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File 149116438860.png - (419.87KB , 1920x1080 , Chapter2Card.png )
792822 No. 792822 ID: 897ff7

Last time on Twenty After Zero: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/questarch/res/784867.html

Current Objectives for Player Characters:

Maxine:
-Find 101, Palmetto Street, 33602
-Get more information on the Tampa Nautical Club

Chaz
-Help Dr. Jackson escape SODA
-Avoid Maxine!
Expand all images
>>
No. 792826 ID: 897ff7
File 149116555952.png - (8.60KB , 900x600 , 1.png )
792826

Well, this is decidedly less thrilling than I thought it would be.

After we went inside City Hall, Mark told me to wait here, and then stepped into the next room, where I hear hushed, urgent whispers. One word that I keep picking up is "campus."
>>
No. 792843 ID: 9876c4

You could try to escape, but aren't you a little curious about why they summoned you?

Enjoy the bourgeois excess of the bench while it lasts.
>>
No. 792850 ID: 3abd97

>>792826
Might as well wait until they decide to tell you what the hell is going on. It's an excuse to rest.
>>
No. 792913 ID: 897ff7
File 149117970537.png - (8.59KB , 900x600 , 2.png )
792913

>>792843
I am curious, actually. I don't think I'd need to escape though, from what I've seen I can pretty much just walk out the front door if I want.

Still got my glock in my windbreaker, though.

>>792850
Well-earned rest, mind you! I haven't slept since yesterday!
>>
No. 792917 ID: 398fe1

Go eavesdrop.
>>
No. 792936 ID: 897ff7
File 149118455346.png - (10.27KB , 900x600 , 2.png )
792936

I shuffle up to the door and do my best to look inconspicuous.

>"God DAMN it, Anderson, you said the University would be secure!"

>"We haven't lost the whole thing yet. We're still in the network."

>"We're LUCKY that the terminal is in the western-most building, otherwise we'd be completely cut off from the Assembly."

>"And we'll maintain that connection, through this little incursion and long after we beat every last jackboot out of USF."

>"We don't have the manpower to hold them off as it is! Unless that girl you brought us is the resurrected ghost of Alexandra Kollontai-"

>"I ordered Major Anderson to bring her here. She'll prove much more useful to us than you could possibly imagine."

>"She didn't seem thrilled about us being Socialists, sir."

>"Well, why don't you bring her in and we'll see?
>>
No. 792954 ID: 9dc26d

>>792936
The third voice knows you somehow. Or he's unhinged and gone delusional.

Since you need to know if third voice has a connection to you or not, it is best to play it cool. Go back to your chair, wait for them to summon you. Be open about who your father was, since that connection is the most likely one that would make a rational third voice have confidence in you.

For all we know, third voice could know your dad through the Nautical Club.
>>
No. 792968 ID: 897ff7
File 149118842091.png - (11.94KB , 900x600 , 3.png )
792968

Mark walks out of the room.

>"Maxine, the Commissars would like to speak with you."
>>
No. 792970 ID: 3abd97

>>792936
So... they're fighting someone. And it ain't going well. And they think you can tip the scales, somehow?

Interesting.
>>
No. 792975 ID: 9876c4

Alles klar, herr Kommissar?
>>
No. 792976 ID: 398fe1

They know about the key. They're gonna try to get you to give it to them. They don't know you're carrying it, better keep things that way.
>>
No. 792985 ID: 70983e

You must steal their hats to usurp them as the most commissar.
>>
No. 792987 ID: 897ff7
File 149119254001.png - (10.43KB , 900x600 , 4.png )
792987

I enter the room, with Mark behind me.

In front of me is a table with three people who can't be a day over 25. Well, the guy in the middle might be.

>"Good morning, Maxine. My name is Commissar Lamont Custer. The woman beside me is Commissar Georgina Herrera and the odd man out in this case is Commissar Cassandro Armato."

Armato speaks next.

>"A pleasure, miss."

>"It's nice to meet you."

>"We three are the administrative heads for the Hillsborough District of the Socialists Organizations Delegates Assembly. SODA, as it's more commonly known, is an assembly of representatives from socialist communities all around the nation that collaborate with and support each other."

>"We have asked Major Anderson here to deliver you safely to see us as soon as we heard you were in our territory."

"Why, though?"

>"You are Maxine Oats, correct, daughter of Karl Oats?"

"... Yes, I am."

>"We believe your father, Karl, is amassing a stockpile of weapons."

"Excuse me?"
>>
No. 792991 ID: 094652

Primary Question: Why is everyone playing Nazis and Commies. WHY. You could have hidden your agenda behind a revolutionary movement or even the mafia, but no, you chose to represent factions that the United States, and more importantly, its citizens, have developed irrational hatred against for the past hundred years. Are you doing this to keep a low profile from the current dictatorship, or are you just plain STUPID?
>>
No. 792992 ID: 094652

>>792987
Also, the stockpile was destroyed. Some idiot lit a fire during a gang war near my safehouse.

*Hand Gestures* Boom.
>>
No. 792997 ID: c31aac

>>792987
Dad's dead, his corpse was on my bed before
>>792992
happened.
>>
No. 793000 ID: 9dc26d

>>792992
A few loose shells does not make a stockpile. Those were whatever he hadn't finished moving to long-term storage.

The Nautical Club's probably something a little more than a bunch of old dudes that messed around on boats.
>>
No. 793001 ID: 3abd97

>>792987
Well, I don't know if you heard the news, but dad's dead, guys.
>>
No. 793004 ID: 70983e

>>792987
You guys saw that big boom earlier, right? Not anymore he isn't.
>>
No. 793030 ID: 897ff7
File 149120091753.png - (10.62KB , 900x600 , 5.png )
793030

I clear my throat.

"Karl Oats is dead."

They stare at me.

>"Did Proctor have him assassinated?"

>"What my friend MEANS to say is that we're very sorry to hear that, and it must have been difficult."

"It's fine."

>"Karl wouldn't have left his good work to sit idle, though."

>"Cassandro."

>"Maxine said it was fine, Custer. Did your father ever tell you anything about it? Leave anything behind pertaining to it?"
>>
No. 793035 ID: 094652

"Did you guys hear the explosion? The stockpile is GONE.

This gang followed me back to my house and started shooting, they said they wanted my stuff. I guess when my dad was stockpiling in preparation of the riots he got careless near the end from all the stress. I told them I'd give them what they wanted, then I, uh, shot one in the head. They threw Molotov Cocktails in response to my shooting. I retreated and found the stockpile, including a giant grenade. Really, you'd think it was some kind of joke if you saw one, hilarious really. What caliber was that thing, anyway? So I threw it in the fire and jumped out the window, kept running even after I heard the blast. My house is a CRATER now. So your ordinance is GONE."

Do NOT tell them about the Tampa National Club.
>>
No. 793037 ID: 897ff7
File 149120426338.png - (9.83KB , 900x600 , 6.png )
793037

>>793035
"Did you guys hear that explosion last night?"

>"We've heard reports of an explosion, yes."

"Well, that was it. It's gone. This gang of bandits followed me home last night, they said they wanted what was inside. My dad must have been bad at keeping secrets, because they kept asking about weapons. Well, I wasn't so keen on giving them up, so I shot one, and they opened fire, throwing molotovs into my house. It got to the point where I would be risking my life staying in the house, so I jumped out of a window and booked it, and then that blast happened. My house is a crater now, and all of the ordinance is gone."

They look at me for a few seconds, and then Cassandro sighs, chucking a little.

>"If you don't want to tell us, that's perfectly understandable. It's your property, after all, and even though we are of the opinion that property ownership dilapidates personal freedoms, we recognize that not everybody will agree with us right off the bat."

>"That being said, you are aware of who we would use these weapons against, if we had them, correct? There are people mere miles away from this very spot that are rounding up certain minorities and interning them. Now, I'm not saying you're lying, per se, but I doubt that if your father was stockpiling weapons, they'd be under the same roof as his daughter. Maybe there's a location that has some significance to you, is what I'm suggesting. Anything ring a bell?
>>
No. 793051 ID: 9876c4

I mean, obviously we don't tell them.

>There are people mere miles away from this very spot that are rounding up certain minorities and interning them.
Citation fucking needed. How many nazis can there possibly be in south Florida?
>>
No. 793128 ID: c31aac

>>793051
mate have you ever been to florida
there are a lot of nazis in florida

>>793037
Pardon me for not knowing shit, and also for being disrespectful. But I don't trust you, and even if I had any knowledge on this I wouldn't tell you because I don't think any of this factioned nonsense is going to help rebuild society.

Seriously, what is this, Mad Max?
>>
No. 793140 ID: 897ff7
File 149125569106.png - (9.85KB , 900x600 , 7.png )
793140

"Well, I'm sorry that I'm unaware of the current situation right now, but even if I knew something about my father's weapons, I don't trust you guys."

Georgina's expression sours even further.

>"All right, listen here, chica."

>"Now, hold on..."

>"Lamont, this girl is holding out on us. Now isn't the time for the phony 'big brother' act."

>"It also isn't the time for the 'impassioned latina' cliche. Of course she doesn't trust us. Why would she? Karl was a patriot through and through, and even if the state he lauded is currently fractured and disheveled, there's no doubt in my mind that he would raise his daughter to take issue in the Hammer and Sickle being flown over her home town."

Georgina has nothing to say to that, I guess. Cassandro keeps talking.

>"Maxine, we may be short of hands here at SODA, but we've got everything else in spades. Just tell us what Socialist Tampa can do for you, and we'll work out an arrangement. I'm sure our organization and efficiency would impress even the kin of the late and great Karl Oats."
>>
No. 793142 ID: 9876c4

Tell me what you know about my dad.
Tell me HOW you know about my dad.

Not promising anything, but how is it his ideological rivals know so damn much about him?
>>
No. 793159 ID: fee32f

You don't understand, I can't negotiate with something I don't have. If I were being dishonest I'd... I don't know, name some ridiculous price, ask for half up front before skipping town. Apparently you've known more about my dad longer than I have.
>>
No. 793169 ID: c31aac

>>793159
Ye, this.
>>
No. 793203 ID: 9dc26d

>>793140
These people need some kind of hope.

"I found a few loose shells in the house, and there were probably more hidden on the property judging by the size of the boom when the munitions cooked off. If you're right, that he didn't hide the majority of it where it would endanger me, then maybe whatever exploded was just some he intended to move to whatever his long-term storage solution was."

"He never told me about any of this. I never knew what he was up. When I found the loose shells in his stuff, I thought they were a souvenir or something. I don't have any idea where he would have stored the rest, if there is a rest."
>>
No. 793441 ID: 897ff7
File 149134949480.png - (9.29KB , 900x600 , 8.png )
793441

>>793142
"Before we make any 'arrangements,' tell me what you know about my dad, and how you know my dad."

The other two look at Cassandro, who flashes a shit-eating grin.

>"My father was a friend of your father."
>>
No. 793444 ID: 897ff7
File 149135073666.png - (9.97KB , 900x600 , 9.png )
793444

>"They met at a certain hobby-based organization and became fast friends, on account of the two were similar ideologically. Both red-blooded and fiery patriots who suspected that a War-hawk Administration would spell the end of the Union, though your father's profession gave him advanced knowledge of the impending coup against President Locke. Months in advance, we're talking."

Come to think of it, the name "Armato" is kind of familiar.

>"Our fathers went to work with like-minded individuals, using their profession's unusual clearances to start to place highly classified orders from all over the country. The only institutions that were publicly available to view that they ordered massive shipments from are Military Surplus stores, and even the contents of the orders were kept private."

>"Unfortunately, after the coup occurred, everybody affiliated with the project dropped off the face of the world. I assumed that they all had gone into hiding, but if you're aware of Karl's fate, then perhaps you know about my father's as well?"

"I- I don't."

>"I see. Maxine, when I suggested you ask SODA for assistance in anything, I did not intend to make you barter your father's possessions in exchange for food and water. Food and water here is free. That's sort of the point of socialism. What I'm asking is, after we get your friend fixed up, is there anywhere you were headed that we can help you out in sending you on your way, or perhaps were you looking for anywhere where you'd be welcome? I think I speak for this council when I assure you both options are available."
>>
No. 794396 ID: c31aac

>>793444
"Honestly I haven't put that much thought into it. Maybe canada or somewhere overseas, just... not this bizarro parody of conflicting ideas and factionalization America's become."
>>
No. 795334 ID: 897ff7
File 149204838201.png - (10.65KB , 900x600 , 10.png )
795334

>>794396
I can't just tell them I don't have a plan... right?

You have a good point though, I have no game plan beyond getting to the Nautical club. If that's a dead lead, I'm pretty boned.
>>
No. 795356 ID: 70983e

Better clueless than communist! Reveal nothing but your undying patriotism!
>>
No. 795358 ID: 0d5b7f

Well you can't tell them you're going to the nautical club, they'll follow you.
>>
No. 795368 ID: 9876c4

You could tell them you still have to visit some places around town to check in on some aquantances, and maybe you'll come back after. Maybe the'll be good for some rations.

Alternately, you could get them to excuse the Major and then kill the SODA leadership...
>>
No. 795412 ID: 094652

Begin parading around the room like a tyrant with tits, explaining your totally made up plan to connect various insurgents in different factions across the now-dead U.S.A. with the express goal of inciting Operation 20/0:

Moving day with nuclear bombs.

Your father's master plan was to use betrayal, maneuvering, and misinformation to lead the factions under the express banner of violence and strife, with your first "ultimate enemy" being Dictator Alice Proctor and what is left of the USA Capital. Once she is detained, you will proceed to torture and rape Miss Alice until she gives up the launch codes.

Then you fire nukes at EVERYONE and clear a path. Including America, ALL of it. By forcing everyone to leave the USA, you will create largest invading force in the history of the world. By designing a non-nuked path of your own making, you can conquer the remaining areas with ease thanks to your massive army with enemy critical infrastructure defeated. Any defeat will be met with a nuke fired from your consoles. And all the other nukes will be inconsequential.

See, your father's REAL ace in the hole wasn't his stockpile of conventional weapons or EVEN that stupid malfunctioning atomic bomb he had locked in [insert random location here]. It was a network virus, hard-coded in a set of unmanned jet drones, designed specifically to fly straight into any nuclear missile and detonate / disarm it on command. The world's nukes are all at your disposal, and nobody realizes it. Of course, if the communists were to, say, give you complete access to their base and eventually install you as the Premier, you might be inclined to declare communism as the government of the remaining non-toasted planet.

The battle will be long, and the reward will be a small patch of land in a ruined nuclear wasteland, but the strife of the past will be long over... or else!

Of course, all of this is drivel and you're just spinning a story to get them agitated and bored enough to let down their guard. You still have that concealed pistol, right?

Fire gun when they're moderately distracted. With the most equal of communists dead, the remaining forces will trip over their ideology and ignore the shattered chain of command out of belief that they can rule themselves, causing immediate infighting, just enough for you to grab critical resources and personnel for a caravan and GTFO.
>>
No. 817758 ID: 813fb8
File 150081703121.png - (12.74KB , 900x600 , 11.png )
817758

The weight of my potential options weighs down on me and makes my head swim for what could either have been sixty seconds or three months.

Finally, I decide that even with the Major in the room, who is undoubtedly armed and right behind me, perhaps cutting off the head of this red menace would prove useful at some point in the future. I begin to orate an implausible tale of intrigue and subterfuge as I slowly unzip my windbreaker's pocket in tiny increments so that the buzz of the zipper teeth don't betray my intentions.

"Okay, so, I have it on good authority that our Far-Right friends to the East are actually a false-flag op by none other than Miss Proctor, herself.

>Zzz

"See, my father knew that annexing the United States was only the first milestone in a long, planned campaign of genocide and divide-and-conquer. Proctor wants us to fight amongst ourselves before she moves in for the kill, and part of that means financing incredibly ridiculous political movements in order to increase division among the ruined masses."

>zzzp zzz

>"Do you have any evidence of this at all?"

"Hang on, I'm getting to that. See, Proctor knew that she'd... er, be unable to fight a fully formed Union..."

>zzz

>"Armato, how did you say you know this girl?"

>zzzip

"M-My dad has nukes, see-"

>"Maxine, please."

The whole room is tense now, and Armato is looking at me with a condescending, annoyed expression. My jacket is fully unzipped.
>>
No. 817793 ID: 9876c4

"Can you confirm that he doesn't? Can you present your evidence?"

It would play for information. Mayyyyybe they'd send the major to go get it too.

Your blood should be ice cold around now, but wait it out and pick your moment well.
>>
No. 817803 ID: 094652

"and by nukes, I mean basic dirty bombs attached to fragments of ICBMs, with just enough nuclear material to level a small town. These are scattered and hidden in various key locations, ready to be detonated with a simple 256-bit password. There aren't enough bombs to destroy the city, but if they're detonated at key points of tension between the SODA and fascist factions, fingers are going to be pointed. The city would go from survival to vengeful civil war. Other such insurgency plans have been implemented, and the same goes for every major town along the coasts. We can't disarm every last tension bomb, so our best bet is to convince everyone to march towards the capital. We can't stop the factions from fighting each other, but if we can get them to Alice Proctor, they'll swarm and distract her long enough for the power players to deliver the killing blow."
>>
No. 818066 ID: 813fb8
File 150091563996.png - (13.21KB , 900x600 , 12.png )
818066

"Prove that he doesn't!"

I slam my fist on the table in front of Herrera, arousing the unease of Anderson, who draws his pistol and barks at me to back away from the table.

>"Is this some sort of joke?"

>"For godsakes, Anderson, put that thing away."

I can feel the cold metal against my fingertips. It would only take seconds. Seconds, unfortunately, is all Anderson needs to pump me full of lead.

Never to collect the inheritance from my father's boat club. Never to deduce the mystery behind the attic ordinance.

But still, commies.
>>
No. 818069 ID: 9876c4

Can't overplay your hand, here. You're not a martyr.

You're goon with a gud, but he does it for an ideology.
Ask for a drink. It's swampy out there, and you're getting sweaty.
>>
No. 818734 ID: 813fb8
File 150112958185.png - (12.47KB , 900x600 , 13.png )
818734

>>818069
"Get me a drink, I'm starting to get hot here."

The impact of my demand is cut short as Mark puts his burly hands on my wrists and begins yanking me backwards.

>"Perhaps hydration would be a good thing for you, Maxine. Come back when you've unwound."

Fuck, are they dismissing me?
>>
No. 818737 ID: 813fb8
File 150112983113.png - (13.71KB , 900x600 , 14.png )
818737

>"I really don't think you should be standing."

"Please, Doc. The only thing you should be worrying about is how we're gonna get out of here."

Any ideas? The hallway's crawling with guards.
>>
No. 818743 ID: 9876c4

Well... if you want to send a guard team running, Tell them this floor's been exposed to something, and you need a level 3 quarantine RIGHT NOW.

But that only works if you know a way out they won't blockade.
How many sedatives is the good doc packin'?
>>
No. 818984 ID: 9dc26d

>>818737
Quarantine? Nah, that's the sort of nonsense they'll be expecting.

If you don't have a patient zero candidate and you don't have the other doctors in on it, the confusion will last all of like, a minute.

Hospitals have all sorts of required egress though, fire exits, emergency ladders, stuff like that. They were short enough on manpower that a fucking Major was doing gate guard duty himself, so there's no way they got every emergency exit in the hospital covered. So that's one possibility.

Hospitals generate a lot of waste material, and if the local oppressive overlords are paying any attention at all to what the medics here need, there will be regular garbage service out. That's another way out, possibly.

There will be other patients who come in who will be discharged too, right? Maybe it'd be possible to pose as a pair of patients who are just boring enough that they won't attract attention, and will have some freedom of movement.

A fire is always a good excuse to evacuate everyone. All to the better if it's a real fire that draws off manpower from the perimeter. You'll need every advantage you can get for escaping.
>>
No. 819573 ID: 813fb8
File 150145691984.png - (58.59KB , 900x600 , 14_5.png )
819573

"What's say we pose as two patients and try to sneak out?"

>"No good. All exits except for the Emergency Bay and the front door have been sealed. You need to be checked out by a Party member just to leave, and the doors are guarded."

"Hmm. They didn't seal the windows, did they?"

>"No, we do have the fire escape, but they have soldiers with rifles on the roof of the hospital. I'm not of the opinion that they're up there for our sake."

"Fuck."
>>
No. 819579 ID: 813fb8
File 150145742539.png - (51.86KB , 900x600 , 15.png )
819579

"You wouldn't happen to have any sedatives, would you?"

>"If I did, I would have given you some when I operated."

"Then what's say we start a fire, and while everybody's being evacuated, we can quietly escape?"

>"This is still a hospital, Charles! I'm already violating my Hippocratic Oath by conspiring to maybe-hurt one or more of the guards, I won't put any patients in harm's way, at least!"

Well, at least she's open to using force, if necessary.
>>
No. 819596 ID: 9dc26d

>>819579
Well, if a real fire isn't on the table, then we don't need a real fire.

Just a whole lot of smoke.

Doctors have to take some chemistry classes when they're getting their schooling. Could Doctor Jackson make something that will smoke a lot but probably be harmless? Sugar and drain cleaner or something?

One or two wherever they can be hidden and set off, and then another outside on the fire escape to provide cover from the roof gunners.
>>
No. 819794 ID: 813fb8
File 150155438234.png - (14.01KB , 900x600 , 15_5.png )
819794

"Okay, if we can't do a fire, could we fake one?"

>"How on Earth would we fake a fire?"

"You're the one with the Doctorate! How many mixtures of all the chemicals in a hospital result in smoke?"

>"Wait, all we need is smoke?"

"I mean, I guess."
>>
No. 819795 ID: 813fb8
File 150155449878.png - (13.82KB , 900x600 , 16.png )
819795

>"Why didn't you say that sooner? I know how to make tons of smoke!"

Dr. Jackson quickly pushes past me for the door, causing irritation on my wound.

"Fuck- How?"
>>
No. 819797 ID: 813fb8
File 150155644899.png - (20.84KB , 900x600 , 17.png )
819797

I follow the doctor out of the room, and she turns to whisper to me.

>"The blood bank here preserves blood with dry ice. There's tons of the stuff in cold storage."

"Does that make smoke?"

>"When you mix it with water. Cold Storage is on the sixth floor, so we'll need to use the elevator, which means getting past the guard. Suggestions?"
>>
No. 819821 ID: 9dc26d

>>819797
"I told you I'm a super rare blood type and you want to make sure I'm not just delusional?"
>>
No. 819827 ID: 80f23f

Ask for a full batch of blood with the dry ice as packaging, explain that one of the major party members had some kind of deep gash in his arm. The other doctors sealed the wound, but now he's raving about blood transfusions and if he doesn't get one before he bleeds out he'll "put this bourgeois hospital in its place". You're not allowed to sedate him on the council's orders (fear of assassination), and if he keeps moving he will open the wound again, so you figure a few pints of blood (Type B) and your biggest needle should shut him up.
>>
No. 1012826 ID: 1d3a35
File 163408179190.png - (49.60KB , 900x600 , 18.png )
1012826

>>819827
I approach the guard tentatively. Despite the circumstances of our medical staff's 'employment,' we have a good relationship with our assigned guards, and they often help us when we're short-handed, but sometimes the odd hardass gets assigned here, which makes our lives difficult even when we're not currently trying to escape this gauze-wrapped gulag.

That kid behind me? He's my patient. He's also inked out with all kinds of nasty tattoos. When I became certified, I took an oath that said I will do no harm, so I'm doing my best to make sure that this communist hospital doesn't catch wind that I just patched up a fascist. Actually, he's helpful to me. If it weren't for a patient of mine being in danger, I would have never had the guts to try to escape this place.

Right now, I'm trying to get my hands on dry ice, in order to make a diversion that will give us an opening to escape.

"I need you to go to the 6th floor and get a packet of 'B' negative. Along with the thermal wrapper."

>"Why can't you get it? He's on his feet, can't he wait?"

"It's not for him, dummy. Somebody at City Hall got a nasty gash on his arm. I need to finish up here before I'm really needed in the ER."

>"Oh, alright. I'll get the blood and wrapping delivered to the ER, then."

Shit! When that bag gets to ER, they're gonna have some questions for him!

"U-uhm, actually, I'll get it."

>"No trouble at all, Doc."
>>
No. 1012829 ID: 1d3a35
File 163408359640.png - (12.78KB , 900x600 , 19.png )
1012829

The guard starts towards the elevator. Panicking, I run after him and grab his arm.

>"What are you doing, Doctor? Is something wrong?"

...

...

What do I say? How do I stop him from taking the blood to the ER and getting my hands on dry ice?
>>
No. 1012833 ID: 094652

"Soldier, do you know how to handle dry ice?"
>"You just pick it up like ice-"
"OH MY GOD I KNEW IT! Let ME handle the dry ice before you flense your skin off! Short Answer: Dry ice is like dry acid to living cells! This is why we don't let the rank-and-file handle engineering and scientific equipment!"
>"You just need thick gloves, right?"
"... No, soldier. You do not 'just need thick gloves'. You also need a basic understanding of containment procedures for efficiency. I'd let my minion handle it but even he doesn't have the guidelines fully memorized. Look, just let me wheel this stuff safely, you keep anyone from bumping into us."
>Goes into long-winded detail about safety procedures when handling toxic materials, especially dry ice.
Abort plan, deny it ever happened when asked.
"Oh. Say, what university did you go to before the apocalypse?"
>>
No. 1012842 ID: 96c896

>>1012829
You're a doctor, tell him he has symptoms of a dangerous illness. That'll get him to stop, and also consent to an injection. Which will be sedative.
>>
No. 1012853 ID: 1d3a35
File 163409993132.png - (14.64KB , 900x600 , 20.png )
1012853

>>1012833
"Are you familiar with how to handle dry ice, soldier?"

>"Just... I gotta put gloves on, right? I've got some standard-issue right here-"

"Are you kidding me? You're not trying to avoid callouses, you're trying to avoid your skin fusing to the ice. If I need you to shoot somebody, I'll let you know, but for now, let me handle the ice."

>"But you just asked me to go-"

"How about you just make sure we don't bump into anybody on the way down to the ER?"

>"Y-yes ma'am."

It worked! I can't believe that worked!
>>
No. 1012854 ID: 1d3a35
File 163410019797.png - (28.38KB , 900x600 , 21.png )
1012854

The elevator door opens, and I step in. To my abject horror, the guard follows me, and after a few moments of the door staying open, Chaz shuffles in with us.

Great. Looks like we're just kicking the can down the road on ditching this guard. I need to work on my fib game.

The guard starts whistling as the elevator takes us up to floor 6. I'm a tiny woman, but this elevator is nice and tight. I wonder whether I should make my move- if I even have a move to make here- or wait for a better opportunity.
>>
No. 1012855 ID: 094652

>>1012854
"Okay, while we're waiting in a Mass Effect elevator, let's talk strategy. First, I want both of you to be six feet away from me while I'm handling this carbon mother-sodomizer, you in front and you in back. If anyone is so much as forty feet away from us, I want to know. Keep your weapon unloaded, I don't want to see a larp of Plays with Pastels. And I need to use the locker in storage labeled 'High-Density Hazardous Materials Equipment' so I can get actual heavy-duty gloves that weren't made by @#$%ing Amazon. You know what? We're going to the 'EVA-HAZMAT' locker first, that way I can walk instead of crawling with this stuff. God, you'd think that a Commissar would have better aim when they're trying to open a letter."
(i.e. bore the guard into following trivial orders so you can ditch him when he's distracted)
>>
No. 1013078 ID: 1d3a35
File 163451601260.png - (9.13KB , 900x600 , 22.png )
1013078

>>1012855
The elevator hums as it carries us up, but I drown the noise out with excessive instructions.

"Now, we're not carrying this thing in a regular container so I'm gonna need both of you geniuses to stay six feet ahead and behind me. If there aren't any heavy-duty gloves in the freezer then we're gonna need to go down to storage to get some, if not filch them from some other department. Also, I don't think we'll need a cart but just in case there isn't any on this floor and the wrapping is too heavy that'll be another thing."

>"... Okay. I'll wait by the elevator. If you need- uh- help, then just call me down."

Seriously?

The elevator dings open. Floor 6 is our surgical wing, and lately we haven't had very many major surgeries, so it's dead. At the very end of the hallway is cold storage. There's one of the theaters and a bathroom on the left, and regular storage on the right.

The guard steps out of the elevator and leans on the wall, and me and Chaz look at each other, wondering what to do next.
>>
No. 1013079 ID: 094652

See if the defibrillator is hooked to an alarm. Have your minion try to break it out while you go straight to the cold room and grab some drys.
>>
No. 1013093 ID: 1d3a35
File 163452958983.png - (14.75KB , 900x600 , 23.png )
1013093

>>1013079
As we're walking down the hall to Cold Storage, Dr. Jackson nudges me and indicates at this defibrillator locker. I'm guessing she wants me to open it, but there's a big red alarm light on top.

I'm not sure if it's active or not, but even if it wasn't it'd be hard to grab it in plain view of the guard.

That being said, Dr. Jackson has already entered the cold room while I stand here examining it, and the guy either hasn't noticed or doesn't care.
>>
No. 1013094 ID: 1d3a35
File 163453038349.png - (11.23KB , 900x600 , 24.png )
1013094

Chaz doesn't follow me in. I hope he isn't too obvious about it.

The Cold Storage is dark, I think the lights burnt out. No matter, I know where everything is.

There's the blood fridge at the far end of the room, stocked with every type, each bag labelled accordingly. Next to it is the dry ice locker. Despite what I told the guard, I know that there are heavy gloves and fabric inside to prevent skin contact. Finally, the lab sink and a cupboard with spare sutures, IV drips and gloves.

I take a little chunk of dry ice stuck to the side of the locker and put it in my lab coat.

Before I leave, I stop to wonder: Should I take a bloodbag out too, to keep appearances? Or should Chaz and I lose the guard before we leave the floor?
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