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Code Silver

Chapter Text

“You think you can work with this, Doctor Stiles?”
“Well, it’s less of a question of if and more of a question of I have to. If this is something as infectious as you say it is then I’m glad Victor’s here.”

“I’m just sorry we don’t have as many facilities as Caduceus.”

“Well don’t sell yourself short just yet. I barely had time to get used to hospitals like this before I joined Caduceus. And I have to agree, it would have been far riskier to airlift them. Caduceus is a bit squeamish after the Portland incident.”

“Your understanding is refreshing, Sir. At the very least, Professor Gascoigne is here, who managed to glean some basic knowledge about the virus. Though the man came here to study certain kinds of gut bacteria, he didn’t expect he’d be contributing to cutting edge medical science!” The ward head managed an uneasy laugh.

“I’ll be the judge of that. Thankfully there was someone remotely educated here.”

The ward head blanked Victor’s quip. “ Debriefing is at 1730 hours, and we aim to begin at 1800. Though who knows how long the higher ups at the CDC will drag things out.”

“I guess till then, we enjoy some Pennsylvania hospitality.”

 

“Have ya got a light for an old man, sonny?” came an old voice that still deigned to draw authority.

“Sorry sir, don’t smoke.” Stiles turned to view the man. The man bowed his leg a little – an injury perhaps? More than likely why he was here. Stiles mentally recalled the contents of his pockets. Why the hell would he pick up a lighter, he had no use for one – he recanted his earlier statement. “Actually, yeah. Here you are sir. Though as a doctor I should advise you not to smoke.”

Lighting his cigarette, returning the lighter to Dr. Stiles and gingerly making his way to the wall he called the doctor’s bluff. “But you’re not going to, are you, kid?

He let out a wry smile. “Actually no. I’ve got too much going on right now to try play family doctor.”

The man leaned against the wall, speaking through the cigarette. “Too much going on? A kid like yourself?”

Stiles shuffled his feet and sighed. At about six o’clock this evening me and my team are going to be dealing with something we’ve been told if we don’t prepare for well, will kill us. If I don’t step up, I leave it to someone else and they could die. And if I leave it alone, we’ll never know what we were dealing with.”

Chrissake, what the hell’s our country’s healthcare come to. Look kid, when I was barely a lad I was fighting Charlie down in ‘Nam. Now look at you. Just like me, you decided you had to take a stand, cause if you didn’t then who would? You’re scared. And if I was in your shoes, I’d be scared too. But the difference between being brave and being scared is being scared, but still picking up the shotgun and shooting the bastard in the face. Or in your case, scalpel.”

A never more genuine smile had spread across Stiles’s face. “Thanks, mister…?”
“Bill. You can just call me Bill.”

“Bill. Well tomorrow, you either won’t find anything out at all, or you’ll have heard that a gas leak killed an entire quarantine ward of Mercy Hospital.”

“Ha ha, plausible deniability. Every three letter organization’s favourite cocktail.” said Bill, throwing back his head and taking a drag.

Chapter Text

“Can take the lad out of Sheff...” was Hoxton’s boisterous reply.

“Really? And I suppose that thing about ‘If you’re not from Yorkshire, you’re a cunt’ is also just banter?” Footfalls of well-kept dress shoes rang off the parking lot floor as the group exited the van.
“Chains, please mate, never say ‘cunt’ again. It sounds wrong when you Yanks say it.”

“You two calm down. It’s time to work the angle. Floor 4?” Dallas’s voice choked to barely a level above whispering
“Yeah, Floor 4. ICU. That’s where they’ve got the quarantine set up.” confirmed Chains.

“And within a patient. And within the patient?”

“Money!” came Wolf’s enthusiastic reply.

“Well… basically.” Today the gang skipped the restrictive penguin suits and opted for a more functional look. Above their undershirts, a suit of military-grade kevlar armor, perfect for weathering the blows of any hero cops. And above that was the neutral pale baby green of doctor’s wear.

 

The group’s dress offered them immunity to the warding gazes of onlookers. Working the angle, they exited the staircase and walked with prescribed purpose down the ICU towards the quarantine zone. Seeing their arrival, the nurse working the door went to meet them with a sly smile.


“The specialists from out of town?” came a barely-disguised Irish brogue.
“Yes ma’am. Dr. Kerr, that’s me, uh, Dr. Poitier-”

“Hello”, replied Chains.

“Dr Gold, our friend from the NHS. And the esteemed Dr. Andersson.”

 

“Let me just check...” The nurse tapped random areas on the paper on the pad with her pen held horizontally, then lifted her head. “Yes, you’re all clear. Please, come on in.”

 

A crackling sound began to form in their ears, followed by it shorting out and finally being replaced with a familiar metallic-filtered voice.

“We’re in, but something has come up. Something big. You remember the GUILT outbreak of 2018? There was a doctor at the frontline of all that, and he’s a big thing in the medical world. Kind of like a celebrity, y’know? His name is Dr. Stiles. I’ll tell you when I see him. The big thing is, do not harm him in any way. It will not do the crew any favours.”

 

 

 

In the break room of the quarantine operation, Doctor Stiles supped the bitter milky concoction that had the audacity to call itself coffee, a brew that sort of festered in the bottom of the paper cup - not so much sitting in his hand as much as projecting so much hate that it was able to keep its place in space and time within the confines of Derek’s hand. At this point, a better experience would have been to have dumped coffee grounds straight down his throat. Derek, having no better alternatives, endured it. “Tyler was always saying he wanted to date an Irish girl. I wonder if I should introduce him to the nurse at the door?”

“Doctor Stiles, what’s with the sudden interest in Irish girls?”

“Well the nurse who makes the coffee tries to hide it but she’s definitely Irish. Like, born-in-Ireland Irish.”

“Born-in-Ireland Irish? I wasn’t aware there was a distinction.”

“Well I mean you have people who are born in Ireland and move here for work or something, and then you have people like… John McClane.”

“John McClane?”
“John McClane, the guy from Die Hard. He’s American, but you know in Die Hard 3 Simon Gruber calls him an ‘Irish flatfoot’. Obviously it probably means that his family was Irish.”

“Huh.” said Angie, not seeing the reason behind the inane babble.

“Anyway I wonder why she tries to hide it. It’s not like she’s the only Irish lady in America.” Angie’s internal bullshit-o-meter overflowed gently.

“Doctor Stiles, is there any point to this tangent? You’re going to be operating shortly and you’re talking about Die Hard and Irish girls.”

Derek paused for a moment. He opened his mouth to speak and he stopped. He shuffled his feet, looked at the floor and opened his mouth again. “I’m sorry Ange. I’m just… nervous. I know what I have to do but I’m not a fan of what happens if I fail.”

Angie felt bad for popping Stiles’ little ramble bubble. Stiles was her friend, and there were some choice words floating around the front of her head that she thought could bring him back. “It’s alright Dr. Stiles. We’re all human. But you’ve been called to do what you have to do. There’s about a million other doctors Caduceus could have sent, and they sent you. Someone must think you’re good enough.”

Derek cracked a smile, almost as if he’d heard it before. “Damn Angie, have you been talking with Bill?”

“Bill?”

“It doesn’t matter. But it looks like enough people have faith in me that I’ve gotta step up.” Something caught Stiles’ eye. “One question.” He supped the last of his coffee, giving an off-hand pinky-point to the door of the ICU. “If I’m the doctor to do this, then who are those four?”

“Hmm?” replied Angie. Angie stood up and followed Derek’s line of sight to the group of doctors that had just entered the quarantine. “Backup team?” Angie placed the middle part of her index finger across her lips, nibbling the skin. “Can’t be. Caduceus didn’t send anyone else. CDC wouldn’t have sent anyone else.”

“Then who are they?”

 

 

Getting and working the angle had seemed too easy – too simple. But it had just been good planning on Bain’s part. All it took was a couple video files and a couple strongly worded unofficial e-mails to the right people and Clover had been posted as a nurse on the ICU. But the smallest hitch had developed in their plan. The CDC had done their homework. The ward was anonymized- no one knew who Patient Zero was. There were two other dummy bodies on the ward for the explicit purpose of fooling any malefactors who thought they could revitalize the concept of bioterrorism with a couple syringes and culture medium. The identity of the real Patient Zero was on a strict, verbal need-to-know basis between the multiple heads of the operation, and they were somewhere nearby enjoying whatever protection they had on offer. Luckily, Clover wasn’t your average Irish lass – making her own name on the streets of Dublin required sharp eyes and even sharper ears. She’d noted how some of the patients had breathing that seemed a little *too* constant, EKG’s that looked a little *too* stable, and lots of other bad juju that sent just the right amount of nope up Clover’s spine. But making a decision like this couldn’t just be based on the amount of heebie-jeebies she was feeling. She was a street lass, not a damned nurse – Dallas had to be the one to pull the trigger.

The corridor was tight and claustrophobic, and armed guards stood outside all three cubicles. It was nigh-on impossible to start any funny business without getting clipped by CDC enforcers. If they made the wrong move, it would be an age before they’d be able to get into the right cubicle.

Bain sprang to life inside their ears again. “Alright, so it’s basically a crapshoot on which cubicle is going to be the right one. That is, unless you’re smart. So bear with me. I got a guy, medical professional, knows what he’s doing for the right price. Now Dallas, I was banking on using that camera in your glasses to placate our $20 million contractor, but it seems it will take on a more practical purpose. This is a hospital, right? Hospitals keep regular medical records. Clover says they don’t trust her with anything more than making coffee, but Miss Angela Thompson? She’s their golden girl. She’s been responsible for posting all the numbers and keeping them in a classified file. Has to, she’s basically representing Caduceus. She has constant armed presence, and keeps them in a locked cabinet. You need to find some way to get a look at those files. Send the pics to me, and I’ll have my guy take a look.”

‘Some way to get a look at those files.’, the words rang inside his head as he viewed the scene in front of him. Dallas was already working on a plan. How would he lure the guards away? He pointed to Chains. “Dr. Poitier. Could I have a moment of your time?”
“Very well Dr. Kerr.” They both went to the last unused cubicle, a storage space for two hospital beds. They dropped their voices down to a dim whisper as Dallas brought out a conversation piece.

“You remember Dr. Ryan, and Dr. Catton, yes?”

“I remember. I seem to recall that that was quite the race-related issue.”

“Hmmm. I wonder if these guards have had their sensitivity training. You know what they say about people who couldn’t make it into neither the army nor the police force.”

“I can’t say I’d be excited to find out.”

“Then let’s not. Dr Gold?” Chains walked away, continuing to look around the ICU. Hoxton approached. A wry smile began to spread across Hoxton’s face.

“Please let’s not have a rerun of what happened in Colorado. I’d like to remind you to be careful of your colleagues, in particular, women.” said Dallas, sounding as genuine as he could.

“What can I say? I like they way they’re built.” Hoxton’s guffaw-illiciting reply came from a place he’d long grown out of.

Dallas’s next move felt bold- it also felt natural. Despite on-the-fly planning, Dallas couldn’t help but stir the pot a little. And when was it that medical doctors became public names? The man at the forefront of the battle of the GUILT epidemic – Dallas couldn’t help but add another famous face to the collection. Dallas moved down the ICU, effortlessly past the guards as if he was meant to be there. He approached the downcast Stiles, and suspicious Angie.

“Ah, you must be Dr. Stiles.”

 

Chapter Text

The reactivation of senses he’d long buried deep under the murky darkness of the so-called beverage that should be – but he was certain couldn’t be called – coffee, caused Dr. Stiles to jolt back to physical form with all the grace of a deflated swan. His voice cracked - “Yes?”

The man in front of him appeared an appreciably discount George Clooney, his beard speckled with black and white and his eyes focused and professional yet allowing him but one brief moment of joy.

“I’m Dr. Kerr, Dr. Stiles, a massive fan, very pleased to meet you. I’m very glad we’ll be working together on this case.”

Dr. Stiles put his hand forward to receive Dr. Kerr’s handshake with not nearly as much enthusiasm as Dr. Kerr. Derek, still reeling from whatever beverage the Irish nurse had made him, pulled together his best optimism. “It’s nice to meet you too.”

“Pleasure. Working together?” piped up Angie.

“Well, I assume I won’t be in the OR with Dr. Stiles himself, as entertaining as the prospect may be. My and my colleagues role here might have something to do with the other two patients you have here.”

Angie continued: “I’ve… not heard anything of that sort.”

Derek, far off, felt it best not to have much conflict this close to an oncoming operation. “It could be the CDC being the CDC. This op isn’t under Caduceus control; it’s possible they still think of us as outsiders.”

“It’s still rather disrespectful. We gave them strict instructions to keep us in the loop, so we could keep Caduceus in the loop.”

“Well Victor’s here, and Dr. Kasal is probably doing his best to keep everything under control.”

“Indeed.” piped up Dr. Kerr. “You wouldn’t believe how much three-letter agencies don’t like being told what to do. Trust me.”

“Well, the charts won’t fill themselves. I will leave you two to your fan expo.” Angie adjusted the headset on her head. “Mr. Lively? Mr. Johansson? I need to update the charts.”

 

In a small room off to the side, Chains was sat in his scrubs. At the other side of the discussion were two very embarrassed armed guards, one nursing a nasty burn.

“Racist is what you are. The both of you. You should be ashamed of yourself.”

“Mr-”
“Doctor! Doctor- Poitier.”

“Doctor Poitier. I resent the implication that this has anything to do with race. But you-”
“Are an honest and successful black man who you just have to shut down! Yeah, I know you private security types. Get rejected from the army and the police force so you go into the last place you can hold a gun and make up for the fact that mother never loved you.”

“With all due respect, Doctor, you spilled red hot coffee on my colleague’s shirt. Now I’m going to tell his supervisor everything that has happened here today, and I’m sure that against my best wishes Mr Lively here will be reprimanded. But we have a job to do.”

“Oh I get it...” Chains continued to busy the guards. The constant battle was sonorous music to the gang’s ears.

 

“Oh forget this. These charts need updating.” Angie stepped out of the break room and made her way to the first room to begin the process of updating the charts. Doctors Andersson and Gold were chatting away to each other. Dr. Kerr was buttering up Dr. Stiles, with old and hokey tales that were pleasant distractions to what he was about to undertake. Despite her lack of armed presence, which wasn’t a hindrance to her job, but she felt just one part of it, the chart updating went mostly without a hitch.

 

“Dammit, Nurse Duffin, I’m bustin’ for a slash.” began Hoxton, gagging on the dysphemisms rising from his throat. If Aldstone heard what he said he’d be floored. “Where’s the loo in this place?”

“Down the corridor and to the left. You need any help finding it?”

“No thanks, that should be enough.”

Hoxton started on a slow, calculated jog.

 

The next thing Angie new, she had skidded along the floor a couple feet, having been bowled over by a slightly lanky Englishman. The papers she had meticulously collected were scattered all the way down the corridor.

“Oh fuck! Sorry hun!”

Derek slammed down his cup of hatred and rushed out the door. Dallas followed suit. This was the chance that Dallas had built up.

“You alright Angie?” blurted out Stiles all at once.

“I’m fine.” Anger bubbled up from inside her throat but she suppressed it into a shout of rage. “Watch where you’re going Dr. Gold!”

“Really sorry hun!” he said as he headed towards the WC’s.

Dallas bent down to pick up the files. There was just enough time to gather a good few snapshots. Derek seemed a bit too focused on Angie – more time for him. As Angie regained her senses she noticed Dr. Kerr looking intently at the files. “Dr. Kerr! Classified!” she snapped.

“Oh, I’m sorry.” he replied, his acting stellar as ever, looking like a kid who just wanted to help.

Angie swivelled around to get up, then looked at Dr. Kerr with sincerity. “Yeah, CDC doesn’t want anyone else looking at these files.”

“Oh, that makes sense. My apologies, Nurse Thompson.”

“It’s fine...” She replied, approaching her wits end. Watching Stiles operate was going to be less stressful than this.

 

Bain spoke up again.

“Right, I got the files. Well, you were right, Clover. The histograms were a bit too perfect. As you could probably expect, you can’t have two people with the same heart rate at the same time throughout the day, even if they are sedentary. Nor, our contact says, does it match up with the vitals of someone infected with a systemic virus. So by process of elimination, our target is in Room B. Open Room B.”

Wolf replied: “Opening Room B.” He grabbed the large cable in his hands, kinked it, and drew the scalpel through it.

 

The lights went off. The alarms tripped. The shutters fell on all the ICU rooms but Room B.

Chapter Text

The lights went off. Chains stood up, put his hand in his pocket and clenched his hand around the cold metal of a silenced Beretta M3. With the limited light of the window, he trained the sight of the gun on the heads of his would-be aggressors and pulled. The weapon kicked back in his hands, the underpressured ammo lightening the load, but all the same the weapon sprang hollowly and caught one guard in the forehead. Without missing a beat he then angled his weapon at the other guard. With both down Chains felt his way out of the room. Poor bastards, but it was part of the money.

 

Elsewhere, similar sounds were ripping through the air. Clover, sensing her chance, ran to a locker at the other end of the ICU. Within the area a guard was on the internal line barking through the phone. “Code Silver! There’s a Code Silver in the ICU! Unknown number of assailants, at least 3!” The guard made a yelp as Clover dug the silenced weapon into the guard’s back, and then she closed her finger around the trigger, holding his shoulder she shot up the length of his spine, dealing immense internal damage and leaving him for dead. The phone hung there as the alarm was sounded. Clover spotted a heavy duffel bag in the corner.

 

She opened it quickly and threw the duffel bag inside to the ground, landing with a heavy clank. She returned the handset to the base, her part in the heist concluded, she used the precious seconds left before power was restored to make her escape with the rest of the ICU as the alarms rang.

 

Scuppering back to the break room with Angie under tow, neither Derek nor Angie knew what was going on.

“What do we do?”, whispered Dr. Stiles.

“Uh… the alarm’s gone off, so the police are going to be here soon. Dammit I knew they were trouble! I should have said something!”

“You think the shooters are those four doctors?”

“Yeah, they have to be.”

“Where are Victor and the others?”
“They went down to the other floors to get research resources. It’s just us now.”

“Dammit, and I don’t suppose they’ll let us make an escape.”

“They won’t. Only way out is through the ICU doors. They’ll have them covered if this is their work.”

 

Assembling at the bag that Clover had thrown down, they rooted through the bag to find their kit. A professionally made mask for each of them, several workhorse carbines and enough ammo to hold off enough boys in blue to make their escape and precious much more. Chains took special notice of something that looked like a pirate’s weapon, but much wider. “Aww shit, he listened to me.” guffawed Chains.

“What did you get?” asked Dallas, as if talking to a pet that ate something off the floor.
“GL40, just like I asked.”

“What? In a skyscraper? You wanna bring the building down with us?”
“It’ll only be for… extenuating circumstances.”

There was a shriek of joy from the more unhinged heister. Despite his useful rifle, he’d taken a liking to a crowbar that was part of the kit for some bizarre reason – both the unknown reason why it was a part of the kit and why Wolf took a liking to it.

 

“Yup, as I figured. They had SWAT on standby not minutes away. Turning off the power was like kicking their nest. The CDC wanted to keep things hush and avoid a scuffle, but definitely wanted a backup plan in case of some opportunists like that bioterrorism organization were about. What was its name… Delphine? The point is it shouldn’t be long before Pennsylvania’s finest make their appearance and they’re not responding to a house call. In fact… yeah – you got first responders coming up the stairs.”


Coil whine signified the lights were about to turn on, and that the police were about to break down the door to the ICU and visit violence on the group that had put the fear of death into the rest of the floor. The lights switched on as they took up their positions against the rising tide. As the ICU doors swung open, several SWAT responders filed through in well-planned formation. The footfalls got louder as they got closer.

 

Chains nodded at Dallas. They swung around the wall. “MOTHERFUCKER!” yelled Chains, as him and Dallas squeezed the trigger of their carbines like they had done so many times before. The rifle climbed in their hands manageably. They focused their aim on the mass centers of their blue targets. Rifle fire and noise rebounded off the walls. The SWAT first responders fell, injured or dead.

 

“That’s the first lot!” shouted Dallas, returning his rifle to a position across his chest.

Chains looked left and then right down either end of the hall.“Where are the VIP’s? They can’t have left the ICU!”

Bain piped up. “They’re in the break room! I have them on CCTV! Remember, don’t hurt them!” Hoxton headed towards the break room. Bain continued. “Money may be money, but we will have a publicity shitstorm the likes of which you have never seen on our hands if any harm befalls Dr. Stiles. That being said he’s our ticket out of here if things go bad. Don’t turn him over, whatever you do.”

Hoxton piped up. “Oh great. Fucking babysitting duty.” he said, with equal parts resignation and venom.

 

Hoxton stormed into the break room. “Is anyone in here? Hands up!”

Derek and Angie held their breath under the table. Fortunately Derek and Angie were skinny enough that it was a usable hiding place. Hoxton patrolled the room, looking for them. Angie looked out. With Hoxton looking in a locker for them, Angie signalled Derek to walk out. She got up from the floor and felt something cold and metal jam into her head. She thought she had hit her head on the table but it was actually a bit quicker than what she had thought.

“There’s an M4 Carbine pointed right at your head, love. Now I’m not the biggest fan of your Yanks’ guns but I don’t think I want to argue with this one.”

“D-don’t shoot!” she said, rising to her feet, arms raised.

Hoxton kept the barrel trained on her head as she rose but relaxed his posture, keeping close to the blonde nurse. “Now don’t worry love. Here’s what’s gonna happen. You and your boyfriend here are gonna-”
With her fully stood up, Angie used Hoxton’s relaxed posture against him. She grabbed his gun and attempted to twist it out of his hands. Hoxton clenched on hard as he fell to the floor.

“AAAARGH! FUCKING GET OFF YOU BITCH! WOOOOLF!”

Angie fumbled with the gun while on top of Hoxton, trying to keep it away from Stiles while trying to wrestle it off Hoxton. Hoxton let go of the grip and went to his side holster but Angie saw and grabbed his hand before he could grab his sidearm. As Angie fought Hoxton on two fronts there were footfalls behind her. “ANGIE LOOK OUT!” Something thin-ish, long and very hard found itself pounded into her back, knocking the wind out of her. Wolf knocked her on her front with his crowbar, enough to wind her but not seriously injure her.

“Fuckin’ ‘ell. Thanks mate.” he said, rubbing his back.

 

“You too.” said Wolf to Derek. Derek emerged from the table, angry and upset.

“WHAT DID YOU DO TO ANGIE?” he spat through gritted teeth.

“Just what needed to be done. Told you we weren’t gonna kill you.”

Even with two sets of guns trained on him, Derek ran at Wolf, and Hoxton was all but willing to eat a hostage charge, but Wolf sidestepped Stiles’s mad dash and floored the doctor without so much as a bump. Wolf went on to apply plastic cuffs to the both of them.

Hoxton, incensed, snapped at the two. “Right, here’s what the both of you are gonna do. You’re gonna stay here, be good boys and girls for mum and dad, and when we’re done entertaining our guests we’re going to leave. Now grow up, stop being a hero and start thinking about how you’re going to survive the NEXT TEN FUCKING MINUTES.” He shut the break room door with an almighty thud.

Hoxton raised the ball of his hand to his mouth. “Bain, you could have told me she studied Aikido.”

“I didn’t think she’d have the balls to try it on you.”

“Ugh. Fiery little twat. Can see why he likes her.”

 

 

Far away in Angeles Bay, Sidney Kasal talked to a woman with bob cut blonde hair and a preference for brilliant white suits.

“Well it’s a little bit unorthodox. I’m afraid Dr. Stiles is out of town right now. He’s caught up in a small situation with the CDC.”

“Oh really?”

“He was originally there, along with Nurse Thompson and Doctor Niguel for a symposium on how GUILT Research has changed our perception of modern medicine, but someone took ill at the hotel and Stiles delivered them there. As it turns out, they then got a very interesting case.”

“Oh you don’t have to explain yourself Director. I’m well aware of the legendary Dr. Stiles’s big heart.”
The phone rang. There would have been nothing special about that, except this was important business and Director Kasal had specifically asked not to be disturbed unless it was important; and Director Kasal’s secretary was very good at her job.

He picked up the phone.

“Director Kasal, this is Gareth Murdoch, the ward head of Mercy Hospital ICU. I managed to get out but Derek and Angie, they didn’t get out.”

“What? Get out? Did the virus go airborne?”

“No, There’s a hostage situation sir, armed men, gunfire. I think they’re there for whatever virus we found.”

“… My god. Have the local police responded?”

“Yes sir. They sent in a SWAT team. They haven’t replied in a while, sir. Look, I’d love to give you more information but I’ve got my own team to take care of.”

“Dammit. Thank you for letting me know Dr. Murdoch.”

Director Kasal lowered the phone to the receiver with resignation.

“Something wrong?”

He threw his anger out to the rest of the room. “Argh, Stiles and Thompson are hostages in a code silver situation!”

Chapter Text

Wolf began moving the bodies of the fallen SWAT officers out of the way. One groaned in pain, a swift blow to the head from Wolf’s new friend the crowbar sorted that out, the groggy SWAT member gave some sort of guttural gurgle and sort of passed. Wolf was indifferent. Dallas entered the break room and knelt down to Angie’s position, his gun trained on the feisty nurse.
“You. You’re a nurse yeah?” said Dallas, the question obvious but required.
“Yes”, she replied, defensively.
“Right, you can make yourself useful. We need samples of this guy’s blood.”
“What?”
“Stop asking questions. We have the guns, get to it. Unless you want five-five-six in your backbone.” Dallas handed her a phlebotomy kit as he removed her cuffs, heading towards the room they’d cordoned off to join the company of the blood-splattered Wolf.
Dallas lifted the ball of his palm to his mouth. “What’s the ETA on the next assault, Bain?”
“Another two minutes. Looks like SWAT and Tasers.”
“Shouldn’t be too bad.” boasted Chains. “What’s she doing?”
“Vial’s filling nice and quickly.” said Wolf, watching the claret fill up the receptacle.
“And Stiles?”
“He in’t’ moving anytime soon.” said Hoxton.
“Okay. Find those centrifuges, make sure they’re set up. You guys have got your test strips on you, right?”
“Yeah” came the gang’s reply.
“Right, good, get to it. Wolf, you stay with Nurse Thompson.”

Dallas, Hoxton and Chains dispersed, looking around the ICU. Wolf retained his watchful eye over his charge as she continued to draw vials of blood. The third one was drawn and Wolf returned the young lady to the break room, Derek embracing Angie as they sat on the cold laminated floor. Head below chest height, under the table, Derek lamented the notion he’d once entertained, that that he’d left those days behind with the dissolution of Delphi.

Chains checked the heavy centrifuge over and gave it a test whirl. It was in full working order. “Got one set up over here.”
Dallas and Hoxton confirmed they had a centrifuge set up, and made their way to the ICU, but a familiar crackling stopped them in their tracks.

“Yeah, you got another assault wave coming your way. SWAT and Tasers, as I thought.”

 

Hoxton pointed at the SWAT officer’s midsection and pulled the trigger. The shotgun flew upwards as an almighty roar cracked out of its barrel. The SWAT officer’s midsection was turned into gore. In retrospect, the way he handled that encounter was more like an excecution. Hoxton didn’t think about it for much longer though, as behind him, a high pitched whine rang out. “Oh, fu-”. Hoxton failed to finish his curse as shortly after a prick to his back, his body racked with convulsions as he fell to the ground, his whole body feeling like he was on fire. He was being tased, and it was never anything Hoxton could get used to. He flailed and flopped on the ground. Hoxton, racked with pain, began to feel his conciousness slipping, before he heard a distinct hoarse roar.
Wolf full-on home-run hit the Taser around the head. There was a sickening crack and the Taser fell to the floor. He withdrew the shock probes from Hoxton and helped him up. Hoxton escaped to the nearest wall to get his bearings back, meanwhile Wolf looked at the Taser, who sort of gurgled. Wolf took this as a sign of defiance and jammed the crowbar into the Taser’s torso. “Helvete, fan, fan!” exclaimed Wolf in distressed Swedish, retrieving his crowbar.

Dallas was having issues himself. The centrifuges were of poor quality, and though they’d managed to confirm one sample, finding another was proving to be increasingly difficult. Dallas worked on the one in the break room, and as it gave a low battery warning Dallas smacked the table. He opened a communication line with Bain. “The centrifuges in this place are shit. How are we supposed to isolate the virus sample?”
“Shit? How?”
“They’re low on battery and always seem to fail!”
“Damn. They really cut back on the budget for replacements this quarter. Not only that, but they don’t allow storing extra batteries or battery packs on site. Yes, I know. Health and Safety. In a hospital.”
“What about mains power?”
“They’ve seen to that. You’ve seen Die Hard. ‘You ask for Miracles, Theo’”
“I give you the F B fuckin’ I. Lights are on but mains is dead, I’m guessing?”
“Pretty much. Oh, hold on, hold on. It seems that they’ve employed an in-house research specialist. State of the art kit. At the bottom of the hospital. They had fire exits down there but they’re chained up and used as storage holes because they’re not up to code. Which means-”
“Chokepoint.”
“Yeah. Get some blood and get the whole outfit down there. I’ll try and arrange you guys a way out.”
“On it. Come on, Dr. Stiles, it’s time for us to visit the laboratory.” Dallas bent down and roughly grabbed the young doctor by the arm. Derek, despondent, looked at the floor as he was lead out of the ICU.
“Nurse Thompson. Get as much blood as you can. We’re moving.”
“No.” said Angie, defiantly and worriedly.
“Excuse me?”
“I’ve been drawing blood from this patient for the past five minutes. I’ve already taken far more than I really should, but you wouldn’t let me stop! He needs a transfusion now or he’s not going to make it!” She broke into tears as the end of her sentence broke into a sob.
Dallas, unperturbed, turned to face Angie through his mask. He shoved Derek into Chains’ arms.
“Nurse, I’m sorry, but I’m pretty damn sure that thanks to us, ol’ Patient Zero here ain’t far from buying the farm. Now his death will be a loss, but we have to move, or we won’t be able to find a cure for this debilitating illness.”
“I sincerely doubt your intentions are that altruistic.”
“Will it, won’t it, it’s just business ma’am. I don’t think you’ve got the time to debate though, I do have a handgun, and he’s all I’m interested in. It would be a shame, though I’m sure the legendary Dr. Stiles is ready for a crash course in phlebotomy.”
Angie considered impaling herself upon the spear in front of her in order to spite her captors, but what it would do to Derek would be far worse. Cognizant of the cold metal pointed at her, she resumed her duties. The patient gurgled, roared horsely, and then seemed as if all life had drained from him. Angie placed the kit into a pouch at her hip. Working with bioterrorists, again, this time with masks and guns. Zip ties were placed around her wrists and she was lead out by Wolf as Dallas took point and Hoxton took up the rear. They made their way out through the front of the ICU doors. Derek looked left, down the corridor, to see the waiting room littered with patient’s families and staff alike, prone, with their hands tied behind their backs. They were lead down a fire exit.

Chapter Text

Wolf began moving the bodies of the fallen SWAT officers out of the way. One groaned in pain, a swift blow to the head from Wolf’s new friend the crowbar sorted that out, the groggy SWAT member gave some sort of guttural gurgle and sort of passed. Wolf was indifferent. Dallas entered the break room and knelt down to Angie’s position, his gun trained on the feisty nurse.
“You. You’re a nurse yeah?” said Dallas, the question obvious but required.
“Yes”, she replied, defensively.
“Right, you can make yourself useful. We need samples of this guy’s blood.”
“What?”
“Stop asking questions. We have the guns, get to it. Unless you want five-five-six in your backbone.” Dallas handed her a phlebotomy kit as he removed her cuffs, heading towards the room they’d cordoned off to join the company of the blood-splattered Wolf.
Dallas lifted the ball of his palm to his mouth. “What’s the ETA on the next assault, Bain?”
“Another two minutes. Looks like SWAT and Tasers.”
“Shouldn’t be too bad.” boasted Chains. “What’s she doing?”
“Vial’s filling nice and quickly.” said Wolf, watching the claret fill up the receptacle.
“And Stiles?”
“He in’t’ moving anytime soon.” said Hoxton.
“Okay. Find those centrifuges, make sure they’re set up. You guys have got your test strips on you, right?”
“Yeah” came the gang’s reply.
“Right, good, get to it. Wolf, you stay with Nurse Thompson.”

Dallas, Hoxton and Chains dispersed, looking around the ICU. Wolf retained his watchful eye over his charge as she continued to draw vials of blood. The third one was drawn and Wolf returned the young lady to the break room, Derek embracing Angie as they sat on the cold laminated floor. Head below chest height, under the table, Derek lamented the notion he’d once entertained, that that he’d left those days behind with the dissolution of Delphi. Angie could do naught but hold the doctor harder.

Chains checked the heavy centrifuge over and gave it a test whirl. It was in full working order. “Got one set up over here.”
Dallas and Hoxton confirmed they had a centrifuge set up, and made their way to the ICU, but a familiar crackling stopped them in their tracks.

“Yeah, you got another assault wave coming your way. SWAT and Tasers, as I thought.”

 

Hoxton pointed at the SWAT officer’s midsection and pulled the trigger. The shotgun flew upwards as an almighty roar cracked out of its barrel; in an instant, the SWAT officer’s midsection was turned into gore. In retrospect, the way he handled that encounter was more like an execution. Hoxton didn’t think about it for much longer though, as behind him, a high pitched whine rang out. “Oh, fu-”. Hoxton failed to finish his curse as shortly after a prick to his back, his body racked with convulsions as he fell to the ground, fire spreading from his back all across his body. He was being tased, and it was never anything Hoxton could get used to. He flailed and flopped on the ground. Hoxton, racked with pain, began to feel his consciousness slipping, before he heard a distinct hoarse roar.

Wolf full-on home-run hit the Taser around the head. There was a sickening crack and the Taser fell to the floor. He withdrew the shock probes from Hoxton and helped him up. Hoxton escaped to the nearest wall to get his bearings back, meanwhile Wolf looked at the Taser, who sort of gurgled. Wolf took this as a sign of defiance and jammed the crowbar into the Taser’s torso. “Helvete, fan, fan!” exclaimed Wolf in distressed Swedish, retrieving his crowbar.

Dallas was having issues himself. The centrifuges were of poor quality, and though they’d managed to confirm one sample, finding another was proving to be increasingly difficult. Dallas worked on the one in the break room, and as it gave a low battery warning Dallas smacked the table. He opened a communication line with Bain. “The centrifuges in this place are shit. How are we supposed to isolate the virus sample?”
“Shit? How?”
“They’re low on battery and always seem to fail!”
“Damn. They really cut back on the budget for replacements this quarter. Not only that, but they don’t allow storing extra batteries or battery packs on site. Yes, I know. Health and Safety. In a hospital.”
“What about mains power?”
“They’ve seen to that. You’ve seen Die Hard. ‘You ask for Miracles, Theo’”
“I give you the F B fuckin’ I. Lights are on but mains is dead, I’m guessing?”
“Pretty much. Oh, hold on, hold on. It seems that they’ve employed an in-house research specialist. State of the art kit. At the bottom of the hospital. They had fire exits down there but they’re chained up and used as storage holes because they’re not up to code. Which means-”
“Chokepoint.”
“Yeah. Get some blood and get the whole outfit down there. I’ll try and arrange you guys a way out.”
“On it. Come on, Dr. Stiles, it’s time for us to visit the laboratory.” Dallas bent down and roughly grabbed the young doctor by the arm. Derek, despondent, looked at the floor as he was lead out of the ICU.
“Nurse Thompson, with me. Gang, get as much blood as you can. We’re moving.”
“No.” said Angie, defiantly and worriedly.
“Excuse me?”
“You’ve been taking blood from this patient since you arrived. Blood doesn’t just magically flow endlessly – he needs a transfusion now or he’s not going to make it!” She broke into tears as the end of her sentence broke into a sob.
Dallas, unperturbed, turned to face Angie through his mask. He shoved Derek into Chains’ arms.
“Nurse, I’m sorry, but I’m pretty damn sure that thanks to us, ol’ Patient Zero here ain’t far from buying the farm. Now his death will be a loss, but we have to move, or we won’t be able to find a cure for this debilitating illness.”
“I sincerely doubt your intentions are that altruistic.”
“Will it, won’t it, it’s just business ma’am. I don’t think you’ve got the time to debate though, I do have a handgun, and in this case, he, and whatever is in our dear friend’s blood, are all I’m interested in. It would be a shame, though I’m sure the legendary Dr. Stiles could cope with a permanent change in assistant.”
Angie considered impaling herself upon the spear in front of her in order to spite her captors, but what it would do to Derek would be far worse. Cognizant of the cold metal pointed at her, she rose alongside Derek and received the plastic cuffs on her hands once again. As she was lead past the myriad bodies of lawmen, they also passed the patient—he gurgled, roared horsely, and then seemed as if all life had drained from him.

Angie couldn’t help but feel angry at her inability to save him. Losing someone like Emilio hurt because they did everything in their power to save him and he still passed. But losing this man hurt because despite the odds, they were physically prevented from doing everything conceivably possible by these masked assailants. Angie couldn’t decide which hurt was worse.

“Poor fucker.” was Chains’ sort-of dour yet sort-of humanitarian response. It was the Army man inside him – almost immediately, Chains was hit with the lucidity of accepting the irony of being knee-deep in bodies while still caring about one man. Wasn’t worth getting into, Chains thought. There’s money on the line.

In single file, the gang lead the duo down the square spiral fire escape, all the way down to the bowels of the hospital. Passing walls where painted white pipes stood exposed, they rounded a corner to a place that seemed like it had unnaturally more care taken with it than its surroundings – Professor Gascoigne's research lab. The blue fabric panel-paved carpet was like Oz to the gang – they immediately flung open cabinets in search of the wondrous spinning machines. Hoxton lead Derek and Angie to sit in the far end of the room, then kept his gun trained on them to keep them down as the crew continued their search. Whirrs began to fill the room as the centrifuges spun up. “Aww shit, we’re back in business” declared Chains, pumping his fist. Chains’ celebration was cut short as he heard shouting in the distance.
“Down here, down here!”
Was it one of the Hostage Rescue Team? The gang turned off the centrifuges in anticipation. They didn’t want to blow their cover so early. Though puerile and childish, the gang found places to hide inside the cabinets – Hoxton picked a spot with line of sight to Derek and Angie as he forced them to their feet. A doctor and their assistant in the research wing of a hospital wouldn’t be out of place, since there wasn’t anywhere to hide two more people.

 

The Hostage Rescue Team operative really shouldn’t have been on his own – but he knew what he heard. He descended the small set of stairs at the near side of the corridor, and gulped as he raised his handgun. Sliding against the wall, he opened the first door into a janitor supply closet. After checking every corner, it was empty, and the man turned around. The next door at the opposite wall of the corridor said ‘Laundry’, and he slowly pushed the door forward, but it banged against planks that were directly in front of the door. What little purchase he got with the door suggested that no one was in here, and he turned around. The last room was a maintenance room with gas and water valves – he slid once again, turned the corner and pointed his handgun at all the corners.

As he turned around to continue on, he came directly face to face with a lacquered red and white mask. Wolf was stood uncomfortably close to the guard. The operative yelped and fell back with a thud. Thinking quickly, the operative rose his pistol and shot Wolf in the chest. The shot rang out throughout the hospital, giving the gang’s position away, but only managed to lodge itself in Wolf’s body armor. Still – it hurt like a bitch. Enraged, eyes watering with pain, the scent of blood descending in his nose, Wolf approached the operative with the crowbar as the operative gave out a bloodcurdling scream.