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Author Topic: [MHWr] All of the Healers Had Left Long Ago  (Read 1121 times)


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[MHWr] All of the Healers Had Left Long Ago
« on: October 31, 2014, 07:40:24 pm »

Happy Halloween, everybody! Something far too long inspired by conversations with various players.

They were the first to get up and leave, complaining about mundane work with little reward. In better times, Healers would have partied up with bulkier companions to storm an opposing stronghold. The mercenaries were all employed to locate and steal briefcases stuffed with priceless documents. They could not have cared less for this; rather, the entire team reveled in the opportunity to display their skills out in the field. A Rocketman would boast about his prowess at securing briefcases while a Constructor would iron out defense strategies, coddling his own briefcase. The fight and the victory were really all that the mercenaries had.


Shutting the door behind him, the Runner sat down on the bench in the resupply, focusing on all of the tables before him. The reanimation process was all automated. A dead comrade would have been brought in and the machines, with all of their edges and tubes, would have him or her up and out in seconds. The length of the procedure was needlessly variable; sometimes it'd be instantaneous, while other times it'd take some seven seconds, maybe. The Runner has to remind himself that this wasn't all too important. It wasn't going to be fixed, as the administrators had “probable cause” to make it this way. Besides, it had added some extra thrill and excitement to his job. There still remained other, more pressing issues that needed to be fixed. These would not be fixed. They could not be fixed. No, it was far too late for that.


The bloodsport, mysterious in origin, was met in the beginning with a nice amount of enthusiasm. General publicity and word-of-mouth had continued to build popularity up, but time simultaneously worked against this, cutting it back down. Time saw so many mercenaries drop their arms and return to places unknown, or move on to greener pastures. Many had decided not to take the activity at face value; to them, it was a mere indulgence, perhaps a cheaper substitute for something else. Only a fraction of the mercenaries entrenched themselves and stuck around, all for their own reasons.


If the shoddy decorations and rotten pumpkins were any indication, it had been quite some time since the apparent decline had begun. The soil of the Conflict facility had settled for the first time in ages, hiding the dust and footprints of a thousand mercenaries. Climbing out of the resupply room, the Runner made one more mark in the dirt, and then one more. The atmosphere was very intrusive today. The early November sky overhead was blurred by gray storm clouds and fog, cold and windy. Ahead of the Runner over the brown fields was the disused BLU shipping establishment. BLU, Bolstered Locks Unlimited. The Runner was drawn towards the facility, taking a route that he had often used in the past. Bolstered Locks Unlimited, something always did sound off about it. Kind of stupid, even.


They attempted to educate prospective mercenaries, bringing them to their own levels of expertise. Scraping yourself against a wall, for instance, would allow you to jump higher. This was important – you jump higher to enter the enemy base through a window, grab a briefcase, and run out. You capture the briefcase and then go and capture it again. Or, perhaps this wasn't the case anymore. A Runner, weakened by a scuffle with an Overweight, isn't able to skip around any defenses by scraping himself against a wall and entering the enemy compound through a window. This maneuver was deemed an unnecessary growth of mechanical skill and purged by the administrators. Maybe it was for the best – less for the recruits to learn, therefore more retention. Couldn't hurt.


The facility is dark, and its air is stagnant. The Runner surmounts the familiar pile of crates and wooden planks, and notices the briefcase in its usual position. He is even quicker to notice the bed of mines resting below it. There must have been a Detonator in the rafters – no, the Runner rashly decides for himself, he must be up there right now. He hadn't expected anybody to be here, but surely enough, somebody was here. Something fired up inside of him. With intense energy, he excitedly began to climb up the scaffolding, spinning his gun around his finger.


One agrees that the ability to speak with enemies would inhibit the long-term survival of the operations. Another person is frustrated with the cold lack of communication for their own reasons, with every interaction punctuated with nothing but a bullet and a smile. There was just no agreement on the politics of battle. Someone would conceive new uniforms, but the old style is championed by someone else as staple of their culture. The administrators, in a bid to prevent core values from becoming corrupted, ultimately decided to leave the mercenaries to their own devices, allowing different operations came to have different designations and different rules. There was a lot less coherence, but everybody seemed to be happy in their own separate spheres.


The Detonator was staring straight ahead with a vacant expression and glassy eyes. The Runner chose not to fire. He had seen this sort of thing before. It couldn't have hurt him at all to put him down for kicks, seeing that he'd be pulled back to the much-cozier resupply room anyway, but the Runner thought past this. There was an irrational, lingering hope in his mind that he could rekindle the indescribable feeling that fighting had given him. As if on cue, the Runner nabbed the briefcase in a quick, snatching motion. He wanted nothing more for the mines to detonate, for his body to be blown apart. His bloodied parts flew in opposite directions; the arms down the staircase, the legs back into the atrium.


For most, Halloween is a celebration of the terrors of the night, all interlaced with jokes and novelties. At the end of the line, the mercenaries all found a more relevant interpretation in the subtext of death and destruction. Everything they valued had ended so quietly, dying a long death from internal hemorrhaging. The few gradually went their separate ways, the better times behind them and rolling backwards into their minds. The many had long since moved on, without a word. Nobody was all too pleased in the end.


The speed and precision by which a machine could pull together body parts was impressive, though none of the mercenaries had ever put much thought towards it. Sitting up on the table, he considers that everybody else was probably right. He was too paranoid, he was letting his anxieties get in the way of his work. More than ever, he was regulated to the resupply room, from stray bullets catching his leg or a rocket tracking his movement. An Infiltrator shot him an intense, disapproving stare before exiting the resupply. His teammates were concerned about the mission. He could not bring himself to feel the same way at the moment; there were a lot of thoughts running through his head over here and over there and there was no way that he could function as a teammate right now. Perhaps he'd give it a shot some other time, but not today. He'd sit out for the rest of the day, and maybe tomorrow. He'd sit out next week; he was busy then. Halloween was fast approaching, and his kids eagerly wanted to join in the festivities, carving pumpkins and choosing costumes. If experience was any guide, both of these were incredibly time consuming, and he didn't want to cut everything close again. The briefcase would just have to wait for a while. Taking his raincoat from the rack, the Healer left out of the back exit.


The Runner, for reasons unknown to all and himself, carted the briefcase over the weak pipes and rope bridges underneath the shipping facility. His familiar, erratic movements were a mere formality. He was very far underground, not quite dead and buried.
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