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- - - - - Lina Maddie #SquadGoals

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#1
Lina Renning

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New Holstice

 

A sprawling city complex covered the surface of New Holstice as far as the eye could see, and at this time of night the streets were neon-lit in a spectrum of glaring color. There was still a fragment of sun left that hadn't disappeared past the horizon yet, leaving streaks of deep reds and pinks through the sky as it sank further. It would surely vanish below the sky within the hour, although it made little difference.

 

Lina Renning would've liked to be watching that sunset - in a meadow, perhaps, sitting comfortably as she watched stars gleam into existence in the sun's absence - but the streets were considerably lacking in meadows and so crowded she had to keep moving without pause to avoid getting trampled, so she could spare the sky only a passing glance as she wove through clustered strangers. A shame, but she didn't have much further to go before she could stop and catch her breath and then perhaps she might-

 

She sprinted for cover and found none, ducking instead near a wall a fraction of a second in time. A deafening boom sounded through the air, enveloping the layered white noise of the city, consuming it entirely. The air shook and there was wind, wind everywhere, thick with ash and broken glass and distress. Cries broke out seconds later before the air could even settle, scream upon scream of confusion and panic and mayhem.

 

And pain. Somewhere in the midst of cinders and chaos, there were people in pain.

 

The space between heartbeats stretched out as Lina waited with her arms over her head for the shaking to stop, counting those agonizing seconds before she could get to her feet. Soon. Surely soon. She achieved nothing crouched against a wall with - had she sprained her ankle? - but she achieved nothing by dying. Her life meant little, but her death meant even less.

 

Finally, achingly, she got to her feet. 

 

"Is anyone uninjured?" Her voice rang out, dry and undertoned with distress - "oh, thank the stars." Clear blue gaze landed on a brunette woman getting to her feet and she sighed heavily. "Do you have any experience with first aid?"

 

Madeline Roux


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#2
Madeline Roux

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With time Madeline had started learning a few new things about herself. For one, she found herself enjoying cities. The bustling streets, skylines ablaze with lights as soon as the sun started to set - leaving behind dazzling lights that rivaled the shine of the stars above, and the buzz of life kept her spirits lifted. She used to be frightened slightly by the sheer size of cities, and combined with her inability to hear anything Madeline tended to avoid wanting to explore places like New Holstice. But as she gained her freedom she found herself in new places almost constantly and the cities began to grow on her.

 

Especially the night life. The way the lights reflected off the buildings, shining brightly in each person’s eyes seemed to hold a different story, and shined just slightly different Madeline thought and it captivated her. Another thing she had learned, was she had a knack for slipping her slim body through the large crowds of people and go practically unnoticed.

 

Madeline was weaving in and out of the crowd, stopping every so often to look through the windows at some shops that had managed to catch her eye when it happened. Ignorantly unaware, she did not hear the boom, nor did she hear the screams that shortly followed. What brought it to her attention was the shaking of the glass, the shoes that were on display seemed to be shaking - an optical illusion caused by the rocking of the glass before it splintered. A large crack started in the top left corner, spidering down into the center. Madeline’s brown eyes followed the crack before her vision focused in on a mirrored image of the people running, shoving each other out of the way behind her.

 

Horrified she turned around, her eyes quickly searching the immediate area for any threats. Before she could focus on anything specific she was shoved roughly to the ground, feet kicking into her ribs as she was knocked out of the way time and time again unable to get her own bearings. The air around Madeline grew thicker, dark grey smoke filling the air and it made it difficult for her to breathe. It only took a few moments before she passed out.

 

Waking up a few minutes later, Madeline was disoriented. Coming to she fumbled to her feet, shoes sliding on loose pieces of concrete and brick. The beautiful city lights and skyline she was admiring only moments before was in disarray. Bodies were littered around her, some crushed under fallen concrete, others struggling to remain conscious, crying out for help. Looking around her eyes landed on a girl. She didn’t look too much younger than Madeline though, small frame shrouded and almost cloaked in the smoke - her grey hair blending in seamlessly.

 

Stumbling closer to the girl, Madeline realized as she got closer that her lips were moving, and she was speaking to her. She only could make out the tail end of what she was trying to say, her mind registering ‘first aid’. Nodding her head quickly she moved closer, hand reaching out towards the girl - slowly, afraid she would scare her away.

 

“I’m in training to become a Healer. Are - are you alright? Is anything wrong?” Her eyes did a quick scan over the girl, not seeing anything outwardly wrong though Madeline knew that situations such as these that they found themselves in could be traumatizing to even the most strong-willed.     

 

Lina Renning


Edited by Madeline Roux, 12 August 2017 - 08:25 PM.


#3
Lina Renning

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Lina wouldn't - couldn't - deny how terrified she was. Fear radiated from her like a wave; stress lined soft features and flickered behind gunmetal eyes. But she stood upright, fighting to keep her gaze neutral and her voice even, because it didn't matter how much she wanted to curl into a ball and pretend she was elsewhere. There would be time to recover later.

 

But the woman's words brought her own injuries to the front of her consciousness and she briefly had to appreciate the state she was in. A layer of dust coated her hair, barely noticeable amidst a sheet of grey hair that had tangled in the wind. Eyes stung and her throat felt dry, filled with smoke unbidden. Her right foot seemed strangely twisted, ankle tender and oddly shaped. Broken glass had torn at her jacket and a shard had sliced down her hand, leaving a drop of blood trickling down the back of her wrist.

 

All unimportant. She wasn't in mortal danger, so for now she could push concern beneath the surface.

 

"I - I'll live," she said with a carefully crafted levelness, turning to face the other woman properly. Fairly tall. Older than her by a few years, perhaps more. If not unaffacted, she seemed at least relatively uninjured. And a trainee healer - that was good. Lina only knew as much about first aid as she had picked up over the years and next to nothing about healing, but she was a fast learner when there were lives at risk. Perhaps some of this could be salvaged after all.

 

Eyes swept across the scene, scanning worriedly.

 

Think. Who's in most danger? Who do you need to help first? 

 

"See who's trapped," she decided a moment later, more confident than she felt. Gaze flicked back to the brunette. "See if you can help them get out. Then we'll look at injuries."

 

Madeline Roux


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#4
Madeline Roux

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Madeline could tell the girl was scared, and she would be lying if she were to pretend that she wasn’t as well. It was almost inevitable in situations such as these. The fear radiating off of the both of them, as well as survivors nearby was almost palpable, though Madeline was impressed with how well the girl was handling herself.

 

She was strong, Madeline noted, maybe not all that physically - the girl was small in frame and height, but she was emotionally strong it seemed and that alone reminded Madeline a bit of herself. A soft smile made it’s way to her face as her long, slender fingers laid gently on her shoulder. Squeezing once, Madeline nodded her head - not bothering a response farther than an ‘okay’ before she took off, moving fallen rock out of her way as she went.

 

Sparing a glance back, Madeline couldn’t help her smile growing in size when she saw the girl she had just met helping people close by. Her mind buzzed lightly with the idea of what this girl's potential could be, but only time could tell. Forcing the thought back she focused on the task at hand. It had taken some time, as she was only just beginning to learn how to control the force, but she had managed to shakily lift a large piece of concrete that had landed on a couple - man and woman who seemed to be in their early thirties. Grunting from the force she exerted the concrete slab fell with a distinct boom as it hit the ground; solid ground beneath it concaving from the force and weight.

 

The man’s leg seemed to be broken, and the woman’s arm was bleeding heavily but seemed less injured than her partner. Smiling softly Madeline slowly helped them off the ground, and with the help of the woman they carried the man back to where Madeline had last seen the girl she had met earlier, the one with grey hair and gunmetal eyes.

 

It had become a camp of sorts, where the two had brought back any survivors they had found and there seemed to be small crowd when Madeline came back. After a few more back and forth trips, the small crowd had grown to about twenty.

 

Looking around, Madeline sighed in relief when her eyes connected with gunmetal ones. A familiar face had given her a small sense of relief in the panic and pain. Moving to the girl quickly she stuttered out a quick question.

 

“Should we spread out farther - look further? Or help these people first then continue our search?” It was a good question, if they had managed to help the majority of the people with them, they could have more eyes helping to look, but at the same time people’s lives could be running short on time, somewhere further out.

 

Lina Renning

 


#5
Lina Renning

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A smile broke through the surface at the woman's touch, small but genuine. It was small comfort knowing she wasn't isolated within this pandemonium but it was a comfort all the same and she was glad for it. A nod back at the brunette and Lina moved gingerly through the rubble, pushing aside debris to make a path as she neared the damage. 

 

Smile flickered away in an instant, replaced by a grim expression of deep concentration. The stranger trapped beneath chunks of duracrete was a child, several years younger then even she at best. Her distress at the younger girl's predicament was palpable, thick like a knife could slice through it. This was unfair, so utterly unfair that if Lina had been the stronger sort it would've brought her to rage. 

 

Instead an overwhelming sense of fear and concern sat in her stomach, making her chest heavy and her throat dry. It took every ounce of her willpower not to show the child lying in quiet pain how it affected her, but she managed somehow to arrange her features into what she only hoped was a comforting expression. 

 

"It's okay," she murmured, fighting to make her voice calming as she struggled against the weight of the duracrete. "It's okay, you'll be okay..." Empty words, a promise she wasn't certain she could keep, but her voice seemed to calm the younger girl to some extent. Another push and she lifted the slab from off her limp frame, tentatively letting it go as it fell in the other direction with a bang. Trying to smile, she offered the girl her hand. "Can you walk?"

 

-

 

She wasn't satisfied with the twenty-odd rescued strangers they'd managed to group together, but by now her muscles ached and she wore exhaustion in her stance. Not that she planned to suggest they'd done all they could and to call it a day - Lina would not stop until she couldn't. 

 

But enough that when the woman with wavy hair and dark eyes caught her attention again she was grateful for the pause, comforted by that sliver of interaction that didn't weigh her down with a hopeless sense of despair. Lips turned up, just shy of a smile. Not joy, because there was little joy to be found in a disaster like this. But relief. 

 

"I..." she breathed out, looking around. "How far does the damage go?"

 

Lina had been too occupied before then to spot how the woman didn't seem to notice it when she spoke, to catch how dark brown eyes were fixed on her mouth. But she realised it now with that brief moment of distraction and turned swiftly, facing the brunette fully.

 

"I'm going to see how far the damage goes." Each word was carefully shaped now. "Make sure that these ones aren't in mortal danger, see what you can do to make them more comfortable, then keep going. If anyone is uninjured enough to help, all the better."

 

She had turned as if to go and survey the perimeter of the destruction, then she stopped, facing over her shoulder. "Can I ask your name?"

 

Madeline Roux


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#6
Madeline Roux

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The damage was expansive, spread throughout the main part of the city and slowly teetering out as it went further out. It seemed to be a localized issue - and Madeline was unsure yet if it was an attack of sorts or just an accidental tragedy. Whatever the cause Madeline knew she couldn’t leave the place without thoroughly checking every crevice and making sure that she had helped everyone she possibly could.

 

It wasn’t something she did to improve her image, she couldn’t care less about how people viewed her. Madeline had wanted to help people ever since she was little in any way she possibly could. Finding herself in the situation she was in now only left her heavy hearted in the sense that her heart hurt for all the people around her.

 

Glancing over her shoulder Madeline stared out at the damage for a moment before turning back to meet a pair of eyes watching her. Her eyes were heavy, sadness apparent in them though she tried to mask it with the slight tilt of her lips.

 

“From what I have seen it goes out past the main part of the city.”

 

The air surrounding them was heavy and Madeline could tell that it was affecting the girl in front of her just as much as it was weighing down on her. She had to be strong, if not for herself for the girl in front of her and for all the people around them.

 

When the girl had spoken again she noted how she was forming her words more carefully. Though it wasn’t the time a slight chuckle was brought past her lips, her smile growing a bit wider. It wasn’t often that people had picked up right away on the way she communicated, especially not in stressful situations and it had made her happy that even in a time such as this she had taken the time to make sure Madeline could understand what she was trying to say.

 

Nodding her head at the girls plan Madeline was just about to turn to help the people they had gathered when she saw the girl turn towards her. Raising her eyebrows she watched carefully as the woman spoke before letting out a light laugh - sharp in contrast to her voice it was like a bell dancing lightly through the air.

 

“Madeline. It’s great to meet you… and you are?”

 

Lina Renning

 


#7
Lina Renning

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"Lina," she offered, and this time her smile reached her eyes. "It's good to meet you." 

 

Every fiber of her being wished she could've met Madeline under different circumstances. In a bar, or at work; how normal people met each other. Lina was never certain if she envied normal people or not, but in that moment she couldn't help wonder how it was to live the kind of life where she might've been introduced to the brunette at a party instead of a disaster zone, couldn't help but wish it true.

 

But she lived the kind of life that brought her to the aftermath of catastrophe. And whatever else, she was glad that she'd met Madeline in the process. 

 

Thoughts were brushed aside with a sigh. Wrong time, wrong place.

 

"Past the main city?" She near whispered the words, a hushed sound that Madeline would surely miss. But Lina was too otherwise absorbed to notice. The damage spread far - too far. People could be dying. People could be dead. She and Madeline could do a great deal, but two was a small number for such vast destruction. They wouldn't be enough.

 

"If you are unharmed," a raised voice called out, addressing anyone who could hear her, "please spread out and try to rescue anyone who's trapped."

 

"Is it safe?"

 

Her eyes, tired and serious, met the gaze of the one asking. A woman, small and wiry, wearing bravery over shakenness. "I don't know."

 

It was all she could offer, but the woman seemed to decide that she could bear danger to save who she could and went on her way with a nod. Others followed. Some hesitated, and truly she couldn't blame them; but it was no great struggle to convince the group to do their part. She exhaled, blinked, as though she were steadying herself. Then slowly, tiredly, she moved to do the same.

 

___________________

 

"Madeline?"

 

Lina spoke uncharacteristically loudly as she returned to the fold. Arms supported a man with dark hair and a stain of red that soaked his side. She'd rescued a good many with broken limbs, who seemed concussed, who couldn't so much as walk by themselves. But he was the first she'd happened upon that she knew was in danger of death.

 

"Shrapnel," she explained once the brunette made her way over. "I don't know if anything vital was pierced, but he's losing blood too fast. I - we need to stop the bleeding, I don't know how."

 

Everything in her eyes, her voice, the lines that had formed across her face unbidden spoke desperation.

 

Madeline Roux


Edited by Lina Renning, 18 August 2017 - 09:25 AM.

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#8
Madeline Roux

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Meeting people under good situations was not a strong point of Madeline’s. It was something her body almost seemed to avoid like two polar sides of a magnet meeting. Not that she hadn’t tried to meet people under good situations - and she had, rarely. But those closest to her Madeline had met in situations such as this. Blood, gore, pain, loss, and destruction - vile things that clouded around her, suffocating and pushing down on her chest until it made her breathless. No, she wasn’t good at meeting people in good situations - but she had met Kana under similar circumstances and they were close now. Madeline could only hope that the same could be said for Lina after this was all said and done.

 

She had seen the way the pain etched it’s way across Lina’s face when she told her how far out the damage had spread, fear and pain mixing together into a feeling Madeline knew all too well. This had reminded her of the situation when she had been broken free from her life as a slave, but on a much larger scale. Madeline remembered feeling scared and helpless, and in so much pain seeing people, both slavers and slaves alike covered in blood - both their own and others. It was the first time she had seen so many lives having been taken, and she wondered momentarily if that was how Lina was feeling.

 

Making a mental promise to herself, she silently promised to help Lina after this situation was over in any way she could.

 

__

 

Madeline had just set a man’s broken leg when Lina had come back. The makeshift campsite for first aid having dwindled greatly - the people well enough to go out and search having done so as soon as they were assured they weren’t in any immediate danger.

 

Patting the man’s shoulder, she gave it a gentle squeeze followed by a smile. “You’ll be just fine.” He was about to respond when he heard the healer-in-training’s name being called from behind her. Gently nudging her, Madeline turned around, at first confused at what the man could possibly me motioning to when she saw her. Quickly standing she brushed her hands on her pants before quickly moving over to Lina, helping her aid the man to a space to lay down. Looking over the man’s wound she paused only for a moment, clearing her mind and trying desperately not to think about how eerily similar this was when her friend Max had died in front of her.

 

Madeline was determined to do everything in her power to help this man and Lina - but first she had to get the shrapnel out. Pressing gently around the wound, she felt around to feel for any hard spots - any indication at all that there was internal bleeding and an organ had been punctured. Thankfully she hadn’t felt anything too startling and with a nod of her head, and a deep breath she looked up to Lina.

 

“I’m going to need your help with this. When I pull the shrapnel out, I need you to immediately apply pressure - as hard as you can. Can you do this?”

 

She didn’t think the girl was incapable, in fact she had thought the opposite, but she recognized the look on her face, and knew mentally it could be very damaging. After a nod from Lina, Madeline nodded once more before looking back at the man.

 

“I need you to stay very still, it will be over in a moment and I will take care of your pain as soon as the shrapnel is out, okay?”

 

A glance back at Lina, a nod of her head in her direction that they could do this, before she began pulling the metal out.

 


#9
Lina Renning

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Lina had never tried to save a life. But she was a fast learner when there were lives at risk.

 

She helped Madeline lie the man down and turned to listen as she explained the process. It sounded straightforward enough, the kind of thing that read easily on paper. In theory it sounded so easy. And she didn't truly think she was incapable of anything Madeline was asking. It was the idea of what could happen if she failed that lingered in her mind, clouded uncertainty.

 

But she knew it had to be her mind. Madeline wasn't asking for anything difficult. Surely she could do it. He would die if she didn't, but she would. Surely she would. She had to.

 

A nod was all she trusted herself with, so she offered the brunette a nod before she turned her focus on their patient, ordering doubt out of her mind. Jaw locked as she steeled herself, as gunmetal visage trained on the man who lay panting as he wrestled with the pain. Blood was still seeping from his side. Breathe in, breathe out. Then she knelt as Madeline held the shrapnel. 

 

He yelled out in pain as the piece of metal tugged against his skin.

 

"It's okay," Lina muttered even though she knew she couldn't promise it would be, "you'll be fine, you'll be fine but you need to stay calm, you need to stay still, can you do that? It's okay, it'll be okay, I promise..."

 

Force, she wished she could mean it.

 

But she knew what she had to do. Perhaps her reassurances had managed to fool even her - more likely she'd simply decided she wouldn't be what denied him his life - but she was entirely focused, an eerie sort of calm that covered the surface of fear but somehow still steadied her hand. Lina lifted the fabric that covered the wound. Somehow she managed not to flinch as she saw the bloodied scar at his side. Instead she pressed down through sleeves that carefully covered her palms, wary but determinedly firm. 

 

"How long should I wait?" she asked the other woman quietly. "I can stay. You should find others. I don't know how many more there'll be."

 

Madeline Roux


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