~The Grand Exploding Bar Collab~
“I’m a healer. If you don’t want to help through me, then help people on your own and let me focus.” Katarina snapped back, before her thoughts turned again to other things. She hadn’t really hoped she’d get everybody in her network. But, well, one was one more than none, even if he’d be spending most of his vis on himself probably, from the extent of the injuries.
“I really must’ve hit my head harder than I thought…” Nikki grumbled, debating on if it was a good idea to play along, “Fine, imaginary voice in my head, how do you intend on doing that?”
“I can share my casting with other people so they can cast healing magic, and I can remove their pain so they can think clearly. I can also coordinate those with vis to spend with those who are wounded.”
“Fine, why not.”
“Amon, Nikki, here’s how to use healing and triage magic. Help yourself or others at your discretion. I’ll help paint the wounded.” They would both feel a strange sensation. Memories that weren’t theirs. Instinct and training they had never had. Suddenly, Amon could tell whether that bump on his head was just a little tenderness, or a concussion that needed treating. The exact way to realign his twisted finger. Nikki could tell how to knit up all those cuts, if she wanted. And the pain was completely gone for both of them, like a vanishing dream. He could still tell where he should be feeling pain, but it wasn’t the sharp blaring alarm of normal pain, simply a subtle reminder, like the pressure of shifting one’s weight or the tingle of a limb fallen asleep without the inability to move it.
But even more disconcerting than that was the sensation of both a second perspective on the world, and highlighted people that were injured. Katarina feeding them intel on those she saw that looked wounded. For her part, she booked it over to a guy who had a rebar sticking through his chest. That was something that warranted immediate treatment, and that she could see. She hoped nobody had gotten slashed through the throat or something.
“Alright.. Not too bad it’s clean straight through, I should still have some vis left after this… Er.. Wait, nope, he’s brain dead..” Katarina gritted her teeth and hoped it would be true. Spoiler alert, it wasn’t. She knelt down besides Killian, placing a hand on his shoulder and sending across her vis to the wound, where, directed by her spellcraft and phone optimization, it gave her triage information that, sadly, this one wasn’t recoverable. Her first attempt wasted.
”What a neat trick.” It seemed the voice head had discerned his name as well. Well these things were to be expected when you let someone poke around like that. However, Amon was more interested in the wealth of knowledge that flooded into his head. So the reason he was feeling so detached from everything at the moment was shock. Fascinating. Amon took in and let out a deep breath, feeling a sense of relief in knowing what was wrong with him, how to fix it, and the unique sense of being aware of his pain without it hurting. He could get used to that. More importantly though… Amon’s new knowledge informed him that his head wound was nothing serious, his chest was rather bruised, and his finger on the left hand was just a liiiiitle bit broken. Amon moved his free hand over and inhaled smoothly again; then quickly moved his finger back to where it should be. His second-hand perception of pain informed him that what he had done was very painful and Amon was once again thankful the voice in his head. After that all it took was a small bit of… There! Among released his finger and was pleased to see that it looked normal again. An attempt to move the fingers around it revealed it was still very sensitive and he would likely not be able to move it properly for a while. Of course he could expend more vis to fix it, but Amon suspected that there were others more injured than himself, and to treat such a petty injury when someone could be dying would be rather selfish. Amon cautiously sat up, then made the transition to standing. Between the bout of dizziness that accompanied both actions and his strange detached sense of pain Amon wisely held onto some nearby rubble for support. The helpful voice in his head said it would ‘paint’ the wounded, whate- Oh, that was what that meant. Amon began shuffling over to the nearest person, eager to provide his assistance, but wary of overexerting himself.
Damian, like the others, heard the voice weave it’s way through his thoughts as Katarina send out her psychic message, but he could barely understand any of it. The explosion had made his vis-deficient brain even more disoriented, and focusing on anything was proving difficult. He could feel his physical form slipping away into shadowy mist, as even that was requiring too much effort for his brain to fully comprehend right now.
What . . . what happened? Damian’s half formed figure struggled to rise amidst the settling dust, the events before the explosion slowly coming back to him, and with them a single thought broke through the haze: Killian
He felt his throat tighten as his eyes stared through the haze for Killian’s vis signature, limping past many others as best he could until he found himself at their side. There was a girl next to him, muttering something as she seemed to be healing him, but he was still to disoriented to properly understand what she said. With a huff he fell to their side, eyes immediately focused on the rebar sticking out of the man’s chest as a cold dread filled his mind.
“C-can you heal him?” the nightwalker asked the girl kneeling over Killian, his voice somewhat resonant and echoing as part of his throat was unformed, along with a good potion of the left side of his torso. ”Or at least stabilize him until the paramedics get here?”
“Sorry, there’s nothing I can do for him. His brain’s already gone. I’ve got to attend to save my vis for the living.” Katarina shook her head, before moving onto the others.
As she started to walk away, fear, panic, and no small amount of anger filled Damian, unable to believe that nothing could possibly be done. Before Katarina could get far, he’d grab at her wrist, unable to keep the desperate frustration out of his voice. [color=Thistle]”There has to be something that you can do?!?! At least to make sure he’s alright when the medics come. You can’t just leave him like that! If you need Vis, take mine. I don’t care what you have to do, just help him. Please.” He couldn’t let Killian die, not like this. Not when this was all Damain’s fault. He should’ve been tougher. He should’ve been harsher. He knew something was wrong, but he’d wasted too much time trying to play nice . . . and now it might cost Killian his life.
The terror and guilt that filled Damian’s heart with dread, and this instinctually caused his fear aura to start to take effect,and though his diminished Vis made the effect weaker than it normally would be, it would still have an effect on those around him. Especially the wounded, some of which would soon start to feel their feelings of panic and terror grow more intense, increasing heart rates, driving people closer to their end.
Nikki wasn’t a fan of this. Not in the least as she shifted through the debris, guided by who knew what, to the nearest wounded. A woman cradled her damaged arm close to her body. Gently as Nikki could, she leaned down then extended her arm to examine it. There was several hairline fractures but they were minor compared to wrist. It was completely broken and improperly set. It wouldn’t heal right.
Keeping that in mind, Nikki looked around for pieces of wood or metal to create a splint. The whole time she tried not to question the sour sensation tossing in her middle. Her mind screaming for clarity as it felt like a hive of thoughts were buzzing and stinging at her individuality. A single person lost in a crowd within her head.
After breaking a few chunks of wood, surprisingly easy, Nikki then began to work at setting the damaged arm. Not pausing to think, she moved onto the next individual. The whole time feeling uncomfortable and in slight pain.
Katarina instinctually recoiled at Damian’s touch. He was a stranger.. But also, he was licentia. As soon as her vis probed at him, to analyze his physiology and see if he was injured, something Katarina had accidentally left on, she could tell he was alien to her. And he was physically restraining her. Deep-seated fears instantly began rising within her chest.
And then the actual fear aura happened, bouncing back and amplifying on Katarina thanks to her mental network. While she could shoulder a dozen people’s pain, she could not a dozen people’s fear, especially in her current state. Nikki and Amon would feel the connection snap, the medical knowledge like it had never been known, apart from whatever they’d gotten into their short term memory. The pain would return. But otherwise, they’d be fine.
Katarina on the other hand, pulled away from Damien as much as she could, only achieving the bruising of her flesh. “Get off of me, you Monster! Let me go!” She panicked, screamed, and well, that was about as coherent as she was going to get before it just became gibbering. She just wanted out, but she was too frightened to even activate her physical boost to achieve that end.
With one word, the haze of panicked desperation and fear for his friend was wiped away from Damian’s eyes, replaced only by both confusion and a horrid realization. He wanted to try and argue with this stranger, to try and make her see that he wasn’t a monster, that he was just another person just a little . . different. But in the moment, as she tried to escape from his desperation-fulled grip, Damian felt a familiar sensation inch it’s way through his form: hunger. There was so much fear and confusion all around him and, with his own fear abated for the moment, his senses were nearly overwhelmed by just how tantalizing it all felt to him, deep down in the part of his mind he often tried to suppress. It was a part of himself that had growing stronger the longer he had lived in Ominar, a predatory urge that he often found himself struggling to fully keep at bay, and right now, it was baying for the all of the Vis that was flowing around him from the many terrified patrons that had been injured by the blast.
Even now, as he held onto the girl in an quiet daze, he felt that predator urge fill him, pushing him to attack her like the starved beast that he was.
With a shudder, he released Katarina, backing away from her with a far off look in his eyes. Inside his mind, a million and one thoughts filled his mind, yet the most prominent one out of them all was also the one that he was most ashamed off.
I need to leave.
He felt like he was letting down Nikki and and especially Killian, but as he was now, he couldn’t help but feel as more of a danger to all of them than anything else. Turning around to take a limping step away from the initial explosion area, he could feel another surge of hunger race through him as his body struggled to find the vis it needed to make the repairs to his physical body. Bits and pieces of him started to fade away into dark violet whisps as he started to involuntarily shift back to his true form, the shadow tendrils clinging to him like cobwebs in the breeze. It made him look like an ethereal harbinger of death then a boy going suffering from shellshock.
Still, even if he felt that he should get as far away from here as possible, eh couldn’t just leave Killian. Forget what that girl said, he refused to believe there was no way to help him. There had to be something. Anything.
After a few more paces of aimless wandering, he felt one of his legs give way beneath him, the parts of his body that made it up having dispersed completely. He laid still, feeling his mind fading in and out of conscious and subconscious thought. However, in his current state, he sensed a familiar source of vis draw closer. Without any thought, he called out to them, his voice sounding hoarse and tired even as it resonated through the entirety of his body, his vocal chords having long turned into shadow-stuff like the rest of his body was.
”N-. . . Nikki.”