There is a saying that I'd read in a book once. It haunts me to this day whenever I walk through the halls of the small base they have us stationed in. I'd even gone so far as to write it a note of it in my book, along with all of my medical records. You see, I do keep track of things that matter, no matter how impulsive my methods may seem to the others here. The book, this little old notebook with its red cover and its worn pages and bindings has come to mean so much to me in the past few years. Opening it, I can see all of the history of my past mistakes. You see, it started out as a simple medical journal.
They gave it to me when I first arrived, pushed into my hands as I stepped out of the car that had driven me here inside of a box of other items that made up what they said I would need during my stay here. Taking a peek I looked down and noticed its contents, mostly medical equipment. There were syringes, vials of various medicines, scalpels, and thread, and bandages among the basics. Not much, mind you, but enough. We got a resupply van every week after all, just like the other team did, and it was enough to kick-start my budding infirmary.
As I made my way inside I noticed my escort was leaving. The company didn't like to stay here for longer than necessary, as they had told me earlier, and I could already hear some commotion coming from the wooden balcony outside of the Red building. Looking up, they seemed to be coming out onto the balcony to get a better look at me and I rolled my eyes as I muttered, "Kinder," adjusting my grip on the box I was carrying.
A shorter man with wide shoulders made his way out and took the box from me with a pat on the back as he said, "lemme just take this outa yer hands. It's about darn time they send ya over on this way. I was startin' to think that we'd never get us a medic in these parts then bam, you show up outa the dust." As I dusted off my arms, I got a look over him. He seemed a decent type, balding pretty heavily, but what hair was there was streaked with grey between the brown and matted down like it spent most of its time inside of a hat or a helmet.
I made a note of it as I replied, "I vas beginning to think zhat I vouldn't be coming either, but it seems zhe company has finally gotten around to the papervork." He chuckled at that, leading me through a gate in the fence and out onto a space that was peculiar. There were two buildings, one red, one blue, and a bridge over a gap in the center.
He noticed my staring, commenting, "yeah this here's where we fight all the battles. Ya can tell with how the bridge there is beaten to hell and back. Me an' the blue engineer keep having to put up a whole damn new one about once every other week." This elicited a laugh out of the man as he motioned me inside the red building through the entrance hall, a grate closing down behind us. "Mind you, we only fight about once a week, so that should say somethin' to ya. Hey Scout, be a man and carry this down to the Doc's room."
I turned my head to look at where he'd directed his last comment, smirking at the sight of a boy much younger and skinnier than I had expected after being briefed on his file as he said, "ya, sure". He moved to take the box from the man who'd escorted me in, nearly tumbling over in the process. I must have laughed, because he was giving me this nasty looking glare as he shouted, "yo what the hell you keep in this thing anyway? Fuckin' lead?" I snickered and brushed him away.
"Just be a good boy und go put zhe nice crate of life-saving equipment avay," I said with a grin, watching him swear back at me before moving along. Speedy fellow, even with the burden, I'll have to keep that in mind. We went up some stairs in a courtyard before heading towards a room right before where I guessed the balcony was.
It was there that I met the rest of the team. The man who'd taken me in gave me another firm pat on the back as he motioned to the group standing around, "Now fellas, this here's gonna be our new medic, so play nice. I'mma go first with the introductions here. We go by titles 'round these parts since some of us can't have names get out, but me and a few of the boys don't give a crap about that." He walked over and took a collapsible chair from the wall, settling down in it. "Mah name's Dell Conagher, and I'm this here place's Engineer."
The others seemed to be a rather excited sort as I got my bearings with the new room and information, mentally filing away the man, no, the Engineer's name and quirks. I wasn't given too much time for that, though when suddenly I felt a brief kiss on my left cheek, followed by a man in a suit materializing out of nowhere as he kissed my right one and then patted me on the shoulder. "Ma-" I started to exclaim his name before he cut me off by putting his hand over his mouth and grinning at me. I couldn't help the rising smile; it was certainly good to see him again.
"Now, now," he said with a smile while the others just gaped (I swear I heard the boy from earlier saying, "holy crap, Spy knows this guy?" as he reentered), "no giving away all of my secrets, non?" He pulled me over to sit down over against the wall where more of the collapsible chairs were set up. "It is good to see you my friend, and in such good health. For the sake of my job 'ere you may please refer to me as Spy."
No time to get into pleasantries with Mathis now, however. No, Spy, I corrected in my head before the boy came forward and brought his thumb to his chest, throwing his arms out wide, "and I'm Scout, fast as the wind, and badder than everybody here in this damn place." Well isn't he rather pleased with himself? "I got me seven brothers at home so don't ya go thinking you can push me around 'cause you'll be damn wrong. Ya hear me? I can take care of myself." My god did the boy ramble like this all the time?
Apparently, because he was cut off by a lanky fellow wearing a hat and shades, "that's enough kid." This only served to upset the boy however, who half-seriously lunged at him.
"Yo, you want a piece of me? I'll scrap ya so bad you have to sit the next one out. They'll be hearing ya scream all the way back with yer Ma in Nowheresville." This only served to amuse the lanky fellow, who didn't seem to take him all that seriously.
Lanky fellow soon had a name as well, introducing himself as, "Mundy. Just Mundy, though. I don't go around by my first name. Oi'm the sniper 'ere, so you'll probably find me behind all of you most days when we're fighting. I got me a bit of training with basic stitchin' and bandages so if ya ever need help just gimme a call over."
Well that was always good to know, I wasn't completely left to treat these people by myself. Suddenly I wished I didn't have ears. "AND I AM JANE DOE THOUGH YOU WILL ONLY KNOW ME AS SOLDIER, PRIVATE," came a booming voice from the corner. I wasn't the only one to have put my hands on my ears as he addressed me, I noted, Mundy and some of the others seemed to have put their hands in place the second he opened his mouth. "I AM YOUR COMMANDING OFFICER FOR THE DURATION OF THIS ASSIGNMENT AND I AM NOT A SISSY MAN. AS SUN TZU SAYS, 'THE BIGGEST AND THE STRONGEST MUST LEAD THE REST OF THE SISSY MEN INTO BATTLE AND WIN', AND AS THE BIGGEST AND STRONGEST I WILL LEAD YOU SISSIES TO GLORY AND HONOR AND IF I MUST I WILL LEAD YOU TO YOUR DEATH. IS THAT CLEAR, PRIVATE?"
I was gawking at the man. I knew I was, and I felt Mathis giving me a pat on the shoulder as he chuckled, whispering, "he ees always like this. We find it best to just agree with him before he starts to rant."
"WHAT WAS THAT SPOOK? US REAL MEN CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF YOU BEING A SISSY MAN." I sincerely started praying this man had an off switch that I would find before he drove me insane. "ANSWER A QUESTION WHEN IT IS DIRECTED AT YOU PRIVATE. DON'T THINK I WILL LET THIS BEHAVIOR SLIP. I SAID IS THAT CLEAR?"
Me and Mathis (Spy, I must remember to call him Spy) both uttered out a "yes sir" as quickly as we could before the man could get any louder, and I remarked quietly, "I zhink zhis man may give me hearing damage if I am forced to listen to him for too long." Spy laughed and nodded his head, slipping a pair of earplugs into my pocket while the Soldier wasn't looking.
The man with the eye patch was next. He was just about falling off his chair, a bottle of booze of some sort in his hand and he hiccuped before he spoke. "Ahm yer resident black Scottish cyclops. Demoman, but yoo can call meh Demo. Or jus' Moe if ya like." My god the man in charge of explosions only had one eye.
"Yes, vell then," I remarked out loud, "that is very... comforting." Apparently detecting sarcasm wasn't one of this man's talents, or maybe he was just too drunk to care because he took another big swig from his bottle.
"You best believe it. I'm the bloody best Demoman from the Scottish Highlands. Yoo don' get much better than me." High opinion of himself as well, and my god was that a peg leg? Yes, when I looked at it further one of his legs was missing. I made a mental note to avoid the man as much as possible on the battlefield. Maybe off of it too.
Suddenly a man who hadn't been in the room before, because surely I would have seen him if he was in the room, picked me up and squeezed me into a tight hug. "Oof!" I exclaimed as I felt my breath being squeezed from my body.
"I am Heavy Weapons Guy!" The man had a heavily accented Russian voice, and he put me down as he went over to sit down in the corner. Without a chair. He would probably have broken a chair. "I carry big gun called Sasha. She is good gun. Look forward to working with tiny Doktor, we will be good team, da?"
I muttered an astonished word of agreement, looking over to the only one that hadn't been introduced. A strange figure wearing a full body asbestos suit and a gas mask stared and muffled something through the mask that sounded positive. I looked around for a translation and eventually Mathis spoke up, "zis ees our Pyro. He-"
He was interrupted by Engineer, "she",
Who was followed by Scout, "it."
Mathis shook his head and continued, "Pyro sets things on fire. Zis ees all we know. Do no get in Pyro's way in battle, and Pyro shall not set you on fire. If he," he paused for the requisite mumbled arguments to the gender descriptor, "if Pyro sees you on fire, he may put you out with an air blast. Maybe. If he likes you."
I gave the figure a concerned look, and it laughed and smacked its knee in an exaggerated amused movement. Well I suppose when your only method of communication is body language.. I looked to Pyro questioningly and asked, "und does Pyro wish to inform us if zhey are a he, a she, or… an 'it'?"
Apparently this amused the figure even further, and I received a shake of a finger in response to my question and a mysterious muffled verbal sound. The others in the room grinned in response to that and Engineer said, "that's just about the only answer you'll ever get out of 'er." He, unlike Mathis, chose not to pause for what was apparently the usual gender argument. "Gets a kick out of watching us try to figure it out is all I can come up with."
"I FOR ONE FIND IT REPREHENSIBLE THAT YOU WOULD CALL ONE OF OUR FINEST MEMBERS A PANSY," boomed Soldier from the corner once more, much to the dismay of the team's eardrums.
He was quickly silenced by the Demo, "calm down, lad. He was only sayin' we don't have a way of knowin'." This seemed to get the Soldier down to an irritated muttering once more.
Mundy just shook his head with a laugh and picked up a rifle that was leaning against the wall, making his way back out towards the balcony, "ya jus' keep telling yerselves that, mate. Oi'm still convinced we're gonna find circuits stickin' out of 'im one day." Plopping a hat and sunglasses on he called out to the room, "goin' back on lookout. Oi thought oi got a glimpse of Blu doin' somethin' weird down in the water. Might be settin' up another sentry there in the deep part."
The others offered him a wave as Mathis put a hand on my shoulder and announced, "well my friends, I shall go and show the doctor his new quarters. If you need me, please, go pester somebody else." With a dismissing wave to the rest of the group, he motioned for me to follow him, and so I did.
We walked over to a spiraling ramp that went down from where we had been to a basement filled with all sorts of technology, though most of it looked like it had been repeatedly repaired and cleaned of scorch marks and holes. "So vhere are you taking me now, Spy?" I asked as I flicked my gaze back to him.
He only replied with, "where we can talk in private without the eediots," and slid off a glove from his hand, placing it against a doorway. The door slid open to reveal a very pristine room, simply designed with red walls, red sheets, red curtains... well you get the idea. It was very red.
Closing the door behind us, Mathis double checked the area and pulled out a small light device, scanning the room with it as he muttered, "wish they would let me bring this out onto the field," before tucking it back away in his suit and pulling off his mask.
His hair had gone pure white by now, it was most of the way there last time I saw him and it made him look distinguished. He looked young for a man of over sixty years, refined one might say and well kept. His arms slung around me and pulled me into a tight hug, "mon enfant, I have missed you. Do not scare me and disappear like that when I expected you weeks ago with the rest of us."
I rolled my eyes and muttered, "I am hardly your child anymore. If you have not noticed, I am no longer a sickly sixteen year old Kind." I knew the words were useless, especially once Mathis got going on these tirades, but I was a grown man! Not that it ever mattered to my adoptive father.
Finally giving me room to breathe, he backed away and started giving me an inspection, noting the slight bags under my eyes. "You have not been sleeping again, I see. Was Helen so rigorous that she did not allow it?"
"Nein," I replied simply, "it iz zhe nightmares again. You know this, why do you continue to ask? Zhey have not gotten better, and zhey vill not." I tried to keep the petulant tone out of my voice, I had the worst habit of slipping back into teenagedom when he was around. Not unusual, most people did around their parents if my old clinic was anything to go by.
With a sigh, Mathis sat down on the top of what was now going to be my desk, brushing his hair back with a hand, "the war is over, Klaus. Why can you not let it go? It has been twenty three years over. Even I no longer lie awake at night and I was with the resistance."
Almost flopping down beside him, I stood instead and gave him my best reassuring look (the one that didn't make me look like a maniac) and said, "not with me, papa. You know zhis. Zhe var ist never over with me, for I have to see it in my head every night. Zhe stress from zhe Administrator and her assistant simply aggravated it. Zhey vere unsure letting me on zhe team considering you vorked here already until I showed them zhe plans for zhe Uber."
He was giving me his 'I am worried about you' look again. I'd come to know that look by heart with how often I received it from him. "Just be careful. I think this job will be good for you, especially with the authorities still seeking you all over Europe."
At this, I smiled, feeling a sense of accomplishment and more than a bit of amusement. "He woke up after I vas done. Zhis has never been done before, und so I have accomplished what was impossible."
"But his whole skeleton Klaus?" He gestured vividly at the idea, a bit of horror slipping into his tone. "Why did you have to remove his skeleton? Even worse, then you ran!" Spy leaned back and stared at the ceiling as he spoke, "he was the prime minister!"
I grunted in dismissal of Mathis's concern. "He vas a Nazi sympathizer und ve both know it. It is not my fault that zhe courts let him go so easily."
Mathis sighed again, shaking his head as he stood and pulled out a cigarette. He went to stand closer to the door as he popped it into his mouth and lit it. "You are going to be the death of me, child. I shall go bald before my time and woe is my luck at ever wooing another woman again."
I just laughed and waved a puff of smoke out of my face, "but it proved zhe medigun works. He managed to be useful in zhe end, ja? Anyway, it vas only mein medical license."
This did not seem to calm him down, but he was always a nervy man and prone to stress. "Some days," he said as he shook a finger at me, "some of these days it ees 'ard to remember you are the same skinny, dying boy I fished out of a barge in Denmark when it was liberated." He took his cigarette out of his mouth long enough to slip the mask back over his face. "Remember, outside this door we are only friends, and I am only Spy. You are only Medic. We cannot let news of either of our locations spread. Please remember this Klaus, it ees more than your life at stake, mon fils."
"I will remember, mien Vater. Do not worry too much, or it shall be you giving yourself bald patches," I said with an amused smirk, escorting him to the door. "I shall be a good boy und eat my vegetables while mein papa goes forwards and paces frantically around zhe base tearing his hair out, und zhen Herr Mundy vill ask 'what has happened with Spy? His mask has a bald spot,' und I shall only laugh." We both shared a good chuckle at the idea of his mask having a hole on the top before he straightened his tie and nodded, schooling his expression once again.
As he left the room, he bid me a polite farewell, leaving me once more to my own devices. Apparently the box of supplies had been put here in my room rather than the infirmary, likely because it was closer, so I went in to inspect it. Like I had glimpsed, it was basic medical supplies. There were a few vital medicines, including some heart pills and various versions of headache medicine and morphine. Good enough I suppose. I took out the notebook inside and palmed through it before sliding off my coat.
The lab coat got thrown across the back of a chair, myself sliding down inside of it and throwing the notebook open to write the first words to grace its pages right inside the front cover. My reminder of why I work was etched in ink as, 'Vengeance, deep-brooding o'er the slain had locked the source of softer woe; and burning pride, and high disdain, forbade the rising tear to flow'. A quote, nothing more, but it meant so much to me. I had adopted it over the years as my mantra against the world. Brushing my fingers through my hair, I shoved the book away and leaned back in the seat to continue the poem aloud.
"Until, amid his sorrowing clan, her son lisped from zhe nurse's knee," I muttered it to myself, unaware of the gaze curiously peeking inside as I raised an arm and pulled down the long sleeve of my white shirt, eyes resting on a series of numbers inked forever into the flesh, "und if I live to be a man, mein father's death revenged shall be." The door clicked shut quietly, only then alerting me to the presence that had just left.
Hello everyone. I've been playing a lot of TF2 lately and the idea for this smacked me across the face when I read an interesting quote. Minor character changes, important one being Medic is in his early 40s rather than late 50s and I've taken liberties with some of the other character's ages as well. Remember that TF2 is in 1968, so some characters might be older than you expect to make sure ages line up appropriately, though nothing major. If this first chapter is well received I will continue work on it, I am planning a chapter a month and already have some of the story laid out in my head.
I would like to warn folks in advance, if you haven't guessed by now, this fanfiction deals partially with World War II and the Holocaust. I know that this is a subject that hits a lot of people really rough, and I am doing a lot of research in hopes that I can do it justice. Some of the events I reference actually happened, so feel free to look them up as you come across them. Now this fic does deal with mature themes, and the rating is important here, though nothing sexually graphic (sorry guys) will be shown. I might get into a romance subplot if I get enough call for one. I hope you like it.