So everybody put down some good retrospectives cause I didn’t even work in a holiday pun so you should all gimme mad props.
Yes, he would potentially risk the lives of his holding by exposing them to his infection. Yes, he would shoot at the only non-threat in the room. Yes, he would lie straight-faced to those trying to help. He would even seal Nipple’s death warrant…
I must remember my objectives. I will survive with my collected knowledge and genetic potential intact. I meditate on the rule of 3’s… The average human body can live three minutes without oxygen, three days without water, and three weeks without food. A body can live. I will live. And when that heathen comes to my cage, I will not hesitate to reclaim my freedom. I cannot be owned, and I will not be sullied. All my thought, energy, and effort must be focused on the task at hand. This cage is not a prison, but a finery forge. I am wrought iron become steel. Soon, Nipples will no longer pollute this already hellish world with his presence.
Vega stepped into the cool shadow of the lookout tower, his eyes adjusting slowly. He took a hesitant step forward, holding his guts in. The ladyboy hadn’t had any idea how ready Vega had been to slipping into blackness, how unsteady he had been on his feet. Steady as she goes. One foot in front of the other, a couple more times and we’re there.
The motorhome ahead screeched irritably as the screen door swung on ancient hinges, and clattered with satisfaction back against aluminum siding. A figure – Assfuzz, Vega recalled the name – walked down the steps and across the garden bed, trampling all over what little, weedy plant life grew in the dusty shade here. Fuzz had white marks on his neck, irregular shapes, as if he had been strangled just now. But there was no time and no alternative. Vega knew that his bleeding had to end soon, one way or another.
Luckily, Doc Wallstain was already at the door, his amused gaze leveling on Vega.
“Well well well, look what the cat dragged in!” Wallstain said in his typical, melodromatic drawl, “They’re just dying for my attention these days… Aybee, Beeplus, help the nice man in!”
Metal hinges could be heard within, and two children came out, each struggling up underneath one of Vega’s massive biceps. Somehow they got him seated in a Lay-Z-Boy and reclined. The little scrubs were really fucking strong. And clean! Wallstein himself wore a brown-stained vinyl smock and a clearly fake stethoscope and head reflector that looked like they came out of a haloween outfit.
“Doc… I… Nnnnn…guh…” Vega tried to spit the words out but mostly just blood came out. It wasn’t looking good.
“Internal bleeding? Splendid! Ohplus? Are you around, you beautiful miserable worm?”
A bank of cages welded to the wall rattled, and a third urchin appeared meekly – from Vega’s vantage, almost seeming to rise up from the ground.
“I have three bags sir! I been saving them up! I even kept them cold, look,” the urchin said hopefully, profferring three blood bags.
Wallstain looked at the bags, then back to Vega, then back to the bags. “I need another right now. And mind the blood on the floor, I have a funny feeling about this,” he said tersely, breaking his jovial mood. Vega squirmed uncomfortably but Wallstain was already securing metal clamps around Vega’s arms, legs, and neck. He leaned close, almost touching, and whispered – “Just remember, FRIEND. I am the doc here, not that Oxford whore. I’m gonna fix you up good this time,” he rose, running his hand over an iron, lifting it off the wall and placing it solemnly into the brazier. “real good.”
Wallstain hummed as he worked. He talked jovially. He dug out bullets, all the while telling Vega about how his family used to be called “Wallstein”, and had mostly just kept their name the same down the years. Not doctors, but the next best thing. Now he had stopped working. He was getting serious again, and that was always a bad sign. He was staring real intent-like into a microscope and writing some numbers on the inside of a soup can label. Finally, he turned around to address Vega, another needle in hand.
“I’m so happy you chose to stay with me this whole time. And by choosing to stay with me, I mean being forced conscious by these… these WONDERFUL stimpacks! Why, you would have passed out HOURS ago, a man of your… constitution. Capital! We’re going to do great things together, great things for medical science!”
Vega shook his head. Sure, he felt better. But in this case better involved a million points of searing pain where knives had dug and pliars had clamped and hot irons had been used to cauterize blood. But even his head wouldn’t move much, his neck still clamped down. He grunted, a frail sound that seemed to express a lot less malice and more self-pity than intended. Wallstein administered the injection, and Vega could do nothing but work in the back of his mind to relax the muscles of his arm.
“You know, I’m very pleased by these blood tests Vega,” Wallstein started again, carefully, “These are the blood tests of a great leader. Someone to be feared. Someone who will bring me the kinds of things that I crave. The kind of leader I always wanted. Just remember what I’ve done for you today. Remember that only I will keep you safe and whole, regardless of the costs. Remember that… literally… everyone is out to get you. Why, I just can’t wait to see what you’ll do next!”
Wallstain undid the buckles. Vega had it in mind to throttle Wallstain. There was no way that this just happened. No way. His hands would not obey with the desired violence, he just felt too crushed, too drained. Wallstain whispered soemthing into his ear that he didn’t hear, and Vega numbly stood up and walked back to his room.
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