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Most of the contacts on the list you took from Doc seem to be mostly interested in distancing themselves from anyone that had anything to do with him, meaning that no work has been tossed your way since you arrived. Your stash of funds has now shrunk below the point where you really want to go out to even the corner bar you have been haunting for the last few days. So you are sitting at home repacking your medkit for the umpteenth time when your cheapo burner 'link pings. The text is from the only person who has seemed willing to really offer any sort of encouragement since you arrived in this blighted sprawl. >>Hey. Not sure if you want to use this, but you should. Go to the attached address and ask to speak to Lily Sparks. She might have something for you. Not many chances left for you and I know some of that interest is coming due. Luck to you. Take a gun if you have one as the neighborhood is pretty bad. Don't go at night unless you want to be a statistic.<<
Helena finished the inspection and packed the kit up again. Then she re-read the text while slipping off the latex gloves from her hands. A job she might not like in a part of town that might not like her if she didn't bring a gun... She agreed though, best not to wait for the night to arrive. As beggars couldn't be choosers, she got ready. If the part of town was as bad as declared, at least being underdressed wouldn't be a problem. Normal armoured clothing would be completely sufficient. Noting down the adress, the next step was deleting the text she had received. She got up and walked through what she liked to call her kitchen/livingroom/utility room. It had a lot of functions due to the restricted space in her bunk. Helena opened one of the cupboards and took the Colt Government out of her makeshift gun-safe behind the fake panel in the back. After a quick check, she put it into the small-in-the-back holster and closed the compartment and cupboard again. Shoes or boots ? After a quick think, the shoes won. She put on the shoulder holster with the Taser and fetched the small shoulderbag with her other kit. Helena grabbed the jacket and opened the small shrine in the corner of her livingroom. Paying her respects to the two icons inside, she spoke a quick blessing and took a small sip from the bottle with the holy water in it. She wasn't sure she'd need it, but being careful never hurt anyone.

Finishing her small ritual, she put on her jacket and shoes and went out. The air outside still needed getting used to, but a cigarette helped to distract her from that. Helena unlocked her bicycle and got onto the way to the address she'd been given. She didn't really know who Lily Sparks was or what she was getting involved with, but she had the nagging feeling she'd find out soon enough ! Well, what was the worst that could happen ?
It is a good ride from your place to the address provided and the level of deterioration of the sprawl is evident the closer you get. Based on the number and condition of vehicle hulks on the sides of the narrowing streets, you have probably chosen wisely to use a bicycle, even if you have no other choice. Bringing a car down here could be a bad decision unless you had lots of security measures or it was a tank. As you near the last block, you can see a line of about ten people standing outside a door. What is surprising is that it IS a line. That and the fact that there are two large Orks wearing some sort of ganger jackets who appear to be keeping order of some kind. And yes, the door seems to be the address you have been sent to. As you approach, you see the possible reason for the line; a small glowing red cross over the door.
Helena knew how bad things looked at home, but these areas were on the best way to Sarajevo-bad, as she had dubbed it. She stopped a short distance from what looked like a clinic and chained her bike to one of the demolished cars she chose to hide it between. Slowly closing in on the line and the address, she gives both a good look before walking up to one of the Gang-Orks.

"I've been told to come here to talk to Lily Sparks. Is this her place ?"
The Ork looks at you, scanning you up and down. His clothes are unremarkable except for the jacket, which bears a symbol of a closed fist on the back and right side. "This is her place, yeah." He nods his head toward the door. "You some sort of new doc?"

He does not get a chance to hear your response as just at that moment a fight breaks out at the end of the line. He calls out to you over his shoulder as he goes to see what the problem is. "Go on in."

The door looks like it used to have glass panes in it, but now it is mostly pieces of cardboard stuff in the spaces. The small waiting room looks like it was meant to seat five, but is currently holding eight, maybe more if you count the seriously overweight woman taking up three spots on the small couch as more than one. All of the people are clutching some part of their body in some degree of pain. You have seen worse in some of the hospitals you were in when in the Balkans, but all of the signs of trauma are present. A harried woman with dark hair looks up from where she is applying a bandage to a cut on a small boy's arm. "Your problem?" She asks. "I am triaging here. Where are you injured and how bad is it?"
"No idea. Guess I'm about to find out."

The Ork seemed distracted by some scuffle in the back and gave her green light to enter. New Doc, huh ? That sort of made sense... Scratching her head she entered the place and concured that it looked right at home in the neighborhood. Glass gone, sight covers made from whats at hand, stuffed with people. It wasn't that she felt like she came from a overly privileged background, but places like this one always made her feel like she did. And some people said her place back home was bad... Fragging drek on a stick ! Hence the question coming from the woman working on the small boy catches her somewhat off-guard.

"I'm not injured, I was sent here to meet Lily Sparks. Need a hand here ?"
The woman tries to smile and motions with her head to a large curtain pulled across the end of the room. "I'm Marta. Lily's back there with the worst of em. Head on back." Going through the curtain you see a number of cots on the floor, none of them empty. Two women are working on different patients. A short blond woman stands and turns to you, telling you that she has no more cots for about an hour and can you stay our front until then. She takes a breath and asks you how badly you are hurt. When you explain she smiles grimly. "I hope you last longer than the last one. But anything longer than the four hours he stayed would be a help." She motions to a group of four cots. "Consider their treatment to be your interview. Charts are on the ends of the cots. Restroom is back there by the mop bucket and sink. Meds are in that cabinet but there is not much stronger than aspirin. I will talk to you later."
"Alright, thanks for the pointer, Marta !"

Helena follows the directions to the back. Looks like the Ork has been right. She isn't too convinced this is some sort of setup for the drug grab of the century or something like that. The woman that seems to be the one she has been looking for confirms this. She nods at her new assignment.

"OK, will see what I can do. I'm Lina by the way, better and shorter than 'you there !' and also more specific. Happy to be working with you guys."

After the preliminal interview is over, she looks for a place to store her jacket and bag. She also puts her weapons there, wouldn't be too good if someone on a cot got a free weapon by making a lucky grab or something like that, that was as good as an invitation for trouble. Finally, Lina goes to wash her hands and slaps on some latex gloves. The she moves to the cots and checks the charts to see what she was dealing with here and where to start.
The four people on the cots you are assigned represent different medical issues. One is a gunshot wound to the chest, two are people with massive bruising and broken bones from a fight of some kind, and the fourth is an epileptic who has serious seizures. The charts on the ends of the cots are detailed and well written, providing instructions on meds and care. Lily comes over to check on you a few times and seems satisfied with your work. She assigns you a couple of additional cots. During a short break, you are introduced to Greta, the other woman in the center. She is a bit older at 34, but seems to have limitless energy. She offers a weary smile and welcomes you to the clinic with a chipped mug of lukewarm soycaf. "You have come at a good time. That jerk Ronald just bailed without even saying goodbye. Not that he was worth much in the first place. I like your stuff. Former military?"
Working with the sort of limited space, numbers and mostly equipment is a challenge, but it becomes easier with time. Luckily, improvising is something that Lina considers herself somewhat good at, and so the work is still busy, but becomes a bit less complicated with time. One of the advantages was that there wasn't much highly technical stuff, so less things she doesn't know how to call in English. As things are, she gets by and is mostly satisfied with her work. The epileptic worries her a bit, she doesn't see much she can do while working with most of the meds in store except making sure they don't injure themselves accidentally.


She takes the mug with a nod and drinks some of the content. It tastes as crappy as only soycaf can, but who drinks that stuff for its taste anyway ? Lina peers down into the mug and drinks some more.

"Eight years. It's not a medical degree, but it's a start. Let me guess... Ronald is one of those med school dropouts who considers himself awesome under ideal circumstances you never have, but can't deal with the stress you have when you don't have those ideal circumstances, which is like 98 % of the time ?"

She doesn't inquire too much about the place. After all, the way how she ended up here and the fact that she did told her the most important tidbit. Add to this what the place looks like and what happens here, and she thinks she has some idea about whats going on here. Not exactly how or why, but she doesn't want to be seen as too curious while still on probation. However, it might be due to what the Ork has said earlier or due to her preconceptions, but one question, although she figures it's damn obvious comes to mind.

"You guys do an impressive job with what you have, I have to say that. Do you have more people staffing this place or is it just you ?"
Greta nods. "Thought so. I can tell by the way you handle the patients. And almost right about Ronald. Med school trained doctor sent here by the hospital that supports us for his internship. But you are right about why he left at about three hours and forty-seven minutes after he walked through the door. That was five days ago and we can sure use your help if you want to stick it out. The hospital will cover your wage, sort of. Lily makes up the rest out of her own pocket. The job comes with an apartment upstairs that you will share with someone. And we are it for the day shift. Marta out front does a whiz job of triage and Lily and me back here. And now you, maybe. The crush usually dies down at about dinner. That is when Hunter and Rachel come on and we can go eat and relax. If you decide you want to give it a shot, Lily will give you the full briefing. But I hope that you do stay. From what I see, you have the skills and the chops for this sort of thing and it makes a big difference down here. Even if the pay is low and sometimes spotty, we are saving lives." She sips from her drink and nods to a closed door. "And we actually do have some modern equipment in the operating room through there. It gets used a lot around here. We have gang protection, but that does not mean we don't have gang victims come in. Questions?"
"I wouldn't mind, really. It's a good thing to do and it's not like I couldn't use the money. I'll ask Lily for the full briefing and we'll see where things go from there."

So a cooperation with one of the hospitals, that actually makes sense. Wage doesn't sound too bad either. Certainly not a way to make ends meet completely, but a nice side-job. She taps her chin thoughtfully and empties the mug. Questions... Where to start ? Some luckily have already been answered implicitly, or at least she's willing to assume as much, even if she doesn't like to work based on assumptions too much.

"A few. First of all, what gang is doing the security over here ? I'm living in Blood Brothers' turf and I'd like to avoid giving them a reason to adjust my insurance fee because I'm running around in an area where people that don't get along with them have too much to say. Is there anything I need to know about this area in general or those that guard this place or work here ? Any special policies in place I should know about ?"

She looks over to the cots.

"Like what do we do with people like that epileptic over there ? If I got Lily right, we don't have the level of medication for that, provided they are still on medication. Do we just deal with the symptoms and turn them loose once the worst is over ?"

Greta looks at you thoughtfully then nods. "Sure. Those are some pretty legit questions. I am sure that Lily will give you most of the straight information, but I can fill you in on what is happening. First, the boys outside? They call themselves the Brotherhood. Mostly Orks with a couple of Trolls in the mix for more muscle. They have the neighborhood pretty much sealed up as their turf. I have no idea what they get from Lily for protection, but it must be enough. I think part of it is that she saved their leader a couple of years ago when he came in all shot up. Their turf extends about five blocks in every direction. I can show you the limits when we get off for dinner, if you like. They can be rough, but they generally leave people alone if they are paying them off. The others soon learn to pay them off. Except for this one guy even the Brotherhood leaves alone. I can show you his house so you know what to stay away from. Second, I thought I mentioned an apartment upstairs. It comes as part of the wage. Not too bad for space or amenities. Even get a good ration of hot water as one of the perks of living here. The hospital pays those bills. A couple of Stuffer Shack-type places to get food and supplies from are close by. The apartment has a small kitchen if you like to cook. If you do, you will be the first. We mostly just eat out or collapse into bed after an extended shift. There is a trid viewer in the living room and since not many of us use it much, you would probably get to watch what you want. Third, this is an easy day. Can't think of how many times we've been emergency central here after some sort of todo between the Brotherhood and the weenies in the next neighborhood, the Grand Marshals. Bunch of creeps with some sort of trid Western motif. Also lots of domestic violence injuries. Lots of times the KE guys bring us someone. We are the only real clinic staffed with real medical people for several neighborhoods so we get lots of customers here. It is on a pay-what-you-can basis, which usually means nothing coming in. Without support from the hospital we would be in trouble here. As it is, Lily usually has to go the black market for drugs and supplies. Like now. We are dangerously low on many things. The hospital keeps promising, but well, I am sure that you are familiar with red tape drek that frags up the system. Fourth, Hunter and Rachel are definite lezzies and in a relationship together. Marta goes both ways, depending on who she is sleeping with at the time. I am definitely hetero, but between people right now, if you know what I mean. I have not been laid in several weeks and just might give the bi thing a shot if I thought I had the right person. I keep hoping that Mister Right will come in the front door some day and sweep me away. After four years here that has not happened yet. Pretty sure Lily is hetero as well, but she does not talk about her private life. Bottom line is you can be what you want and Lily does not care as long as you leave personal problems in the apartment and do a good job down here. Fifth, I hope you know how to use that gun you brought in. We have an ambulance of sorts that we use on occasion and we go through some pretty rough areas. Usually have some of the Brotherhood along, but sometimes that is worse than going without them, depending on whose neighborhood we are going into or through."

She looks over to your epileptic. "As for guys like that? yeah, not much we can do except treat the symptoms and send them away until the next time. Most of the time we have meds for them and Lily is leaving him here until the delivery arrives. Enough information? Too much? Scare you away yet?"



"Sounds good, should be pretty handy to know how far out protection lasts and what places to avoid. Knowing is half the battle and whatnot."

Orks and Trolls, Brotherhood, have rivalries with grand Marshals. Useful information, as is the guy they are to avoid. Lina makes a note to keep those things in mind. The apartment also sounds like a perk of the job, but then, that depends a lot on Lily. She smirks.

"My cooking hasn't poisoned anyone so far, apart from those who bit off more than they can chew. So no issues there for me. Lets hope the red tape bulldrek stays low so that at least the most important things sorta come through. So I see it correctly that this is an all-female staff, hm ? Interesting... I'm with the policy there, though. As long as things stay private and don't affect work, I don't see too many problems with anyone's stuff or preferences. I'm looking forward to meeting the others then, if things decide to turn out that way."

Ambulance duty ? Lina has to admit she hasn't seen that coming, but it's a good surprise, another old acquaintance, if you will. She is a bit sceptical about the clinic's ability to man it, although again, she doesn't really know much about it, but she suspects that thats why it isn't used often. But all in all, what she has heard so far is by far not the worst that could have hit her.

"Eh, I'm not a shooting artist, but I can keep most people off my back if I need to and as long its not a Troll or cybermonster that weighs 200 lbs more than I do. I take it the Gangers don't like getting bossed around by staff much ?

Anyway, all in all, the package doesn't look too bad. Where do I have to sign and how is the health plan ?"

She was definitely noit serious with the last part.



Tuesday, June 5, Lily's Clinic, the Barrens

Greta laughs. “Good one. But it will be Lily that gives you the answers to those questions. And I am sure that you will get along fine with us. We did not use to be all women. Has been a couple of guys through here. One really nice kid, Phil, combat medic with the CAS, lasted about six months. Really dedicated to helping people. Might have made the long haul, too, but he got between an angry ganger and his intended victim, who was in here recovering from his earlier wounds. Phil and the victim died and we barely saved a bystander in the next cot over. Ganger ran away, but got his a week later. Very sad. Then there was Carl. Real piece of work. Defrocked doctor; I hear he had been selling scrips from his office or something. He and Lily were not on good terms and that was it for him. Lasted five days before she caught him stealing from the meds. And the guy a few days ago. Did not even last long enough to remember his name, really not sure what it was. Less than four hours and was spewing his guts all over the room and generally just too fancy to be working down here.”

Lily comes up about then and Greta wishes you luck with a smile as she walks away. Lily looks at you for a couple of moments then says, “Step into my office and we can talk.” She leads you out a rear door and into an alleyway. A large dumpster and two trash cans sit there, all overflowing with trash. She leans against the wall of the building and fishes a pack of cigarettes from a pocket. She offers you one then lights up and pulls a couple of long drags. Looking closely at the thing she laughs, “These will kill me some day. But they taste so fragging good.” After a few more puffs, she says, “So I like what I saw in there. You are cool under the gun and seem knowledgeable on how to read a chart, which is better than some of the drek I get from the hospital these days. I checked and you are not from the hospital. If you are here to rob us, you came to the wrong place. None of the patients pay us more than a few nuyen, if that much, and I am sure that you have seen that we do not have much in the way of meds here, even when the hospital sees fit to restock me. I don’t care if you walked in off the street as long as you can work. If you decide to stay, I will call the hospital and let them know that I found someone to fill the slot. Fragging administrators have not sent a good prospect here for a long time. Fraggers.”

She stops talking to toss her cigarette at a pile of clothes next to the dumpster. An almost skeletal hand snakes out form the pile and grabs the cigarette, disappearing back from view almost as fast. Lily turns to you and continues. “So here it is. I can offer you a place to work and call home. The job comes with a room in the apartment upstairs from the clinic. If you insist on living elsewhere I do not cover the added cost or transportation needs. The place upstairs is clean. You get your own room with a key. The kitchen, bathroom, and living room are shared, as is the trid viewer. You are responsible for working out schedules for using these rooms. There is a generous ration of hot water for showers. It is based on the room being occupied. The apartment is very convenient because you do not have to worry about how to get to work. I expect you to be on time, every time, for your shift, which will be the day shift. You will work from 0700 until 1800 every day, with an hour off for a lunch. The first and last hours are overlaps with the other shift and you can swap information on special cases. There is a food cart that comes by here at lunch and at dinner. If you want to go out, there are three diner-type places within two blocks of here. On a professional basis, I do not care who you shack up with in your own room as long as whoever it is does not become a distraction to the others. On a personal basis, I do care if you are happy. I am not a therapist, but I am chock full of advice, some of it probably even good. Your wage, besides the apartment provided you, starts off at 3000 Nuyen a month. I cannot offer more to start, but can talk about a raise if you work out and continue to do good work. You will not get wealthy here, but you can put some away to save for the future and the day that you decide to stop working here. There will be times when you will be required, let me emphasize that, REQUIRED, to work overtime. I will try to keep that to a minimum and will also try to take your needs into account before assigning the extra work. You will be paid 50 Nuyen per hour that you work overtime.”

“Now, what questions do you have for me?”



"Isn't it always the good ones that get shot or otherwise taken out way before their time ? Leaves the ranks of those with the special kind of crazy to work this job
properly thinner, but what can we do but work on to carry on their memory. I'd drink to that, but it looks like I'm out of drink for the time being. Next off-duty drinks
to Phil and the others who've gone way too fast are on me."

Lina gets up and follows Lily through the back and finally out to the alley. She takes one of the offered cigarettes and lights it. A quick look around the alley followed
by a long drag on the cig. Interview time. Lily's remark makes her grin, but instead of saying anything, she just nods in agreement. She listens to Lily's estimation of the situation and is sort of happy that he was able to impress enough to be offered this opportunity. However, she also feels she owes Lily a few uncomfortable truths in return. She takes another drag from the cigarette and blows a torrent of smoke towards the sky.

"I feel I should point out a few things you need to know about me before we can get down to whether you want me here or not. Whether you decide it's something for all others to know is your descision, as is deciding I'm more trouble than I'm worth. So far you guys have given me a fair chance, so I owe you as much. Trust for trust. I'm not here to rob you, far from it. I have, however, been sent here by someone who knew you are a few hands short. A person who has taken me in when no one else would do so and who I thus owe a lot of money to. Ah, drek, why talk around it, they pretty much own my ass. So whenever these guys feel like calling to tell me to jump, the correct response is just how high I have to jump to make sure they stay happy. Perhaps they do it all the time, perhaps they don't at all, I don't know. All I'm saying is that may come into conflict with the shifts. If that's unacceptable for you, we can cut the interview short and save both of us a lot of trouble."

She pats the ash off the burning end of the coffin nail and looks straight at Lily.

"I like the opportunity I'm being offered and would gladly take it, but it's your risk, your potential trouble and hence, your call, boss..."

[OOC: Posts emailed and posted with Mercy's permission]

Lily’s eyes follow the cloud of smoke you blew out then look back to you. “So you are trying to tell me that you are the first person to ever fall on hard times
and end up owing some fragging gang or AAA or just some punk with extra money? How possible is it that this person or persons will call on you to do things for
them? It will be very inconvenient if it happens during some surgery.” She looks closely at you and seems to make a decision. “Tell you what. Let me know what
you owe and I will see if I can squeeze the hospital for the Nuyen. You won’t be off the hook as you would be changing one master for another, but it would keep
you here while you pay off the debt and I would be riding your ass to save enough to do just that. Depending on what you owe, we might work out an arrangement to dock your pay every month and I could swing you some overtime hours to help out. What do you think?”



Lina exhales after she has heard the news. She hasn't yet decided whether these news are good or not, but especially with what she has seen and heard, she suspects that squeezing the hospital would be risky, depending on how things are looking for Lily's private funds... And that didn't even figure in with the other people involved. Another series of long drags and she flicks the cigarette away.

"Difficult... I'd jump at the opportunity if you think it's worth it and the clinic can survive coughing up that amount of money. All in all we're talking... 22.500
Nuyen with ten per cent monthly interest, which sets me at roughly 25.000, payable to the Komun'go guys."

She decides to keep the rest of the equation to herself for now. It's the vague part, however, it doesn't make it any less dangerous. But for the time being, Lina reasons that she can deal with that on her own. Seems like she has a stroke of luck currently. Only she doesn't know if thats karmic or just make what comes next more effective. But there's only one way to find out about that...
Lily hears the total owed and simply nods. "You will be working her a long time if I can pull this off. I will ask the questions if you tell me that you will stay and work hard for me, at least until the debt is paid.

"So it seems."

Lina nods in agreement and juggles a few numbers in her head. With some of the variables figuring in, her calculation about the time it'll take to get the 25.000 off her back turns out a timespan of about two years. She still has trouble accepting that there is no overtly visible drawback, but those unveil themselves in time, so that'll be no problem for too long. In the end she decides to go forthe leap of faith.

"You get me out of there, I'll do my damnedest to make sure the debt gets payed."


Lily nods. “See me after the shift for a few minutes and let me know who you deal with for payments. I will submit the request. If I word it strongly enough they might just go for it.” She holds the door open and both of you go inside. Shortly after you get back to work you hear Marta calling out. “KE inbound with three GSW. Two male humans, one female human. Chest and arm wounds. ETA thirty seconds on…….mark.” Lily looks over to where you are tending a patient and smiles grimly. “Get ready. Greta……”

Greta is already moving and she waves to you go follow her. “I have her. Come with me. We will need to scrub up for this one. Must be serious or they would just go to the hospital.” She takes you to the special room and flicks on the lights. You see two operating tables and other modern medical equipment beyond a glassed door. Greta leads you to a cabinet where she pulls out scrubs, gloves and masks and tells you to find your size. Once garbed you go to a sink and wash up. By the time you finish that, Lily is in the room as well, doing the same thing. There are sirens and lots of yelling from outside the room and Greta goes out while motioning you to go into the operating room. Lily joins you and shows you several trays of sterile instruments wrapped in plastic. You think she might be smiling behind her mask, but are not sure. “Here you go. Interview over and test begins. Let’s see how you work.” You see two additional women come skidding into the room and begin the process of washing up and dressing. Greta hurriedly introduces you to the others, but the introductions are cut short by the arrival of the victims.


"Will do, boss."

She follows Lily inside and is soon engulfed in work when the emergencies are announced. Arriving at what turns out to be an operating room, she only looks around shortly and goes through the contents of the cabinet and assembles a set of gear that is roughly her size. Lina quickly throws it on and then washes. She's nervous. She doesn't really have much practical experience in an operating room, but she doesn't want to that to show too much. It's a test as Lily said and she's not going to fail miserably. First priority now: Focus and concentrate on what's important.

"Indeed, let's see how that works out."

She directs a short greeting to the other two, but the timely arrival of the victims cuts introductions and small-talk short pretty quickly. As things are about to get interesting, she takes up a position indicated to her and mentally prepares for what's coming.
Tuesday, 5 June, 1430, Lily's Clinic, the Barrens

The gunshot victim are wheeled in on gurneys and escorted by four KE officers, who remain behind the glass door. The first thing you notice is that these three people are really, really messed up. All of them have at least two wounds in the chest and several more scattered about their bodies. The second thing is that whoever Marta was or where she received her training, you have never seen better triage nurse work. There is a pad on each victim detailing all the available information and what the specific wounds are and what sort of condition each patient is in. Initial chart data is filled out and recommendations are made as to order of treatment. Lily and Greta grab one of the men while Hunter and Rachel take the woman. Lily looks at you and says, "Any combat tours? If so, you assist Hunter. If not come assist me. Now, let's see just what we have here."
The way these people look make Lina conclude that they've most likely been sprayed with automatic weapons with the accompanying messy and ugly results. The alternative would paint an even worse picture of what likely had happened. She has a look at the charts and has to acknowledge that this is pretty solid handywork. Impressive, although it also gives food for thought... But that's better being taken care of at some other point, not right now. Asked about any combat engagements, she nods and makes her way over to the operating table where the woman has already been laid out by Rachel and Hunter. She reports to Hunter and awaits her instructions.
Your opinion about the automatic weapons fire was echoed by the petite Rachel, who nods at the very brief introduction as the three of you get to work trying to save a life. It is quite obvious that these people have seen this sort of injury before, probably too many times. There is a precision to their movements that talks of a long association. Rachel would be lucky to break five feet if she was wearing heels and today she is not. Her short brunette hair has raspberry-colored fringe at the bottom. There is a tattoo of a swan over her right eye that seems to glow and change colors over time. She seems quite used to filling the role of surgical assistant, anaesthesiologist, and general operating room gofer. Her voice is pure Seattle. In contrast, the woman introduced as Hunter easily tops out at over six feet tall and is a bit stockier. Her below the shoulder-length blonde hair and blue eyes give her an appearance of some sort of Viking shield maiden. She barely talks except to ask for an instrument or an assist in sponging away blood, of which there is a lot, but he has a slight Nordic accent. Her movements are precise and accurate and you have the feeling that she would be comfortable in a hospital surgical room.

The next almost five hours pass in a sort of blur as the three of you work to save the life of the patient on the table. A number of bullets are removed and others were apparently through and throughs. Even the near magic of modern medicine and instruments cannot completely replace the skill of a good surgical team and it is soon clear that you are working with one here. The patient almost dies twice, but is brought back from almost certain death each time, the second time almost entirely due to your quick actions as an artery ruptures. Eventually Hunter sews up the last wound and the three of you can go back beyond the glass door to clean up. A uniformed KE man is standing out of the way in the room, watching the OR through the glass. Lily and Greta are finishing with the third patient as you remove the bloody scrubs, gloves, and masks; depositing then in a large biohazard box. Hunter and Rachel take a set on a long bench after washing up and the tall woman motions for you to have a seat. Lily and Greta come through just then and the KE man approaches Lily as she is cleaning up. “Hey, Doc. Can we move them?”

Lily does not pause in washing her hands after dumping her gear in the box. “Ron, this is not your first time at this rodeo. You know I will not let them out until tomorrow morning at the earliest.”

The man nods, “Just asking, Doc. The answer might change one day.” He looks around and spies you. “Hey, a new face.” He shakes his head, “Don’t want a name in case you don’t stay. This is a good crew. The best.”

Lily gives a tired smile. “Thanks, Ron. I will have a cot moved in for whoever you leave here.

“Better make that two, Doc. I need these three. No chances tonight. I will keep a patrol outside as well. Already cleared it with the Brotherhood. Boy, their prices seem to have gone up.”

The man nods at all of you and leaves the room. Lily sighs and sits down on the bench. “Great work, you three. Must have been a tough one.”

Hunter nods. “Roger that, Jefe. The new girl was quick on the uptake, though.” She turns to you and adds, “Cannot keep saying New Girl, but I missed your name. You do good work. I am glad you were there, especially when that artery blew. You saved a life today. Thanks.”

Although there is a lot to do as well as a lot to pay attention to, Lina finds herself some times in between to watch not only what the two with her do, but also how they do it and their general demeanor. She has to admit that the two are an effective team but also, as so often, also form an interesting pairing when directly juxtaposed, especially with the bonus information she got from Martha. However, she tries not to get too distracted to make sure she's either adding something to the works or at least doesn't hold the other two back due to them having to accomodate a third person. It works out rather well though and time flies by as most other stimuli are shut out and the three focus on the task at hand, which was doing the best to make sure their patient made it. Once again Lina finds herself amazed at how much punishment people can take and still cling to life. It's one of those cases that make her think that it would be more merciful if they didn't pull through. However, her occupational pride doesn't let that sentiment stand for too long and interprets the times their patient almost dies as a personal insult that can't be allowed to stand.

When the operation is finished, she tosses the garbs into the biohazard box. Artery ruptures are messy affairs and the clothes of all involved can attest to that, even though they fixed it up quick enough to avoid losing their patient. She sits on the bench with the others while Lily talks to the cop whose name apparently is Ron. She acknowledges him with a nod, as he's clearly not too interested in introductions just now. Having heard about the time some of her predecessors spent here, she doesn't blame him.

"No need, that's our job after all. I'm glad I didn't get in the way too much, I'm not used to work in operating rooms. But I can't say you guys didn't do an impressive job. I guess Ron has a point when he says you're the best."

She slowly feels the exhaustion stetching out its long tendrils. She leans back and wonders if there'll be time of another soycaf before the next wave hits. However she first offers her hand to the two others.

"I'm Galina, but most people just say Lina, thats shorter and doesn't take away much."
Hunter reaches over and shakes your hand. Good job, Lina. Glad you are on the team. You are on the team, right?"

Lily nods. "If she wants, yes. Lina come with me and fill out some paperwork. After that, we are already into the next shift. Marta and Greta are off, as is Lina. Good job, people. We saved lives and that is what we came into this to do. Greta, can you please stay for a bit to get Lina familiar with the a[artment?"

Greta nods. "Sure. I am off for a shower. See you upstairs, Lina."

The group disperses and Lily takes you to a real office and has you sit at a table to fill out some forms.
"Yup, I'm pretty certain of that. See you upstairs, Greta."

She follows Lily to the office and sits down at the table looking over the forms she has been asked to fill out. Then she starts adding the information to the sheets.

"So you guys get government support, I take it ?" she asks Lily.

lily snorts. "Government support? Are you kidding?" She pauses and shrugs, "I guess I should really say I do not know the answer to that question. Our funding comes mostly from the hospital, but I suppose they could be getting some of that from the government. Or some AAA trying to show they have a conscience. But I am not aware of any link like that. As for the KE; I made it clear to the Brotherhood long ago that this clinic is open to anyone and part of their payment goes to making sure that ANYONE can come here and that this is to be considered neutral ground. Why do you ask?"
"Just curious. I heard a few things about quite some stuff coming from your own pocket, but with the hospital connection, which I figured a public hospital, I wondered about whether the city had any stakes in this place. From what you told me, it looks like it doesn't or at least not openly, but with all the talent you guys have here, its not hard to see why there would be some interest in keeping this clinic open for as long as possible, I guess. Which goes towards explaining how I ended up here after all."

She scratches her chin and scribbles some dates into th appropriate spaces. While she has had some time to accustom herself to her new ID, some of the dates and figures still need some time until she can recall them clear enough to put them onto the paper with a clear conscience. But it works out, just like in any exam. She skips the parts she isn't too sure of for now and concentrates on the spaces she can fill to give herself more time to think of the right answers.

"You mentioned that there is some sort of ambulance that gets used at times. Does that mean we are sort of on call for the wider vicinity in general or are there like specific locations that fall into our area of responsibility ?"

That made it almost sound like Doc Wagon, but hey, it was a franchise after all...
Tuesday, 5 June, 2000, Lily's Clinic, Seattle Barrens

Lily frowns. "Yes, well. Hmmmm. The hospital covers our costs, in theory. In reality, there is a gap between ordering what is necessary and getting authorization for it. So I usually chip in and go to our local rip-off black market link and buy the stuff. I submit the bills to the hospital and they eventually get paid. Most of the time. You would not just happen to have any contacts in the black market, would you? I could sure use an alternate pipeline for when things get scarce. And the so-called ambulance? Just on old bulldog I picked up cheap and had converted. Yes, we sometimes get calls from people that cannot be moved or cannot make it here on their own, so we go to them. Safer to use the marked ambulance than to use a car. We also use it to go get some of the black market stuff. Sometimes it is necessary, even if it is downright inconvenient."

She takes the papers from you and gives them a once-over, asking for some clarification on a couple of items, but then accepting the packet. She puts the forms in her desk and slides a piece of blank paper across to you. "Now, please indicate who to contact about your debt, and how to reach them. I will put this to the hospital and see what they say. After that, please go upstairs and let Greta give you the tour. That will not take long and you can go out to eat afterwards. Back on duty at 0700
She clarifies on the questions that Lily wants specifications for and leans back, thinking for a moment. In the end, she is sure she got everything right, which is good. Lily's explanations make sense, so she nods along while she listens. She writes the contact details onto the paper, puts the pen down and pushes both back to Lily.

"Little connection, I haven't been here long enough to develop any real ties."

She taps the paper with her finger.

"Kim Park... I got the impression he might be well-connected enough or might know someone who is. Incidentally, he's also the guy who holds my debt. While I don't know how possessive he is, it might be worth a try if you don't mind getting involved with the Koreans. Apart from that, I guess I can't really contribute much to this side of the situation."

As soon as it looked like they had discussed the most important points, she concluded their discussion and left the office to go upstairs and look for Greta. She was somewhat curious about how things would exactly look upstairs and what everyone was up to.
The upstairs is one big apartment. You step into a largish common living area that is bigger than what you might have expected. A couch and several chairs are placed around a coffee table. A nice-sized trip projector sits on the table. There is a small, but well appointed kitchen/dining room off to the right. There is a closet just to the left and a number of doors off the main room. Greta is sitting on one of the chairs reading a data pad of some kind, but stands when you enter. She smiles and motions you over, pointing to the doors in turn. "My room, Marta's, then a storage room for cleaning supplies and a small pantry, then a linen closet. Next is the common bathroom. The hot water ration is posted on the door and when it runs out for you, it runs out. It is not uncommon to hear a squeal or two if someone goes even seconds too long, so set your chrono or be prepared for a cold surprise. That is Hunter's room and then Rachel's. Both of those rooms over there are currently empty so you get your choice. They are a bit small, but are comfortable enough. The hospital covers the utilities and does not seem to mind if the AC is on in the summer or the heaters in the winter." She walks to one of the rooms and opens the door. You see that a twin-size bed sits against one of the walls with the mattress rolled up. There is a small closet for clothes. A bureau, table with two chairs, and a vanity round out the furnishings. An area rug covers a good portion of the floor. Greta lets you look around for a minute. "Not too large, but more than I would have expected. Not sure what your current place is like or how much stuff you have. I can help you move it over if you like. There is a laundry in the basement that your key gives access to." She pauses again, then says, "So, hungry? Not much food in the fridge unless you like to exist on ice cream, but there is a passable Stuffer Shack a block away if you want to grab a bite and a chat."
The apartment surprises her a bit, it certainly surpasses expectation. Couch, check. table, check. The trid doesn't look too bad and is certainly a trade-up to the one she has at her place. So far so good ! Heaters and AC are a plus too. She already has gotten somewhat used to the rationed warm water and knows from personal experience what Greta is talking aboput when she talks about that moment when one realizes that the warm water juzst ran out and that the rest of the shower would be less nice than the beginning... The room isn't too bad either, she has to admit that. No, certainly not the worst lodging. She runs a quick inventory of her stuff and concludes that she'd have little trouble fitting it in here. One of the upsides of preferring flats that come with furniture.

"Thanks for the offer, some car or something might come in handy when moving the stuff from A to B. I just might take you up on it."

She smirks and looks over the place again. However, Greta's mention of food makes her stomach rumble. It has been some tiem since the last meal, after all. Patting her stomach, she sighs.

"Ice cream is great but I don't think it's what I need right now. A bite and a chat though ? I'm totally up for that."
Greta smiles and says, "Good let me get a wrap and I will be right back." She disappears into her room and returns in a couple of minutes with a light shawl before motioning for you to come with her. On the way out, she hands you a key. "This is for the back door from the alleyway and will get you into the stairwell that leads outside as well as the basement laundry room."

You notice that the line at the clinic has died down and that none of the Brothhood seems to be standing about, although there are four men hanging about at the door as you exit. Greta nods at them, saying. "Paul? Hi there. Must be important if your lot is on duty here. Let me introduce you to our newest member of staff. I don't want you guys to mistake her for an intruder and shoot her. Lina, this is Paul. Not sure I recognize the others, but I am sure they are all KE Special Security. Paul, Lina." Your initial look tells you that these guys are not casual rent-a-cop material, and not even normal security types. Although two of them had looked your way when you left the building, the other two had remained focused on their surroundings. The man introduced as Paul carries himself like the elite spec ops guys you have met on your tours in the Balkans and Poland. Paul reaches out a hand but does not seem inclined to introduce you to the rest of his team. "Hello, Lina. It is nice to meet you. I am sure that you will be an asset to the team here. I understand that the vics were pretty badly shot up and that you guys did a tremendous job patching them up. Thanks."
Lina uses the time Greta needs to get wrapped up and collects her jacket and the guns. She inspects the Taser shortly and does a brass check on the Colt. She has just shoved the pistol in the holster and put on the jacket when greta comes back and hands her the key that leads to the laundry as well as outside.

"Thanks a lot !"

She wonders shortly about the lack of gangers, but when greta introduces Paul and those she assumes are KE Special Security things clear up a bit. So those are the guys Ron has watching over the place. She wonders how important today's victims can be and how much trouble they might attract if they warrant that level of security. Somehow, she has a bad feeling about all this... Although, she wouldn't mind to be proven wrong. She shakes Paul's hand.

"Nice meeting you too, Paul ! No need for the thanks though, just doing our job. But yeah, they were pretty messed up. Looked like wasting them good was on somebody's high priority list."

She looks over the security team.

"I guess it still might be, eh ?"
Paul smiles and chuckles. "You know the drill. Hurry up and wait. Right now we are waiting here. Can't really say more." He tips a finger to his forehead. "You ladies have a nice night." Greta takes your arm as she says so long to Paul and turns you around to go down the street to the Suffer Shack. On the way, she points out several shops and apartments. All have bars on the windows and doors and some have a Brotherhood ganger outside. The diner is indeed less than a block away and the two gangers outside look bored until you walk up. Both look at you in appreciation. Greta glides between them, saying, "You guys should not be so obvious in eyeing the fresh meat in the neighborhood. She is with the clinic, so don't get ideas." Both gangers laugh and let you pass, but you can still feel their stares on your back as you go by. The place is like all other Stuffer Shacks you have ever been in. They must have some sort of franchise rules about where to stack every can of soy beanie-weanie or box of soycrisps. Greta takes you to the diner section and you have no trouble finding a booth. She points to the button for the virtual menu and one pops up for you to peruse. She looks at you and says, "My treat this time. I am sure that you have not been paid yet."

Greta looks over the menu and makes recommendations to you before placing her order and yours. She sits sideways on the bench, putting her legs up. "Ahhh. That feels good. Standing most of the day is the worst part of what we do. OK, so, we do not ask questions, but if you want to spill something about yourself I would not stop you. I will start and feel free to add something, but only if you want. I understand that some people, make that most people, have secrets in their past and I am not probing. My name is Greta Wald. Third generation UCAS after the great-greats immigrated from Germany. Grew up here in the sprawl and joined the UCAS military out of high school. They saw potential I did not and sent me off to be trained as a combat medic, then RN. Saw some tours in the border conflicts with the NAN. Even went to Europe once as part of a UN force in Bosnia and Albania. Left on not so good terms after shooting my commanding officer for ripping meds off and selling them on the black market. I had reported my suspicions of him and was wired. I guess I am not a good actor because he found the wire and started the pistol dance. He died and the brass lost out on finding his contacts. The needed a scapegoat and guess what? You probably got in one. Lost everything except my self respect. But a good dose of that and a few nuyen will get you a cup of bad soycaf and I needed to live. Family pretty much disowned me over the disgrace and dishonor. My parents refused to listen to my side of story. So drifted a bout a bit, doing jobs here and there. Prostituted a bit for cash when I was starving, but never really got into that life too deep. I tried to stop a mugging and got stomped for my trouble. Two Brotherhood guys found me in an alley and took me to Lily. That was several years ago and I am still here."
Hurry up and wait, the oldest game in the world. Its nice to see some things will never really change. Lina resonds to Paul's goodbye in kind and wishes the KE guys a nice night as well before she walks off with Greta. The neighborhood looks not too bad, she makes a mental note of the places Greta points out to her and tries to generally memorize as much about the place as she can. She lets the Gangers in front of the Stuffer Shack have their fun, walks into the store... and is right at home. Or at least thats what it feels like at first. The similiarity between the Stuffer Shacks breeds familiarity. Even if she didn't understand English, she'd still be able to find everything. Talk about routine being all bad ! She skims the menu and chooses something not too fancy that sounds like something she might like from Greta's suggestions. She stretches her legs out under the table with crossed ankles.

"Yeah, it sure gets to the legs after a while..."

She listens as Greta's narrative unfurls. It surely gets the point across that life can be a bitch to people in a lot of really creative ways. Even if that bit is only a part of the story, but it still shows some promise as well. Compared to where she could have ended up, Lina found that Greta had been pretty lucky in a way. She pondered a bit whether she wanted to put any questions out, but decided that it might be best to even the score somewhat first.

"Let's see... My full name is Galina Karolek. My parents fled Poland when the Rybocrats took over, so I was born in the AGS. The place where I grew up was pretty tame compared to some areas over here. Went to state schools, finished secondary, worked a few odd jobs, and got called up for national service after I had turned 18. I did my nine months in the Army, which weren't too bad, decided I liked it and signed on for some more years. Well, what can you say, I got a nice and cozy paramedic qualification for my troubles, went to Sarajevo with UNPROFOR and won another trip to the motherland a bit later after the end of the civil war. When my contract ende, they decided there was no placement, so I got discharged and went to work in the civilian sector again. And after some unexpected twists and turns, I ended up here."

She shrugged.

"So far it ain't that bad, I have to admit that."
Greta smiles. "Life can suck, but so far I find it better than the alternative. I can think of several ways this would have ended worse and count myself very lucky. Somehow my steps brought me here and I see no current reason for considering leaving. The pay is not as much as I could be making in some fancy AAA hospital, but that will never happen now. I save a bit for the day that I will not be able to work any more and it is a good nest egg so far. I did not get hooked on any of the drugs I tried and did not get caught up in the prostitution thing for more than the nine months I worked for some asshole pimp. He got whacked by a rival and I fled. Made lots of sense at the time and even more now. So, no, it ain't that bad here." The food comes and she turns to it after slotting a credstick to pay for it. "So how far away is your place? Not so sure it is a good time to go out to get it, but you are on the day shift and there are no good times to go out. And two are safer than one on the streets beyond this neighborhood. Interested in going out there tonight? I got nothing better to do."
"Amen to that. What'd life be without some luck every now and then ?"

She digs in and finds that the stuff isn't that bad, especially on a mostly empty stomach. She thinks about Greta's question, turning a few numbers in her head for a moment.

"Western Auburn, not too far away from the Tacoma border. Quite a bit, but it's OK by bike. I don't know how you feel about a longer trip over there, but I could certainly go to get the most important things..."

She leaves the thought hanging and trails off a bit while she thinks. Most what she owns fits into the duffelbag she has under the couch/bed anyway, so that might in fact constitute moving out pretty much. Thinking about that makes the realization that she was basically moving in with people she doesn't really know on a very short note come around a lot faster. Well, safety in numbers, she tells herself. After all, she's basically just switching one gang for another. Her thoughts wander back to the clinic, the people in it and most importantly. the fact they have at least four KE guys around the place and her suspicions about why they have them around. Its a reminder she doesn't like, but its something that she has to keep in mind. A lot of new things are on her 'memorize list' by now and it just keeps getting longer and longer.

"Let me guess, and you're just a little curious what my place is like ? Either way, I don't mind."
Greta nods with a smile. "Yes, I am curious, but not overly. If you are willing to move in with some perfect strangers, the clinic is likely an upgrade. I have a Scorpion in a garage not too far from here. I help out there once in a while if I have some free time and they give me a deal on the parking fee. We can go get it and blast out of here, if you like."
"Sounds like you're a pretty busy person, then. This work, then helping out there too. You're one of those people who don't like being idle ? Or is that some sort of hobby ?"

She scooped up the remains on her plate carefully.

"At the very least its an upgrade in regards to time. Its easier than commuting each day, especially in a job as taxing as ours. I guess that the place is pretty remote might also help. Getting among people more isn't bad and if it's paid for, why let it go to waste. So it makes sense to have the most important things where I will most likely spend most of my time in the near future.

Phew, I'm stuffed ! How about you try to lead the way and I try to get up and roll out of here right behind you ?"
Greta laughs, “I guess I am the type that does not like being idle for long. Besides, the stuff I help out with at the garage is mostly just fun for me. Helps me unwind from a day of seeing the sort of drek that comes into the clinic.” She laughs at your comment and slides out of the booth. Once outside the building, she walks with you to a garage about two blocks away. The bay door is open and you can hear laughter and loud music blaring from inside. Three men are sitting shirtless around a table, playing cards. One looks up and calls out, “Hey, Greta, wanta jump in? Stud poker is the game right now and there is roo…….Oh hey. I did not see that you brought company.” Greta introduces you to Gus, Burt, and Ralph. It was Gus that had been talking and he picks up the banter. “Well, we can always make a seat for two more. Might even be persuaded to change the game to strip poker, if you ladies were of a mind.”

Greta laughs. "You know you can usually count me in, boys, but not tonight. We gotta go get some stuff from Lina’s doss. She will be joining the clinic on staff. Day shift, so you just see her down here once in a while. And the last time we played strip poker, I had all of you out of your clothes and all you got to see was me in my bra and panties. What makes you think you would be luckier tonight?”

Everyone laughs and the men go back to playing the low stakes game as Greta walks with you over to a nice looking Scorpion. Greta nods at the men as she wheels the bike from the garage. “They are really pretty nice guys, but lousy poker players. I felt sorry for them and intentionally lost a couple of hands so they could at least see me in bra and panties. They are usually good for some laughs and a bit of small change if you are interested in a poker night once in
a while.”


"Eh, fair enough, to each their own. I doubt that'd be something I could unwind at. A distraction is useful, though..."

She walks with Greta, her hands in the pockets of her jacket. She lights a cigarette and mulls over things a bit as well as discussing things that do or don't work well for pastime purposes in their line of work. They reach the garage, enter via an open bay door and meet three men playing cards. She offers her hand to each individually as she's introduced to them. She looks over the guys and remembers the way she had been introduced to Poker...

'Hey greenie, do you know how to play Poker ?'
"Isn't that the game where everyone gets five cards ?"
'I see you know how to play ! Awesome, grab that chair and come over here !'

She chuckled, those bastards had deprived her of all her unnecessary money and quite a bit of the necessary money as well pretty quickly. Well, it was sorta worth it though. She thinks up a reply to the guys but as greta is quicker and also knows the three, she decides not to use it. Another time, perhaps. She watches the guys play a bit while Greta rolls out the Scorpion, then wishes the guys fun with their game and walks outside.

"I'll think about it. Not that I'm very good at that game, but I could give it a try. We'll see what schedule and so say."

Lina appraises the motorcycle. She isn't pretending to have much knowledge about this sort of vehicles, but she can appreciate that it looks like it is is taken care of immaculately and well maintained.

"So is this the baby you get to pamper or are you treating it well so it pampers you ?"
It is Greta’s turn to chuckle. “A bit of both, actually. They let me store it here and work on it some in exchange for a few hours of labor a week on whatever they have in the shop. They usually have a bit more work than they can handle and don’t want to turn it away.” She smiles. “I suppose it helps that I play strip poker with them every once in a while, too. Cheap thrills all around and no one gets hurt. Climb on and give me the address to slip into the guide and we’re off. You will need to fold up near my back and hold on.” After you provide the address, she puts it into the grid guide and analyzes the route. “Got it. Now let’s go get your things.”

Greta pushes the ride beyond the recommended grid guide speeds. She takes the first corners with caution, telling you which way to lean. Although it seems counter-intuitive, the bike and riders make it through the easy corners. Then she opens the bike up and you are sure that you will die as she cuts some of the corners pretty close. She is yelling as she goes, sometimes opening the powerful bike up to unholy speeds on the straight stretches, almost daring anyone to try to stop her. She slows down again as she nears your place, finally stopping at the curb in front of your door. As you climb off, you realize that your knees are a bit weak and cling a bit to the bike to steady yourself. She smiles and says, “You got this or should I come up to help?”
"Sounds like everyone wins in a way."

Lina climbs onto the bike behind Greta and gives her the address. They drive off and at the beginning everything is well. As an adept bicycle handler, she can adapt to the way they are cutting corners, although she isn't used to not being the one at the controls and doesn't like the way the ground comes way too close to her for comfort. And of course just as she thinks she might have gotten used to that, Greta ups the ante and starts 'cutting corners for advanced practitioners'. Not only
do the corners come uncomfortably close, but so does the ground again. Lina can practically see her leg as a red smear along the way if Greta misjudges a corner or loses control over her bike at this speed. If Greta could hear her over the noise and the yelling, Lina might have tried to call her to go slower, but for the time being, she is frozen in place by sheer horror, making her peace with God and frantically trying to decide whether the companion is just enjoying herself or plain mad.

Although they slow down before reaching the target adress, it takes a few minutes before Lina is trusting her legs to carry her and as she awkwardly climbs off the bike, they still feel like pudding. While she does try to put on a brave and nonchalant facade, she is more than a bit pale around the nose.

"Eh, I got it, but thanks !"

Her voice isn't shaky, that's good. She waves, walks to the door and slips inside. Inside, she gets out of her shoes and goes for the living room / bedroom, where she gets her backpack and starts collecting the stuff she thinks she might need with her new work and ponders what to leave here for now. After a few minutes she has assembled her boots, the armoured vest, five sets of clothing, her grooming kit and a few other bits and pieces. She decided to keep her second gun in the hidden compartment, just to be on the safe side. Finally, she carefully dismantles her red corner, wrapping the icons carefully and putting them between her clothes to make sure they don't get harmed. The same goes for the other contents. After she has everything packed up, she goes to the kitchen area to steady her
nerves with a glass of synthahol. They still have to get back after all. Finally, she gets back into her shoes and steps outside again, steeling herself for the return trip.


Greta smiles as you come out and helps you put what you can in the side boxes of the bike then lets you hold the rest. “I will take it nice and easy going back. Don’t want to spill you or the cargo.” True to her word, the return trip is smooth. She drives to the garage and parks the bike against the wall out of the way. Once you have everything, she offers to carry some of it and the two of you can leave through the door and walk up the street towards the clinic. Two of the Brotherhood are coming out of the Stuffer-Shack as you pass by it and offer to help carry the stuff at least as far as the clinic door, walking with you even if you want to carry all of your things. Paul and his team are still out front, two on each side of the street. You think that the two near the door are wearing some sort of body armor under the KE shirt and trousers, but do not have a good enough look at the other two to get a feel if they are.

Paul nods and lets the Ork nearest you open the door for the two of you to pass through. Climbing the stairs you hear some giggling and the squeaking of springs from Marta’s room. Greta shakes her head. “That girl is lucky seven nights a week and I have not been laid in three weeks. There is no justice or equality in the universe.”

She stops by the door to the bathroom before she takes your things into your room and places them on the bed. “I will leave you to it. I usually do breakfast from the soy cart that stops by at about 0630. The bathroom reads that your time is 0530 to 0545 if you want a hot shower. I would knock just in case Marta’s current guy is in there, otherwise it is pretty communal and you can expect one or more of us to join you at the sink. Any last questions before I go hit the sack?”
The drive back is a lot more to Lina's liking. As they arrive at the garage, she accepts Gretas offer to handle some of the luggage and thus hands her the army backpack after carefully removing the flat padded packages that hold her icons. Although she wouldn't have minded to offer some load to the Gangers to carry (to reward and foster the gentlemanly behaviour so little prevalent with Gangers nowadays, not because she trusts them with her stuff), she doesn't, as she has already parted with all the load she is willing to leave to others. So she tells the Brotherhooders that she might take them up on their offer another time, but not today. The KE guys still look like little has happened and all is OK. So she gives them a nod as she passes and goes inside.

"Sometimes you have to force your luck, I guess. I take it you already tried to go among people more and see what sort of guys are out and about ? I don't know what exactly is wrong, but I don't really see much that should set you back that much compared to Marta. I mean, doldrums are also pretty nice now and then, but you seem to feel like you're caught in a situation you can't get out of."

While Greta places the things on the bed, Lina starts reconstructing her red corner, sacrificing the bureau for it, as it seems to be the best place really. After all,
theres still a table left for paperwork and the like... She makes a mental note to put her alarmclock to 5:15 as Greta details the times available for hot water. Cold
water might be more waking and refreshing, but she's not some ascetic after all !

"I'm not afraid of some guy unlucky enough to come between me and my shower, but knocking also sounds good, I'll try that. At this point, no questions, I guess. Thanks for the help !"
Greta nods and covers a yawn. "Then I will be off and leave you to finish. You will have to explain those things you just put on your bureau someday. And welcome to the team. We can sure use your skills." With that she leaves your room, shutting the door behind her.
"Can do. Thanks and night, see you tomorrow !"

Lina unpacks the stuffs she brought and puts it where she thinks it fits best. She hangs her gun over the backrest of one of the chairs and does a few exercises before getting ready for bed and setting her alarmclock. After a short while to recap the turbulent day, she makes a few notes on it and goes to bed at 2315, curious what the next days will bring.
Wednesday June 6 2075 0515 Lily's Clinic The Barrens Seattle

You are wakened by your alarm at 0515. You look around at the unfamiliar bedroom and wonder if you have made the right choice. At least you have a job and a way to pay back the debt you incurred to get this far. But is it the right job? Only time will tell. But the urge to use the toilet is getting stronger and your turn at the hot water is rapidly approaching.
Lina wakes up and kills the alarm. She needs a few seconds to recognize the room she's in. Right, the new bunk... She gets out of the bed and passes the clothes that she has laid out yesterday to let some air and light into the room. Well, perhaps just some light, the air outside was not necessarily that good, but then, oxygen was pretty useful stuff. Not that anyone would notice a difference, but then, most of her clothes looked the same. As usual, she starts the day with a short morning prayer and some of the blessed water from the small bottle next on the bureau. She refills the improvised lamp that is not much more than a glass with a wick in it and trimmed that wick carefully. She finds herself wondering whether the KE guys are still there and what this day will bring. Reflecting on her situation, she isn't yet sure what to make of it. She has a job, the people aren't that bad and she just might have found a way out of the Korean's debt. On the other hand, she can't help thinking that she might have just switched one evil for a lesser one and seeing how she doesn't know people too well yet, she does leave room to find some bad surprises...

Time will tell. With her ration of the shower coming up and the urge to use the toilet also swelling, she picks up her grooming kit and the two small towels and leaves for the bathroom, stopping at the door and knocking to see how occupied the bathroom was at the moment.
You can hear water running in the shower when you approach the door and knock. The small sign on the door indicates that it is Marta's slot for hot water. You hear her and Greta call out that it is safe to come in and open the door. The shower is off to the right and is curtained off from the rest of the room. Greta is at the sink brushing her teeth and waves at you as you step in. She has a towel wrapped about her waist and another on her head, but is otherwise unclothed. The toilet is actually enclosed and beckons invitingly. There is a large, hand printed sign on the stall door that reads, "Please give a warning before flushing."

Lina enters as soon as the others let her know it is safe and closes the door behind her back again. She puts the grooming bag and the towels near the sink and goes to complete her toilet run. After she has taken that item off her list, not without adhering to the sign on the stall door, she readies her showering equipment and prepares her toothbrush before joining Greta at the sink.

"Good morning my neighbors !"

She greets the others (she assumes Marta is occupying the shower, as it doesn't take a genius to figure that out) with the first bits of foam forming when she starts brushing her teeth. Looking at herself in the mirror, she brushes a few wrinkles off the t-shirt she had been sleeping in.


Greta wishes you a good morning in response. She motions with her head to the shower. “Someone is chipper this morning because she got laid last night. Sometimes I wish I was as open about it as she is. It’s like she will bed anything that walks, talks, and shows an interest in her. Male or female, does not make a difference. And she is happy. I am so tied up with trying to make sure that it might be the right guy that it never turns out right. Most of my relationships last a few weeks at most then implode for some reason. She is completely at ease if the relationship lasts only as long as it take to get laid once.” She finishes putting her things away in a small kit bag and nods to you. “Marta said the guy left at three, so it’s only us girls. See you when you are done.”

Greta takes the towel off her head and shakes her hair before leaving the room. There is a soft ding from somewhere and Marta swears. The water shuts off and she steps from the shower and grabs a towel. “Hey, Lina, right? I hope Rob and I did not disturb you too much last night. You can tell me if it does and I will do my best to turn it down a notch. Oh, and by the way, in case no one told you, that ding means that you have two minutes of water left and ought to be thinking of finishing up.” It is easy to see why she might not have too hard a time getting people interested in her; her body could easily make a centerfold model cry in jealousy. Perfect hips, perfect breasts, perfect everything. And apparently well used, according to Greta. Marta finishes towelling off and wraps the towel around her hips as she walks to the sink and picks up a small kit bag from the floor near it. She begins her daily grooming and says. “You did great yesterday. I have always wanted to be a doctor, like the rest of you. But Lily wants me to keep doing what I do for now. Doesn’t really bother me as I do real good at it, but I don’t get to save many lives.” There is a soft double tone and she turns to you. “That is your signal. You get fifteen minutes of hot water for showers and about five more for other things later in the day. I always recommend that you use as much as you can, because what you do not use just goes away. Of course, it is a very fine line between not using enough and staying in too long. There is no real gradual change from hot to cold. No, no. It is just wham bam, thank you ma’am and then freezing cold. I almost think that whoever designed the system must have been a sadist.”

She goes quiet as you strip down and step into the shower and after a couple more minutes she calls out that she is leaving and you hear the door open and close.


Lina gives Greta a nod and a reassuring pat on the shoulder.

"Might be the job. Always comes first, that is a pretty fragging effective relationship killer if you ask me."

She shrugs and thinks back to Peter for a moment with a wistful sigh. It was yesterday's snow by now, but still the thought wasn't too comfortable. Lina pushes it aside and spits the toothpaste out. She guesses it really takes a special kind of loon for this line of work. "See you when I'm done !" She waves as Greta leaves and
packs up the toothbrush and paste.

"Right, thats me." She offers Marta her hand and gives the woman a short once-over. "Nooo, that's alright. I don't mind at all." Agreed, it had taken some time to get used to the background noise, but she had slept under worse conditions than some bed olympics next door. She scratches her head. "Thanks, but to be fair, I'm just an EMT / paramedic, not a doc, but I think I know what you mean. I guess you have been told that a million times before, but you're doing an impressive triage and that thats the basic necessity for us to be able to do the job properly without any incomings going ex. You have as much of a hand in every saved life as the rest of us." She chuckles. "Sorry, I didn't mean to preach and you probably knew that already." Lina looks at the shower suspiciously. She doubted tha sadist part. She assumed it had been placed there by the lowest bidder and that stupidity or a cheap landlord was way more likely than malice.

"Thanks for the tip, I'll see if I can get myself sufficiently wet without freezing off something by accident !" She undresses and steps into the shower. Nothing beats a nice warm shower in the morning... However, she allows her thought to wander and is thus apruptly thrown back into reality when a sudden gust of ice-cold water takes her by surprise.


She doesn't recall ever leaving a shower as quick as she does now, cursing under her breath as she dries herself and makes her way back to the room to get dressed
As you exit the bathroom, you see both Greta and Marta sitting in the living room. Marta has a tablet of some sort in front of her face, but her body is jiggling. Greta is not even trying to hide her chuckle. “Tried to cut it a bit too fine, eh? We’ve all tried that on occasion. Or simply forgot to listen to the machine for the tone. It does make for some perky nipples though, doesn’t it?” As you head off to your room, both of the others break out laughing. Once dressed, the three of you go downstairs and out the door. A line is already forming for the clinic, although much shorter than the previous day. Perhaps the four uniformed KE officers are having an effect on who is showing up. They must have changed shift in the night as you do not recognize any of them, although Marta goes up to one of the two women and talks softly to her. Greta points to a small food truck that has pulled up in the street and takes a step towards it. “Hmmm. I wonder where Roberto is, and that is not his truck. I am………………..”a violently shoves you aside and dives to the pavement as she yells out, “Everyone down. Code 8. Everyone do………………..”

The blast of the truck exploding cuts her words off. You are thrown thirty feet and land in the street like a rag doll. Your head is spinning and you cannot hear anything. You are vaguely aware of sharp pains in your body from bits of shrapnel.
"Eh, you know how it goes, testing your limits and all that. But yeah, perky is a nice way of putting it, I bet you could've straightened a crooked nail on them. It's like they simply switch directly from warm water to ice water. Bah !" She sticks out her tongue to the two others and slips into her room to get dressed only to resurface a few minutes later dressed in one of her t-shirt-jeans combos. Only this time she is wearing her boots, as they are much easier to clean and also survive a few drips of bodily fluids, the sneakers were somewhat more sensitive in that regard. Lina decides to carry her handguns as well after being told that it might be a sensible thing to do. The three go downstairs and outside where a small line has formed.

She is just taking a few breaths of air and looking forward to breakfast as she suddenly notices a shove and finds herself on her way to the ground, still wondering what Greta means with the 'Code 8'. And then the world turns bright and loud and she knows the score. Lina is blinded by the flash and her hearing cuts out as well. Then it feels as if a giant hand picks her up, presses the air out of her lungs and flings her into the other direction. She bounces off the tarmac like a rubber ball and with the equivalent of a powerfull troll kick in the back and a pretty strong slap to the back of her head, she lands on the ground, this time for good. She's dizzy and its still silent except for a constant ringing tone. Linas eyes need to adjust as she tries to open them. Her lungs burn and breathing is painful, but she's sure they're intact. Her hands still work, so she wipes the blood out of her eyes. The pain stabs her sharply as she tries to get up. At the moment it still feels as if the pain is dulled by cotton-wool (How would that even work ?), but she knows that once the adrenaline wears off, she'll be in a world of hurt. Shaking her head, she gets to her knees. Legs are shaky, joints stiff, whether due to injury or just as an after effect from the blast... she doesn't know. Still trying to get her head clear, she takes a look at her surroundings.

Where are Greta and Marta ? Where are the KE guys ? If this was just a warning or a simply bomb, thats one thing. But if this was just clearing the perimeter, they might have hostiles coming at them any second now ! The first few clumsy steps took her closer to where they had been when the blast went off. The thoughts hammer through her head almost mechanically: Find others. Secure perimeter. Evacuate wounded. Wait for reinforcements to arrive.
As you stagger to your feet and look around all you see is bodies and blood. There is a crater in the street where the food truck had been. The ringing in your ears is fading just in time to hear the squeal of tires as a van comes screaming down the street. Turning your head, you see a man in black garb on the outside of the van, submachine gun in hand.
As you stagger to your feet and look around all you see is bodies and blood. There is a crater in the street where the food truck had been. The ringing in your ears is fading just in time to hear the squeal of tires as a van comes screaming down the street. Turning your head, you see a man in black garb on the outside of the van, submachine gun in hand.
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