Stupid Slippery Times

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Stupid Slippery Times

Postby Tentacles » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:13 pm

(Happened in IM with Gerhard and James; I considered leaving it off the board for its fluffernutter attitude, but in retrospect some of the things discovered in this RP might fit in with the "where the fuck is everyone".)

The hybrid was terribly careful to make sure no-one followed him to the docks, practically running to the black water under the pale moon. Trembling with excitment, he pulled off the stifling mask, his lungs filling with the glorious cool air of the night. The rest of the uniform was quick to follow, puddled on the wooden dock like an abandoned skin. Without hesitation, James threw himself into the swamp with all the natural grace of a manatee falling from a diving board, swiftly disappearing under the surface in a swarm of bubbles.

Unbeknownst to the odd little Pyro, there was another out for a night's swim. Gerhard had finally gotten fed up with the ever mounting masses of paper accumulating on his desk and decided to take a breather, heading down to the water. He'd been swimming for a good 10 minutes when he heard that resounding SPLASH ring out through and over the water, and he jerked up, tentacles flailing about for a moment before he composed himself. There was a dock not too far away, something lumped up atop the wood, and he realized he could see ripples, warping the white orb of the moon's reflection. Someone else looking to have the night off...? The TentaMedic slowly eased himself down off the little island upon which he'd been resting, the green-ish blue glow of his tentacles' natural bioluminescence shimmering faintly before being muted by the silty swamp water. Maybe he could just... Swim away...

James broke the surface, obvilous to his unwitting observer. He snorted, mist spraying from his nostrils like a dolphin as he exhaled. The salamander blinked in the dim light, almost nightblind. He could just about make out the little island in the middle of the swamp...instinct told him there might be some excellent food opportunities there (such as nightcrawlers, grubs, a plethora of delights). He descended again, and headed straight for the tenta-Medic unknowingly.

Partially submerged and swimming for shore, the tentacled hybrid caught onto the stranger's approach too late, his lower limbs sending up their information with just enough delay that it was useless. He voiced a startled cry when something collided with his mantle, just a little below hip height where it was soft, and he lurched back as quickly as possible, the soft glow from his tentacles brightening from the rush of adrenaline and making the water around them light up with a similar shimmer. "Who ist zhere?!"

The salamander was surprised that his nose bumped into something so soft and fleshy, and quickly back pedaled himself, tail whipping about in the water. The lights though...he surfaced, flailing as he continued to try to back away from...oh god, it couldn't..."YOU...!" he hissed. The goddamn sneaking Medic. The goddamn fucking Medic was...some kind of monster. James lifted his lips in an attempt at a snarl, though it looked rather pathetic without proper teeth. "I know YOU. You're...snooping around again!"

Was?" Gerhard was honestly stunned, not sure who this person was, though they seemed to recognize him, and he backed away a little more, the gill slits along his ribs flaring as he tried to take a breath and calm his nerves. "Do I... Know you?" He was pretty sure he'd met all the 'special' classes on his own team, and they all liked him well enough (at least as far as he knew), so this one wasn't likely a BLU. He hadn't seen Riley around in a while, but it was getting colder out, so he figured the crocodile was simply staying inside where it was warmer. And then there was that strange dog-like patchwork thing...

The salamander clacked his boney jaws together, seemingly insulted at the tentaMedic's lack of recognition. "I suppose you wouldn't know who I was unless I had an ax in my hand, hmmm?" he started to back paddle, wishing he had that ax, he'd take this damn dirty German bastard to pieces..."So'd you do this to yourself, yah sick fuck?"

Ax...? For a moment, the Austrian just stared, not sure what the stranger was talking about, and then it clicked. Halloween. The bonfire. That Pyro! He lurched back with a hiss, a couple tentacles coming up in front of him defensively. "Of course I didn't, dummkopf! I vas attacked, trying to protect mein patients from a madman, patients like you!" The people who'd been experimented on before he'd been able to put a stop to it, the ones in pain and in need of help, the ones who'd been killed by one of their own... It still hurt to think about that, how one crazed TentaSpy, unleashed by a madman known only as the Surgeon, had slaughtered everyone and everything without discretion. And he'd been attacked himself in the chaos, trying desperately to call for help and get the survivors to safety-! He swallowed hard, gritting his teeth. "You nozhing about mich, vhy do you judge vizhout evidence?"

Fer starters...yer a BLU." the Pyro's black eyes narrowed in the dim biolumensence. He tilted his head, skeptical about the doctor's claims to have tried to protect 'patients like him', but he was willing to least for a little bit, sinking a little so that only his head was above the water. His mouth narrowed back into a thin line, pressing his skeletal fingertips together above the surface as he thought. "I just...its been my experrience that only Medics engage in...shennanigans." he looked up, a little hopeful he might find, in the most ironic of places, an anti-Medic ally. "...A Medic did this to you?"

The TentaMedic snorted crossly, folding his arms over his chest as he let his tentacles ease back under the water, though he kept his distance. "Pfeh, he vas not a Medic, he vas a psychopazh who zhought he vas a surgeon. Zhat's was he called himself, zhe Surgeon, zhough I doubt he ever actually performed." His lower limbs squirmed, the soft glow undulating with their motions and casting an odd sheen onto the water that glinted up towards the doctor. "He vas a monster, und he made monsters, took people und broke zhem into his playzhings-!" He broke off, mouth snapping shut with a sharp 'clack', and he inhaled a deep breath to collect himself before speaking again. "Anyvay, he vas classed as a Medic, if zhat's was you mean. But vas no healer."

The Salamander appeared to be thinking, his inital distrust and hatred had eased a bit. He reached for one of the glowing tentacles under the water, letting it slip through his thin hands. "...Why not change yourself back?"

"I can't." Gerhard jerked slightly at feeling his tentacle grabbed, but when it wasn't harmed, he let it do as it liked, the slender tip curling loosely around the Pyro's thumb. Goodness, but this man was thin... "I vas ein Kinderarts, ah, child's doctor before I came to zhis place, I haven't zhe skills in genetics or surgery to even attempt putting mein body back to zhe vay it vas. Und I vas put into zhe Respawn like zhis, sehr I can't even use zhat to try und fix meinself..." He exhaled a soft sigh, the tension in his shoulders smoothing away as his bio-luminescence dulled to a more subtle glow, letting the dark come back in. "I'm lucky to be alive, let alone sane. Turning into zhis... It nearly killed mich."

The Pyro pulled back slightly at the tentacle grabbing back, but when it didn't tighten around his hand he relaxed a little. Echoing the Medic's sigh, the salamander glanced away. "Peh. So I guess we have something in common..." he chewed on his lip before grinning at Gerhard. "...But you're still a damn dirty BLU, and that's a shame."

The doctor rolled his eyes, a gesture lost in the dark. "Herr, zheir just Companies..." He shook his head, mentally tugging on his tentacle to get it to let of the Pyro, only to pause when it didn't respond. Looking, he barely suppressed a frustrated groan. Always that same stray-! "Unh, pardon..." Moving forward, he kept his hands where the RED could see them before he reached to get his tentacle untangled. "Kommen Sie, du dumme kleine Ding..."

James couldn't help a dry chuckle, and yanked his hand back. "Having some troubles, Doctor?" he still attempted to lend a hand, so to speak, trying to pluck off the tangled tentacle with his thin fingers.

"Ahh, ja... Zhere ist alvays vone, just zhat vone, zhat never listens to mich!" It seemed quite true, as the tentacle curled around the Pyro's hand gripped on tighter rather than letting go, its many small suckers clinging to the RED's skin with a tenacity not unlike a petulant child. Gerhard grimaced, exhaling an exasperated sigh that was halfway to a growl with how low the sound was, and another, more obedient tentacle was summoned forward to deal with the stray. "I swvear, it ist like having a bunch of children stuck to mich..."

This was just greatly, greatly amusing to the RED. Here was BLU's monster...of course, not so bad, after all, but...those tentacles of death were more like out of control pets then killing appendages. He rested his head against his free hand, tapping his skin with mock impatience. "Oh, but they must be handy most of the time...?"

Gerhard shrugged, more focused on getting his damn tentacle to let /go/. "Generally, ja. Of course, I've had a good deal of practice. I've been like zhis for a little over 4 years now. Ah-HA!" He was half-tempted to reprimand the darn thing, but he knew it would work, especially since it was technically part of him and he really didn't want to look like a total nutter in front of someone he had just made peace with. Instead, he wrapped the disobedient tentacle in another tentacle and curled it up against him where it couldn't make an idiot of him. "I apologize for zhat, vone vould zhink I had besser control over zhese sctupid zhings..."

The salamander rubbed his wrist where the tentacle coiled around him, his sensative skin raised where ever a sucker landed. "Not at all, Doctor." he swam in a large circle around the Medic, on his back like an otter as he gazed skyward. James realized he had little or nothing to fear from the tenta-BLU. "...So there are more, like us? Here?"

Watching the other swim, the doctor idly wondered just what exactly the Pyro was a hybrid of, and was about to ask when the other spoke up. “Ja, zhere are a few. I only know of Riley on your team, he ist a Sniper vizh a crododile's tail, but on mein team, zhere ist mich, Jacques, und 12. I vish I knew 12's real name, but zhere vas none in his records...”

The little Pyro practically bumped into the little island he was so surprised. "WHAT?!" he sputtered. "Jericho...I mean, I thought...I thought Riley was a real crocodile..." he recalled the tense, terse little conversation he had with Connal's pet monster. "The company...allows...freaks like us? I thought I just got away with it cause of the suit..."

Gerhard huffed, but didn't dispute the Pyro's deduction. "Zhe blasted Company /created/ us. Vas do you zhink?" He swallowed, his tentacles twisting over eachother nervously as he crassed his arms over his chest again. "I... I vas in charge of vone of zheir facilities for a vhile. It... Vas not a pleasant place. I did everyzhing I could to try und help make zhings besser, even managed to schtop zhe experiments for a vhile, but zhen..." He made a vague gesture towards his lower half. "Zhey demoted me, und vhen I tried to keep helping, zhey transferred mich here."

James let himself sink a little, eyes just above the surface as he contemplated this development. Shouldn't be telling this to a damn dirty BLU, shouldn't... "I didn't know. I wasn't made by the company..." he shut his eyes, or at least, lowered his nictating membrane over them. "My old Medic did. On his own."

The doctor stilled a moment as he listened, then visibly slumped. "Es tute mir leid..." There had been some... Few and far between, since most of them died before being transferred to a proper facility to be stabilized, but there were enough that they'd had procedures set in place to help those changed. He remembered a Spy, a young man who had nearly died because his gills hadn't been grafted on properly, and how he used to cry late at night when he thought no one was listening... Gerhard shook his head, turning his attention back towards the Pyro. "Ah, no... No complications?"

The membrane flicked back at the question. "Well, I couldn't stay out in the desert, an' I pretty much live in the suit these days. Skin dries out otherwise, in a flash." the salamander nodded. "Kinda why I like this place, the air's so humid I don't have to gasp for breath everytime I run around outside."

Remembering what his wayward tentacle had relayed back to him, the doctor nodded. "Mmm, vell, you are amphibious, zhat ist only to be expected... Uhm, pardon mein asking, but was exactly are you? I could guess maybe a newt or somezhing, but I'd prefer not to assume vhen I can ask."

A smirk spread across the hybrids face as he rolled over in the water, on his back again. "Go ahead and assume, doctor. I didn't bother askin' my doc and I didn't want his goddamn explaination; your guess is as good as any."

"Really? Vell, if you insist..." Gerhard let himself submerge a bit, leveling himself with the RED lounging comfortably in the water not too far off to his side, and looked up towards where he could see the moon shining through the cypress trees. "You are amphibious, und from zhe vay you are svimming, you have a tail, ja? Und your fingers are razzer zhin, zhough I'm sure if zhat ist from malnutrition or zhe species you might have been spliced vizh..."

The Pyro lifted his tail with a grimace, showing it off. "You would not believe how much of a pain in the ass it is to strap this thing down." he let the long, paddle like tail drop back into the water. He folded his hands across his thin chest, listening to the Medic. "Well I was never exactly the healthiest bastard, but whatever the doc did just made it worse."

"Mmm... Vell, maybe zhat has to do vizh zhe animal part? It could not be getting zhe nutrients it needs, or somezhing along zhose lines. I know I can't eat red meat vizhout getting sick, so..." The Medic shrugged, his tentacles undulating smoothly under the water in oddly glowing streamers to keep him floating in one place. "I vonder if maybe you are some kind of newt. Zhe coloring seems familiar at least..." he could have sworn he'd seen a skin patterning like that before, the black spotted sparsely with yellow and just faintly slick to the touch for... Some reason he couldn't quite recall.

That suggestion got an even deeper grimace out of James, the hybrid rubbing his temple with a thin hand. "...that's actually why I was out here, part of the reason. I've got a craving for creepy crawlies." he winced; just admiting it was a little painful. "Not exactly somethin' I can eat around the team, you know. Guess that's why I'm not lookin' my best."

"Creepy...? Oh, you mean like bugs, ja?" High protein diet, then. If only the bases' main source of food didn't seem to be Spam... Gerhard hummed softly, the glow of his tentacles pulsing a little brighter as he tapped a clawed finger on his chin. "I zhink... I zhink, und zhis ist just a guess, zhat you may possibly be some kind of salamander. Zhey're insectivorous amphibians zhat look a little bit like lizards. I believe zhey're also toxic, but I can't be sure."

A wicked grin creased the Pyro's face. "...Well, I made sure the good doctor found out about the toxicity before I left." he nodded, and left it at that.

Gerhard gave the RED a curious look, but decided not to pry, simply nodding back. "Eizzer vay, I zhink you shouldt probably eat mehr protein if you can. Zhat's probably was zhe cravings are, your body needing somezhing it's not getting."

James tilted his head, still smiling. "Thanks, doc. I'll...keep it in mind. If only there was damn decent food around here." he hoisted himself up on the tiny island they had been floating about by, shaking himself off a bit before crouching down, eyes on his strange new, that was still too strong a word for James to stomach. Tolerant. A strange new tolerant. "Yer out here fer fish, I presume. Or stragglers?" he laughed nervously.

The Medic chuckled, shaking his head. "Nein, just out for a svim. It hast been... Razzer stressful of late." He rolled over onto his front, swimming over to rest against the island, letting his head rest on his folded arms. "Several of our members have gone missing. Zhey just... Dissappeared. Zhere data ist schtill in zhe Respawn, Hannah tells me zhat much, so zhey haven't died or anyzhing, but..." Gerhard squirmed slightly, a hand lifting to run through his wet hair. "I'm vorried. Especially about zhe Sniper ve are missin, Jacques. He ist part alligator, und... I'm afraid somevone might have mistaken him for a real gator."

The salamander swallowed nervously. "I've...been here for a while and I've not seen Riley. Or that many other team members for that matter." he glanced over his shoulder. "I guess I'm here to fill the freak quota?"

Gerhard shrugged, frowning slightly as he exhaled a sigh. "I just hope, vhereever zhey are, zhat zhey are alright. Especially Riley. I know Jacques can take care of himself, but Riley ist sehr timid..."

That got a brow raise out of the salamander. A timid crocodile? There was a laugh. He hoped he'd get to meet this weirdo someday, he sounded like fun. "Well, they aren't dead doc. And what doesn't kill us, makes us stranger, doesn't it?" he was grinning again.

That got a bit of a chuckle, and the Medic looked up to the Pyro with a faint smile. "I suppoze you couldt say zhat, ja..." He trailed off a moment, head cocking a little to one side as his brow furrowed, and than looked back towards the water and his tentacles. "Was is los...?"

The salamander craweld forward, looking down at the water with the perplexed Medic. "What is it, doc?" he looked down at the murky depths, eyes flicking back and forth from the water to the tentacled man.

"I... I don't- Vone moment." Gerhard ducked down under the water, letting his tentacles pull him towards what they had found. He couldn't really see anything due to the murk, but there was definitely /something/ there. His hands felt over the oddity his tentacles had found, brushing away layers of mud and algae to find smooth material that seemed vaguely familiar for some reason. A little more digging found an edge, and he heaved. Whatever it was popped free with an audible 'schlunk', and he swam up to the surface with the object in hand, shaking his hair from his eyes as he set the thing down beside James. (9:53:06 PM):IT"S A F**KING SKULL MAAAAAN}
TheGoddamnMonsterSpy (9:53:23 PM):(WHAT THE FUUUUUUUUU

The poor Pyro scrambled backwards, away from the object. He actually squeaked, not unlike the sound of a startled bullfrog. "JESUS FUCK DOC..." he swallowed, pulling his tail away from the thing. "Is that..." he clacked his jaws. "Is that...fresh?"

The Medic blinked, lifting a hand to rub water from his eyes so he could see what had startled the Pyro so, and lurched back with a screech as he finally got a proper look at what he'd dug out of the muck. A human skull, yellowed with age and vegetation, sat slumped upon the bank, its lower jaw crooked and just barely hanging on by a bit of mummified material that might have once been flesh, along with a few vertebrae. Gerhard swallowed hard, glancing back down into the water, then scrambled for land, heaving himself up beside the Pyro and making sure all his lower limbs were as far away from the skull's previous resting place as possible. "Gott ins Himmel..."

Dignity be damned. The Pyro found himself clinging to the Medic's arm with his spindly limbs. Death was part of what they did here, mercenaries for fuck's sake, but James had lived with the comfort of respawn for so long the memento mori was doubly disturbing. " of yours...?" he squeaked.

Gerhard was quick to cling right back, more than a little disturbed by the morbid reminder of the permanence of death. He swallowed hard at the question, cautiously extending a tentacle to poke at the skull as if expecting it to jump up and bite him. "Nein, I don't zhink so. It ist too old..." The bone had started to wear through in places, edges that would have normally been sharp smoothed over from the water's gentle current. A small part of him wondered if there were any other bones buried in the mud, but he daren't look, especially not in the dark.

He leaned forward, extending his neck as he gave the skull a closer look. "Old..." he narrowed his bublous eyes. "Did they...ever say why they closed this place down?"

The Medic shook his head. "Nein, just... Just zhat everyvone disappeared..." Jacques had been part of the original team, but he'd been taken away and turned into his half-alligator self before whatever had caused Swamp Rat to become abandoned. Well... Maybe not so abandoned. Gerhard shuddered, shoving the skull back into the water and watching it sink, a globe of yellow-white that darkened as it fell further and further from the light, settling in the mud where it contrasted sharply with its surroundings. Definitely not swimming home that way.

Well. That was unsettling. James wrapped his tail around himself, watching where the skull landed in the soft mud. No, you could bet your last dollar he wasn't swimming for the docks that way either. "I think...I think I will go back to my base now." he swallowed nervously.

"Gute idee." The tentacled hybrid tried to move, he really did, but he was transfixed by the whiteness practically glowing against the dark of the muddy bottom, both his hands gripped around the Pyro's arm in a shaking grasp as his lower limbs curled in on themselves. So much for a relaxing swim... He finally swallowed, jerkily pulling away from the other hybrid and moving to get up, a little disoriented but alright as he offered a hand to help James up.

The hybrid gladly took the Medic's slippery hand, pulling himself up. At least he knew there was a somewhat fri--no no, not that word. Tolerating. A tolerating freak here too. He turned his head away, snorting. He barely knew any of the REDs, and he had spent more time talking to a damn filthy BLU. A Medic, at that. "James. By the way. Before you vanish."

A moment's pause, and the Medic managed a small, somewhat strained smile, giving the hand in his grasp a light shake. "Gerhard. Ah, kommen Sie, before somevone sees us, ja?" He took a quick look around, just in case, and led the way to the opposite side of the little island. He was going to have to come back later, when it was light, and find out if there was anymore hidden down in the muck. A morbid task, to be sure, but if it shed some light onto what had happened here so long ago... Maybe it would be worth the sleepless nights to come. "Ah, before you go, you shouldt vatch out for dein Medic, Tom. He ist... Not very tolerate."

The salamander smiled back. "I'll keep it in mind Doc." he glanced around; no one would see them in the darkness, but he was a creature of habit. "Be careful out there. There's monsters in the swamp you know!" he joked before slipping into the black waters, leaving behind only ripples and bubbles as he vanished.

Gerhard nodded, waiting until he no longer saw any bubbles before sliding into the water himself, his tentacles easing into the murk with barely a ripple. He took a quick look around before finally ducking his head under the water, and he swept off towards his own base, not even chancing a glance back in case he caught a glimpse of that skull grinning lopsided through the silt.
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