Log:Donation Gone Wrong
It is pretty damned highly uncommon, one assumes, to find a veteran of the Gilded Cage in THIS room. The Sick Room. Yet, here is Drak. In fact, here is Drak helping the eccentric learned men and women who wheel people in and out, strap them up and cut them down, taking life from one and giving it to another. At the moment Drak is mopping up a vast pool of blood from what looks like a donor that fought too hard when the needle was in the vein. Not once, but three times. Both arms are bent and bound with bandaging inside the elbows but it looks like the artery in the lower leg ripped too far to take care of easily. Escape.
It is a rare thing indeed when Drak's littlest brother, Zephyr, comes down from the Gilded Cage. Even he, however, must come when called upon to donate blood. He looks like a lily among the weeds as he steps in, draped in the white clothing he favors. His red hair is swept back, a gift from their father, though it's their mother he favors in feature. Frankly, he looks horrified to be here. There are sick people all around. War Kids on death's door. Tattooed on the nape of his neck is 'O+' and they've got someone lined up for him, a gaunt and thin War Girl with her head shaved and her lips pale and anemic. Zephyr stops when he spies Drak cleaning up blood. "Oh, god."
And lastly, it's Cinder. The middle of the red haired, pure blooded, wastelander brothers. He is a regular down here, as with other, universal donors. He has his art bag with him as he strides in. He's always cheerful when arriving. All smiles. It's always wall to wall with scared War Kids and he's kind and personable. But the sight of blood and the young Fortunate donor that apparently failed sours his expression. "What the hell happened?" He looks at Zephyr twice, out of surprise. "This have anything to do with the Monitor on my heels?"
Having heard news of a commotion or outburst over a mandatory blood donation gone awry, a few of the Keepers make their way to the Sick Bay with Locke, their Copper, in the lead. A small handful of Tattlers trail behind them, but it was a Tattler who initially caught wind of this bloody mess, having run off to 'tattle' about it. That youth returns like a watchful mouse among the adult Monitors.
These are Keepers, so they come fully armed, like always. On Locke's entrance, he looks between the parties involved, leading the way towards the struggling and panicked donor. After a moment, he asks in a flat tone, "What exactly is going on here?" He has his ideas, the Tattler saw everything, but he wants details and to learn their story.
"Well. It seems." Drak speaks up and goes over to stand beside the Copper casually. He holds his mop vertical and rests his chin on his hand that rests atop it, one hip jutting a bit to the side. He's wearing some leather pants clearly caked in old blood and dirt. Rather or not he thinks it makes him look cool can be hard to guess, but they certainly make him look like he's from the Gilded Cage. For only the pants have the caked and old blood and the dirt seems a bit darker and healthier, even in its dried and aged form, than most dirt from the outside.
"That there are dreams deferred here, Copper. That some sort of spun up spurt of sentinel still holding home in their heart wreaked a little havoc. We have to accept that, just like the critters in the dust, no matter how domesticated they become... every human is still just an animal." He grins, a half and crooked thing, and then turns to his brothers, his hands out wide. "Brothers! Have you come to show us how we do it right around here? How we all carry our burdens. Be it the conformed slavitude of splendid living... or the chains of a life halfed that we thrive in?" He gets back to cleaning as if maybe that'd keep his poetics subtler, but he's loud, and relatively tall, and very brightly haired, and hale and hearty and again, quite loud in a room likely drawn to more of a quiet given the intensity of the Copper's presence there.
With him, though off to the side and high on a shelf, is a rolled up leather apron, a bit innocuous for the setting. Those who know the tattooist Drak know that it's his tattooing kit. That the leather unfurls to expose a limited but exquisite array of tools.
Zephyr stares at the blood, then glances to Cinder. In the past, he would snub his middle brother or say something scathing. Not today. Today, he comes over to where Cinder stands and says, "I just came here to donate. Drak was cleaning up blood and that one," he gestures to the Fortunate who is not so fortunate, "looked like that. I think I might faint." Zephyr is one of those Fortunate who is too precious for this harsh world. He looks at Drak. "I'm here to donate. Is now not a good time?" Given the state of the War Girl waiting for her turn, it might as well be now or never. She doesn't look so good.
Cinder facepalms as he elder brother speaks. "Drak, shush. Have you donated yet or just going on and cleaning up." Cinder has his own hangups and one of them is spilled blood. Spilled blood could pass illnesses. He won't go near it. He looks to his younger brother. "I'll hold your hand while they begin the draw. And look at my face and nothing else. Look at these kids. They need our help, alright? That's what we do while they protect us." Cinder then addressed the Monitors, standing up straight. "When I was asked to come down, I was told that one of the other Fortunate was unable to give. From the look of him, I suppose he got upset by the sight of blood. Very, very upset."
At Drak's poetics, Locke lifts a dark brow. It's a very subtle motion as his features rarely show much emotion nowadays, his stare always intense, his jaw seemingly eternally set in a tense manner. "Sanctuary is their home." His voice firm when he says this, before his full attention is turned to Zephyr, sharp eyes studying the young Fortunate attentively. He doesn't run the Sick Room, but he feels obliged to say, "We don't need two casualties here today." In fact, he meets the gaze with one of the staff here, craning his head towards Zephyr's direction so that they know that a new donor is waiting. These are just idle, morbid threats. If the Healers work quickly enough, no one should die today.
Taking a few steps closer, avoiding the blood where he can, Locke then asks one of the Healing staff, "That one?" He looks straight at the bloodied Fortunate, "Will they make it?" That's the first question. He probably has others, but he starts with this. With Cinder joining them, he half-turns to look over his shoulder. It's not odd to find several Fortunates here donating blood and it looks like they may have overbooked due to the emergency.
Drak's mopping is really just artful guiding of blood to a drain that seems to have definitely not been built to code, at least, not to the code once upheld so long ago. While maintaining the mop's sanguine trajectory, the eldest redhead watches Locke rather closely. The effect the person has on others, the mannerisms, the set of the jaw the sterness of the voice. Further, he is clearly watching the effects it is having on the healers and the war kids in particular.
Though something seems to seep through is distractedly over-focused thought as he turns towards his brothers with his own set of his jaw and furrow of one brow, "You know I would if I could for you, for both of you." The back of his neck shouts out, in bright black ink that's been embellished since its origination, AB+, universal /recipient/. Seemingly why the Healers called up for someone else. "I was already here... well, I'd just arrived. It's as the Healers say and the Copper sees." Drak confirming the tale of the tattler without mentioning them, a quick little glance and quiet grin offered to the child, though. He looks away from the Fortunate on the floor that had created the mess that the Crusader now cleans. "No, I've come to offer a gift. I knew in my heart that there would be more than bloodied angels on the floors of these rooms when I awoke today... I knew, I KNEW! There was one here. One deserving to ride hard and fast and fiery into VALHALLA shinier than they were when they awoke!" He's standing near to his brothers and the frail thing of a war kid nearest them. His voice has risen, louder now, fuller, his jaw seemingly eternally set in a tense manner. "It is you! With blood of my family in your veins and the ink of my hand on your body, YOU will rise so BRIGHT today that the sun will be as a candle to YOU!" He's clapping the dying young woman awaiting his brethren now, looking her dead in the eyes. His other hand rests on the hip of Zephyr, "Would you accept my gift, warrior? Can I make you shinier than the rest?"
Zephyr nods solemnly to Cinder. "I'll just watch you," he says. There's already a smidgeon of crimson on the hem of his white robe despite his best efforts to avoid it. He flinches a little when Drak puts a hand on him. Drak is big and imposing, but he is Zephyr's brother, so he relaxes. "All right, I can do this. I can do my duty." He glances toward the not-so-Fortunate. That way lies the fate of those who freak out and refuse. He steps up to be stuck.
The War Girl gazes up at Drak. Her whole life has been lived under the threat of death, and now, this close to it, she looks grim and resolute. She's not seeking longevity, just enough life to go out and die in glory rather than a sickbed. Nodding, she says hoarsely, "Yes. Please. I can't die here."
"And you will not, Daughter of War." Cinder says with a comforting smile. He looks to Locke and says, "I was in the Garden tower anyway so they probably just asked me because I was there when the word came up." He turns his attentions to Zephyr and does as promised. He holds his younger brother's hand. "Don't look at the healer. Look at me. The needle hurts but only for a blink. Don't jump or startle. Eyes on me..." Cinder will just keep prattling on until the needle is in, in an effort to keep Zephyr distracted until the blood flows.
Cinder has /never/ been this kind to Zephyr in his life. It's straight up weird. He says to Locke, "Or maybe they wanted me for morale...or to wrangle my brothers." He chuckles a little.
Drak's theatrics draws in the attention of all of the Monitors in the room. Many knew of the man as a Fortunate, so would often pay him no mind for the most part. But the blood puts many in unease. Not that they were afraid of 'just a little' blood, but it's a reminder of the violence in this world and their duty to enforce Sanctuary's rules which may result in the same violence.
The poor Fortunate being so young and new to what would have been their new life is not someone that Locke is familiar with. Perhaps out of curiosity he asks, "The Donor." A pause, "The Fortunate One. What was their name?"
With Drak's retelling of the events that occurred here, the Copper is seemingly satisfied. It's difficult to tell with him (and with many Monitors).
For a time, his attention is also taken by the injured War Child, watching as the Fortunates try to soothe her soul with words of encouragement. He's no stranger to the Fortunates, having used their services quite often. A Monitor's life was one of solitude, despite their being an army of them here. He says nothing to Cinder and merely observes. Perhaps he takes an interest in the way Fortunates work when they try to bring comfort to the pained.
Bringing comfort to the pained is one way of doing things. Drak brings pain. He takes up his customized needler and twists it slowly and carefully so that more and more needled come into play till about nine are pushed forward. He primes a small metal syringe like flask of a metallic liquid with a milky substance in it, and then shakes it violently for a few moments till the milkiness is gone. Then as he wipes down the left half of the warkid's face he says, "They will know your face. For some do what they do out of fear of death and pain and blood and grief and sorrow because they are not promised a better tomorrow... and I promise that... that kind of tomorrow... to all I can, child." He pets the warkid gently, a hand in her fragile hair for a moment, his bright, light-white blue eyes burning into hers. "You... daughter of war..." Drak doesn't even nod to Cinder as he quotes the man, but it's like the two brothers are almost one entity. As if for Drak to go through the effort of motioning to Cinder, or complimenting his actions, or joining in would just be redundant.
Which likely means the man is making a point when he does mention Cinder and Zephyr to the girl, he does so still loudly, still channeling something he seemed to have saw in the Copper earlier, and includes the monitors... and all who might listen... as his audience when he speaks to the girl. "My brother there, Cinder, he cares for one half of this Ouroborus of you two... you, my sister, my daughter, and my other brother, Zephyr. His blood is the finest. His life the shiniest." He nods as if to assert this fact as truth simply because he said it out loud. "I promised him a brighter tomorrow... here. You are promised a brighter tomorrow... there. So know. My Child. We are all coming one way or another. You can call it Utopia for the living, Valhalla for the dead, but it is the same place. We will be there with you. For now. Like all good things..." He rises up a bit, and sterns, preparing to work his mercurial art upon the dried skin of her face, "...This will hurt."
Zephyr watches Cinder faithfully, and the only movement he makes as the needle slides into his flawless skin is a slight tightening around his eyes and a sharp intake of breath. "There," he murmurs, "that wasn't so bad." He continues to not look at the tube or the bag that starts filling with his blood. He smiles a little at Cinder. "It will be over soon," he says. Though he doesn't look away from Cinder, Drak's words about him being the shinest make him smile. It seems the young redhead as traded haughtiness for fraternal approval. To Locke, he says, "That's Georgie. He's new. I don't think he's ever donated before." And apparently, Georgie does not like needles.
The War Girl closes her eyes and tilts her head up to Drak. "I live," she murmurs, "I die, I live again." She has the fervor of the faithful, and the V8 is her god. If only she can last long enough to go into battle... She holds amazingly still for the needles, both to give her blood and mark her skin.
"Georgie?" Cinder looks over to the Fortunate. He hadn't until now. His complexion pales. "No, he's never donated. We had a few bad checkups in the last few months. Lost some universals. That's why Maylis is pregnant now." He says, dryly. "So if they called a new kid like Georgie...poor kid. He's good with the Solaris children." He looks back to Zephyr. "You're doing great, Zee. It's not a big deal at all." Now he looks towards Drak and nods in obvious agreement to his words. Hell, his eyes are a little wide in admiration for his brother and his crazy talk. "Utopia, Valhalla, Karyukai awaits us all." He says, in reverence. "Remind me to tell you about Karyukai, Zee. Drak talks about Utopia but...you should know the root of it all." His gaze flicks to Locke. He pauses and then says to the Monitor. "A bedtime story our mother and father used to tell us. That's all. Zee was too small to remember it." And Drak is...Drak.
When victim and donor are connected in tubes and blood, Locke watches the transfusion in a dull fascination. He's gotten his share of blood transfusions before and the battle scars to show for it. So very different from the scars that mar his face. However, what interests his most right now is the tattoo artistry getting done. The Copper observes the precision of Drak's hand as he leaves a brave mark on the War Child's flesh.
When it is Zephyr who utters the name 'Georgie', Locke turns slowly in the younger man's direction, giving him a solemn nod of thanks. He then turns to Cinder who gives him more information on this squeamish Fortunate. "In what way," He starts up, "could they make things easier for blood donations? If he's afraid of needles, would it help to blindfold him as they strap him down?" He then adds in, "Spirits might help some."
The explanation given him in regards to some of these random names being uttered gets a slow nod as well. "It's interesting to learn about the different cultures and tales that have been passed along from parent to child. As Fortunate Ones, you all quite lucky to get the opportunity to study up on many of these as well read as you are."
Zephyr turns his attention to Locke. "Maybe if they got him too high to care," he says, "but the War Kid might get high, too. That might not be such a bad thing. Strapping him down might work. Maybe it's just the reality of it hitting him, and he could benefit from some counseling. I'll talk to him if you want." He still won't look at the tube of his blood. He's not exactly fond of needles, either. "I had a rough go my first time. Not this rough, but I fainted."
The War Girl getting her face tattooed while she gets her transfusion is gaining color as the old blood is leeched out and the new blood fills her veins. Consideirng she's getting her face tattooed, she seems rather serene about it all. The trepidation she came in with has faded. She won't die in a sickbed. Not tonight.
When Zephyr is giving his insight on this, as a newer blood donor, himself, Locke's eyes flicker to him at first, before they lift to make contact with one of the Healers in the vicinity, before shifting to another one standing near by. It's a 'I hope you're getting this' look. "If they are in need of a blood transfusion, then I'm sure more than likely, they will be excused from combat that the high shouldn't matter." However, he makes sure to say, "That's not always the case and sometimes, if all you needed was blood, and your limbs are in order, they'll send the War Kids back out there."
Of course, Locke makes no comment nor passes judgment on the fact that Zephyr fainted his first time. Instead, he remarks, "We all have a purpose here and yours," The briefest of pauses, "and Georgie's are some of the most important jobs that one can have in Sanctuary. We appreciate what you all, the Fortunate Ones, bring to the table."
It's not his job to make sure that they dying recover, but he seems satisfied by the War Child's lifted spirits and the color that returns to her.
Zephyr nods once and says, "We all play a part. I'm happy to fulfil my duties. Even the painful ones. Though, in truth, this isn't so bad. It's just a little prick, and when it's done, I can return to my bower and rest." He looks sadly toward the Healers trying to revive poor Georgie. At least he seems to be breathing. The fact they're still working on him means he's not dead yet, right? "It would be a shame to have trained so hard to be one of us only to die over a mistake. I'll take him under my wing. He'll know better next time."
With both his and Zephyr's attention on Georgie, Locke can only determine the unFortunate One's fate from what limited knowledge of medicine and Healing that he knows. "Let's hope that just like the War Child, today is not Georgie's day as well." Allowing his attention to drift, he continues speaking in his neutral tone, "Like with every caste, the years of training is an opportunity granted by The Three. There will always be others, those who trained alongside him. Still, every Fortunate life is important and if Georgie does recover, please do train him well. What courses through his body is what will help give life to others." Ending on this, his too-dark, ever intense eyes return to Zephyr. "Let your Patron know of what occurred here."
To the other Monitors who still linger, he makes one gesture and they begin to disperse, while a couple of Tattlers remain behind, taking position in the Sick Bay. Turning in a stiff, militaristic fashion, he takes a step to depart, but pauses to state, "Good job with the donation." Then he's off.