Synthesis 1.1

It had been difficult, requiring a lot of patience on my part, but I had done it. Brockton Bay General was tight in its security, what with the number of drug addicts and gang members that came through its doors. Patients had a careful eye kept on them, but staff? Staff got much less attention, which made my job much easier. Robbing a hospital went against my ethics, but there wasn't really anywhere else in the city I could get the materials I needed without letting my existence be known.

It took a solid month of observation after joining the hospital staff as a pharmacist, but I learned what I needed to. Where the security cameras were, the patterns on which nurses moved at night, where the exit doors were, where the machines I required were located… Now it was simply a matter of getting what I required. Staring up at the building from the shadows of an alley, I let out a small sigh and double checked that I had everything I might need.

The Strong Yield Ranged Injection Gun Experiment, or as I usually called it Syringe, was in a makeshift holster at my hip. How I wished my power gave me an idea as to how to make a better one… It'd sadly have to wait until after this however. On the similarly makeshift bandolier around my chest were stuck the very basic form of the Sedative Grenades. More Sedative Water Balloons really, the light blue liquid sloshing around inside the pale white vessel as I gently shifted. I'd upgrade to something better once I had the materials, it would serve for now. More importantly, the vials of acid were properly secured in the belt as well.

My hand came up to ensure my hair was in the tight braid I needed it to be, even as my eyes settled down to the two garbage bags beside me. Again, not as high tech as I would like, but I simply did not have another option to carry everything that I needed. Letting out a small sigh, I used the hand that felt at my hair to flip my hoodie up. A dark blue hoodie, dark grey sweats, latex gloves and an old pair of black tennis shoes. I'd just be another bum on the street if not for the final touch to hide my identity. Reaching down, I picked up the mask. It had been easy to acquire an old gas mask, thanks to E88. Historical items relating to the Nazi's were constantly up for sale, and a white woman such as myself buying something like this was not nearly as suspicious as it might normally seem. Of course, I'd altered it a bit to suit my purposes. Got proper filters installed, chemically tinted one side of the lens so I could see out, but no one could see in. And removed the crudely added swastika they had put on it.

Realizing I needed the hoodie down to actually put it on, I blushed a bit in embarrassment… despite no one being around. Shaking my head, I flipped it back down before sliding the mask onto my head, making sure the straps were secure and there was a proper seal. Once certain, I flipped the hood back up and took a breath to prepare myself. There was one last step to all of this, and it was the most nerve wracking. Removing the syringe from the hoodie pocket, I pulled the sealing tip free and rolled up my sleeve, before hesitating. Logically, I knew I had no reason to hesitate as such. The Adrenal Booster was something I had produced, and I knew exactly what it was supposed to do. The only side effects would be soreness and exhaustion afterwards. Some part of me however was scared, scared that there would be side effects, that my power would betray me. Taking a moment to breath again, I steeled myself and stuck the needle into my forearm, slowly pushing down on the end to inject it into my bloodstream.

Pulling the syringe out and dropping it into one of the trashbags, I pulled out a bandage and stuck it over the spot. A moment later, the effects hit me like a sledgehammer. My eyes widened as I felt my heart rate increase, and my breath quickened. Everything seemed to come into focus as I looked around, and I couldn't help the small smile that grew on my face. If this is what adrenaline junkies felt whenever they jumped out of a plane, or took off down a racetrack… I could understand the appeal.

Eyes turning back to the building across the street, I returned my attention to my objective. Picking up the garbage bags, I poked my head out of the alley to double check that no one was coming from either direction before bolting. My long strides ate the distance it took to cross the street with ease, and I came up to the security exit I had marked as the closest to my target. The camera was looking away as I came up, just as I planned. Hitting the wall, I pulled a vial of acid from my belt and threw it. The vial hit the glass display and shattered, hissing as it quickly started working its way through the metallic components.

With that out of the way, I turned and made my way up to the security door. It had taken a bit of good timing to disable it's alarm during one of her shifts without getting caught, but it was necessary. Taking out another vial of acid, she poured it along the hinges of the door. Reaching to the bar, she kicked the bottom so that it would come towards her. Heavy, but not too much for her adrenaline boosted strength. Gently lowering it to the floor, I carefully stepped over it and moved into the partially lit hallway beyond. At this time of night, this hallway was completely deserted, with only cameras being an issue. A little memorization and application of acid dealt with those easily.

Stopping at a corner, I pressed my back against the wall and peaked my head out around it. The hallway beyond held one nurse, walking away from me. Stopping in front of a supply closet, she glanced first one way then in my direction. Thankful for the dark clothing and the shadows, she didn't notice me and slipped into the closet. It took a moment to recognize her, and I couldn't help the quiet sigh that escaped my lips. Of course Janice would be meeting with her boy toy Dr. Wyatt. Well hopefully they'd be there long enough that they wouldn't interrupt my plans.

Continuing on and dealing with more cameras, I finally came to the first room I was looking for. Technically I had a key to get in, but I didn't want to make it too obvious that the thief worked in the building. Taking out another vial of acid, I noted how many I had left. Two, one to deal with the final camera, and one to deal with the last lock. Splashing the acid across the handle and door, I gave it a minute before placing a hand against it and shoving it open. It swung open, and I stepped inside and flipped on the light. Heart Rate monitors, anesthesia machines, and cabinets with patient monitors and EKG machines. Perfect.

My power started shooting off various ideas of what I could do with these machines, and I made a mental note of the more interesting ideas that came to mind. They'd have to wait for later though, as at the moment, all I was taking were the pieces I required. Shoving a heart rate monitor and an anesthesia machine into one of the bags, I grabbed an EKG machine and a patient monitor, dropping them into the other one. I only needed one of each.

Exiting the room, I couldn't help but wince slightly at the sound of all the equipment jostling in the bags. Considering I was going to be tearing apart anyway, I didn't need it pristine. The issue was the amount of noise it made potentially giving me away. Hurrying as quietly as I could towards my final target, I dealt with the final camera and came to a stop at the final corner. The pharmacy was never left without a security guard, since it was a prime target for addicts.

Pulling Syringe free of its holster, I glanced around the corner. Larry was a nice guy, I'd have much rather shot say, Benedict. Benedict was in good shape though, and he might actually have been an issue. Larry? He wasn't in bad shape per say, but he was laid back enough that I could bet he wouldn't be paying too much attention. Sure enough, I was right, and he was spacing out hard while in his chair. Well, sorry Larry, but I need past you. Raising Syringe, I took careful aim and fired. The syringe shot out with a quiet 'wumph' of air, soaring straight through the air before hitting him in the arm. He shot up for a moment with a yelp, his other arm going towards the syringe before the drug kicked in. He slumped back into the chair, unconscious.

Moving quickly, I made my way to the pharmacy door and melted the lock with the last vial of acid. Slipping inside, my feet carried me towards what I required. I worked here for a month, I had the location of everything memorized. It wasn't the chemicals and already made drugs that I was after, it was the equipment that was required. The capsule filling machine, the autoclave, everything that was used for preparing the medicine. There were multiple, and one of each went into my bags. The bags had gotten heavy as I hefted them up over my shoulder, but I knew without the adrenal booster, I'd find them impossible to carry.

Ignoring the even louder clanking noise of the equipment in the bags, I turned and took off back the way I came. This had gone exactly as I had hoped it would, now it was just a matter of making it back outside. If everything went well, they'd not even realize anything had happened at least for six hours. Stopping at corners to double check that no one was in the hallways, I made good time back to the security exit. As I passed by a certain door however, the handle turned and out stepped Janice. Stopping, my head slowly turned to stare at her. She stared back at me wide eyed, as Dr. Wyatt pulled his pants up with his back to us. A moment passed, Janice let out a shrill scream, and I panicked. As she stumbled back into the room, hitting Dr. Wyatt and sending them both to the floor, my hand came to the bandolier and removed a balloon.

Chucking it at the pair, I turned and ran as I heard a wet noise and then a loud 'whumph' of the balloon exploding. My vision became impaired as a blue cloud rolled out of the closet and engulfed me. The balloon's contents were designed to combine with nitrogen upon exposure to it, turning the liquid into a gas that quickly diffused out from the epicenter. Unlike if someone got a pure dosage from a syringe, the drug only lasted an hour in that form. And, was rather obvious.

Breaking free of the cloud, I could hear shouting from beyond the cloud. Someone in the ER had been bound to hear Janice, and that meant authorities were gonna be called. Not bothering to stop, my legs pumped as I sprinted towards the exit. There was no way this was all going to end here, before it even began. I couldn't go to jail or join the Protectorate, I had to remain free. For her.

Panting, I jumped over the door and hit the sidewalk. Already beginning to hear sirens, my feet beat a frantic rhythm against the street. Entering into the shadows of the alley, I dodged the piles of garbage and dumpsters, heading towards my car. Stopping a moment before actually hitting the street, I set the garbage bags down. Taking the gas mask off, I shoved it into one of the bags alongside Syringe. The bandolier got laid in a nearby dumpster, careful to avoid the balloons bursting. Stepping out of the alley to a mostly deserted street, I popped the trunk and tossed the bags in. Climbing inside, I stripped myself out of the hoody and sweats, wadding them up and chucking them into the back. I had made sure to wear a simple white blouse and pair of skinny jeans underneath.

Taking a breath to try and calm myself down, it took a moment to realize why I actually couldn't do so… The adrenal booster still had half an hour left. Shaking my head and letting out a sigh, I started up my car and pulled out, driving away. It was only twenty minutes to my house, but those twenty minutes felt like an hour. The adrenaline made me jumpy, and I couldn't help but expect some police car to come roaring around a corner, sirens blaring to come take me in. That never happened though, and I pulled into my driveway without any issues.

Shutting the car off, I climbed out and popped the trunk. Grabbing my prize, I carried them to the front door. My hand went to my pocket, and fumbled to grab my keys for a moment. Funny, I had managed most of the operation without any issue, and now that I've got through it all is when the nerves kick in. Or maybe the adrenaline was just wearing off.

Finally getting them out and opening the door, I stepped through. Being careful to shut it quietly behind me, I walked through the dark, far too large house. I needed the basement, at least to start off. Didn't change the fact that the house was meant for a family. Just one woman couldn't fill up a house like this, leaving a deep silence that just felt… out of place. Assuming everything worked out, maybe I could change that.

Getting to the basement door, I slipped in and flipped the light switch. The ceiling light came on, revealing the makeshift lab I was using. Some sturdy metal tables I managed to scrounge up, covered with a mess of old fashioned chemistry equipment. A pair of mini-fridges I managed to snag for a good deal sat nearby, the inside of one loaded with base chemicals, the other loaded with completed drugs. A simple small metal garbage bin next to one of the tables. And finally, tucked away under the stairs, a simple cot she had gotten for if she went into a fugue. The room was originally bare concrete, and the ceiling exposed. It had taken some work to produce the… well, it was basically just paint for the walls, and a covering for the floor. The ceiling? That just got a tarp hung up to catch anything that might fall down.

Climbing down the stairs, I stumbled a little as I reached the bottom. Flinging a hand out to the wall, I managed to steady myself. My eye followed my arm to where my hand was pressed against the wall, observing the way it trembled. Shaking my head, I pushed myself off and sat the bags down. Didn't want to be holding them when the adrenaline wore off… I should note down the side effects, in case there was any deviance from what was expected…

Turning, I walked towards the table on which my notebook sat. A sudden spasming from my throat and upwelling feeling were enough warning for me to change my path. Falling to my knees in front of the garbage bin, a disgusting burning taste filled my mouth as I emptied the contents of my stomach into it. My throat and stomach cramped, and I couldn't do anything else for several moments, couldn't even think as I simply hurled.

It died down after a couple moments, and I was left panting and spitting into the bin, clutching its sides as hard as possible. A deep exhaustion and soreness was slowly settling in over my body, and I had to fight back tears. My mind raced for a few moments as I tried to figure out where the nausea came from, before an answer came and I let out a short bark of laughter. Stress had not been taken into account, and was hitting me full force now that the adrenaline had worn off.

Shaking my head, I closed my eyes and focused for a moment on just trying to breath… Only to gag at the smell of vomit that flooded into my nose and mouth. Falling back away from it, I pinched my nose closed with a finger. Using a foot to shove it farther away under the table, I scooted back a bit further. Pushing myself up carefully, I stumbled over to one of the mini fridges. Keeping drinks among drugs might not be the… safest practice, but it was simply too convenient not to.

Dragging the door open, I reached in and fumbled for a moment before my hands managed to close around the tea can. Pulling it out, I tightened my grip painfully hard to try and counteract the trembling. Taking a few attempts to pop the top, it eventually popped up with the hiss of escaping air. Bringing it up to my lips, I tipped it back and took several greedy gulps of the sweet tea. A cold,wet feeling blossomed on my chest and I pulled the can back to look. A stain was already forming on my blouse.

Shaking my head, I just wrote it off as a lost cause. Setting the can on top of the fridge, I reached down and pulled the blouse up and over my head. Tossing it aside, I grabbed the can and moved to the cot. Sitting down on it, I closed my eyes and just… tried to calm down. The usual assortment of memories came to dance behind my eyes. Memories of Charles, and… Julia. I shoved them away, calming down didn't involve spending the night sobbing. There was another memory I focused on, the one I called to mind whenever I needed to remind myself why I was back in Brockton Bay.

The image came easily, a cold rainy winter back in 1992. Coming home from Arcadia, annoyed at the other girls for being stupid bullies just because she preferred books to boys. Hearing the voice of someone crying, and looking up to spot the little girl sat on the step of her house, shivering. Asking what was wrong, and getting told she lost the key to get into her house. Bundling her up and bringing her back home so she wouldn't catch a cold. Keeping her entertained until her parents had come home. The image of the blond pig tails and gap toothed grin came into her mind, and she couldn't help the smile that grew on her lips.

Setting the now empty can on the ground, I pulled my legs up and laid out on the cot. The exhaustion caught up to me, and I had a single thought before sleep dragged me down. Don't worry Sherrel, big sis Augy is back in the city. She ain't gonna be going anywhere this time.

A/N: So… I exist again. First thing I've actually managed to properly finish in a fair bit, and this was basically done entirely over the course of a single night. An idea that's been in my head for a fair bit, but not one that I ever actually bothered to properly put down onto paper. There's a lot of ideas that I've done that with, but hey, finally got one of the other ideas down properly!