Magical Scribe Eleanor Slam versus Magical Sawbones Tanis Nagi

From Magical Girl Noir Quest Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

The last thing I remember is a burning pain. Like the blood gushing out of my bullet wounds was lava. It made my knees knock with how much it hurt. Then I saw them aim for my head…

I can hear somebody humming something nearby. I don’t recognize the tune. More importantly, I don’t recognize the voice doing the humming.

My eyes open slowly, and I end up staring at an equally unfamiliar ceiling. Propping myself up – I still have my mechanical arm on, I guess – I find myself still in a bed, though it’s definitely not my bed. The room itself is painted white, and smells like someone scrubbed it with bleach. A hospital room?

The humming’s cut off by a quiet gasp off to my right. “Oh, you’re awake!” someone squeaks in distress. I look to the source of the voice and see that my attending physician… is probably about the same age as I am. She looks pretty young, anyway. Short red hair, deep tan, clutching a clipboard to her chest like it’s a life preserver. She looks only marginally less nervous that I would if I was trying to do her job.

“Um, Eleanor, right?” she asks, about as audible as a loud whisper. I slowly nod my head. The doctor… surgeon… whatever she is, smiles sheepishly. “How are you feeling?” she asks next.

Rubbing at my head, I knock my cap off-center, confirming I still have a head. “Feel like I didn’t just get my face blown off,” I murmur.

“Good. That’s a good thing,” she assures me, relaxing just a little. “Is there any pain?”

I shake my head just as I remember something important. “Excuse-“

“Dizzin-“ the doctor starts, then flushes slightly after she interrupts me. I guess she’s waiting for me to speak first.

“…Did I get the prize?” I ask hopefully. Miss Bel promised a straight-up cash bonus to the last people standing. I could have left after the first volley, too.

The girl shrinks back, not even looking me in the eye anymore. Maybe I should have been a bit quieter. “Um, what’s this about a prize?” she asks, appearing completely clueless as to what I’m talking about. She probably just expected to ask her questions and be on her way, not get hounded with questions directed at her. She looks pretty uncomfortable, and I don’t like pressing her. But I gotta know.

“The prize for holding out during the live firing exercises?” I clarify, though it still doesn’t seem like she knows what I’m talking about. “The one Miss Bel said she’d give out?” I inquire, a touch of desperation in my voice. Please say that I got it. Please.

But the girl droops her head, clutching her clipboard tighter. “I’m afraid I didn’t hear any mention of a prize,” she tells me, her nervous smile turning to a frown.

…Fuck. I fall back against my pillow, my optimism gone. In spite of Marina’s advice, I couldn’t stand with a bunch of actual Eversors. And here I honestly thought I could manage.

“Is… is something the matter?” the doctor timidly asks while leaning over me, sounding a little concerned. “Are you dizzy? Nauseous?” Did she get taller? Well, whatever. Does it really even matter?

“…Yeah,” I grumble, feeling very drained now as I think back over the last week or so. “I’m sick of trying and failing. I’m sick of trying and just barely scraping by. And I’m sick of trying and then being screwed over by things I can’t control.” I turn around so I can bury my face in my pillow, my voice muffled. “Trying sucks.”

I really thought things were getting better lately. And when Miss Bel told me I was doing well, I actually felt a bit –proud-. I shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up.

Fuck. I was going to buy an oven, and baking supplies, with that money. I was really, really looking forward to cooking again.

That candy shop looks less and less likely every day.

After a pause, the doctor speaks again. “I’m really sorry about that,” she apologizes. “But are you, um, are you fine otherwise? Your health, I mean.”

“Just peachy,” I murmur. Dunno if she heard me. I can hear her jotting something down, so she probably did.

“Eleanor?” the doctor says my name again. “Please turn over.”

“Whatever,” I grunt, flipping back over. She sets the clipboard on a nearby chair and starts tucking my sheets back in. And smoothing them out. And then untucking them and tucking them back in. I guess she’s fixated on getting it right?

“Actually,” I start, remembering something important, “what time is it? How long was I out for?” The doctor is muttering something to herself while fussing with the sheets. Did she not hear me? “Excuse me, hello?” I say, trying to get her attention. Goddammit, if it’s not one thing…

Okay, no, it’s not fair to get mad at the help when she’s just doing job. Even if she’s doing it to an obsessive degree. My failings aren’t her fault. So I wait for her to finish tidying up or whatever she’s doing. The doctor is actually beaming once she’s done.

“Excuse me?” I speak up again, getting her attention. “Could you tell me what time it is? And when I can go?”

“Oh!” she exclaims, face falling while frantically looking for something. She hurries over to grab her clipboard and clutches it close to her chest again. As if just remembering my question, she checks her watch before informing me, “it’s currently two in the morning. You’ll be released tomorrow morning at six.”

I just nod. Odd girl.

And back to smiling, but still holding that clipboard pretty hard. “Alright then,” she answers, consulting said clipboard again. “Do you need anything else while I’m here?”

I start to form a sarcastic response, but with it being this late…

“Could I get a phone?” I ask. “I need to call someone.”

The doctor nods/bows slightly and then shuffles over to a nearby nightstand. Nudging it over, she reluctantly lets go of the clipboard long enough to hand me the receiver. I make to reach over and dial the number, but I can’t quite reach it from where I’m at. Stupid short arms. Stupid short, underdeveloped body.

“Would you like me to dial the number for you?” interrupts the doctor, trying to look helpful in between her fidgeting.

“Yes, please,” I tell her, and recite Checkers’ number from memory. Once she’s put it in, the girl’s back to hugging her clipboard, and I’m nervously listening to the phone ringing. Please be there, please be there, please be-

“Leave a message or… whatever, I’ll get to you later,” her tired voice grumbles, followed by a tone. Fuck, I got voicemail. I guess it’s pretty late over there. Or early. Or something. Time zones are confusing.

Taking a deep breath, and trying to ignore the sudden rush of anxiety, I squeak, “uh, hi Checkers! It’s Eleanor. I mean Papers. I mean… I’m okay, I’m calling to say I’m okay and, um… I’m sorry for not calling back sooner. I just woke up and everything.” Goddammit, why am I so nervous about leaving a message? Is it because I’m not by myself for once? The doctor doesn’t seem to care, so I take another deep breath and continue, “So if you were worried about me, you can, you know, stop doing that.” I think that’s everything. “Okay, bye!” I call out, and the doctor ends the call for me.

I hand the receiver back to her and tell her, “Thank you, uhh...”

Oh, right, I don’t have her name. And even if I could see her nametag behind the clipboard, I sure as hell couldn’t read it.

The girl’s face tinges with embarrassment while she hangs up the phone. “Oh, my name?” she asks, and I nod patiently. She smiles a little, moving her clipboard up until it’s resting against her chin. “Tanis,” she murmurs. “It’s Tanis.”

“Tanis? Thank you… Tanis,” I finish lamely, trying to smile. Tanis? Well, that’s an unusual name. Okay, probably no more unusual than Kai, Belinda, or Madge is, but those are pretty strange, too. Whatever, she’s nice enough, if a bit weird.

She shakes her head. “Just doing my job,” she insists, and then checks her clipboard. “Well, if you need to reach somebody, just press this button right here,” she explains, indicating a button on the bed’s rails. I nod back in understanding.

“And…” she draws out, going down her clipboard again. “Yes, I believe that’s everything!” she exclaims with a small grin. Or what passes for exclaiming with her quiet voice. Maybe she’s happy she got this stressful job over with – at least that’s how I’d feel in her position. “So, uh, I’ll be going now. Have a nice night, Eleanor,” Tanis says, offering a sympathetic smile. “Hope things improve for you soon.”

I sit up and wave goodbye, but she’s already leaving. As her awkward gait makes toward the light switch, though, I see something trailing beneath her surgical gown and a ways behind her: a tail. A friggin’ dark brown snake tail, about as long as she is tall. She’s not walking around, she’s –slithering-.

I cover my mouth to muffle my surprise, but it doesn’t seem like it did any good. Tanis freezes up for an instant, then her shoulders droop with a big sigh before she shuts off the lights. Before I can apologize, she hurries out the door and shuts it behind her.

I slump back into the bed and look up at the darkness. Way to be an insensitive little piece of shit, Eleanor. You could have actually made a friend and you blew it. Just add that to the big list of things you fucked up.

…What am I even going to –do- now? I can’t see myself –not- fucking up training tomorrow, and Suzi says that options for my Vanus trance are ‘being explored’. Which sounds a lot like ‘you’re shit outta luck’ to me.

For real this time, I think that tomorrow I’m going to tell the Warmaster that I just can’t hack it. I’m sure she’ll be real disappointed, but better to disappoint her now than further down the line, after she and everyone else have invested even more of their time and energy into helping me. For all the good it did. I don’t know what I’m going to do now, but it’s not this insanity. I’m just not crazy enough for it. I’m not strong enough for it, either. Really, if I’m not doing deskwork, then what am I good for at this point?

…Maybe I should just drop dead and save people the trouble-

A commotion down the hall puts my thoughts on hold.

“Step aside, freak,” orders a shrill voice. A haughty, angry voice I’ve come to know and dread. I hear someone – I think it’s Tanis – scream, followed by the cringe-inducing sound of bones snapping, and a heavy thud as a body slams into a nearby wall. My brain tells me to crawl under the sheets and hide, but it also tells me it won’t do any good at all.

Slow, deliberate footsteps draw closer and closer, heavily hitting the ground and echoing with an unnatural, metallic clang. They grow louder and louder, drowning out the sound of my terrified heart beat, until they stop right outside my room. There’s another loud, metallic clang as something impacts the door, and it simply falls off its hinges. Behind it, a figure stands in the hallway, their silhouette framed against the bright lights. And behind their translucent wings, I can make out Tanis’ broken, bloodied form slumped over against the wall, unmoving.

“Eleanor,” Miss Schulz states with eerie serenity as the air around her crackles with electricity, “this time I –will- kill you.”