Log Title: Tele-Viper Showdown
Date: July 6, 2007
Summary: A casual chat between Major Bludd and Over Kill is interrupted by unusual noises on the roof. Is it ninjas in the air ducts? Or something else...?
Cobra Base - Medical Services
- First and foremost, this large building serves as Cobra's infirmary. Many examination rooms line the hallways, while several other rooms have been devoted to surgery. Large open rooms with cots are set aside to treat large numbers of wounded if necessary. However, treating the troops is not the only purpose of this facility. The upper floors are dedicated to research laboratories, explaining the presence of a great many Techno-Vipers.
Major Bludd goes to the nurses' station to inquire after Over Kill's condition and disposition. After yesterday's visit, he's hoping the cyborg is a bit less upset today.
The nurse looks up. "Hello, Major. Over Kill has been rather cooperative today. We've got him back on the morphine until the debriding is over at least. He'll be in the ICU for some time... not many people go through A-10 fire and survive, let alone leave the unit in less then a week. You can go see him if you want. He's practicing some exercises with his organic hand, trying to get some motion back. He's on anti-depressants, so he shouldn't be as.. antisocial as yesterday." She calls back. "Over Kill? You have a visitor."
Over Kill is propped up in bed today. His bandages look fresh and he's working with a ball in his left hand. His right arm is bandaged to the stump, and his machine gun hasn't been replaced yet. He smiles upon seeing the Major through his one good eye and waves around his IV and tubes. "Hello, Major." He sounds much calmer. "Sorry about yesterday. They brought the coffee pot in. I can't have any yet. Would you like some?"
"How can I turn down your coffee?" Bludd asks, smiling. "Don't worry about yesterday, lad. It seems like you're feeling better today."
Over Kill smiles. "I'm glad you like it. I've been trying new brews." He smiles. "Much I was kind of freaking out when they took the morphine away. They gave it back since well. My systems need it during the debriding. Better to have it then the other way around. The time alone in here has given me time to contemplate things. Such as the Autobots."
Major Bludd says, "I thought the change in meds was a bad idea. But it's not my job to make those decisions. What's this about the Autobots?"
Major Bludd helps himself to a cup of coffee as he listens to Over Kill's reply.
Over Kill pauses. "When I was on field trying to hijack that truck, the Autobot Brawn was there. He did not attack me to defend the truck, which makes me think that even though the Joes and Autobots are allies he's under orders not to do so. When I was running from the Warthog, I got a radio from Optimus Prime himself."
Bludd pauses, the coffee cup halfway to his lips. "No kidding. What'd he say to you?"
Over Kill pauses. "He said that he wanted me to survive." He says. "He has been watching my project and wants to see it grow. This may sound weird, but I think I have a guardian robot."
Major Bludd laughs. "You could do with one!" He takes a sip of coffee. "It makes things interesting, that's for sure."
Over Kill pauses. "What I wonder is why he's concerned about me. I'm an international terrorist. I'm not exactly the most peaceful of beings.."
Major Bludd says, "Well, the Autobots claim to be protectors of sentient life. They helped us escape Luminous' citadel not long ago. They'll try to stop us completing our operations if we bump into them, but they shouldn't try to kill any of us. Far as I know, it's against their nature."
Over Kill pauses. "Maybe it's becasue they are sentient mechanical life and I'm a human's attempt at sentient mechanical life. As long as something like me grows, the humans are closer to achieving what they are. Maybe they'll only try to stop us if we do something they deem is unethical."
Major Bludd nods. "That's a good observation."
Over Kill considers. "Didn't they take a Over Kill unit home and reprogram it once? Hmm. They seem very interested in stuff like that. They may be interested in doing it again. Then again. They may also be interested in an alliance."
Over Kill rubs his chin. "I wonder though. What the Decepticons would think of such a thing. To them, we seem to be little more then human flies. Though Starscream recently came to me looking to use me to distract the humans. The Cybertronians seem interested in me."
"Starscream's the ultimate opportunist," Bludd frowns. "He's got no scruples at all and he'll use whoever or whatever he can to further his own aims."
Pennington is not actually *in* the Medical Center... she is completing a job on the roof of the building, installing a sat linkup to facilitate the new medical records inventory system. She's been working for a little while, now, and is extremely cheerful; this is JUST the assignment she wanted, and SHE was chosen for it above several other candidates!
As she works, absorbed in her thoughts, she doesn't notice a dark-clad figure emerge from the emergency stairwell and sneak onto the roof.
Over Kill pauses. "I'm not familiar with him. I just wanted a chance to attack the Joes at a time. You know. I'm a rather sad addict. And I'm not talking about the morphine." It pauses. "War is a tricky lover. Sometimes you have to go to odd places to please her."
Bludd smiles. "Interesting way of putting it. Some people would think a 'mere' cyborg couldn't come up with a metaphor like that." He grins at Over Kill over the edge of his coffee cup as he raises it to take another drink. "I know better."
Over Kill blinks "Who said it's a metaphor? Me and combat have been seeing each other a long time. I think we're married."
Major Bludd barely manages to swallow the mouthful of coffee before he bursts out laughing. "She get ya a ring?" he grins.
Over Kill adds "We have lots of kids together. And when I die, she'll be at my side. Yep. Me and war. Been through it all. Naa. She's kinda heartless sometimes." he keeps his face deadpan. "She cheats on you with other people, screws you over and doesn't even give you flowers. But you always come back to her. Because she's your addiction. If that's not love, I don't know what is."
Pennington very carefully attaches several wires to the uplink, and quietly awaits the test signal.
As she's waiting for the test to complete its run, she mentally tunes out, listening to the crickets... the cicadas, the owls...
And someone breathing right behind her.
Pennington quickly turns toward the sound in alarm -- and is slapped, hard. She's knocked away from her project, leaving her wincing, dazed and shocked...trying to figure out what just happened. "...What...??!"
Major Bludd stares at the cyborg for a moment, his brow furrowing. He downs the last of the coffee in his styrofoam cup and crushes it in his fist. "You sure know how to stifle a good mood, Over Kill."
Over Kill tilts his head. "Why does this bother you..?" It pauses a moment, not exactly sure why this point of view would bother the Major. He finds friends in inanimate objects. Why not love in conceptual war? "Ever have the feeling. Something's not right.."
"I've never heard anyone take the concept that far before," says Bludd. "What do you mean, 'not right'? There are a lot of different types of 'not right'. Which one do you mean?"
Meanwhile, up on the roof...
"...This was supposed to be MY project," says a bitter voice, full of black hatred.
Pennington knew that voice. It was George Izumi... Tele-Viper 743. They were often partnered on assignments. Ever since she'd gotten this assignment over him, which was SURE to lead to a chance for a promotion, he had been awfully quiet.
Izumi was incensed. How DARE she. How dare she get this assignment over him! It wasn't fair! HE was more talented, she must have cheated!
"George... why??" Pennington asks, staring at him with wide-eyed bewilderment as she wipes blood off her lip.
"Shut up. You know why," Izumi sneers. "And tonight... you're going to have an 'accident'. Because I didn't come THIS far to come in second."
Over Kill pauses. "The eye of the hurricane moment. We get that on the battlefield sometimes. The BATs and I." Well he does. He just projects it to the BATS. "Usually right before a ninja drops out of an airvent. You think a ninja's going to drop out of an airvent?"
Major Bludd snorts. "They're bastards like that, those damned ninjas."
Over Kill pauses. "Well. I'm not sure if anything's going on. Morphine in heavy dosages can make you really paranoid." Then again around here, ninjas DO pop out of air vents so this line of reasoning isn't too unheard of. "Think we should take a peek outside? Just to be safe?"
Major Bludd says, "Thankfully I haven't had one of those in a while. The last couple times it hit the fan, I knew it was coming."
Major Bludd says, "You can't leave like that, can you? You got a BAT you can use or something?"
"Oh, come on now, don't be like this," Pennington says chidingly. Inside, she's terrified. When she joined up, she had no clue that this org was quite this competitive, but after being in in the ranks for a while, she can see why it is. Tele-Vipers are paid better than civilian electrical engineers -- and the chance for bonuses and promotions are rife.
"I said -- shut up," Izumi says coldly. "Look, just...take what's coming to you, and maybe I'll make it quick."
"You can't *possibly* be serious," Pennington says, edging back from the angry man.
Over Kill pauses. "I could use a BAT, but then I would let this leg win it's argument. You see the doctors told me I might never walk again even with the help of cybernetics. I disagree. I figure if I can move my feet, I can walk. I'm not going to let weak organic systems win this argument."
GAME: Tele-Viper 742 PASSES an AGILITY roll of Average difficulty.
Major Bludd chuckles. "I like your spirit, Over Kill. But if you think a ninja's going to drop from the airvents, you might be too slow in that condition to do anything about it."
Over Kill smiles. "I have a trigger finger. As long as I have that and a gun nearby, I can do anything."
Major Bludd backs away from the bed, extending his arm as if to escort Over Kill. "Be my guest."
Izumi swings viciously at Pennington. The young woman quickly darts out of the way and grabs a screwdriver, weilding it like a weapon.
Izumi laughs nastily, then lunges at her. This time, he tackles the smaller opponent, and she falls backward onto the roof.
Within the building, there's a dull *thump*. Not a really loud sound, but it's still audible.
GAME: Over Kill PASSES an INTELLIGENCE roll of Average difficulty.
GAME: Major Bludd PASSES an INTELLIGENCE roll of High difficulty.
Major Bludd looks upward. "The hell?"
Over Kill leans heavily on the Major. Luckily, without the cybernetic attachments, he's only about five and a half feet in height. His legs are spindly and mostly atrophied from relying on cybernetics most of the time and stick thin. It's almost as if the bones had only recently grown into place. He probaly weighs 120 pounds tops, without the armor on and all of that. Just a fragile little thing. He jumps back a bit, grabbing the bed. "Ninjas. In the vents. I told you. I'm rather small right now. Lift me up there and give me a revolver. I'll get him." he starts unhooking IVs. Is he nuts?
Pennington stabs Izumi in the shoulder blade. It's not a very penetrating stab, however, thanks in large part to the other Tele-Viper's uniform getting in the way. Blood flows from the shallow wound, and it enrages Izumi, who begins slamming Pennington into the roof roughly by her shoulders.
- Thump* *Thump* *Thump* *Thump* Thump*
Major Bludd is surprised at the weight of the cyborg. "You can't go up there, y'bastard!" His demeanor tenses as he hears the sounds from above. "Stay here. I'll check it out."
Over Kill pauses. "I'll give you a boost then." He holds his hand out, shaking badly. He seems ready to crumple right down at any minute. His limbs are not used to his body weight at all, even this tiny amount. "I'll send out a radio to any Vipers in the area."
Izumi's beyond caring, now. His rage has overtaken him in the heat of the moment. He can't allow Pennington to get away alive, especially not at this point. He looks quickly over at the satellite, while Pennington groans incoherently.
"...100,000 volts," he says darkly. "That should be enough to fry you beyond recognition."
Major Bludd shakes his head, setting the cyborg back onto the bed. "I'll take the stairs," he says, disentangling himself from Over Kill and the IVs and dashing for the door.
Over Kill grunts. "Got it. I'll take the vents." He tries to squirm his way up towards them. This is going to be difficult as 1. He's not tall enough to reach them and 2. He's not strong enough to pull himself into position. He messes with the furniture for a few minutes before simply collapsing back to the bed. That's about as much fight as his body allows him.
Major Bludd heads for the emergency stairwell and takes the steps two at a time. He draws his 1911 with his right hand, extending his left arm to slam the door open when he reaches the roof level.
Meanwhile, up on the roof, Izumi drags a wriggling Pennington over to the satellite uplink equipment. "Your rig is a serious piece of shit, you know that?" he sneers. "My plan's a million times better than this. THIS IS MY JOB. MY PROMOTION. You only got it because you're the only woman in the squad." He grabs her by her hair, holding her face close to the wiring. Her eyes are a little bit glassy, but her pupils are focused squarely on the satlink.
Major Bludd bursts onto the roof, his pistol sweeping from left to right with his gaze. He spies the two Tele-Vipers and trains his weapon on them. "Hold it!" he bellows.
Reflexively, upon Major Bludd's arrival, Izumi drops Pennington, who doesn't *quite* crumple into a heap... she's semi-conscious, but not altogether with it after getting headslammed so many times in a row.
"What in hell is going on here?" Bludd shouts, taking a few long strides toward Izumi and Pennington, his weapon, held out at arms' length in both hands, aimed at the pair of them.
Izumi thinks quickly. This could work very much to his advantage, at least in his estimation. "Sir, she was being argumentative with me, and I was just trying to do my job," he insists. "I think she's been drinking or something."
Pennington stands there, weaving in a nearly drunken fashion. "Unnnhhh... Liar," she grumbles sullenly.
Major Bludd clutches his pistol in one hand, keying his radio with the other and muttering into it. "Step away, boy," he growls.
<Cobra (IC)> Major Bludd says, "Security to Med Building, rooftop, on the double. I need medical personnel up here also, ASAP."
Izumi complies quietly, but his mind is ever-active, trying to work this situation to his advantage somehow. Ruthlessness has gotten him this far, after all!
Pennington sniffles, trying clumsily to get her helmet off. She can't quite seem to complete this simple task. "George lies so bad," she mutters darkly.
A trio of blueshirts burst onto the rooftop, weapons at the ready. Bludd points to Izumi. "Take him into custody," he instructs.
"What about the other one?" one of the troopers asks.
"She's in need of medical attention," mutters Bludd. "I'll keep an eye on her until the medicos arrive, which should, I hope, be very shortly."
"What's this about?? There's been some mistake!" Izumi protests, as the blue shirts lead him away. "She attacked *me*! Look, I've been stabbed!"
Pennington makes some pained faces, but otherwise doesn't say anything. After a moment, it becomes clear why -- she's been wiggling a loose bottom tooth with her tounge. Wincing, she pulls it out, and spits off the roof. "What a lying sack," she whimpers.
"All I see is a pair of Tele-Vipers fighting instead of working," Bludd says evenly, waving the troops and Izumi away with a hand. "Take him downstairs and get him fixed up, then let him sit in the cooler overnight," he says to the third trooper.
As Izumi is led away, a pair of medical techs come up the stairs. Bludd looks to the second Tele-Viper. "You're not going to give me any trouble, are you?" If there's only one female Tele-Viper in the compound, Bludd's not giving any signs he knows it, or recognises Pennington.
"No," Pennington answers quietly.
Major Bludd steps aside and lets the medical techs check the Tele-Viper over. As they lead her back into the building, Bludd follows, returning his sidearm to its normal place on his hip.
Pennington is led back to an exam room, where the med-techs place her on a table and pull off her helmet.
Thankfully, her head injuries aren't particularly bad because she had her helmet on, but she's definitely been roughed up. Her bottom lip is swollen, and she has extensive bruising on her face and neck.
"How did you get a concussion, do you remember??" asks one of the med techs as he shines a light in her eyes.
"Uhh... no," Pennington says, looking confused. "...Wait, he punched me in the face." She seems unsure.
Major Bludd doesn't follow Pennington or the techs into the exam room. He posts a blueshirt outside the door, though. "When they're finished, provided she doesn't need to stay here for observation or anything," he directs quietly, "take her to the cooler for the night too. Just make sure they're in separate cells." The trooper nods his understanding, saluting. Bludd returns the salute, then strides off down the hall.
"Yes sir," answers the medic.
As it turns out, Pennington is hurting, but is well enough to release to the holding cells. They give her some pain medication and a neck brace, then escort her down to the brig. Pennington is compliant, in a dazed and oblivious sort of way. She probably isn't even much aware of where they're taking her.
(Later, in the brig...)
Pennington sits in a cell in lockup, curled up in a ball and sitting propped up against the wall. She's very quiet, but she isn't sleeping.
Major Bludd walks slowly down the corridor between the cells, hoping the female Tele-Viper he sent down here *isn't* Pennington. There's a niggling thought in the back of his head, though. *Are* there any other female Tele-Vipers on this base? He goes through so much personnel paperwork he doesn't keep track of such things. They don't matter to him. Gender, race, religion, orientation ... they're labels that just get in the way of soldiers being soldiers. So he ignores them. Not all his troops see things the way he does, however. He wonders what caused the conflict between the two this evening.
There actually are a few more female Tele-Vipers, but none in Colombia. They number in the handful and are stationed in various other places around the world. They just happen to be a rarity, due to comparatively few women majoring in the field.
As Pennington spots the Major, she slowly moves to stand.
Major Bludd turns his head and his gaze falls on Pennington. He waves away the nearby guard, only letting his shoulders fall when he's down the end of the corridor. "Pennington." It's not the usual greeting, with a rise in pitch at the end of the name, but a disappointed sigh.
Pennington looks toward Bludd in a sort of a strange way. She doesn't by any means look ashamed of herself. "Yes sir?" she asks, standing there with all the dignity she can muster with the neck brace on.
"I was hoping I wouldn't find *you* here," Bludd says quietly, "but I had to check." He looks at the neck brace, frowning.
"I can explain, of course, but the burden of proof is on me and not Izumi," Pennington says unhappily, in a very quiet tone to match his. "I'm sorry you had to see that. But just the same, I'm glad you showed up when you did."
Major Bludd holds up a hand. "The explanation will have to wait until the official inquiry, which will be ... as soon as I can schedule it. You'll be free to go in the morning, as will ... Izumi." He glances up and down the corridor before leaning an arm against the bars and peering in meaningfully at the Tele-Viper. "I'm very glad I was there," he says. "I couldn't see what he was intending to do to you, but it can't have been good."
"It absolutely wasn't," Pennington admits. Then, for the first time in what's been a very miserable evening for her, she manages a weary little smile. "...Thank you again."
Major Bludd smiles in response, reaching a couple fingers in through the bars toward her. "D'you think he'll go for you again once you're both out?" he asks, his smile fading into a concerned look.
Pennington steps closer to the bars and touches his fingers. "Probably. He has a hard grudge," she admits. "Maybe not immediately, but eventually, I think so."
Major Bludd gently grips her fingers with his own. "I'll try to get you both in for questioning as soon as I can," he nods. "The sooner I hear both sides of the story, the sooner I can decide what's to be done about it. Keep your BAT handy, in the meantime. Just in case."
"I will," she promises, her heart pounding as she gazes through the bars at him. She wishes so much to be out of this terrible place and to just return home with him, but she knows why she needs to remain here. That damned Izumi!
He slowly pulls his fingers back out from between the bars. "I can't stay. It would look odd." He favors her with a sympathetic look. "I'm sorry about this," Bludd murmurs, "but I have to treat everyone equally."
"It's alright, I understand," Pennington insists. Suddenly, she gasps, and moves closer to the bars to impart something to him with urgency. "...The helmet, please, if you can... get the helmet. In the exam room back in medical," she whispers. "I nearly forgot... but if he gets ahold of it, all bets are off... it's my proof at the inquest."
Bludd nods. "I'll chase it down. He can't get hold of anything right now, don't worry. I'll have someone drop it off with your roommate, alright?"
"Thank you so much," Pennington says, smiling. Her formerly flawless smile now has a tiny little gap, on the bottom where her tooth came out. "I'm pretty sure some of the equipment within the goggles captured some of what went on. So that's something. Listen... no matter how this turns out... thanks for believing me."
He presses his lips together tightly, nodding again. "I'll see the situation is handled fairly." He flicks a glance down the corridor at the guard, who's hesitantly moving toward him. "I have to go," he whispers. "Hang in there." He moves off toward the guard, motioning him back to his post.
"Okay," Pennington whispers, backing off from the bars before the guard comes, and giving him a warm smile. Safe in the knowledge that the truth was going to set her free in the end, she felt much better about her predicament.