Maddox, Madeline. Daisy.

Please see your Student Adviser.


[18:23] <@LipstickThespian> "Do you prefer Madeline, or Maddox?" Levi asked the small brown girl as she let her into the office. Office being a nice way to describe an unused room in the Library basement that Levi had decided to call her own. Small research budgets meant you do what you can, which meant that the room was still half archives. The other half was a few mismatched desks filled with papers.
[18:23] <@LipstickThespian> Over to the side was one that was relatively empty, with two chairs by it that Levi was motioning to. In the middle of the room was the important part. An old schooldesk and chair, sitting in the middle of a large occult pentagram burned into the floor. Levi herself was a short woman, with midlength brown hair and green eyes. Wearing simple research assistant garb.
[18:25] <@Nemi> Madeline, of course, was confused to be called here after so long out of such duties. And this wasn't Pomeline, either. The cramped confines and occult accessory had the tiny girl on edge as she moves over to follow Levi's direction and sit. ".. I um, I prefer Madeline, thanks.. So um." She looks around, big-eyed and worried. "I um, I don't have to kill anyone here, do I?"
[18:29] <@LipstickThespian> "Well Madeline, I'm going to have you sign some forms before we begin. Is that alright?" Levi sits down in the chair and she shifts, and then thinks about it. "I can't answer that question conclusively. Nothing in this project will force you to kill. No. You may feel the need to kill to protect yourself or others."
[18:33] <@Nemi> ".. okay, I um, forms? Sure- and um.. Okay, okay, no- obligations to kill people okay that's.. Thaaat's like, that's fine."
[18:33] <@Nemi> Madeline gulps air a moment.
[18:34] <@LipstickThespian> Levi picks up a tablet and turns it to face Madeline. On it were a few electronic forms to flip through and sign. She offered him a stylus to do so. First form was simple, a release from the school grounds for the duration of the events, field trip style. The next few talk about legality, how the school isn't held liable if things happen. From personal injuries to end of the
[18:34] <@LipstickThespian> world scenarios. The final form is an agreement to take part in the Outreach Program for the entire duration of the work.
[18:35] <@Nemi> Madeline stares at the forms, not really reading them, just signing them and making an effort to try to understand things she doesn't know context to. Madeline Maddox, Madeline Maddox, Madeline Maddox, done.
[18:38] <@LipstickThespian> "Alright," Levi says as she straightens. "So, the concept is this. You'll be going to the otherside of the Shade for this. The otherside is different in each journey, so I can't tell you what to expect. But from the reports we have read, most people find themselves in a position to save someone or multiple other people. That's your purpose. Alright?"
[18:40] <@Nemi> ".. saving people? I um- okay! I can do that! I um, I'd really be happy to do that I mean!" Madeline perks right up and starts nodding eagerly. Doing good things, with purpose! That's something she can get behind.
[18:43] <@LipstickThespian> "Alright," Levi walks over to the edge of the circle and stops there, very pointedly. Motioning to the seat and desk. "You'll need to sit there, and get the flower out of the desk. Then we'll begin." Inside the desk is a stone daisy.
[18:44] <@Nemi> ".. okay." Madeline stutter-steps and finds herself sitting at the seat before she ever opens the desk. The little stone daisy is held delicately between two fingers- she holds it up, peering at it, then to Levi, inquisitive and bemused. "Now what?"
[18:46] <@LipstickThespian> "I'll need you to tell me, concisely and slowly, about your last nightmare." Levi kneels down on the edge of the circle and places her hands on the burned edges. Then, she begins to chant slowly under her breath in a dead language.
[18:49] <@Nemi> "The.. last one? I have, um, a lot of them. I um- I don't know how much you read about my um, profile but like, a lot of- I mean, this latest one, like, it was me but I was just wearing a mask of me because I was actually some kind of.. awful horrible deceiver thing and like, I was in class and then Kat leaned over and just pulled the mask right off and /everyone knew/ and I just like.. I woke up crying."
[18:55] <@LipstickThespian> As Madeline talks, the world starts to shift. First it blurs, and then it fades, and then it blinks away. As she gets to the end, and it is a long drawn out procress, the world finally opens back up again. Only, she isn't where she was. It's bright, very bright, and then her eyes flutter open. The window next to her is cracked slightly, and letting in bright rays of sunlight
[18:55] <@LipstickThespian> through sheer curtains. Under the window is a small table with a vase full of daises soaking up the sun. On the opposite side of the room is a television up in the corner as well as a pair of seats and a handrail. To her right there's a curtain drawn to shield the other half of the room from her. Looking down, she notices the bed, and the IV lines in her arm. This is a
[18:55] <@LipstickThespian> hospital, somewhere in the First World, and the sound sounds of the machines attached to her chest and her body are the only thing noticeable besides the radio beside her playing a very simple classical song. Bach, probably.
[18:58] <@Nemi> It happened gradually, but fast enough Madeline, distracted by her own retelling, hardly realized the transition until it happened. Hospital. Why hospital? In a rising panic, she looks from the daisies down to her arm, hoping and praying it's still brown, that this wasn't some sort of.. That her entire time at Sunnybrook and the Sanctum wasn't some kind of coma delusion or worse. Even with Levi's reassurance her thoughts still spun to the worst.
[19:01] <@LipstickThespian> She's still brown, she's still Madeline. With her cute button nose and her goofy grin, and very dry mouth. It seems she's been asleep for a while, luckily she's hydrated from the IV in her arm. Really, there's more than enough wires attached to her to keep her alive and well. She can be thankful for that much, right? Still, she's laying there, as Madeline. In a Hospital she
[19:01] <@LipstickThespian> doesn't know how she ended up in. A side table on her right with a paging button, a radio playing Bach, a stack of letters, and a cellphone.
[19:03] <@Nemi> Maybe /everything/ was a coma dream, even the bad parts. Madeline half-shuts her eyes and tries to reach for the letters and the phone, just the automatic reaction she always has when waking up. Time to see what she missed. Her mouth tastes like cotton and smells like death and she's frankly terrified, hooked into beeping machines and IV drips, but at the least habits die hard.
[19:05] <@LipstickThespian> The phone and letters are picked up, seems the phone was off. The screen is a little cracked on the edge but it seems servicable. There's three letters in all, tucked into white envelopes. At least they've been bathing her, and she can be happy knowing that she's in a hospital that seems to know how to deal with long term care. Only, no water nearby, she'll have to deal with
[19:05] <@LipstickThespian> cotton mouth.
[19:07] <@Nemi> That's a horrible feeling to have. The phone- she'll power it on, if she can, and then go through the letters while it boots, moving slowly and carefully as to not jostle the IV lines or wires any more than absolutely necessary. If the letters have return addresses, they get careful looks before she tears them open with what strength she's got left. There's still the panic, of course, but at least it's starting to die down as she's in the body she's most used to.
[19:10] <@LipstickThespian> Loading, loading. Oh, good, it's an Android Phone. Boot sequences are really fun to wait through. It's going to be a while. The letters, there's three. One with 'Get Well.' One with 'Wishing you Well.' And one with 'Praying for You.' Which will she read first? No return addresses, and nothing written on the envelopes or outsides. Store bought letters.
[19:11] <@Nemi> That's so weirdly generic. But Madeline was used to having few friends and fewer family. At least she can start with the simple 'Get Well'. Anything to bide time for the phone to boot and to distract her from how horrible she felt.
[19:13] <@LipstickThespian> 'Get Well.' "Emily, your Mother and I are wishing you the best. We're sorry we can't fly out there for another month. Money is tight. We hope you're keeping spirits up. If you need us. Call us. Love, Daddy."
[19:14] <@Nemi> Emily? Everything else about the letter rang true- the money being tight, needing to fly, everything like that- but not the name. Emily.. Madeline carefully sits that card up on the bedside table, moving slowly to again keep herself from tugging things, and tries 'Wishing You Well'. Ugh, why do Android phones take forever?
[19:17] <@LipstickThespian> 'Wishing you Well' "Em, it's been ages, but I call you everyday. So does it really matter if I'm late sending a card! Joking, silly. Anyway, I'm hoping to be down this next month. Hope you'll be out of the bed by then, I have so much I want to do with you! XOXO Caroline"
[19:18] <@LipstickThespian> Android phones, always taking as long as the plot decides.
[19:19] <@Nemi> Caroline. Madeline didn't know a Caroline. And the disturbing thought occurs to her that she really WAS some girl named Emily, and- amnesia? Intense dreaming where she conjured a whole fantasy world for herself? It's with trembling fingers that Madeline opens the 'Praying for You' card. So selfish, assuming it's always about her.
[19:22] <@LipstickThespian> 'Praying for You.' "Emily, everyone at Church is holding out hope for you! You're our favorite young athlete, and we know you'll be back on the track soon. Know that the whole community is praying for your safe return. - Father Tobias"
[19:23] <@LipstickThespian> Oh hey, Phone's on. Two new texts, one missed call.
[19:24] <@Nemi> So a track star, a Church congregant, with people who really love and miss her. This Emily.. Madeline wonders as she takes the phone in hand. She leaves the letters just resting on her abdomen. Time to check the texts, see who they're from, then the call.
[19:26] <@LipstickThespian> Text, Caroline: <miss you!! guess who totally pawned your stupid promise ring while you were gone to pay for a plane ticket to visit you. kidding!!> Text, Mom: <Stay strong, sweetie. We talked to your Aunt Deb and she's going to be helping us with your bills. Don't you worry.> Missed Call, Unknown Number: Voice Message Waiting.
[19:28] <@Nemi> Madeline clamps her eyes shut. She didn't know a Caroline, but this girl /cared/, and in a- best friend kind of way. And Mom- everything rang true to the Mom Madeline knew. Even down to needing help from her aunt. Because it always has to be about you, Madeline. Or Emily. Whoever you are. With a trembling hand, Madeline brings up the voicemail.
[19:33] <@LipstickThespian> The Voicemail loads and it's mostly dead air, it sounds like a bit of static. Like someone accidently dialed her and let it record for a while. Only, there isn't the shuffling of someone moving. There is, however, a soft sobbing on the otherend. Before the voice becomes audible, far off in the distance of the call, the door to the room opens and someone walks in. Checking first
[19:33] <@LipstickThespian> on the other bed's occupant with a quick glance, and then they come around the curtain standing in front of Madeline. A man in a white doctor's coat, with a clipboard. Salt and pepper hair, a bit of a stomach, and a pair of reading glasses perched on the tip of his nose. "You're up," he says in a nice old man sort of way as he walks to check the machines.
[19:36] <@Nemi> That was strange. Uncomfortable. Madeline pauses the playback with a motion of the thumb and slumps back into the bed. She peers at the doctor, big-eyed. ".. I.. Yes, I am, I- think..? What happened?"
[19:39] <@LipstickThespian> "Well," the Doctor straightened and hit the pager button to get a nurse called. Standing by the bed as he set his clipboard down and grabbed the chart. "Emily," he says as he reads it, "you're currently in Mercy Hospital undergoing treatment. Don't worry, you're in good hands, and your Family and Friends know where you are. As you can see by the cards."
[19:41] <@Nemi> ".. treatment for what? What happened to me? .. how long was I..?" Never sure of herself, never good at speeches, Madeline's almost already completely forgotten that she's past the Shade, on an outing to 'help' with Levi's blessing.
[19:46] <@LipstickThespian> "I'm going to need you to be calm when I tell you this, Emily." The Doctor says as he lowers the chart and walks over next to her. "Can you do that for me?" He glances over to the machines monitoring her, and then back to her.
[19:47] <@Nemi> ".. okay. I can try. I'll- try." Madeline watches him, intent as she can with the weight of all the machinery and tubes and discomfort weighing on her.
[19:51] <@LipstickThespian> "There was an incident," The Doctor says to begin. "As a result, you were brought here for treatment. The injuries you sustained included damage to your head," as he says this Madeline feels the tightness of the bandages wrapped around her forehead and pushing down her long brown hair, as well as a missing patch of hair where it was shaved off. "Which has resulted in you losing
[19:51] <@LipstickThespian> some of your long term memory and having difficulty with your short term. As well as some other effects, dreams happening that you perceive to have been your reality. Replacing the memories you lost."
[19:54] <@Nemi> "I.. I see.. when did this happen- what happened?" The girl in the bed can't let that question go. And by her look of horror, the doctor's words only serve to reinforce what she suspected and feared from the start. Her heart monitor would indicate elevated heart rate.
[19:55] <@LipstickThespian> "The incident occured about four months ago. As for the details," The Doctor lets off a heavy sigh. "I can't go into those right now. You'll need to talk to the Detective assigned to the case. Unfortunately, he's out of town right now. Sorry to say." He looks down at the chart and glances over it. "Are you alright, Emily? Do you need something to help calm you down?"
[19:58] <@Nemi> ".. n-nno, I, I think.. I just need to be alone now. Please?" The girl who might be Emily's adopted a hollow look- could everything really have just been a dream? Everything between her and Katlyn, the Stoner Crew, Austin and Zita and everyone..? And if she remembered nothing else, then- who even /was/ she? At least there was still that mysterious phone message, paused right before words were said. Maybe that would set her right.
[20:00] <@LipstickThespian> "Alright," The Doctor says as he nods his head and sets the clipboard down. "A nurse will be in to check on you, make sure you're moved and your muscles are taken care of. She's new in the building, so give her a warm welcome for me, alright Emily?" He reaches over and pats her on the arm, then turns and heads out of the room. Leaving the door open.
[20:00] <@LipstickThespian> New Text Message.
[20:00] <@LipstickThespian> New Text Message.
[20:00] <@LipstickThespian> New Text Message.
[20:01] <@Nemi> ".. okay.. Okay, thank you.." 'Madeline' glances to the phone and quickly checks the messages. That voicemail was tantalizing in its eeriness, but maybe it'd answer something..?
[20:04] <@LipstickThespian> Caroline, Text: "guess who just got their first lesson in drivers ed done. this girl!!!" Mom, Text: "Daddy says he's going to try and drive up this week to talk to the Hospital for you. See about moving you to a new wing. Stay strong. Unknown Number, Text: "Be careful who you talk to, you fucking bitch. Remember, you're never safe."
[20:07] <@Nemi> The first text is a little heartening. The second even moreso. The third? Utter terror. Connections come together- why a detective was involved, the ominous feeling weighing heavily upon the girl. And now, with a trembling hand, does she finally reach to resume the playback on the voicemail with all its sobbing and distant static.
[20:09] <@LipstickThespian> Static, silence, it's going for a long time until it becomes more apparently what's happening. The sound of blunt objects meeting flesh. Crying muffled by a rag shoved deeply. Then there's the small laugh, the little laugh from someone depraved. Like this is the peak of entertainment, but it needs to be respected. It ends with a piercing muffled cry. There's footsteps coming
[20:09] <@LipstickThespian> from the hall.
[20:11] <@Nemi> And that's even worse. Casual brutality and self-serving cruelty. Madeline sets the phone aside, not wanting to reply to people she doesn't know as someone she can't say for sure she's not. They'd understand. She lets her gaze flit to the door. If she were to rise, would she be able to, or are there simply too many IV feeds and monitor cables? Nevermind the head injury and God knows what else ailing her. Four months' muscle atrophy and all else.
[20:11] <@LipstickThespian> New Text Message.
[20:12] <@LipstickThespian> New Text Message.
[20:12] <@LipstickThespian> New Text Message.
[20:12] <@Nemi> At least Madeline can look at the texts while whoeveritis approaches. It might help sate the terror building in her gut.
[20:13] <@Nemi> Or make it worse. Either or.
[20:14] <@LipstickThespian> Walkign from past the curtain comes a woman in nurse's garb. White dress, white tights, very modernized but no where near scrubs. Even a little white cap, it's either not a real nurse or the Hospital is a little odd. As she lifts her phone, the powering down logo comes up. Seems it wasn't charged, she didn't notice how low the battery was. Looking up from the phone, she sees
[20:14] <@LipstickThespian> the nurse. Levi. Complete with hair in a bun and a small basket under her arm with materials to help the bedridden girl out. "I was told you were up," she says with a smile as she comes over.
[20:15] <@Nemi> "My phone ran out of battery," whines the girl who might be Emily. Levi. What's Levi doing here- unless.. No, new nurse. Maybe Levi helped Emily wake up? And that's why she remembered her..? The girl on the bed exhales and nods her head. "Y-yeah, yeah.. I feel horrible."
[20:19] <@LipstickThespian> Levi frowns and then laughs a little, going over to the side table to pick up the charging cable that fell to the floor. "Let's get it plugged in then. You really should do that before you go to sleep, Emily." She hums a little as she sets the basket down. "Is there anything I can do to help you? Don't worry, we're doing excercise, so don't beg me for it!" She laughs, either
[20:19] <@LipstickThespian> Emily doesn't like excercise or she doesn't.
[20:21] <@Nemi> Well, Madeline loved exercise, so she can only assume that track-star Emily did too. "I knooow.. and, I don't know, I kind of want to.." Want to what? Talk to the detective? He's out of town. Trace the number that left that ominous text? Can't do that with an unpowered phone. Just to see if she can, though, Emily's going to try to see if she can't just gently adjust her perspective, to look out the door without actually leaving her little ward room area. ".. what kind of exercise? I don't remember anything."
[20:24] <@LipstickThespian> "We're going to work on your muscles to make sure they don't lose their strength from sitting here everyday." Levi says as she reaches up and pulls the bedding down off of Madeline gently. Perspective shifting? She'd have to get up and walk over to look out of the room, wouldn't she? For now, there's just the curtain in the way. She can't see the hallway. As Levi pulls down
[20:24] <@LipstickThespian> the blankets something is different. Madeline's dressing gown is askew a bit, more so than simple sleeping would cause. Exposing some of her midsection. Levi is quick to adjust it, "tossing and turning again?"
[20:27] <@Nemi> She'd have to get up, then. So it was just a dream after all. The girl whimpers a little as she realizes how much of her was exposed, and why. ".. I don't know- everything's so sore, I don't- I don't /think/ I roll around much..? Do I..?" Not safe anywhere. Not in her sleep. The thought that she'd been violated without her memory makes Emily cringe and shake in place. ".. okay.. okay- muscles, how're we doing that?" She forces the words out, as to not think of what might have happened.
[20:30] <@LipstickThespian> "It's alright to feel sore, you've been laying down for a while Emily." Levi reaches over and puts a hand on Emily's arm as she starts to cringe and shake. It took a careful hand to care for people like Emily. "I'm going to sit you up now, alright?" She slips an arm behind Madeline and tugs her up. Sitting her up, causing some pain to shoot through Madeline's midsection as
[20:30] <@LipstickThespian> she realizes there's no weight to her chest. What chest she had is downsized to flat. The dressing gown is loose. "Did you have a bad dream again?" She asks her as she starts to move Madeline's arm for her in practiced stretches. Carefully, not to make her more sore.
[20:33] <@Nemi> "Nn- ah!" Madeline's face screws up with the sudden pain. How much weight did she /lose/? How much of her is even left? She feels so weak, and without any powers.. Just helpless. "I- did. I think? It- there was a lot bad but it wasn't THAT bad, I went to this school in Canada and everyone had like, superpowers and- /oowww/- I tried to help people and, and someone looked just like you sent me to help or.. I don't remember." Madeline's short-term memory was always a little hazy, especially tempered by stress and discomfort as it was.
[20:35] <@LipstickThespian> Madeline is thin, more so than she used to be. But luckily they've been keeping her hooked up and fed as best they can, so she's at a stable weight. Not underweight anymore. Levi works with her arms slowly and carefully, then up to her shoulders and her neck, making sure to massage the muscles and keep them moving. "Really," she says as she listens with a small laugh.
[20:35] <@LipstickThespian> "Superpowers, what was your superpower? And I was in it? Was Doctor Traeger? Or Jacquie?" She has a few questions, it sounds like a fun dream at least.
[20:37] <@Nemi> "I- I could like, go into people's dreams and .. It was really cool. But I ws also a boy for a while too and that was- really awful, but like, I was on a basketball team too and.. it's so weird, you know? And um- yeah! You were there! You were like- /ow/" She cringes at the neck and shoulder contact. ".. you worked in the library. I don't- I don't remember who Doctor Traeger and Jacquie are.."
[20:43] <@LipstickThespian> "That sounds really cool," Levi says in the way an adult tells a child their drawing is really cool. Then hangs on the fridge to forget about until later. "Well you sound like you lived a very full life since I talked to you last afternoon, Emily. You've got a very active mind," she pauses and nods her head. Then moves over to start on Madeline's side muscles, moving the gown
[20:43] <@LipstickThespian> a bit and making sure to move around carefully. The bandages wrapped around her midsection seemed to cover a lot of area. "It's alright, Doctor Traeger and Nurse Jacquie are the the night shift in the ward. You'll meet them again today."
[20:43] <@LipstickThespian> Phone turned on again, must have gotten enough charge.
[20:46] <@Nemi> "Oh.. I mean, it's just a dream, I guess. I had a girlfriend and everything," Madeline giggles out. ".. oh- I got some tex- /oww/! What happened- why'm I so bandaged up?" She fumbles for the phone to check the missed messages, reaching up and past Levi to do so. Even after being shot and stabbed here and there, Madeline can't remember feeling this terrible.
[20:49] <@LipstickThespian> "A girlfriend?" Levi raises an eyebrow and tilts her head. "Well, it really was a crazy world wasn't it." She then frowns and reaches over, patting Madeline on the head and then grabbing the phone from her. "You know I can't tell you why you're here. And no checking your phone while you're with me. Okay?" She set the phone back down and then moved down to Madeline's hips. They
[20:49] <@LipstickThespian> were sore, she didn't sit up much. By now, Levi had layed her back down on the pillow. The pain shoots through her as she's bent, but it's dull and in the background.
[20:51] <@Nemi> "I know, I know, the doctor said you coul- okay- /owwwwughh/." Madeline nearly cries this time, dull as the pain might be, but when so much has been building up- and the realization, the worry, that everything she thought was her life was a lie on top of whatever's happening to her /here/- it's really no wonder there's tears in her eyes. She slumps against the pillow, clamping her eyes shut. ".. I'm sorry, I didn't know, I don't /remember/."
[20:54] <@LipstickThespian> Levi watches her to make sure she doesn't cry, if so there's tissues on the beside. It isn't going to stop the work, but they can always take a break. She moves over and gives Madeline a warm smile. "It's alright sweetie, you don't need to get worked up. You're safe, and you're cared for by the Staff, and your Family keeps sending you well wishes. So you have a lot to be cheerful
[20:54] <@LipstickThespian> about. So turn that frown upside down for me, alright?" Smiling at Madeline, she waits to see if she's calm before moving on.
[20:55] <@Nemi> The girl just whimpers at first. After a few more moments, she opens her eyes and manages a sort of half-nod, just bobbing her chin to her collarbone. ".. I know, I know, I'm sorry, it's- thanks." And she manages a smile, too. It's small, but it's something.
[20:55] <@Nemi> The Girl misses being Madeline.
[20:59] <@LipstickThespian> "Alright," Levi says as she move The Girl's arms to the side and slides down the bed. "Do you like the flowers? They're really looking pretty today, don't you think?" She motions over to the ones on the table by the window. "They kind of remind me of you." Pulling down the bedding she reveals The Girl's legs, wrapped here and there in bandages. She lifts the left leg and starts
[20:59] <@LipstickThespian> to massage the muscles as she looks at the flowers. The Girl feels nothing. There's no feeling with the lifting, with the massaging. There's no feeling in her leg. There's no feeling in her legs. The Girl feels nothing in her legs.
[21:00] <@Nemi> The Girl swivels her head to the flowers as directed. "Oh, they're- yeah! They're really nice, I like daisies. I always did- something about how.. They're simple, but they look really nice and they can kind of just- go through anything? Or like, that's what it feels.." Her eyes open wide at the realization. ".. m-my legs. My legs- I can't feel my legs what happened /I can't feel my legs/!"
[21:02] <@LipstickThespian> "Oh," Levi's eyes grow wide as she realizes what's happened. Like she's misstepped and done something incorrectly. "Emily, I'm so sorry, I thought the Doctor told you." She lays the leg down and moves up, setting a hand on The Girl's shoulder. "Breath, okay? Deep breaths, you need to focus on your breathing right now." Her eyes dart up to the machines as they start to chirp
[21:02] <@LipstickThespian> . "Emily, breath. You need to calm down."
[21:05] <@Nemi> "No- no he- he didn't what /happened what happened to me?/" The Girl's panicking all over again, this time with even greater terror. Muscle atrophy, .. violation, or whatever else, those- might be overtaken with time. But not paralysis. Thoughts of staying calm and breathing are far from her mind. In their place? Nothing but horror. The knowledge that everything Madeline- Emily- had valued and worked for in the future was gone. Just a crippled husk.
[21:10] <@LipstickThespian> "Emily you need to calm down," Levi reaches over and hits a red button on the wall. A small tone plays in repeat as the button flashes. She places a hand firmly on Emily's shoulder and another on her hip. "Breath, you need to breath. Focus on yo-" she looks up and calls out to the hallway in a loud scream. "Crash cart!" Then turns back to Emily with focus in her eyes. "In,
[21:10] <@LipstickThespian> and out, in and out. Stay with me, okay?" There's something else in all that noise as a cart is rushed into the room with two other nurses who seem to be working quickly. Her phone is ringing on the table, that song. She remembers the song she chose for her ringtone, what was it again?
[21:13] <@Nemi> It was something stupid, something silly and pop-y, and except from DNCE's Cake By The Ocean. It was always something she dreamed of actually having with.. With.. Madeline with Kat, maybe. Actual cake, by an actual ocean, not silly metaphors. But The Girl continues to sob, despite Levi's best attempts to calm her. A new horror every moment this morning, it seemed. "No-nononono why why why'd this happen why won't anyone /tell me/ what /happened/ to me?"
[21:15] <@LipstickThespian> That old pop song? It really was popular with girls like her who didn't understand the meaning. Emily was grabbed by one of the other nurses as the third moved to the IV with a syringe. Placing it into the line and pumping the sedative in and making sure to increase the drip. "Shhhh, shhh Emily." Levi said as she brushed a hand along Emily's face and looked down at her, "it's
[21:15] <@LipstickThespian> going to be okay. Don't worry, it's going to be okay." Her eyelids start to feel heavy and the pain fades away, as she starts to slip out of conciousness.
[21:16] <@Nemi> And so Emily slipped away, frail and withered by time and crippled by heavens-know what else. ".. I don't- I don't want to /forget/- she manages a cracked whisper as the dreamless anesthetic sleep sets in.
[21:19] <@LipstickThespian> Her eyelids are heavy, but they do open again. It's dark, very dark, and then her eyes flutter open. The window next to her is cracked slightly, and letting in soft moonlight through sheer curtains. Under the window is a small table with a vase full of daises sleeping in the night. On the opposite side of the room is a television up in the corner as well, a cart with some
[21:19] <@LipstickThespian> medical implements on it, and a handrail. To her right there's a curtain drawn to shield the other half of the room from her. Looking down, she notices the bed, and the IV lines in her arm. This is a hospital, somewhere in the First World, and thesounds of the machines attached to her chest and her body are the only thing noticeable besides the radio beside her playing a very
[21:19] <@LipstickThespian> simple classical song. Bach, she's heard it before..
[21:20] <@Nemi> Here again. The Girl didn't go back to her nice dream of a supernatural world with all its little happy things and little petty sorrows. She was still trapped here. But at least this time she wasn't completely panicked. She was alone. The Girl reaches for her phone- surely there were more messages left behind. More taunts toward a life she didn't even remember.
[21:21] <@LipstickThespian> The phone was charged this time. No new voice messages, but there's four text messages.
[21:21] <@LipstickThespian> And an email.
[21:22] <@Nemi> Well. The Girl's not going anywhere anytime soon. Might as well check the messages. Texts first, then the email.
[21:25] <@LipstickThespian> Caroline, Text. "your phone was dead. but i did try calling you!! ill hit you up tommorow. answer this time. its been like three days!!" Mom, Text. "Sorry sweetie, his flight was cancelled. He's going to try and get down there soon but please don't feel too afraid to talk to the staff about moving yourself." James, Text. "Em, it's been a while, but I just wanted you to know
[21:25] <@LipstickThespian> that everyone in the class supports you. No matter what the Preacher says, alright? You're still our Emily." 18005550088, Text. "Are you okay?"
[21:28] <@LipstickThespian> Email, from moc.xineohpfonoinucws|tlohsemaj#moc.xineohpfonoinucws|tlohsemaj "Mr or Ms Emily Williams. I am contacting you to inform you that your recent claim submission for psychological treatment has been died due to it not being covered by your Health and Lifestyle Account. Please note, you can talk to an agent anytime about upgrading your coverage, or pay out of pocket for this expense. Please see attached
[21:28] <@LipstickThespian> documents for further details, and thank you for choosing us as your insurance agents."
[21:30] <@Nemi> The Girl at least has presence of mind to try to reply this time, to not just leave these strangers who must be so important to her hanging. To Caroline, 'I know I'm sorry :( Im having some head issues here call me lunchtime ok? ill try to remind myself'. To Mom, "Thats okay ill ask thanks mom. Ill look forward to seeing him'. To James, 'I know. Ty so much. Miss you all'. To the number without a name? 'I dont know.' The email just gets a groan of frustration. Already, now that the fantasy world she loved so much was gone it's just petty frustrations, where companies and agencies are screwing her on technicalities.
[21:30] <@Nemi> But at least she made some replies. It's all one can ask this late at night.
[21:32] <@LipstickThespian> New Text Message
[21:32] <@LipstickThespian> New Text Message
[21:32] <@LipstickThespian> N͡ew ̡T́e̡x̶t Mess̶age̷
[21:33] <@LipstickThespian> Ńé̴w ҉T̸̵͜e̶̶͢xt̶̢ ̸M̷̡͠ès̸̀s͝a̢͞g͝e̕
[21:33] <@Nemi> Who's texting this much this late? Aside from her. Oh- great, and her phone's screwing up.. The Girl checks each message in turn.
[21:33] <@LipstickThespian> Ņ̵̕͢͜e̸̷̴̢̨ẁ̛̀ ̛͟T̷͢͡͝e͏̧x͠t̴̀͝ ҉̸̕͟͠M̴͘e̛̕̕͠͝s̴͝s̢͢á̢́͢͞g̸͝e̴͢͜
[21:33] <@Nemi> ".. oh- come on what're you /doing/ don't do this to me.."
[21:33] <@LipstickThespian> 18005550088, Text. "Get out of there."
[21:34] <@LipstickThespian> 18005550088, Text. "It's not safe in the dark."
[21:34] <@LipstickThespian> 18005550088, Text. "I can't keep him here forever."
[21:34] <@LipstickThespian> 18005550088, Text. "Please, Em, save yourself."
[21:34] <@LipstickThespian> 18005550088, Text. "Be strong, for me?"
[21:36] <@Nemi> A hurried reply. 'how?? i cant walk whos him whats happening?' The Girl's feeling panic rise within her again. There's gotta be- a wheelchair, or something close by. The IV lines she could break, maybe, or take with on a chair but she needs.. The breathing, the sobbing, the threats. Oh, no..
[21:40] <@LipstickThespian> The silence of the ward is cut by footsteps in the hallway, heavy, boots in a hospital ward aren't exactly common. Wheelchair? No where Emily can see them, there's no more text messages. Or emails. Or calls. Just Emily in a dark hospital room with footsteps approaching.
[21:42] <@Nemi> Oh, no. Oh no. Emily's nearly helpless here. No wheelchair, nothing. She'll try to tug herself free of the sheets, cursing her useless legs and shriveled muscles all the while, to ease herself to one side of the bed so she can catch her breath.
[21:47] <@LipstickThespian> The sheets move, but it hurts her chest a little to tug them off herself. On the side of the bed she can see just how far off the floor she is. The footsteps come into the room and go over to the other bed, there's a few sounds of rustling sheets and clothing. Quiet, calm, and collected. Effecient. Madeline remembers effeciency like that, right?
[21:49] <@Nemi> Madeline does. Move in, move quick, move out. Job done without anyone knowing you were there. If she were a predator, what better than prey that wouldn't remember you were there, that was completely helpless? Control your breathing, Emily. Deep breaths. God, why did she have to be so /weak/? She can't even reach the edge of the bed without her chest aching. There's got to be something she can use- anything. But they wouldn't leave her with anything sharp, would they? Of course not.
[21:51] <@LipstickThespian> Weak, her muscles sore and her legs useless. Her head is throbbing, they didn't give Emily anything for her head trauma. That piercing pain. There's a sidetable next to her, and leaning against it, a crutch. Only one, however, but it's there. The other must be missing. On top of the sidetable are her letters, and the letter opener she used to open them. As well as her phone,
[21:51] <@LipstickThespian> and a glass of water half drank. The sounds in behind the curtain have started to pick up. Rhythmic. A few creaks and groans of the bed.
[21:55] <@Nemi> The letter opener. Emily leaves the phone for the moment- it's useless to her- and quietly takes the letter opener in hand, gently tugging it under her sheets to keep it hidden. With her so vulnerable, she'll maybe have only one chance. But vulnerability can sometimes be a feint, leave someone with their guard down. And Madeline, at least, has excellent knowledge of anatomy and the precious, precious places you absolutely do not want a sharp object slipped into. And now, the waiting game, even as she shudders with every sound from the other bed.
[22:01] <@LipstickThespian> A nice, somewhat sharp, letter opener. One a nurse gave her to open her mail that she hadn't come to pick up anytime soon. After all, Emily got mail most days. The sounds in the other bed continue for some time, what feels like an entire night of activity that is nothing but muffled sounds and the machines in the room that seem to beep and hiss and ping every now and then.
[22:01] <@LipstickThespian> Then, they stop, and the bed creaks and the boots come back. There's a second and some more shuffling, and then the boots come around the corner. Standing there, just beyond the curtain, is Levi. Her hair up in a tight bun. Wearing a black jumpsuit, with a black tactical vest over it. Throatmic on her neck and an earpiece up in her ear. As well as a large curved knife in her
[22:01] <@LipstickThespian> hand. She stares at Emily, her green eyes pointed at her, and then she starts to walk over.
[22:03] <@Nemi> Emily, brown-eyed and shrunken, can only stare back. This wasn't what she expected, and it's somehow worse to see Levi here instead. She holds herself very still, staring from Levi's face to the knife, and from there begins to tremble. Too weak to scream, throat too dry to get much more than a whisper.
[22:05] <@LipstickThespian> Those were heavy footsteps, as Levi walked to the side of the bed and reached up to key her throatmic. "I'll bring her outside," the voice sounds off. Like it isn't the same cheery Levi that was talking to her that morning. Was it that morning? She reaches down to grab Emily's arm, a firm grip with a leather glove.
[22:07] <@Nemi> "Nn- naaah- where're you taking me?" Emily cries, finding herself unexpectedly disarmed. Not that she expected to be able to resist much, but with her arm so taken, she couldn't bring the letter opener to bear if she wanted to.
[22:08] <@LipstickThespian> "Shhh," Levi says to her as she slips the knife into a holster at her back and wraps her now free arm under Emily and pulls her up. "Just breath, Emily. You need to calm down. In, and out, just breath." She lifted Emily up to her chest, she was surprisingly strong for a woman her size.
[22:10] <@Nemi> Then again, Madeline wasn't particularly heavy; Emily even less. She wiggles feebly, gasping at the spikes of pain the maneuverings cause her. "What's- what's happening?" She whispers, unable to do much else. Her free hand reaches for her phone, futile.
[22:14] <@LipstickThespian> They are spikes of pain, her body hasn't been moved like this in a while. The phone is snatched, it seems Levi isn't keeping her from flailing all that much. "Shhh, it's okay. You're going to be safe." She starts to walk, carefully past the curtain and towards the doorway. The other bed has the sheet pulled all the way up, there's a broken cellphone on the floor next to it.
[22:14] <@LipstickThespian> Red is soaking through the sheets near the top of the figure under the sheet. It's dark, the moonlight doesn't lend itself to details.
[22:15] <@Nemi> ".. oh my god," whimpers Emily on seeing the vague and dim red. ".. oh my god you killed them what did- please won't someone tell me what's happening?"
[22:17] <@LipstickThespian> "You need to keep quiet," Levi says as she steps into the hallway. The lights are dim, only one in three are on and those are only half on. Down the hallway is the nurses station, and beyond it the elevator bank. Levi carries Emily that way. "You're going to be safe. Alright? You're going to be okay."
[22:20] <@Nemi> Emily sniffs and clamps her mouth shut. She nods and regrets it with the twinge in her neck. And she's still not sure if Levi is saviour or captor, even with her head limp against Levi's shoulder.
[22:22] <@LipstickThespian> "It's going to be okay," Levi says as she turns past the nurse's station that's empty and into the elevator bank. Hitting the button to call the elevator. "Just be quiet, okay, just be quiet."
[22:24] <@Nemi> Really, what was she going to do? Struggle? Cry out? She can't do either. And so quiet Emily remains, even though her eyes continue to dart around, trying to become familiar with a place she'd never been despite inhabiting for months.
[22:27] <@LipstickThespian> "Just, keep calm. It's all going to be alright." The Elevator reached the floor and the door slid open, "we're going to make it out of here-" The Man in the Gasmask slammed into the two of them with force. Shoving his weight into the two girls and throwing them into the opposite wall. Levi dropped Emily to the floor and tumbled down with the Man in the Gasmask. Levi hits the
[22:27] <@LipstickThespian> tile and all her pain shoots through her again, no painkillers from an IV this time.
[22:30] <@Nemi> Emily makes a soundless scream, first at the Man's appearance, and again at her impact with the floor. She tries her best to roll to her back with her protesting arms, letter opener and phone still clutched uselessly in her hands, and bites back another scream as she does so. There's- oh no, there's- there has to be SOMETHING she can do here..!
[22:38] <@LipstickThespian> As Emily rolls over on the floor, she can feel just how useless her legs are and how much her body has grown weak. This isn't the body she once had, she hasn't been running every morning here. Levi starts to struggle with the man who has pinned her to the floor. An arm pushed down on the woman's throat and a knee in her gut. She claws at his face and reaches for the knife strapped
[22:38] <@LipstickThespian> to her vest. Only to have the man grab it from her before she can grip it, and jam it into her forearm. Pinning it to the floor, and causing Levi to let out a scream of pain. All inches away from the small and weak Emily.
[22:42] <@Nemi> Small and weak, but.. The Man's near ignoring her in favour of the capable Levi. Ignoring her, and she's got a- well, it's not much of an implement, but it's still sharp, and the human body is shockingly fragile if you put a sharp slender thing in the right place. Emily claws out with a hand on the tile, trying to shove aside the pain howling up her withered muscles, to drag herself up.. and let gravity guide her and her letter opener, point down, to a particular spot in the side of The Man's neck. She lets out a dry gasp of pain from more activity than she'd managed in months.
[22:44] <@LipstickThespian> The Man jolts as the letter opener cuts through the fabric of his mask and into his neck, cutting through a very important vein. He jumps back and throws his arm in reflex, his arm hitting into Emily's chest and throwing her across the floor with a forceful toss. He grabs his neck and holds into it as blood spurts out of the wood and onto his hand. Levi pushes up and tries to
[22:44] <@LipstickThespian> push him forward, grabbing at his mask to try and disorient him as they struggle in the middle of the elevator bank. Stumbling over Emily on the ground.
[22:46] <@Nemi> Emily tumbles with another soundless scream. And she's spent- there's little more she can do here but to try to cover her face and shallow chest with her bony arms. But like Madeline had learned, a little force in the right place can make all the difference in the world.
[22:48] <@LipstickThespian> Levi and the Man struggle for a while, he's losing blood quickly. Then, a shot, and two more. He's pulled a pistol and Levi's body rocks. She stumbles back against the wall and two more shots find their way into her chest. She slumps down against it and crumples to the floor. Eyes wide open, staring into oblivious. The man stumbles back himself and falls to the floor off to
[22:48] <@LipstickThespian> the side. Limp, and lifeless, laying there in a lifeless pile.
[22:51] <@Nemi> Emily, sobbing vainly, tries to drag herself to Levi's side. "No- no you're.. you're this.. can't have happened.." Her phone and the bloodied letter opener are nearly forgotten. Madeline's seen and caused plenty of death, but it was something she tried to put behind her. Something that Emily shouldn't have had to deal with. But both figures in their boots and tac gear lay dead.
[22:53] <@LipstickThespian> Forgotten? But Emily, your phone is ringing. That same poppy tune, ringing over the hallway as it plays in the background behind her. Someones calling you. Levi's eyes are filled with nothing, and the Gasmask Man seems far gone and forgotten. There's only Emily, laying in blood on the floor, in her hospital gown and bandages.
[22:54] <@Nemi> And that's something, isn't it? Two dead people, their allegiance unknown, but Levi- Emily thinks- was on her side. She reaches for the phone with another gasp, and with that, taps it to answer. And then speakerphone, so she doesn't have to try to maneuver it more.
[22:54] <@LipstickThespian> "Wake up."
[22:56] <@LipstickThespian> Her eyes flutter, and the sun is coming in from the cracked window. The sheer curtains don't do much to keep the sun out. There's daisies in a vase under the window, a TV up in the corner. A pair of chairs on the wall, the bed next to her is empty, she can see the door from here. On the sidetable are her phone, three letters, and a glass of water. She's in a hospital gown,
[22:56] <@LipstickThespian> the sheets are pulled up. Her chest hurts.
[22:57] <@Nemi> The girl groans and looks toward the window. Is that her life now? Just an endless parade of nightmares, so real that she can't sort falsehood from reality? Pain and hurt and blood and terror giving way to mere mundane misery and uncertainty? The girl coughs, and she groans again. Like Groundhog Day, but more suffering and less Bill Murray.
[22:58] <@LipstickThespian> New Text Message.
[22:59] <@LipstickThespian> Caroline, Text. "calling you in two seconds, just need to get away from my mom for a minute. okay?"
[22:59] <@LipstickThespian> There's some old classical music on the radio, sounds like Bach.
[23:00] <@Nemi> The girl laughs softly and awkwardly manages to text a reply. "just caught me when I was awake! lucky!"
[23:01] <@LipstickThespian> Then, her phone goes off! It's a call from Caroline, of course.
[23:02] <@Nemi> Because of course it is. The girl swipes the green icon and taps the speaker button, because it's too difficult to bring the phone to her ear.
[23:04] <@LipstickThespian> "Hey there Emily!" The voice seems familiar, and comforting, all at once. Like one she's heard her entire life. Soft, a little accented, a touch of East Coast accent.
[23:06] <@Nemi> "Hi!" The girl rasps. Familiar, comforting.. Emily likes that, even if she has no idea who Caroline is. Except- a best friend, maybe. "You- you've got good timing!"
[17:15] <@LipstickThespian> "Really?" Emily says with a giggle as the shuffling of her phone can be heard, adjusting it. "Why is that?"
[17:16] <@Nemi> "Cuz.." The Emily in the bed blinks to try to ensure she really is awake. ".. You got me- right- right as I woke up. Ugh- sorry, sorry, I sound awful.."
[17:18] <@Nemi> Little nothing assurances. Everything is fine. The Girl just has no idea what's true, what's a dream or a hallucination, or not.
[17:21] <@LipstickThespian> "It's fine, I sound like disgusting when I just wake up." Caroline laughs a little as she talks, she seems in high spirits. "Guess what?"
[17:21] <@LipstickThespian> The Girl's window is closed, it wasn't closed before. Usually they let the breeze in, but the curtains are still.
[17:23] <@Nemi> That's no good. And Emily can't reach, no way, from her position on the bed. She wants that fresh air, but.. Inevitably a nurse will be by soon, so she can ask then! "What?" Emily rasps to the phone resting on her chest.
[17:24] <@LipstickThespian> "I'm visiting you!" Caroline says a little too loudly, "like right now! I'm on the elevator! Crazy, right?" There's a little more giggling.
[17:25] <@Nemi> "Oh- oh my gosh-" Emily gasps out and tries to laugh. It hurts her chest. "Like, like, right now?" Oh boy, meeting a best friend Emily doesn't remember..
[17:27] <@LipstickThespian> "Ya! I ditched my Mom and drove up here last night. Total surpise right? Like, I didn't tell anyone at all! Aren't you excited?" The phone shuffles a bit and the background noise of an elevator door opening is heard.
[17:28] <@Nemi> "I'm totally excited!" It's not exactly a lie. Excited, yes, to know who this girl is who apparently meant so much to Emily, and a bit nervous because of the blur between nightmare, dream and reality. Fortunately, dry throat and cotton-mouth and general frailty means her wavering voice is, perhaps, normal.
[17:32] <@LipstickThespian> "Okay, I'm just going to check in with the nurse and run down the hall. Be sure to wai-wait. Hey," the sounds of shuffling on the poor connection are audible. "What are yo-" the sound goes crackling and then it goes silent. As the sound of something cracking on tile is heard in the hallway as well as a very familiar, "hey! Get off of me! Someone h-" then a soft thud, and then a loud
[17:32] <@LipstickThespian> thud as something hits the tile in the hallway. Emily can't see anything from her perch, just an open doorway.
[17:34] <@Nemi> "C.. Caroline?" Emily tries to raise her voice, to gasp out. Her hand, trembling, goes for the letter opener again. This- was this another nightmare? It seemed like every day was one after the other. And then everything reset, to play horror over again. Groundhog Day of terror. Already she can feel the tears come to her face with the uncertainty and the anger over her own helplessness.
[17:37] <@LipstickThespian> There's a knock on the doorway, as the Old Pepper Haired Doctor comes into the room carrying a clipboard. "Good morning Emily, how are you feeling today?" He walks over to stand at the end of the bed and picks up the chart there to compare to his clipboard. Glancing between the two and checking some things, adjusting the stethescope around his neck periodically as he thinks.
[17:39] <@Nemi> Panicked, in her low-key, exhausted and pathetic way. Emily tries to lift her head. "Caroline- where's Caroline she was- she was just outside and she and something attacked her or- or- what happened where is she?" Just like the first message. The shuffling, the crack, the thudding..
[17:41] <@LipstickThespian> "Caroline?" The Doctor says with a raised eyebrow as he looks at her. "Emily- do you remember where you are right now?" He walks over to stand by the side of the bed and eyes her with questioning eyes, gripping the clipboards tightly.
[17:43] <@Nemi> "I'm- I'm in the hospital, I know, she was here- she came to visit, she was like- right, right outside and something /happened/ to her and.." Emily goes big-eyed. Did she hallucinate the entire thing? ".. am- I don't know what's actually /real/ or not..!"
[17:50] <@LipstickThespian> The Doctor sets the charts down on the bed and looks at her with sympathy in his eyes. "Emily, you've been through a lot. Your head injuries have caused you a lot of problems and you've been refusing to take some of the medication that would help with your hallucinations. This is all very stressful for you, but you have to know that you're safe right now. You don't need to be scared
[17:50] <@LipstickThespian> about your forgetfulness, you just need to be cautious about your reactions to these- dreams. You've been having."
[17:52] <@Nemi> ".. I've been.. refusing medication? I don't remember even /getting/ any and.. Caroline's okay, right? She's- not- outside, right?" She forces the words through cracked lips with intent and hope. "And.. And- I, I mean- I don't even know what's a dream and what /isn't/ I can't /tell/..!"
[17:56] <@LipstickThespian> "The Nurse should bring it everyday, I'll double check to make sure you're getting your doses." The Doctor reaches up and pushes his reading glasses up to the top of his head, "you're scared Emily. I understand that, and I want you to know that I care about you. Right now, you are talking to me. Your Doctor, James Holland. You're in reality right now, as we are having this conversation
[17:56] <@LipstickThespian> . This isn't a dream."
[17:58] <@Nemi> Emily takes as deep breaths as she can manage. ".. okay- okay.. is, is nurse Levi okay? Where's doctor Traeger and Nurse Jacqui, are they okay too? .. I.. okay. Okay. I just need to try and breathe a little and.. breathe." Not a dream. Not a dream. She wants so very much to believe him, and yet, the prospect of her trapped in this broken body in a nightmarish hellscape of hallucinations and waking dreams has her even more deeply terrified.
[18:01] <@LipstickThespian> "Traeger and Jacqui aren't here until this evening. They're fine, and Nurse Levi is going to be around in a few minutes to give you lunch. I'm sure." Doctor Holland picks his clipboards up and puts the chart back at the end of the bed. "Emily, you're aware that your memory isn't functioning correctly. So when I tell you something, you're aware that I've told you it many times before
[18:01] <@LipstickThespian> . I want you to know this, so you can try and insulate yourself from the emotional responses you're likely to feel. Is that alright?"
[18:03] <@Nemi> Emily shuts her eyes, clamping them shut, for a few moments. ".. okay- yes, I'm aware, and. I'm aware. It's okay, um. Alright, I mean."
[18:04] <@LipstickThespian> "Alright," Doctor Holland says as he puts the clipboard under his arm. "Do you think you're going to be alright if I let you lay here until Levi comes in?" He eyes her with some concern, but it's evident that he's had to do this more than once and it's wearing on him.
[18:06] <@Nemi> ".. I'll be okay. I'll be okay.. I'm sorry I'm so, I'm so- tiring to deal with." Emily screws up her face a moment before shutting her eyes. Terror is fading, now, on to a sort of dull resignation.
[18:07] <@LipstickThespian> "A lot of us care about you Emily, your family cares about you, your friends do. None of us will abandon you, you're safe with us." Holland looks at her closed eyes and walks away. In the quiet of the hospital room, the dull beeps and the small sounds of the room, it's quiet. Except for the two tone from her phone after a few minutes.
[18:08] <@LipstickThespian> New Text Message.
[18:29] <@Nemi> Emily opens one eye, then the other. She hates that she needed the reassurance, she hates that she's driving the hospital staff to such impatience. She reaches her IV-burdened hand for the phone to check today's message.
[18:32] <@LipstickThespian> Caroline, Text: "Sorry I missed our call again today. I'll try again another time."
[18:34] <@Nemi> Emily winces as she swipes a reply, < Its okay. I was hallucinating I think :\ I heard you call, I picked up and you were coming to visit and I was so excited but then I woke up again Im sorry!! Its really hard to tell whats 1/2 > < 2/2 happening sometimes :\ >
[18:36] <@LipstickThespian> New Text Message.
[18:36] <@LipstickThespian> Caroline, Text: "Don't worry about it, just rest, you need your strength."
[18:37] <@LipstickThespian> There's another knock on the doorframe, and Nurse Levi is there. In her simple white dress and tights, with the little nurse cap, and a blue cardigan today. She's carrying her small basket and looks to be in good spirits. "How are you today Emily?" She says as she walks over and sits on the edge of the bed.
[18:38] <@Nemi> Another reply text before Emily blearily rolls her head to look at Levi. < I know :/ ty for being my friend > She lets the phone just rest loosely in her palm as it falls to her side atop the sheets. ".. hi. I'm okay. More nightmares.. It's really- hard to tell what's happening, if I'm awake or not."
[18:40] <@LipstickThespian> "Well, you had a very powerful one last night. They found you crawling on the floor short of breath. We're all glad to see you're back with us today, and that you seem to have gotten a good hold on your feelings." Levi sets the basket down and clasps her hands together. "Now, Emily. I do have some news to tell you before we start. Are you okay with that?"
[18:44] <@Nemi> ".. really? I had.. how'd I get there..?" Emily trails off and takes a deeper breath still. ".. okay- okay. What's the news?"
[18:46] <@LipstickThespian> "Well, they said you were in a panic and non responsive." Levi says with a loot of concern for her, as she sets a hand on Emily's arm. "I'm going to tell you this before the Doctor does, you can't tell him I told you. And you have to promise me it won't make you sad, you're too sweet to get sad."
[18:48] <@Nemi> ".. okay.." Emily firms her jaw even with the faint pangs and aches in her neck. ".. okay. I won't tell him, and- I promise. I'll be strong."
[18:50] <@LipstickThespian> "We're going to be keeping you here indefinately," Levi says with a smile that hides her own pain at the thought. "The tests results show that you need a level of care you wouldn't get back home. But don't worry, the Doctor is working on an arrangement with your Insurance to figure out long term care with us. So you'll be able to stay with all of your friends here, and hopefully work
[18:50] <@LipstickThespian> towards getting better in the next year or two."
[18:55] <@Nemi> ".. in.. definitely..?" Emily doesn't cry, though she wants to very badly. Even not knowing Emily's own situation, whether she'd even be aware of the year going by, the Girl is horrified at the implication. She clenches her jaw to keep her mouth from quivering, and she shuts her eyes. "… okay. Okay. Okay. I- I need the, the medicine so I don't hallucinate so much, please? And. And." A year or two. For a fifteen-year-old girl, that's an eternity. That's her future delayed or over entirely.
[19:00] <@LipstickThespian> "It's a very scary word, I know." Levi says as she reaches over and sets her hand on Emily's arm to reassure her. "We'll get you your medicine with your lunch. We have to have you take it the same time everyday or it won't help you as much." She gives Emily's arm a reassuring pat and then stands up, walking over to the window and undoing the latch, swinging it open to let in the soft
[19:00] <@LipstickThespian> summer breeze. Wait, wasn't the air a little chilly the last time Emily remembers it being open? No, she's sure it was warm too, she's just thinking of something else. Levi leans on the windowsill and looks back to Emily. "You're safe here, Emily. And you can stay as long as it takes for you to get better. Don't you worry about that." She smiles a bright smile and glances back
[19:00] <@LipstickThespian> out to the warm summer day.
[19:02] <@Nemi> And there's that hesitation, on the inside. ".. when was the last time we really talked, um, m-miss Levi?" Emily takes a ragged breath at the touch to her arm, and another at the opening of the window. Why can't she remember? It was cold, wasn't it- or.. No. Why would it be cold? It's still summer. ".. you know.. I always liked summer the best. I could- I could go outside and just- run, wherever I wanted. I never liked winter, it- it always made me just want to curl up and sleep forever."
[19:05] <@LipstickThespian> "Last time we talked?" Levi says as she turns around. "Well, yesterday of course. And the day before that. Annnd the day before that." She walks over to the side of the bed and sits back down again, the daisies by the window look really nice this time of year. "It really is a nice time of year. We'll have to ask the Doctor about letting you go walk around the park by the Hospital.
[19:05] <@LipstickThespian> I think you'd like the fresh air, well, more than this."
[19:07] <@Nemi> ".. oh.. I remember, we were- I told you about the silly superhero dream, didn't I? And.." Emily's eyes flit to focus on the daisies. They really did look lovely. Simple, but pretty. A comfort. "I'd really like that.. um- I can walk?"
[19:10] <@LipstickThespian> "Yes, we talked about that." Levi says ina very noncommital sort of way as she reaches into the basket and pulls out a small device to check on Emily's vitals, without relying on the machines. She lifts the girl's arm and places it over a finger and looks at the screen on it. "We'll have to use a wheelchair, Emily. Unfortunately the nerve damage means walking might require the help
[19:10] <@LipstickThespian> of technology. Sorry, sweetie."
[19:12] <@Nemi> ".. I know. I remember- I, I had that panic when I couldn't feel my legs. I um- um, hallucinations aside, I like," she holds very still and looks away from the diagnosticator. She hated the pinch. "I feel like I'm more, um, ahold of myself? If that makes like, sense."
[19:13] <@LipstickThespian> Well, it seems Levi hasn't found anything wrong at least from the punch. "That's good to hear, Emily. Keep working on it, everyday, and I'm sure you'll prove Doctor Traeger wrong and be out of here in no time." She picks up the basket and stands. "Your running a bit of a fever, so we're going to skip the excercise today. I'll be back with lunch, and then we'll have a bath to cool you
[19:13] <@LipstickThespian> off later. Is that alright?"
[19:16] <@Nemi> ".. yeah, that's um- that's okay." Emily sighs. ".. whenever um, whenever works. And I could really use that medicine, it's been- really confusing."
[19:19] <@LipstickThespian> "Just, remember something for me, okay?" Levi says as she stands in the doorway. "No matter what happens, I want you to stay with us. We're going to help you, no matter what, and I know we're the best place for you. So, even if you don't remember it, I want you to feel it in your heart. You belong here Emily, with us. Don't ever forget that, alright?" She smiles as she looks over
[19:19] <@LipstickThespian> at the girl laying in the hospital bed, a soft breeze coming through and pushing the curtains aside. The tickling of pollen hitting Emily's nose.
[19:21] <@Nemi> ".. okay. I'll remember that. I'll remember." She sniffles a touch at the pollen, not out of allergies but for the tickling. And Emily knows that, whatever reality this is, she'll still miss the Sanctum and the wild world it contained. "I'll try."
[19:23] <@LipstickThespian> - - - - -
[19:26] <@LipstickThespian> "What do you mean she's stuck?" Pasket asks Fette with a bit of red in her face, pointing at the empty school desk in the middle of the circle. "You can't just get stuck in The Shade. It's not like quicksand, it's like a web. Right?" Fetter shrugged her shoulders and pointed to Levi, kneeling in a trance by the side of the circle. "I don't know, but her failsafe fired and called me
[19:26] <@LipstickThespian> here. I've looked it over, and the Maddox girl is stuck- not like quicksand, but in the web." Pasket furrowed her brow and turned around, then back to the circle, then around. "Can Levi- The procress is replicable right? As long as she's there we can-" Fette interrupted her. "You aren't thinking about seriously sending in another Student." Pasket smiled, "they volunteered, right
[19:26] <@LipstickThespian> ? Go grab Levi's files. Let's find someone to go in after Maddox."

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