|Ashur|| A pregnant moon hangs in a cloudless sky-- it dominates, fat and swollen, so clear the craters can be seen, and from it pours a pale argent mist that limns it in a corona of ghostly flame. Ten thousand and one glimmering stars decorate the moon's sky.
Beneath that unearthly light is a giant of a man. He moves with a tentativeness that seems at odds with his size-- the proverbial bull in a china shop overcome with a sudden fastidious caution. His arms swing slow. His legs swing slow. He straightens his back slow, and hunches it slow, too. He moves as if he's injured.. so it might be strange that, at least what can be seen beneath the immense cloak he wears-- and oh, how large it is, excess fabric pooling on the ground beneath him-- and the chalk-white toga that wraps him, he looks like he's never been hurt in his life. That bronze skin's as smooth as a baby's bottom.
He crouches with a grunt and cups his hands in the water. Given how swelteringly hot it is, a drink would be nice.
|Corwin||A cone of light cuts through the pale mist hovering over the lake, white and piercing. The source, a flipped up shoulder light fitted to a classic suit of T-45 Power Armor, clearly painted with markings, though perhaps not distinguishable in the darkness. The Brotherhood. A lone power suit. Not a hundred feet away, the suit steps into the water, sinking into the silt and dirt.
Ripples from the water cascade out onto the lake as the servos whine and hiss to submersion. As the suit stops at knee height water, it bends down, casting the light into the crystal clear water, a mechanical hand pushing the water back and forth as if examining it.
|Ashur|| The water pools and quavers in Ashur's hands. He stares down at it, transfixed by the reflection in the diamond-- that is him, it must be him. Even in the ghostlight of the moon, though.. his mouth curls into a slight frown, exposing the corner of a canine. The first handful is splashed over his face to wet it and clean the bristles of his beard. The second he drinks deeply, and then leans back-- and falls, right on his ass, as nearly eight feet of white cloak swirls around him on the lake's edge, blossomed like a bone flower.
"Everything hurts," the man growls, teeth clenched, one hand holding his abdomen. His guts are churning-- and they grow tense when he sees that light break the mist, and a power armored figure step into the water. Is it Enclave, again? So close to El Dorado this time?
He struggles to his feet. Fingers clawing at the dirt, at the mud, slipping-- he goes down. Just getting here exhausted him.
|Corwin||Corwin is busy examining the purity of the water when the water ripples back at her and she hears the faint sound of a splash on her audio receptors. Her posture straightens immediately, alone out here in the dark. Her head swivels to Ashur's position, and her body turns in place to face that direction, casting a beam of light down on him. The bone white cloak easily catches the light, and she begins advancing -- cautiously, hand on the pistol still holstered on her hip.
The vox communicator crackles to life, "Hail! Don't move!"
|Ashur|| The man sucks in a gasping breath as he collides with the ground and a wave of humiliation and anger floods him. He isn't simply as smooth as a newborn, his scars gone-- he's as weak as one, too! God, he hadn't realized how weak he was. Face smeared with mud, the heavy braids of his hair splayed haphazardly around him, he forces himself to hands and knees. His fingers claw muck and silt from his face and flings it aside, spitting.
"I will not be taken now," he roars, bestial-- yet the sweat on his brow, the clumsy, staggering lurch of his motions, all jerky and sudden.. even the tremor in his voice suggests he's just run a hundred miles. He's completely gassed.
"Enclave dog," he declares, and now he's sitting on his heels, knees in the dirt, swaying. His hand clutches into a fist and he stares, eyes bright and vivid gold, at the metal man. "Take the shot. We'll see who dies first."
Prideful and defiant to the end.
|Corwin|| The power armor stops, not fifty feet away. The bright piercing light being just about the only thing visible at this point. After a moment, the suit creaks uneasily. Pneumatic latches blow, and the hiss of fresh air penetrates the suit. Metal on metal as the back of the suit opens, casting the light towards the ground. A challenge. Come at me. I will beat you down without the need of a power suit. I will beat you down in just a pilot's uniform.
A silhouette steps outside of the power armor from the rear, removing the laser pistol from the side holster. Come to finish the job. The silhouette aims at Ashur and advances slowly, stepping into the late. A red and black Brotherhood of Steel bodysuit. Dogtags hang around the woman's neck as she keeps the pistol trained on Ashur. The tension builds for a moment, then she speaks, "You're hurt. Let me heal you."
|Ashur|| Ashur looks like a child who has found his father's clothes. The toga is loose upon his body, the knot that affixes it at his shoulder shoddily done; the thick wool sags and threatens to unwind whenever the twists of his sluggish movement tug at it. And the cloak, well-- now that the Brotherhood woman is closer, she can see the opulence of it, the skill in its make.. and the fact it is not meant for a man of even this one's size, flowing like an old-world king's ermine.
Nevertheless, there's lethal intent in those sharp eyes-- a baleful light cast from them. The man's shadow is long and dark indeed, twisting like some inhuman beast in line with his every sway.
It fades. He hits the ground again with another splash of water, face dripping with the mess of it.
It's not consent, exactly.. but he didn't tell her no, either.
|Corwin|| Claire waits for a moment, holding the gun still with intent at the slightly sign of violence. It doesn't come. She lowers it, the electric whine from the gun tapering off as she holsters it and slowly starts to advance. "My name is Knight Corwin," she starts, in ten feet range now.
"I'm a doctor. I can help you. Take my hand and lean on me." Corwin gets in his vicinity kneeling down a bit in the water to offer her hand, so Ashur can sling an arm around her and walk with her.
|Ashur|| "Corwin," he says, looking up at her. There's a distinctly uncomfortable feeling in his stomach again, and this time it's not a rebellion of the guts-- so weak, so impotent, and staring up at a woman who is towering above, in a position of strength? Oh, how it chafes. The brute grits his teeth. "I can walk!" He snarls, and collects himself, batting aside her hand with an idle flourish. He ascends on jelly legs, slips, straightens-- stills, then, demanding some dignity from his petulant flesh. The spine straightens and one arm folds behind his back. He'd almost be regal if she hadn't seen him tongue-fuck the mud that still stains him a few minutes ago.
"A doctor.. ? Nn. Knight. That's Brotherhood, isn't it? You must be with the militia-- those Guardians, then."
He takes a few steps forward.. and winds up pitching forward, arresting his fall--with her help, ideally--with an arm slung around her.
Christ, he's a fat fucker.
"I have no wounds you can treat."
|Corwin|| Corwin withdraws her hand when it's batted away. She's not going to force him to accept her help. She straightens her posture a bit and watches. "No," she responds, "just Brotherhoo-FUCK". As he takes a step forward and latches an arm around her, she braces her body to catch him but easily crumples under the sudden weight, splashing into the mudded water with him.
Pushing away, she clambers back to her feet and shakes the water from her hair with a gasp. A moment of awkward silence punctuated, "I can't heal pride," She strains the water from part of her soaked suit, "but I can treat you. Just shut up and take my hand." Shaking a bit more mud and water off of her, she reaches out to grab Ashur and drag him to shore if she has to.
|Ashur|| The oversized cloak does a lot to hide it, but geez, this man's big-- he's got at least a foot on the woman, and muscle like that doesn't come easy even to circus strongmen. She's stumbled on some tribal Goliath in garb over a thousand years outdated. It's no wonder she was taken unaware by the weight when he fell.. and it's why, when he struggles back up, he does his level best not to impose on her. He'll use the hand to help stand up, and that's it.
"It isn't injury," he repeats, walking toward wherever she's leading him-- there's a nice little lakeside copse on a low hilltop that even he can easily climb, that'd be a nice, dry spot to work. It's where he marches, anyway, thump-thump-thump, feet dragging more than stomping.
"It was.. the serum. They cured me of the FEV, but sapped my strength in the process. I'm dehydrated, starving, and need to sleep.. and my bones burn."
|Corwin||"Hrrk!" She pulls him back to his feet. Even if she helps him walk, it's clear he's doing it all pretty much on his own. Once at the copse, she attempts to guide him to lay down. "You're in shock, most likely. Lie down. Don't close your eyes."
Opening a pocket on her suit, she pulls out a small little metal case, setting it to the side while she kneels down to try and take Ashur's pulse and heart-rate. "Tell me your name."
|Ashur|| The sullen Roman is quiet for a long while as he lays down. It's not so much willful uncooperativeness as it is a certain weary distraction; his perception of time is not wholly acurate. It gives her enough time to check his heartrate, though. Strong, a little fast, probably from the physical exertion.
"Ashur," he answers, tongue like sandpaper in his mouth. "My name is Ashur, girl." His gaze refocuses on her. "If you're not militia.. what's the Brotherhood doing here?"
|Corwin|| At some point in time, Corwin wrapped a band around Ashur's arm, taking a few measurements with a small device. It stays there for a moment, thumbs pressing into his arm. With a snap, the band comes off. "Your diastolic pressure seems low." She clears her throat while drawing out a syringe from the metal case aside her, pulling the cap off and drawing some liquid from the vials.
"My name isn't 'girl', it's Corwin." She inserts the needle to his arm.
|Ashur|| "I don't know what that means," he says, glancing at the band that strains to wrap around his massive arm. At least it's easy to find his veins; they stand out from the bronze flesh clearly, as defined as the striations in his muscles. As she fiddles with his body, there'll be all sorts of signs of what's wrong with him: micro-fractures in the bones, bruising at his joints, inflammation. He's undergone some sort of severe trauma that has left no visible external signs.
He doesn't even blink at the needle. "What are you putting in me.. ?"
|Corwin||"A small regenerative mixed with epinephrine and some saline for immediate hydration." Corwin responds, pulling away the needle after injection. The cap is replaced and it's put in a small plastic baggy to be replaced back in the metal case with the other vials. "You'll feel it in a couple seconds, Ashur. Then you should go home and get some sleep."|
|Ashur|| The last time someone injected something mysterious into Ashur, he was transformed into a hulking super mutant. A memory of that event causes him to still and tighten as the fluid flows through his veins, as if expecting his skin to erupt in boils again, his cock to shrivel and fall off, his bones to break and reshape themselves as the muscles swell like tumors.
It doesn't happen. He actually feels a little better, but maybe it's in his head. He wipes his brow with the back of his hand, then the hood of his oversized cloak, letting the cool night breeze off the lake soothe him.
"Gratitude, medicus," he finally rumbles, pulling himself up to sit against a slender tree. "Name your price."
|Corwin|| Corwin begins packing her things up, her suit squishing awkwardly as she stands up from her kneeling position. "Give me work if you have it in the future. Don't kill me if you see me again. Deal?" The resources to safe a life are miniscule compared to the benefits. It always helps to have someone watching your back. "You might not feel tired for a while, but the first thing you should do when you get home is sleep. It will come quickly."
She cracks her fingers, shaking some more water out of her glove. "In the morning, eat a full meal of protein if you have any. Fancy Lad Snacks will work, too. Drink water. Rest."
|Ashur|| "I've killed enough Brotherhood to slake my thirst for it," the man announces, tilting his head back. His braids spill across his shoulders and chest. "You have nothing to fear from me." He takes a slow, resolute breath, willing his heart to slow. His eyelids drift closed, and for a moment, it seems he might sleep-- perched so peaceful beneath the slender fingers of an old tree, a moon-misted lake before him. But his eyes snap open and stay that way.
"Corwin," he says, waving to her. "My fingers.. they're too clumsy. Undo the knot of my toga, and then redo it tighter. I've no wish to stumble home nude."
A moment's pause. "Please."
|Corwin|| "Disconcerting," Corwin responds dryly, the corner of her mouth crooks upwards. "I'm sure you'll figure it out," she responds while turning and beginning to walk away. Coming to the rear of her power armor, she smacks the panel open and shoved a squishy foot in. "Don't think I'm going to swoon for you just because you know how to say please. Good luck to you, Ashur."
As she swings fully into the power armor and it begins latching onto her, the vox crackles to life. "Remember, drink water."
|Ashur||Whatever good will had been mustered visibly evaporates. Ashur clumsily fumbles with the knot, but gives up after a few moments of fruitless attempts; his hands tingle, like they've been asleep for a long while, and there's no manual dexterity to be found. "Presumptuous girl," he grumbles, digging his heels into the grass and pushing his way up, using the tree to support his weight. "I can manage myself." Whether she hears any of that or not isn't his concern; he's griping to himself and the trees, not her. Another deep breath, and the man begins to plod his way down the hill's gentle slope, heading westwards. Celeste doesn't know he's cured yet.. he's sure the spot in the barn is still clean.|