Portal Breach: The Collision of Worlds :: v.4.0


    Nosocomephobia

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    Nosocomephobia

    Post by Zurg on Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:17 am

    Time: 1145 PZT
    Date: 10/15/0002


    A hospital. A sterile, white-washed... hospital.

    After being tentatively greeted and left alone, Zurg wiped the soles of his shoes upon the welcoming rug and took a few steps forward to keep the automated doors from opening and closing every five seconds. The hospital... He remembered this place. The smells were the same, so... so lifeless and sickly. There was nothing like it in the universe. To be honest, the Evil Emperor had this subconscious fear of clinics and hospitals. It was evident in the way he kept off to the side and tried not to engage anyone. Why, Jo, why... Why did you bring him back here? He knew the answer, but that didn't mean he wanted to see it. Hospitals... Laboratories... What was the difference?

    Anyone who was seen to be wearing a white lab coat the alien did his utmost hardest to avoid. Zurg would absolutely not address a doctor's attention or a nurse's. As a result, he had to rely solely on memory of where he was supposed to go. It wasn't easy when every hall looked the same, and the hall after that and soon the hall even after that. This place, this place... It was starting to drive him mad, and he had only been here for a few minutes at the most. Just seeing patients in those flimsy blue garments caused him to startle, and Zurg pressed himself up against a wall as much as he could to let them pass. "Get a hold of yourself..." While talking to oneself was not wise in a place filled with therapists, Zurg couldn't help it. He was starting to stress himself out, and over past ghosts in his closet. Or, were those skeletons? Whichever. "This is a hospital. They don't... They don't..." They don't do what you think they do.

    Zurg denied finishing that sentence and he took a random hall down, lost and starting to feel his chest tightening. Oh, if only he had Kev here... There was a reason why the Evil Emperor had made up that story long ago, during the ice cream truck episode. He didn't like hospitals, but most importantly... he didn't like to be in hospitals alone.


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    Re: Nosocomephobia

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:57 pm

    It was nearing noon, and the hospital was quite busy on the ground floor. People waited in chairs to be called forwards and seen to, and there was a moderate line waiting to check in. But Zurg didn't linger here for long, opting instead to go down a hallway. These hallways were less populated, with only a few patients and visitors here and there. At one point, one patient stumbled and tripped, but they caught themselves uptight before moving along. Their expression was slightly dazed... strange.

    The suffocating smell of sterilized equipment and sick lingering in the air was overpowering. It was a smell that never went away, no matter how often you sprayed air fresheners or used heavily-scented water to mop up the floor. It was the classic smell always associated with places of healing, and it had to make you wonder whether getting "healed" meant that you lost your sense of smell and perception in this place.

    Zurg would soon find himself in front of two elevators, with a winding staircase to the side, leading to the next floor. Everything was in working order, and one of the elevators even slid open to discharge a male nurse who ran down the hallway and an elderly couple. The man, though stooped over with age and traipsing at a slow pace, held the woman around the shoulders, while she held him around the waist. Together, they walked out carefully and slowly, the man leaning more on his cane for support, preferring not to burden his significant other too much.
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    Re: Nosocomephobia

    Post by Zurg on Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:19 pm

    The smell... Oh, the smell.

    No matter how much the Evil Emperor tried, he could not keep from inhaling whatever ailed the hospital. It was on his clothes, on his skin, and soon... it was within his lungs. There was absolutely no way he could get rid of the artificial smell. As a result it sickened him, and Zurg wrapped his arms around his abdomen and kept walking. Hospitals... laboratories... hospitals... laboratories... They were the same. They were always the same, weren't they?

    By the time he arrived at a pair of elevators the alien was already feeling sick and diseased. With a frail immune system as his own, it was no wonder he hadn't collapsed already and required immediate care. Hopefully that could ultimately be avoided, and Zurg perked up once he heard one of the elevators reach his floor. A male nurse ran out first and Zurg barely moved for him, instead choosing to remain steadfast and waiting. Who he did move for, though, were the elderly couple. While it was a sign of respect on his world to revere the elderly, this wasn't necessarily out of respect; it was out of fear. Zurg tried not to stare as the two shuffled by, but... but... Look how they could barely move... Look at how they were dying... They were so fragile. Why, he could just touch them and they would fall over, the impact all it would take to stop their bodies and their lives. It was... It was terrifying. To see each other dying, and to struggle as best you can... Was that what everyone looked forward to? Was that what life was all about?

    He continued to keep his eyes to the ground, letting them pass way beyond his personal space before he started to move again. Old people... He really didn't have a lot of experience with the elderly, and he glanced back at the elevator they had used. No, he would not be using theirs. It didn't feel right. Instead, Zurg went on the move and took the stairs, gripping the handrail to steadily climb up the hospital.

    What was the point of this, Jo...?


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    Re: Nosocomephobia

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:07 pm

    Hospitals are curious places. They birth new lives, help them flourish, then also save lives and even prolong them. But what they also attempt to do is stall death's creeping footsteps, although in some cases they only hasten the inevitable. You are born in a hospital and you can die in a hospital. Life and death always feature hand-in-hand in this comical tragedy. It was no different to anyone who walks through these doors.

    Zurg climbed the stairs, the metal groaning beneath his weight with each step. Perhaps he was too immersed in his own thoughts, perhaps not, but he soon reached the third floor, coming to grips with another long hallway. There were still a few patients milling about, some on their own, some with doctors and family. But it was... quiet. Everyone was whispering, as if there was something ominous on the wind, an invisible weight pressing down on them all. One woman, out of sight somewhere, burst into tears, her cries ending the oppressive silence, but causing other unsettling feelings to crop up as her sobs echoed against the walls,bouncing back and forth with an eerie insistence.

    He would have to traverse the hallway until he came to a bend. But the question here was... would he?
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    Re: Nosocomephobia

    Post by Zurg on Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:17 pm

    Cosmos, this smell. It was driving him mad.

    Even as he reached the third floor, Zurg was starting to find his nerves fraying. Him, an Evil Emperor who had weathered so much, brought so low because he was in a hospital and alone. He felt so... naked being here. No armour, no weapons; who was to say that a deranged patient couldn't come out from behind and stab him, rupturing an organ or severing his spine? The thought only heightened his paranoia and the alien tensed visibly. No. No, he would not let that happen to him. No, he would not. Zurg reached the doorway to access the third floor and he entered without further incident. The moment he did so, however, a sharp scream rung throughout the air and the big bad himself jumped in place.

    What was that!?

    There were people here, people in formal wear. Formal wear in a hospital wasn't strange to him; his people were usually formal. But these weren't his people, and he clung to the side as discreetly as he could, the alien slightly peering his face halfway over his cover. Why the whispering and the -- and now he knew why. Someone was crying, a woman. Although he was an alien and by far strange to these people, he knew what crying meant. And if he knew what it meant, he wisely slipped away and tried to find another hall. Just because he was a heartless villain six out of seven days out of the week didn't mean he was tasteless. These people were mourning, and he had no place in it.

    Zurg decided to retrace his steps and go back to wandering around the third floor. Maybe something would come up.


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    Re: Nosocomephobia

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:42 pm

    He soon left the crying woman and the gathered family far behind him, making his way towards greener pastures. To his relief, he would find the smell wasn't as suffocating here as it was before, but that was possibly because he had reached an area of the hospital that was not as populated. Here it was much more quiet, the woman's sobs having long since faded into the background. Footsteps sounded somewhere nearby, but they too soon disappeared. The corridor appeared deserted if it weren't for the faint sounds coming from inside patients' doors occasionally.

    Zurg's memory was impeccable, because he soon found what he was looking for. The door numbered C42 stood to his right, and it was closed firmly shut. But... were there sounds coming from inside the room? He would have to enter and find out.
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    Re: Nosocomephobia

    Post by Zurg on Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:48 pm

    Thank the Cosmos the smell had lessened, but it was still there. He would never escape the smell entirely until he properly scrubbed himself and washed his clothes. Alas, he would have to make peace with his senses. Right now, he had some searching to get done.

    Leaving the uncomfortable situation behind, his hearing still picked up the hushed sobs, but the sound was now in the back of his thoughts instead of in the front. In that, he could breathe easier and concentrate. Down the halls he walked, his memory still as great as it had been before. He knew what room he was looking for. C39... C40... C41... C42. Here it was. The Evil Emperor stopped and sighed, at last his journey through this unsettling place at an end. Or... was it? He heard something, like a noise. And it was coming from behind the door, which briefly startled him. Was someone in this room? Had this been intended? Maybe... Maybe someone was cleaning it, or...

    Well, there was only one way to find out, and seeing as Zurg needed to go through, he had no choice. Taking in a breath, he held up a firm fist and knocked twice before letting himself in. Let's see if anyone was in here...


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    Re: Nosocomephobia

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sat Oct 22, 2011 4:06 pm

    There was the unmistakable rustling of covers as Zurg opened the door to let himself in. Propped up in the bed by several pillows and covered in blankets, Zurg would see a small, pale face looking back at him with large, brown eyes. It would prove to be a human child, who looked far too small for the bed they were laying in. But there was something startling about this particular child. Whereas most humans had hair, this child -- who Zurg would certainly be able to tell was female just by smelling the air -- was bald.

    In a soft, wavering voice, she asked, "Hello?"
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    Re: Nosocomephobia

    Post by Zurg on Sat Oct 22, 2011 4:25 pm

    ...Now this was something out of the ordinary. Zurg had not expected someone to really be in the room, but that had to have gone double for seeing a little human child. Whoever they were, they were small and meek. Very pale, and also... bald? Did some cultures of human children keep their young bald? Sensing that he was staring, as the child no doubt found him strange, Zurg snapped out of it with a blink and straightened. "Er... I'm sorry to disturb you, child, but I'll be quick. I'm just here to retrieve something." While he did briefly entertained the question of why the child was in this hospital, he didn't ask. It wasn't his place nor his business to ask.

    So, he went to work, fast and as politely as he could. If the child wanted to talk she may, but he would otherwise leave her be.


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    Re: Nosocomephobia

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sat Oct 22, 2011 4:36 pm

    She gathered the blanket to her chest and sank into the pillows with a small nod. Her wide eyes followed him as he moved around the room, as if in search of something. Normally, she wouldn't be alone, but her father was working today and he couldn't be with her all the time. She would amuse herself by drawing, as indicated by the crayons and papers on her lap and by her side on the bed. And she wouldn't say she was afraid. Self-conscious, perhaps, because she brought a hand up to her scalp for a moment, but otherwise just greatly curious.

    Carefully, she took a piece of paper and a purple crayon. Then, she began to draw him. But she didn't stick to it for long. She realized early on that she was missing something. He wasn't looking at her, so she wouldn't be able to draw his face. She'd never seen anyone looking like him before, and she wanted to get the drawing right.

    She cleared her throat to get his attention, then asked, "What are you looking for?"
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    Re: Nosocomephobia

    Post by Zurg on Sat Oct 22, 2011 4:44 pm

    Well, to be honest, Zurg didn't know what he was looking for. Again. He was supposed to find a clue, but that clue could be anything or on anything. If he didn't know what to search for, then how could he search for it?

    "What are you looking for?"

    Oh, an innocent enough question, and it successfully got Zurg to stop what he was doing and turn around. If it was his face she wanted, then it was his face she had. Unsure of how to respond, the Evil Emperor stood to his full height and straightened the cuffs upon his forearms out of nothing else to do. "Ah... a very dear friend of mine gave me this rather interesting game to play. She's making me find clues in all the places where we met, and this room used to be... hers. Yes, hers." His eyes then trailed down to the piece of paper and crayon in the girl's lap, the purple hue appearing a shade of blue to the colour-blind alien. Go on, Zurg, be sociable. You are, after all, intruding into the poor girl's room. "Drawing someone?" He asked, trying to appear less ominous. One would imagine that red eyes, horns, and a grim scowl would deter someone from thinking that you were rainbows and puppy dog tails.

    Children. Why did it have to be children...?


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    Re: Nosocomephobia

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:01 pm

    When he turned around, her mouth opened. His face looked so different from what she was used to. It was frightening, she couldn't deny it, but she couldn't deny that it was an interesting face too. High cheekbones, red eyes, horns, a large mouth with large teeth. And he was speaking without moving his mouth! "How do you talk like that?" she blurted. If she sounded rude, she didn't mean to, but it was such an innocent question that it didn't even cross her mind to apologize. And how did he even eat?

    She glanced down at her crayons and pursed hr lips. she didn't have a proper yellow for his teeth! But maybe she could mix up the yellow and light green. She grabbed the yellow crayon and began to draw in his teeth, frowning at what he said. She was too young to understand complex things, but she wasn't so young to not understand what his words might imply. "Did she... die?" she asked quietly, so quietly that you almost couldn't hear her.

    But when he asked her who she was drawing, she hastily placed her hands over the drawing that was becoming his face. "No!" she said quickly. "It's not finished yet! You can't see it before it's finished!" But when she realized that this might push him away, she squirmed a bit. "Um... but can you stay until it's finished? Please?"
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    Re: Nosocomephobia

    Post by Zurg on Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:26 pm

    Ah... There was the reaction he had been expecting, but he had seen it so many times that it hardly phased him anymore. Yes, he was scary looking. Yes, he was far from what humans would call handsome. And yes, he was slightly self-conscious. But it wasn't so bad this time, he supposed. It's not like a lot of folks had seen his kind before, right? That would mean the girl wasn't biased, right? Right...? Zurg rubbed the top of his own bald head, and felt a little put on the spot by her question.

    "Er... well, I... talk because... my voice comes from my throat, not my mouth. That's how most species with vocal chords speak." Hopefully that wasn't too hard for her to understand. He was trying to keep his words simple. "But, if you mean why I don't move my lips, it's because I wasn't developed that way. Sometimes I wish I could, but that's just not how I am." There, that was honest and decent enough. And did she die!? Zurg was stumped for a second after hearing that, but he quickly recovered. "Oh, no!" He shook his hands. "She's not dead. Craters, she's not dead. She's... uh, around. I'm just playing a game of hers, see. Like a scavenger hunt." Maybe the girl would understand now?

    The girl's reaction about him inquiring about her picture certainly got the alien to stop what he was rummaging through, and he automatically knew who she was drawing. Him, huh? Well... he had never really had his likeness drawn before, so... The Evil Emperor closed the drawer he had been rifling through and he nodded. "Sure, I guess. I mean... I really shouldn't be here, but... I don't mind. Say..." An idea hit his head, and the Evil Emperor thought of something. "You haven't by any chance seen a piece of paper, or a clue, have you?" He asked her.

    Perhaps she knew!


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    Re: Nosocomephobia

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:55 pm

    Imitating him, she rubbed her own scalp again, then sighed. She missed her long hair, but the doctors said that it would grow back when all the tests were done. She wondered if he had lost his hair too, but it didn't look like hair would suit him. It would cover his horns and just look... strange. She grabbed a gray crayon and began to color in his horns, then his lips. Why did he have lips if he didn't move them? He said something about vocal... chords, which she thought was something in the throat, but she couldn't wrap her head around how you could speak from the throat without moving your mouth when the sounds came from your mouth too. "If you can't move your lips, why do you want to move them?"

    She breathed a sigh of relief. That was a relief that his friend was alive and okay. But why was she asking him to play a game, and here? That sounded very strange to her. But the concept of a scavenger hunt intrigued her and she wished she could go outside again to play with her friends. If she was in a hunt, she wouldn't be playing in a hospital. But he was looking for a clue, or a piece of paper? Like -- oh!

    "Something like this?" she asked, pulling out a paper from the pile by her legs. Out of all of them, this was the one that wasn't colored by crayons and had letters written out on it. "I found it in the drawer yesterday, but I can't read it." A faint pink dusted her cheeks. "Because it's messy," she said quickly. "I know how to read -- normally."
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    Re: Nosocomephobia

    Post by Zurg on Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:05 pm

    Why did he want... ?

    This time Zurg blushed, and his cheeks went into a deep, dark purple shade. "Ehehehe, well~!" Oh, Cosmos. Did she seriously ask why he wanted movable lips? Kids said the darnedest things. He rubbed the back of his neck this time, and tried to ignore the fact of his body heating up. Erp, made this suit rather uncomfortable! "It's... mainly because everyone else can move their lips, and I can't really do anything with mine. They're just for display, really. I can't suck on straws, I can't purse them, and I can't... kiss with them." And he did wish he could do all those things, at least for her. Especially for her. "They're kind of lame otherwise, you understand." Why was he telling a child all this, geeze. Zurg was always so soft and hesitant around children. But, still... he did have lips. Once. And making use of those lips was something he could never forget. So sensitive and soft... whereas his were just firm and rigid.

    Zurg absentmindedly toyed with his lower lip while the child had the answer to his puzzle. A clue! She had it! "Oh, you have my friend's paper!" He came over to her and thought to take it, but something stopped him. He couldn't just take the paper! It was like taking candy from a baby! Actually, it was like taking candy from a baby. Jo would have his horns for that, and the girl didn't seem to deserve a bullying. He didn't know what it was, but the alien certainly met a barrier to his otherwise evil doctrine. "Er, you wouldn't mind giving me that, would you?" Upon hearing that the girl couldn't read the handwriting, however, the Evil Emperor let out a modest chuckle. "Hahaha! Yes, yes! That's my friend, for you. She can't write worth a dickens, but it's mildly amusing to decipher her words. I like to make a spy game out of it."

    The question remained in the back of his mind: would the child give him the paper, or would she keep it?


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    Re: Nosocomephobia

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