CR-S01 had always been quiet, complacent, cooperative. He never complained about the cuffs, or the cold, or the abysmal, tasteless slop he was fed every day. So, of course, his security was relaxed. The lazy guards were always assigned to him, and the especially talkative ones didn't have to worry about being reprimanded if they stayed longer than they should've when delivering messages or food.
But these last few weeks at the hospital had changed him, and you could tell just by the atmosphere, the way the guards patrolling through the facility always glanced down the hallway to his cell.
He was hurt. One of the guards was hurt and all Erhard could think about was getting him to a hospital, cancelling the transfer, but in the end, they were only ever wary of him - only ever afraid.
It was unfair, not just for Erhard but this man who was dying at his feet, and surely the many, many others who were suffering the same fate.
Erhard did not put his hands on the wall. Erhard did not stay complacent and quiet, and lunged for his lab coat, shoving the man who was pointing a gun at him to the ground with maybe a little too much force than necessary. Keeping his head as level as he could, he visualised the route to the exit - he knew it like the back of his hand. Time seemed to move so fast, and he fumbled with his coat, trying to pull it on while he ran, and the guard down the hall was mumbling something into his receiver, and there was a click and-
Everything slowed down so suddenly it was as if he was jerked through time. Stumbling forward with the force of what had hit him, Erhard heard himself gasp before he felt the pain; and when he realised what had happened, he was already outside. Blood was running steadily down his chest, staining his prison clothes and coating the flimsy plastic of his Resurgam: Visiting Doctor ID card. Everything felt cold and damp on the grass, the dew sparkling a garish pink in the sunlight.
Shaking, running only on adrenaline, he didn’t think about the bullet lodged in his shoulder and tore off one of the sleeves of his white coat and tied it around the wound with the kind of mindless, deft perfection you couldn’t tell was done with trembling fingers.
Still running on less than nothing, he stared down Holden with the patient in his arms, daring him to shoot him; as if he hadn’t just been shot.
Once he’d stepped through the doors, everything went by in a haze - until the first, sharp, splitting pain of his memories returning arrived, and then the second, and then he was nearly collapsing because his shoulder was throbbing, fucking hell, and Maria barely had time to help him finish the operation before he was collapsing against the wall. Memories of Albert and Rosalia and endless knowledge and papers and texts on viruses leaked out of his ears and pooled with the blood on the floor.
White walls and white floors and white ceilings whirled by, and it took way too long to realise that Maria was carrying him to the old ward, and he was babbling out anything he could manage about Sartre, Rossellini, and that horrible night at Cumberland.
Blinking blearily, the first thing he saw when he finally returned to his senses was Hank’s face enveloping his field of vision.
“We’ve got you. You’re good,” he kept repeating, and Erhard couldn’t tell if it was an echo or not.
But he trusted them - Tomoe, Gabe, Hank, Maria, even Naomi - and trusted that he’d be okay.