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Poppin' Arms Guild ~ Infirmary

Virgil134

PMD Writer
Partners
  1. weavile
"I... don't know," Cabot said. "She clearly cares about Shield, but at the same time it's very obvious that it's not him. They don't share the same connection that we have with our shades. I guess it makes you wonder if she even is the real Sword..."

He shook his head. "Anyway, Giovanni attacked Destiny Village alongside some shadowy creature while we were at those springs. When we arrived to help they managed to take Sword away from us, so we're currently planning a rescue mission to the Isle of Light. I'm not sure what to expect given what happened there last time, but I know we'll get her back. We have to."
 

TheGOAT

Ace Trainer
Location
Houston, Texas
Pronouns
Him/his
Partners
  1. serperior
Astrid’s ears perked up. A rescue mission…? So we lost Shield after all…

She tried to sit up, if only to better converse with her friend, but her body objected almost instantly. Of course, she should have guessed this would happen; there were consequences to her actions in battle, as the doctor had reiterated—again. She just wished she didn’t only think about them after the fact…

Improvising, she rolled over and let her chin rest on her haunches. “Mmmn.”

She had no business telling Cabot to be careful given the position she’d placed herself in. And if shame alone couldn’t chain her to this bed, her decisions had plenty of physical consequences to do so instead. So, taking no pleasure in doing so, she settled with, “Good luck. Please be careful. I’ll be… I’ll be cheering you guys on. A-and getting better in the meantime.” Her nose sunk further in-between her paws, partially muffling her voice. “…I want to go so bad, Cabot. But every time I come here, the doctors are a little bit more serious about giving it time to recover. I don’t think they’d clear me for something like that.”

She could go anyway, Astrid realized. She could push through it. A harrowing thought weaseled its way into her mind and stuck there: this body was temporary, so what did it matter if she didn’t recover properly? She just needed to see the adventure to the end, and nothing beyond that. Who would stop her?

Seized by impetus from somewhere—perhaps from residual Radiance after the battle—she gave sitting up another shot. No dice. It seemed that she’d already done plenty to stop herself.
 

Virgil134

PMD Writer
Partners
  1. weavile
Cabot shot Astrid a look of sympathy and he shifted a bit, before speaking up.

"Maybe try to take it easy next battle? With using Radiance, I mean," he said. "I know it's one of the most important tools we have, but what if you end up injuring yourself so much that you have to sit out a fight? One where we might really need you. Or worse, you'll no longer be able to fight at all while Giovanni and Eternatus are still out there. You... don't have to go through this."
 

TheGOAT

Ace Trainer
Location
Houston, Texas
Pronouns
Him/his
Partners
  1. serperior
There it was.

“I… I don’t know how to fight without it.” Why this admission hadn’t bothered her before now, she wasn’t sure. “And, I don’t know what to think about the God Squad, or Diyem, o-or whoever. But these corrupted elements let me do things I didn’t think were possible. In a way, when I use them, I feel like I’m expressing myself. I have to learn to control it,” she inhaled, swallowed, and exhaled, “so I don’t hurt anyone else.”

Getting up was a lost cause, so she resorted to laying on her side as she waved a paw left and right. Sparkles of Radiance were left in its wake, crystallizing and dissipating seconds later. Even now its residual effects still coursed through her, not in a violent throb, but a gentle stream. The particles reflected in her eyes—yellow against blue. The fact that this very same energy had caused all this damage was beyond her.

She spoke barely above a whisper. “…I just don’t know what to do. I don’t know how some of you are so poised when your corruption spikes in battle.” Somehow, an incredulous, pitiful laugh worked its way out of her mouth. “Meanwhile, I just see an opening, and, and next thing I know, e-everything hurts. And—what’s the point of that?”
 

Virgil134

PMD Writer
Partners
  1. weavile
"But what about any battles you got into back home? Or when we first got here?" Cabot asked. "We didn't have any Radiance then, yet you were still doing fine, right?"

Cabot paused as he tried to think of way to reassure Astrid.

"Radiance helps us get stronger, but... you don't need it to be strong, Astrid. You can be strong without it too, or at least with a little bit," he said. "Last fight I only used three Radiant moves, and even with the third I knew that I would likely explode if I didn't either take a moment to calm down beforehand or have someone on the team call out to me. You gotta use it in small amounts."
 

TheGOAT

Ace Trainer
Location
Houston, Texas
Pronouns
Him/his
Partners
  1. serperior
Astrid knew full well how volatile it was.

It was what made it powerful.

“I know,” she answered. “I know. I’ll… I’ll try to be careful. Small increments.” The fabric of the bed wrinkled in between her paws as she idly played with it. “Small increments…”

Cabot was still standing there, still with that concerned look on his face. Mustering her energy, she sat up further and managed a smile. “…I’ll need to talk to Maple. Maybe she’ll know what to do. Thank you for checking on me in the meantime, though. It means a lot.”
 

Virgil134

PMD Writer
Partners
  1. weavile
"It's no big deal! That's what friends are for, right?" Cabot said, giving her a warm smile. He turned to leave, only to pause and look back at her. "Though, you'll be careful with Shadows too, right? Maybe those won't make you explode, but you know..." The Cranidos shot her a sheepish grin. "I don't wanna send you over here like that time we fought Shield at the Colosseum... or the time before that."
 
R8 – You Matter – Brisa & Astrid

TheGOAT

Ace Trainer
Location
Houston, Texas
Pronouns
Him/his
Partners
  1. serperior
And wait she did.

For the sixth time—not that Astrid was counting—she shifted from her belly to her back, allowing her tails to fully stretch out. The blanket she’d been given was haphazardly discarded near the frame of the bed, where it had caught between the mattress and the cold metal. Both pillows had gone… somewhere. Surely the floor.

All the while, she gripped her badge-phone with both paws, only occasionally raising one to type. So far, she’d written nothing. This wasn’t working.

But she didn’t need to write anything. She could wait a bit longer.

Astrid sighed and let her forepaws flop to either side of the bed. The badge flopped onto the bed as well. “…What do I do?” she asked herself again and again, in a voice that gradually declined to a whisper.

She could wait longer, for one.

She could also just text Brisa already.

She didn’t have to. But she also didn’t have to wait. What was the point of waiting? Well, Brisa might come on her own, and she didn’t want to come off as desperate.

She frowned. But, I am indeed very desperate.

Before she had a chance to think—because dammit, she’d done enough thinking at this point—the badge was in her paws again, and her paws were moving swiftly.

[Cucumber > Brisket]: Hey. You ok? Cabot told me about Sword 😦

There. There. Astrid held the badge out like a trophy, admiring her handiwork.

It was something casual. Something easy. Like playing it off as if nothing was wrong. Yeah! Yeah…

The more she read it, the more she hated it. It seemed like she was asking if Brisa was ‘ok’ because of Sword’s disappearance, not because of getting exploded on.

“Criminey,” she muttered, paws moving swiftly again. She’d fix the problem with more impulsive texts.

[Cucumber > Brisket]: Also I wanted to see if you were ok atfer the battle

[Cucumber > Brisket]: Can we talk? Please

Each time she hit send, it felt like clocking out after a long day working hard labor. She rolled onto her stomach yet again, huffing when she saw the typo.

[Cucumber > Brisket]: after*

“There.” She said it aloud this time, and shut off the badge to boot. And just like that, the thinking and waiting resumed.
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
Brisa hadn't been thinking about Astrid. She hadn't been letting herself think about Astrid. She had to worry about Giovanni, and that haze, and Sword, and Diyem, and Karat, and Starr, and–

Hadn't Astrid said she wasn't gonna do this shit anymore?

Goddamnit. Why did Astrid have to pull this reckless, foolhardy risk-taking after Brisa had admitted to herself that she... she was fond of the gal? She was worried enough about her teammates as it was, without the very gal whom looking at made Brisa's ears burn being the same gal dead-set on these self-sacrificial battle strategies. She hated the feeling of worrying that the next time she rushed over to Astrid's stilled form that she wouldn't be fucking breathing.

Brisa clenched her jaw as she tapped out a reply. She wasn't fucking breathing right now. Gods fucking damnit.

[Brisket > Cucumber]: Dear Astrid, I am well. You ought to be in the infirmary. Assuming you are indeed there, I will see you shortly in person. –Yrs, B. Escarpa

That should do for now. She'd make her way over there, and hopefully burn off some of her feelings on the way. And find a way to talk about this. Somehow.
 
Last edited:

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
"Astrid."

Brisa's heart tensed up in protest at the coming conversation. She'd just seen a slew of blacklight destruction at the guildhouse, and now she was here, to try to... what? Talk some sense into Astrid? Comfort her? Pretend like Astrid wasn't in the infirmary again, for abusing her radiance again?

"...are you well?"

It was the obvious question. It was also a stupid one.
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
Exploding, twice, and knocking me the fuck out.

"I'm fine," she said. "Don't suppose someone already filled you in on how the battle went?"

It was pretty hard to meet Astrid's eye. She was so earnest. She looked so, so very young in that ninetales body of hers. Wasn't Astrid older than Brisa? An officer of the law, used to working with a partner? Brisa wanted to look up to Astrid, but she was terrified that if she met that desperate, fretful gaze, she'd look down on her.

"Y'must've figured out the parts that matter, either way," said Brisa, flatly.
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
Brisa bit her cheek.

"You... texted me. You must have wanted to talk about somethin', right?"

Gods, she sounded pathetic. She was trying so hard not to get upset and all it did was make her sound vague and useless.

"Have y'thought twice about pullin' those kinda shenanigans again?" she added, hurting herself with the sharp edge in her own voice.
 

TheGOAT

Ace Trainer
Location
Houston, Texas
Pronouns
Him/his
Partners
  1. serperior
Astrid didn’t plan to start breaking down this early. Or, at all, though she knew herself a bit better than that.

“I, I—” she huffed, sniffling, “didn’t see you in time. And, it, I did the thing, the same thing I did with Starr at the arena, but with you instead, a-and I didn’t know how to stop.”

Crumbling backwards, she reached for her pillow. Her paw found only the bedspread; she then remembered she’d kicked it onto the floor, and now had nothing to wipe or cover her face with.

She could do little more than simply stare at the blurry ceiling. Very briefly, her frustration spoke louder than her despair. “I keep screwing up these battles. I’m… I’m sorry.”
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
Astrid... had done the same thing to Starr? What the hell. Brisa shook her head and grit her teeth. She... didn't know what this was. Or how to deal with it. Or how to deal with herself. Maybe if she just talked, she'd say something that wasn't useless.

"You're fuckin' spectacular in battle, Astrid," she said, though her tone didn't match the admiration she still felt. "You pull yer weight more'n almost anyone, and y'have this... this fuckin' incredible talent fer tactical blows. You just..."

Her tail lashed in frustration. Gods, wasn't this... obvious, to Astrid?

"We need you for the rest of the fuckin' mission, Astrid! You just have to give a fuck about yer own safety when you're pullin' off those moves of yours! Can you– can you do that?"
 

TheGOAT

Ace Trainer
Location
Houston, Texas
Pronouns
Him/his
Partners
  1. serperior
Astrid flinched. It was the same spiel that Cabot had given, but Brisa…

She was animated. She was fierce. There was an edge to her voice—a lashing out that Mincinno would’ve surely identified as fear. And while Astrid surely would’ve chastised him for thinking such a thing out loud, would he have been right?

“I… don’t even know. B-but! I’ll be fine! I think I’ll be fine, I mean—” A distant echo in her forehead caused her to pause and give it a good rub. Her nose was still running like a river. “—it hasn’t been that bad so far. I’ve been able to walk, a-and think just fine, and I’m always back on the battlefield weeks before we’re called to action again. It just hurts in the moment, y’know…?”

She cupped her paws together and stared at them, searching for an angle. It became more and more difficult each time she came here.

Myles’ voice—his real voice—rang in her head, clear as crystal: Who’re you really trying to convince, huh?
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
Brisa sighed, shook her mane. "We need to go after Diyem and Sword as soon as we possibly can, and the way you're holdin' up, I don't expect you'll be ready fer that. You're one of our best fighters, Astrid. We can't afford fer ya to be laid up in bed after every fight. And the explosions are gettin' stronger every time."

They could get so strong they kill you.

"Lettin' yerself get so overtaken by the radiance every time... it's..."

It scares me, that you might not recover.

"It's irresponsible. I wanna know I can depend on you, partner. And right now..."

She trailed off, her throat closing up like a fist.
 
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