Log:Cin and Blood
The War Kid named Rebar isn't doing so hot. Kitten came to Xavier wringing their hands and telling them Rebar was in trouble. A Fortunate had been sent for, though. Then Kitten came back to the Garage and into the sick room to sit with their friend. They hold Rebar's hand, the one attached to the arm without needles sticking out of it. Rebar does look pretty bad, truth be told. He's pale, blue-lipped, and his eyes are sunken. He's shirtless, in leather trousers and stompy boots, just like Kitten.
"I want you to have my steering wheel," he tells Kitten.
"Shut up with that talk," Kitten says. "You're going to need it, because you're gonna ride."
Xavier went looking for help and has come quick as they could. They pull the loop of the wrap down. Their expression is serious and they are carrying a box in their hands. They set it down and gently touch Kitten's shoulder.
Fortunate to the rescue! It's...Cinder. Or maybe just a tall fellow shaped like him. He is all covered up for the Garage. But the Sick Room is naturally cleaner. So as soon as the door is close behind him, he starts to peel off the layer. It's Cinder sure enough. He pulls off his shirt. The bruise from recent injury is massive, but healing. It's simply ugly covering his shoulder, back and chest nearly to the bottom of his ribs. Otherwise, he looks fine. Color good. All set to donate. "Hey, Rebar. How's that engine?" Cinder chirps, cheerfully while being prepped. "You'll feel better soon, Rebar, alright? I'm Universal and I don't drink or anything like that, okay?" He's smiling, looking at Xavier and Kitten to /do the same/. "Look at your friends, Rebar. No one is worried. Right?"
Kitten lets out a short, gleeful shriek when they see it's Cinder, and they have a hard time sitting still. "You're going to be fine, Rebar, see? Cinder's here. Cinder, what did you do to get hurt? Do I need to wrench someone?" Always eager to help out, is Kitten. They grab Xavier's hand and kiss them on the cheek. "It's going to be okay," they tell them. Then, to Rebar, "See? Told you, you're gonna ride."
Rebar gives Cinder a half-smile, and he admits, "I'm glad to see you, Fortunate. I just need a little top-off is all." He sits up a little straighter, because he's tough, damn it, and he's not going to let anyone see him being weak. "Just a little top-off."
Xavier smiles and gives a little wave. "Hello, Rebar! A little top off will do you good, I'm sure." They return Kitten's cheek kiss. "I brought the sample box in case we wanted to relax or anything."
"Just a little top-off." The Fortunate echoes. "It'll get you on the road. Call me, Cinder, please? I'm less refined than I look. Usually." He chuckles and rubs his vividly colored shoulder. "Exo's a good gunsmith and I made the mistake of trusting him. I'm trying to get a little better with firearm. And Exo handed me a gun with recoil so hard it knocked my shoulder out of the socket. I bruise dramatically. This shoulder is prone to dislocation too, it seems. My arm is fine now. Maybe a little sore?
Kitten nods slowly to Cinder. "Ah, okay. Yeah, some of the stuff Exo comes up with packs a punch." After a moment's thought, they inform the Fortunate, "I won't hit him with a pipe wrench." It's not that War Children are innately violent toward one another. It's just that Kitten is batshit, and the other War Children know it. They tug Xavier closer and they say, "Maybe you'd like something to relax, Rebar? Xavier makes fun things to imbibe. I wouldn't call it medicine, but you'll forget all about your troubles for awhile."
Rebar smiles and says, "Thanks, Cinder. We'll be close as brothers, won't we? The same blood in our veins?" He might be trying to needle Cinder a bit. How many Fortunate would be horrified at the comparison?
Xavier shudders, "I don't know how any of you do it. You're all so brave. I wouldn't last a minute. I know that." They lower their eyes and giggle, "I brought plenty. It sort of depends how relaxed we want to be." They press against Kiten's side. "I can make us happy giggly relaxed or so relaxed things just sort float past. If we want."
"I have two brothers already. And I'm in the middle. What's another one?" Cinder beams, unbothered. When the blood begins to flow, Cinder looks away with a slight wince. "Well, it's a duty. A proud duty, of course. I am able to give and I don't mind it at all. I want all of the Mother's children to Ride to Valhalla, shiny and chrome." He leans back. Eyes off the traveling blood. "Exo didn't do anything wrong. He warned me as best he could. He feels terrible about it. Didn't even come for his regular visit."
Rebar nods to Cinder, and there's a measure of respect in his eyes, and with it, warmth. Cinder has passed a test, and now he's in. "I'll die for my brothers," he says, "shiny and chrome."
"Shiny and chrome," Kitten murmurs. They watch the blood flow with fascination. They've never been sick enough to need one, themselves. Not yet, anyway. "You should take something to relax, Rebar. Something to help you sleep."
Rebar snorts and says, "I don't need to be rolling out of my cubby down to the ground."
Kitten looks at Xavier. "Anything that can get him high without him rolling out of his cubby?"
Xavier covertly studies Cinder, "As long as you're all right." X bows their head and echoes, "Shiny and Chrome." They think it over, and click open the box. There is a lab notebook clipped to the inside lid, and compartments in which various liquids, handmade pills, and pouches are kept. They pull up gently revealing more little shelves and a cavity at the bottom where larger items are stored.
They unwrap what looks like an ordinary protein cake, and offer it, "Don't eat this all at once, okay? It's infused with one of my mimics so it's kind of concentrated. You want to try about a finger's width and save the rest for later if you like the effect. It'll make you hungry and relaxed in a deep all over body way. You may get giggly or have weird thoughts. For some people it can make you anxious or paranoid, but for most it's the opposite. I think the ancients used this for people who were ill or sick, I'm not sure. I've synthesized another version that seems more for fun which had stronger psychological effects. You should be fine for most activities, but you don't want to drive on it. If you get called out to fight...."
They produce a single pill, "Don't take this until you are ready to, um, go outside. It'll make you fighty and you won't be able to sleep and it will sort of counter act the other. whatever you do, don't take it in the garage." They shudder, "It doesn't.. it's not good for inside. Really not good."
"You listen to the Professor, alright? He's not lying to you." Cinder says, firmly. "And go for the easy one. Rest is good after a transfusion. Just a little. You'll heal better and require one of the Fortunates less. Some are not as kind as me, you know?" He shifts a bit, looking up. Maybe he's daydreaming. Or woozy.
Kitten watches the three of them with a sharp look. To Xavier, they say, "Don't you have anything that just makes the pain go away? He just needs to sleep it off, but he's not sleeping very well."
"The pad helps," Rebar is quick to say.
Kitten nods, pigtails bobbing. "The pad helps. I just don't want him to take something that'll make him forget he's two stories up and then splat."
Rebar takes the offered pill and tucks it in his pocket. "For when it's time to ride," he says solemnly. "I'm not going to die a soft death in this room." He smiles at Cinder. "My brother here won't let me." Then he frowns. "You let me know if I'm taking too much. You need enough to get back to the cage on."
Kitten pinches off a little of the cake and licks it off their fingertips. What. They're okay with getting high. They just want to protect Rebar.
Xavier eyes Cinder, "We should feed you after this, maybe." They shake their head. "I'm not an organic mechanic. If they don't have such a thing... I keep looking. Any sample pills or... mystery substances I can get from the scavengers I analyze. If the ancients had such a thing, it either hasn't survived or hasn't been found. I'm sorry, Love. Kisses has the tea that can help take the edge off and this can help sometimes. I, um, tested it when I was burned and it helped a little."
They nod, "This should be safe for resting in his hole. As long as he doesn't eat, like half of it at once, he shouldn't be confused, just hungry and happy and relaxed." They kiss Kitten's cheek, "If you want I have the for fun kind too if you want to try it." They turn back to Rebar, "If you like how that feels when you ride, let me know and I'll give you another for the time after. I've only tested that on myself and, um, I don't go outside, so I absolutely can't run more tests in here. I could use more data on how well it works in the field."
"If I'm hungry," Rebar says, "and the only thing I've got is the cake, won't I just eat the cake?"
Kitten nods to that and says, "Good point. Best save it for right before a meal, mate."
Rebar tells Xavier, "I better save it for right before a meal. I could make it from the mess hall back to the garage, couldn't I?"
Xavier blushes, "Okay. Next time I bring regular cakes... Maybe an hour or two before the meal? Give it time to kick in. Like eat it and waituntil you start to feel good and then go."
Kitten lowers their voice and says, "Xavier, you can't be bringing us cakes. The Monitors will do you for it, for sure. There's some things they let slide, but food..." They shake their head. "Don't do stuff that's going to get you in trouble."
Rebar says, "I'll take it an hour before I eat. I could use a better appetite these days. Kitten's right, though. Don't go carrying around extra cakes. They'll bust you."
Xavier's eyes go wide, "Oh! Right. Monitors." They duck their head, "Sometimes I get so excited about Science I forget... the rest of the world. Sort of." They smile sheepishly, and lower their voice, "Kitten, this is the box. In case I get blown up or something. The directions are in the lab notes inside. Kisses knows where I keep it and he is getting a box too, but there's nothing you'd want in it. It'd only interest someone else with interest in, um growing things. Don't get the wrong box by mistake and promise me you'll read the directions before you mess with anything in the box, okay? You could hurt yourself."
Kitten regards Xavier for a moment after he mentions getting blown up. Then they smile and say, "Okay!" They look at the box. "I won't get any box that doesn't look like this box, and I'll read whatever I find written inside." If they tell themselves this, maybe they'll remember it.
Rebar seems to be perking up some. "I should be able to get back to work soon."
Kitten says, "You need to rest."
Rebar says, "But the V8..."
Kitten looks like they're about to smack Rebar, but given the needles and tubes, they opt not to. "It will rev on if you have a nap." They look at Xavier, long-suffering.
Xavier kisses the top of Kitten's head, "I'll try to be careful, Babe....Didn't I hear somewhere engines can overheat if you don't rest them?" They smile at Rebar. Why not rest your engine a bit nd then try a bit of the cake. See if it helps, okay?"
Rebar grudgingly says, "I'll rest after this. I'll sleep til it's time to eat."
Kitten gives Rebar a smooch on the cheek and he half-heartedly bats them away. "Okay, Rebar. We'll head out so you can get some rest."