• [[Code Red
    -noun, plural Code Reds
    Usage: (Green Zone) called when the supernatural has breached security of the civilian zone; (Green Zone: Civilian slang) called by not so law-abiding civilians who spot Ruins Officers, more often when partaking in illegal activities than not; (Red Zone) called when the Head of Operations seeks the immediate summoning of all available military personnel; (Line of Duty) called when party members are wounded and/or bleeding, requesting help or back up
    2012 – Military]]

    The scene was almost too surreal. Everything seemed to be set in slow motion, an instant replay playing back frame-by-frame. All sounds were mashed together to form one annoying ring in their ears as they ran through the darkness, calling for their team on their radios just to hear those calls come out through the receiving radios and stand some chance at locating them.
    "Head up! Keep your head up!" Cora found herself demanding of Jeremy without giving it thought, "Stay with me."
    As if she were being controlled by some unknown force, she was on her knees in front of her captain, pulling supplies from her bag. She shouted orders to Hope, and he seemed to understand, even though to her, it was jumbled jiberish that she couldn't even remember spitting out. In a blur of motions, she was wearing medical gloves, starting to clean Jeremy's many scratch and bite marks. She must've asked him how it all happened, because he answered.
    "The freaks...They came out of nowhere. We didn't know what to do. I tried to be the teams' shield, so they could fight instead of defend..."
    "Looks like you did a good job at it," her lips were on auto-pilot.
    He cracked a smile at the words, and gave some of his own, "I'm just a leader. Captain, if you wanna fluff it. I can be replaced. But they all...And you, you and Hope...You guys have things. Gifts. That make you irreplaceable. My job is to make sure that if worse comes to worse, the only one taken down is me."
    Cora's ever changing hazel eyes lifted to meet his tired and bloodshot pale blues, a look of disapproval in them. He swallowed hard and looked away, chewing at his bottom lip as he watched Hope and his struggle to calm Gabriel down. He had to bite back a laugh.
    "Okay, they - in basic training - they, they say, 'Mutants, n'aw. They don't, they don't have arms. And if they do, well, they're just all mutated and s**t, like...Like, their wrists are like superglued to their chest or something'," the frantic mechanic rambled, moving his hands about and making it increasingly difficult for the already disadvantaged pretend-medic, "They ******** lied. Dude. They lied. Those things...They have arms. And they can like...Hold s**t with them. Like a ******** baseball bat with nails sticking out of it! Nobody told me that! Why did nobody tell me that!"
    Hope sat back on his heels and let out a sharp sigh, pushing his goggles up and looking blankly ahead at his friend. A basic first-aid kid rested in his lap, and it was his basic first-aid skills he was attempting to apply. He pointed to Gabe's left forearm, which had the upper part of a baseball bat stuck in it thanks to rusty nails. He could only assume the bat had broken in half when the mutant struck him with it.
    "That don't look too good," he commented with the demeanor of a redneck making an observation of his buddy's truck, folding his arms nonchalantly across his chest.
    Gabriel's striking green eyes narrowed, and Hope's thin brows rose. The pair sat there, staring at each other for minutes on end, until, finally, Gabe seemed to oblige in Hope's unspoken request for obedience, steadily presenting his wounded arm.
    Cora wasn't fazed at all by the amount of blood she was encountering while patching up Jeremy as best she could. She'd seen worse, if she were to be honest. He would need to get checked out at the hospital - the functioning one, in the Green Zone, not the one they sat in - just for the sheer amount of wounds and blood lost. Her job was to keep him alive until then.
    "Hold this gauze against your shoulder, firm. Keep pressure on it, and stay here," she instructed, rising to her feet once she was confident enough that he'd survive the trip, "Where are the others?"
    She hooked her thumbs through the beltloops on her pants, slowly turning as her eyes surveyed the area. It was still dark, so it didn't really help much, if at all. But she was in 'the zone', her little medic trance she fell into at the first sight of blood, and pretending to know what was going on around her happened to be part of the routine.
    "I'm not sure...," Jeremy admitted, resting his head back against the brick wall and matching her gaze, "One of them...They got Miria. Threw her to the ground somewhere behind you. She was out cold. Iseigha and Elijah went to double-team the entire group of 'em, but once they reached the group, they disappeared, pulled in."
    "And after the group fell?" she prompted.
    "They didn't fall," he answered, "We did. And they...Left."
    "Freaks don't just leave."
    "They do if they wanna meet up with fangers."
    "I don't trust that freak-fanger alliance bullshit, Remy. As far as I'm concerned the freaks are still here, which means we need to not be."
    She left him be to search for the others. Hope had come to the conclusion that he couldn't remove the baseball bat, in risk of inflicting further injury, and Gabriel wasn't taking it very well. After all, who just wants to walk around with a hunk of wood nailed through their flesh to the bone?
    He swung his arm at him, using the weapon on it like it should be used and forcing him to bring up his hands in defense. They bickered and occasionally ventured to smack one another, soon enough breaking into a full-fledged fight, taking out all their stress on each other.
    "Knock it the ******** off," came a booming voice they were all too familiar with, and they stopped to peer up at Jeremy, who was warily standing to their left.
    "You need to be laying down," Hope stated, getting up.
    The leader used his free hand press against the gunner's shoulder, holding him back as he told him, "I need to be making sure everyone is alright. Gabe, get the jeep-"
    "He's injured!"
    "He could drive anything even if he were just a head. Now, Gabe, get up, grab the jeep and pull it up to the front parking lot. Wait for us."
    Gabriel pushed himself to his feet and passed them, following his order. Jeremy kept his hand on Hope's shoulder, now for support rather than resistance. His eyes closed for a brief second, and an ever so quiet hiss of pain passed his cracked, chapped lips. Hope swallowed the lump in his throat and draped an arm around his waist, moving the arm that the hand on his shoulder was attached to to hook around his neck.
    "We've gotta get them," Jeremy spoke again, the rasp reappearing in his voice and his eyes opening.
    "We will," Hope assured, "We will. Just stay with me, man, and we'll get them."
    They started to walk, careful not to wander too far from their previous location into a world unknown. Cora came across Iseigha and Elijah, a little roughed up but nothing too serious, seated by two barrels marked with biohazard signs and sipping from a flask. She placed her hands on her hips and cocked her head to the side.
    "Get off your asses," she snapped, not giving them a chance to respond before she added, "Why the ******** didn't you answer any of our radio calls?"
    "Freaks took our radios," 'Lijah supplied, passing the flask back to his companion.
    Iseigha skulled back a sip of whatever alcohol was in the flask, swallowing and tacking on, "We charged at them. They beat us and then took our s**t."
    "Except for this, right?" she sneered, kicking the flask from his hand, "Get up!"
    They groaned and staggered to their feet. The three of them made it back to where the others had been, only to find they weren't there anymore. Not even the one she had told to stay there. She growled inwardly and kneeled down, pulling her penlight from her pocket and using it to light up the floor.
    Duffel bags and random supplies scattered the cement. Among them was a radio, and she hoped neither of the other conscious team members had been stupid enough to leave theirs behind. She made herself comfortable, back against the wall, and the techie and weapons specialists were happy to do the same.
    "Yo," she spoke into her radio, thumb holding down the talk trigger, "Where you at?"
    "Found Mir," Hope's response came a few seconds later, "She's still out, might have a broken bone or two."
    "Copy. Bring her back," she stated, "Is Jeremy with you?"
    "You bet your a**," the mentioned man chuckled in.
    A sigh of relief passed her lips, but she couldn't help but shake her head at his stubbornness, telling them both, "We're waiting for you, exactly where you left from. Don't hurt yourselves, stay out of the way of the freaks, and get Miria back here."
    She let her radio drop to her medic bag, pulling her knees to her chest and resting her chin on her kneecaps. Jeremy went on for a little while, mockingly mentioning he was the leader and swearing the freaks weren't about any longer before everything fell quiet.
    Iseigha rubbed a scab on his cheek, then took out his flashlight and turned it on, leaving it set out in front them as a light source for them and a signal to the other two. Elijah poked at a bruise on his wrist, winced, and poked it again. Cora watched them silently, tired as all hell. She heaved a heavy sigh and let her eyelashes flutter shut.
    "Starting to wish I hadn't have kicked that flask," she muttered.
    The trio allowed themselves a few laughs, while, in the distance, the other trio were quickly approaching. At the same time, their figures emerged from the darkness, a winded Hope cradling Miria's head with his free arm, and a completely worn out Jeremy clutching her legs with his.
    Iseigha and Elijah rushed to help, dismissing Jeremy. The male gunner, techie and weapons specialist held the female gunner delicately, one toward the head, one at the mid-section and one by the legs. It was as good a gurney they were going to get. The medic looked it all over and gave her medical okay for them the start out, lead the way. So they did.
    Once they were a fair ways away, the leader fell to the ground out of exhaustion, resting back on his palms and hanging his head. He took deep breaths, so deep Cora could see his ribs press against the fabric of his shirt when he drew one in. She kneeled down by him, penlight in hand. She beckoned for him to raise his head so she could examine his eyes, and he did so with a small smirk. Her breath hitched in her throat at his complexion and just how pale his pale blue eyes had gotten.
    "You're in shock," she stated, looking quite shocked herself.
    "...I'm fine," he negated.
    "No. No, you're not. You're ******** not," she insisted in a bit of a ramble, pocketing her penlight and using the same method Hope had to get him standing sturdy on his feet, "Your body only has ten to twelve pints of blood. I'm gonna take a guess and say you lost four. That's not ******** good, Rem."
    "I told you, I'm expendable. Dead or alive, I'll be fine," he said dryly, walking along with her with legs like wet noodles.
    "Stop ******** saying s**t like that," she growled, "You worked too hard today. I told you to stay put, keep pressure on your ******** gushing artery!"
    "The team needed me. I did my job."
    "And now I'm doing mine."
    She grit her teeth and carried on with him. He did his best to work with her. He knew what she was thinking; he was stupid, he was full of himself, he was crazy. He was none of those. He was dedicated, and a little blood lost for the safety of the entire team was nothing to him.
    He'd be fine.