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584876 No. 584876 ID: 7e38be

first thread: http://tgchan.org/kusaba/questarch/res/569863.html[/spoiler]
Expand all images
No. 584877 ID: 7e38be
File 140588163545.png - (24.22KB , 1000x1000 , 0022.png )

the tram slows to a halt at the station. Lupa's 8 hours are up. she finds herself relieved to be free of the mine, but she knows it is only a temporary comfort. the dread clings to her like a tick, gnawing at her. she banishes the thought and just focuses on the bright side. it's Friday. she has the rest of the weekend before she has to return to the darkness.

she trudges to the locker room and to her locker, cruising through the rest of her routine thoughtlessly. existing outside of and separate from reality, fully engrossed in her own thoughts.
No. 584878 ID: 7e38be
File 140588164542.png - (23.69KB , 1000x1000 , 0023.png )

No. 584884 ID: 7e38be
File 140588183872.png - (22.49KB , 1000x1000 , 0024.png )

"Lupa." the Commander nods to her.

"hello Commander." Lupa says, diverting her eyes from her superior, "what's up?"

"you've been doing great work." she says dismissively, thumbing through a clipboard full of papers.

"thanks commander, but honestly I wouldn't have found that last vein without Charlie and Harry."

"no no no." she shakes her head, "I'm not talking about recently. here look at this."
No. 584885 ID: 7e38be
File 140588185946.png - (38.02KB , 1000x1000 , 0025.png )

"this is a list of the veins of Pharonium that have been located, the date, the volume, and the name of the miner that struck it first. I've highlighted the veins you have found."

"wow that's quite a few." Lupa remarks.
No. 584886 ID: 7e38be
File 140588187910.png - (26.13KB , 1000x1000 , 0026.png )

"yeah you're creeping up on Charlie's record." she stows the clipboard, "speaking of which, have you considered going number 2?"

"uh excuse me?"
No. 584888 ID: 7e38be
File 140588192913.png - (22.30KB , 1000x1000 , 0027.png )

"you know," the Commander smirks, "being the second in command to the Commander. like how Charlie's my minion. you know, if I get promoted or crushed by a landslide or whatever Charlie's gonna be running D unit. in that case you might want to be his number 2."

"I don't know." Lupa says autonomically.

"think about it." she demands, "also, you're coming to my apartment tonight. I'm bringing Charlie and some guys from the unit over and we're all gonna get shitfaced."

"what's the occasion?"

"I'm sober."
No. 584895 ID: 22d852

>going number 2
Think to yourself. Does the number 2 spend more or less time underground? Is there less hands on and more management, or bureaucracy? Moving up the ladder might get you some relief.

>coming to my apartment tonight
Agree. Socialization with friends, above ground, is a good thing.
No. 584896 ID: 276edd

Promotion is definitely in your favor. You might eventually reach the point that you're organizing the digs instead of going on them.

... but at the same time that might mean you end up prospecting in unknown territory.

In the end, you shouldn't pass up this opportunity. You might not get another offer like this for a long time.

... could your talent for finding deposits be related to your fear? Perhaps the near perpetual anxiety keeps your senses sharp due to adrenaline, or your species' equivalent. When people are in danger, their senses tend to become sharper.
No. 584912 ID: 9ddf68

wait didn't you have to see the head of security for some paper crap? could you stop by there first and then head towards the party? I mean if not didn't the HoS say you risk being deported or something?
No. 585070 ID: a36601

yeah, you should probably do something about that before you head off to go drinking with them. Some time hanging with the people you work with could do you some good.

So what do you do to relax when you are not working?
No. 585192 ID: 4a20fa

>"I'm sober."
I like her reasoning.

Tell her you've got to sort out the visa first.
No. 585596 ID: 7e38be
File 140618938344.png - (22.59KB , 1000x1000 , 0028.png )

what does anyone do with their free time, she wonders. a tinge of guilt snakes its way up her spine, as she remembers it has been an entire two and a half weeks since she sat down and wrote anything. she had mostly been spending her time watching old russian sitcoms that she brought with her from Pripyat.

"I'll be there." Lupa nods, "I have to renew my immigration papers with security first."

"yeah I'd hate for you to be deported back to whatever frozen gulag you crawled out of at my party. speaking of which make sure you drag tweety bird along with you."
No. 585597 ID: 7e38be
File 140618941061.png - (34.28KB , 1000x1000 , 0029.png )

"alright Lupa I think everything is in order here." Reggie says as she finishes logging the information into the computer at her desk, "we just have to wait for your new documentation to get printed."

Lupa nods, glancing around the office, which is by no means lavish, but the dark oaken colors and faux wood panelling gives a sense of worldliness, as though Lt. Nutalli had just arrived from some hunting expedition in the depths of uncharted Africa.
No. 585598 ID: 7e38be
File 140618944603.png - (24.54KB , 1000x1000 , 0030.png )

"hey, Lupa." the Avian mutters, leaning back in her chair, "How's uh... How's Charlie doing?"
No. 585599 ID: 9ddf68

think he's heading to a party that Commander decided to throw tonight, a party that once she heard that Lupa was heading down here anyways to fill out paperwork asked her to invite Nutalli to the party once you were done here.
No. 585600 ID: 53548a

How should I know? Why, you got a thing for him?
No. 585613 ID: 6d3b18

>it has been an entire two and a half weeks since she sat down and wrote anything
Ooh! What kind of things do you like to write?

>How's uh... How's Charlie doing?
Charlie's good, busy being, well, Charlie.

He's gonna be at this thing at the Commander's place tonight, if you were looking for him.
No. 585622 ID: ced646

"Charlie's doing good I think. He'll be at the commander's party later tonight, if you'd like to come along."
No. 586090 ID: 7e38be
File 140646064489.png - (21.04KB , 1000x1000 , 0031.png )

"he seems fine." Lupa replies, "I think he's coming to the Commander's tonight with a bunch of the guys from the unit. actually, the Commander told me to bring you along. why do you ask?"

"the Commander wants me to come by tonight? I assume it was an order, huh?" she laughs, "yeah I might make an appearance after I get off work."
No. 586091 ID: 7e38be
File 140646068125.png - (27.19KB , 1000x1000 , 0032.png )

the printer hums as it regurgitates a warm stack of crisp pages, displaying the Vulpine's face.

"alright Lupa, you're free to go." the Avian smiles warmly as she hands Lupa a copy of her immigration forms, "see you next month."

Lupa nods nervously as she takes the documentation, clutching the lifeline with all the gravity such an item deserves. in her head she had always known she could simply ask Lt. Nutalli for a new copy if she lost or damaged her immigration forms, but deep in the recesses of her Id she nursed the animal fear that losing the papers would cause her to be shipped back to Pripyat.
No. 586092 ID: 7e38be
File 140646071798.png - (30.42KB , 1000x1000 , 0033.png )

Lupa excuses herself from the room, and nearly collides with a security officer as he enters the office.

"apologies, ma'am. is this a good time Lieutenant?" the man asks. his build wiry but full of lean muscle like a wild predator.

"yeah Cyrus come on in." the Avian nods, "excuse us, Lupa."
No. 586093 ID: 7e38be
File 140646076591.png - (21.62KB , 1000x1000 , 0034.png )

the Vulpine leaves the room, closing the door behind herself.

"who was that?" Cyrus' eyes linger on the door as he seats himself at the desk.

"you got yourself a crush?" Reggie grins, "that was Lupa."

"Lupa... wait Lupa Rafikovna? the girl from Chernobyl? that was the Lupa Rafikovna that ran with that one street gang?"

the Avian nods.

"she's the one that made that guy choke to death on his own teeth right?"

"well not on purpose." Reggie scratches the back of her head, "she was stomping down on his nose and one of his teeth went down his throat."

"you know I was expecting someone... taller." the security officer glances back toward the door. the Vulpine's form still visible through the glass.
No. 586107 ID: 9ddf68

sooo, why exactly did you come to Nutalli's again?
No. 586110 ID: 53548a

Lupa: go 2 pardy
No. 586176 ID: 6d3b18

>you know I was expecting someone... taller
You know what they say about underestimating people, bub.
No. 587570 ID: 7e38be
File 140697234274.png - (23.26KB , 1000x1000 , 0035.png )

"knock knock." Lupa says as she enters the apartment.

"hey Shortie." Charlie grins, "you gotta see what the Commander has."

"sure, what's th-"
No. 587572 ID: 7e38be
File 140697236391.png - (36.41KB , 1000x1000 , 0036.png )


Lupa stares at the Saurian like a man stares at his own gravestone, with a mix of confusion and dread. a stream of thought wider and longer than any river assaults her, drowning her psyche, suffocating her in possibilities. she thinks to say hello, to beg for forgiveness, to scream out in anger, to leave the apartment, to simply sit down and die; she does none of this, because the commander picks up a very long very sharp knife.

"alright check this out." charlie says giddily.
No. 587573 ID: 7e38be
File 140697237331.png - (23.13KB , 1000x1000 , 0037.png )

No. 587574 ID: 7e38be
File 140697247004.png - (23.18KB , 1000x1000 , 0038.png )

"space age fucking tech right here." the Commander beams, "weighs next to nothing, but hardens in response to physical trauma, amplifies the physical force exerted by the wielder, air conditioned, breathable, fucking thing might as well serve you gin. we're talking about an exosuit you can wear under your clothes that can stop small arms fire!"

"that's... that's amazing." Lupa replies, "how did you get your hands on that?"

"all the commanders got to sample the new suits." she flexes the bodyglove, "the company is testing to see if these puppies are worth the hype. they are, by the way. I actually got two. some clerical mistake apparently."
No. 587578 ID: dc4b80

Neat stuff there. Is it to replace the old exo rigs?

Also did you get two suits or just extra gloves?

So what exactly happened to cause Cammy to transfer? From your reaction it sounds like a mess. Never to early or late to apologize though.
No. 587581 ID: 4a20fa

No. 587583 ID: 39f842

Jesus, how strong do you have to be to shatter a knife one handed!
No. 587592 ID: 9ddf68

so what's your problem now lupa?

So how long until those things become standard issue and who's getting the second one?
No. 587607 ID: 53548a

Got someone in mind for the spare?
No. 587610 ID: f839a9

>cammy, forgiveness
What the heck did you do? Or what do you think you did.

>I actually got two. some clerical mistake apparently.
So... have you tested what happens when super-suit hits super-suit?
No. 587999 ID: 502058

go hug her you ass.

who gets the other set? is this a reward thing? if not i gamble you for it?
No. 589044 ID: 7e38be
File 140774396914.png - (24.75KB , 1000x1000 , 0039.png )

Lupa has no idea why Cammy transferred. she just stopped talking to her after Lupa's birthday, and after a week she was transferred out of the unit. that had been five months ago and Cammy still hasn't spoken a word to her. after this much time it couldn't be an accident, or even neglect. Lupa is certain now that Cammy is actively avoiding her.

Lupa has been wracking her brain for weeks trying to figure out why Cammy would want to avoid her. she thinks back to her birthday again and what happened. she had been drinking but she certainly wasn't drunk. she doesn't remember doing anything out of the ordinary.

she glances over at the saurian. they catch each others' eyes both quickly avert their gazes.
No. 589045 ID: 7e38be
File 140774399291.png - (37.05KB , 1000x1000 , 0040.png )

"so are these going to be standard issue?" Lupa asks.

"maybe." the Commander shrugs, pulling the glove off, "they're still working out all the design elements. right now the things are just too expensive to manufacture, plus the suit has to be custom fitted to the user."

"so who's the other suit for?"

"no idea who it was fitted for." the Commander says as she collects the shards of the blade, "between 5'9" and 6'3", kind of skinny. that's all I got so far. the manufacturer says it's just a template suit. they'll be taking it back next week."

"so until then...?" Lupa says expectantly.
No. 589046 ID: 7e38be
File 140774401682.png - (30.33KB , 1000x1000 , 0041.png )

"don't even think about it." she smirks, "these suits aren't toys. they are extremely expensive pieces of equipment."

"extremely expensive and indestructable." Charlie interjects.

"almost." she corrects, "they can take a beating, but they aren't unbreakable."

"what happens when super-suit hits super-suit?"
No. 589047 ID: 7e38be
File 140774404176.png - (21.78KB , 1000x1000 , 0042.png )

"I haven't tried." she huffs, "like I said, this stuff is too expensive to just be screwing around with."

"yeah but really what happened." charlie asks.

"it was pretty cool." she grins.
No. 589050 ID: 4a20fa

The commander continues to be awesome.

Break the silence and say hi to Cammy already.
No. 589070 ID: e6e219

I have a feeling you may have got a bit drunk and hit on her. Or something embarrassing was said that you cant remember.

Once you get a moment alone with her try to find out what happened. Until we know what went wrong we can't work at fixing it.
No. 589074 ID: 4b571b

>she just stopped talking to her after Lupa's birthday
Did something happen on your birthday? Did you say something you hadn't said before, did she see you do something, was there a lot of drinking and something you can't remember...?

>between 5'9" and 6'3
Well, not for Lupa, then.
No. 589142 ID: 9a284f

I wonder what would happen if you wear this with the exo-suit rig thing that i forgot the name of?
No. 589261 ID: 7e38be
File 140791984046.png - (25.23KB , 1000x1000 , 0043.png )

Lupa ducks out of the conversation and slides next to Cammy at the table.

"hey Cammy." she says as she sits, "it's been a while, huh?"

she smiles back wearily, "sorry. I've been really busy recently."

"well how're things going?"

"not great." she sighs, "F unit is kind of trash. the Commander is an idiot so I have to most of his job for him."

"yeah Ricky is fuckin' useless." the Commander pipes in, "that's text book nepotism that got him his job."

"you could always come back to D unit." Lupa says. there is a tangible pause as Cammy processes the words.

"I would but if I stick it out for an other few months Ricky's probably gonna get fired then I'll be the F unit's Commander."

the Commander snorts, "being in charge is not nearly as much fun as you would expect. there's a whole layer of political bullshit you have to wade through every day before you even get to go down into the mine."

"how much more money do you make again, Commander?" Harry asks from the couch, momentarily pulled away from the movie playing.

"enough to afford like twenty steak knives to break, apparently." Charlie replies.
No. 589263 ID: 2fd516

Hmph, she's lying. You're not gonna get the truth out of her where anyone else can hear it. It's probably something embarrassing for her. Maybe tell her you want to talk to her in private, but it's okay if she doesn't want to do it right now. If she doesn't want to talk about it right now, then just try to enjoy the party.

Hey Lupa, are you into girls, or guys?
No. 589304 ID: 4b571b

She's avoiding saying something, but I don't think this is really the time or place to push. Give her an apologetic look and drop it?
No. 589334 ID: 9ddf68

uh, isn't Cammy suppose to have a horn on her nose like in >>589044

well tell her if she ever wants to hang or just have a drink together she can give you a call.
No. 589356 ID: 0cc49e

It's still there, but the angle makes it look like part of her hair. It's clearer if you enlarge the image.
No. 589383 ID: 7e38be

thank you for bringing that to my attention. fixed now.
No. 589801 ID: 7e38be
File 140826143116.png - (28.88KB , 1000x1000 , 0044.png )

she isn't sure what sexual preference has to do with this, but Lupa has always considered herself Heterosexual.

"anyway, it's good to see you again, Cammy." Lupa says.

there's a knock at the front door.

"Get in here." the Commander shouts from the kitchen. Reggie enters the apartment holding a binder filled to bursting with papers. behind her, the officer from earlier today saunters in.
No. 589802 ID: 7e38be
File 140826147053.png - (31.37KB , 1000x1000 , 0045.png )

"you got some homework for me?" the Commander asks as she takes a swig from some Irish ale.

"nope," the Avian smiles, "take a look at this."

Reggie opens the binder and presents a page to the Commander, who grins widely.

"you have a promising career as a Polititian, Patty." Reggie says as the Commander reads the page silently.

"insulting me in my own home." she laughs, "so they're really considering it? I didn't even expect them to read it..."

"this victory song might be more impactful if any of the rest of us knew what 'it' is supposed to be." Harry says.

"right." the Commander closes the binder, "long story short, the way it's set up now, the only people with more than basic benefits, like health and life insurance or free housing, are people at or above my pay grade. as it stands the only people in this room that can afford to have their arms ripped off are me and Reggie. so for the last, let's say, 5 years I've been trying to have them extend that to all the miners. looks like they're finally starting to see things my way."
No. 589803 ID: 9ddf68

holy shit Commander you mean to tell me that you actually got the people up top to care about something other then there own wallets? Color me impressed.
No. 589804 ID: 2fd516

Oh, so what are the new benefits?
No. 589833 ID: 4b571b

...not to get our hopes up, but damn. How the hell did you sell them on that one?
No. 589950 ID: 7e38be
File 140833250555.png - (16.55KB , 1000x1000 , 0046.png )

"how did you manage to pull that off?" Lupa asks.

the Commander shrugs, "well stubbornness certainly helped, though I've been documenting the turnover rate for the past few years and it seems that more people are quitting than there are being hired. turns out crawling around in the dark for no pay is... ah, less than optimal conditions. perhaps some health insurance would sweeten that pot."

"so what benefits do we have now?"

"nothing, for right now." she gulps down more of the brew, "all they've said is that they will let me plead the case sometime next month."

sensing a dip in the conversation, the Officer sits down opposite Lupa.

"Hey there." he says, his voice warm and soft, with the hint of an Italian upbringing, "Lupa, right? we met earlier. I'm Cyrus, by the way."

"Hello." Lupa mutters. the man's golden eyes seem to bore through her skull and stare into her mind, the thought brings a quiet dread into the base of her spine which aches dully.

"your accent... forgive me for asking, but are you from northern Ukraine?"

"uh, yes... Pripyat, actually." she stammers, "though I was born in Russia."

"sorry," he grins, "accents and dialects, they are an interest of mine. I have to say your English is flawless."

"oh... um... thank you." Lupa replies, "I um... my father taught me."
No. 589951 ID: 2fd516

...are you afraid of men like, ALL the time?

Ask if he has any family.
No. 589983 ID: 9ddf68

ask if he knows the commander or someone here, I mean I know we haven't seen him around before today and if he doesn't' really know anyone unless he's here for free beer I'm kinda wondering why he came.
No. 590011 ID: 4b571b

>a quiet dread into the base of her spine which aches dully
Is there something specific bringing that on? Is it him, or you?

Really, though, there's no need to give into feeling that like. You're out of the dark, for the moment. You're among friends. You're safe. He can't really scare you worse than you face every day, can he?
No. 590907 ID: 7e38be
File 140885784698.png - (29.93KB , 1000x1000 , 0047.png )

of course Lupa is not afraid of men. she's afraid of strangers. and people with piercing glares. this man simply has the misfortune of being both.

it's not uncommon for new people to show up to one the Commander's benders. in fact she met most of the people she interacts with now when Cammy brought her over to one about 4 years ago.

"so what brings you around here?" she asks.

"it's a bit embarrassing actually." he laughs, "I'm new here, and I don't know too many people. the Lieutenant would probably say that she dragged me here but really I was the one that asked to tag along."

"I can understand that feeling." she admits, "I had no one to talk to for a while. my first few weeks were... pretty lonely. do you have any family back home?"
No. 590908 ID: 7e38be
File 140885787499.png - (26.65KB , 1000x1000 , 0048.png )

"not anymore." he shakes his head, "my parents both died while I was enlisted."

"enlisted?" Lupa glances down at the dog tags hanging from his neck.

"yes, I was involved in a conflict a few miles north of the Isreali border for a few years."

"I'm gonna go smoke real quick." Cammy mutters as she stands and hastily retreats to the sliding door.
No. 590909 ID: 2fd516

Hmm, yep, she reacted negatively to a guy taking an interest in you, and then ran off. She's got a crush on you, I'm sure of it. Oh hey, this is a chance to talk to Cammy in private. Go over and press her for the truth.

But uh, don't be rude. Cyrus seems nice, so tell him you'll be right back.
No. 590910 ID: 9ddf68

is it just me or does Cammy seem a bit pissed?

so what brings this guy all the way here? I mean I would have thought that there would have been a lot more glamours jobs for a war veteran then baby sitting a bunch of miners in the ass end of nowhere.
No. 590911 ID: 436cdc

Yeah, go talk with cammy about this. It's pretty clear something's up.
Excuse yourself politely, just tell them you want to check on her.
No. 590927 ID: 487455

>She's got a crush on you, I'm sure of it.
Well if that's the theory: did anything happen with anyone else on that birthday that would have made her jealous?

>what do
Wait a few minutes before going after Cammy. I know you want to talk to her, but everyone on the table immediately bailing on this guy as soon as he admits he doesn't know anyone and tries to open up is pretty cruel. Engage him for a bit before finding a better opportunity to step away.
No. 590935 ID: 4a20fa

This. At least drag the conversation into involving some of the others hanging around (Harry?) before you bail.
No. 592358 ID: 7e38be
File 140976604592.png - (20.63KB , 1000x1000 , 0049.png )

Lupa can't remember Cammy acting strangely at all on her birthday. she even stayed after to help clean up her dorm and...
No. 592359 ID: 7e38be
File 140976606089.png - (21.13KB , 1000x1000 , 0050.png )

No. 592360 ID: 7e38be
File 140976610007.png - (30.51KB , 1000x1000 , 0051.png )

"h-hey Charlie, you were enlisted too, weren't you?" Lupa stutters out.

"kind of." he nods, "I was an APC operator for a few years."

"really?" Cyrus turns to him, "M2 Bradley?"

"yup." he opens a bottle of brew as he sits at the table, "I might as well have been driving a Geo Metro."

"the Bradley is a luxury vehicle compared to the BTR-60, I assure you."
No. 592361 ID: 7e38be
File 140976612326.png - (28.10KB , 1000x1000 , 0052.png )

Lupa ducks out of the conversation and heads out to the balcony. Cammy sits against the wall, a cigarette burning in her hand, the filter torn off how Cammy always does, flirting with a carcenogenic death as she pulls long and deep from the unfiltered slim. Lupa sits down beside her.

"hey Cammy can I bum a smoke?" she asks.
No. 592363 ID: 7e38be
File 140976614280.png - (22.32KB , 1000x1000 , 0053.png )

No. 592364 ID: 7e38be
File 140976615477.png - (32.86KB , 1000x1000 , 0054.png )

No. 592365 ID: 7e38be
File 140976617676.png - (23.79KB , 1000x1000 , 0055.png )

"Hey Cammy, can we talk about what happened the day after my birthday?"

"I don't quite remember what you mean." she mutters.
No. 592366 ID: 7e38be
File 140976620004.png - (25.28KB , 1000x1000 , 0056.png )

"I mean how you shoved your tongue down my throat the night after my birthday."
No. 592367 ID: 7e38be
File 140976623032.png - (32.70KB , 1000x953 , 0057.png )

"I had assumed you were just drunk," Lupa rationalizes, "I mean we both finished off that bottle of vodka and we were both pretty tipsy so..."

"I didn't drink anything that night. I was sober."

"so... why did-"

"Because I'm fucking gay, Lupa."
No. 592368 ID: 7e38be
File 140976625167.png - (22.06KB , 1000x1000 , 0058.png )

"and I'm really stupid." she sighs heavily, the weight of her words crushing her as they pour forth, "and I thought you were... that you felt the same way."

"you thought I had a crush on you too?" Lupa replies.

"crush?" she shakes her head, "Lupa I didn't have a crush on you. you're talking like I was planning on some fucking fling or summer romance or some shit."
No. 592369 ID: 7e38be
File 140976629011.png - (14.20KB , 1000x1000 , 0059.png )

she twists the filter off an other cigarette and places it into her mouth, "it's the painful kind. the kind that burns in the pit of your gut like an ulcer. for months and months we'd be watching old horror movies together or getting drunk in your dorm talking about nothing and I'd be there nursing my... my desires like a kanker sore. then..."
No. 592370 ID: 7e38be
File 140976634821.png - (34.81KB , 1000x953 , 0060.png )

"then you said it. the night after your birthday." she rubs her temple, "you said you loved me. I know what you meant. you meant love like someone would love a song on the radio, or a dessert, not the kind I had. the corrosive, poisonous kind, but for a minute that ulcer stopped burning, I had to indulge in it, didn't I? I had to take that chance... no regrets, like in one of those trashy love stories..."
No. 592371 ID: 7e38be
File 140976642097.png - (35.53KB , 1000x1000 , 0061.png )

"I regret it so much."
No. 592373 ID: ebbdd7

Just to be 100% clear- you don't return those feelings, right? Kind of impacts how we handle this.

>how you shoved your tongue down my throat the night after my birthday
Geeze. All this time wondering what went wrong, and you missed the obvious thing.

I wonder if pointing out your own stupidity here would help. It's kind of reciprocal.

>flirting with a carcenogenic death
Like the filter makes a difference. Or compares to the risks you take for your living.

>I regret it so much
...you shouldn't. You shouldn't ever regret how you feel.
No. 592379 ID: 2fd516

...huh, I had no idea filters were mostly ineffective. They do keep in the tobacco flakes at least.

Tell her you really want to still be friends. She's your best friend. You love her for everything she is, not the shallow appreciation of a good smoke or tasty meal. Why should lack of sexual desire get in the way of that emotional connection? Plus maybe you can keep an eye out for girls she might like, yeah?
No. 592383 ID: 9ddf68

...she's still you're friend right?

Ask when these feelings started? was it a love at first sight kinda thing or what?
No. 592387 ID: fe4bfc

First figure out how you feel about her. Is it just as a friend or do you have any romantic feelings for her. Either way is fine but be honest with yourself. Do not try to force something that is not there.

Then you need to just talk with her. About you and her and how this all started. Maybe you can hang out again or maybe its to painful for her to see you all the time.

Unrequited love is sad but it happens. Sometimes you can get over it and stay friends and sometimes its just to much and its better to stay apart.
No. 592456 ID: 094283

tell her how much you miss her. tell her your life is falling apart, that you're afraid of the dark now, that you can't stand being without her. tell her you don't know if you're gay too, but that perhaps you're willing to try?
No. 592458 ID: ebbdd7

You regret that she left, especially if it was on your account.
No. 592516 ID: 879a42

Well I assume that lupa is straight, as that's why this is so confusing for her, so I guess just tell her its okay.

(Or maybe I'm an idiot and lupa is gay too, but the fuck do I know. If lupa is gay, then this whole thing needs to be approached differently, confirming her feelings for cammy and whatnot. Hell lupa may even be bisexual, that would be a strange twist. So do tell us her orientation so all of us know how to handle this, and if lupa herself doesn't know... well I have no idea what to do execept say a standard ''idk myself I need time I forgive you'' line.'')
No. 593039 ID: 7e38be
File 141008431860.png - (29.20KB , 1000x1000 , 0062.png )

Lupa has always considered herself heterosexual. in fact she had no idea that Cammy felt this way. she had always considered her a very close friend, her best friend, but only a friend.

"I'm sorry. I never realized..." Lupa replies finally.

"I know." Cammy replies, "It's not your fault, please don't apologize. it's my fault... all of this is."
No. 593040 ID: 7e38be
File 141008440924.png - (37.53KB , 1000x1000 , 0063.png )

"just because I don't love you... y'know, romantically, I.." Lupa trails off, trying to find the words, feeling foolish for being ignorant of Cammy's true feelings, "I do love you, not like some sort of food or drink, but truly. just because I have no romantic intentions doesn't mean that I don't love you."

"I know, I know. god damn it why did I say that? it sounded so vile and shallow." she stays silent for a moment, "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry for all of this. I've screwed everything up... I've been so fucking selfish, and I'm still fucking everything up. I'm so sorry."

Lupa searches for something to say to her, but she has never seen Cammy like this, or even anything similar. Cammy had always been so confident and optimistic, this seems so foreign now.
No. 593042 ID: 436cdc

Hug her you fool
No. 593082 ID: d90668

Just give her a hug and tell her that she is not vile or shallow. And its not selfish to want something. Say that you are just sorry it took so long to talk to her about this.
No. 593094 ID: 8b533b

...you didn't screw anything up. The only parts I regret is that it took thing long for me to figure out what happened, and that you went and disappeared over it.
No. 593096 ID: 2fd516

Just tell her you forgive her.
No. 593097 ID: 8b533b

I like the sentiment, but forgiving her is tantamount to admitting that she did something wrong in the first place. Not sure that's the message we need to get across.
No. 593101 ID: 9ddf68

say she's still your friend.
No. 593828 ID: 7e38be
File 141055186258.png - (29.74KB , 1000x1000 , 0064.png )

Lupa embraces her wordlessly. they stay like that for some time, Cammy's pain and anger and guilt flowing freely from her eye and dampening Lupa's shoulder.

"we're both in love with lies." Cammy half mutters, "you're in love with the lies I've told you, and I'm in love with the lies I've been telling myself."

"you have to stop blaming yourself for this. you've done nothing wrong."
No. 593829 ID: 7e38be
File 141055189369.png - (24.50KB , 1000x1000 , 0065.png )

"it's not selfish to want something, it's human."

"but I caused you so much pain." Cammy stammers.

"friends hurt each other sometimes. the fact that you and I were both so hurt is proof that we care so much about each other."
No. 593830 ID: 7e38be
File 141055193014.png - (24.67KB , 1000x1000 , 0066.png )

she sinks back into Lupa's arms, and stays there, still and silent.

"did we ever finish watching The Thing?" Cammy asks.

"no." Lupa shakes her head, "we got to the blood test scene."

"we could watch it tomorrow night... if you wanted to."
No. 593835 ID: 88960e

>but I caused you so much pain
I think she caused herself more pain beating herself up over it than she ever caused you.

>we could watch it tomorrow night... if you wanted to.
I'd like that. I missed you.
No. 593838 ID: 2fd516

That would be great! Ask her if she's gonna be okay. There's still a party you'd like to get back to (and maybe a handsome fellow to get to know but maybe don't say that), but you'll stay out here with her a while longer if she wants.
No. 594033 ID: 4a20fa

Chill out here a while. Returning to the party immediately would be an uncomfortable violent mood change.
No. 597748 ID: 7e38be
File 141284926259.png - (25.54KB , 1000x1000 , 0067.png )

"I'd like that a lot." Lupa smiles as she slumps back against the wall.

the sounds of carousing grow louder as the sliding glass door opens. Erik, the Commander of A unit walks out onto the balcony.

"Evening, ladies." he says in his thick Scottish drawl as he lights a cigarette.
No. 597750 ID: 7e38be
File 141284930410.png - (26.59KB , 1000x1000 , 0068.png )

Cammy hops up gleefully, "hey Carebear. what's up?"

he opens his mouth to speak, then glances at Cammy's face, "you alright, Fletcher?"
No. 597751 ID: 7e38be
File 141284933905.png - (28.01KB , 1000x1000 , 0069.png )

"oh yeah." she wipes her cheek, "allergies. don't worry about it."

"allergies, huh?" he sniffs.

"Patty's sweet, but she's diving into some dangerous waters." Erik says, gazing out into the night air.

"What do you mean?" Lupa asks, "with this proposal?"

"yup." he nods, "I miss the old system. everyone payed for their own needs with their own money. we got paid more, the workers were happy, the brass was happy. now we have this standardized, watered down garbage health insurance."

"there's no need to mourn the death of self interest." Lupa retorts.

"perhaps not self interest, but what about the death of personal responsibility? I fear for a world run by such entitled and unenlightened masses."

"I feel like people referring to employees and coworkers as "entitled and unenlightened masses" was precisely what Marx warned about."

Erik shrugs, "I suppose so. y'all ladies head back to the party, I need a minute out here alone."
No. 597752 ID: 7e38be
File 141284936626.png - (19.13KB , 1000x1000 , 0070.png )

Erik's presence worries Lupa. she and Erik have their political disagreements, but generally she considers him to be a nice guy. what worries her is that Erik certainly brought Curtis with him, and Lupa despises that man with a passion.

she reenters the warmth of the apartment. she catches herself falling into her habit of quietly drinking by herself. she can't just spend an other weekend drinking alone. she really should socialize, shouldn't she?
No. 597753 ID: 7e38be
File 141284940457.png - (61.12KB , 2000x1000 , 0071.png )

she takes a look around. it looks like Charlie and Cyrus are still talking shop about the war economy, and it looks like Reggie is bored to tears listening to it. Cammy and Harry seem to be getting along, a rare occurrence. Erik is talking to the Commander about... something as she mixes a drink and downs it. there are also some others from her unit, and some from A unit as well. she doesn't know them by name, though.
No. 597757 ID: 4b995e

well you started the whole war talks so you might as well try and go and save Reggie. At the very least you could at least have someone else to drink with.
No. 597758 ID: 8b533b

>Lupa despises [Curtis] with a passion
Any particular reason why?

>who talk to
Rescue Reggie from being bored to tears.
No. 597761 ID: 9e5d25

Is Curtis there? Whats he look like/whats wrong with him?
lets go talk to Reggie.
No. 597763 ID: 2fd516

Go talk to Charlie and Reggie!
No. 598955 ID: ad381c

Treat all the units to a drink.
No. 598981 ID: 7e38be
File 141377612371.png - (21.81KB , 1000x1000 , 0072.png )

Lupa dislikes Curtis because he has always been an asshole to her, and because he keeps calling her "Ivonna Sukuov", which is apparently not grounds for harassment, according to Human Resources. she glances over and catches sight of him in the kitchen, and groans under her breath. she decides to put it out of her mind and attempt to rescue Reggie from this conversation. it's only fair since it's partly Lupa's fault in the first place.

"hey." she says, sitting at the table.

"Lupa, a green beret can whip the shit out of any other soldier on Earth, right?" Charlie asks, out of breath.

"um." she shrugs.
No. 598982 ID: 7e38be
File 141377614918.png - (26.08KB , 1000x1000 , 0073.png )

"I promise you that the Hungarian Special Forces are the greatest in the world, friend." Cyrus counters, smiling warmly, "every sortie I've been on with one has been simply inspiring."

"um." Lupa utters again, glancing toward Reggie, who shrugs apologetically, "the only soldiers I've ever seen in person were Ukrainian Infantry."

"did they seem like they could beat a Green Beret?" Charlie prods.

"they kicked my ass, at least." she chuckles, nervously.

she wonders if she can take this opportunity to change the subject, and what she could talk about.
No. 598985 ID: 92f95d

Why are the guys so much bigger then the chicks? i mean if you were to get with Charlie he would quit literally ruin you.
No. 598986 ID: 2fd516

Ask what that is Reggie's drinking. She's torn off the label in her boredom... maybe you can steer the conversation towards alcohol or food. Or you could ask how they stay in shape. Swap exercise tips.
No. 598990 ID: 61771b

I know its a bit cliche, but getting them to talk about what they did before(what led to this) this is a decent start. Maybe have them talk about their homes.
No. 598994 ID: 7baf3a

Keep in mind that this my lead to them asking about your past.
No. 599823 ID: 7e38be
File 141464898595.png - (22.91KB , 1000x1000 , 0074.png )

most people seem pretty large in comparison to Lupa, Charlie especially so. he's a full foot and a half taller than she is, after all.

she doesn't really need to ask Reggie or Charlie about their past. she already knows Reggie was a Cop in Los Angeles until about 3 years ago, and that Charlie is from Boston, and that he used to work in an aluminum foundry, but she knows almost nothing about this new guy.

"say Cyrus, you haven't said much about yourself." Lupa begins.

"not much to say, unfortunately." he replies, "I much prefer to hear others' stories."

"I'm pretty boring, myself." she smiles, disarmed by his calm coolness, "though I used to be kind of a delinquent."
No. 599824 ID: 7e38be
File 141464901065.png - (29.76KB , 1000x1000 , 0075.png )

"kind of a delinquent?" he repeats curiously, "I never would have guessed. so were you some kind of graffiti artist, or shoplifter or something?"

"yeah, basically." she lies, "honestly I wasn't even that. it was more like I had a boyfriend who was a delinquent and I just went along with his schemes."

"Shorty the Criminal Mastermind." Charlie rubs his chin, grinning, "somehow, some part of me always knew."

"heh. yeah." she smirks as she stands.
No. 599825 ID: 7e38be
File 141464902432.png - (18.13KB , 1000x1000 , 0076.png )

No. 599826 ID: 7e38be
File 141464903961.png - (17.06KB , 1000x1000 , 0077.png )

No. 599827 ID: 7e38be
File 141464909320.png - (26.05KB , 1000x1000 , 0078.png )

"you're not planning on drinking this all yourself, are you? vodka is not a drink to be drunk alone."
No. 599829 ID: 2fd516

Share it with your frieeennndddssss
No. 599833 ID: 600b2e

yes. friends.
new guys is not yet included.
do not get drunk and find yourself waking up tied to a bed somewhere.
No. 599834 ID: 9ddf68

"I planned on drinking it, but beyond that I haven't really thought about it"
No. 599861 ID: 4d85c5

Look, don't let what delinquent past you just lied about depress you into drinking alone. No making yourself miserable.

No. 599944 ID: 7e38be
File 141472277091.png - (26.36KB , 1000x1000 , 0079.png )

"um... maybe?" she shrugs, "I can share it with everyone, though."

"you misunderstand." he leans in, lowering his voice into a cool bassy murmur, "I'm not talking about sharing it with them. I'm talking about sharing it with me."
No. 599947 ID: 2fd516

Jeez he sure is hitting on you, huh? Well, I guess it can't hurt to get to know him a bit, because he doesn't seem to be a bad guy... Just don't get hammered and embarrass yourself.
No. 599976 ID: a19cd5

Fiiine. But no funny stuff, mister!
No. 599987 ID: 4d85c5

Uh, kind of your call on how much you're willing to let yourself get hit on, or how far you're willing to let it go. We also don't know how control you tend to be in if you go drinking.

Headspace check, really. Would this put you in a worse place, or a better one?
No. 600485 ID: a51ba8

ok, on the creepy scale, from 1 to 10 he's a definite "creep". back away slowly, hang with someone who isn't hunting for genitals.
No. 602599 ID: 7e38be
File 141610859092.png - (19.17KB , 1000x1000 , 0080.png )

Lupa has a few drinks with Cyrus, keeping vigilant in case he tries to take some sort of advantage of her, but he never makes a move. he just keeps asking her questions. inane questions, almost pointless questions. questions about her favorite books, or movies, about her political leanings, her faith, her school life.

"you said you had a boyfriend, a delinquent. what was he like?" Cyrus asks.
No. 602601 ID: 7e38be
File 141610862388.png - (19.18KB , 1000x1000 , 0081.png )

"Joseph was... I don't know." she takes an other swig of the drink, "I was 15, and he was 19. I guess I was hopped up on hormones and looking for a mistake to make."

"you feel you made a mistake with this Joseph?" he asks.

"not entirely, no." she shrugs, "I mean I guess I did, it ended with me bruised and battered and awaiting a murder trial."
No. 602604 ID: 7e38be
File 141610869029.png - (22.90KB , 1000x1000 , 0082.png )

"um, I was a witness." she quickly adds.

"Bruised and battered?" he asks, concerned.

"no it wasn't like- it's a bit difficult to explain it all now, but he didn't..." she sighs, "sounds like a pretty big mistake, all of this, doesn't it?"

"it depends." he scratches his chin, "do you regret it?"

she shrugs, "maybe. I should regret it, I think."

"you shouldn't do anything just because you think you should. you certainly shouldn't regret something because you think you should. people are more than the sum of their actions. if I were the sum of my actions I would simply add up to some corpses in the desert. where you were, where you go, none of it matters. all that matters is where you are now."
No. 602613 ID: 07a835

He seems pretty legit. He's learning about you. Who you are, who you want to be. You should reciprocate. Ask him similar questions.

Ah, but the future does matter, doesn't it? The choices we make now define the future.
No. 602784 ID: 7e38be
File 141613082863.png - (20.98KB , 1000x1000 , 0083.png )

"anyway, I should be going now. I'm not one to overstay my welcome at parties." Cyrus returns inside, leaving Lupa alone on the balcony, with her head spinning and her cheeks alight with a fie fueled by the low quality kerosine she'd imbibed.

images cycle through her clumsy drunken mind. she hadn't really thought about Joseph in a few weeks, not actively. he was of course a constant sort of background radiation in her mind; a subconcious itch that left her feeling an odd emotion, like a mix of admiration, apprehension, and a gnawing hollowness. it's been seven years and four months since he was convicted. she promised him she'd wait for him, that she'd be there when he was released; but the doubt would always prick at her concience. the doubt that she could wait, the doubt that she would, that she has the moral fibre or the constitution.

she clears her mind of Joseph. these are questions for a sober Lupa. there is no use in pondering about her long term future plans when she can barely stand up straight. in any case she's been standing outside alone for a few minutes now, she should head back inside. she realizes as she tries to walk to the door that she is extremely drunk.
No. 602818 ID: dde2af

welp, no more drinks.
stick with someone you trust for the rest of the evening, would you? you can't defend yourself as you are and that always makes me nervous.
No. 602859 ID: 07a835

Oh, okay, so you're not looking for a new boyfriend, then. You should've probably told Cyrus that. How long is his sentence?

Go collapse on the couch and mumble at whoever's there.
No. 602886 ID: a7efea

>she promised him she'd wait for him
Really? For someone you're not sure is a mistake, who you knew when you were 15? Big commitment, considering.

>she realizes as she tries to walk to the door that she is extremely drunk
Well, then no driving, or more drinking. And be careful around that balcony!

See about making your way back inside, see what state the party is in, and who's still around.
No. 605390 ID: 7e38be
File 141692060974.png - (21.78KB , 1000x1000 , 0084.png )

the night blurs around her and her conscious mind fades away.

the waking world slowly forces itself into her mind. the first thought in her head was certainly one of extreme pain; both the familiar pain in her head signalling a night filled with poor decisions, and a new pain in the side of her ribs. she rolls over, groaning, and pulls the offending item out of her coat.
No. 605391 ID: 7e38be
File 141692063046.png - (20.34KB , 1000x1000 , 0085.png )

a small metal vial. she absent mindedly slips it into her pants pocket and rises groggily.
No. 605392 ID: 7e38be
File 141692066115.png - (26.85KB , 1000x1000 , 0086.png )

"what happened last night?" she groans.

Harry opens an eye and yawns, "you made a drunken fool of yourself, probably ruined a bunch of friendships, burned bridges, etcetera."

"yeah but did anything out of the ordinary happen?"

"not really."

she looks around the room. it seems both Cyrus and Cammy have both left already. she looks outside and sees that it's around noon.
No. 605394 ID: 7e38be
File 141692070280.png - (23.90KB , 1000x1000 , 0087.png )

"thanks for the coat." she slips out of the hefty canvas overcoat and lays it gently by Harry's still prone form. he grunts as he rolls over on his side.
No. 605395 ID: 7e38be
File 141692071907.png - (15.82KB , 1000x1000 , 0088.png )

as she returns home, her mind is filled with thoughts she'd been meaning to put off.
No. 605396 ID: 7e38be
File 141692075392.png - (21.79KB , 1000x1000 , 0089.png )

she wonders about her relationship with Cammy, about Cyrus, about Joseph. she hopes she can works everything out nice and cleanly, without any drama. then again a bit of interpersonal drama has always helped her creative process, as well as her mental stability.
No. 605397 ID: 7e38be
File 141692082253.png - (23.45KB , 1000x1000 , 0090.png )

she supposes that may be a somewhat selfish way of looking at the situation, but she shamefully admits that her own stress and nervousness is even now eroding, and her nerves, previously tense like steel cable, are beginning to loosen contentedly.
No. 605398 ID: 7e38be
File 141692086560.png - (16.53KB , 1000x1000 , 0091.png )

she supposes she should just let herself feel relaxed for a few days before stressing herself out again over something pointless.

that's all for now folks, thanks for reading.
No. 605401 ID: d90668

Wait why is Reggie handcuffed on the couch? And what sort of horrible poison was Harry carrying around? Is that sort of stuff something to worry about or just par for the course in your parties?

Ahghghhh the cliffhangers.
No. 605417 ID: eda819

Handcuffs, oh my. Awful daring for, well, couch play. In the middle of a party.

But yeah, the vial of poison and/or drugs isn't worrisome at all.
No. 606558 ID: 7e38be
File 141728302598.gif - (126.28KB , 1000x1000 , ch-3-title.gif )

No. 606570 ID: 7e38be
File 141728841962.png - (19.86KB , 1000x1000 , 0092.png )

"heard you assaulted an officer of the law this weekend, Bennet." one of the miners grins widely across the table at a smirking Charlie.

"to be fair, she never read me my rights before the cuffs went on." he replies as laughter erupts from the others.

Lupa sits at the table happily chowing down. the past three days had been some of the best in recent memory. she reconciled with Cammy and they spent saturday night watching movies, like they used to months ago. yesterday she spent a full five hours writing; she was just filled with so much creative energy. she feels so... complete.

she thumbs the cylinder in her pocket. the XARC 223. what the hell is this? she supposes it was in Harry's jacket. it had to be, she was wearing it. so is it harry's? what is it? some kind of drug? she wonders if she should give the vial back to him, or if she should just throw it out. it's empty, or at least it feels like it. she has always had a rule against opening anything with a biohazard warning on it.
No. 606573 ID: 4a20fa

Give it back to Harry; it might need special handling or recycling or something even if empty, and you just accidentally found it.
No. 606590 ID: 9b57d3

Do you trust Harry? If so, you better ask him what it is. If he's just an acquaintance you should look up the label before telling anyone about it. Find out what, exactly, you have.
No. 606594 ID: 4c5cf2

Okay, silly logic here: if that were something illegal, it probably wouldn't be labeled clearly and include a biohazard warning on it. I mean, yeah, maybe you're not supposed to have it, but illegal drug trades tend not to favor easily identifiable containers. Or worry about safety.

Which means it at least started out where someone cared about legality and safety.

Seems reasonable. I wouldn't go googling the name, though, just in case that triggers a watch list or something. Try and see if you can find it by browsing wikipedia (start somewhere innocuous and try to get to a list biohazards. So actually checking the article is part of a larger, innocuous, wiki binge of somewhat random article).
No. 609707 ID: 7e38be
File 141795913337.png - (15.79KB , 1000x1000 , 0093.png )


"trust" may not be exactly the word Lupa would use, but Harry Wesson had never lied to her before, as far as she knows. even when it might have been wiser to bend the truth, Harry has always had a tendency toward brutal, almost sadistic, honesty. as far as she is aware Harry is not taking any medication, and he doesn't use recreational drugs; he rarely even drinks. the more she thinks about the vial the more she wonders. what could it be?

she decides she has to give it back to Harry. no matter what it could be it would be safer for her to return it to him.

her thought is interrupted as the Intercom plays a melodic ringing.

the Miners pack up their lunch and migrate to the locker rooms.
No. 609709 ID: 7e38be
File 141795916519.png - (30.94KB , 1000x1000 , 0094.png )

"hey Harry." Lupa nudges him as they slip into the hefty coveralls.


"I think I might have accidentally taken something out of your jacket Saturday morning." she fishes into her pocket.

"nope." he replies plainly, "I don't keep anything in my jacket."

"ok but I definitely got it from your jacket."

"Lupa you were incredibly drunk. how can you be sure of anything that happened this weekend?"
No. 609710 ID: 7e38be
File 141795918701.png - (28.23KB , 1000x1000 , 0095.png )

"no, no, no and for the last time, no Charlie." the Commander nearly bowls Lupa over in a pained gait.

"please, Commander. you sound like shit." Charlie pleads.
No. 609711 ID: 7e38be
File 141795921168.png - (25.97KB , 1000x1000 , 0096.png )

"I feel like shit." she rasps out before succumbing to a wet, painful coughing fit, "but I will not, can not, do not take sick days unless I'm spitting blood or bedridden."
No. 609712 ID: 7e38be
File 141795922765.png - (23.28KB , 1000x1000 , 0097.png )

"c'mon commander." Harry patronizes, "I can handle the unit today, I promise."

"no." she commands, "not unless I'm bedridden or-"
No. 609713 ID: 7e38be
File 141795924097.png - (28.20KB , 1000x1000 , 0098.png )

No. 609716 ID: 7e38be
File 141795936213.png - (26.47KB , 1000x1000 , 0099.png )

"Charlie." her voice wavers slightly as she speaks, "you're in charge."
No. 609717 ID: 7e38be
File 141795937402.png - (23.14KB , 1000x1000 , 0100.png )

No. 609719 ID: 534cc4

Oh dear god.... CALL AN AMBULANCE!!!

No. 609727 ID: 373c1b

...Sounded like crap, coughing up blood...Is this what falling to the Ivory looks like?
No. 609728 ID: 6e79d4

Make sure she doesn't choke on blood, tell the others to get help.
No. 609729 ID: 9ddf68

No. 609735 ID: 4c5cf2

Huh. So he's denying it, your drunken perceptions were wrong, or someone tried to plant something on him and you accidentally intercepted it before he knew it was there.

I guess we should try to look the stuff up, now.


Does anybody on the unit have medical training of any kind? That would come in handy now. Otherwise, all you can really do is try to get help. ...and try to position her to prevent her from choking to death on her own blood.
No. 609749 ID: d90668

Keep the knowledge of the vials existence to yourself for now.

If you start making rash decisions before getting all the info you could make a mistake. This could be completely unrelated. Or if someone did poison someone else you could lose track of whoever did it in the confusion.
No. 609750 ID: 687279

Call an ambulance, tell the medics about the label on the vial. That could save her life.
No. 609862 ID: 95c255

>three day incubation period
>initial fever-like symptoms
>massive internal bleeding
This is really fucking bad.

Those are the textbook symptoms of a hemorrhagic fever, most likely Ebola.

Call emergency services. Get her on her side so she doesn't choke on her own blood. Then fucking pray that she's the only one infected so far.
No. 610045 ID: 8f01e8

>Get her on her side so she doesn't choke on her own blood.

Correction: Advise her to lay on her side. Nobody touch any potentially infected bodily fluids that came from anybody else, nobody enter or leave the building, at least until some more formal quarantine procedure can be established.
No. 624517 ID: 7e38be
File 142360708011.png - (32.03KB , 1000x1000 , 101.png )

Lupa stands frozen, not able to grasp what is unfolding in front of her. she is a statue, a silent observer of fate, unable to affect the world around her. the Commander falls to her knees, gagging and spitting thick mucus filled blood. miners push past her, wanting a better vantage point of the grisly spectacle their superior had become.

Charlie yells something out to the crowd, which quickly disperses. he points to the door, barking at Harry, who sprints out.
No. 624518 ID: 7e38be
File 142360710151.png - (24.46KB , 1000x1000 , 102.png )

Lupa stares at the Commander, who stares back with a purely empty look in her eyes. she continues to stare, unable to move or look away.
No. 624519 ID: 7e38be
File 142360712865.png - (26.22KB , 1000x1000 , 103.png )

"Lupa!" charlie grabs her shoulders hard, snapping her back to reality, "did you hear what I said?!"

she stares back and silently shakes her head.

"I said stay with her until the EMTs get here. make sure she can breathe and keep her... I don't know keep her comfortable."

"what about you?" Lupa stutters out.
No. 624521 ID: 7e38be
File 142360717445.png - (18.80KB , 1000x1000 , 104.png )

"I'm... I'm in charge now." he replies ashamedly, "I have to lead the dig."
No. 624522 ID: e34f46

dude, can you at least wait until the emt gets here? we might need the help. by which i mean she might stop breathing any moment and cpr is way more efficient with 2 people than it is with just one scrawny girl.
anyhow, turn her to her side so all that shit flows out, if that's not enough try to push it out with your fingers but don't make her throw up, that would only make things worse.
and don't worry about freezing, you were in shock and that happens. it's okay.
No. 624526 ID: 82efdc

Um, what if it's something contagious? If... that happens to anyone down in the dark, you're a long way from help.
No. 624594 ID: 8f01e8

Alright, Lupa, you want to live through the next week? Charlie just gave you an important assignment, but you don't have the right gear, so start delegating sub-tasks further down the chain of command. Yell at one of the gawkers to fetch a raincoat, a filter mask, and some nonporous gloves (any place that does commercial-scale food preparation should have a box of those sitting around somewhere). Improvised biohazard suit is better than nothing. Remember to name somebody specific, so they don't just all stand around expecting someone else to step up.
No. 624628 ID: d958ad

Tell the Commander you will find whoever did this to her, and you will make them pay.
No. 624630 ID: d958ad

Also um, you should probably make sure the EMTs know about the vial. I mean, the label on it seems like potentially life-saving information.
No. 625799 ID: 7e38be
File 142445791707.png - (15.40KB , 1000x1000 , 105.png )


Lupa remembers when her Grandfather contracted Ivory. it looked a lot like this. he eventually drowned in his own blood. the thought makes her uncomfortable and she tries to think of something else.


Lupa doesn't want to jump to any conclusions. this could be poison or the Ivory or some sort of infection.


she should show the Vial to the EMTs, in case it might have something to do with this... but if it does have something to do with this, and she has it, wouldn't that mean she poisoned the Commander? that's what they would think, at least. even if she was only arrested for contraband, she could end up deported back to Ukraine.


"could you wait until the EMTs get here?" Lupa pleads, "what if I need help with something? and what if it's some sort of contagion? we can't let anyone who might be infected down into the mine."

"I..." Charlie turns away, "I'll go stop the tram."

he silently exits, his head held low.
No. 625800 ID: 7e38be
File 142445797476.png - (26.33KB , 1000x1000 , 106.png )


"Kenny could you get the first aid kit?" Lupa attempts to sound as loud and commanding as she can, "and I need a rebreather from storage... Rob, can you get one?"

the two dash off in search of the items.
No. 625801 ID: 7e38be
File 142445800653.png - (27.46KB , 1000x1000 , 107.png )

Lupa helps the Commander to lean against one of the lockers. after a few seconds of coughing and gagging up more of the ichorous bloody fluid, the Commander clears her throat.

"is everyone gone?" she asks, spitting the remaining fluid onto the floor.


"I'm sorry you have to see this," she sighs, "but I'm glad you're the one to see it. does that make sense?"

Lupa shakes her head.

"Charlie couldn't handle watching this."

"handle what? Commander what do you-"
No. 625802 ID: 7e38be
File 142445802457.png - (20.03KB , 1000x1000 , 108.png )

she smiles grimly, "Lupa, how much blood can a person lose before they die? how much have I lost already? and it won't stop coming..."
No. 625816 ID: d958ad

Unless there's a puddle, a LOT more than that. Tell her she's going to be fine so long as she keeps breathing and gets a transfusion in time.

She trusts you. If you're worried about getting blamed for her possible-murder, show HER the vial, see if she knows what it is and if it could potentially be what's killing her.
No. 625829 ID: 9ddf68

commander with all do respect, if you die now what the hell do you think is going to happen to the marry little band of idiots that fallow you around? Come on, you're a tough SoB. Hell you get all of us to listen to you. Don't let something like this put you down.
No. 625839 ID: e6e219

A hell of a lot more blood than that commander. Don't go giving up on us just yet.

If no one is here this might be a good time to show her the vial. Time might be of the essence and privacy will be hard to come by later.

Its good to not get stuck thinking that it might be poison. But it is a unanswered question and is important to find out what it is and where it came from regardless.
No. 625863 ID: 82efdc

>Lupa, how much blood can a person lose before they die?
Liters. And I don't see liters, yet.

Unless it's pooling in her lungs, but then she's going to suffocate before she bleeds to death anyways.

>wouldn't that mean she poisoned the Commander?
How? When did she come in contact with the vial? And didn't it make it's way to you at her place, not the other way around?

>consequences of the vial being found.
Um. You could just leave it out in the open where they might find it? If it's relevant, it's there, and not connected to you.
No. 625993 ID: cc75ef

HAH! this!? you some kind of pansy? you're not even close to dead, commander, and there's a thing called blood transfusion that's on the way and will get here long before you die. you're not gonna die from blood loss.

it's your lungs i'm worried about.
No. 656486 ID: 7e38be
File 143711719310.png - (22.71KB , 1000x1000 , 109.png )

No. 656488 ID: 7e38be
File 143711722285.png - (26.00KB , 1000x1000 , 110.png )

Lupa greets the waking world like a ship greets an iceberg.
No. 656489 ID: 7e38be
File 143711726728.png - (24.82KB , 1000x1000 , 111.png )

she looks at the screen on her phone. 5:41 AM. she dozed off for about 3 hours. the Commander lost consciousness and started convulsing when the EMTs had arrived. she followed them to the hospital, but there's been no news since she went in to the ER. it's been something like 19 hours since the Commander started coughing up blood.

she thinks about the container again. she showed it to the EMTs when they took the Commander away. she's still worried about what they might think.

she isn't sure what she should do. she's just been sitting around for almost a full day. she needs to get up and do something or she'll lose her mind.
No. 656498 ID: 47c6e9

See if your little friend is up so you can talk... About anything really. If not I guess wonder, but don't go to far.
No. 656508 ID: e114bc

Ask your friend there if she remembers enough about the party to help with an investigation if it turns out the vial was poison.
No. 656515 ID: 937a79

grope reggie then go see how the commander is doing.
No. 656525 ID: c8a13b

Have lesbian sex!

or go talk to others.
No. 656571 ID: d4a543

Hey, now, if you showed them the vial right away that looks a lot less suspicious than if they eventually found it and found out that you knew it was there all along but didn't say anything. You're innocent, you gotta be able to trust the system to confirm that.

Also, quick access to the vial for analysis purposes might help some doctor save the commander's life. Is your career more important than that?
No. 656910 ID: 7e38be
File 143729613874.png - (28.02KB , 1000x1000 , 112.png )


she did show them the vial. one of the medics took it from her. she's not sure where it is now, but she hopes that it will help them.


no one's allowed in the ICU until they can determine that whatever is happening is not contagious. they told us that they would inform us as soon as we could visit the Commander.

"hey Reggie."

her eyes open slightly as she takes a sharp breath, "hmm? what time is it?"

"a quarter to six."

she glances out the window and yawns, stretching, "what's up, sweetie?"

"when's the last time you ate?" Lupa asks, checking her phone a second time.

Reggie shrugs.

"let's get some breakfast. I need to get out of here for a while."
No. 656911 ID: 7e38be
File 143729616116.png - (42.14KB , 1000x1000 , 113.png )

the two sit in the diner as harsh golden light fills the sandy hills of the complex. Lupa stares down at the plate in silence. the Royal Flush: two eggs, sausage, a biscuit, some sort of hashbrown. she'd laugh at the choice of name for the dish any other day.

"you need to eat, Lupa." Reggie says in between bites, "starving yourself is just going to stress you out more."

"I know, but I'm not good at handling stress." Lupa replies, ineffectually pushing the food around the plate.

"I'm aware." she nods.

"do you think that vial has something to do with it?"

"I don't know." she shrugs, "it might. you never said where you found it, by the way."

lupa tenses up. she doesn't know if she should say she found it in Harry's coat.

"I just found it in my pocket when I woke up saturday." she responds. technically it's the truth, "did you notice anything weird at the party?"

"I was pretty drunk." Reggie admits, "I don't remember a lot. somehow I got handcuffed at some point? I should probably lay off the booze."
No. 656912 ID: e114bc

Tell her something happened between her and Charlie involving the cuffs.

Play with your food a little, maybe that'll get your mind off things so you can eat it.
No. 656913 ID: 9ddf68

at least eat the bacon... because it's bacon.

As for something to talk about, ask Reggie if she's ever heard of something like this happening before? Just someone getting this sick and how it turned out. Just hoping to know what the commander chances are. I mean she's a tough son of a bitch but... that was a lot of blood.
No. 656940 ID: ab7529

Sulk and eat mechanically.
No. 656962 ID: 937a79

>not groping that chest
you missed a once in a lifetime deal there, friend
No. 657778 ID: 7e38be
File 143771771690.png - (28.25KB , 1000x1000 , 114.png )

"I think Charlie had something to do with that." Lupa replies.

"oh shit, really?" Reggie laughs, "if only I had been there to see it..."

Lupa takes a bite of bacon, and chews it slowly. she can't eat anything right now. her throat simply refuses to swallow. she just keeps chewing it into mush.

Lupa finally swallows the miniscule morsel then asks, "have you heard of anything like this happening before?"

"I'm not sure. spitting up blood could mean a lot of things. it could be some kind of infection or something." she lightens her tone, "Lupa, you've known Patty longer than I have, you know she's tough. she'll pull through."

"there was a lot of blood." Lupa replies, "even after she passed out, it kept pouring out."
No. 657779 ID: 7e38be
File 143771774617.png - (20.69KB , 1000x1000 , 115.png )

Reggie is silent. that's the way they stay for the rest of the meal. Reggie drives her back to the hospital, and Lupa begins to realize that the stress and the lack of sleep and food is starting to take a toll on her. she's starting to feel really close to losing consciousness.

"Lupa." Reggie says, snapping her out of her half awake state. Lupa looks around. they're at a stop sign near the center of the complex.

"Lupa, you need some sleep. you look really worn out."

"I'm fine." she replies.

"are you sure?" she asks, "I can take you home."
No. 657780 ID: e114bc

You really should go to bed. Otherwise you'll pass out trying to do something important.
No. 657807 ID: 7cfafe

Go get some sleep. Tomorrow you can start sorting this mess out.
No. 657813 ID: 9ddf68

no I... yeah I should probably get some rest. Thanks for putting up with me. Sorry i wasn't the best of company.
No. 657824 ID: 88960e

Go pass out. There's nothing you can do but worry, so you might as well rest. Hopefully by the time you wake there will be news, one way or the other.
No. 664127 ID: 7e38be
File 144006982003.png - (23.85KB , 1000x1000 , 116.png )

"I guess I should get some sleep." Lupa relents. "thanks for putting up with me. I know I've not been good company."

"you're just stressed out." Reggie replies, "things will work out, and you'll feel like a million bucks again."

"I've never felt like a million bucks." Lupa smirks.

"a million rubles, then."

the ride home is quiet, neither Reggie nor Lupa has much to say. Reggie pulls into the parking lot of Lupa's dorm ten minutes later.
No. 664128 ID: 7e38be
File 144006985223.png - (27.97KB , 1000x1000 , 117.png )

"last stop, sweetie." she says. Lupa snores quietly in response.

"shit. you're going to make me carry you, aren't you?"
No. 664129 ID: 7e38be
File 144006991096.png - (25.64KB , 1000x1000 , 118.png )

a loud melody rings out in the truck's quiet cabin. it's Reggie's phone. answers quickly, to keep from waking Lupa.

"Lt. Regina Jackson speaking." she speaks curtly, "Dr. Jes, what's- oh. Complications? yeah... yeah, I understand. how serious? oh... I'll be there with a team later."
No. 664130 ID: 7e38be
File 144006992797.png - (27.99KB , 1000x1000 , 119.png )

No. 664131 ID: 7e38be
File 144006994312.png - (18.75KB , 1000x1000 , 120.png )

No. 664132 ID: 7e38be
File 144006995816.png - (20.79KB , 1000x1000 , 121.png )

No. 664133 ID: 9ddf68

...well this is... yeah no getting around this, once we wake up this is going to suck.
No. 664192 ID: ab7529

Man, we tiny.

Continue to crash / sleep it off. No good will come of waking now.
No. 666242 ID: 7e38be
File 144111143686.png - (35.41KB , 1000x1000 , 122.png )

the girl sits in a dark room. there is an old and rusted machine in front of her.

"RELINQUISH YOUR MEMORIES." a rusted facade of the machine squeals in a voice which rattles the small room, "GIVE UP YOUR PAST SO YOUR FUTURE CAN BE FREE OF PAIN."
No. 666243 ID: 7e38be
File 144111147671.png - (59.05KB , 1000x1000 , 123.png )

the girl holds out her hand and sees a mark. black lipstick. she can just barely remember the taste. she feeds it into the machine.

she feeds the smell of a young man's cologne into the machine as well; the feeling of a heavy Canvas jacket, the sound of an Irish woman's voice, and the emerald green glint of a trusted friend's eyes. she feeds all of the painful memories into the rusted machine. it shrieks to life and shakes the room with its gurgling machinations.
No. 666244 ID: 7e38be
File 144111149842.png - (18.42KB , 1000x1000 , 124.png )

Lupa wakes up before she sees what happens next. the sun is down and her television is playing some comedy movie from America with Eddie Murphy in it. Reggie is passed out on her floor. it looks like she's demolished a bottle of vodka.

Lupa's head is killing her. she can't remember what she was doing before she went to sleep, or why Reggie is at her apartment.
No. 666249 ID: f074b5

Sounds like you need to lubricate that machine more before you use it. With booze, of course!
No. 666289 ID: e114bc

Weren't you in a car? After waiting at the hospital for the Commander?

Clean yourself up.
No. 666304 ID: 9ddf68

clean yourself up a little bit then wake Reggie. See what's up with her
No. 666332 ID: 57dfcc

Geeze, that sounds like a bad deal.
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