Crack (For Connal)

Postby Connal Reid » Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:54 am

The best team... Connal wished he could say something about that, but he still didn't feel like he was part of a team. A group of people that seemed to tolerate each other at best, with maybe a couple friends here and there, but not his idea of what a team was supposed to be. Maybe he just had his expectations set too high...? Rufus' expression just made him feel worse. The co-leader was really tore up about this.

Wait, he said "legs." Did he really not have a tail? Without thinking and a complete lack of regard for personal space or privacy, the Michigander pulled the curtain open enough to take a look for himself. "Shit, that looks like it hurts!" was his initial reaction, more to all the scabs and open sores than to the fact it was a pink dolphin tail.
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Re: The Wall Starts to Crack (For Connal)

Postby Rufus Schmitz » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:49 pm

Rufus blinks once, and shudders in a small breath. "Vait, vhat are you doing!? Stop!" He cried out, only to cower back while Connal stared at him. His body trembled ever so slightly; his secret was discovered. For a minute the pair stared at each other in shock. It took a few moments for Rufus to figure out when Connal said 'that looks like it hurts' was referring to the sores and cuts, not the tail itself.

He frowns in defense before glancing back up at Connal. "Vhy do you stare!? I'm... I'm not one of zhem! I'm not... I'm not a FREAK!" He shouts out, feeling his heart pound in his chest. "It vas an accident and I am determine to fix it! Do not compare me to ze likes of zhose... zhings!" Rufus cried out, fear in his voice. He wanted respect, wanted to be normal... but now with Connal seeing what he truly is, how can this constitute for normal now?

"Don't you DARE tell ze ozhers!" He warns, looking like a wet cat cornered.
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Re: The Wall Starts to Crack (For Connal)

Postby Connal Reid » Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:50 pm

Not exactly the reaction he was expecting. Every other hybrid he had met up to that point more or less acted like they had always been like that. It was as much a part of who they were as which class they were. Maybe this was really recent, then. "I's okay, boss," he tried to assure, kneeling down. "I won' say nothin' to nobody if you don't want me to. An' if you don' want anyone else to see, you should probably stop yellin'..." The Pyro decided it was probably not the best time to argue with the Medic on whether or not he counted as a freak. Besides, his definition was getting more and more loose with each new person he met. "Hey, at least you ain't paralyzed, right?"
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Re: The Wall Starts to Crack (For Connal)

Postby Rufus Schmitz » Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:33 pm

"At zhis point I vish I vas. Zhis... abomination has to go!" Rufus states, a bit quietly after Connal's advice. "Zhis is not mein doing, but by anozher Medical Legion member. I've been keeping zhis a secret so I can find a cure and return to vork, disguising it as if mein legs vere mutilated in Coldfront and slow to heal. I do NOT vant to be compared to ze ozhers hybrids. I am not one of zhem and I vill never accept zhis as permanent."

Leaning back against the titled divider wall, Rufus frowned as he looks at the sores and cuts. "No matter how much antibacterial vipes I use, zhey aren't healing and I refuse to live in a fish tank." He said, starring at his tail as if the thing was some creature parasite latched onto him. "I just vant to be normal again.. I can't do mein job right if I'm bound like zhis." His voice softened, generally concerned for his well being.
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Re: The Wall Starts to Crack (For Connal)

Postby Connal Reid » Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:51 pm

Abomination? He had never really thought about it like that. Which was probably a testament to how much Swamp Rat had twisted him, really. Not that he saw it as a problem. "Okay, you're not a hybrid," Connal agreed, easily enough. His gaze followed his leader's, looking back at all the damage. "How long's it been like this? 'Cause maybe it's just gotten worse than what a little cleanin' can do," he suggested. "My dad once told me a story 'bout how one of his uncles had to get his foot cut off 'cause it was infected so bad." That one really wasn't one of the best of bedtime stories, perhaps, but it had been interesting all the same. And had him scared of horses for most of his childhood.
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Re: The Wall Starts to Crack (For Connal)

Postby Rufus Schmitz » Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:34 am

Rufus simply shrugged. "Normally ze skin splits and cracks if I don't apply some ointment or lotion on. Dries out too much. Usually after a veek of applying lotion ze sores and cuts start to fade but now... zhey aren't even after so much." He said. "Got vorse shortly after I arrived here." He adds only to pause and look up. A unimpressed look came over his face. "Are you suggesting I cut chunks of meinself,leaving behind horrid craters?" Rufus pushed, looking slightly pissed. If he did that and managed to bring his legs back, would they be scarred from the previous form?

"Maybe I should... give meinself a anti-bacterial injection zhough I hate ze side effects making me nauseous. Maybe zhis has to do somezhing vith zhe vater in ze swamp fucking me over." He said, before those grayish blue eyes trailed up to Connal. "You vill... aid me in zhis? I need someone to help me should I get.. eh... vhat's ze English term? Basically... I just need someone to make sure I don't pass out and choke to death should I vomit from ze reaction to ze drugs." Rufus said, before looking back to turn the shower off. "Even if zhey heal, I'll still get sores no matter vhat unless ze damn tail is submerged all ze time vhich I refuse to live in a damn fish tank. Vhat ozher option could I have?"
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Re: The Wall Starts to Crack (For Connal)

Postby Connal Reid » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:06 am

Connal nodded, following everything that had been said so far. Up until Rufus mentioned slicing craters into himself. "What? No, I just meant-! Nevermind, it's not really important." That could probably have gone better.

The Pyro shifted from kneeling to sitting, having gotten a bit uncomfortable. Then again, tiled bathroom floors weren't exactly known for their comfort. Or warmth. "Sure, I'll help," he agreed, almost before he'd even heard what he was agreeing to. "Allergy? But yeah, I don't mind keepin' an eye on you, so long as it can wait 'til I get a shower, too. An' as for other options... I dunno, maybe, like, a waterproof sleeping bag? You could put water in it and wrap it 'round your lower half, so it's like sitting in water, but you can still be in your chair. Your blanket and clothes would still hide it." Leave it to a Michigander to suggest something both practical and implausible.

Well, if he was going to be hanging out a while in the infirmary, and Rufus really didn't want anyone else to know about his tail... Well, he could really only think of one way to make sure Jericho didn't follow him in. "What kinda music do ya like, boss?"
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Re: The Wall Starts to Crack (For Connal)

Postby Rufus Schmitz » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:21 am

The German sighs out, then nods while waving a hand. "Ja... go take your shower. Ve can still talk." He said, remaining in place up against the tile divider wall. If he got cold he could just turn the hot water back on. Nestled in, he thinks over the idea of a 'water sleeping bag.'

"Hm... could vork, but vould have to be made of somezhing tough..." He said as the other turns to get his own shower next to his stall. "A sleeping bag von't do. But somezhing airtight I can vear at ze hip but small enough to be concealable. Hmm." He thought over before closing his eyes. "Maybe modify one of your chemsuits? Zhey're made of rubber so zhey should be vatertight?" He asked.

After a moment or two, Rufus merely shrugs. "I didn't really listen to music much growing up. Vhat music I heard vas usually from mein Father's old record player vith even older music playing. I didn't care much for it. Only time I heard anyzhing different is snippets of songs from passing by autos vith ze vindows down. Ozhervise, I didn't hear much music ozher zhan mein father's music or church hymns on Sundays."
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Re: The Wall Starts to Crack (For Connal)

Postby Connal Reid » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:55 am

Connal nodded and got up to turn one of the other showers on. "My uniform?" he asked, almost shouting over the water stream. "Uh, maybe, but they got holes for the feet," he answered. Thinking on it for half a second, he added, "An' I don't know how well it'd stand up to gettin' cut apart so that there's one leg hole insteada two, but we could give it a shot. I guess it'd depend on how we go about reattachin' seams and such."

The Pyro had just started getting soaped up when the Medic started talking about music. "What, really? Just ancient music?" He could hardly fathom it. "You didn't even have a radio to listen to? Nobody brought anything to listen to at any of your other bases?" How could someone go their entire life without hearing more recent music? Without having any opinion on rock and roll? "Man, am I gonna have to change that for you!"
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Re: The Wall Starts to Crack (For Connal)

Postby Rufus Schmitz » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:39 pm

The other shrugs. "Vell... I used to play piano. But zhey vere older vorks... Beethoven, Mozart, Bach... only song I've memorized vithout sheet music vas Beethoven's 5th Symphony, "Moonlight Sonata". I find it... pleasing." He said, listening to the sound of water on Connal's side. Change up to recent music? What could possibly come out of it?

Rufus rolled his eyes, before taking a washcloth to rub off any peeled skin starting to show. Best start actually washing himself instead of just sobbing in a shower stall. "Ve vere too busy fighting to have enough free time on ze previous bases. Back at Harvest mein free time vent to research down below in zheir Medbay... I.." He paused, memories reverting back and thus stopped himself from going further.
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Re: The Wall Starts to Crack (For Connal)

Postby Connal Reid » Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:55 pm

"That's just so wild that you haven't even heard songs by, like, Black Sabbath, Lynard Skynard, The Who..." It wasn't even just rock, even though that was mostly all he had. To go your whole life only listening to one genre of music... How could you pick a favorite if you never gave the others a chance?

At the mention of fighting, Connal let out a huff. "Man, wish this stupid cease fire of ours would be called off, soon... That's probably one of our bigges' problems, is we got all these killers sent to one place and get told 'don't kill.' Just screams 'bad idea' to me." Yeah, he was kind of rambling, but that was probably a good thing. Maybe it would help get Rufus' mind of whatever made him trail off.
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